New readers may wish to read my History Lessons Introduction first. Other History Lessons posts can be found here. And, as always, you can click on images to view larger versions.

Finnish developers Frozenbyte are best known for the Trine series, the first entry of which I wrote about back in 2012. But their first game was the top-down science fiction shooter Shadowgrounds, released in 2005. It’s interesting because it’s a quality yet clearly lower budget title that appeared just before indie games really started to take off. As such it’s somewhere between the games that the major studios make and the games that we now associate with indie developers. Such a game could not have been made in the United States at that time; customers expected big expensive games, and digital distribution — which would soon make it feasible for small development teams to reach a wide audience — was only just getting established.