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Indie Links Round-Up: Crashing Waves

Indie Links this time around brings a splendid batch of deep discussion, game showcases, interviews, and more.

Indie Pitch: Against the Wall (Joystiq)
“This week, Michael Consoli helps players grasp the concepts of infinity, vulnerability and self-reliance with his Kickstarter-funded title, Against the Wall.”

Road to the IGF: Amanita Design’s Botanicula (IndieGames.com)
“Hailing from the Czech Republic, Amanita Design has made a distinct impression on the indie game scene with its visually striking, imaginative adventure games such as Machinarium and Samorost 1 and 2. Now, the studio is working on Botanicula, a new point and click adventure game that continues the team’s legacy of lovingly-crafted visuals and minimalistic storytelling techniques. The game’s unique aesthetic has earned it a nomination for an Excellence in Visual Art award at this year’s IGF.”

Siege mentality – the rise of FortressCraft (Hookshot inc.)
“The history of videogames is one of influence and iteration. There are few original ideas. The DNA of the first-person shooter can be traced through the id bloodline, back to ZX81 gem, 3D Monster Maze; the now-omnipresent match-three puzzler winds its way through history toward Kuniaki Moribe’s 1985 title Chainshot; and the real-time strategy, arguably spawned by 1989 Mega Drive title Herzog Zwei, then evolved through the Warcraft and Command and Conquer strands, the rival organisms making micro moves away from their progenitor. It was ever thus. Recently, things have got nasty – and complicated. In the smartphone sector, we have the cult of the clones, the titles designed to perfectly and cynically copy successful releases like Angry Birds and Tiny Tower. Meanwhile, in the world of Minecraft we have, well every other game where you build stuff out of blocks. Are they all evil?”

Chat: Xenonauts Dev On Firaxis And Outdoing X-COM (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Up until January 5, 2012, the mega-ambitious Xenonauts, Goldhawk Interactive’s Cold War-set tale of alien invasion, was our number one hope for a modernised X-COM. Then, on January 5, 2012, 2K and Firaxis announced they were making an official modernised X-COM. We’ve already chatted to Firaxis about XCOM: Enemy Unknown at length, but what did that shock news mean to Goldhawk lead Chris England? Here, I chat to Chris about his initial reaction, why it doesn’t spell horror for his project, where he’s at with Xenonauts at the moment, what’s planned for the future, how he believes Xenonauts will be better than X-COM and whether spending his life savings on making the game has paid off.”

Cloning Case Files: QCF Design (The Verge)
“Cloning Case Files is a three-part series examining the personal impact of game cloning in the iOS App Store. Each entry details the experience of an independent developer who suffered in some way from game cloning and how they worked to overcome the effects of cloning.”

The Last and Final Word: Jesse Venbrux (Quote Unquote)
“Jesse Venbrux first came to the attention of the independent gaming community with Frozzd, which took 1st place in the YoYoGames Winter competition. He cemented his status as a independent developer to keep your eye on with his Karoshi series of games, which not only became his most popular release but garnered much critical acclaim.”

Recent Good Knytt Stories #5 (TIGSource)
“Here’s an hour’s worth of jumping, climbing and gliding. As usual, you’ll need the latest version of Knytt Stories to play these levels.”

Droid Assault (PixelProspector)
“Droid Assault is a fast paced shooter that is inspired by the classic Paradroid. Your mission is to destroy all robots in each level to progress to the next stage… However don’t kill all robots immediately because you cannot win the war without proper support. You need an army of robots! (the game offers 48 different ones)”

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