Indie game news, reviews, previews and everything else concerning indie game development.

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PAX Prime 2013: On The Level Interview and ‘Boo Bunny Plague’ Gameplay Footage

BBP

Chris Hayes, one of our IGM PAX Prime 2013 team members, writes on his hands-on impressions of On The Level Game Studios’ action adventure title Boo Bunny Plague.

Boo Bunny Plague is the story of a robot toy bunny gone mad. With his trusty guitar, he must smash his way to happiness. Where the game really hits home is its nods to the past, with nods to both Say Anything and Robocop 3, it leaves you looking for that sense of nostalgia. I was left wanting more, as I don’t think I got the full sense of the game with the small amount of game play I received.

As of present it is a game about a mad robot bunny trying to smash things with its guitar, but I got the sense that there will be more to come and I am looking forward to seeing what is next for Bunny. Here’s our interview with On The Level’s Bunny Rogers and Jamie Daruwala, as well as a look at some gameplay footage:


Boo Bunny Plague is due out Easter 2014 on PC, check out and/or vote for the game on its Steam Greenlight page.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – PAX Prime 2013: On The Level Interview and ‘Boo Bunny Plague’ Gameplay Footage


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PAX Prime 2013: The Started Hare Interview and ‘Chromancer’ Art Preview

Chromancer

Our PAX coverage continues today with Chromancer, The Started Hare’s free-to-play browser-based strategic collectible card game that — literally just moments ago — hit and passed its $60,000 funding goal on Kickstarter. There’s still a little over a day left for the game’s crowdfunding campaign, so feel free to pour a little gravy on top for them (especially if any of the reward tiers catch your eye).

We caught up with Started Hare’s George Maasry for an explanation on the different mechanics and systems that make up Chromancer, and got a look at the game’s artwork as well.


Congratulations again to the devs for hitting their goal. With funding secured, Chromancer is now officially due out this winter.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – PAX Prime 2013: The Started Hare Interview and ‘Chromancer’ Art Preview


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PAX Prime 2013: Squad Interview and ‘Kerbal Space Program’ Impressions

Kerbal

Chris Hayes, one of our IGM PAX Prime 2013 team members, shares his interview with developer Squad — providing his impressions of their hit Steam Early Access title Kerbal Space Program as well.

You would never know with a game like Kerbal Space Program that the idea came from lead developer Felipe Falanghe making spaceships out of fireworks as a child and having foil astronauts named Kerbals ride them into oblivion. But if you were to watch me learning to play this game, it makes perfect sense. Kerbal Space Program is a game where you build yourself a spaceship, try to launch it past orbit, and explore various planets to research what is out there and expand your technology.

Part of building the spaceship is determining the order that the rocket engages. Fail to do this or build your spaceship incorrectly and you will end up with doom on your hands. For example, my most successful mission had my four booster rockets run in phase 1 and the launch pads detach me in the second phase. Once the fuel burned out I detached the booster rockets in phase 3 and ignited my second booster rocket in phase 4. Once the booster rocket ran out, I detached that in phase 6 to free float in orbit for a while. However, as I never made it this far, I hadn’t planned on making it to orbit. Eventually gravity kicks in and I get drawn closer but phase 7 should save me when I let out my parachute, which doesn’t deploy correctly, and I end up crashing into earth in a fiery blaze of failure.

But even though it took me 24 spaceships, and 32 Kerbals to get this far, it was fun, and only the beginning. Former modder and now technical artist for the game, Chad Jenkins explained that space exploration is another key factor with Kerbal Space Exploration. Successfully returning from a mission with data will allow you to expand your research tree. In addition, how you provide that data matters as well. One example he offered is if we were to say make it up to Mars and get a sample of the planet, we could radio our results back to the planet with nominal scientific progress. However if we were to bring back a chuck of rock to our researchers on the planet, the data will reap bigger benefits. You then use this research to expand your tech tree and available spaceship parts as you see fit.


One of the most mind-blowing aspects of all this is our interview was that Felipe, Chad, and Bob Holtzman were at PAX to judge a tournament for their game not to show it off. The kicker is that Kerbal Space Program is currently available as Early Access and has not their official launch date yet. While there is plenty to do and play around with the game only Sandbox Mode can be played, with a career mode and other features to eventually be implemented.

Kerbal Space Program is available as a Steam Early Access title on Windows, Mac, and Linux — and it’s currently on sale for 40% off through the weekend.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – PAX Prime 2013: Squad Interview and ‘Kerbal Space Program’ Impressions


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PAX Prime 2013: ‘Contrast’ Impressions

contrast

Chris Hayes — part of our PAX Prime 2013 ground team — writes on his impressions of Compulsion Games’ gorgeous game of light, shadow and escapism, Contrast.

When telling a story, much of the experience is all about how you tell it. You would also hold this true to video games, seeing as how the music, ambiance and voice actors hold just as much of an intricate role when designing a game with challenging puzzles combined with a unique and dark tale to go with it.

Contrast is a game set in the 20’s type era about a girl watching at her family crumble apart from her perspective. The thing to take away from this is kids are innocent and as such don’t always understand what it is they truly see. This is the aim of this game in a way as it was explained that they really tried to focus on telling it from the 9 year old’s perspective as to how the relationship of the nonexistent dad and budding burlesque dancer of a mom play out. You guide through the game playing as the girl’s imaginary friend who has the ability to jump between reality and a shadow on the wall in a strange and crazy world. Most who have seen the trailer believe this is a hoot and a holler, but I was left wondering where this journey is going to take me, in the same sense of when you step into rapture after your airplane blew up and taking the bathysphere to Rapture thinking, what the hell have I gotten myself into.


One of the questions that Compulsion’s Sam Abbott could not wait to ask me after a rousing original song from a shadowy burlesque show was, “What did you think of the voice acting?” The reason being is this game is all about the story as it is about the unique game play. Sam made sure before I entered a burlesque house to stop my character and keep walking down the road only for me to see roads that curled down into nowhere and floating umbrellas and tables. I was only left to take this to interpretation, but was happy to do so as I got the sense that this game is all about finding the nuances and spotting the aspects of the story.

I know I am going on and on as if I had played the game, but in reality I stopped right after the first area because I wanted to wait for the game to come out so I could take it all in at once. The final thing that blew me away with this game was seeing how phenomenal it looked on the PS4. It made the environment and the game play look crisp and fluid. If this game is not on your radar, I would recommend placing it on their immediately.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – PAX Prime 2013: ‘Contrast’ Impressions


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PAX Prime 2013: ‘Telepath Tactics’ Impressions

telepath tactics

Chris Hayes — one of our PAX Prime 2013 team members — writes on his hands-on impressions of Sinister Design’s turn-based strategy RPG, Telepath Tactics.

One would never know when meeting developer Craig Stern, that not only has his game Telepath Tactics gone through a failed Kickstarter campaign, but that he brushed off his shoulders, bounced back with a second successful Campaign and is currently pushing towards his game’s approval on Greenlight. It is not because his positive attitude and enthusiasm have not been matched at the convention so far. It is because his game is so damn delightful to play. While the tactics in his title inform you to the genre he is entering, what he is doing with this game is more than I have seen so far.

As he notes on his Kickstarter page, “Imagine that Fire Emblem and Disgaea had a baby, and that baby turned out to be a prodigy…” and when listening to him talk about his game you can tell that these two games really influenced his vision. And while the game play is driven by the standard but he adds his own flare which I haven’t seen before. Part of it is in the ways that some of the animations of attacks play out. At one point I saw one character flip over another and stab his opponent. At another I saw a satchel charge be tossed onto a bridge, which then exploded destroying the bridge, because yes, the environment is indestructible. You could even watch as one character tossed his enemy into lava.


It also has multiplayer game play in addition to the single player storyline but he goes even further by allowing levels, characters, campaign, and moves to be created by the players and more. It feels like you are given a dev kit for an tactical RPG for just a single game. While playing this game on the floor I really got into the demo I was playing, cursing loudly when my healer got killed and gaining satisfaction by destroying the remaining enemies in vengeance. I have to applaud him for his ingenuity and hard work and I cannot wait to see where he goes from here.

You can pre-order Telepath Tactics now via the game’s website, and gain immediate access to the latest pre-release build. Demos for PC, Mac and Linux are also available.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – PAX Prime 2013: ‘Telepath Tactics’ Impressions


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PAX Prime 2013: Robot Loves Kitty Interview and ‘Legend of Dungeon’ Impressions

legend of dungeon

Chris Hayes, one of our IGM PAX Prime 2013 team members, writes on his hands-on impressions of Robot Loves Kitty’s roguelike Legend of Dungeon – a clear favorite among attendees and definitely one of the event’s best in show.

Never have I had so much fun unexpectedly in my life. I had no idea what I was getting into walking up to the popular indie booth at PAX, but Robot Loves Kitty hit me with an intensity and absurdity that I could not get enough of. With husband and wife duo at the helm, they took wife Alix Stolzer’s love for the traditional Roguelike ASCII goodness, and jammed it with husband Calvin Goble’s love for the old cabinet titles such as X-Men, The Simpsons, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and came out with the peanut butter cup that is Legend of Dungeon.

Legend of Dungeon is a Roguelike multiplayer dungeon crawler where you and up to four players try to make it down to the 26th level for the loot, and make it back up alive. Along the way you will find random loot and potions and gear. The randomness of this game is where it really does well. The best way I can put it is that it out-dredmor’s Dungeons of Dredmor. One potion gave me a boost of speed while another made Calvin projectile vomit like Linda Blair in the exorcist. The craziest aspect of this game is the multiplayer is designed to be played locally like the old cabinet games.

Talk of console release was nonexistent as for now focus is on release and gameplay. But with the bat shit crazy suggestions being put forth by their Kickstarter supporters making the game all the more fun to explore, I cannot wait to play this game in full… and take down the rumored unicorn boss for his sweet sweet loots.

Legend of Dungeon is currently available in beta on PC, Mac and Linux. Here’s our interview with Calvin as well as a look at the title’s gameplay:


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PAX Prime 2013: Q Games Interview and ‘PixelJunk Inc.’ Gameplay

PixelJunk_Inc

PixelJunk Inc. is a simple concept, with a ton of depth. The sandbox tower defense hybrid has players digging out there own Soup factory, customizing it with a cast of command-accepting robots for gathering supplies and sentries for blasting aliens that are jealous of your gaudy soup factory base.

Lead designer Rowen Parker of Q Games spoke with us about this multifaceted title concerning the manufacturing process of soup:


PixelJunk Inc. is being prepped for a Steam-exclusive Windows PC release later this year, with Mac and Linux ports planned for sometime after.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – PAX Prime 2013: Q Games Interview and ‘PixelJunk Inc.’ Gameplay


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PAX Prime 2013: Breadbrothers Interview And ‘Sully: A Very Serious RPG’ Gameplay

sully

We were able to catch up (on a comfortable couch, thank god) with Ben McGraw of Breadbrothers Games last weekend at PAX Prime to discuss his upcoming old-school RPG, Sully: A Very Serious RPG.

Sully’s comedic tone matches some of the other games in the recent phoenix-like rise that indie developers have provided for retro JRPGs, but the game relies strictly on character nuance – rather than direct parody of the genre’s tropes — to get its humor across. Here’s Ben on the past, present and future of Sully:


Sully is available now for pre-order and will arrive later this year on PC, Mac, Linux and PS Vita.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – PAX Prime 2013: Breadbrothers Interview And ‘Sully: A Very Serious RPG’ Gameplay


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PAX Prime 2013: Infinitap Games Interview And ‘Neverending Nightmares’ Gameplay

neverending nightmares

The mind can be a scary thing — especially when it’s working against you. Neverending Nightmares by Retro/Grade developer Matt Gilgenbach explores this idea in a horror adventure game disturbing as it is intriguing. Matt has dealt with obsessive-compulsive disorder all of his life, and Neverending Nightmares is his cathartic release of sorts. A deep, brutally-honest look at how dark and all-consuming the human mind can really become when it’s acting out against its host.

We caught up with Matt at PAX Prime this past weekend to discuss the game’s art style influences, the currently available playable demo, if/when we can expect a full release, and how he’s betting it all on Kickstarter – noting that the game probably won’t see the light of day if the game falls short of its crowdfunding goal:

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – PAX Prime 2013: Infinitap Games Interview And ‘Neverending Nightmares’ Gameplay


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PAX Prime 2013: Threaks Interview And ‘Beatbuddy’ Impressions

beatbuddy

Janessa Olson, one of our IGM PAX Prime 2013 team members, writes on her hands-on impressions of Threaks’ title Beatbuddy – one of the hottest destinations inside the Indie MEGABOOTH.

There is a strong chance that Beatbuddy is the most fun I’ve had at PAX so far; a statement not to be taken lightly given that every game I’ve played has been nothing short of fantastic. Beatbuddy: Tale of the Guardians is a musical platformer created by Threaks, a small startup based out of Hamburg. The game follows an adorable headphone-wearing blue blob as he floats around his underwater world, fighting crawdad enemies and sea urchin obstacles.

The first thing you’ll notice about Beatbuddy is the artstyle; the game was hand painted with over 10 layers to achieve a vivid, captivating atmosphere. To complement the vibrant levels is a fantastic soundtrack complete with songs composed by a variety of musical artists specifically for the game. Every song is catchy, upbeat, and will cause you to bob your head or shake your hips involuntarily.

It’s typical to see stone-faced PAX attendees demoing games, but everyone playing Beatbuddy was smiling and obviously enjoying themselves. I cannot recommend this game enough; Beatbuddy left me feeling energetic, excited, and wanting to play more.

The game is available now on Steam for PC, Mac and Linux. Here’s our gameplay-packed interview with developer Wolf Lang:

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – PAX Prime 2013: Threaks Interview And ‘Beatbuddy’ Impressions