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

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‘Maia’ Demos First Person Base Wandering

Maia

We covered Maia briefly back in May this year shortly after its announcement and now, following a good few updates, we’re finally getting a finer idea of what’s actually to be expected from the game. If you’re unaware of its existence, then here’s a quick and clumsy analysis: think Dungeon Keeper in space. Forgive me developer for I have sinned, but basically I’m anticipating moonbases, micromanagement and a fight for survival.

The game is to be set on Maia itself, a planet beyond our own Solar System, where humans have dared to tread before fearfully digging beneath the surface in order to survive. You’ll be mining for resources, defending against the alien scourge and creating somewhere homely for your colonists to live. It sounds like great fun, but it looks even better.

Maia

Mode 7‘s Simon Roth is developing the game independently and is clearly putting everything he’s got into creating a cohesive cartoon aesthetic, something dark but cute. Beyond this there are some fairly lofty aspirations – it’s fair to say that the features list reads like many of my wildest dreams:

Up to 2km x 2km x 2km of procedural world
Complex colonist AI
Dark humour
AAA Quality graphics
Water and Lava simulation
Cellular Atmosphere
A simple minimalist UI
Inspired by 1970s sci-fi
Intricate defense systems
Bi-polar androids
A first person mode
Open data for modders

That latest update to the development blog concerns a brief demonstration of the first-person mode mentioned above and it looks very nice indeed. It’s intended for the full release that you’ll be able to inhabit the minds of your little worker bots within bases so the visual effects are entirely reflective of that. So shimmery!

Roth has confirmed that this is unlikely to make the first alpha, but as a proof of concept it shows exactly what might be achieved with the game’s custom built engine, also how it might allow the player to become a little more involved in what historically is quite a detached genre.

For further updates be sure to check out the development blog, right here and it hopefully won’t be too long before we can take a more detailed look at how Maia might play.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Maia’ Demos First Person Base Wandering


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‘Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe’ Now Has A Super Sexy Trailer

Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe

Today brings sights and sounds of Andrew Morrish’s upcoming release of Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe. It’s a wonderful thing, really, involving two of gaming’s greatest genres – the puzzler and the platformer – mashed together and served up for those who know they want to play something thinky and something jumpy but just can’t figure out which one to plump for.

Spawned originally as a flash game without the fancy ‘Deluxe’ tagging, Morrish has evolved what I like to term his original ‘puzzformer’ into an entirely new beast. It’s currently in development for PC and OSX (or so the developer has recently confirmed via Twitter) and besides what made the original game so fascinating (i.e. falling blocks and shooting blocks already fallen) we’ll be getting more guns, more obstacles to dodge and a definitive multiplayer mode with which to thrash friends and family. What more could you ask for? Oh yes – the trailer:

No release date has yet been given, but this latest update suggests it’s not too far off and something tells me a lot of people will be keeping an eye out for this entering Greenlight.

As always, be sure to check out the dev’s blog for crucial updates. And, if you haven’t played the original iteration, then now’s the time to do so. For my money it’s smartly designed and taps directly into that nostalgic 16-bit thrill that so many modern indies attempt to replicate but so often full short. It’s also free and just two clicks from being in front of your face. So what are you waiting for?

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe’ Now Has A Super Sexy Trailer


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‘To The Moon’ Headed For Steam, Sequel In Progress

To The Moon

Boy, there are a lot of good games out there, but very rarely do I get the chance to write about the ones that I would consider dear favourites. In this case though, Freebird Games’ To The Moon is very much that game. It’s the finest experience I had last year that didn’t involve me being away from my computer monitor. And that’s a fairly bold statement for me to make.

For those of you who don’t already own it, or do but prefer your games to be categorised alphabetically in one terrifying list, To The Moon is coming to Steam on September 7th.

A lot of people throw around phrases like ‘one of the best…’ or ‘could be considered…’ when talking about games, but not me and not here. If you have a heart and you don’t mind games putting characterisation and plot ahead of running, jumping, killing, etc, then you’ll want to experience this one. Play it and love it.

To be clear, Steam isn’t the only online outlet that will be offering the game come this date (it’s been up on Gamersgate for some time) but it’s a title worthy of promotion and I hope this move might put it in the hands of many who weren’t previously aware of its existence. Naturally, if you want to maximise your support for the developer, buy To The Moon directly from the source.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is how you make a trailer:

Creator Kan Gao has also provided some information concerning the sequel with this announcement. Or perhaps that isn’t the word. Side-quel? Basically, the game is currently in progress and will feature the two doctors from the first game, Neil and Eva, as they tackle another patient’s dying wishes. No overarching narrative will connect the two, it being ‘just another day at the job’. For this I cannot wait.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘To The Moon’ Headed For Steam, Sequel In Progress


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‘Awesomenauts’ Gets Awesomer – Patch 1.3 Adds Gnaw

Awesomenauts

We reported on this revelation earlier in the month when the announcement came of a new PC-specific playable character for MOBA crowd pleaser, Awesomenauts. Well, that time is now come. Patch 1.3 brings with it today, amongst other things, the delightful Gnaw.

This creature is certainly not one that you’d invite round for dinner (unless you were suitably prepared for blood on the ceiling and vomit in your trifle). Nope, this one is built to menace, infesting the place with ‘slimy goo and flesh eating plants’. Delicious. Here it is in action:

The patch press release shines a light on a particularly fun development for those players feeling compelled to cheat online. In a move seemingly popularised by the latest Max Payne release, Ronimo Games have jubilantly announced that their ‘ima-cheater-and-I-wanna-play-against-my-cheating-buddies-league’ is up and running and enforced in matchmaking for those looking to spoil the fun for others.

There’s always a warm feeling when free DLC comes to town, warmer still from the PC gamers who are getting it alone. So, it’s worth noting that Ronimo aren’t planning on stopping. The Steam release appears to have been an overwhelming success with over half-a-million games played within the opening three weeks. It seems that this will be rewarded as the developer promises further characters and features on a regular basis. Should keep things very interesting indeed.

For further info, check out the main site, here. And, if you haven’t yet made the jump into Awesomenauts, feel free to do so, right here.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Awesomenauts’ Gets Awesomer – Patch 1.3 Adds Gnaw


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Dog-Hunting Point-And-Clicker ‘Gomo’ Shows Itself

Gomo

So, I’ve been keeping an eye on new adventure title Gomo for the last few weeks and I’m struggling to keep this one to myself. Slovakian developer Fishcow Studio clearly have an eye for cartoon detail and the world that they seem to be drawing with it is intriguingly beautiful. In fact, I’d be hard pressed to find a better word than ‘cute’ with which to describe it.

To me the Amanita influence is clear, but that doesn’t make the screenshots any less interesting to behold. In the indie-adventure giant’s tradition, the world appears dark and rich, despite the child-like nature of the characters that exist within it. The hand-drawn styling instantly makes the scenes on offer things of comfort.

Gomo

It’s Fishcow’s first game so I’ve no point of reference to determine what they’re capable of, or indeed how the content will pan out. What we do know about the game so far is that it involves Gomo (I’m assuming the big thing on the left) as he explores the world in search of his best friend, dog Dingo (I’m assuming the dog-shaped thing on the right).

So details are sparse, as is usually the case when games come into my life that immediately have me drooling. There’s currently no release date and, despite knowing nothing more than the basic ‘character-A-needs-to-find-beloved-thing-B’ plotline, Fishcow are happy to update us with frequent visual morsels to chew on. Just head over to their development blog or keep an eye on Indie DB to see more.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dog-Hunting Point-And-Clicker ‘Gomo’ Shows Itself


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Senscape Release ‘Asylum’ Interactive Teaser

Asylum

Senscape has been kind enough to provide us all with a brief and entirely interactive glimpse into the world of Asylum, the first and – by that logic – freakiest game to be created using their homegrown Dagon engine.

It’s a point-and-click adventure, set within the hallways of the mysterious Hanwell Mental Institute – the developer’s official stance is to keep quiet about specific plot details. All we can assume so far is that the protagonist has been tasked with an investigation into the recently closed asylum, to uncover ongoings that are no doubt nefarious in nature. It’s a classic setup and, were there not to be some manner of supernatural development down the line, I would be entirely stunned.

I’ve taken my first trip through it, fifteen minutes from beginning to end, and I’m suitably impressed by the atmosphere they’ve created with the engine. It’s Lovecraftian through and through. The player character coughs through the dust within the abandoned rooms. He offers notes and descriptions in a manner that seems entirely well-placed considering his surroundings. There’s fear in his voice, a hint of madness and a foreboding sense of determination to continue with his task. And then there are the inmates, banging and wailing.

If you want to have a go for yourself, head over here to download. The teaser is currently available for PC, Mac and Ubuntu. And if you want to find out more about Asylum, check out the main site, here.

It’s important to note that Senscape have not released this as a demo per se, as the content has been created separately from the main game, but it offers an indication of what we might expect. The full release is expected to be with us next year.

[With thanks to Richard Cobbett for bringing this news to my attention]

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Senscape Release ‘Asylum’ Interactive Teaser


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‘Sir, You Are Being Hunted’ – Questions Answered, More Posed

Sir, You Are Being Hunted

It wasn’t many days ago that we picked up on the teaser trailer for Big Robot’s latest production, Sir, You Are Being Hunted. In my opinion, that video did its job. It thrilled me beyond measure, showing enough for me to want to get into that world. But details were sparse. What, in the end, did we actually discover?

Well, we know that tea-sipping, gentrified robots will roam the lands, hunting players for nothing but sport. We know there’s a degree of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. influence. And we know that the visuals will allow gamers a gateway to some rich and brooding English-country landscapes – procedurally generated, of course – which could bring us closer than ever to the Wuthering Heights sim we’ve always wanted. (Stay strong, Bronte fans. Your day will come.)

Beyond this, very little is clear, which is why Bad Robot’s Jim Rossignol has decided to elaborate somewhat in a recent post on the developer’s blog.

Sir, You Are Being Hunted

Most of the answers here confirm our suspicions, but there are details on the design team and the possibility of a future Kickstarter program. Beyond this, some new info on mapping within the game. As Rossignol confirms:-

“We are going to have an archipelago of 1km2 islands. Individual areas will be 1km2, each made up of various regions, from coastal cliffs, through forests and fields, to roads and villages. We’re going to provide some level of access to this generation process to players, so you’re going to be able to tinker with your island composition, and create islands with different quite different looks, layouts, and feels.”

So, direct customisation will be implemented. And the map sizes aren’t set to blow are minds, but could perhaps allow for a degree of island-hopping were we to find our way between them. Speculation, of course, is a fool’s game but the more I hear about this game the more I want to know. Keep an eye on the development blog, here.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Sir, You Are Being Hunted’ – Questions Answered, More Posed


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‘Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken’ Set For PC Release

Rocketbirds

Back in 2010, Ratloop Asia became finalists for three awards at that year’s Independent Games Festival, including the big one – the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. Their game was flash-powered, platforming shoot ‘em up, Rocketbirds Revolution! It served up gunplay, some impressive visuals and – most notably – loads of chickens. They weren’t to become prizewinners at the event, but the game was well-received and Ratloop went on to revamp it under the guise of Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken, for release onto the PlayStation Network and absolutely no other medium.

Well, we’re to have no more of this exclusivity. The trailer below offers fantastic news for fans of both poultry and extreme violence – specifically, the game is heading to Steam later this year. Further details aren’t particularly forthcoming, but we would expect to receive all the updates that the PSN version offered. This would mean jetpacks, bonus weapons/chapters, enhanced visuals and an entirely separate co-op campaign.

For any PC gamers who want to gauge their excitement for this one, Revolution! is still available to purchase from the main website for $9.95. If that seems like a pricey gamble then there’s also a demo available to play online. More importantly, go check out what we thought of Hardboiled Chicken on its initial release late last year.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken’ Set For PC Release


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Dark N’ Gory – Alpha Demo Lets Us Peer Into ‘Shadow Depths’

Shadow Depths

Platformers that make you scream aren’t uncommon in the world of indie gaming. We’ve received our fair share of punishment from the likes of Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV and Spelunky. For some, though, this clearly isn’t enough and MastaZavr, developer of Shadow Depths, isn’t looking to sidestep the mark. It’s platforming without a hint of compassion.

The very recently released demo allows us a brief look at what the game might offer. Clearly, its colourful pixel art is deceiving. Death is punishable by a backtrack to the last checkpoint and, because these ‘shadow depths’ are true to their name, you’ll only be allowed a small area within which to view the game. The light around your character is limiting to the point where leaps of faith are common – whether this can be maintained in a full release without destroying all sense of fun is yet to be seen.

But it’s important to realise that this download is a limited taster only and a very early version. It will take you about ten minutes to get through and on the way you’ll encounter a number of things that will turn your little explorer into little explorer mush. Buzzsaws whip around the place and any fall from a platforming will see you hurtling into the void.

Shadow Depths

It’s not much to see yet and it’s not particularly groundbreaking genre-wise, but it will be interesting to see what this little light of doom will grow into. At the time of writing the game is available to download through a Dropbox link on Indie DB, but should soon be available to download from the main site.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dark N’ Gory – Alpha Demo Lets Us Peer Into ‘Shadow Depths’


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Gameplay Trailer Sheds Some Light On FPS Puzzler ‘Vitrium’

Vitrium

Here’s a tidy tidbit from Brazilian indie developer, 9heads Game Studios. They started work on their first project, Vitrium, late last year and it seems things are beginning to take some shape.

The FPS puzzler – taking not-unreasonable amounts of inspiration from games like Q.U.B.E. and Portal – seems to feature enough room-by-room puzzling to make fans of the genre feel right at home. The twist? Solutions are found through the manipulation of gravity. You’ll be sourcing power from colourful crystalline formations and using it to zap Isaac Newton’s landmark theory and the greatest of all forces right in the face.

You play an android, which is fun, and it seems there’s to be a fair amount of accurate platforming to be carried out, but the finer details of the project are yet to be revealed. However, this trailer is a good start.

The game is markedly monochromatic as we’ve come to expect from games such as this, but I can’t say I’m adverse to the aesthetics. Clarity of vision is obviously of the utmost importance when you’re rattling around generic test environments at one hundred miles per hour. I’m also assuming there will be some implemented backstory to explain exactly why robots need to bouncing between surfaces and through deadly environments in pursuit of magical powers, but for this we’ll have to wait.

In the meantime, keep an eye on the game’s Indie DB page for further updates. Vitrium currently has no scheduled release date.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Gameplay Trailer Sheds Some Light On FPS Puzzler ‘Vitrium’