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

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Shmup Loving DSi Owners to get Their Fix with Cosmos X2

CosmosX2000As a gamer/writer I pride myself in owning nearly everything that can play a video game. Seriously, name it and I’ve probably got it (unless it’s one of those really niche devices). Still, the one thing that has alluded me is Nintendo’s DSi. I own a DS, but not a DSi as, at the time of its launch, I saw little reason to upgrade, something that I’m definitely regretting as a shmup fan today.

Cosmos X2, as stated above, is a shmup where you’ll be fending off an alien invasion. Blah, blah… insert usual shmup story here. Needless to say, you don’t play a shmup for it’s deep and enthralling storyline/plot. What you do play them for is their abundant action and weapons arsenal, of which Cosmos X2 certainly has.

Now the real question here is just what kind of weapons can you expect? Where in most shmup games the weapons are used in a completely offense-minded attack to destroy your enemies, Cosmos X2 takes a different approach. Your ship only comes with two weapons for each level and each weapon comes with a shield. As you shoot you’re weapon will deplete your energy for that weapon. However, as you defeat enemies your weapon will recharge. It’s a sort of give and take scenario, only the end result is everybody else is dying.

Cosmos X2 is available on the Nintendo DSiWare shop today for 500 points ($5).

Trailer


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Frobot Landing on WiiWare Q4

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Frobot, the bad ass mutha robot with the penchant for solving puzzles and taking down bosses has finally gotten a confirmed release window, that being Q4 of this year. For those that don’t remember, DIYgamer has been following the progress of Frobot since it was first announced back in in November of last year. Back then the game was set to launch within a few months. Needless to say, however, that didn’t exactly happen as planned.

Frobot is based around arena-styled puzzles, where, as the Frobot, you must complete each puzzle in each area before moving on. Think Smash TV but with less killing and more puzzle solving. Additionally, the game will launch with a multiplayer mode where four players will battle it out with all the weapons Frobot has to offer.

Despite taking a little longer than expected, it looks like the game remains unchanged from what we played earlier this year aside from a single added feature; something called Collectible Power Picks.

Each level in the Single Playa (sic) campaign has a collectible power pick. If you can collect all five power picks in a location, you will upgrade one of Frobot’s powers.

Unfortunately, additional information is non existent. So upgrading your powers to what extent remains a mystery.

I played the demo last November and came away impressed with the game. Here’s hoping whatever spit and polish has gone into the game since then has only made it better.

We’ll be checking Frobot out at PAX later this week so stay tuned for an updated preview.

Trailer


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And Yet It Moves Hits WiiWare, Fantastic Trailer Ensues

andyetitmoves_updateThe tilting platformer And Yet It Moves has finally released on WiiWare this morning, bringing the gravity shaking puzzle title to a whole new crowd of fans.

For 1,000 Wii Points, you can download the title right now.

To celebrate the launch of the game, Broken Rules has released a launch trailer that showcases some simply awesome animation. If you haven’t yet played the game I suggest giving it a go right now. It’s also available through Steam for $9.99. For anyone on the fence, I’d recommend playing the demo on Steam and then checking out the new WiiWare release due to its intriguing control scheme.

But it all starts with this trailer:


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Exit Strategy Sets Sail with Pirates of New Horizons [Interview]

Pirates_Interview_01[Soenke Seidel, also known as Warby, and Friedrich Bode of Exit Strategy Entertainment dropped in this week to answer a gold pile of our questions regarding their upcoming title that caught our attention earlier this year, Pirates of New Horizons.

We were lucky enough to grab the first interview with the developer on the recently unveiled third person space pirates action adventure game that has us and much of the ModDB/IndieDB community abuzz with excitement.]

DIYGamer: Set the stage for us. Who are Exit Strategy Studios? Where are you based, and how many are working on Pirates of New Horizons?

Warby: We are 4 guys from all around the world …well Europe mostly: that would be Friedrich Bode from Germany who runs the business side of things (or will run that once it is a business,) Skjalg S. Maehre our lead-technical-software-engineer (is that a word?) who wrote the spectacular entity framework that i use to actually build the game content, Michael “Zacker” Schmidt from Denmark who helped me nail down the feel of the core mechanics over the last couple of weeks and me Soenke Seidel aka Warby, I make all of the actual game content.

We should probably give a shout out to 2 of our most valuable contributors too: Christian Wasser for the grappling hook feature and and Harry Mack for the swashbuckling soundtrack (no it’s not Dropkick Murphys although clearly inspired by it.)

Pirates_Interview_04DIYGamer: You have an interesting development schedule for PONH, first you plan on releasing a free prototype of the game (approx. 20 minutes/3-4 Levels) for PC, Mac and also playable in browser. How far away are we from getting our hands on that?

Warby: I have not yet given up hope that it could be by the end of August! There is only 1 more major task left that ill be done with this week but a million small things i want to change before releasing … so we will see how those turn out!

Friedrich: The last 10% of a game’s development often take up the longest time. There are all these “little things” that you had pushed aside before and that add up. Even if this is going to be a prototype, that is rough around the edges by definition, we want players to get a proper idea of what the final game would play like. If there are small, easy to complete tasks that significantly improve the way the game plays and feels we’ll try to get those done before releasing the prototype. We are doing a bit of user-testing with friends these days and there are some reoccurring topics that require little effort to fix. Still we would like to get this prototype out to an audience as big as possible, as soon as possible, so some things simply have to wait. End of August sounds optimistic, I would estimate end of September, but as Soenke said we have to see how fast we can get those final tasks done. Just be confident that it is rather a matter of weeks or months than years!

Pirates_Interview_06DIYGamer: You’ve also detailed that the response you receive from the prototype will determine whether a full version of the game will be worthwhile time and money wise to develop–mentioning that it would then be potentially shopped to consoles via digital distribution (XBLA, PSN, WiiWare.) Pretend I’m a big bad exec representing Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo, pitch to me why you believe the full version would be a great fit for my console download service.

Warby: Uhh I am gonna leave this to Frie I don’t like talking to business people I am all development. ^^ That said its my deepest conviction that: a good product pitches itself! So my dream pitch would work kinda like this: I enter a room, pop in the game, turn up the volume, hand the gamepad to one of those execs,walk over to the wall and lean against it with a smug grin on my face (all this without saying a word.)

Friedrich: The game is a great fit for online delivery services like XBLA, PSN or WiiWare because you can pick it up and get playing so quickly. There is no steep learning curve, the controls are very intuitive, in fact they are designed with a controller in mind. You need to know which button to press to move the character, which button to jump and which one to make the sword swing and you are good to go!

Everybody knows and loves pirates, but have you played a pirate “girl” before? A pirate girl on her flying ship venturing through a universe filled with aliens and robots to be specific? I think that’s what makes the game’s universe so interesting: there are enough familar elements to easily find your way around but also enough strange and mind-boggling stuff to draw you in and explore. Add to that there are not enough 3D Jump’n Run games out there nowadays. PONH mixes this with elements from popular games like Zelda and God of War, beautifully drawn visuals and content for all ages. Our plans for length and pricing of the game would make this a good fit for digital distribution too. Plus we are indie developers who invest a lot of our time, otherwise spent watching Starcraft II replays and debating interactive media as an art form, so we are really dependent on this kind of money…please?!

Pirates_Interview_03DIYGamer: Sold! Alright, let’s get into the game’s guts a bit. From what we saw in the announcement trailer, the title seems to offer a variety of different core mechanics. What can players expect with the free release gameplay wise? Would the full version mean a lot more of what’s in the prototype, or would it potentiality bring some new mechanics in as well?

Warby: We have a huge backlog with ideas for mechanics that didn’t make it for the prototype do to time constraints …and well let’s just say experience ^^ for the full game I’d definitely love to resurrect some stuff out of that spoils-bag of ours! As far as the mechanics in the prototype are concerned you can expect alot of puzzles platforming combat and grappling hook action and also some slight adventure/quest-ish stuff! This may drift a little into technical territory but our extended player controller/scripts allow players to swim in water, slide down from too steep surfaces and be passively moved by elevators and other moving platforms. This may not seem like a big deal, if you are a 3D jump and run player all those things are pretty standard, but Unity’s out of the box player controller does not come with these features so we are very proud to have successfully added them and we will release this for free to the Unity community after the prototype is out! Promise!

Pirates_Interview_05DIYGamer: While the game certainly has its own charm, one of the reasons it grabbed my attention was that both the look and feel of it immediately conjured memories of good times with several classic titles and series. Sonic and Zelda jumped to mind for me, and looking through the game’s comment section, Super Mario Galaxy, Kingdom Hearts, One Piece, Jak and Daxter, Psychonauts and Windwaker all have been mentioned. That’s a nice list of names to be compared to at this stage, but what media (video games or otherwise) have you guys actually drawn upon as influences for the title?

Warby: When I wrote the design doc, the first chapter was MUST KNOW TITLES and I embedded youtube links to a hand full of games that whoever wanted to work on the game must have intimate knowledge of. Let me see if I can find that for you …. *searches* … I doubt all of my mates know all of these games to be honest ^^:

  • God of War (For its polish and just being the best game franchise EVER EVER!)
  • Psychonauts (For its characters and humor … this is the game that sparked this project into being.)
  • Monkey Island (For currently being the best pirate game…until we come along!)
  • Cave story (For its “el mariachi of video games” holy shit i can’t believe one guy alone did this factor)
  • Zelda: Windwaker (Art style and campaign structure)
  • Jak and Daxter (For its seamless-ness and love for geometry)
  • Portal (For its length and pacing)
  • Jet Set Radio Future (The connection here might seem a bit nebulous because the features that linked the games got cut)

I’m also gonna take this opportunity and deny some influences:

  • One Piece ( i had never heard of this until people started comparing PONH to it )
  • Super Mario Galaxy (Although an excellent jump and run game i am going for something completely different!)
  • Sonic (Not a big sonic fan especially not the 3d ones. That the sliding and picking up of coins has a sonic feel is pure coincidence.)
  • Kingdom Hearts (I have no idea what this is. I have seen tons of promotional artwork over the years but i couldn’t even tell you if this is a jrpg or a beat ‘em up)

Anyway, yeah being compared to high profile AAA titles feels quite warm and fuzzy. I hope people will still do that AFTER they played the prototype. =^.^=

Pirates_Interview_02DIYGamer: As mentioned, the main character is a rather beautiful female sky-pirate. May we have her name and a bit of backstory? Also, does she have a love interest?…and as a follow up to that question: Could it be me?

Warby: Her name is annha ( yes thats an “h” before the “a” think of it as a fantasy name,) her back story is what the prototype is about so i am not gonna spoil that here. The only thing she loves is gold ! And no 4th wall breaking in my game this is not Charlie Kaufman’s adaptation!

DIYGamer: I’m heartbroken, but I’ll keep it professional…let’s continue. Any other games or projects in the works beside PONH at Exit Strategy you can let us in on?

Warby: Should this prototype not yield the interest in the project that we are currently hoping for, I have 2 or 3 different ideas for game prototypes that I am DYING to build but I am not gonna spoil what those are here yet. Also it’s not strictly an Exit Strategy release but Christian ”grapplinghookaction” Wasser and I did a little Facebook game during one weekend just to gauge if there is advertisement money in it.

DIYGamer: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Warby: Thanks for the overwhelmingly positive feedback so far! I am always cautious not to get too hyped over a game pre release (I get burned quite often when i get too hyped for a game) so keep your expectations low for the prototype…so that we can then totally blow your minds!!!!!!

Friedrich: Thanks a lot for giving us the opportunity to get the word out about our game! Everyone who would like to keep up with our progress or would like to ask us directly is more than welcome to visit our website www.piratesofnewhorizons.com!


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Indie Links Round-Up: Honest to Goodness

Dustforce-Indie-LinksIndie Links is back with another playground for your eyes to run around on. In today’s round-up: Interview overload, Student developers should take the opportunity and one dev progresses by honestly reflecting on a failed game. Have fun and y’all come back n0w, ya hear!

A Letter To Students: Experimental Games Can Get You Jobs (Brandon Sheffield/Gamasutra)
“In this editorial, originally printed in Game Developer magazine’s special Career Guide 2010 issue (available for free online) editor-in-chief Brandon Sheffield asks that students use their time in school to try new game concepts — while they’re still in an environment that supports experimentation.”

An action game with sweeping: talking Dustforce with Hitbox (Andrew Webster/ars technica)
“Independent games often tackle subject matter that is very different from more mainstream titles. Flower is about the dreams flowers might have. Machinarium is about separated robot lovers. And the upcoming Dustforce is about… sweeping. It’s a unique concept, and if the demo is any indication, the team at Hitbox might just have managed to find a way to make housework fun.”

Xbox Live Indie-Dome: August 2nd – 8th, 2010 (Rob Thomas/Crush! Frag! Destroy!)
“Welcome back again, everybody. Rob Rich is taking a break this week, as he was a bit under the weather. So, being the good boss that I am, I stepped up to relieve his burden by handling the newest Xbox Live Indie-Dome…”

Global Agenda Six Months Later – An Interview with Executive Producer Todd Harris (iTZKooPA/LoreHound)
“It’s hard to believe the way I discovered Global Agenda. As I was stomping through PAX 2009 (that’d be PAX “Prime”) I heard a man shouting something about “No elves.” Mildly interested, I turned to see a booth lined with computers, which people were huddled around playing a game I had never seen. Turns out, I knew exactly what the game was. This was the game responsible for shooting an elven mage in the head while he was casting.”

Interview: Blitz Duo Talk Kinect Development, Indies Program (Brandon Sheffield/GameSetWatch)
“Blitz Games’ Andrew Oliver and Chris Swan talk to our own Brandon Sheffield on addressing challenges in motion controls for casual games, distribution portals for indie titles, and their Blitz 1Up program to assist independent development.”

Chockablock: Minecraft Revisited (Jim Rossignol/Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Gadzooks, it’s been over a year since I first ranted about Minecraft, the epic blocky building game by Markus “Notch” Persson. Clearly it’s well overdue a revisit from us. And there’s much to catch up on, too – including a Portal mod – so join me below decks, and we’ll explore the niche this game is carving out for itself.”

Midlife Gamer Meets: Mark Morris Of Introversion (Marconi/Midlife Gamer)
“Being flat is what I would love to be. How one little constanant could change my life persepective and indeed what benefits I would be entitled to. I would save a fortune on travelling costs by posting my little minimalist body through the post. For some their dreams came true when sleeping under a poorly screwed in notice board. For others they turn to Introversion Software to give them all their flat needs and more. So I took some time out to speak to Mark Morris and found out what it is like to hack, destroy and create a world of flat!”

The Ultimate Race Postmortem (Mandible Games)
“So, I made this game. And – let’s be fair – it sort of sucked.”

Interview: Zombie Cow’s Dan Marshall Talks About His Privates (Mike Rose/GameSetWatch)
“Continuing his interviews with independent game creators, Mike Rose catches up with Zombie Cow’s Dan Marshall, to discuss his new educational sex-related game Privates and his move into full-time indie game creation.”

Interview: Flower‘s Jenova Chen (Dave Cook/NOWGamer)
“The flOw and Flower creator talks about indie games and his new PSN project Journey.”


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Tired of Waiting for a New Pikmin? Monsteca Corral has Got You Covered on August 16th for WiiWare

MonstecaCorral000

When last we reported on Monsteca Corral, there was very little information known about the game. In fact, all we really knew was that the game was aiming to be a sort of Pikmin-like alternative to those who were hankering for some good ol’ fashioned Pikmin gaming, especially given the fact that Nintendo has yet to produce a new game in the series.

Today, however, almost 9 months later, developer Onsteca has clued us in a little bit more on the game, along with some additional details such as a release date and pricing.

In Monsteca Corral: Monsters vs. Robots you control a group of monsters lovingly called “Stompies.” These are cute little creatures that, while numerous, aren’t the brightest without a “glorious leader” to take command of them, which just so happens to be you, the aptly named “Monster Herder.”

Of course, leading a pack of adorable Stompies would be nothing without some sort of oppressive force and/or obstacles. Onsteca delivers said force in the form of evil robots who are attempting to invade the Stompies’ planet. This is where you come into help lead the Stompies through each level, collecting energy orbs which increase the communal power of the herd at large.

Onsteca is promising hours of gameplay, complete with up to four player co-op (local) and a rich and intuitive camera control scheme.

Monsteca Corral: Monsters vs. Robots releases onto Nintendo’s WiiWare channel on August 16 for a very reasonable 500 Wii points ($5).

[Website]

Trailer


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And Yet It Moves to Wii (Soon)

05-inbetween-tentaclesAnd Yet It Moves is almost ready to make the flip into the WiiWare channel. And not at some distant juncture in the future, in just three weeks.

The game will hit WiiWare on August 23, 2010 for 1,000 Wii Points ($10).

The absolute best part of this new platform for the game is that you’ll be playing the game by physically tilting the Wii Remote to turn the world. “A tilt of the Wii Remote also tilts the world, turning walls into floors, slides into platforms, and stacks of rocks into dangerous hazards when flipped upside down.”

Apparently the Wii version is going to get “three incredibly hard bonus levels” as well, which should add a new level of fun-stration to the experience.

While I can’t quite picture how that will work alongside when you’re trying to move left or right with the directional button, I can only hope it will be cool. Looking forward to this one.

This teaser has been around for a while, but make sure you give it another look:


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Indie Links Round-Up: Blackjack

Cletus_Indie_LinksHappy hump day. A curious nickname, considering Wednesday statistically produces the lowest amount of sexual activity in the US out of all the days in the week. Friday night produces the highest, but it may surprise you Sunday afternoon is in the top five.*

Anyway, Indie Links!

How To Record And Edit Gameplay Videos (Pixel Prospector)
“Well, since I have already recorded a few hundred videos I thought it would be useful to know for many gamers and devs what recording and editing software is recommendable. On this page you will find 9 Screen Recorders and 7 Video Editors. I recorded a quick Trailer and short How To Videos for each of these programs since i think this is way more effective than writing lengthy descriptions. Moreover: At the bottom of this article you will also find a collection of Reviews for all of the programs on this page.”

Xbox Live Indie-Dome: July 19th – July 25th (Rob Rich/Crush! Frag! Destroy!)
“Hey kids! Other Rob is back in the hot seat with a host of new indie games for you to enjoy and/or lament. In keeping with our new format, each and every game will get a mention, but only the really good (or the really awful) will get a full mini-review.”

Cletus Clay – Interview with Tuna Team (DesignTaxi)
“What do aliens, hillbillies and stop-motion have in common? Nothing much, really, but game production company Tuna have combined the three in their soon-to-be released video game, Cletus Clay.”

Messhof, IGF Chairman Talk Indie Games At The Hand Eye Society (Eric Caoili/GameSetWatch)
“If you missed last May’s Hand Eye Society Social, a bimonthly get-together for Toronto’s indie game makers, rgbFilter has uploaded a great collection of highlights from the event, including bits from a talk delivered by Independent Games Festival chairman and Boing Boing contributing editor Brandon Boyer.”

We Get Into The New Game From The Behemoth – And The Possibility of Castle Crashers 2 (Dave Oshry/ripten)
“When Ripten finally had some free time during Comic Con 2010, we wandered over to The Behemoth booth to find out just what they’ve been up to since their smash XBL hit Castle Crashers. Even better, we got hands on with their new game, as well as Co-Founder Tom Fulp and lead artist Dan Paladin. They gave us the lowdown, and then some.”

Warm Gun Goes to CGDC (IndieDB)
“Warm Gun, with the help from publisher friends at ORiGO GAMES, was able to make an appearance at this year’s CGDC. Emotional Robot’s didn’t actually know that their product was going to be marketed until about 48 hours before the event. The team was contacted Wednesday evening by founder and owner of ORiGO games, Adam McClard, via Skype. The conversation went something like this…”

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Retrofit: Overload (Justin McElroy/Joystiq)
“This week we talk with Will Storer of WAM! Games.”

The Harm Of Gaming: We Present The Facts (John Walker/RPS)
“”The perennial questions of the harm that games may be causing us and our children are extremely troubling. Every week seems to bring a new survey or study that demonstrates links between gaming and problematic behaviour, with renowned psychologists, sociologists and publicists explaining to us what it is we need to be scared of. Over the last fifteen years I have been studying this data and reading these papers, and I am now ready to publish my findings. Below is the result of a decade-and-a-half’s research, and I think will once and for all answer the questions every parent, teacher, child and teenager should be asking.”

Interview: ACE Team Spams Us With Python-Inspired Rock of Ages (Mike Rose/GameSetWatch)
“A Monty Python-inspired Tower Defense ball-rolling game? Chilean team Ace Team talks to GSW’s Michael Rose about their history, acclaimed IGF-nominated first-person action title Zeno Clash, and their unique new Python-y Atlus-published digital title, Rock Of Ages.”

Grand Heist – Update #4 (IndieDB)
“Hello, this is TheWanaB, lead designer on Grand Heist just here to give you an update on the games progress. We haven’t updated since March, so this media update is fairly significant, if only to prove we’re still working on the game. This update includes concept art of two playable classes, a video of our current level prototype, and some other various media.”

*Complete garbage I just made up.


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Super Meat Boy Alpha Build Nearly Done

Super_Meat_Boy_DevelopmentSuper Meat Boya game we’ve mentioned a time or two on here before–is making progress to that beautiful, amazing release we’re all sitting on pins and needles for. A development update from Team Meat updates us that the alpha build of the game is close to finished.

What does that mean for all of us? I’ll let them explain:

“…in about a week super meat boy will be ready to submit for testing and we can go into the last month of heavy development before we hopefully submit a final build and secure an official release date.”

Goodness gracious. My anticipation for this game can be compared to the color system of our nation’s Homeland Security Advisory System. It never has, and never will dip below the yellow/ELEVATED level. (Current excitement level: red/SEVERE)


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Indie Links Round-Up: Socially Aware

Indie_Links_NDAOur latest set of Indie Links gathered from far and wide consists primarily of conversations and connections between developers/enthusiasts and gaming journos/bloggers. There’s really nothing more easy going out there than those who work in the indie slice of the industry. Often, both sides reach out to one another often to form both a business and personal relationship and we all benefit for it. Check out today’s picks.

The Worth(lessness) of NDAs (IndieFund)
“It’s been almost two weeks since we opened up the submission process and the response has been fantastic, if somewhat overwhelming. We’ve gotten over 70 applications so far and we’re working through them as best we can. Please be patient with us… we will get back to you. One thing that has come up a couple of times is a request to sign an NDA, and that’s actually the focus of this post. We do not sign NDAs and would like to share the rationale behind this decision.”

Inteview: Andrew Goulding on Jolly Rover (Martin Mulrooney, Philip Jong/Adventure Classic Gaming)
“Jolly Rover is the debut adventure game from indie developer Andrew Goulding and his company Brawsome. Goulding is no stranger to the games industry, having worked for years as a game tester, programmer, and producer. Although comedy pirate adventures are certainly not unique to the genre, Jolly Rover seems to have taken on a new twist to an old theme by casting all of the game’s main characters as canines. Indeed, it is this unique design choice that makes Goulding’s game different from the competition.”

Unity Giveaway Contest Winners (Henley/IndieDB)
“Our Unity contest has come to a close, with over 50 entries and 10 amazing finalists, the quality of entries has been amazing. We asked for original concepts and we had an amazing response but in the end there can only be 2 winners.”

Interview: Dejobaan Games’ Lambe, Jaitley On Doing Things A Little Different (Mike Rose/GameSetWatch)
“Mike Rose sits down with two of the principals from super-quirky independent developer Dejobaan Games — creator of AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity and The Wonderful End of the World – to reference upcoming title ooo! ooO! oOO! OOO! and their unique way of approaching game creation.”

Talking Shop: Carpe Fulgur On Recettear (Alec Meer/RPS)
“The demo of Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale is one of the best things I’ve played in a while. A Japanese indie game pitching an RPG shopkeeper as the star… well, you can read all that in the last post. Given the slightly unusual nature of the project – it’s only available here thanks to a third-party translation company- I thought I’d chat to said translators about the why, how, who and what next. Interesting stuff – there’s this whole vein of (slick) indie gaming that we otherwise hear nothing about. Take it away, Carpe Fulgur’s Andrew Dice.”

LIMBO Review (Jeff Mattas/Shacknews)
“Playdead’s action-based, puzzle-platformer, LIMBO, [is] out for Xbox LIVE Arcade and to put it bluntly: prepare to die!”

Tom Jubert Talks Projects, Plots, Penumbra (Lewis Denby/RPS)
“At the Develop Conference in Brighton last week, I had the opportunity to sit down for a beer and a chat with Tom Jubert, perhaps most famous for writing the excellent horror adventure series Penumbra. They’re dark and sinister games whose writing, and the structure of their storytelling, were often their strongest asset. Read on for Tom’s thoughts on the writing process, tales of game design tribulations, and his involvement in a major new title.”

Alhóndiga Bilbao Announces International hó Play Competition (Eric Caoili/GameSetWatch)
“Spanish culture and leisure center Alhóndiga Bilbao has announced hó Play, a new project that aims to present and promote video games that “stand out for their originality, creativeness, and innovation.”"

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Delve Deeper (Justin McElroy/Joystiq)
“This week we talk Lunar Giant Studio’s Adam Eidukas (Lead Developer) and Neil Wickman (Creative Director / Lead Artist) about how Adam FULLY beat Final Fantasy with just the thief. … Oh, also they made a game.”

Interview: Riot Games’ co-founder talks about Season One of League of Legends (John Callaham/Big Download)
“The game didn’t get a lot of attention from the mainstream game industry or the media when it launched last October but today it looks like League of Legends has been a huge success for its developer/publisher Riot Games. The company made the free-to-play multiplayer RTS-action game with some of the people behind the popular WarCraft III mod Defense of the Ancients.”