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


First-Person Puzzler Contrast Episode One Released

ContrastTenretni Interactive has announced the first in a series of episodic releases for their title Contrast, now available for free download via ModDB (44.48MB.)

The game is a simple first-person puzzle game where players make use of panels to traverse claustrophobic corridors and wide open plazas. The team made the choice late in development that the game would be released in episodes which in their words: “allows for better story telling, and keeps file sizes low.”

The first released episode of Contrast is short and is meant to be an open tutorial where players can mess around and figure out how everything works. Episode two, which has yet to be given a release date, will feature voice acting and be at least twice as long as the episode one.


Eufloria 2.05 Release Accompanied by Community Map Pack

Eufloria_2.05_UpdateOmni Systems has announced the release of v2.05 for its ambient strategy title Eufloria.

The patch brings–among other additions and changes–a large map pack put together by the game’s community. The developer claims that the content included in the pack “are some of the best levels that have been made for the game since it was released.” The new maps can be played under the Custom Maps menu and each one credits the author so you know who’s done what for the game.

The other major item that’s packed in the update are the addition of achievements, which Omni says they’ve  ”given them a good test so they should be fun, and present a variety of different gameplay styles to get your teeth stuck into.” For the love of incisors!

The achievements will work with the Steam version of the game as well, though the new update won’t appear for the digital distribution client until Monday most likely during Valve’s business hours.

You can download the update both for the full game and demo here. From the change log:

Eufloria v2.05

- Added Achievements.

- Added Community Map Pack 1.

- Added directory support for Custom Maps.

- Added speed records on level selection.

- Lua: Added user interaction Lua calls OnAsteroidSelected(ID), OnMouseLeftClicked(x,y) and OnMouseRightClicked(x,y).

- Lua: Added drawing text from script.

- Lua: GetNumAsteroids() – returns number of asteroids in play.

- Lua: RevealAll() – reveals all asteroids.

- Lua: Asteroid naming (asteroid.Name = “”).

- Lua: Planting flowers from script (flower:Plant, flower:PlantOnRandomTree, flower:PlantOnRandom###Tree).

- Lua: Camera location and zoom query from script (GetCameraX, GetCameraY, GetCameraZoom).

- Lua: Get trees on asteroid from script (asteroid:GetRandomTree, asteroid:GetRandom###Tree).

- Fixed adding and removing asteroids at run time.

- Fixed planting on moving asteroids.

- Fixed enemy laser mines travel distance violation (thanks Maarten).

- Fixed crash bug when enemy AI has no asteroids (thanks Mihhaelo).

- Fixed loading music restarting as the game enters main menu.

- Fixed invisible mines/flowers from Lua setup bug.

- Fixed long root crash.


Tidalis Released with Launch Discount on Steam and Impulse

Tidalis_launchArcen Games has released their casual puzzler with hardcore depth Tidalis, now available for purchase and download via Steam, Impulse and Arcen Games website for $10. If you pick up the game through either of the aforementioned digital distribution channels you’ll get 10% off through launch week. A Mac version is available as well through Arcen’s site.

It’s a big leap of faith for Chris Park and the rest of the development team as they take their talents into a genre that’s largely seen as throwaway to core gamers. They hope to change that both with an addictive new gameplay mechanic and the depth of content their games have become known for.

We’ll have our review for the game up next week. You can grab the robust demo here for both PC and Mac, give it a go ’round.


Gratuitous Space Battles Update adds New Weapon Support

Gratuitous_Space_Battles_1.43_UpdateCliff Harris of Positech Games has announced the release of v1.43 for his space strategy title Gratuitous Space Battles, adding a new weapon support module along with some minor fixes and tweaks to the game.

Currently, the patch is only available to those who purchased the title directly from Positech’s site for the game. The update should arrive Monday to digital distributors including Steam and Impulse. From the description:

Patch 1.43 for GSB is now live. some minor fixes and tweaks, and 1 new weapon support module (Imperial shield support beam).


Booster Trooper Update adds ‘Underground Base’ map

Booster_Trooper_New_Map_July_17DnS Development has released a new Booster Trooper patch adding the new ‘Underground Base’ map to the multiplayer shooter.

The update also brings a couple important improvements to the game. Controller usage in the menu should work better, and dedicated servers now have the ability to automatically switch maps.

The file can be downloaded automatically via Steam for owners of the game. From the change log:

Booster Trooper

  • Added: new map – Underground Base
  • Improved: Automatic map switching for dedicated servers
  • Fixed: Unknown player names
  • Improved: Controller usage in Menu


Nikki and the Robots

Nikki-and-the-Robots-03Joyride Laboratories, the German indie studio, has just released some info on the first project they’re developing.

The game is called Nikki and the Robots and is an old-fashioned platformer peppered with unique problems. Your protagonist, Nikki, can only run and jump, though she’ll be required to handle a whole slew of other problems. To take on other issues, she can control a variety of robots from different terminals stashed around the game world thus giving her flying, attacking and other abilities.

The game is currently in development for Windows, Mac and Linux.

The aim of the studio is to pay “homage to the classical platform games of the eighties and nineties, while at the same time realizing a unique gameplay concept.” From what I’ve seen, I’m digging the concept and execution so far.

Take a look at the first trailer for the game which shows off a little bit of what you can do in the game:

Here are some additional screens:

Nikki-and-the-Robots-01 Nikki-and-the-Robots-02 Nikki Characters nikki_screen_02 nikki_screen_04 nikki_screen_05 nikki_screen_09


Indie Sales: A Mess to be Made

Indie-SalesIndie Sales may be the only thing these days poking the dead raccoon that is our economy. Each week, I wonder what sale might pop-up and demand that I pay money for a game by giving me an offer too good to refuse. Is there a discount out there this week like that? Depends on who you are, what’s your poison? Steampunky action? Old school RPG? Space Strategy?

Whatever you’ll have, there’s some nice discounts on good titles this week. Go splurge a bit.

On Impulse, Gratuitous Space Battles Completewhich packs the core space strategy title along with its three paid expansions–is $14 off its $40 tag. Review here. Steampunk action game Guns of Icarus is $6 instead of $10. Review here.

Steam has several small launch sales including 10% off RPG Eschalon Book II, 10% off casual puzzler 4 Elements and 20% off strategy title Future Wars. Into trains? Several RailWorks add-ons are 33%-50% off as well.

Neocore’s Crusaders: Thy Kingdom Come has been given a 50% off sale this weekend courtesy of GamersGate. That’s $10 instead of $20, from the same team that developed King Arthur — The Role Playing Wargame.

As a reminder from last week since it’s still going on: You still have the chance to pick up Plain Sight for just $5 on D2D.


Garry’s Mod gets Update Full of Fixes

Garrys_mod_july_15Another day, another patch for Garry’s Mod and the perfectionists at Team Garry. This time around the patch is fairly sizable, with 11 notes including additions, adjustments and bug fixes for the physics sandbox title.

The patch is available now as an automatic download for owners of the game. Restart the client or fire up the game to get it if not already received.

The game with no aim runs $10 on Steam. From the change log:

Garry’s Mod

  • Fixed datapack client crash when trying to join misconfigured server
  • Fixed crash in point_viewcontrol
  • Increased max ragdoll bones to 32
  • Fixed manhack crash
  • Fixed weaponless combine npc crash
  • Fixed Lua related NPC crashes
  • Fixed unclickable message boxes
  • Fixed crash when trying to retrieve the gamemode description
  • Added surface.DrawCircle( x, y, radius, color )
  • Added surface.DrawTexturedRectUV( x, y, w, h, scalex, scaley )
  • Added Panel:SizeToChildren()


Turba Update Provides Options

Turba_logoBinary Takeover has released a new update for its casual puzzler Turba, now available for owners of the game on Steam.

The patch brings a handful of fixes, additions and improvements to the game. Now, players have the option to preview songs in the file browser, adjust menu music and sound volumes. Additionally, the update brings left-handed mouse support for southpaws.

The file can be had as an automatic download, if you’ve purchased the game and have yet to receive it, restart the Steam client or fire up the game itself.

From the change log:

Turba update features

  • Folders can now be pinned to the root of the Computer section of the browser.
  • Added option to preview songs in the file browser.
  • Added options for menu music and sound volumes.
  • Added option for a left-handed mouse.
  • Game remembers what mode/power you last played with when going back to menu.
  • Old Colorblind blocks are now the default. Colorblind mode now has higher contrast colors.


Indie Links Round-Up: Grip it and Rip it

The_Witness_Indie_LinksI missed last week, so we’re twicing the standard dosage of Indie Links. That’s right, don’t make me bring the thricening! Anyway, making up words is fun, but not as much as exploring the greater indie horizon. Hello Games gets in a couple shots, and plenty of interviews, hands-on, reviews and more. Have a gander.

‘No monkeys?!’ Why publishers nixed Joe Danger (Develop Online)
“Hello Games took to the stage at the Develop Conference today to exact revenge on the publishers that turned down the Joe Danger project. Without naming any names, Murray went through a list of reasons why the game was turned down, quoting what he had heard from various publishers in meetings. Attendees at the Develop session broke into laughter.”

XBLA is a “slaughterhouse” for smaller developers (Games Industry — Registration Required)
“Hello Games chose to release Joe Danger via Sony’s PlayStation Network because the team regarded Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade as a “slaughterhouse” for small developers.”

The Witness: Location Development (The Witness Dev Blog)
“Much of the other work that I personally have been putting into the game is about the user interface for the puzzles. As I mentioned, gameplay is the utmost concern; this being a puzzle game, you spend a long time solving puzzles, so it’s important to make that feel good, even at this early stage.”

Rules For Games: Do & Don’t #2 (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“I’m in charge. This is firmly established (citation needed). So it’s important I continue to decree my rulings. All must obey, for I am as bad as BP and I burn in hell. Fear me.”

COLUMN: Design Diversions – Fate/Stay Night: Choices Beyond Good and Evil (GameSetWatch)
“‘Design Diversions’ is a biweekly GameSetWatch-exclusive column by Andrew Vanden Bossche. It looks at the unexpected moments when games take us behind the scenes, and the details of how game design engages us. How do we get over our fixation on good and evil as a gameplay element? Fate/Stay Night, a Japanese visual novel, may have the answer.”

Developer Interview: Soenke Seidel (IndieDB)
“Cap’n Frie here bringing ye landlubbers fresh booty! I blabbered wit’ one of me hearties: Cap’n Soenke! Nothin’ like swashbuckling wit’ this sea dog!”

Dog Fighter: Hands-on Impressions and Giveaway (Shacknews)
DogFighter, Dark Water Studios’ arena-based aerial combat game, took to the virtual skies via Steam about a month ago. I spent the past couple of weeks in its virtual cockpit to assess the fast-paced shooter.”

Review: Cut It (TIGSource)
“His first game about drawing, Crayon Physics Deluxe, won the IGF Grand Prize in 2008 and since then, Petri Purho has been developing experimental games on a monthly basis. Cut It is his most recent project and features similar concepts seen in Crayon Physics, but also introduces new ideas and offers a solid concept from which the crayon master can draw on.”

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: 0 A.D. (Joystiq)
“This week we talk with Aviv Sharon of Wildfire about the studio’s 0 A.D., an indie project nine years in the making.”

Depth Music Q&A: 4mat’s Decades (Indie Games)
“Independent game creator Matt Simmonds teased his upcoming PC shooter Depth back in December, which makes creative use of inexpensive red/cyan lens 3D glasses. Music for the title will draw on the Sussex, UK-based designer’s twenty-plus years’ experience in the game industry, featuring arrangements of previously released chiptunes.In this interview the musician relates how varied experiences as a sound designer, ranging from mainstream titles to indie games and the demoscene, are currently contributing to the shape of Depth.”