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

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‘Joe Danger’ Demo Details, Patch Incoming

JoeDanger001Joe Danger is a fantastic game. How do I know? Well, because I read Pete’s news piece earlier this week letting us know that the demo would come out on August 17. However, that release date is only pertaining to the demo for the American PSN store. For the rest of the world, the trial demo’s release will be next week on August 25th. In other Joe Danger news, Hello Games announced that a new “feature upgrade” will be available soon after the demo’s release.

The “People’s Patch,” as the developers have named it, provides many fixes and updates as a result of community feedback. Managing Director Sean Murray claims “If you think you’ve completed the game… well, you haven’t.” Expect some huge updates for the game!

I don’t think we can recommend this game enough. Having finally played it, I can say it’s a very legitimate contender for indie game of the year. Check out Hello Games’ website for more updates.


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Taste the Joe Danger

JoeDanger1Just a quick note to point out that Playstation has just announced that a demo of the hit indie Joe Danger is dropping onto PSN tomorrow, August 17th.

While we highly recommended the title, some gamers just need to see the quality for themselves. So make sure you test out this arcade racer for the sheer cost of a few minutes of your time.


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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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WTF? Who’s That Flying!? [Playstation Mini]

wtf001

Is there an easy way to mix the shmup and tower defense genres and then top it with some courtroom drama plotlines? That’s not a question I can really answer, to be honest. However, you know who can? Mediatonic, the developers of Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess and, now, Who’s That Flying!? a unique game that does indeed attempt to combine these three things.

Who’s That Flying!?, on the surface, appears to be a standard shmup. After all the game is largely based on a world where an horde of alien invaders have attacked Earth. But that’s where things start getting a little more… odd.

You see, as the story goes, the Earth is actually defended by a powerful creature called the Guardian of Earth (clever, right?), and he’s done so, successfully, for a long time. Unfortunately, little did he know that during a photo shoot an evil menacing alien race was going to strike Earth when he was most vulnerable.

So to save Earth, and the Guardian of Earth’s reputation, player’s must not only take to the skies to deal with the aliens personally, but they must also defend the Guardian in the courtroom as he faces accusations of gross incompetence from the Galactic Council of Justice.

“The beating heart of Who’s That Flying?! is a fast-paced side-scrolling shooter, but we’re also very proud of the world and characters that we’ve created. Every level you play through is actually the Guardian retelling his story to the Galactic Council in an attempt to prove his innocence – with the occasional twist in the tale.” says writer/designer Jim Griffiths. “We feel it’s an interesting and effective way of bringing together the story and the game mechanic to make both of them feel relevant and more meaningful to the player.”

Who’s That Flying!? does not currently have an announced release date, but it is scheduled to land, exclusively, on Sony’s own indie games channel: Playstation Minis.

Screenshots

wtf002wtf003wtf004


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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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PSN-Bound Hoard Heading to PC and Mac

HoardBig Download’s investigatory work brings news that Big Sandwich Games’ upcoming top-down action title Hoard, originally in development only for PS3 and PSP as a downloadable title, will also see a release on PC and Mac as well.

The fantasy title has players taking on the unusual and awesome role of the dragon, as you burn knights to a crisp, siege castles and kidnap princesses and of course hoard all the treasure you can get your greedy dragon hands on. The game will pack support for online multiplayer up to four players as well.

The title is currently set for release in September via the PSN, with no word as of yet on when we can expect the PC/Mac versions. Check out more on the official Hoard website.


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Indie Links Round-Up: Picture Perfect

Indie_Links_round_up_cow_clickerAnother pile of Indie Links for you to sink your hands into. Let’s hope you do so with the same curiosity and vigor as Dr. Ellie Sattler when she sank her hands deep into the mound of dinosaur feces in Jurassic Park.

…Good movie.

A Simple Guide to Game Development Contests (Matt Hackett/Lost Decade Games Blog)
“I hear about game development contests relatively often, but it’s almost always too late to enter. I end up just being frustrated and wonder: “Where do people find out about these contests?”…So you found out about an upcoming contest and you’re interested. Should you try to put a game together to enter into the contest?”

Team 17: PSPGo Failed Because Of Price (James Chalmers/inc gamers)
“Studio head Martyn Brown revealed that digitial distribution dramatically helped the team with the releases of Worms 2: Armageddon and Alien Breed Impact.”

Interview: Cow Clicker Yields Ruminations On Social Gaming’s Tense Battle Lines (Leigh Alexander/GameSetWatch)
“When Ian Bogost launched the satirical Cow Clicker on Facebook, he didn’t expect to unearth massive conflict around the burgeoning social game space — nor to field the largest volume of criticism from his own colleagues. What does it all mean? Our own Leigh Alexander investigates…”

In-Depth: Skulls Of The Shogun Team On Going From EA To Indie (Ryan Langley/GamerBytes)
“The folks at Haunted Temple Studios went from EA-sized teams to a four-man operation, and they talk to our own Chris Remo on the transition and what they’ve learned while making their turn-based strategy game Skulls of the Shogun.”

Suisoft’s Gravity Core Game Project Postmortem (Gary Marples/Suisoft)
“The initial spark of Suisoft (and Gravity Core) stems back many years to an eight year old obsessed with computers and arcade games. The concept of being able to write code into a machine and make it do ‘stuff’ by itself was a concept much too intriguing to ignore. The typical modus operandi for family holidays would be to spend too long in darkened arcades playing the latest games (Ikari Warriors and Tiger Heli spring to mind) then arriving home clutching scribbled game designs and constructing imitations of the games.”

Preview: Life/Death/Island, Norrland by cactus (Tim W/IndieGames)
“Here is cactus’ presentation from No More Sweden 2010, where the Swedish developer demonstrates two of his most recent projects to NMS attendees. The first video shows a large chunk of Life/Death/Island, and the second part (which we’ve included after the break) features scenes from the upcoming freeware release Norrland.”

The Golden Coin Progress Update #1 (Damian Bernardi/IndieDB)
“The Golden Coin (TGC) is a free offline singleplayer 3D RPG in medieval-fantasy style.”

Review: NeonPlat 2 (JimmySH/TIGSource)
“White platforms need more neon, so in NeonPlat 2 Platdude takes his neon-painting pants to run and fill the platforms until his own doom. Soon, the screen overflows with baddies.”

Fire Hose Games – Getting to Know Your Developers [GTKYD] with Eitan Glinert (Alexis M/Gaming Bits)
An interview with Fire Hose Games founder Eitan Glinert on upcoming PSN title Slam Bolt Scrappers.

Baby Castles To Host Super HyperCube, Katawa Shoujo (Eric Caoili)
“NYC’s indie game arcade Babycastles will host another wicked party next week featuring a musical performance by chiptune artist Glomag and a selection of playable indie titles picked out by video games journalist and GSW contributor Matt “Fort90″ Hawkins.”


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Little Big Planet Stuck in Limbo

Limbo_LBPPlaydead’s acclaimed puzzle platformer Limbo has received quited the compliment from Little Big Planet by being recreated inside the game itself. Here PS3′ers were thinking they were left out on all the eerie and violent fun.

Put together by Bra2008 the user-created level, titled “Limbo, Son of the Forest”, highlights the XBLA game’s overeall feel with black-and-white silhouettes, menacing backgrounds and more.

This is just the first part of a series with the designer promising a part 2 soon.


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Indie Links Round-Up: Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap

spyparty_indie_linksIndie Links flexes its muscle for the third time this week, I like this whole M,W,F thing–we’ll see if we can keep it going consistently. Plenty to check out today, including more info on GameStop’s acquisition of Kongregate. Highly anticipated titles (Shank, Trine 2), innovative games (Spy Party), explanation and exposition…it’s all here, enjoy.

Interview: What GameStop’s Kongregate Buy Can Mean For Indies (Leigh Alexander/Gamasutra)
“GameStop’s acquisition of indie Flash game and social hub Kongregate represents a gain in the major brick-and-mortar retailer’s strategy to stay in step with fast-evolving digital trends. And while the small-developer community ethos of Kongregate might initially seem at odds with the corporate retail change, the companies see it as a net gain for all involved.”

Ten Super Cheap Xbox Indie Games You Have To Play (Matt Miller/GameInformer)
“We’ve all been there. Microsoft points never manage to come out even; just like carnival tickets, you always have a few left over. But what to do with that extra change after you buy some big new Live Arcade game or DLC expansion? We’ve gathered together 10 of the best Xbox Live Indie games that cost between 80 points ($1) and 240 points ($3) for you to explore.”

Spy Party Hard: Hands On With Spy Party (Kieron Gillen/RPS)
“Andy “Monaco” Schatz’s cat is being slowly broiled alive. It crawled behind the oven, which was in the process of cooking Macaroni & Cheese. It’s only later that Andy’s Delightful Wife is alerted by the frantic yelping of a distressed pussycat. We’re about to play SpyParty at my hotel room when the alert comes through, leading to a frantic cross-San Diego dash to try and rescue the pipping-hot cat from its furnace-crammed state. The Andy is trying to get his landlord on the phone, to see if there’s any reason why they can’t just pull the oven around. He’s failed. Meanwhile, Spy-Party-dev Chris Hecker is insisting that it’ll be fine, and we should just act immediately heft the cooker to release it. Let’s do this thing! We do this thing, and the cat runs free. I’m not sure this is a metaphor about Chris’s position in the industry or SpyParty or how he’s a man capable of making hard decisions swiftly, but it was too good not to share. And I wanted something to separate this initial report of SpyParty from all the other pieces online, because I’m basically going to echo what they all said. This is looking like something genuinely startling.”

Interview: Trine 2 and Beyond- Exclusive With Frozenbyte (Uğur Yurtsever/Tom’s Hardware)
“As you’ve already known from the great announcement just before E3 2010, the surprise was Trine 2 and it should be the revenge chance for us to get some cool details about the game. We loaded our most powerful weapons with old womanish questions and fired it directly to Helsinki, Finland… Frozenbyte headquarters of course!”

COLUMN: Abbott’s Habit: Blood, and Steel, and Bacon (Michael Abbot/GameSetWatch)
“Abbott’s Habit is a monthly GameSetWatch column by writer and Brainy Gamer blog author Michael Abbott. This month, he looks at DeathSpank and the evolving role of comedy in games.”

‘Shank’ Interview: Jamie Cheng CEO of Klei Entertainment (The Gaming Liberty)
“We recently threw a few questions at Jamie Cheng, the founder of Klei Entertainment. Jamie and his team at Klei are about to unleash Shank on PSN, XBLA and PC and look set to have a monster on their hands. This game is going to blow you away. Here’s what Jamie had to say about everything from Shank to God of War, Digital Distribution, Double Dragon and why playing Shank renders playing boardgames obsolete…..sort of…”

Hands-On: Arvoesine (Derek Yu/TIGSource)
“Arvoesine is a new platform game from Alastair John Jack, the creator of the entertaining platformer RPGs Ainevoltas 2 and Final Vision. The game puts you in control of a little Roman soldier who can attack with a sword or spear, and has a shield to defend himself with. The goal of the game is to make your way through five short stages, fighting a boss at the end of each stage.”

Interview: Ron Gilbert On The Synthesis Of DeathSpank (Chris Remo/Gamasutra)
“Designer Ron Gilbert is best known for his landmark LucasArts adventure games Maniac Mansion and The Secret of Monkey Island, but his career has also encompassed children’s games at Humongous Entertainment, and he served as producer on Chris Taylor’s ambitious large-scale RTS Total Annihilation. His latest game, DeathSpank, debuts on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network a few weeks ago, and represents the addition of the action-RPG to his repertoire.”

Nuclear Dawn Dev Diaries: In the shadow of Russia (tcviper/IndieDB)
“With the trailer preparations and raw footage shoots done, we can finally resume our scheduled transmissions. Let’s take things up a notch, as we reveal one of Nuclear Dawn’s most treacherous maps.”

Interview: Nitrome’s Annal on Keeping Their Retro Flash Game Ideas Fresh (Michael Rose/GameSetWatch)
“Continuing his series of interviews with notable independent game developers, Mike Rose catches up with the Brits behind popular retro-style Flash game site Nitrome, discussing their approach to free browser gaming and their inspirations.”