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

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PAX Prime 2013: ‘Contrast’ Impressions

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

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

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


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

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

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


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Re-Logic Unveil First Video Of ‘Terraria’ Console Port

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Earlier today Re-Logic published their first video of the new Terraria port coming to consoles. The video has been put up exclusively for the fans who are following them on Facebook but will be published more publicly as the day goes on.

Terraria is a 2D side scrolling adventure game with construction elements that resemble Minecraft on a very basic level, but deviate much more. Terraria is more focused on exploring and adventuring then Minecraft with the ability to fight a whole host of monsters along with many unique and difficult bosses. The 2D side scrolling elements do resemble the classic Castlevania games, always a good game to model any game on.

Terraria has already been a massive sensation on the PC selling over 1.6 million units and after only playing the game for a short time it is easy to see why. The lure of exploration and RPG esque elements allowing you to better equip yourself via random drops to improve your chances to actually beating the increasingly more difficult bosses that you will encounter.

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Re-Logic really did hit a gold mine crossing the creative elements of Minecraft with the adventure state found in classic 2D side scrollers making this hybrid, which is just great fun. With the ability to play co-op with your friends it really makes Terraria a fantastic game, soon to be available on your favourite consoles.

The Video shows a lot of the gameplay that has already been established within Terraria after the numerous updates, however at the end it does indeed hint that the console versions will include new content that has yet to be released on the PC version. The video released on the Facebook group page can be found here, so judge for yourself. I am greatly anticipating the wave of new players for this awesome little title from a fantastic studio.

For all the latest news as it breaks be sure to check back to The Indie Game Magazine or follow us on twitter @indiegamemag

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Re-Logic Unveil First Video Of ‘Terraria’ Console Port


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Eurogamer Expo Another Great Year In London

eurogamer expo

Over the weekend Eurogamer Expo hosted tens of thousands of gaming fanatics in the UK’s biggest gaming exhibition. Eurogamer this year hosted many new up and coming titles, both from the AAA market and the indie scene, with the Rezzed indie booth. The Rezzed indie booth allowed the public to get a hands on preview with many new titles from great indie developers such as Muse game’s Guns Of Icarus.

The whole show was a great experience with many competitions, exclusives and great developer conferences to fill up the 36 hours the Expo was open. Over the total four days at the Expo I was able to talk to many indie developers to find out a little more about their games and their studios overall, providing a very interesting insight into their current works. So expect to see many exclusive interviews going up on IGM over the next weeks along side previews and reviews for the latest indie titles shown.

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Like any Expo it had a whole wealth of characters with the Cosplay fanatics, some highly intricate whilst others being a last minute attempt, but all entertaining. There was even a Resident Evil zombie make-up section to allow people to become zombified and shamble around the Expo floor, nothing completes a gaming event like zombies after all.

Not all the fun however happened on the floor area, with conferences held with developers and panels ranging across many different fields. The conferences not only created a podium for big publishers but they also opened their doors to Dean Hall the creator of DayZ, giving a very informative talk about his ambition to create the full stand alone game. As well as Introversion Software talking about their long history and the development so far on Prison Architect.

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Along side the developer conferences Eurogamer Expo hosted the Games Industry Fair. The fair had a lot of interesting booths to check out about the gaming industry, with Friday hosting the highly informative career sessions covering how to make indie games to video game journalism. The VOD’s for the Games Industry career sessions can be found here.

Now with things slowly getting back to normal expect to see a great deal more information from Eurogamer Expo come to the site. Be sure to stay tuned to The Indie Game Magazine for the scoop on the Expo.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Eurogamer Expo Another Great Year In London


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‘InterGalaXia’ Just Released

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InterGalaXia (IGX) is a space shooter from ByteBox released today on the XBLA and really is not your normal space shooter. IGX tried to move away from the traditional space shooter style in adding a game engine that would change the game’s appearance and gameplay noticeable every time you play. This will make the replayability so much greater and no longer will you be just stuck with one predictable title but with an ever changing title. Be sure to check the pre-release trailer below to see the game in action.

Of late there really has been a big push for many developers to start using procedural generation and random elements in their titles, due to the way this can extend the life of a game hugely. This falls in line with people getting more conscious of the price of games, so making titles with random elements really helps people to buy into them. It works in IGX with the whole galaxy generation being done in real time. Every single star is a new star which moves, flawlessly on its own according to its own makeup. Planets are rendered in real time, spawn at random and move with their own attributes. This goes for the shooting stars, asteroids, comets and nebulae making IGX to be quite the impressive title.

Even the overall galaxy difficulty is randomised by looking at many different elements it is largely focused around the enemy generation attributes, this is yet another feature to make this game very unpredictable in terms of its gameplay.

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IGXs overall story is that you are working to complete missions fed to you by “The Corporation” who provide a private funding budget allowing you to weapon up your arsenal before deploying to the mission at hand. No doubt the story will expand as you try and beat IGX with some twists and turns rounding this title off.

IGX is now available on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 80 Microsoft Points. Though if you would rather try out IGX first there is a trial on the marketplace, definitely try this out as it sounds to be an interesting twist on the space shooter genre. There are future plans to move IGX to PC so be sure to keep an eye on that over on the official site here. As always be sure to check back to The Indie Game Magazine for all the latest new as and when it breaks.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘InterGalaXia’ Just Released


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Life in the Dorms: Releasing September 14 for XBLIG

Hi, my name is Petey and I am a poor as could be college student who lives in a dorm and struggles to finish his tasks each and every day. I have homework, eat ramen, buy books, etc. I am the typical college student. My life is no adventure. Oh, wait… it is an adventure. In fact, it is an adventure game called Life in the Dorms.

Life in the Dorms, from Moment Games, is an old-school adventure game for the modern console! Dack is the main character; a kid who just started school and was homesick even before he got there. The player needs to help Dack adjust, by leading him through the puzzles of orientation. These puzzles include lessons about love, friendship, dating, and even ramen noodles. These preceding obstacles can be quite the hassle for a freshly deemed college student.


If the dangers of these puzzles were not enough, Dack also has a psychopathic roommate who enjoys dabbling with axes! Oh, well it is college and Dack can always make other friends. Dack’s primary means of meeting people is an in-game social networking feature called “Flitter”. Not only can Dack update people on the goings-ons of his life, but he also needs to use “Flitter” to solve a variety of puzzles. All of this leads Dack to success, or whatever success finishing college orientation can bring you, in this tale of growing up in the world of college.

Life in the Dorms promises to be a fun and zany experience for those who love adventure games and hate college. The development of Life in the Dorms is being handled by Paul Franzen (Editor-in-Chied of GameCola.net) and Ted Hung (creator of Office Disorders). Life in the Dorms comes out September 14th, which is tomorrow if you’re reading this today, on XBLIG. For more info check out Moment Games’ official website, or take a look at their Facebook or Twitter accounts. For future coverage of Life in the Dorms and for all your Indie Gaming needs, stick right here on Indiegamemag.com.

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Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Life in the Dorms: Releasing September 14 for XBLIG


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The Uprising Begins ‘Indie Games Uprising III’ Starts Today

indie games uprising

It is that time of year again where Xbox Live is taken over by indie games, over the next two weeks expect to see a broad showcase highlighting the diversity, talent and potential on Xbox Live as a whole. Indie Games Uprising is all about the community and this year is no different as the organisers look over the best of indie games on the Xbox platform and select the ones they feel will fit into the model they are trying to promote.


The games featured in the Indie Games Uprising III are as follows:

Week 1

  • Mon 10th – Qrth-Phyl ($1): Arcade Documentary of maze/dot/snake mechanics within changing dimensions.
  • Tue 11th – Sententia ($1): Is an art game that explores the challenges we face to keep our imagination alive as we grow. An interesting puzzler with some much deeper messages.
  • Wed 12th – Diehard Dungeon ($1): Randomly generated dungeons for each game you play keeping this dungeon crawler fresh in this interesting take on the genre.
  • Thu 13th – Gateways ($3): A 2D platformer with a twist, Gateways introduces the ability to place two gateways around the levels allowing the user to traverse time and space.
  • Fri 14th – Smooth Operators ($1): A sim game set in a call centre environment focusing greatly around interactions with employees in the ever more difficult world of business.
Week 2
  • Mon 17th – Entropy ($1): Is a puzzle platformer at its heart however it allows the manipulation of physics phenomenon to perform otherwise impossible tasks.
  • Tue 18th - City Tuesday ($1): Is a puzzle platformer where you are stuck reliving the same five minutes before a terrorist attack. You have to question the city’s residents to find and defuse the bomb in time.
  • Wed 19th – XenoMiner ($1): Is an action adventure sandbox game set on a moon. You must figure out using only your own intellect and this seemingly barren moon to thrive and survive.
  • Thu 20th – Pixel ($1): To succeed in this first person puzzle shooter you need to manipulate the environment to traverse the ever more difficult levels.

I hope that with these promising title this year’s Indie Games Uprising will be bigger than ever, so head over to the Xbox Live to participate in this two week long event. Remember that this event is highly geared towards the community so if you do infact like the title be sure to rate it accordingly and spread the word!

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – The Uprising Begins ‘Indie Games Uprising III’ Starts Today


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‘Dust: An Elysian Tail’ Gets Cinematic In This XBLA Launch Trailer

Ever since the first in-development footage of Dust: An Elysian Tail surfaced years ago, I’ve been following it like a hawk. It went on to win Microsoft’s Dream Build Play contest, and secured itself an Xbox Live Arcade publishing deal. Now, it’s the crowning item in this year’s Summer of Arcade event. Next week, on August 15th, it finally releases on XBLA for $15/1200MSP. Here’s the rather Hollywood launch trailer:

The game is an impressively large Metroid-esque platform adventure RPG, with a combat engine reminiscent of Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden. All of that – voice acting and music aside – is entirely the work of one man. Can’t get much more indie than that. This is probably the most ambitious solo project to be released on XBLA, and one of the highest-budget solo releases that I’m aware of, period.

IGM are currently hacking through the game right now, and will have a full review up on Monday. Dust will be available to buy on Wednesday, August 15th. It’s exclusive to Xbox 360 at the moment, although given that Fez is now planning to jump ship once its exclusivity deal ends, perhaps this one might make it back to PC someday.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Dust: An Elysian Tail’ Gets Cinematic In This XBLA Launch Trailer


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The Xbox Indie Game Uprising returns (for the 3rd time)

XBLIG Indie Games Uprising III has announced with an awesome launch trailer.  It looks like they’re getting rid of all the community voting features and selection process that has been part of the uprising in years past in favor of hand selecting 9 of the best Xbox Live Indie Games coming out.  The uprising will take place from September 10th – 20th and will feature the following games:

You can stay up to date on the Indie Summer Uprising, by checking out their official site.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – The Xbox Indie Game Uprising returns (for the 3rd time)


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Awesomenauts Patch is here: 2 FREE new characters

Yesterday, Ronimo Games patched up Awesomenauts. Two new Awesomenauts (Coco and Derpl) were added in this extensive update that has now gone live for all players – for free. If you’ve purchased the game on PS3 or Xbox 360 the game should automatically patch the next time you hop online. Apart from the two brand new Awesomenauts the update also contains lots of balance tweaks and some connectivity fixes that players longed for, as well as additional prestige levels. This is especially good to hear since balance issues were my main complaint in my review of the game 2 months ago.

The new FREE characters consist of Coco Nebulon and Derpl Zork. Coco Nebulon is the first female Awesomenaut and she specializes in psycho-electric melee abilities, lightning trails and detonatable lightning ball. Derpl Zork rides a transforming combat walker. You can see these new Awesomenauts in Action here:

Awesomenauts is currently available on Xbox 360 and Playstation Network for $10, but is also making its way to Steam shortly. You can learn more about the game from the game’s official homepage.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Awesomenauts Patch is here: 2 FREE new characters


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Save-Devouring ‘Fez’ Patch Returns Unfixed – ‘Blame Microsoft’, Say Devs

Damning words from Team Polytron tonight. The good news: Fez is patched again, and devoid of game-breaking bugs. The bad news: For a small percentage of players already deep into the game, it may devour your save and progress to date. The reason this hasn’t been fixed? Microsoft certification policy, it seems, and the limited resources of a small indie developer.

In this lengthy letter to fans, Polytron spell it out, plain as day. It’s harsh, but I think this is something that really needs to be brought to light. Here’s the important bit:

“We’re bringing the first FEZ patch online.
It’s the same patch.

We’re not going to patch the patch.

Why not? Because microsoft would charge us tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game.

And because as it turns out, the save file delete bug only happens to less than a percent of players. It’s a shitty numbers game to be playing for sure, but as a small independent, paying so much money for patches makes NO SENSE AT ALL. especially when you consider the alternative. Had FEZ been released on steam instead of XBLA, the game would have been fixed two weeks after release, at no cost to us. And if there was an issue with that patch, we could have fixed that right away too!”

This is backed up by statements made by Tim Schafer of Double Fine not long ago, suggesting that the price of certification for even a tiny hotfix patch (the kind of stuff a developer can produce in a day or two, and roll out on Steam in hours) is in the tens of thousands of dollars for a small XBLA release. From what I can gather, Sony do have a vaguely similar certification process, but it’s much cheaper – developers seem far more willing to roll out smaller updates for PS3 games.

Naturally, Steam, Desura and all the other PC equivalents have no such certification fees attached to updates. Bugs can be fixed as and when they surface, and patches rolled out literally within hours of issues being detected, if the developers are fast enough on the draw. There’s a definite note of frustration in the press release here, and no doubt this’ll be burning some bridges between Polytron and Microsoft, but given the resurgence of smaller-scale PC development, that doesn’t seem so bad.

As I write this, Tim Schafer actually chimed in via Twitter, in support of Polytron. Hopefully if enough people make a noise, Microsoft might just consider changing their oppressive policies. It might be a good idea to do it sooner rather than later, as sales of XBLA games have been dropping sharply in recent months, and a lot of this seems to be due to indie developers jumping ship to other, less problematic platforms.

Still, for those who just want to play Fez, this is bittersweet news. While a small percentage of players might lose their progress to date, the game is at least stable and reliable now. I’d been holding off on fully completing it until a new patch was released, so I suppose I’ll have to make do with this one. As much as I should be frustrated at Polytron for letting a bug like this slip through, I can’t help but feel that the ball is firmly in Microsoft’s court on this one – their horrendously expensive certification process somehow missed this bug first time through, and they want to charge full price again so they can just wave it through?

Ah well – the silver lining to this big, unpleasant cloud is that Fez is finally patched. It’s Adventure Time, Gomez! You can buy the game via XBLA for 800 MS Points ($10) or equivalent, and it’s a damn fine game. Such a shame that it’ll be forever tarnished by this sad story.

Update: More support, this time from Team Meat – another studio notoriously burnt when working with Microsoft. And Polytron drop an interesting ray of hope here:

Fez coming to PC? Maybe.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Save-Devouring ‘Fez’ Patch Returns Unfixed – ‘Blame Microsoft’, Say Devs