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

0
Comments

More Fool Us: ‘Hoodwink’ Announced For PC

Malaysian-based developers E-One Studio have lifted the lid on their latest point-and-click adventure game, Hoodwink. Suffice it to say that the concept impresses us.

Evidently, the game boasts a smooth, stylish hand-drawn aesthetic that belies the intricate level of details that’s gone into its graphical style. As the screenshots will demonstrate, E-One have gunned for a snappy pseudo-cel-shaded visage that provides Hoodwink with both an innocent charm and a pumping sense of visual fidelity that breathes life into its Oriental-inspired world. And it’s fair to say that the game world, a festering cesspit of woe and decadance, is as much of a character in its own right than the organic beings that comprise its beleaguered populace.

Speaking of characters, Hoodwink‘s cast of troubled individuals is headed by Michael Bezzle, an immoral yet lovable scoundrel with a razor-sharp wit and a winning twinkle in his eye. He’s intent on proposing to Francesca Jones, an exotic, bright-as-a-button lass who runs a pawn shop, but whose true intentions remain concerningly unclear. They’re joined by the likes of Pyre, a naive detective with an uncouth approach to tactful diplomacy, and Rubbish, a foul-mouthed robot who’s best described as the antithesis of C3P0.


0
Comments

Eufloria Launching on the iPad Next Month

Omni Systems has taken to their blog this morning to announce that their popular PC/PSN game Eufloria is just about ready to also launch on Apple’s popular iPad tablet. Accoridng to the developers there’s just a few more tweaks and some final polish and it’ll be good to go! This is especially good news for iPad owners because, well, Eufloria is a pretty amazing game!


0
Comments

Eufloria PSN, Incredipede, Reflow at SOWN 2011

Welcome back for the third segment of Sense of Wonder 2011. These three games featured today all celebrate life in a special way. DIYGamer has covered them all in some form, however, it’s intriguing to see the games in motion and hear the developers’ thoughts behind them.

First up, Colin Northway of Northway Games works the Sense of Wonder Night with great enthusiasm when introducing Incredipede to the world for the first time. The developer speaks about his travels around the world and how Honduras inspired Incredipede with life teeming from every crack. The seemingly simple tools that are the building blocks of life are also the building blocks in the game. Players will traverse land and sea by constructing a Quozzle with limbs for swimming, climbing, tree swinging, crawling and more.

Goals seem to be to collect the fruit and reach the yellow goal, while avoiding pits and dangers. In the final version of Incredipede, players can send creatures as a sort of puzzle for others to figure out how to use them. Colin is confident in how Incredipede already exemplifies the “incredible variety in life” and “the sheer joy of life.”

For more Incredipede coverage, check out this extensive two-part interview with Colin.

Next up is the augmented reality puzzle game Reflow for iOS from xymatic. I took notice of Reflow back in July, and I am glad that the judges did, as well. The developers explain the solids from reality show up as white images (notice how hands are black in the video).

The object of the game remains the same: to re-flow the flow to its color-corresponding cup. In other puzzles, players have to change the color of the flow first so that it eventually matches the cup. Be sure to jump to the 6:00 mark to see how the guys draw on a piece of paper to solve a puzzle (including a single finger swipe which inverts the black and white in the image and a tilt of the device which controls gravity).

Omni SystemsEufloria has been covered for quite some time, but PSN users finally get to experience the magic thanks to this upcoming port. In fact, Eufloria arrives on PSN this week: October 4 and 5 in the US and EU, respectively.

In this space-bio-strategy or as developer Rudolf Kremers called it, an “intergalatic gardening” game, players must spread seeds to become new trees in other asteroids to expand their colony. The trees literally sprout new life, in this process called panspermia. As the colonies expand, players learn how to make new forms of life.
Players also face adversity from other lifeforms that threaten to infect their own colonies.

Alex May describes how the graphics in the game are created at run-time using procedural content generation. Alex also describes how the procedural art provides feedback to the players, showing them what’s happening with their colony and others’.

Check out the full explanation and some colorful gameplay in the Eufloria presentation before our review of the PSN version this month:

Make sure you’ve watched the earlier SOWN presentations and stay tuned for the final videos.


0
Comments

Sense of Wonder Night 2011 at Tokyo Game Show

The Tokyo Game Show is the biggest gaming event in Japan, and the second biggest gaming event in the world (attendance at Germany’s Gamescom trumps it). Sense of Wonder Night began in 2008 and was inspired by the Experimental Gameplay Workshop held at the Game Developer Conference.

The only irony I have found is that the event this year is sponsored by Nintendo. While Nintendo’s first party games at times ignite a sense of wonder, their consoles otherwise have been sorely missing a strong indie sense of wonder.

That aside, here are the 10 Sense of Wonder Night 2011 presenters:

The bilingual event was streamed live last year, however subsequent videos never surfaced. Fingers crossed the event is preserved this year. The event will take place on Friday, September 16 17:30-20:00 Japan Time. Keep an eye on the official Sense of Wonder Night site for live streaming information.


0
Comments

E3 2011 Profile: Rudolf Kremers of Omni Systems [Interview]

[The far too engaging Rudolf Kremers joins us for our next E3 2011 profile interview. His indie studio Omni Systems swept PC/Mac gamers off their feet with ambient RTS Eufloria back in 2009, and now they're prepping a PSN release for the title. He shares about the console porting process the team is currently entrenched in, along with some other major projects they're working on.]

Name and Job Title

Rudolf Kremers – Director Omni Systems Limited (Indie game dev with many many hats to wear)

Location

Folkestone, United Kingdom

Portfolio

Eufloria (PC, PS3 to date, more to follow) and a whole bunch of other titles in traditional game dev like Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire, Championship Manager, Avatar the last Air Bender, Stolen, and more. Also written “Level Design – Concept, Theory and Practice” and have done loads of custom Quake levels.

Inspirations

Too numerous to mention but Sci-Fi and fantasy culture, and certain corners of science (AI, theoretical physics) stand out. There is also a whole universe of games out there that have been a massive influence.

DIYGamer: Well we already know a bit about you and Alex from Eufloria. You were visiting E3 to promote the upcoming PSN version, so how’d that go?

Rudolf Kremers: It went really well, we spoke to a ton of people, from fans to biz contacts, but in some ways it was just as important to step back and see people play the game. In fact, this led to some final tweaks and improvements that have made a real difference to the game.

To my knowledge Omni Systems has been a PC and Mac developer up until this point. What differences/challenges has console development presented versus PC/Mac development?

Ah well, console dev is a very different beast. Even though we are self publishing and self funded it means that there are some serious restrictions that apply to the process. For one thing the whole game had to get ported from c# to c++ which was painful (Ask poor Alex) and additionally you are subject to a gated approval process by Sony, with different processes in Europe and the US to deal with. Furthermore the pc version allowed us incremental improvements and player feedback, which is not possible with this console release. Joypads rather than mouse and keyboards were also an interesting challenge. :)

Tell us an origin story: How did you and Alex meet and how did the development of Eufloria come about?

Alex and I met at a company called Blue52 (now defunct) and although we did not work on the same games we became friends. The company went under, we went our ways and started to work at other companies that did not really suit us, until Blue did a phoenix from the ashes and was reborn as Curve Studios. (Still a cool company btw.) This time we did work together, namely on a crazy project where we had to create 6 games in four months for the Avatar the Last Airbender brand. I designed all the games and our focus was a 2d platformer, which I did together with Alex. This was an AMAZING experience, and some of the best fun I have had in games. Alex and I gel very well, partly because he is a very good designer himself, and he has trust in me too. So experience kinda begged to be repeated, and later on, after we left Curve when the company had a bad time of it, Alex pointed out the TIGSource Procedural Game competition. I was racing towards depression working on Championship manager (A truly awful experience) and as a result was extremely keen to do something truly interesting. Between the two of us we hammered out Dyson in 1 month, and that later turned into Eufloria.

You and I had a very engaging conversation (despite a loud room at the Joystiq event) where at one point we talked about the importance of ambiance and atmosphere in gaming. Care to wax poetic on the subjects?

Careful, I may start a rant here…

“Ambient gaming” is a bit of a personal obsession of mine, partly borne out of frustration with the strange emphasis many game developers put on adversarial and systemic game design. My personal interest in game creation is also fuelled by a wish to engage in world building, to communicate through the fantastical environment of a game, to enjoy the exploration of the new, to feel a sense of wonder. They are worthwhile goals and components to many games, if we let them be. I have gone as far as write a manifesto of sorts on the subject here.

Dyson/Eufloria is a great game, and has had a sizable lifespan in the spotlight as far as indie games go. That’s all fine and good, but I wanna know what else you’re working on! I know you’re an idea guy, so there are probably some thousand projects in queue; but are you currently developing or working on anything heavily outside of Eufloria you can tell us anything about?

Guilty as charged! I am working on more projects than you can shake as stick at. :)

Some stand out: I am doing a game called StarLit with Dugan Jackson, Dave Parsons, and with music by Milieu, which is like an ode to exploration games and classical Sci-Fi. That is going to be a special one I hope. Additionally I am doing a comic called Spire. I am doing a smaller game called Neopolis as well which is multiplayer only, and I am involved in various writing projects too. I am also publishing a series of Dynamic Themes for PS3 made by Dugan, and I am getting into e-publishing. Ahem, it is a lot actually.

Is there any advice you’d like/be willing to pass on to any up-and-coming indie developers reading?

Absolutely: Try and be honest about the originality/appeal about what you do, or at least make sure you work on what YOU want to work on, and make that stand out as much as possible. Keep thins DIY, don’t think you must have massive backing or financial support to make cool games. It is all doable these days where you can self-publish without the need for much money.

If you make something that is really YOU it means that it will be unique and thus have little competition. ;-)

[RudolfKremers.com]


0
Comments

Machinarium, Torchlight, and Indie Clever Pack Highlight Today’s Steam Sale

Machinarium009

As with yesterday and the day before it, today Steam has kicked off a new round of amazing deals. While normally, each day there would be a bunch of AAA games with a single pack of indie games for $4.99, today Steam has decided to offer up a couple more indie games. Here’s what you can get:

  • Machinarium – $5.00
  • Torchlight – $5.00
  • Indie Clever Pack – $4.99

Inside the Clever pack comes Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time, Eufloria, Iron Grip: Warlord, VVVVVV, and World of Goo all great games that, if bought seperately would ammount to $49.96, and they can be yours for a mere $4.99.

Also, for those that don’t recall, Machinarium was our game of the year for 2009. Something to keep in mind when ogling that tempting price point.

Deal ends tomorrow at 10:00am PST.

[Machinarium, Torchlight, Indie Clever Pack]


0
Comments

Indie Links Round-Up: Caress Me Down

The_Witness

Round-up is back with so much good stuff to share from all across the indie line. Popular indie titles being picked apart, notable indie developers talking about anything/everything and of course, lots of free games to discover and play. Thank you, come again.

A Tantalizing Session With The Witness, The Next Game From The Creator Of Braid (Stephen Totilo/Kotaku)
“Unattended, unlabeled, unmarked… the new game from the small team led by Braid creator Jonathon Blow was stealthily present at the Penny Arcade Expo this weekend. The adventurous — and those who recognized Blow standing off in the shadows — got a delightful surprise.”

The Weekly Report #1 (Paul Eres/TIGSource)
“This is a new feature where I’ll be covering ten notable releases and newly posted games in production of the past week. A couple of people suggested I call this “The Eres Report” but it’s really just as much Ortoslon, who suggested most of the games here. These are all good games so try them all out, the numbering is just in the order of my preference. I’ll also include a weekly classic (2+ years old) game that was never covered in TIGSource.”

The Arena Shooter Tribute (Pixel Prospector)
“This Video showcases 6 sec clips of 93 enjoyable Arena Shooters that all happen to be free…Lean back, enjoy the show and then have a good time by checking them out afterwards.”

In(die)credible: Best New Indie Games You Haven’t Played (Tim W/IndieGames)
“At PAX 2010 there was an awesome panel that highlights a couple of indie games which you may not know about. This video features indie superstars like Robin Hunicke (thatgamecompany), Eitan Glinert (Fire Hose Games), Nathan Vella (Capybara Games), Dylan Fitterer (developer of Audiosurf) and Andy Schatz (Monaco) recommending some of their favorite indie games to the audience.”

Interview: Carpe Fulgur’s Dice Talks Recettear, Indie Charm (Kyle Orland/GameSetWatch)
“New import publisher Carpe Fulgur has brought quirky Japanese ‘item shop’ indie RPG, Recettear, to PC digital distribution services, and talks to our own Kyle Orland about localization challenges and plans.”

In-Depth: RedLynx On Life After Trials HD (Simon Parkin/GamerBytes)
“Trials HD developer RedLynx tells our own Simon Parkin about MotoHeroz, the studio’s recently-announced stunt racing game for WiiWare that “has as much in common with Super Mario Brothers as it does Trials HD.”"

Review: Tidalis (James Murff/Big Download)
“The folks at Arcen Games have been hard at work continuing AI War. Once of the sleeper hits of last year, it’s a stellar strategy title that builds design around cheating AI, as opposed to simply having it there. However, they are not just working on AI War’s expansions. Recently, they released a new game that is far outside of what one would expect from an indie strategy darling. The game is Tidalis, and it is a casual puzzle game in the same rough ballpark as Bejeweled. Tidalis is not just for casual players, however. Under its simple match-3 exterior hides a game of incredible depth and complexity that will intrigue players from every camp.”

Indie Game Challenge Deadline (IndieDB)
“Only 1 month remains to enter the indie game challenge and have a chance to win over 200,000$ in prizes. On October 1 2010, entries will close to the 2010 indie game challenge. With two prizes worth $100,000 each it is well worth your time to have a crack. Just ask last years winners COGS how it worked out for them.”

Interview: In Conversation With Rudolf Kremers – Co-Creator Of Eufloria (Marty Mulrooney/AMO)
“Following on from our recent review of Eufloria (Version 2.05) on PC, AMO caught up with co-creator Rudolf Kremers to discuss the future of his studio Omni Systems Limited, Eufloria’s pending PSN reboot in 2011 and life as a full-time indie game developer.”


1
Comment

Steam Celebrates Eufloria Community Map Pack Update with 50% Off Sale

Eufloria_UpdateDigital Distributor Steam has released the new community map pack and achievements update for Omni Systems strategy title Eufloria, now available for download on the digital distribution hub. To celebrate, the game’s price has been slashed in half through next Thursday and can now be had for just $10 instead of the standard $20 tag.

The update itself hit earlier this month, but was previously only available as a manual download via the game’s official site. It brings a large amount of new content including Community Map Pack 1 and an achievements set to the title, along with a bevy of other additions and fixes.

Steam users who own the game can grab it automatically, change log here. Eufloria’s 50% off sale ends Thursday, July 29.


1
Comment

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.


0
Comments

Indie Weekend Sales: The Mother Load

Indie-SalesIt’s an unusually fantastic weekend for indie sales, what’s unusual for us is that it all comes from one outlet. Yes, Steam is having one of its semi-annual blowout sales that sees the vast majority of games in the digital distributor’s catalog discounted somewhere between nice and blatantly absurd, including over 60 indie offerings. Let’s highlight some of the biggest and best, as well as some of the other sites (yes, there are other sales going on this weekend.) Another thing to note about the Steam sales, these go through the 4th of July, but there are also ridiculously cheap daily deals that we’ll have to miss here, though I must mention Galcon Fusion for $2.50 until tomorrow morning!

Out of the many offerings available, Sacraboar at 90% off would seem to take the cake, the well received $20 tile is now $2. Altitude is 66% off at $3.40, AI War carries the same 66% discount as does its expansionChains is 75% off at just $1.24, Invent4′s Bad Rats: the Rats Revenge is $0.95 down from $5. Puzzle game Quantz is $2.50 down from $10, Super Laser Racer is $1.25, the list goes on.

Looking to save a bundle on a bundle? Steam’s offering several at big discounts including:

Introversion Complete Pack for $5 (87% off) – Packs Darwinia, Multiwinia, Uplink and Defcon.

Action Indie Pack for $6.24 (75% off) – Packs Larva Mortus, Penguins Arena: Sedna’s World, RIP – Trilogy, Space Trader: Merchant Marine and Tank Universal.

Puzzle Indie Pack for $3.74 (75% off) – Packs Chains, Gumboy – Crazy Adventures, Obulis and Vigil: Blood Bitterness.

Northern Lights Indies for $20 (64% off) – Packs Blueberry Garden, Bob Came in Pieces, Crayon Physics Deluxe, Plain Sight and Saira. That’s a quality bundle of games right there.

Summer Indie Action Pack for $20 (60% off) – Packs Aaaah! A Reckless Disregard for Gravity, Gridrunner Revolution, Metal Drift, Starscape and Zombie Driver.

Maybe most importantly Steam also offers 50% off on almost every big indie title you can think of over the past couple of years with titles including (just to name a few): Machinarium, Zeno Clash, Trine, Cogs, Eufloria, Gratuitous Space Battles, Time Gentleman/Ben There, Dan That and much more. If you were waiting for any of the various titles we mention on this site to go down in price its more than worth your time to browse through the list and pick up some wonderful games at amazing prices.

Impulse carries a lone independent sale with Zoetrope Interactive’s Darkness Within 2: The Dark Lineage for $18 instead of its standard $30, a 40% discount.

Direct2Drive also gets in the mix with Kerberos Productions Fort Zombie for 75% off, bringing the title down to $2.50.