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

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New Features And Platforms Announced For ‘Trine 2: Goblin Menace’

Frozenbyte has just released a PC and Mac update for Trine 2 and its DLC pack Trine 2: Goblin Menace on Steam. The update was released yesterday, but today Frozenbyte pushed out a hotfix for a minor issue that was found in the update. The new update from yesterday includes a number of different achievement and gameplay fixes while also improving the audio and multiplayer capabilities.

The developer has said that all of these fixes are in addition to the Goblin Menace DLC launch update that had brought a number of different features for anyone who owned Trine 2 to try out. That includes an arrow indicator that will drastically help players in multiplayer find their teammates, a new controller configuration menu to help with keyboard and gamepad setup. There’re a many more features that were added, which you can check out on the Trine 2 website in their official changelog.

Frozenbyte also announced  the Trine 2: Directors Cut for the Nintendo Wii U as well as other platforms. For the Wii U, Frozenbyte is aiming to release on November 18th to coincide with the console launch. As for the Mac App Store, Goblin Menace should be releasing within a month as an in-App purchase. Finally, while Valve may have forgotten about Linux users, Frozenbyte certainly have not. One of the new platforms fans will be able to enjoy Trine 2 on will be Linux. No official release date has been provided for the Linux version but Frozenbyte have said that the game should be ready to release in a month or two.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – New Features And Platforms Announced For ‘Trine 2: Goblin Menace’


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Steam Summer Sale Indie Roundup – July 22nd – Final Day

And here we are. The last final curtain call, and the end of a short and brutal campaign on your wallet. There’s now 24 hours to grab whatever you can at up to 80% off via Steam, and then things return to normal for another few months. This has been one of the more effective sales I’ve seen, with a lot of niche and indie games getting promoted solidly, and sales on even smaller titles outstripping AAA mega-hits. Here’s the last set of daily featured deals, and a round-up of recommended other items:

Today’s Individual Deals:

  • Space Pirates and Zombies75% off – A charming 2D space combat/strategy/RPG hybrid. Starting out as a nobody in a lost corner of the universe, you set out to claim the mighty treasure of the Galactic core by the best way you know: Piracy! Beat up everyone in your path, steal their ship designs and manage a small fleet, constantly upgrading and levelling up as you go. It can get a bit repetitive later on due to the lack of variety in events and the procedurally generated universe, but an easy recommendation at this price.
  • Bastion75% Off – One of the best indie releases in recent memory. A clever, creative take on the isometric action-RPG, narrated continually by a talented storyteller. Every tiny action, every item claimed and every enemy felled gets their own fully spoken narrative beat, and it all comes together quite spectacularly by the end. Not the biggest, hardest or deepest of games, but it has soul.
  • Double Fine Collection75% Off - Questionably indie, although definitely one of the bigger players behind the rise of the Kickstarter phenomenon for indie funding. Double Fine have produced some great, compelling and excellently-written games over the years. This contains most of their recent output. Easily recommended.

Today’s Flash Deals – They’ll Be Gone Soon!

  • Trine 275% off - 4 hours and counting down on this one. – Frozenbyte’s astonishingly good-looking platform puzzle adventure returns for an encore. Whimsical fairlytale storytelling, art to match, likeable characters and varied levels that require both direct and character-oriented logic to solve, there’s not much to dislike here. It’s even better with friends.

Today’s Indie Bundle (75% Off When Bought Together):

  • Hydrophobia: Prophecy - Great water physics, and that’s just about it. Despite a huge set of overhauls and patches, the best this third-person shooter can hope to be is mediocre, and is aggressively irritating at points. There’s some nice concepts here, but it never really pulls any of them off. It’s sad, really – it could have been so much more if it had tried to be less. A puzzle game based around fluid dynamics, maybe, rather than a generic shooter with too much water.
  • Orion: Dino Beatdown – If Hydrophobia was a textbook failure of ambitious concepts never realized, then this is on the scientific cutting-edge forefront of failure, and is still under peer review. Future soldiers with jetpacks and mechs battling dinosaurs in lush, tropical online battlefields? What could go wrong? In this case, just about EVERYTHING. It is an unholy trainwreck of a game, and not enjoyable in the slightest. Please, do not give the creators of this any money. Just buy the good stuff from this bundle separately.
  • Star Ruler - 4X strategy with serious space-science math behind it. While very much on the dry and mechanical side, there’s a lot to like in this quirky take on the genre if you can see the appeal in deconstructing entire solar systems in order to create a ringworld-scale superweapon capable of punching a hole in a planet from half a galaxy away. It’s also 75% off if purchased by itself. You should do so.
  • Waveform – A cute little rhythm-puzzle game, well-reviewed and polished. Not gotten to play this one myself, admittedly, but former IGM editor Chris Priestman  did, and loved the pants off it in his review here. To quote: “It’s a game that comes easily recommended to just about everyone, and one that you’ll come back to again and again, if just to sway along to the sublime soundtrack and calming visuals”. High praise indeed.
  • World of Goo - One of the big commercial releases that kicked off this whole indie revolution. A super-charming, clever and varied physics puzzle game about building wobbly, burbling structures out of happy little living goo-balls, in order to ferry a certain number of them out of the level safely. Good replay value, and multiple solutions to most puzzles too.

A rather underwhelming indie bundle, sadly, brought down by a couple of damp squibs. As with the previous Winter sale, the previous days core deals are available for a few hours more, so snap them up if you missed any you wanted.

It’s the last day, so there’s no more reason to hold back. Got everything you wanted? Snapped up any big hits in the Flash Sales? Well, here’s some scattered indie recommendations, all at rock-bottom prices. All good games, and you’re sure to get plenty of bang for your buck with this lot:

Pixeljunk Eden – 80% Off
Stellar Impact – 75% Off
EYE: Divine Cybermancy – 60% Off
Solar 2 – 75% Off
Beat Hazard Bundle – 75% Off
Trine 1 + 2 – 75% Off (Flash Sale)
Analogue: A Hate Story – 50% Off
Nimbus – 75% Off
Super Monday Night Combat Bundle – 75% Off
Legend of Fae – 75% Off
Shatter – 75% Off
Inside A Star-Filled Sky – 75% Off
Sol Survivor – 75% Off
Waves – 70% Off
Mr Robot – 75% Off
Zen Bound 2 – 75% Off
Data Jammers: Fastforward – 75% Off

There’s plenty more where they came from in the Steam Indie section. Just sort by ‘specials’ to find some hidden gems. And that’s all, folks, until the inevitable Winter holiday mega-sale. We’ll see you there. And while you’re still here, why don’t you drop into the comments thread below? Share what your favourite picks of this sale have been, and drop a few recommendations of your own.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Steam Summer Sale Indie Roundup – July 22nd – Final Day


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‘Trine 2′ Released For Linux As A Beta, Port Was Easier Than Expected

Trine 2

Frozenbyte say they are huge supporters of Linux and as such have released the Linux version of Trine 2 for purchase though it’s still a beta version.

At last, those of you out there who use Linux for their gaming needs can get hold of Trine 2 right now for the asking price of $14.99. If you’re looking to be rid of some more money though, for $24.99 you could pick up the Collector’s Edition which comes with a digital artbook and the game’s soundtrack.

While still in its beta phase, the Linux version of Frozenbyte’s co-op platformer and graphical wonder contains all of the features the other versions do, including online co-op. The only difference is that when the game is fully realised on the platform, Linux users will be able to play online with Mac users too.

A variety of recent distributions are supported, including Ubuntu 10.10/11.04/11.10, Fedora 16, OpenSUSE 12.1 and Linux Mint 12. Frozenbyte say that other distributions could work as well but may require additional library installations manually. The Linux version of Trine 2 will also come to other distribution channels later in the year, including Desura and Gameolith.

Trine 2

The port to Linux was of big importance for Frozenbyte, whose CEO Lauri Hyvärinen, said:

“Our biggest motivation for the native Linux version was really more of a “because we can”, and also to prove a point that it’s not that difficult to release a great modern game on Linux. We have a few guys here at the office who are already using Linux as their primary operating system at home, so we see a bright future ahead for Linux. Linux users have also been a huge part of the Humble Bundle initiative and clearly there’s a big market for games and other software on Linux, and it’s up to us and other developers to make gaming on Linux worthwhile.

But we have to be realistic about it because we don’t have any advertising or other marketing going on, so financially our expectations are modest. We will be happy if we sell a thousand units or thereabout during the first few weeks.”

Frozenbyte’s Senior Programmer, Jukka Kokkonen, also revealed that the port to Linux ended up being a lot easier than expected:

“Linux porting of Trine 2 turned out to be easier than expected as we already had a working Mac OS X version, which also used an OpenGL renderer. The initial OpenGL rendering port took less than 2 days, after which the renderer was mostly functional, with only some bugs to iron out.

On the other hand, though it was easier than expected to port Trine 2 on Linux, testing and fixing issues caused by differing distributions and release versions turned out to be a bit tedious. These issues and the various system configurations will keep the support people here at Frozenbyte busy after the game is released, but hopefully we will also get some help from the Linux community as well. Overall I think that Trine 2 shows that Linux can provide a proper gaming experience and we are very excited to see how Linux users react to the game.”

More information on Trine 2 can be found on the game’s official website.


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‘Trine 2′ Is 50% Off In Weekend Sale, Introduces Hardcore Mode

Trine 2

Frozenbyte’s three-way puzzle platformer Trine 2 is currently on a 50% off sale on Steam and in celebration of this a new update has been released to appease fans.

The rather delectable puzzle platformer Trine 2 is having a little Steam sale at the moment, you can grab it for half price! Is it worth it, you ask! Of course it is we reviewed it here and said plenty of good things about it.

So yes, at 50% off this is a game that you should certainly be grabbing on Steam right about now. Never player the first Trine? Well, then you better grab that too as its also on sale with 80% off! Blimey! This Steam sale will only last until April 2nd so you better hurry with that purchase of yours.

Now, as if that wasn’t enough excitement, Trine 2 has also received an update which adds a brand new hardcore mode and several other improvements, including the option to disable the much-debated “self-levitation” trick.

“The Hardcore Mode is our thanks to our most hardcore fans, and a throwback to the good old days,” Frozenbyte CEO Lauri Hyvärinen says, and continues: “This is for the fans who thought the Tower of Sarek level in the first game was just right in its pre-patches state, for those who really want an extra challenge from the game. The Hardcore Mode adds a big value to replayability, especially in online and offline co-op, and really means you have to work together or face game over.”

Trine 2 is currently featured on the Mac App Store too with a lovely 50% off there as well of course.

You can find our more information on Trine 2 over on the official website.


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Best Indie Games of 2011: Editors’ Top Picks

It’s that time of year. Once again, as everybody gets prepared for the new year, we’ve been slaving away over a massive pile of indie games that got released in 2011 in order to bring you our very best. And what a year it was!


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IndieDB’s Top 10 Player’s Choice Indie Games of 2011

I missed it over Christmas day, but apparently IndieDB released the results of their 2011 indie game competition after revealing their top 100 games earlier this month. And just to be clear, these are the top 10 released games, I’ve also included a bit below the top 5 unreleased games, each of which look very tasty, although a little surprising as well…


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Three Is The Magic Number… Trine 2 [Review]

Technology and charm are not two things that naturally go hand-in-hand. This year has seen massive studios create technologically stunning new ways to render brown dirt roads and shattered concrete – there’s just no room for whimsy in triple-A development, it seems. That’s where the indie scene comes in. Frozenbyte’s Trine 2 is a great big cozy comfort-blanket of a game, but is charisma all this fairy-tale storybook has to offer? It takes more than graphics to make a complex platform-puzzle game sing, after all. Wrap up warm, grab yourself some hot cocoa and read on for our verdict.


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Indie? Maybe. Awesome? Most Definitely. Trine 2 [Trailer]

Trine2001

As promised it looks like the guys over at Frozenbyte have been hard as work on the upcoming Trine sequel that had everybody in the indie world in a tizzy over last E3. While the trailer doesn’t show terribly large amount of gameplay it does seem that the game’s amazing platforming action and aesthetic appeal has returned for a second time around. Additionally, the co-op gameplay is looking mighty tasty. We’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the turns out as the game’s “Spring 2011″ release date nears.

[Trine 2]

Trailer


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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.”


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Indie Links Round-Up: E3ish Edition

Trine_2Lots to check out this time round on Indie Links, as we have an enormous E3 washed up on our shores, beaching itself in and around the web’s grains of coverage sand, though there’s tons of other stuff too. Right-o then, enjoy if you’ve stuck with me this far.

190 Free Indie Games in 10 Minutes (Pixel Prospector)
“This Video showcases 3 sec clips of 190 Indie Games (that are currently in development)”

Do Violent Games Create Violent Players? (Rock, Paper Shotgun)
“When analysing the claims made by those from various fields with regards to the negative effects of gaming it’s tempting to come to the same conclusion each time. These claims, inevitably presented without evidence (and unable to offer evidence when it is asked for), tend to rely on uncited anecdotal stories of individual cases. Whether it is suggestions that games cause addiction, violence, sexual crimes or murder, we are told about one child, or one individual, whose behaviour appears to be adversely effected while playing games. And the conclusion that’s so tempting to reach for each time is: perhaps this individual has unique circumstances that reach beyond a pathology created by the games they play? But there’s a problem. While this conclusion may appear extremely reasonable given the evidence, it’s still an unproven assumption.”

Everything, By Everyone – Teaser Trailer v1.5 (Youtube via GameSetWatch)
“Adding to the list of indie gaming-themed documentaries that need your funding, which so far also includes You Meet the Nicest People Making Videogames and Indie Game: The Movie, Everything, By Everyone is a film that looks to tell “the story of a website called Newgrounds and the online cultural trends it helped create and drive over the last decade or so.”"

Indie Game: The Movie Goes to TIGJam (Vimeo)
“Indie Game: The Movie recently went to TIG Jam: Winnipeg. A TIGJam or ‘game jam’ is basically a bunch of game developers, gathering together for a weekend full of coding, designing and knowledge swapping. It’s rather intense in nature, filled with some serious work, serious fun and decidedly devoid of any serious sleep. It is a very cool experience. We took our cameras along, and put together a piece in attempt to capture the vibe of the weekend. NOTE: We should point out that this is NOT an actual or intended part of Indie Game: The Movie. Simply just a short film that we made along the way that we thought you’d enjoy.”

Study: Developers Claim 13 Weeks Of Crunch Per Year (GameSetWatch)
“Crunch has long been a hot-button topic in the industry, becoming of the most sensitive quality of life issues for game developers. This year for the first time, Game Developer Research asked developers to quantify how much time they spend on crunch, in terms of both weeks per year and hours per week.”

Fantastic Fest Spawns Indie Gaming Festival (GameSetWatch)
“Annual genre film festival Fantastic Fest announced Fantastic Arcade, a spin-off dedicated to showcasing new games from independent developers and publishers, at Austin’s Highball and famous Alamo Drafthouse theater.”

Interviews

E3 2010: The first official interview with Frozenbyte on Trine 2 (BigDownload)
“Developer Frozenbyte created a sleeper critical hit in 2009 with the release of Trine, its downloadable title that combined platform action with physics-based puzzles and co-op. After lots of hints, it was announced At the tail end of E3 2010 that Frozenbyte would be making a sequel to the game in collaboration with publisher Atlus. While the game isn’t due out until the spring of 2011, Big Download has gotten some of the first details about the sequel direct from Frozenbyte’s CEO Lauri Hyvärinen.”

Interview: Perpetuum Online (Rock, Paper Shotgun)
“Here and there RPS folks have been asking about Perpetuum Online, the Hungarian robo-MMO that is currently in closed beta. No doubt by now a few of you have made it onto that beta, too. I’ve been on there for a while, and I’ve been intrigued by what I’ve found: a constantly evolving sandbox MMO that is more reminiscent of Eve that anything else, and with an art-style and world design that is refreshingly atmospheric. To find out a little more I took some time to chat to Szelei Kis Gergely, from Avatar Creations, about his company’s aims for this independent MMO project. His responses, as well my time with the game itself, leave me feeling quietly excited for its prospects”

E3 2010: We talk with Frictional Games about Amnesia: The Dark Descent (BigDownload)
“Developer Frictional Games has got a solid cult following for its first game projects, namely the Penumbra series of horror-themed adventure games. Now the company is working on its next title, a historical adventure-horror game titled Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It promises to scare people not only visually but inside their heads as well. So how will Amnesia differ from the games in the Penubra series? Big Download got the answer to that question and many others via a new interview with Frictional Games’ co-founder Thomas Grip.”

Interview: Dark Water Studios co-founder talks about Dogfighter (BigDownload)
“Over in Ireland, a indie development company called Dark Water Studios is about to launch Dogfighter via Steam (indeed the game is likely to be available for purchase by the time you read this). It’s the company’s first major commercial title and it tries to combine flying action gameplay with some first person shooter elements. And it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun to play. Big Download got a chance to ask some questions to one of the studio’s co-founder Damien Gallagher.”

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Pinch (Joystiq)
“Being a giant, beloved video game blog has its downsides. For example, we sometimes neglect to give independent developers our coverage love (or loverage, if you will) as we get caught up in AAA, AAAA or the rare quintuple-A titles. To remedy that, we’re giving indies the chance to create their own loverage and sell you, the fans, on their studios and products. This week we talk with Paul Crab of Coatsink Games about his new release, Pinch, and why he thinks the puzzle genre is the pinnacle of gaming.”

E3 2010 Interview: We chat with Team17′s studio head about Alien Breed: Impact (BigDownload)
“While UK-based Team17 has worked on a number of retail games for the PC and other platforms for various publishers, the development team has now decided to go on its own by developing downloadable titles and self-publishing them for various platforms. Recently the team released Alien Breed: Impact on Steam. The top-down sci-fi shooter is both a revival of the developer’s Alien Breed games of the 1990s as well as a revamped version of their 2009 Xbox Live Arcade game Alien Breed Evolution. Big Download got a chance to get some questions about the game and other topics answer by Team17′s long time studio head Martyn Brown.”

Previews

Video Preview: Limbo – Playdead (IndieGames)
“Microsoft had recently announced at E3 that Playdead’s upcoming puzzle platformer Limbo will be released as part of their XBLA Summer of Arcade promotion, which has helped push games like Braid and Castle Crashers to the forefront in previous years. Limbo will be priced at 1200 MS Points when the Summer of Arcade 2010 begins sometime next month.”

Preview: Slam Bolt Scrappers (Joystiq)
“Fire Hose Games’ Slam Bolt Scrappers may not have the easiest to remember name, but its gameplay is something you won’t soon forget. The PSN-exclusive action-puzzler drops in “early 2011″ and is already looking like an incredibly polished experience.”

Preview: Tom’s Crown Affair - Tom Sennett (IndieGames)
“Here’s a video of Tom Sennett, developer of Runman: Race Around the World, explaining how to play his new multiplayer Flash game (currently in public beta). In Tom’s Crown Affair, one player will be chosen as the king and given a crown to wear, which is used to fire laser beams at any other player who tries to steal his or her head gear away.”

Exclusive Preview: The Oil Blue – Vertigo Gaming (IndieGames)
“I am literally brimming with excitement to divulge details on a new indie game coming to PC later this month. LITERALLY. Every now and again, an indie title will come straight out of the blue and knock my socks off. Except this time, it really shouldn’t have been that big of a surprise – I mean, it’s got Blue right there in the title.”