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

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Indie Intermission – ‘PaperCoaster’ Sometimes The Theory Is Different To The Reality

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Today’s pick of the web is a rather interesting roller-coaster designer that goes by the name of PaperCoaster. PaperCoaster was created by Elisée the whole idea is to create a roller-coaster which both scores you a good score whilst functioning.

PaperCoaster is a game of two halves as you must first draw the roller-coaster on the paper and then run it in real-time to ensure it works correctly. The drawing stage does take sometime to get use to, but after you get the hang of it the idea is rather straight forward.

The next stage where you must test the coaster is a little bit more difficult as you quickly begin to see flaws in your design as you try time and time again to get your coaster to the finish intact.

The concept is genius and brings about many very straightforward ideas which when put together make for a very fun game.

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Average play time – 15 minutes

PaperCoaster is of such a high standard that it’s hard to believe this was designed in just a weekend. It’s a game with a great deal of potential and with some added development I could see this taking prime position on mobile devices, as the controls are very simple I feel it would be suited well to touch devices.

Of course the mobile version would need more levels and the ability for users to create and share their maps with others. Be sure to download PaperCoaster now and see what you think.

If you are a developer with A fun indie game that can be played over a coffee break, we want to hear from you! Private message us on twitter @IndieGameMag or shoot us an email at editors@indiegamemag.com with the subject “Indie Intermission” and you could be our indie intermission pick of the day!

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Intermission – ‘PaperCoaster’ Sometimes The Theory Is Different To The Reality


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Indie Intermission Sunday Round Up: R.E.S.P.E.C.T

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This week I look through some more great Ludum Dare games trying to bring some of my favorite games into the lime light getting them the love they deserve. This weeks selection is pretty awesome with some geometric struggles and some colourful capers.

As always clicking the title will take you to my original article whilst clicking the image will take you to the game, enjoy.

Monday:  ’Minimalism’ A Geometric Nightmare

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Minimalism is a great little puzzle shooter in which you must morph your shape into that of the locks across the level to try to make it to the end. Of course it is not just about getting the correct shapes you must battle your way through this maze of unrelenting shapes to reach your goal.

Tuesday: ’My Mini Castle’ A Mini Slime Fighting Adventure

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My Mini Castle is a rather cute little game that has you commanding this solitary penguin to throw his potatoes at incoming slimes. It’s a very simple idea but executed fantastically with these great graphics and fun mechanics.

Wednesday: ’ProductionVille’ It’s All About The Planning

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For one reason or another I don’t get to feature many strategy games on here so I leapt at the option to feature Production Ville. In Production Ville you must setup a village that actually turns a profit. This is made all the more difficult by everything having an initial price along with an upkeep fee that can make you think twice before expanding to open a new mine.

Thursday: ’Mono’ Respect The Colors

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Mono is a somewhat unique physics based puzzler that has you taking control of this rogue circle as you try to navigate the unforgiving levels in front of you. Although Mono only has six levels each adds some new mechanics creating an ever-changing experience that is just a great deal of fun.

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 That about does it for this weeks round-up.  I hope you have enjoyed playing some – if not all – of the games I have selected for you this week. Have a fantastic Sunday and see you tomorrow for an all new Indie Intermission.

If you are a developer with A fun indie game that can be played over a coffee break, we want to hear from you! Private message us on twitter @IndieGameMag or shoot us an email at editors@indiegamemag.com with the subject “Indie Intermission” and you could be our indie intermission pick of the day!

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Intermission Sunday Round Up: R.E.S.P.E.C.T


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Indie Intermission – ‘My Mini Castle’ A Mini Slime Fighting Adventure

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Today’s game comes from the brilliant pool of games that have been developed for the Ludum Dare 26 competition. My Mini Castle has been developed by TijmenTio and is a great, cute little game.

In My Mini Castle you must fend off wave after wave of slimes with only a limited supply of potatoes. The whole aim of the game is to fire your potatoes correctly to hit the slimes as they come to try to take down your castle.

The most difficult thing about My Mini Castle is the aiming of the potatoes, as there is a slight delay from when you throw it and when it hits meaning you must learn to aim. Although the aiming starts out a little tricky you should quickly be able to pick it up and hit your mark.

My Mini Castle has a fantastic art style, a lot of humorous lines, and some great music all combining together to make one great little game.

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Average play time – 7 minutes

My Mini Castle really is quite the stand out game due to its great artwork and interesting gameplay mechanics. The concept is simple but it has been executed fantastically really making the game a whole load of fun.

My Mini Castle can be downloaded from the official Ludum Dare site. If you like the game be sure to vote for it on the Ludum Dare site.

If you are a developer with A fun indie game that can be played over a coffee break, we want to hear from you! Private message us on twitter @IndieGameMag or shoot us an email at editors@indiegamemag.com with the subject “Indie Intermission” and you could be our indie intermission pick of the day!

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Intermission – ‘My Mini Castle’ A Mini Slime Fighting Adventure


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Indie Links Round-Up: Beat The Spread

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An indie developer in defense of Microsoft, a spreadsheet RPG, and curious games – all this and more in today’s Indie Links.

The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile dev defends Microsoft (VG247)
“The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile developer Ska Studios has never had any problems working with Microsoft, contrary to ongoing talk of how indies struggle with the platform holder.”

Making an RPG in a Spreadsheet is Easier Than It Sounds, but Takes Longer Than You’d Think (Kotaku)
“Last fall, Cary Walkin was enrolled in business school at York University in Ontario, taking a course called “Advanced Spreadsheet Modeling.” He quickly realized the application could be used for more than just accounting.”

The fear and loathing of N++ (Polygon)
“Metanet’s creative director and co-founder, Mare Sheppard, announced at GDC that after much trepidation the Toronto-based independent developer has decided to develop the final game in the N series. Sheppard told Polygon that the decision to develop N++ was more of a “gradual realization,” than a “lightning strike.””

Dragon Fantasy Book 1 coming to PlayStation 3 and Vita April 16 (Polygon)
“Developer Muteki Corporation’s Book 1 of Dragon Fantasy — a game originally released for mobile devices, Windows PC and Mac — will come to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita on April 16, Sony announced today.”

Guacamelee review: more behind the mask (Shacknews)
“The ability to boil down a game’s premise to an elevator pitch can easily do it a disservice. Guacamelee has been called Metroid-vania with luchadors, a description Drinkbox hasn’t exactly shied away from. But that description, and its pun-y title, make the game seem more like a gag, and gags don’t have longevity by definition. They’re an object of fleeting fun, and the game is much more inventive and lasting than this glib explanation would suggest.”

BattleBlock Theater review: battles blocked (Shacknews)
“Following the release of Castle Crashers, The Behemoth was riding high as a stalwart of the 2D old guard. It had produced a beat-em-up that lovingly paid homage to its predecessors and injected it with a dose of Monty-Python-styled inanity. Nearly five years later, the studio has finally produced its follow-up, BattleBlock Theater. It leans less on its roots, and while greater ambition gets the better of it, it’s hard not to cheer on more of the developer’s spirit.”

Pippin Barr’s philosophy of developing ‘curious’ games (Joystiq)
“Pippin Barr’s doctoral thesis is titled Video Game Values: Play as Human-Computer Interaction, submitted in 2008 to the Victoria University of Wellington as the final stage of his degree, Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science. In the thesis, Barr highlights the act of playing a computer program rather than simply using one, with case studies in Civilization 3, Fable, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Half-Life 2, and The Sims 2.”

Retro Arcade Adventure Remade (Indie Gamer Chick)
“It’s been a little over a year since I reviewed Retro Arcade Adventure, a hack-and-slasher that was sort of like Smash TV for the dark ages. I didn’t really like the game. It was short, repetitive, and boring. You could see potential in the developer, but the experience was tedious. So I was skeptical when I saw that they had decided to remake the title instead of patching the original. Ballsy for sure, since the first wasn’t very good. It would be like burning a steak and trying to correct it by throwing it back on the grill for ten minutes.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Beat The Spread


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New Text-Based Adventure ‘Treasure Seekers of Lady Luck’ Out Now

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New text-based Treasure Seekers of Lady Luck arrives for all platforms today. In this interactive fiction game, players join the crew of the starship Lady Luck, and take on the role of a hyperspace pirate or a Galactic Police operative  working to stop their illegal activities. This is an interactive adventure novel by Christopher Brendel, using ChoiceScript to create interactions and reactions.  Players are presented with an event in the game narrative, and chose one of several text options to proceed.

Treasure Seekers of Lady Luck follows To The City In The Clouds, Heroes Rise: The Prodigy, Choice of the Star Captain, and many other popular Choice Of Games. In this game, as in Choice of Games’ previous titles, players are able to choose their protagonist’s gender, making an accessible and inclusive IF experience. Like all over-interactive fiction titles, Treasure Seekers of Lady Luck’s focus is on game narrative, but the game also uses traditional adventure game elements like exploring different areas,  collecting useful items (Translation for folks who didn’t grow up on Sierra games: That means stealing everything that is not nailed down.) and using one’s inventory to solve puzzles.  Christopher Brendel’s previous indie game releases include Lifestream and The Filmmaker.

Treasure Seekers of Lady Luck is available for iOS devices, Android, Kindle, and for Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can get Treasure Seekers of Lady Luck on the Choice of Games site, the App Store or Google Play.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – New Text-Based Adventure ‘Treasure Seekers of Lady Luck’ Out Now


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‘Guns Of Icarus Online’ Adventure Mode Aims To Expand The Games Series In A Persistent Online World


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Dev Links: Going To Town

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Today’s Dev Links discuss doing things a little differently, with touchscreen controls and cloud gaming.  Also, version control, which is something you’ll probably have to deal with no matter what platform you’re developing your game for.

Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 4 News and Screenshots – Battles, Monster Allies, and World Map (Zeboyd Games)
“Lots of fun news for you all today.  First up, we have the first set of battle screenshots for the game. You may recognize a few familiar faces.”

Let’s Talk About Touching: Making Great Touchscreen Controls (Gamasutra)
“I’ve been working on making mobile games as the founder of an independent studio called Action Button Entertainment. In order to make the best mobile games, I’ve been dissecting and researching every interesting game-control mechanic I can find, from Pong to Angry Birds. Here is what I’ve found.”

Democracy 3: Voter Type Income Design… (Cliffski.com)
“Sooo.. I found myself almost sleepwalking into adding a new feature to Democracy 3. I honestly can’t remember actually making the decision to include it, it just seemed to ‘happen’. In democracy 2, the model for income of voters is fairly basic. You can implement policies which affect different levels of income (luxury goods tax hits the rich, for example), and that would affect the membership of the poor, middle income and wealthy voter groups. So far so good.”

What Is Bionic Heart 2 ? (Computer Games)
“I realized that I always talked about Bionic Heart 2 like if everyone played the first game. By the way, if you haven’t, you should since I lowered its price to $9.99 and even if was one of my earlier games, the story is still one of the best I think. Anyway, for those who haven’t played it, I’ll introduce the game. Warning there are some small spoilers about some endings/characters of the first game, so be warned before you continue reading!”

The Video Game Kickstarter Report – Week of Feb 22 (Zeboyd Games)
“First up for this week, we have a new Adventure/RPG hybrid called Mage’s Initiation. Developed by the team responsible for the King’s Quest 1-3 & Quest for Glory 2 remakes, Mage’s Initiation looks to be heavily inspired by the Quest for Glory series. That means multiple character classes, traditional Sierra Online style puzzles, alternate routes of success, and RPG stats. They’re off to a strong start with $39k of their $65k goal raised with 28 days left to go.”

A Clarification About Our PS4 Exclusivity (The Witness)
“There has been worry and speculation on the internet about the PS4 exclusivity that we announced during the press conference, so here are some details to help answer those questions.”

Game Development: Version Control (Unknown Worlds)
“Games are complex systems. They mix 2d and 3d artwork, sounds, game logic and rendering engines. These systems are most often created by teams. The biggest games are often worked on by hundreds of people. All these people are making changes, adding pieces, and fixing problems. It is essential to keep track of all these actions in order to maintain the integrity of the whole. Such tracking is facilitated by systems referred to in game development as ‘version control.’”

Cloud Gaming Helps Indie Developers, Playcast Board Member Says (Polygon)
“Cloud gaming helps independent developers break into the living room through digital distribution , according to Gadi Tirosh, a member of the board of directors of Playcast. Tirosh believes that distributing console quality games through the cloud circumvents retail channels that have prevented smaller developers from penetrating the market. Services like Playcast are ‘removing the barriers to distribution to console games, which historically have been quite high,’ he said.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Going To Town


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Indie Links Round-Up: Dental Hygiene

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Today’s Indie Links recipe calls for several cups of platformers, with a heaping tablespoon of fighting games and a soupçon of other genres.

Road to the IGF: Richard Hofmeier’s Cart Life (Gamasutra)
“Richard Hofmeier’s Cart Life was originally released in May 2011, and for a good while it drifted along without all that much attention. This was a huge shame, because the retail simulation title is as brilliant as it is deep. You play as an entrepreneur who is looking to start a business, while also making sure other areas of his or her life are kept in order.”

Platformer From Hell And Little Acorns Deluxe (Indie Gamer Chick)
“Platformer from Hell comes from Hoosier Games, a group of academics from Indiana.  I know, I know.  Academics?  In Indiana?  I went ‘Hah!’ too, but upon further research, they do have institutes of higher learning there.  I’m not sure what is considered higher learning in Indiana.  ‘Cow Tipping 101′ or ‘Why you can’t pork your sister’ I would imagine are on the agenda.  I’m kidding of course.  Actually, I’m quite friendly with project manager Derrick Fuchs (I hope that’s pronounced the way I think it is) and I ranked their previous effort, Warp Shooter, on the Indie Gamer Chick Leaderboard.  It was flawed but functional and fun.  I applauded their efforts and looked forward to their next game.  Which is here.  And it sucks.  A lot.”

Play Nifflas’ Nordic Game Jam 2013 Winner Spaceship With A Mace And More For Free (IndieGames)
“The Nordic Game Jam 2013 concluded with, as of this writing, approximately 80 games completed at the reported 470-person event. Nifflas’ multiplayer game Spaceship with a Mace was crowned the Grand Prize winner of the event. Stikbold, another multiplayer only game, was crowned ‘most fun game.’”

Damn It, Owlboy, Why Aren’t You Out Yet (Kotaku)
“It’s been a long time coming. A long, long time, and still no release date in sight. But indie adventure/platformer Owlboy looks worth the wait. This video, released over the weekend, showcases both the music of composer Jonathan Geer and the game’s charming art style, which for want of something more descriptive reminds me of a Genesis version of Wind Waker.”

State of XBLIG Fighting Games (Independent Gaming)
“Fighting games have always been a staple of video games to some extent, whether big or small, but they’ve seemed to disappear in the last decade or so. Seemed to. They’ve started to experience a resurgence in the AAA market; probably with a bit of help from the indie market. Xbox Live indie games have a handful of good fighting games so, without further ado, here are some interesting/fun XBL indie games of the fighting genre, in no particular order.”

Review: Marvin’s Mittens  Rekindle The Joy Of Exploring A Winter Wonderland (Indie Game Reviewer)
“Though aesthetically, Marvin’s Mittens from Canadian developers Breakfall Games may appear to be geared towards a younger audience, there’s something on offer here that could be compelling for any audience, particularly those who fondly remember snow days from their childhood.”

The Soaring Successes, Surprise Endings And Abject Failures Of Crowd-Funded Video Games (Polygon)
“Kickstarter is no longer untested water for game financing. Since the website’s inauguration in April 2009, 3,843 projects have launched in its games category. But what happens to these projects after they leave Kickstarter, either through funding success or funding failure?”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Dental Hygiene


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Indie Intermission – “Candles” For Things That Go Bump In The Night

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Candles is a highly atmospheric horror game created by Lasse Westmark, Tobias Danbo and Nicolai Marcher  which follows very much along a similar basis as Amnesia. You arrive home one night only to find a note on your door informing you that your generator has gone out and your home is now full of demonic imps – just what you want when you get home from work.

You must then spend your night lighting candles around the house and figuring out how to restart the generator and remove this imp threat once and for all. The game really generates a great level of atmosphere from the creaking noises to the imps evil red eyes, the whole game has a great deal of theatre and drama about it.

Lasse Westmark has put a great deal of time and effort into Candles and it shows. From the clean and visually pleasing graphics to the creepy and eerie sounds a great deal of love has been put into the game and well, it is very good.

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Average play time – Less than an hour

Candles is a nice addition to the creepy defenceless style of horror we have seen grow over the past few years and adds something a little different to the genre. Although you can claim it is not very original the execution is great and although in a similar style to Amnesia the game plays out very differently indeed.

Be sure to check out and download Candles from Lasse Westmark’s site.

If you are a developer with A fun indie game that can be played over a coffee break, we want to hear from you! Private message us on twitter @IndieGameMag or shoot us an email at editors@indiegamemag.com with the subject “Indie Intermission” and you could be our indie intermission pick of the day!

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Intermission – “Candles” For Things That Go Bump In The Night


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Dev Links: When Pigs Fly

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Today’s Developer Links peek into the development of a puzzle game, an RPG, a party game, and… whatever you fancy calling SpyParty’s genre.

Practice Made Perfect: Super Hexagon (Mode 7)
“Super Hexagon is a brilliant game which is predicated on the relationship between persistence and mastery.  It also might just be a maze having a grand mal seizure.”

One Bug’s Story, Or, Assume It’s A Bug! (SpyParty Blog)
“This is the story of a bug in SpyParty.  This story has a happy ending, because the SpyParty beta testers are amazing, and they are constantly helping find bugs, of course, but they are also constantly helping me reproduce bugs, and narrow down the potential causes of bugs, and triage them, and are generally providing me with incredible support so I can make the game better.”

Driftmoon From A New Angle (Instant Kingdom)
“We’ve just released Driftmoon beta version 0.996! This is the first version featuring our new, tilted viewing angle that we mentioned earlier. It’s available right here. If you haven’t had a chance to try Driftmoon yet, or have patiently been waiting for us to add the angled camera feature, then now is the best time to start playing! And before you ask, yes, the full adventure is all there now, from start to finish.”

Ouya Game Jam Postmortem: Pig Eat Ball (Mommy’s Best Devlog)
“To help invigorate game development for the new console, a game jam was held for the  Android-based ‘Ouya‘ console. It was a bit of an unusual game jam in that it had no specific theme and had some troubles early on (there was a false start and the rules changed a bit along the way). Buuuut once it got going, it turned out pretty fun. And the event, hosted by KillScreen and named the ‘CREATE’ jam ended up being very successful with over 160 games made!”

Super Hexagon Now Available For Blackberry 10 (distractionware: devlog)
“Surprise! Super Hexagon is now available for the new Blackberry 10! This wasn’t originally something I had lined up – the opportunity to do it just sorta came along.”

Twine Bundle, February (Auntie Pixelante)
“here are some twine games i have enjoyed in the past while.”

Mew-Genics Teaser Week 16, The Ballad Of D. Claude! (Team Meat Blog)
“One of my personal faves on the soundtrack, The Ballad Of D. Claude, sheds light on the life of an alley cat from Boone County. The full track is available on Bandcamp free to check out (with lyrics!) and can be purchased for anything you’d like to pay :)

Vexing Puzzle Design (AltDevBlogADay)
“I enjoy a good puzzle.  At my core, I look for patterns in pretty much everything around me and I think we all do to some extent.  Looking for order in chaos is just something that we all do from the time we’re toddlers.  That’s when toddlers aren’t creating chaos, as I’m sure other new parents can attest to.  It’s no surprise that puzzle games are among the most popular games available for mobile devices.  A good puzzle game will keep us captivated for as long as we find it challenging.  I thought I’d take a moment and share my design process as a new game designer working on the puzzle mode for our imminent title, Vex Blocks.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: When Pigs Fly