It’s the little surprises that make indie gaming so fun to write about, and I don’t think there are many things more surprising than 2008′s first-person arthouse spy adventure Gravity Bone getting a sequel. For those who haven’t played the original Gravity Bone, it’s probably a good idea that you rectify that right now. It was an experiment in first-person storytelling. A short spy story with a charmingly minimalist art style, fantastic music and some cleverly used cinematic techniques that don’t really get much use in videogames.
It also ran on a freeware, open-source variant of the Quake 2 engine. Recycling in action! It’s been a long time since Gravity Bone was released, and a sequel just seemed improbable now that Blendo Games have moved on to more commercial outings. Even more improbable is that the Idle Thumbs podcast (recently revived via Kickstarter) would offer to fund a Gravity Bone sequel as a stretch goal. But they did, and here we are. Here’s the trailer:
Thirty Flights of Loving is yet another piece of first-person, experimental arthouse gaming with a sense of humour befitting a Blendo production. A short story (maybe a quarter-hour long) about the events surrounding a grand heist, it’s difficult to say whether it’s worth the $5 asking price but there’s been no shortage of praise for it so far. Those who backed the Idle Thumbs kickstarter to the tune of $30 or more should have received their invitation back to the exotic the intriguing Neuvos Aires, but the rest of you can grab the sequel either direct via the official site or Steam.
Thirty Flights Of Loving is currently for Windows PCs only, and the combination blocky-headed characters and a Quake 2-derived engine should ensure that it runs on just about anything faster than a pocket calculator.
In the midst of John being knee deep in sharing what he saw at this year’s E3 Indiecade Showcase, a ghost from Indiecade past makes its official launch. Last year’s Game Documentary Winner The Cat and the Coup has been released for PC and Mac, and is available now for anyone interested as a free download. For the record, you ought to be interested.
I had a chance to play TCatC at last year’s event in Culver City, and was blown away by the research, artistic design, and overall gameplay experience delivered. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to see if this release contains anything beyond what I saw back in October of last year, but if the experience is the same you’ll be reading Wikipedia articles about the history for just as long as you play the game itself — given the fascinating true events the title revolves around.
The PC version is up on Steam, while the Mac installer (as well as the PC) can be downloaded via the developer itself.
Raitendo’s flash games are known for controversy and commentary. Most recently with his“10 Second Trilogy” he’s turned the mirror on game development itself by pointing out the absurd nature of some of the things indie games are praised for. And what better angle for commentary than from a developer themselves.
IndieCade is no longer far off into the future. On October 8-10, press and public alike (including us at DIYGamer) will have the opportunity to access the most cutting-edge gaming experiences. Taking a look at the IndieCade finalists is enough to reassure us of how fresh these concepts truly are — we’ve got board games, interactive narratives, platformers, and all sorts of other goodies to see at the festival taking place in Culver City.
After playing Paolo Pedercini‘s Every Day the Same Dream, I’m left with numerous interpretations in my mind. I can share these interpretations, but I don’t think they’ll resonate quite the same way with you as they would if you played it on your own. Molleindustria‘s existential game features artwork done in monochrome, with sounds to accompany the mood. You’ll play as a nameless man who awakes each morning to follow his daily routine. The narrative is a common theme — one that focuses on the alienation of white collar workers in the labor force — but I almost guarantee the gameplay will speak to you beyond this level of analysis.
I can’t say too much about the actual game without spoiling it, but I will praise it for the ability to make me think. Perhaps that was Molleindustria’s goal all along and, if so, then they should rest comfortably knowing they have achieved that goal. The artwork is fantastic and gloomy, unlike much of what else you see on the market today.
So, without further ado, here’s your opportunity to play Every Day the Same Dream. And once you’re done with it, do us a favor and tell us what you think of it. How did the game resonate with you? Did you “get” it? Do you even feel like there was something to “get”?
If you’re a stranger to the indie gaming community, then Tale of Tales–comprised of leads Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn–is a developer worth knowing. If you’re not a stranger, then chances are you know exactly who Tale of Tales is and just how obscure their titles can be (flash back to October 2009 with Geoff announcing Fatale). After releasing an iPhone/iPod Touch exclusive title in Vanitas, Tale of Tales has now released The Graveyard–two years after its original release on PC and Mac OSX.
The Graveyard is a short game in which players take control of an elderly woman walking through a cemetery. Yup, that’s about all the game entails but obviously there is a lot more to uncover in the actual experience.
“The Graveyard offers a player the opportunity to imagine themselves in a certain situation. It’s not a game in the sense that there is a way to win or lose or a puzzle to solve, or even a story to uncover. But the interaction does immerse you in a virtual world filled with narrative, an equally powerful feature of the medium of videogames. The iPhone version of The Graveyard is the same as the PC version. Only a few elements have been removed or simplified to allow it to run on the iPhone hardware. But the fact that you hold the game in your hand and touch it with your finger, adds to the sensation of fragility and preciousness.”
- creators Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn
The Graveyard is available on the App Store for $1.99. As with the PC/Mac versions, there are both a lite and full version available. According to the developer, the only feature that the full version adds is the possibility of death. For a gameplay video on PC, check out the following.
Paolo Pedercini put together Every Day the Same Dream for the Experimental Gameplay Project‘s Art Game theme. You play an office drone going to work. Or not going to work. Or going to work without a tie. Like a cynical version of Passage, Every Day the Same Dream packs a lot of emotional weight into a short package.
It’s easy to say the game is about suburban alienation — which is probably because that’s what Pedercini, who founded molleindustria, says that the game is about — but I think there’s more to it than that. It’s about finding meaning in life, even when much of your time is taken up with the same thing day after day. Of course, this makes it a pretty good entry for Art Game, because people can read different things into it.
Pedercini also made music for the game but apparently didn’t like it, because the music included in the final game is by Jesse Stiles. I don’t know who that is, but it fits pretty well. Play it here.