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Dev Links: What Really Matters

Among_The_Sleep

Today’s Developer Links include articles on creating VR games, what to expect when publishing on PS4 and gaming tax credits.

When self-publishing on PlayStation 4, here’s what to expect (Gamasutra)
“Agostino Simonetta, senior account manager at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, has given some insight into how the self-publishing process on PlayStation 4 works.”

Creating Virtual Reality Games: The Fundamentals (Gamasutra)
“When I was on a field trip to London back in high school, I played my first virtual reality (VR) game: Zone Hunter. I was immediately hooked and I knew I wanted to work in VR! I started my VR career more than 12 years ago working on industrial VR training applications and VR software tools.”

How educational games are best played two-by-two (Polygon)
“There are good reasons to create video games for schools that are designed to be played by one person, with a second student collaborating, but not actually touching the controls.”

Child-like avatars cause players to perceive the world in new ways (Polygon)
“When adults are placed in the virtual body of a child, they identify more closely with child-like attributes, according to a recent study published in PNAS and reported on by BBC.”

Works In Progress (Terry Cavanagh)
“A little while ago on twitter, inspired by Andi McClure, I recorded some vine videos of some of my unfinished games. Here’s Vine 1, Vine 2, and Vine 3. It’s far from comprehensive, just a couple of random things I cared about and didn’t mind showing.”

Zeboyd Weekly Art! (7/17/13): CSH logo, and SMT IV Isabeau fan art! (Zeboyd)
“Hey everyone, Bill Stiernberg here. Have couple of things to share today! For starters, Shin Megami Tensei IV came out yesterday for the 3DS. To celebrate the release of an awesome game in an awesome series, I decided to produce some fan art of a main character, Isabeau.”

Gaming Tax Credits: A Developer’s Guide to Free Money (Games Industry)
“As TV infomercial star and Riddler-inspired fashionista Matthew Lesko would say, “The government is giving away FREE MONEY to game developers!” Or to put it less colorfully but more accurately, there are dozens of government programs in the United States and Canada offering tax credits and rebates for companies producing video games.”

Spark Cinematics of Natural Selection 2 (Unknown Worlds)
“Hello, this is Brian Cummings aka Chops from Unknown Worlds. This blog post is to talk about my experiences with the Spark Cinematic Editor. I started with the company in 2009 near the beginning of production for NS2. I was hired as an intern to help with scheduling and tracking the Art tasks for production. After a short while I started to see some other useful things I could do for the team. One of the tasks that came up was to create a more interesting cinematic for the next alien to be revealed… the Lerk. I volunteered to create the cinematic using our Spark Cinematic Editor and got started.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: What Really Matters


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Brian Fargo: Indie Life Is “More Personal”, Publisher Treatment Is “Abysmal”

Brian Fargo

Brain Fargo has spoke out about how publishers treat game developers, saying that in some cases it is “abysmal”. Now that he is pursuing the indie lifestyle he finds he can connect with fans and have fun again.

Since the Double Fine Kickstarter proved that companies could make a game fans and developers aline wanted and without the need for a publisher’s money, a steady line of breakout developers have joined in with what some are deeming an indie revolution…something like that anyway. One of those developers is Brian Fargo who started up inXile and launched a Kickstarter campaign for a sequel to an RPG he created back in the 80s, Wasteland. Fan response went through the roof once again and the project received the asked for funding in mere hours.

Fargo spoke to Ripten about the whole scenario which led to him shooting down the appalling conditions that some developers work in when under the scrutiny of publishers.

“There is more tension than you can believe,” he claims. “You would not believe the stories you hear about how developers are treated by publishers these days. It is abysmal.”

Fargo then went on to explain as to why developers experiencing such issues have not really discussed or even brought them up before in a public forum:

“Because they are afraid to talk, because they’ll never get another contract if they do. That’s why. You cannot believe…it’s awful. It’s really bad,” he said.

Of course, Fargo didn’t want to blanket term every publisher out there with such a dismal perception, but he wanted it to be known that there are many “horror stories” out there. Moving to lighter discussion, Fargo then turned to the radiant glory of indie development, which he and his colleagues are currently experiencing now that they are free from the shackles of publishers.

“Normally, when you’re working for a publisher, you’re trying to get your own vision across, of course. You’re also jumping through hoops to make some guy or group happy, and it’s not necessarily what the fans want. It’s what we have to do in order to get paid. There’s a bit of a disconnect. Now, I’m on the front lines, looking eye to eye with the fans and they’re telling me, ‘Brian this is what we want. You better deliver.’ I like the process better. It’s more personal and more intense.”

We’re not sure whether we should instruct all indie developers to join hands and sign Kumbayah or shove masks over their faces and break into the nearest publisher guarded development studio and set developers free. Maybe that’s a bit much, we’ll just go with a simple “Hooray” in the name of indie development.

Wasteland 2 is expected to release for PC around October 2013 and you can read the whole interview with Mr. Fargo over on Ripten.

Thanks GameSpot!


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‘Toki Tori 2′ Definitely Coming To Wii U, Potential Launch Title

Toki Tori 2

During GDC 2012, Two Tribes revealed that their plans to release Toki Tori 2 on to Nintendo’s new console will be met, whether it will be a launch title or not is still up in the air.

Toki Tori was orignally released on the Game Boy Color back in 2001, since then it was re-made to great success on WiiWare as a launch title, as well as iOS and PC. Two Tribes have been hard at work on the sequel to the puzzle platformer and they showed great enthusiasm a few weeks back to get it on to the Wii U. It seems their wish is Nintendo’s command.

During their talk about Toki Tori 2 at GDC last week, Collin van Ginkel, the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Two Tribes, said that “it will be on Wii U. Definitely. Yes.”

Then he changed face and worried that he wasn’t allowed to reveal that yet, what with all the secrecy Nintendo are practising with the Wii U. However, Martijn Reuvers, the Managing Director for Two Tribes assured Ginkel that is was find and added “we’re pretty sure that it’s going to happen really quickly after launch. Maybe at launch but we don’t know, depends on Nintendo plans.”

This indicates that the Wii U may be a viable place for indie developers to released their games on as a downloadable title, hopefully without the limitations that the current WiiWare has – though potentially controversial titles such as The Binding of Isaac quite obviously won’t have a place there. Two Tribes have already spoken of how they might use the Wii U’s hardware to provide a slightly different experience of Toki Tori 2 on other platforms:

“What could be very interesting, and what’s been requested countless times from the fans, is if we could incorporate a level editor utilizing the Wii U controller. This could mean that the game runs on the TV while you make adjustments to the level on the touchscreen in real time. We think that would work really well!”

More information on Toki Tori 2 can be found on the developer’s official website.

Thanks Nintendo World Report!


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BBC Launch 99 Coins, A Podcast About Indie Games


Whether you’re after a new milestone on indie gaming’s ascension into pop culture, or just 30 minutes of people nattering about Indie Games, the BBC’s new podcast has you covered. 99 Coins is a new podcast launched by BBC Worldwide, and it’s all about indie gaming.