Today I take a look at the game that managed to make it to number 4 in the latest Ludum Dare contest. Today’s game is Time Shifter from Split82 which is a first person puzzle game that utilises a unique ability to manipulate the flow of time.
Time Shifter takes the aesthetic test chamber style that was popularly seen in Portal and throws the player back into the rats maze.
The main mechanic seen in Time Shifter is the ability for you to control the flow of a 10 second snip-it of time in each test chamber, with the ability to freeze certain tiles in their position. These dynamics makes for some very interesting puzzles that require a fair amount of thought to complete offering a rewarding and fun challenge.
Considering this was just made in a weekend the final game feels very well made and put together and offers a suitable challenge along with some very interesting mechanics.
Average play time – 30 minutes
Time Shifter utilises time to create puzzles that are unlike any seen in other puzzle games making the game quite the stand out title.
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Indie Speed Run, a 48-hour game jam featuring random themes and cash prizes, will have game developer celebrities on their judging panel this year. Teams of four are allowed to enter the competition (provided they pay the $25 entry fee) to get their game judged by industry professionals and possibly win cash prizes.
The $25 entry fee deters pranksters and keeps the themes random. As posted on their FAQ page, “…it helps us keep the ‘jokesters’ and spammers out. It also protects our process of assigning individuals a random theme and element, without allowing multiple re-registration ‘rerolls.’” After the competition, all games will be available on the website to play for free, and “a good portion” of the entry fee money will be donated to The Make-A-Wish Foundation.
All 14 judges included on the panel are listed below:
Peter Molyneux (Fable, Godus, Curiosity, Black & White)
Markus ‘Notch’ Persson (Minecraft)
Suda51 (No More Heroes, Killer7)
Ron Gilbert (Monkey Island, The Cave)
Brian Fargo (Fallout, Wasteland)
Kim Swift (Portal, Quantum Conundrum)
Dan Pinchbeck (Dear Ester, Amnesia)
Matthew Davis and Justin Ma (FTL)
Trent Oster (BioWare co-founder, Baldur’s Gate)
Brian Provinciano (Retro City Rampage)
Jason Rohrer (Castle Doctrine)
Ian Dallas (Unfinished Swan)
Andrew Spinks (Terraria)
Any team can enter by September 30th to be a part of the jam. The prizes are $2,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place, and $500 for third place. You can check out all the info you need to enter on their website, and follow the folks behind Indie Speed Run on Twitter.
It’s that time again, for everyone’s favourite 48-hour development compo to open its jaws once more and clamp them shut around the melange of minds that power the indie development community.
Right now, Ludum Dare 24 is gearing up to open its doors. August 24th is the date and currently anyone – yes, anyone – can submit an idea for a theme that the organisers might fancy pursuing. For LD23, back in April this year, ‘Tiny World’ came up trumps and from that we gained such mad beauties as BEEFWAR, the eye-straining It’s A Tab and the mesmerising Cruel Space. So many great ideas, so fully realised in the minimal time available.
So, what of this year’s entries? Well, I’ve already submitted my suggestions of ‘Fix It’, ‘Servile’ and ‘Don’t Go Outside’, themes which, if combined, could conjure the incredible and heartwarming adventures of a downtrodden, agrophobic mechanic. Sort of an anti-Mario. Quite fitting for a community which thrives on bucking the trends of commercial gaming, but somehow I think there are better, more serviceable suggestions out there. So why not have a go? Just head to the page, here, and let your imagination run wild.
And don’t forget that previous and past competition entries are still online and available to play on a whim. So, if you’ve an entire lifetime to spare and no other urges than to engage in people’s interactive mind-farts, head over to the official site for fun and frolics.
Stencyl seems to be the next big thing for amateur flash game development. A drag-and-drop, ‘klik n’ play’ style game creation package that allows designers with no programming knowledge at all put together playable games and export them as Flash or even iOS executables. It has already been used to create some pretty impressive things, such as Amon26′s Halloween hit Gyossait, but the biggest test of its power has come in the past few weeks.
Massive Flash portal site Newgrounds threw down the gauntlet with Stencyl Jam 2012. A $500 grand prize, several runner-up prizes of significant cash value, and all the Newgrounds fame and hits you can eat to the victors. Just make a game with Stencyl and submit it. Almost a hundred entries were completed by the cut-off date, and the voting is just coming to a close now. The winners will be announced soon, but for the time being, go check out the lineup. Even some of the lowest-rated entries are smoothed and polished experiences.
There’s some impressively complete games in there, and due to the fact that Stencyl uses fixed-size sprites rather than traditional Flash vector art, they’re much less of a strain on your CPU. It’s a pretty powerful package, all things considered, and the number of entrants to this competition suggests that it’s pretty easy to use as well. A good piece of advertising for what seems to be a great starting point for budding games designers without the knowledge and training to create their own engine from scratch.
Our little Indie Games Competition concluded this week and there’s a ton of free games to play and vote on over at Indie Games Day. For those of you who missed it, all of the entries had only 7 days (and in some cases only 48 hours) to make a game around the theme of this picture:
The website has a donation widget in the right to add to the winnings of the fan voting. Special thanks to Philly Game Jam for working with us to sync up on a theme.
The number of entrants for the Indie Showcase Award to be presented on July 12th at the Develop Conference in Brighton was doubled this year with the grand total coming in at over 60. Of those, the panel have selected 10 finalists which will be publicly playable during the event in anticipation of the People’s Choice award. For the first time, this year there will also be an Editor’s Choice award.
The awards aren’t the only allure though, the Indie Dev Marketing Sessions take place on July 11th and will cost attendees a whole £95. If you’re more interested in the delegated Indie Dev Day on July 12th which has panels and talks on other subjects relevant to indie game development, then you’re looking at a price of £60 for that one. You can register for either or both of those here.
Back to the finalists though, here’s the list, and what an interesting one it is:
This weekend marks the duration of the 48 hour game jam held in Philidelphia, more commonly referred to as the Philly Game Jam. Ten developer teams will be working furiously to create their jam games, and having fun all the while. There are some rewards to be handed out which fall under the following categories: Best Use of Theme, Most Innovative, Judges’ Choice and WTF?
What is the theme though? Well, the Philly Game Jam has partnered up with the International Indie Games Day so that the theme is the same as the one for both jams. It’s a picture, the one seen below in fact:
As the Philly Game Jam finishes on June 17th, so does the submission deadline for the games to be part of the Indie Games Day celebrations on June 25th. If you’ve made a game in seven days or less and want to submit it to be part of the celebrations then you need to sign up with the website and then you’ll be able to upload it via the FTP.
International Indie Games Day is intended to celebrate indie games – no more, no less. By submitting your game then it will be made available for people to play for free and may even win a prize during the event.
Edge Magazine has announced the winners of this year’s Edge Create Challenge, a contest in which indie developers were offered the chance to develop their own games via Unity’s game creation kit under the thematic subcategory of “edge.”
The overall gong went to Central Core Studios, whose fervent turn-based shuffleboard title Edge of the World impressed the judging panel, comprised of alumni from such established games studios as Media Molecule, Bungie, Sucker Punch and thatgamecompany, with its expertly-crafted style of gameplay and healthy layer of polish. Central Core will receive a full Unity Pro licence, a trip to the Amsterdam-based Unite 12 event in August and a lavish trophy to add a resounding exclamation point on a job well done.
The two runners-up, who will both receive a Unity Pro licence, came in the form of Framework, an action puzzler created by Quick Fingers, and Edge By Night, a fast-paced rooftop-running game apparently starring a cat, lovingly developed by Anthony Beyer and Alexandre Colchen.
For more information on both the judging criteria and official judging panel behind the Edge Create Challenge, have a look at Edge’s official results post.
Tiger Style has announced that they are working on porting Waking Mars over to PC, Mac and Linux. Huzzah!
We’re rather enjoying this steady drip feed of iOS titles coming over to PC – believe it or not, we don’t all have Apple products, either small or large. The ones that do sometimes dance around, boasting of a new amazing iOS title that they’re playing while we sit here with our mice and keyboards playing other wonderful things. So no, it doesn’t hurt too much. However, we will get all happy and perhaps even do a little “you can’t tease us any more” dance when such a port does happen.
This time it is Tiger Style’s slightly creepy adventure title which has you exploring alien plant life in the tombs of Mars, appropriately titled Waking Mars. To survive the game you’ll have to learn the various behaviors of this flora and manipulate it to your will, inbetween crawling, climibing and flying your way around the red caves.
In the announcement, Tiger Style said that the price for the game on PC will be $4.99 and gave some interesting reasons why:
“Launching at $4.99 also reinforces the idea that the game is serious and significant, and that it’s not “just a mobile game.””
It’s brainstorming time over at the Indie Games Day website. Do you have a great idea for a theme for the 7-Day Developer Challenge? Tweet your ideas by using the hashtag #indiegamesday and stay tuned to the website for your chance to vote on the theme that you think will inspire the best free games.