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

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Syder Arcade Update Adds New Content Plus Linux Support

A new update for the arcade-style shoot ‘em up Syder Arcade is now live, bringing with it a number of notable features. Included in the game’s first major update is a new playable starship, as..

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Syder Arcade Update Adds New Content Plus Linux Support


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Let Your Divine Will Be Done As Dominions 4 Launches On Steam

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The latest game in the 15-year-old Dominions franchise released this month on Steam. Titled Dominions 4: Thrones of Ascension, this latest installment ups the fantasy strategy experience to a new level with a variety of new features. Broken into three distinct time periods, or “Eras”, players will have access to distinct nations across the Early, Middle, and Late Ages. Some nations are only accessible during certain ages, whereas other nations exist across all three. Those that do exist throughout all Eras of time will include noticeably different units and abilities, however.

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Feature-wise, Dominions 4 includes a new cooperative mode known as Disciples Mode where players take control of mini-god disciples and work together to ascend their chosen pretender to God status. Another new addition to the series comes in the form of the Thrones of Ascension, for which the game takes its subtitle. Conquering the Thrones of Ascension is a new win condition that also provides stat benefits and ability boosts to controlled units at the start of a match until it is taken by an opposing player. It also adds a new objective-based strategy that can hasten play sessions for those looking for a quick fix. Dominions 4 developer Illwinter also states that veterans of the series will notice a lot of UI and streamlining improvements. The game is already available for Mac, PC, and Linux, and can be purchased through Steam or Desura. Additional information can be found on the Illwinter website.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Let Your Divine Will Be Done As Dominions 4 Launches On Steam


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Pixel Piracy Gets The Greenlight

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Just days after openly inviting gamers to pirate their copies of Pixel Piracy, the 2D pirate rogue-like developed by Vitali Kirpu is now Greenlit on Steam. Yesterday, the team noted they jumped from being in the top 92% straight into the top 100, and today they’re signing the necessary digital paperwork to sign up as a new Steamworks Partner.

In Pixel Piracy, players take control of a pirate crew and set sail across the open sea navigating through procedurally generated events; encountering ruthless rogues all while trying to enlist new recruits, upgrade their ship, and keep their crew in line. There’s treasure to plunder and other ships to combat, but such is the life of a pirate. Pixel Piracy is currently in alpha and can be purchased through Desura, currently for 20% off. For more information, check out their IndieDB page.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Pixel Piracy Gets The Greenlight


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‘Teslagrad’ Demo Released, Speed-Run Competition Underway

teslagrad

Earlier today, Rain Games released a demo for their upcoming platformer, Teslagrad. The demo is the first opportunity the general public has had to try out the game. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, the Teslagrad demo samples the beginning portion of the game as well as a boss fight. Rain Games also teases that the demo contains some clues that reveal the lore of the game’s universe. Players anxious to get their hands on Teslagrad can do so through Desura, whether as a direct download, or through the Desura client.

In conjunction with the release of the demo, Rain Games has initiated a speed run competition involving the Teslagrad demo.

“Do you think you can beat the demo with a time that will shock and amaze us?” Rain Games asks on the official Teslagrad website. “We think you can! And if you get the best time, you get to not only bask in the glory of your accomplishment, you can also also win a unique, lovingly awesome CD with Teslagrad’s Soundtrack by Jørn Lavoll.”

Rain Games goes on to explain that to be considered for the prize, players must complete the demo and find the nine hidden secrets “within a decent time” between today and September 19th. To further challenge players, they must beat the demo in one consecutive playthrough. For all the rules of the competition, check out the announcement post on the Teslagrad website. Uploading videos of the speed run to YouTube is encouraged by Rain Games.

Look for Teslagrad on the PC, Wii U, and PlayStation 3, later this fall.

Follow the game on Twitter.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Teslagrad’ Demo Released, Speed-Run Competition Underway


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Audio Input – ‘Super Amazing Wagon Adventure’ Developer Talks About Rookie Sound Design

SAWA Title

Originally released on Xbox Live Indie Games and now ported to PC through Desura, Super Amazing Wagon Adventure is more than just an Oregon Trail parody. The game takes you through different environments on your journey across the country, forcing you to face randomly generated enemies and challenges with only a few friends and a pistol. The developer, Sparsevector, is a one-man team, with Wagon Adventure as his first project.

One of the most addicting parts of the game was the soundtrack. It’s not too long, but it really blends with each area nicely and keeps the game energetic and fun. I had a chance to talk to Sparsevector about the soundtrack and delving into the world of sound design as a rookie game developer.

SAWA Screenie 1

IGM: Can you talk a bit about the development of Super Amazing Wagon Adventure?

Sparsevector: Super Amazing Wagon Adventure was my first game and an attempt to make something small and simple to test the waters of indie game development.  It took about 7 months to create the initial Xbox Indie Games release with another couple of months for the PC version, and for most of that time I was a full time graduate student during the day.  The response to the game has completely blown me away and given me the confidence to attempt full time indie game development as a career.

IGM: How did you go about composing the soundtrack?

Sparsevector: The soundtrack for the game was made by me entirely in Reason.  I’m not very proficient with any real instruments and the apartment I was living in at the time also didn’t have space for my MIDI controllers, so the soundtrack was made just clicking in notes and turning virtual knobs, a style of music making I’ve gotten used to over the years.

SAWA Screenie 2

IGM: This is your first game, did you have any experience in sound development previous to this?

Sparsevector: I don’t have any professional training or experience with music or audio, but playing with music software has been an off and on hobby for a very long time.  I’ve had a lot of different music side projects over the years, but by far more people have heard my music through this game than through anything else.

IGM: What were some of the difficulties you faced designing the audio for the game?

Sparsevector: In the beginning I wanted the game to be almost like a music video with the music changing with each scene change and all of the sound effects mixing seamlessly with the music.  I very quickly discovered that making dozens of little music snippets and syncing them to the gameplay was way too much work for a project this size.  A couple of little things carried over from that false start, however: the sound effects are tuned to match the key (A Minor / C Major) that all the music is in and for certain sections of the game the pistol shoots at a musically relevant time interval.  I also struggled a lot trying to find a style for the music.  Luckily everything came together quickly just as I was starting to run out of time.

SAWA Screenie 3

IGM: Are there any chiptune artists you took inspiration from?

Sparsevector: I don’t actually listen to much chiptune music specifically, but I do like a lot of electronic music in general.  Some of those influences for this soundtrack were Zomby and Sepalcure.  I was also trying to evoke a sort of 80s theme music sound.  The main theme song for the game was made after rewatching Back to the Future and trying to male something that evokes the same sort of feeling as that movie’s score.

IGM: What are you working on next?

Sparsevector: I’m now working on a new game called Go Plague Monkey! Go!  You control a monkey with a highly fatal disease let loose in a city.  The game shares the humor, pacing, and randomization of Super Amazing Wagon Adventure but is much less scripted in terms of gameplay.  I’m also making the music for this game but it has a more tense, less cheerful feel to it.  I’m hoping people that enjoyed Wagon Adventure will like this game too.


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‘Clean ‘Em Up’ A Fast Paced Colourful Computer Shooter

Released back in June of this year, Clean ‘Em Up is a fast paced, top down shooter for the PC, not unlike the variety of other arcade shooters currently available, but it has a setting that sets it apart from the competition. In Clean ‘Em Up, you get to experience the normally mundane battle between viruses and antivirus programs in an action packed, neon world.

The main goal of Clean ‘Em Up makes the game intriguing (and will resonate well with fans of Tron), putting you in the place of an antivirus program who needs to protect the computer it resides on, destroying viruses and saving files from decryption along the way. Its nostalgic arcade shooter gameplay style, paired with stylized, neon graphics and an interesting setting make this game worth spending at least a little time with, and when you take into account that this is the first commercial game from developer Omidos Entertainment (an indie dev from Egypt), it makes the experience all the more grand.

Fans of top down arcade shooters, or any form of highly polished games should definitely take a look at Clean ‘Em Up. Clean ‘Em Up is available for $3.99 from Desura, as well as part of the Neon-SHMUP bundle(with games Koya Rift and P3-Biotic). If you like Clean ‘Em Up, make sure to support the game’s page on Steam Greenlight. And make sure to follow the dev on Twitter (@Amidos2006) for future news about the game, or to check out the official website for details. More info about the developer can be found at their official website, or by following them on Twitter (@OmidosGames).

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Clean ‘Em Up’ A Fast Paced Colourful Computer Shooter


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‘Bunny Must Die! Chelsea And The 7 Devils’ Pre-Released In The Back To School Bundle

Indie Royale Splash

Saturday saw the launch of the new bundle from Indie Royale called “The Back To School Bundle”. The bundle runs from 15th of September until the 22nd of September and contains seven great titles which are as follows (click the names to find out more about the game):

The Back To School Bundle includes these seven quality games with the most impressive addition being the exclusive addition of Bunny Must Die! Chelsea And The 7 Devils (Bunny Must Die!) from Rockin Android. It is a great addition with Bunny Must Die! as it is officially coming out next month making this is a great opportunity to get the game early and largely for a steal of a price, especally when bundled with the other six stellar titles.


Bunny Must Die! is a 2D exploration-based platformer resembling a lot of the old styled platformers of days gone by  in a distinct Japanese styling. Bunny must brave the depths of the Devils’ Labyrinth and overcome the powerful 7 Devils, in this hilariously over the top action platformer.

Find many magical items such as the Sylph Shooter and the Hyper Heels to allow you to battle through the difficult large connected map filled with unique enemies, traps and puzzles in your quest to save Bunny from this hell.

Bunny must die Screen shot

The Back To School Bundle really seems to be a great steal covering seven awesome titles making this a must for any indie game enthusiast and gamer alike. The Back To School bundle can be purchased here from the Indie Royale site.

However if you are unlucky enough to miss the bundle Bunny Must Die! is released on Desura on October 2nd. Also if you are interested in Bunny and her crazy adventures but would rather have it on Steam vote for it on the Greenlight Community project. For all the latest news as it breaks be sure to check back to The Indie Game Magazine.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Bunny Must Die! Chelsea And The 7 Devils’ Pre-Released In The Back To School Bundle


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Highly Stylized FPS ‘Wrack’ Released Tomorrow

wrack SS01

I was somewhat surprised to find that for such a well polished and looking game Wrack has had little press in its coming release week, it is rather disappointing especially considering how good it looks. Wrack looks to be a great first person shooter done in a distinctly cell shaded style complete with jumping puzzles and boss battles.

Final Boss Entertainment say that Wrack fuses together two game types, by taking a lot of influence from Doom and Duke Nukem 3D along with with extremely hazardous levels from Contra and Castlevania to create this great unique title. To be honest it all sounds pretty good as combining the things that made these games great can only result in a winning formula surly. Don’t just take my word but view the video below and see for yourself:

The styling is Wrack reminds me a lot of the questionable release title XIII, however Wrack seems to offer much more in terms of unique gameplay which XIII did lack and the one thing I loved from that game was the cell shaded look. I am definitely looking forward to the release of this game tomorrow as from all that I have seen it looks great, although I have heard the number of levels is quite limited there is also a wealth of user created levels from the bundled level editor so I am sure the content is all there.

Wrack SS02

The final cherry on top of this is the music and sound have been composed by Bobby Prince who has worked on many awesome game projects in the past including the Doom series, Duke Nukem 3D and Wolfenstien 3D making the audio content top notch alongside the stunning visuals.

If Wrack appeals to you it is still available at the pre-order price which gives a very sizable discount on the game. Wrack is officially launched tomorrow on Desura . The website to check out all the latest from the guys over at Final Boss Entertainment can be found here.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Highly Stylized FPS ‘Wrack’ Released Tomorrow


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Hands-On Preview: ‘Aeon Command’

I’m not entirely sure what twisted pocket of space the Alliance, Exiles, and Cyborgs are currently fighting within Aeon Command but I’m almost entirely sure that it makes no sense. It’s a place where giant space battles between entire armadas are an everyday norm, except everyone is too gentlemanly to simply slip past their opponents and attack at their mineral line, only moving forward after they are sure they haven’t left any enemies behind them. It’s a war where if your ship is caught in a tractor beam, you aren’t brought into the enemy force and picked off like any sane military would do, but instead towed back to your enemies base and then shot by the mothership. Don’t even get me started on the fact that all three of the races only seem to be willing to fight head on at an equal distance from each other when they happen to be battling in space, a place where most starships should have 6 directions of motion to easily outmaneuver an enemy that is willing to stay static.

Enough of my RTS and logic inspired griping, Aeon Command is a tactical tug-of-war style strategy game developed by Bat Country Games. In each match you will control one of the three factions in a one-on-one battle where you will send waves of starships against your opponent in order to destroy the enemy mothership. Each race is given 6 ships along with 3 special powers, you need to learn how to use the different combinations of ships effectively to defeat your opponent. You start off with only the basic miner and fighter craft at the start of each match but are able to unlock and upgrade your vessels as the match goes on. These can be upgraded mid-match three times using your spare resources to increase their firepower and hull strength in order to better destroy your enemies. A persistent upgrade system is also in the game, after each match you are given a number of points to put into different upgrades for either a specific race or into general upgrades with either one of these is able to influence the outcome of a match.

There is a surprising amount of depth to a strategy game that only allows you a basic grasp of your units. The key to victory is not in micromanaging your units to keep the weak ones safe and to focus down the biggest threats at the time, but instead to properly recognize and identify unit compositions, when to unlock/upgrade your ships, and how to effectively counter your enemies. This is where the variety of ships comes in handy as each one fills a specific role for each race. Your main fighters form the backbone of your force, attacking single targets and soaking up fire. Your missile units form the bulk of your long range and anti-mothership damage. Each race has a defensive unit that somehow lessens or diverts damage away from a friendly unit as well as a multi-target ship that deals damage to multiple units in one shot.  Two of the races have a disruptor unit that can break up unit compositions or leave enemies helpless for your units, and finally every race has a cruiser that deals large amounts of splash damage and has high health. There is a counter for every ship that each race has and to win you need to use these counters effectively while not getting caught out yourself.

The campaigns do a good job of introducing players to the different mechanics of the game, you won’t be playing them for story but they do a good job of getting you settled in for the long haul. You begin with only the Alliance campaign unlocked and are slowly introduced into the different aspects of the game through each mission, every level either a new power or ship is given to you with the final battle of each campaign being a culmination of everything you have learned so far.

As you can see from a couple of screenshots, Aeon Command is quite visually impressive. The background is nicely detailed with a varied color scheme for most of the levels that doesn’t detract from the art style of the game. The ships themselves are not overly detailed but are easily distinguished from each other through their very different shapes and styles. I’m also rather fond of the outline that every item in the foreground has that easily distinguishes it from the background and who the unit belongs to, red for the enemies, blue for yours, and purple for minerals. All in all the art style works well together and ensures that the player never loses track of what’s going on. Unfortunately, this does not transfer over to the audio which is nothing better than background music which I turned off after the first hour of it repeating itself.

Another complaint is the lackluster view control currently in the game. Right now you are only able to scroll across the battlefield by clicking on the part of the map bar that you wish to view or grabbing the view piece on the map and physically dragging it. This doesn’t make sense when you have several other methods to move the view at hand such as using the arrow keys or the mouse, both of which would make the game much smoother.

This leads me nicely into the biggest problem I currently have with Aeon Command, it’s a PC game that feels like it was designed for the iOS and Android platforms. The tug-of-war style game lends itself well to touch screen gaming what with the lack of precision needed in its controls. The simplistic button layout and view control also point to an emphasis on handheld design which is a shame as this is a fun title with only a few problems holding it back at the moment. Still, this is the reason we have alphas of games, to find out what works and what doesn’t all to make the game the best it can be.

You can pick up the Alpha version of Aeon Command on Desura now for $4.88, guaranteeing you access to all coming updates and builds of the game as well as the final release version. Bat Country Games is also trying to get Aeon Command on to Steam via Greenlight so if you feel this is of Steam quality, give them a vote up.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Hands-On Preview: ‘Aeon Command’


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‘LogiGun’ Now Available Digitally

LogiGun is a highly addictive, 2D puzzle-platofrmer where you must use a wide array of guns to complete increasingly difficult, physics-based puzzles.  The game is now available on the digital game store, Desura, as well as the official LogiGun website.  If you can imagine Portal-esque graphics and settings, combined with the platforming difficulty of Super Meat Boy, then you have a good grasp on how fun (and in turn, infuriating) this game truly is.

You play as a girl named June who is climbing a tower, much to the dislike of an odd, female persona that provides dialogue to you between levels.  As you ascend this tower (which has 40 different levels), you continue to gather a variety of guns, each allowing you a new ability to help with your problem solving.  There isn’t just one or two guns though, there’s tons of them.  Each of them giving you a new way to bend physics or otherwise alter the environment around you.  Some of the guns I encountered included one that created small platforms, one that acted as a grappling hook (both pulling objects towards me, and pulling me towards objects), a flamethrower, and a few more.

Alfred Lam’s LogiGun is a fun, but remorseless, puzzle-platformer that you won’t want to put down (but might have to when your blood pressure skyrockets).  Its clean, futuristic graphics and easy to use controls make this game a must for indie puzzle game lovers.

LogiGun is now available through Desura or from its official website.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘LogiGun’ Now Available Digitally