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

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Dev Links: Bloody Murder

Wine and whine, Twine, and narrative design, in today’s Developer Links.

How To Get Your First 1000 Players (AltDevBlogADay)
“Last week, we wrote a well-received post on how to maximize your launch for iOS or Android, but it also prompted a lot of questions: What if your goal wasn’t a huge launch, but to test the concept? What if you’re trying to capture a hardcore niche? What do I do if I’m making a game for the browser? We wanted to address those questions with a similar, but tangential guide for developers launching or testing a new game.”

One Thing At A Time. Wine And Whine. (Cliffski.com)
“I was going to write a big tirade here about how the games industry is scarily too hit-driven, and I think there is a bit of a ‘people buying-what other people are buying’ thing going on, but it’s hard to put into words how I see that being bad without it sounding like I’m whining. People on the internet always hate anyone sounding like they are bemoaning their own lot, even when they actually aren’t. I remember all the abuse I got for asking people who had decided not to buy GSB why they had done so.”

No Good Deed – Narrative Design in Spec Ops: The Line (Gamasutra)
Narrative designer Richard Pearsey charts the narrative development of Spec Ops: The Line, explaining how the team set out to twist the knife of shooter narrative, from the pre-production process through the way the game was developed and, in the end, how the game’s conclusion is left open to interpretation.” 

Rewarding Kickstarter Donors With Copies Of Your Game Is Vital (IndieGames.com)
“In a recent survey about the crowdfunding platform conducted by sister site Gamasutra, 62 percent of more than 1,400 respondents said it’s essential for developers to offer copies of their games with their Kickstarter rewards. 23 percent also said it’s a very important factor they consider when evaluating whether to fund a project.”

What A Difference A Year Makes (The Witness)
“August 2010:… September 2011:… August 2012…”

Ballin On Twine (AuntiePixelante.com)
“in my book, published last march, i wrote about my excitement over twine as a game-making tool for authors with absolutely no coding experience. almost six months later, i’m astounded by how many new twine games there are, especially from women and queer authors, and especially from first-time game makers. twine has become fertile territory for marginalized voices to grow.”

If You Don’t Have Passion For Your Work, Why Bother? (Gamasutra)
“‘Devolver Digital started partly because our friends at Croteam wanted a partner for Serious Sam 3: BFE, and our team wanted to start a game label that still knew how to make the games industry fun for everyone,’ says Nigel Lowrie of Devolver in a Gamasutra interview. ‘One of the more unique elements in promoting Serious Sam 3: BFE was to tie the series back to its indie roots by working with top independent developers to make the three games in the Serious Sam Indie Series.’”

The Home Stretch (AltDevBlogADay)
“I swear I can see the finish line up ahead.  If you squint, you can just make it out.  It’s there, I assure you.  As we approach the launch of our second mobile title, Vex Blocks, I can’t help but get excited at the prospect of putting our finished product in front of people.  Now I know…I know – there’s still a never-ending amount of work to be done from testing to marketing, to more testing, continued marketing, then the tweaking followed by testing, then some testing…but my point is we’re nearing that final stage before our launch.  There’s light at the end of the tunnel and I swear the faintest scent of cinnamon buns.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Bloody Murder


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Dev Links: Hare Raising

Today’s Developer Links include an in-depth discussion of AI, plus articles on freelancing, startups, modeling water, and more.

Best Tips For Building A Freelance Career (Gamasutra)
“Freelance audio designer Harry Mack (Spiral Knights, Braid) takes a look at what goes into effectively building a lasting career as a contractor — work/life balance, working with clients, and taking criticism — and here offers a succinct guide that could apply to someone in any discipline.”

Golf Preview (Catapult for Hire)
“Care for a golfing excursion anyone?…”

Eufloria iPhone And Universal Build Out Now! (Eufloria Development News)
“The news iPhone and iPad 3 owners have been waiting for – not one but two new versions of Eufloria out today! Not only can you now play on your iPhone,  iPad 3 owners now get to experience Eufloria with Retina support! We’ve added many other features too, including the much requested in-session save so you don’t lose those long games when you take a break.”

Regarding Water (The Witness)
“I just checked in a few changes to the water shader. Note that this is still work in progress, there are some artifacts and unfinished features. From the art point of view, the main change is that there’s now a water_color_map and a water_flow_map that you can use to change the behavior of the shader.”

The Spector Of Game AI (AltDevBlogADay)
“Warren Spector recently gave an interview to Eurogamer that’s circulating pretty widely now about the need for better AI in games. Specifically what he’d like to see is people like John Carmack and Tim Sweeney stop focusing on graphics and start working on creating believable characters and immersive worlds. Of course, I’ve got some issues with this.”

Why I Hate Startup-Mania (Cliffski.com)
“I read a lot about ‘startups’, and see the term used everywhere. it’s especially common for tech or internet companies, where people seem to use ‘startup’ as an interchangeable term for company. The obsession with startups implies that new, young, unproven businesses are where all the value is. The accepted business model seems to be that a business is a ‘startup’ for a year or so, then gets acquired Entrepreneurs often talk about their ‘exit strategy’. I’m very old fashioned in this respect because I believe that your exit strategy should be retirement. In other words, you should build your business to last. Your five or ten year plan should envisage your business still existing. Maybe bigger, maybe much bigger, but not bought out by some megacorp.”

The New SpyParty Character Art Style (SpyParty Blog)
“I am incredibly excited to introduce the new SpyParty character art style! I am also incredibly excited to introduce the new SpyParty character artist, John Cimino!”

PAX Prime 2012 Prep (The Behemoth Development Blog)
“Things are packed. We’re ready to go. We’ll be seeing all the PAX Prime attendees in less than a week and we’re excited to be showcasing BattleBlock Theater and Castle Crashers Steam edition at our booth #3003!”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Hare Raising


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Dev Links: Knights At The Gate

Today’s Developer Links have some information about several developers’ approach to conventions.  Plus, launches, betas, and putting several games in one.

Maximizing Your Launch On iOS And Android (AltDevBlogADay)
“Good launches don’t happen by accident. They are the result of rigorous planning, equal parts marketing, PR, and engineering. Bugs and other issues will kill an otherwise good launch, but so will not understanding your market. iOS and Android are very different in how they handle discovery. And that’s the goal of launch: getting your game into a position where it can be discovered by millions. We’ve gathered tips and tricks regarding launch on each platform from many sources, including knowledge from members of the Stanford GSB: Video Games mailing list, to help you make your next launch a success.”

Castle Crashers In Minecraft Skins Pack 2 (The Behemoth Development Blog)
“Minecraft and Castle Crashers. Castle Crashers and Minecraft. Either way it sounds good together doesn’t it? Being fans of pixel based mining and creation, we were honored when we were asked us to participate in a skin pack for their Xbox 360 edition of Minecraft.”

What Is Chasing Aurora? (Broken Rules)
“What is Chasing Aurora? An action-packed single player game? A moody multi-player game? The simple answer is: Chasing Aurora is a series of games. We originally devised it as a series of three games. We’re working on two of these at the moment. One is a multi-player game that is best played together with friends in front of a TV screen. This is the game we’re going to bring to the Wii U first because it is tailored to home consoles. There’s also a vast single player game that we’re working on.”

Even Up The Odds (Mommy’s Best Devlog)
Shoot 1UP on Windows Phone 7 is out now! It’s got exclusive content like strange, new enemies, a new ship, a new game mode, Achievements, friends Leaderboards, and free ringtones! Get it here: marketplace link

That Yoda Quote About Opening Betas And The PAX West 2012 Guest Indie (SpyParty Blog)
“My plan seemed like a good one at the time I made it:  get the lobby server backend scalable, use the remaining12595 uninvited people1 to test that scalability, and then open up the beta, all before PAX West 2012.  Then, when people played SpyParty at little old booth #3002, instead of telling them they had to sign up to get in line, I could just tell them to go home and start playing immediately! Alas, it turns out I ended up more on the try side of Yoda’s quote than the do side of the quote.  I still think it’s a good plan, I’ll just have search-and-replace “PAX West 2012″ with some other upcoming event2  in the Official Plan Documents™. 3

AVSEQ Is On Steam, Right Now (Big Robot)
“…And that’s the new trailer.”

Q-002: What’s one article or book you found particularly influential…? (#AltDevBlogADay)
“What’s one article or book you found particularly influential and have gone back to multiple times to review?”

The Perfect Strategy: Interview With Mads Johansen (Spaces of Play)
“I’m a danish Software Engineer and I currently reside in Copenhagen, where I’m doing a Master of Science in Games. I love playing games of all sorts, and I especially love playing challenging games. My favorite beverage I would have to say is water, I like my H2O just as much as the next Waterboy. My current world rank in Spirits is 3rd with my iPhone 4. I was rank one for a long time, but after the new iPad turned up, a rival has shown up, unfortunately I haven’t had the time to fight back yet. On the desktop version I’m ranked 13th with my speed run (2 hours and 30 minutes) from the launch day of Spirits for Mac.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Knights At The Gate


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Dev Links: Banner Day

What’s so hard about game development, anyway?  One of the articles in today’s Developer Links addresses just that.  But don’t worry; some of the other articles give some advice to make it a little easier, including a tool you can use to promote your games, some tips if you plan to enter Ludum Dare, and how to grow a local games industry.

The Trial Of The Game Developer (AltDevBlogADay)
“This little rant was mostly to have something to point people towards who don’t appreciate what it takes to make a game. For the people who are happy to whinge about the way a box falls off a shelf rather than just smile and enjoy the game.  Making games is hard.”

Ludum Dare: 10 Tips And Tricks (Reddit)
“I’ve ‘won’ two Ludum Dares (Ludum Dare 15 with ‘Beacon’ and Ludum Dare 21 with ‘Flee Buster’), as well as Global Game Jam twice, and my games were quite completed and polished both times, so I’ll drop some advice!”

Indie Tools: Promoter (IndieGames.com)
“Let’s say that for some peculiar reason (probably because you enjoy eating and sleeping on beds) you want to actually sell your games. Or, at the very least, spread the word about them and be recognized as a true artist or a pop idol. Well, there are more than a few things you can do, including heavily advertising, releasing demos and even shooting us an email, but you will in most cases also need the help of Promoter.”

Help Microsoft Fix The XBLIG Forums (Mommy’s Best Devlog)
“About a week ago, Microsoft split the XBLIG and WP7 site back into two sites. One for Xbox LIVE Indie Games and one for Windows Phone 7 development. This is nice… actually it’s more funny than anything as originally the XBLIG had it’s own site.. but anyway.  After that change it turns out that doing a search for information on the forums does not work. Let that sink in. Search is broken.

Sister’s Little Helper (Auntie Pixelante)
“games, as a form ordered by rules and performed by their audience, have a unique capacity to use repetition as a form of characterization. sister’s little helper (direct download link) was designed for a game-making pageant about “rituals.” there is a ritual at the center of this game, not some videogame ritual like “put the bird statue on the worm placard” but the kind of real ritual that actually has a place in our lives.”

Gamescom The Aftermath.. (Hello Games)
“Hello everyone!  We all survived Gamescom, and it was AWESOME. Here are some things we liked about Gamescom:”

Want To Be Surrounded By A Thriving Local Games Industry?  Grow Yours (Gamasutra)
“This is how an optimistic girl on a teacher’s salary helped grow her local industry from a handful of development studios to nearly 30 making and releasing games. In two years, the Sydney Chapter of the IGDA grew from 300-something to a membership of nearly 1000 — and all this cost less to pull off than an overseas trip to GDC.”

Island Snapshot… (The Witness)
“… from a different angle than usual.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Banner Day


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Dev Links: Celestial Cephalopod

In today’s Developer Links, some tips on story-directed game design from one of the developers of Amnesia.  Plus, how to profile your game, how to get a job as an animator, and more.

Dinosaurs With Lasers? Sure, As Long As It Makes Sense (Gamasutra)
“Storyline and fiction are perhaps not elements you’d associate with the flurry of titles from indie studio Vlambeer. Yet developer duo Jan Willem Nijman and Rami Ismail take the underlying fiction in their games very seriously, whether the players actually notice it or not. During a GDC Europe talk titled ‘Sensible Nonsense,’ Nijman and Ismail discussed how building up a backstory and fictional world for your games is incredibly important to them, as these decisions then give structure to certain settings and gameplay elements injected into each title.”

The Self, Presence, And Storytelling (In The Games Of Madness)
“At GDC last week I gave a talk called “The Self, Presence and StoryTelling”. There will be a version of it up on the GDC Vault in 2 – 3 weeks I think and hopefully it will be free like last years’ talk. Before that comes up I will put up a pdf version of the talk containing a bit more information (something I promised at the end of my talk). You can get hold of that here:”

Help Theme 2012′s MOTY/IOTY (Indie DB)
“Modders and Indie Developers the Mod of the Year and Indie of the Year are almost upon us! Last years event if you did not know had a theme created by our of our community member and Indie Game Dev Genel Jumalon, we wish to make it a tradition!”

The Trick To Persuading Yourself To Re-Invest In Your Business (Cliffski.com)
“Ok, here’s something I’ve mulled over for a while. I read a lot of business books, and websites, and am interested in everything from the very early movie entrepreneurs (talk about goldrush…) right up to the silicon valley startup mania. One thing that often sticks out to me is the incredible speed with which a lot of the big companies accelerate at the start. They can go from 1 employee to a hundred in a year. That sort of growth is just baffling to a tiny little operation like positech…”

Lostcast Episode 22: HTMLd5 (Lost Decade Games)
Lostcast is our podcast about HTML5 games. In episode 22, we talk about all kinds of goings-on in the HTML5 games space, including the Dragons Gameboard kickstarter, and the tools used to make HTML5 games. Don’t forget to comment if you want Geoff to blog more!”

How To Get A Job As An Animator In Games… (AltDevBlogADay)
“The competition for jobs in the gaming industry is getting increasingly fierce (many companies receiving 100′s of applicants for a single position), yet many applicants consistently make the same mistakes which hurt their chances of landing the gig. I’m going to cover some of the more common mistakes I come across, as well as provide some insight into what I (and most others) look for when reviewing an applicant.”

Using Chrome://tracing To View Your Inline Profiling Data (AltDevBlogADay)
“Ahh performance —  that three syllable word that accounts for the headache-causing and most often avoided part of the game development cycle. Once in a development blue moon your manager will ramble into your office in a deep sweat, shouting about performance and expect you to do something about it. Eventually you’ll search the Internet to find ways to uncover the hotspots in your code. You’ll also learn some important information to consider when deciding what kind of profiling to use in order to discover where your code is spending its time.”

Your Favorite Octopus In Your Favorite Reverse Rhythm Game, Retro/Grade (Octodad Blog)
“We were lucky in that 24 Caret Games allowed us to put Octodad in as an unlockable character for all of you guys to play around with. (We particularly like him with the combination of Big Head Mode, and are honored to have him be part of the game.) Retro/Grade was released today and everyone with a PS3 should go buy it from the PSN as it’s an experience you can’t get anywhere else!”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Celestial Cephalopod


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Dev Links: Under Glass

Given that today’s Developer Links cover happenings in the game development scene in Vancouver and Toronto, you could maybe call it the Canadian edition.  But don’t, because there are articles about plenty of other things too, like cleaning up code and pitching games to Sony.

Jamming And Experimenting For Kids With Project Overboard (Gamasutra)
“Game jams usually bring together small impromptu teams for a light and frenzied development experience in a short period of time. But what would happen if you tried to jam with a 38-person team? In Toronto, this experiment has been a success, resulting in an adventure game called Head of the Gorgon that’s already begun to benefit kids.”

How To Pitch Your Indie Game To Sony (Joystiq)
“Sony XDev director of product development, told an audience of developers at GDC Europe last week. Smith handles all of the European studios looking to snag a publishing deal on Sony systems, and he helped games such as Heavy Rain and the Motorstorm series race into the public eye. Smith knows what he wants in a pitch, but just as importantly, he knows precisely what he doesn’t want. He gave an overview of his approach to independent pitches, and then broke down a quick and dirty list of ‘do’s’ and ‘do not’s.’ Read through Smith’s pet peeves and praises below.”

Cleaning Bad Code (AltDevBlogADay)
“Bad code doesn’t have to be a problem, as long as it’s not misbehaving, and nobody pokes their bloody nose in it. Unfortunately, that state of ignorant bliss rarely lasts. A bug will be discovered. A feature requested. A new platform released. Now you have to dig into that horrible mess and try to clean it up. This article offers some humble advice for that unfortunate situation.”

Cook, Serve, Delicious! New Screens, Release Date Update (Vertigo Gaming)
“Cook, Serve, Delicious is progressin’ nicely, and I have some more fancy new screens to show as well as a release date update!”

What’s Really Going Down In Vancouver? (Gamasutra)
“It’s been a devastating summer for the game industry in Vancouver, as major publishers closed studios there: Activision gutted Prototype developer Radical Entertainment, while Max Payne 3studio Rockstar Vancouver up and relocated to an expanded facility near Toronto. That’s far from the extent of it: Ubisoft also closed its Vancouver office, while CapcomSlant Six andRelic saw layoffs. This city, once such an active game development hub, is seeing massive challenges, and the threat of a talent drain to currently-thriving Montreal and Toronto, where attractive tax incentives are helping compound Vancouver’s challenges.”

Ruin Diver 3 (Auntie Pixelante)
megazeux was developed (by a trans woman – holla!) as a sort of more advanced version of zzt. zzt’s limitations, i think, are what defines a lot of its scope and success; by allowing creators to overcome those limitations by non-trivial but nevertheless accessible means, creators are encouraged to show off, and most megazeux games seem really demosceney to me – interested in technical show-off-ness above interesting play.”

Fashion Photography Inspired By The Path (Tale of Tales Tumblr)
“I got the latest issue of W magazine in the mail today, and this editorial (photographed by legendary fashion photographer, Steven Meisel) immediately caught my eye:…”

Update 0.902 (Instant Kingdom)
“Here’s a small update while we wait for the final release. These are mainly fixes and improvements for our industrious modders, like the ability to refer to an object’s variable by it’s name or id number in scripts or in any texts. We’re hard at work with the rest of the adventure, we have already written all the dialogue (which took a lot of time because there are multiple endings), and we’re now creating the actual levels. We’ll tell you more when we’re closer.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Under Glass


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Dev Links: No Tomorrow

In today’s Developer Links, developers discuss games including  Bientôt l’été; Rage of Bahamut; Sir, You Are Being Hunted, and Towns.  Plus, effective development of co-op games, and some arguments against indie development—and why not to listen to them.

Effective Co-Op Design (Gamasutra)
“What does it take to really implement meaningful co-op in your game? A Virus Named Tom developer Tim Keenan delves into the thorny issue — discussing the challenges and triumphs of building in the mode for his indie game.”

Why Friends Try To Stop You Being Independent (Cliffski.com)
“I notice people doing this a fair bit, to people who are considering quitting their job, or starting up as an indie developer. My experience is obviously from indie game development, but the same applies to almost any ‘going indie’ career, even if it’s opening a corner shop. Why do they try and stop this? and do they have a point?”

Good Morning Gato # 94 – Mine, All Mine! (Ska Studios)
“It’s temporarily sad, but true. We’re reorganizing how we do merch so for the time being, you will not be able to buy our stuff via convenient online shopping carts. Do not fret, my awesome Ska-bros! We will be getting a system back up as soon as possible and we will also be selling at PAX Prime!”

Towns 0.50 Has Been Released (Towns)
“We are pleased to announce the release of Towns 0.50 ! This version carries with itself a dramatic change in the underline engine. one we wanted to do ages ago, but only now decided to strike at it. In this new version, players has the freedom to create multiple level buildings, from small houses to huge sprawling castles.”

The End Of Maximalism (Bientôt l’été)
“With Bientôt l’été I have shifted towards a different design practice. Instead of including as much as possible in every design, I am moving towards a method of scarcity. Now I try to reduce the amount of elements to the smallest number possible. It’s a shift from glorifying the ambiguity that the interactive medium enables to seeking a sort of purity.”

Secret Knowledge From The Future (Gamasutra)
“When Neil Young looks at the mobile market in the U.S., he sees the past — Japan’s past. The U.S. has had an explosion in adoption of free-to-play mobile games, and it coincided, he argues, with milestones in the adoption of 3G internet-enabled handsets — things that happened much sooner in Japan than in the U.S. So he uses it as a yardstick of what to expect in the West. In fact, it’s what led him to sell the San Francisco-based company he co-founded, Ngmoco, to Tokyo’s DeNA, one of the leaders of the space in Japan. It’s like getting ‘secret knowledge from the future,’ he argues.”

Sir, You Are Being Hunted: And Answering A Few Questions Raised By Our First Trailer (Big Robot)
“We’ve had some fantastic coverage for our trailer, which was viewed over one hundred and a ten thousand times last week. Everyone on the Big Robot core team – Dan, Tom, James, and myself – are thrilled with the response, and I am sure our contributing artist Christophe Canon is pleased to have his work gain so much attention. (He’s sunning himself on the beach right now, so I can’t ask him!) However, the trailer raised lots of questions, and we decided to answer them here.”

The Art Of Journey Releases In September (thatgamecompany)
“Seeing how Journey has resonated with players across the world, we wanted to work with the Santa Monica Studio to provide a deeper look into the visual development behind this critically acclaimed hit. So, we’re excited to let everyone know that we will be presenting you with a wonderful first-time look at the extensive artwork that went into bringing Journey to life. It’s the first book directly inspired by one of our games and is titled The Art of Journey and will be available for purchase in September.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: No Tomorrow


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Dev Links: Drawing The Lines

In today’s Developer Links: chat rooms, 2D engines, and developing for Nintendo’s download platforms.

Indie Tools: articy: draft (IndieGames.com)
“There are some times when you run into things you didn’t even know existed and then go on and wonder how anyone could live without them. It’s those times when you either feel consumerism has finally gotten to you or you are a designer of complex games and discover such tools as articy:draft.”

Pushing 2D Engines Further (Cliffski.com)
“I’m not aware of many 2D games, indie or otherwise that tax a CPU/GPU as much as Gratuitous Space or Tank Battles. However, having just bought a new PC, AND watched the latest cryengine demos, it’s pretty clear that modern gamers have enough firepower to render the bejezus out of anything in 2D, so we are in the happy situation of twiddling our thumbs thinking what crazy stuff to add next time-around.”

Chat Room “Design” (SpyParty)
“In preparation for opening the beta, I’m about to do chat rooms in the lobby. I’m going to do the simplest thing possible at first, and hope it gets us through the surge. Here is the current “design”, let me know if you think it’s okay. Please don’t turn this into a giant thread of how the ultimate lobby should work given infinite time and resources, we can have that discussion later when time and resources are infinite. For now, I just want to make sure I’m not missing something stupid and obvious in this thing I plan to spend one (1) day on.”

The Real Story Of Developing For Nintendo’s Download Platforms (Gamasutra)
“…Still, with all of the negative press and complaints, merely chalking up WiiWare and DSiWare as failures is wrong. Many companies thrived on the platforms and found major success. Some even made their living off Nintendo’s digital storefronts.  And with improved discoverability, promotions and even game sales on the eShop, Nintendo has overhauled its digital strategy. But is this revamped focus enough to lure old and new developers for another go on 3DS and Wii U?”

Competitive Build 216 Play (Natural Selection 2 News)
“On the weekend, the twitch.tv/naturalselection2 stream was treated to some great play from Cydweithrediad and Nexzil, two competitive NS2 teams. You can see two of the games here:”

Official Announcement: Primordia (Wadjet Eye Games)
“Ages have passed since legendary Man walked the planet. Now, in the desolate wastelands beyond the city of Metropol, a solitary robot named Horatio jealously guards his freedom and independence.  All that is taken away from him when a marauding foe steals his power source, forcing him to leave the safety of his home and set out on a perilous journey into the wastes – and into his own mysterious past.”

Slydris On iPhone! And Inferno+ New Mode And Sale (Radiangames)
“Slydris’ iPhone-enabled update is now live.  Grab it now!  If you’re familiar with the iPad version, you can see some subtle changes in the screenshot above.  Specifically, the game grid takes up more of the screen, and the UI has been squished a bit.  And then there’s the zoom-in overlay, which centers on the selected block and shows the rows above and below.  You can adjust the overlay’s transparency, or turn it off entirely, in the options menu.  It will also fade out if you drag your finger above or below the selected block as you’re dragging it.  That makes more sense when you try it.”

FreeIndieGam.Es Roundup (distractionware: devlog)
“So, FreeIndieGam.es has been running for six months now. Wow!  We recently started some new things on the site: you may have already seen that Porpentine has started writing a cool weekly roundup of her favourite stuff from the site for RockPaperShotgunCheck it out here!

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Drawing The Lines


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Dev Blog: Shop Talk

There are a lot of indie games currently in development, and some of those discussed in today’s Developer Links include an homage to 16-bit platformers, a multiplayer shooter fully developed in four weeks, a game about a couple meeting in a virtual café, an open-source tool for use with tabletop role-playing games, and lots more.

5 Tips For Making Great 16-Bit-Style Action Games (Gamasutra)
“‘A lot of people look at those games with nostalgia, but they don’t really identify the fact that those games never actually stopped being fun,’ says indie developer Kris Durrschmidt. ‘These games aren’t outdated. The game mechanics aren’t outdated. People just stopped [making them].’”

Project Lineup (Cipher Prime Studios)
“So what’s next at Cipher Prime? We have a few projects on hand actually. While Dain and Andrei are in the process of wrapping up the iPad version of Splice, Will and myself have been working on two other side projects as we gear up for Auditorium 2: Duet.”

Alpha 2 (Bientôt l’été)
“In this new version Apparitions and building changes have been enabled. Thanks to the modelling efforts of Theresa Schlag and Daniel Hellweg, you can now find strange things on the beach and different buildings on the dike, often referring to Marguerite Duras’ life and work.”

Help Fund Dragons Gameboard, Get New Onslaught!-Style Pixel Art (Lost Decade Games)
“The awesome team over at Brass Monkey has just launched a really interesting kickstarter called Dragons Gameboard. It’s an open source, virtualized role-playing game mat that allows up to 16 simultaneous players. Instead of role-playing on a tabletop, imagine lounging around on your couch, with the gameboard visible on your television set, and everyone interacting with their mobile phones. Sounds cool to me!”

Business Analytics With Regression (AltDevBlogADay)
“So you’ve got a nice group of players interested in your game. Maybe you’ve even got a possibility of profit coming up! Now the challenge is to keep your success rolling along. You need to identify ways to reach out to customers, and figure out which players could benefit from a promotional offering. It’s time to develop a regression model for our data!”

Joe Danger The Movie Trailer! (Hello Games)
“Joe Danger The Movie is starting to come together, we’re so excited we can’t sleep!  We’ve made a trailer showing some bits of the game (there is plenty we aren’t showing though!) We hope it gets you as excited as we are!”

The Videogame Kickstarter Report – Week of August 10 (Zeboyd Games)
“The big new thing since last we met is the Oculus Rift – a virtual reality headset. The kickstarter has the support of industry legends like Gabe Newell (Valve), John Carmack (id), and Cliff Bleszinski (Epic) so to say that there’s a lot of excitement about it in the developing community is an understatement. Keep in mind that the kickstarter is for dev kits – if you want one for gaming purposes, they recommend you wait for the official release since the finished product will be better than what they have right now. It’s currently up to $1.5 million, way above its goal of $250k.”

Glorifying Hatty In the Gift Shop (The Behemoth Development Blog)
“Today, we explore our Gift Shop area of BattleBlock Theater. As we developed our story for Hatty we found his overall presence was lacking throughout the game. You would see him in the cinematics, and occasionally spread out within the game, but we wanted to make sure Hatty’s presence was more immediate so that the player would feel motivated in what they were doing in trying to save him. We expect that the Gift Shop will be the most visited area in the game and since Hatty has an uncontrollable greed with the currency of BattleBlock Theater, this would be the most natural and fitting spot to have him hang out while the game progresses.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Blog: Shop Talk


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Dev Links: The Big Guns

Among the topics under discussion in today’s Developer Links is the Wii U, which despite its name is not a video game university.  But if it were a video game university, then it might be a place where you could learn some of the other things in today’s Developer’s Links, like how to handle instructions in games, how to optimize patch sizes, and how to recognize common personalities, phenomena, and phrasings in the game development industry.

Game Dev Students Give Wii U Mixed Marks At Early Demo (Ars Technica)
“About 150 Club Nintendo members had received a golden ticket for each night of this four-day junket, but I was more interested in talking to the invited students from DePaul University’s Game Dev program. These were undergraduates and graduate students who had made the decision to come to a four-year, liberal arts school to study up on how to make modern games. They weren’t just here to see if the Wii U’s unique touchscreen tablet controller made it a system worth buying. They were also evaluating potential career paths, sizing up the development potential of what will be the first of the several systems that could shape the opening decade of their young careers.”

Fun With Package Sorting (The Witness)
“A couple of months ago I was playing Super Monday Night Combat; a much-anticipated weekly update came along, but its file size was over 800MB! MNC is an Unreal Engine game and Unreal, like many game engines (and like The Witness), packages its data files together for robustness and speed. This package format interacts with the patch delivery system of any online distribution service, though.”

Back From Holiday, And Mac Testers… (Cliffski.com)
“Sooo… that’s enough time sat on a beach reading books. Especially if you sunburn easily and then really hurt your foot kicking a beam, and have to limp everywhere. At least there was a tropical storm to liven things up! I’m not back in the world of debugging, huge towering inboxes, and 1,001 things to do before breakfast. (Not to mention no more huge buffest at breakfast…darn…). I miss the cocktails and the live music :( (Also it’s amazing the quality of the musicians just playing in restaurants in the caribbean).”

Voodoo At Origin! (AltDevBlogADay)
“We all love bugs they are like nuggets of entertainment for programmers that sit roughly between the extremes of love and hate. There are some bugs however that years after they have been squished still come to mind, indeed ask any engineer about bugs and he / she will undoubtedly have a story or two to tell.”

Instructions, Conventions Or A Stupid Avatar (Bientôt l’été)
“I have redone the in-game hints and instructions to match with the interaction redesign and the new focus on mouse controls rather than keyboard. They almost seem redundant now that the interactions have become so simple. But I don’t want players to not know how to play. Exploration is fun but exploration of controls is not very interesting. It is also completely meaningless.”

Horse Talk: Devon Explains It All (Octodad blog)
“‘Horse Talk’ is a new series here on the Octodad blog where we’ll be running some intra-team Young Horses interviews. First up we quiz Devon Scott-Tunkin.”

Ugly Baby Beats (Dejobaan Games)
“What do these numbers have in common? 0.4748333320, 0.9506041660, 1.4263749990, 1.9021458320, 2.3779166660, 2.8536874990, 3.3178541660, 3.7820208320, 4.2577916660, 4.7335624990, 5.2093333320, 5.6851041660, 6.1492708320, 6.6250416660, 7.0892083320, 7.5649791660, 8.040749999000001, 8.516520831999999, 8.9806874990, 9.4564583320, 9.932229166000001, 10.4079999990, 10.8837708320, 11.3479374990, 11.8237083320, 12.2994791660, …”

Cliff Bleszinski’s Game Development Flashcards (Gamasutra)
“As of this summer, I’ll have been making games for 20 years professionally. I’ve led the design on character mascot platform games, first-person shooters, single-player campaigns, multiplayer experiences, and much more. I’ve worked with some of the most amazing programmers, artists, animators, writers, and producers around. Throughout this time period, I’ve noticed patterns in how we, as creative professionals, tend to communicate.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: The Big Guns