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


Star Ruler Receives Big Update


Blind Mind has announced the release of a large, new update for their space strategy game Star Ruler, adding a laundry list of bug fixes, gameplay tweaks and other additions to the title.

Highlights include the addition a basic in-game manual that will continued to be improved upon, retrofitting of ships, a Legacy Mode for hanging on to old saves and using them in newer versions in the game, and much more.

The file is available for download automatically via Impulse (coming soon for Steam) and available as a manual patch via the developer. From the lengthy change log:

  • [Fixed] Fixed a crash on save after manually obsoleting a hull.
  • [Fixed] After updating, hulls ignored the Update Every X Levels setting.
  • [Fixed] Players were not cleared from the server upon exiting, causing crashes when starting a game.
  • [Fixed] Many sounds would play if the player loaded a game with contested systems.
  • [Fixed] AIs will no longer spam their systems with colony ships if there are already plenty of idle ones around.
  • [Fixed] The event notification sound will now play only once every 6 frames.
  • [Fixed] The attack warning (sound & message) will only play once every 6 frames.
  • [Fixed] Fixed two crashes that could occur in long-running games.
  • [Fixed] The To and From clauses when reviewing a treaty were reversed, if you did not create the treaty.
  • [Fixed] The GuiExtText was improperly allocating many little strings that were immediately destroyed. This should speed up GUI initialization somewhat.
  • [Fixed] Fixed a crash related to objects entering systems.
  • [Fixed] Mods with periods in their name would not load.
  • [Fixed] Fixed some missing Charge hints on generators.
  • [Fixed] Fixed a line that was cut off in the tutorial.
  • [Fixed] Clearing orders will also clear gun targets.
  • [Fixed] Pressing escape now cancels key changing (as rebinding escape would prevent menu access).
  • [Fixed] Fixed a crash related to beam effects playing against a dying object in multiplayer.
  • [Fixed] Fixed a race condition in nested read/write blocks. Fixes early-game crashes, and some other potential crashes.
  • [Changed] Updated German and French translations.
  • [Changed] Multiplayer Servers that get delisted should relist themselves periodically.
  • [Changed] Reduced packet fragmentation for object updates.
  • [Changed] Further reduced the amount of data sent in multiplayer object updates. Estimated savings at 33 KB/s per player per 500 objects.
  • [Changed] Systems that contain no clients in multiplayer will not send updates to the client, saving bandwidth.
  • [Changed] AIs now designate shipyard and research worlds, their fleets will get larger and stronger much more quickly now.
  • [Changed] Holding shift while dragging in the planet queue now drags the entire group instead of just one item.
  • [Changed] To reduce the need to spam armor plates, armor now scales differently. Note that the special utility of the armors remains at the previous behavior. Also note that you can scale armors, rather than place more on a design.
  • [Changed] Auto-colonize now sends colonizers to the closest systems first.
  • [Changed] “Join Fleet” and “Auto-colonize system” from the right click menu now act on all selected ships/systems.
  • [Changed] Single-resource governors now build space ports more often. Economic governors now build spaceports.
  • [Changed] AIs will set specific resource governors on planets when they are low on a particular resource.
  • [Changed] Cheating AIs build nothing but luxuries, research and shipyard worlds. *Evil Laugh*
  • [Changed] Space damage now deals 50% more base damage, and significantly more damage for bigger ships.
  • [Changed] Slightly reduced peak bandwidth load.
  • [Changed] Bussard Ramscoops now have some fuel storage.
  • [Changed] The research window has been restyled to match the Planet Window’s overall appearance. Other windows will follow the same style.
  • [Changed] The system icon (three multi-colored planets) has been replaced with a more fitting and aesthetically pleasing image.
  • [Changed] The default Hauler is now larger, and has a ~30 minute flight time (as opposed to 10), at the cost of some acceleration.
  • [Added] Added Russian translation.
  • [Added] Added new civil acts: Options to focus labor production vs economic production. Options to focus a specific economic production. (+50% of one, -35% of the other two; +100% of one, -90% of the other two)
  • [Added] Ships can now be retrofitted (select the ships, right click on the planet to retrofit them at). Ships will remove 50% of their original build cost from the price of the retrofitted design.
  • [Added] Hovering over a technology now displays what it improves and what it will unlock next in the tooltip.
  • [Added] Added lines showing connections between technologies.
  • [Added] Added a basic in-game manual. Will be improved over time.
  • [Added] Added multi-font support along with some variations on the game’s font, and the font used for the game’s logo.
  • [Added] Added removeRand logic for governors. All governors except Balanced and Renovate-Only will now steadily remove unrelated structures when it makes sense.
  • [Added] Added legacy mode. When we change data file in a way that old saves will no longer load, the game will ask if you want to run in legacy mode. This moves the save to the correct legacy mod folder and runs as normal.
  • [Added] Added a message when an empire declares war on you.

The game is available now through all major digital distributors for $25 (currently $5 off on Steam.)

[Star Ruler]


Amnesia 1.01 Released, Frictional Talks Postmortem


Impulse clues us into Frictional Games releasing a new update for their recently released (and thus far critically acclaimed) adventure horror game Amnesia: The Dark Descent, now available for download.

The 1.01 patch brings a number of bug fixes, level tweaks, texture fixes, and specifically resolves the ATI Radeon X1000 series issues that have been reported. The windows demo now reflects the update as well.

Frictional has also shared something of a postmortem over on their development blog. They have received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from both the press and players, had a piracy scare that could have been much worse and so far have received good but not great sales. They also mention that while the game saw a great push for pre-orders and on launch day, sales have since declined “almost exponentially” since the Steam 20% off deal ended shortly after its release.

The game is out now for PC, Mac and Linux. Any reason(s) you’ve held back throwing down the completely reasonable $20 for a really unique experience?

[Amnesia: The Dark Descent]


Academagia Update Adds New Adventures and Events


Black Chicken Studios has announced the release of a new content packed update for its wiz sim Academagia: The Making of Mages, now available for owners to download automatically via Impulse.

The 1.05 patch brings six new adventures centered around the College of Aranaz, over 20 new events, a new skill, merchant and more. From the short change log:

  • 6 new Adventures, themed around the College of Aranaz: an intrigue, a hidden school of the proscribed arts, and the honor of a College are at stake!
  • 20+ new Events, dealing with the various schemes and mishaps of the Students of Aranaz, as well as several diverse Events submitted by the community.
  • 1 new Skill, a new Merchant, and lots of new Abilities, Actions, Locations, Spells and Items means many new options and combinations for your Character!
  • And more…

You can read up on Mike’s review and make sure to look over the comment section as well to get some additional discussion. Academagia runs $25 and is available through the developer as well as a few digital distributors.

[Black Chicken Studios]


Star Ruler Receives Meaty Update


Blind Mind has rolled out a big update for their RTS Star Ruler, now available to download for owners of the game on Impulse.

The patch brings the title to v1.008, adding a laundry list of bug fixes, changes, gameplay tweaks/improvments and several added features. Impulse has taken $5 off the game if you’re interested. Hurry though, the sale only goes through tonight.

Read up on Geoff’s review of the game, he had fun with an earlier build, but claimed it lacked polish. With the strong post-release support Blind Mind has demonstrated for the game since then, perhaps that issue is being addressed.

From the change log:

  • [Fixed] Constructions were building at 50% per second when out of a resource, rather than 5%. Should fix the “stuck at 97%/99%” issue for some things.
  • [Fixed] Ships’ auto-targeting (not defend order) was checking the galaxy’s objects, rather than the local system.
  • [Fixed] The AI was not developing its homeworld, putting it at a massive disadvantage early on.
  • [Fixed] The Balanced World had an incorrect setting for cities, which caused problems with the economy.
  • [Fixed] Pinned objects were broken when loaded from a save.
  • [Fixed] Jump Drives work.
  • [Fixed] The camera no longer removes objects from the view in small galaxies.
  • [Fixed] Pre-damage Order was not being loaded correctly, causing hulls to be hit before armor at times.
  • [Fixed] Docked objects weren’t being saved. Saves from older games will properly show 0 ship storage used.
  • [Fixed] BuildPerN and BuildN (when n was larger than 1) were not working.
  • [Fixed] A minor check against cheating caused AI worlds to not develop, putting them at an unbelievable disadvantage. Prepare yourselves.
  • [Changed] Updated French translation (has text for this version).
  • [Changed] Updated German translation (has text for this version).
  • [Changed] When selecting a governor from the right-click menu, automatically turn the governor on too.
  • [Changed] System Ring color/image is better managed now. (Coloration should match the true ‘owner’ better)
  • [Changed] Moved empire bank display to the left of the screen, between the research ticker and the pinned object list.
  • [Changed] Jump Drive range has been rebalanced. Larger ships, and larger jump drives, will have longer range.
  • [Changed] Improved starting effectiveness of the Targeting Sensors. Fixed their extreme modification factor for large sensors on a tiny gun.
  • [Added] Added button under empire bank display to toggle between displaying stored resources and income rates.
  • [Added] Added German translation thanks to the community.
  • [Added] Added basic Fleets window. (Unstable and unfinished. Press ‘U’ to access)
  • [Added] Integrated Planet and Research window upgrades from the UI Mod (Thanks Sajuukhar)
  • [Added] The bottom-right selection box now shows how many objects are selected in total at the bottom too.
  • [Added] Added an “AI Cheats” option. Cheating AIs generate resources from nothing, and can see all systems at all times.
  • [Added] Movement lines are now displayed when ships in motion are hovered over.
  • [Added] When multiple ships are selected, use tab to cycle the primary target between them (subselection). The primary target will display its movement line and will have its info shown in the object info panel.
  • [Added] Added default governor type for new planets setting to empire window.
  • [Added] Added Italian translation.
  • [Removed] Removed some unused data in objects that should reduce memory usage.

[Blind Mind Studios]


Gratuitous Space Battles Expansion Announced, Update Released


Wanted to catch everyone up on a popular game by a popular developer. Positech Games has announced a single-player campaign expansion in the works for space strategy title Gratuitous Space Battles. The cool part of the added component of the ‘conquer-the-galaxy’ mode is the way battles are presented. I’ll let Positech head Cliff Harris explain:

Rather than set, pre-determined fleets to battle against, the game utilises the fleets designed by other GSB players to provide an endless variety of opponent, so you will be pitted against real carbon-based intelligence on every step of your path to galactic dominance. The GSB campaign is not a full 4X game, but a contextual ‘wrapper’ for GSB that introduces new strategic concerns such as crew and cash shortages, repairing ships between battles, the need for construction and repair facilities, and the ability to issue a retreat order mid-battle.

No release date other than “soon” mentioned for the fourth piece of add-on content, but as we’ve learned when Cliff wants to get something done it usually doesn’t take too long.

In related news Impulse informs us that GSB v1.46 has been released and is now available for download for owners of the game.

From the patch notes:

  • Bug Fix: Fixed crash bug where assigning fighters to escort fighters, then trying to edit the range on the invalid order caused a crash.
  • Bug Fix: Unlocking now works if you beat the previous mission on hard or expert, you don’t specifically have to beat it on normal.
  • Usability: Game now lets you toggle between old and new stats screens after each battle
  • Bug Fix: It’s now impossible to put an apostrophe in your username, which was breaking challenges.
  • Bug Fix: It’s now not an option to fight your own challenge and rate it yourself.


Tidalis Update Out on Steam and Impulse


Arcen Games has released a new update for their deep casual puzzle game Tidalis, bringing new content to the game among other additions and improvements.

Specifically, a new folder labeled “Community-Created Brainteasers” is now available in the Brainteasers mode, with the first version including 12 player-created puzzles.

The file is available for download for PC/Mac on Steam, Impulse and the developer’s site for the game. From the change log:

Notes From The Producer: August 18th, 2010

This official release includes a lot of new stuff for players to enjoy, a lot of it suggested by fans. It adds the new VS – Race multiplayer ruleset for use against the AI or against other players, as well as a new Boarded Up block type. It has a lot more flexibility in what fullscreen resolutions players can use, even if their graphics card/OS doesn’t report a resolution that they want to use as being supported. There is also a revamped sound subsystem that lets the game load faster, play multiple copies of the same sound effect at once (which sounds much better), and which avoids some issues on OSX.

Also included are 12 new Brainteaser levels created by players, a new visual block style created by a player, and updated stream graphics that look a bit fancier. Music tracks also now fade in when starting, which is a noticeable aural improvement. Aside from the above, this release has a number of bugfixes and other, more minor player-suggested tweaks.

All in all, an exciting first bit of free DLC, both with Arcen-created content and community-created content. Enjoy!

–Christopher M. Park

Beta Updates Cumulatively Included In This Official Release

* August 5th, 2010: 1.004 Beta (AI-Related Bugfixes)

* August 4th, 2010: 1.003 Beta (VS Race, Boarded Up Blocks, Experimental Sound Subsystem)

* July 27, 2010: 1.002 Beta (Bugfixes)

* July 26, 2010: 1.001 Beta (Guided Tour Improvements, Fullscreen Resolution Additions)

New & Updated Levels

A new folder has been added to the Brainteasers section of the game, with a “Community-Created Brainteasers” folder. The goal here is for us to over time package a good selection of the community-created brainteasers into the main game itself; not all players know to look for custom puzzles on our forums, and since the puzzle files are tiny it is easy for us to package them right into the game for everyone to enjoy.

This first version includes 12 player-created puzzles: 3 by Ixiohm, 2 by jkefka, 2 by PLivesey, 2 by RCIX, 1 by The 9th Sage, 2 by triggerman602. Special thanks to all of them for taking the time to submit such great puzzles!

New & Updated Art/Music/Sound

Music tracks now fade in when they are first loaded, to provide less jarring transitions between fast-paced and relaxing tracks and vice-versa.

Thanks to RCIX for suggesting.

A new player-created block skin has been added to the game: eRe4s3rs Glow Blocks. Special thanks to Hans-Martin Portmann for creating these!

The stream graphics have been improved with extra glow effects that makes them look more modern.

Thanks to Hans-Martin Portmann for suggesting.


Post-level screen now no longer reports an achievement that had already been achieved globally (but may have just been achieved for that particular adventure).

Thanks to kout for pointing out that the previous behavior was confusing.

The loss objectives panel now includes a note about the move limit for levels with a move limit. This is already shown on the screen in the form of the “moves remaining” counter, but now it’s more obvious and consistent with other loss conditions.


Fixed bug where Cutscene Index and Adventure Stats buttons would show through onto the main menu after playing an adventure level.

Thanks to Balthier for reporting.

Enter And Escape now function as confirm or cancel (respectively) when a confirm dialog is being shown. Previously Enter would open the chat box instead, which was problematic on several counts.

Thanks to SmileyFace for pointing out the problem.

Fixed bug where AI thought it could do a direction-redirect through an inverter or energizer.

Thanks to Ogtacular for reporting.


And Yet It Moves Update Adds Performance Improvements, Localizations

AYITBroken Rules has released a new update for its puzzle platformer And Yet It Moves, now available for download via Impulse.

The patch brings a handful of additions, fixes and improvements to the game; first and foremost French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese localized versions are now available in the language options. Additionally general performance improvements, a better patching mechanism and updated switches all come packed with the v1.1.1 release.

In related news, we recently found out that AYIM is being ported to WiiWare. Nice.

From the change log:

  • German, french, italian, spanish and japanese localizations added
  • Fixed exploit that made it possible to submit non valid highscores
  • Submitting highscores only possible with the newest version from now on
  • Improved patching mechanism
  • Updated switches
  • General performance improvement
  • Starting up in fullscreen as default, when the game is started the first time


Sol Survivor Update Adds Resource Modes, Sudden Death

Sol_Survior_1.7_updateCadenza Interactive has released a new update for its tower defense title Sol Survivor, now available through Impulse.

The v1.7 patch adds resource modes to Versus as well as implementing a sudden death system to Wars games that reach “maximum escalation”–A funny phrase if my immaturity says so itself. Several bug fixes come packed with the update as well.

The title runs $10 and can be had now on Steam and Impulse. From the patch notes:

  • Fixed Survival Co-op resource modes having no effect.
  • Fixed clients being unable to return the the menu while a game is in progress.
  • Fixed a rare crash when starting games.
  • Fixed a crash when using the Bypass Campaign option.
  • Increased the lobby connection timeout.
  • Added resource modes to Versus.
  • Added sudden death to Wars games that reach maximum escalation.


GSB v1.45 Out on Impulse

gsb_v1.45Impulse sends word of a new update for Gratuitous Space Battles, bringing Positech’s space strategy title up to v1.45.

The new update includes several new features, usability improvements and bug fixes including a couple of balancing tweaks and a new shield support beam feature for the empire.

Currently the patch is only available for Impulse users, but should arrive shortly to all owners of the title as an automatic download. From the change log:

Gratuitous Space Battles v1.45

  • Balance: Shield Support beam being drastically re-balanced with lower beam rate and capacitor, and only able to have one beam at a time on each shield. Also now auto-selects the lowest friendly shield available.
  • Balance: Frigate disruptor bombs damage increased from 60 to 75.
  • Graphics: Better smoke clouds now for cruiser and frigate explosions.
  • Bug Fix: Player can no longer use the maximise window option in windows mode to stretch the window size, which caused problems.
  • New Feature: Shield support beam added for the empire.


Darkness 2 Update Released on Impulse

Darkness_2Impulse has released a new update for Zoetrope Interactive’s horror adventure game based on H.P. Lovecraft lore Darkness 2: The Dark Lineage, now available for download via the digital distributor.

The v1.02 patch brings a couple of video option additions, along with a slew of bug fixes to the title. Now, players have more choices with screen resolutions, and the game now carries anti-aliasing support.

The file can be downloaded automatically by owners of the game through Impulse, where the full title can be purchased and downloaded as well. From the change log:

Darkness 2 v1.02

  • Added anti-aliasing support in video options
  • Added more screen-resolutions in video options
  • Added anisotropic filtering support in advanced options
  • Fixed problem related to invisible error message about video-card incompatibility with Shader Model 3.0
  • Fixed Windows Vista problem related to Administration privileges
  • Fixed collision bug in the hidden place where passing the locked door at the end of the corridor causes the player to fall down endlessly
  • Fixed collision bug in the “Old Building” location where jumping on the edges at the bottom of the stairs causes the player to fall through and into the pit in the galleries
  • Fixed programming bug in phonograph puzzle where one cylinder put on top of another results in the irreversible loss of the first cylinder
  • Fixed programming bug in the “Old Building” location cupboard door lock puzzle
  • Fixed programming bug in the Morse code puzzle
  • Fixed scripting bug after the “Remembering” cut-scene in the mansion’s upper hall, where it is impossible to exit the room before the door has closed causing the player to get stuck outside the room in which they should sleep
  • Fixed “Speaking Machines” scripting bug
  • Fixed loading screen captions mistake in DDL version of the game
  • Fixed clue descriptions and clue list headers mistake