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

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Discussionware: Who Is Your Favorite Indie Developer? Who Inspires You Most?

Time for another weekly Discussionware! This time we’re going for something pretty broad and also something which I think everybody who reads this blog should at least have a passing interest in. Essentially I’d like to know who your favorite indie developer(s) is/are? What abut them inspires you so much.

Obviously this question is posed to a wide range of people involved with the indie industry. Gamers, developers, business folk…


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Hands-On: Getting the Jump on BasketBelle [IndieCade 2011]

[Correspondent Ken Ellis continues his IndieCade previews with Micahel Molianri's BasketBelle.]

There are a wide variety of games at IndieCade every year. Most are fun, some are strange, and a few are metaphors of human emotion. BasketBelle, by Michael Molinari, is all of these. The game is the story of a young boy, gifted with the skill of basketball, who is on a quest to find something (I don’t want to particularly say what yet) important to him. The opponents you face are not so much actual people, but obstacles he must overcome in his life. A rare sports based game that makes you reflect on life.

The game game plays well and looks fantastic. It has a cardboard/chalk/paint style artwork that works fluidly with the game mechanics. The controls are simple, just standard directions and two action buttons along with a couple trick/techniques. These play great on the basketball court, and on the few adventure style levels that are sprinkled throughout the game.

The game isn’t too terribly difficult–I was able to beat my opponent blob quite handily, but this was only the first enemy, so I’d assume it gets more difficult as the game continues. I should also mention the music in the game, specifically the bass being connected to the basketball. This is interesting in that whenever the ball hits the ground a deep hard bass sound occurs. It connects you to the game in a unique way, I found.

BasketBelle has no official release date yet, but from what I saw it looks like it will come out on a console of some sort. Sports game fans and artsy game fans should find a nice middle ground with this one. Check it out when it’s available, and for now check out some gameplay footage we captured last weekend:


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$700,000 Later 150,000 Frozen Synapse Humble Bundles Have Been Sold

Because statistics are fun and we’re all a bunch of economic/business geeks here at DIY HQ I thought it would be fun to update everybody on how the Humble Bundle is doing about half way through its life cycle. While this isn’t a sequel to the Humble Indie Bundle 3 (it’s more of a spin-off) I’d say it’s performing pretty well all things considered.

Currently the Humble Frozen Synapse Bundle has accrued a whopping $700,000 and sold just over 150,000 bundles. As usual Windows users (you’re making me look bad!) bring up the rear with an average of $4.06 per bundle (weak), Mac users are in the middle with $6.24 per bundle and Linux users are leading the charge with a staggering $8.91 per bundle. Very impressive!

One thing that does seem to be conspicuously absent from this bundle as compared to the previous iterations is the glory-hogging marketers trying to reach the top spot on the “leaderboards.” Notch is there, of course, but here’s a distinct lack of “BUYGAMESHERENOW.com” type spiel. Perhaps they realized that advertising via leaderboards isn’t actually that effective.

Anyways, if you have yet to partake in the package, please check it out. If you opt to beat the average of $4.64 you’ll also receive the Frozenbyte Bundle as a bonus as part of your bundle. You’ve got 8 days left to get in on the action…

[Humble Bundle]


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DIY Weekly Round Up: What’s This Edition

Welcome to our our newest weekly feature. It’s come to our attention that even though we produce awesome content every single day, it’s simply not possible for people to visit us everyday and, as such, they very well could miss out on some great content. So we’re introducing this new feature which will premiere every single Saturday and list each and every article we have produced for the week prior and you can simply scroll through and see which ones you want to explore.

Android

Meganoid Dev Continues Retro Platformer Crusade with Stardash

Industry

DIYGamer at Eurogamer! Also a New Writer! And Other Stuff!

Interview

The BIG FortressCraft Interview: Talking Sales, Money, PC Ports, and Future Updates

iOS

Finland’s Finest Indies in MindTrek 2011′s Indie Game Awards

Meganoid Dev Continues Retro Platformer Crusade with Stardash

Turn-Based Rougelike: Mysterious Castle for iOS and OSX

Sign Up for the Unstoppable Gorg Beta!

Maze Mover: iPad/PlayBook Treat from AlmostLogical Software

Help Fund This Retro-Inspired Metroidvania: Space Explorer 2D

Mac

Turn-Based Rougelike: Mysterious Castle for iOS and OSX

Mobile

Meganoid Dev Continues Retro Platformer Crusade with Stardash

Maze Mover: iPad/PlayBook Treat from AlmostLogical Software

PC

Finland’s Finest Indies in MindTrek 2011′s Indie Game Awards

A Classic SNES-styled JRPG Set During the American Revolution: Americana Dawn

Help Create Some Delve Deeper DLC

Joe Danger: The Movie: Eurogamer Expo Impressions

Size Five Games Digitally Enhances Ben There, Dan That: Special Edition

Canabalt’s Essence Squished into 16KB: C64anabalt

If Minecraft Was Based in Space: Blockade Runner

Terry Cavanagh’s At A Distance: Eurogamer Expo Impressions

Waves: Eurogamer Expo Impressions

Minecraft 1.9 Brings NPCs and Snowmen; Prerelease Version Available

Sense of Wonder Night 2011 in Video Part 1

Sign Up for the Unstoppable Gorg Beta!

If Canabalt Were a Noir Spy Adventure: Gunpoint

Steam Helps You Get Your Midweek Hump On

Taste The Rainbow… Xotic [Review]

Orcs Must Die! Release Dates Announced

More Great Zombie Grinder Screenshots

Japan Game Awards 2011 Announces Amateur Award, Finalists

All Out Race 2: Pi Appropriately Priced at 3.14

Help Fund This Retro-Inspired Metroidvania: Space Explorer 2D

Edmund McMillen’s Zelda-like, The Binding of Isaac Dated and Priced

The BIG FortressCraft Interview: Talking Sales, Money, PC Ports, and Future Updates

Strategy Fans Take Notice: Iron Cross Launches Public Beta

Playstation

Joe Danger: The Movie: Eurogamer Expo Impressions

Preview

Joe Danger: The Movie: Eurogamer Expo Impressions

Terry Cavanagh’s At A Distance: Eurogamer Expo Impressions

Waves: Eurogamer Expo Impressions

Hands-On: Fez [PAX Prime 2011]

Review

Taste The Rainbow… Xotic [Review]

Xbox 360

Help Create Some Delve Deeper DLC

Xbox Live Indie Picks: Change of Scenery Edition

Sign Up for the Unstoppable Gorg Beta!

Taste The Rainbow… Xotic [Review]

Orcs Must Die! Release Dates Announced

Angry Birds… er… Fish Lands on Xbox Live Indie Games

The BIG FortressCraft Interview: Talking Sales, Money, PC Ports, and Future Updates

We’ll be refining this process as we work out the kinks so please let us know what you like and what you don’t like in the comments!


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Pay What You Want for Boss Baddie’s Lunar Pack: Lunnye Devitsy and Wake

Boss Baddie has brought back their fantastic Lunar Pack, a pay what you want collection of two of their earlier adventure platformers: Lunnye Devitsy and Wake. In addition to this you’ll also get 26 tracks from Boss Baddie’s upcoming Metroidvania title Tormishire for the low low price of… whatever you want to pay!

Made possible with the help of Indievania, the indie-centric digital distribution site, the Lunar Pack is available right now.

Here are some game descriptions…

Lunnye Devitsy:

Lunnye Devitsy is a mystery/puzzle platformer. You play as a little alien that falls off the moon and you have to make your way back. The objective is to get home again using one of the six possible exits hidden on a large mountainside.

It was made in celebration of the moon landings, which was 40 years before the original release date.

Wake:

Wake is the story of an engineer trapped on a sinking ship. His goal is to navigate through the ship and find his way to the surface above.

  • Dodge bullets and fire, most of all avoid drowning!
  • Collect keys, torches, flares and even an axe to help you escape
  • Discover the secrets of what really happened

Both games are, in my opinion, absolutely fantastic. I’ve been a huge Boss Baddie fan for the last couple years and both of these games rank very highly on my list, especially Wake which I feel had a great concept behind it.

If you’re looking for some great platformers to delve into, you can do a lot worse than either of these games.

[Boss Baddie, Indievania]

Trailer


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8-Bit Funding Gets a Refreshing Redesign

Crowdfunding is an interesting idea and one that many you may well know that I have an intimate relationship with after launching 8-Bit Funding earlier this year. It’s been a lot of fun figuring out the ins and outs of the economy surrounding crowdfunding, sometimes extremely frustrating and other times very exciting.

Today, I’m happy to report the latter as we got to unveil our brand new design to the world. This is something that I was able to start working on back in June and now have the opportunity to show off to the world.

As some of you who visited 8-Bit Funding in the past, the old design was, let’s just say, ugly. It felt old from the day we went live. That’s because when I first decided to make the website, I couldn’t actually afford a real designer. I remember always throwing out excuses about the design whenever I introduced the website to somebody. Well, no more! As of today, our new design is live and looks 100% better!

Over the next month or so we’ll be patching a few things. We’ll also be gearing up for the next big update which will include private messaging as well as other communal features. If you have any suggestions don’t hesitate to leave ‘em in the comments here!

P.S. If it looks all scrambled, you may have to clear your cache. Sorry!

[8-Bit Funding]


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Indie Deal of the Day: 5 for $5 Bundle

It seems like indie bundles are going to be a fairly regular occurrence from this point on. As gamers look to get the most bang for their buck, it just seems to make sense for developers to package their games together in an attempt to generate mass consumer interest with fantastic savings. Today’s “Indie Deal of the Day” is just such a bundle.

The 5 for $5 Bundle is a bundle that is true to it’s namesake. For $5 you get five DRM free games. And these are quality games too. I can, personally, attest to three of these games being a lot of fun and worth your time. Here are the games involved:

  1. Delve Deeper (a personal favorite of mine)
  2. Spring Up Harmony
  3. Mactabilis
  4. Steel Storm: Burning Retribution
  5. Digitanks (great strategy gem)

The deal is only going to be around for a little under two weeks though so if you don’t act fast you may have to resort to buying these games at their original prices, each of which is at or over $5 by themselves. Check out the trailer below for more information.

[5 for $5 Bundle]

Trailer

 


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Nintendo Doesn’t Want “Garage” Developers, Who Don’t Need Nintendo

Everybody wins!

During this past GDC Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime, told Gamasutra that the company wasn’t looking to “do business” with the garage developers of the world. Essentially, anybody who doesn’t consider themselves a full time game developer, either by choice or because they need another job to make money and support themselves.

For those of you unsure about just what a “garage” developer is, just take a look at Apple’s App Store, pick a game, and it was probably made by said type of developer. Essentially these are the kinds of people we love here at DIYGamer. Developers who make games in their spare time because they have the desire to create something.

When releasing this quote, many took Mr. Fils-Aime’s quote as a slight against indie developers. Perhaps Nintendo, in all their arrogance from being the market leaders in both the handheld and console space over the past few years had acquired a certain sort of hubris that left Sony humbled this console cycle. I honestly can’t comment on that. What I can say, however, is that as much as Nintendo doesn’t want garage developers, garage developers don’t need Nintendo.

Nintendo has never been indie friendly. It’s expensive (for an indie) to develop a game on their system and in order to even be allowed a dev kit for their systems you need to be a recognized business with an official office space (no “garages” indeed). But for all that, even if you do set out to be an indie Nintendo developer, of which there are some, Nintendo simply isn’t a great place to sell your game.

WiiWare, DSiWare, “3DSiWare.” Each of Nintendo’s downloadable distribution channels are notoriously bad for everybody but the most popular games and even then they pale in comparison to the likes of an XBLA or PSN title in sales volume. World of Goo, as an example, was a game that was simultaneously released onto Nintendo’s WiiWare and PC. It should come as no surprise that, even despite the game’s cutesy design (a must have for Nintendo success) the PC version still sold far better.  We won’t even begin to discuss the game’s recent success on the iPad because that would really make Nintendo look bad.

I’m not writing this because I’m angry at Nintendo for abandoning developers we know and love, nor am I trying to warn indie developers off from pursuing a relationship with Nintendo. All I’m saying is that despite what Nintendo wants or doesn’t want for their development platform, the fact remains that indie developers simply don’t need Nintendo. They offer nothing to the vast development community that isn’t better served elsewhere.

[via Wired]


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Indie Developers: Use Our New Press Email!

DIYlogoEver since our inception here at DIY HQ, we’ve taken a pretty relaxed way to go about handling press issues. Basically, if you had something you wanted to share you could just email one or all of us via our emails listed on the sidebar. Easy-peasy.

Unfortunately, it has become too much. We’ve grown too big and we get far too many requests, or at least myself and Peter do. As such we’ve decided to create a single email for press purposes that all of our writers can access. Should you have ANY press materials (release, announcement, screenshots, trailer, etc.) that you want to share, please email us there. That will be thew fastest and best way to get a hold of somebody here at DIYGamer.com. Here’s the email:

press[at]diygamer.com

Easy to remember, right? If you forget, you can always just use the contact us page above, under “About.”

As for our personal emails? They’re not going anywhere. We’ll still be using them to follow up with indie developers and maintain personal contacts. This new email is purely for new announcements and other press-related inquiries.


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PSA: Tomorrow We Unveil Our Top Indie Games of 2010

DIYlogoJust a heads up indie game fans, tomorrow we’ll unveil our top ten indie games of 2010. More so than any year prior, 2010 was a seriously compact year with dozens of absolutely fantastic games that deserve to be on this list. It was incredibly difficult to choose our games and, if your game didn’t make it, don’t take that as being not worthy.

Personally, I’m absolutely positive when making my won selections that I overlooked some games that probably deserved to be on it. For that, I apologize.

So, with that in mind, any predictions on what we chose? Sound off in the comments!

[DIYGamer's Top Indie Games of 2009]