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

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Indie Links Round-Up: Robot Rumble

Today’s Indie Links cover a game that was a huge success for its developers on XBLIG, and a game on iOS that wasn’t.  Plus, games about debating and skating; fast-moving ninjas and very, very slow-moving monks.

Going Broke With Success: How An App With 200,000 Downloads Led To Developer Homelessness (The Penny Arcade Report)
“This may seem like one of the happy success stories on the iOS platform, but the reality of the situation is more grim than it may at first appear. Gasketball was released for free, with a one-time in-app purchase that unlocks the rest of the game offered for $2.99. The conversion rate to the paid version of the game sits at 0.67%.”

CastleMiner Z Crests 900,000 Sales, Becomes Fastest-Selling XBLIG (Joystiq)
“As of August 15, Xbox Live Indie Game CastleMiner Z, which is priced at 80 MS Points ($1), has exceeded sales of 900,000 – making it the most successful XBLIG to date, developer DigitalDNA Games claims.”

Dust: An Elysian Tail (TIGSource)
“Dean Dodrill’s beautiful brawler Dust: An Elysian Tail was released this week on Xbox Live Arcade. In development for four years, Dust was the winner of the 2009 Dream.Build.Play competition. Impressively, Dean (a professional animator) is responsible for almost all of the animation and programming for the game. The soundtrack was created by Hyperduck SoundWorks, who also did the OST for Iji.”

Cherno Plus: Hall On Day Z’s Standalone Future (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Earlier this week I sat down with Day Z creator Dean Hall to talk about the new standalone game. Read on for information on why the mod version of the game will now ‘open up’, how dogs work, how original Op Flash developers came back to work on the new title, how ‘underground construction’ might work, and for an explanation of why there won’t be a military simulator mod of Day Z. At least not yet.”

Sean@Gamescom: Indies Are Pregnant With Creative Solutions (Joystiq)
“‘That’s not what I thought you meant when you said this project was your “baby.”‘ This and dozens of other ‘pregnant game developer’ jokes crossed our mind as we stopped to watch someone play a video game strapped to some guy’s chest on the Gamescom business floor today.”

Super House Of Dead Ninjas (PixelProspector)
Super House Of Dead Ninjas is a fast paced action platformer in which you fight your way through an enemy filled tower. Clean the floors from enemies in a speedy manner and collect a massive amount of upgrades. It is a really awesome game that pays much attention to details and I hope it will also be released as a downloadable version soon (with fullscren mode). IndieGames.com also reported about the game.”

A Game About Debating Is Way More Fun Than It Sounds (Kotaku)
A Game By Its Cover is one of the coolest independent game jams going around. It tasks entrants with picking an existing piece of fake video game art – often a cartridge from Meteor’s awesome Famicase exhibition- and making an actual game out of it.  This year’s edition kicked off in June and closed over the weekend. One of the entrants is Argument Champion, based on the Famicase cart below and pitched as a game in which you detect audience sentiment and use it as a means to beat your opponent in a formal debate.”

Live Free, Play Hard: The Week In Free Indie Games (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
Porpentine of freeindiegam.es returns with another round-up of cost-free treasures discovered on the internet over the last few days. Here’s last week’s, if you missed it. What have you got for us this time, Porpentine?”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Robot Rumble


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Indie Links Round-Up: Demolition

Along with the usual articles about new or upcoming indie games, today’s Indie Links discuss minimalism in level design, the importance of story in games, and why indies should start on PCs.

Indies Should Start On PCs, Says Frozen Synapse Dev (Develop)
“Independent developers should make the PC their primary platform, the developer behind Frozen Synapse told Develop.  Mode 7 Games’ joint managing director Paul Taylor said the PC’s open nature is what makes it a strong gateway platform for independent developers and new talent.”

Sound Shapes Q&A: Prototyping For PlayStation Consoles (IndieGames.com)
“Queasy Games’ Sound Shapes for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita is a sidescrolling platformer, where level design generates sound design. The game allows you to customize your own stages in its level editor, incorporating building blocks designed by guest artists like Beck and deadmau5, and share those results over the PlayStation Network.”

‘Why Hasn’t Story In Games Advanced?’ Amnesia‘s Designer Has Some Opinions! (Gamasutra)
“In his incredibly animated talk at GDC Europe on Wednesday, Frictional Games co-founder Thomas Grip (Amnesia: The Dark DescentPenumbra) discussed horror and storytelling in games, explaining his personal theory of what’s vital in telling game stories. His prime thesis is that in games, ‘story is not just the plot.’ In fact, regarding what’s important in interactive storytelling, Grip postulated: ‘We want the player to play through the story, not just sit through it.’”

Zineth (TIGSource)
“Developed by a group of students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute during their Spring semester,Zineth is a non-linear action game that mostly lets you skate around, but also gives you the option to fiddle around with fetch quests, races, Twitter, and a strange Pokémon-esque minigame that’s accessible through the player’s mobile device. The main draw, however, is the skating, and it feels fast and fun. It’s complemented by a cool aesthetic and an expansive world that offers plenty of opportunities to grind, glide, and wall jump across huge distances.”

Kickstarter Katchup – 18 August 2012 (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“The loser column is sadly busy this week, with a couple of high profile projects not making it. But then there’s also a big surprise in the winner’s section too. And as ever, an awful lot of other Kickstarters in progress for your perusal. Don’t forget to note the rules below before throwing your cash in every direction.”

Joe Danger 2: The Movie – ”No Mr Danger I Expect You To Fly!” (Hookshot Inc.)
“A first play of Joe Danger: The Movie is like mainlining endorphins: a proverbial explosion in a sweet shop. As you play through the various films Joe’s a stuntman for a huge variety of level-types are thrown at you – outrunning avalanches on skis, police bike chases after Team Nasty in a city centre an Indiana Jones mine cart. Amazingly, meanwhile, each vehicle is as much fun to pilot as the last.”

This Whacked-Out, Wicked Cool Music Game Does Everything Backwards (Kotaku)
“The new video game Retro/Grade takes that same idea and runs with it. In this game, you read music from right to left. You also play the game backwards—not just from right to left, but rewinding through time. It’s just as cool as it sounds.”

Taking The ‘Less Is More’ Approach To Level Design (Gamasutra)
Eufloria‘s Rudolf Kremers believes that “less is more” is the perfect approach for indie developers on a budget when it comes to level design, and his GDC Europe talk today described the various ways this approach can be achieved.  Procedural generation in particular, as seen in such indie titles asSpelunky, Minecraft and Kremers’ own Eufloria, can help free up development time for other areas of your game, and is “a great way to create enormous amounts of content” in a short space of time, he argued.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Demolition


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Indie Links Round-Up: Trajectories

Inspiration, aggregation, recuperation, promulgation, rejuvenation… all topics of today’s Indie Links.

How Running A Marathon Inspired ‘Canabalt’s’ Creator (The Verge)
“Adam Saltsman has run a full marathon. That’s 42,195 meters. In Canabalt, the 2009 endless runner that brought Saltsman to independent game design prominence, such a distance is considered an impressive achievement that would eclipse all the current scores on the game’s leaderboard. The furthest Saltsman has run in his own game? 12,000 meters.”

Opening The Freeware JogoBox Steam-Clone (IndieGames.com)
JogoBox, though still in beta, is a polished and well-designed Windows PC app that lets you play all sorts of freeware games be they indie, flash, casual or even retro for, err, free. It’s quite a bit the Steam-clone like Tiggitonly better looking and less open source. Also, and as I just mentioned (you weren’t paying attention, were you?), it does actually play older DOS games via dosbox and flash games without any glitches whatsoever, and even though the way those games are categorized does border on odd, I must admit I’m loving the interface and, frankly, the selection of games already on the service.”

They Were Laid Off From Their Game Company. Now They Want To Change The Way We Play. (Kotaku)
“Jason Fader and his team were sitting in a bar, drinking. Commiserating. Earlier that day they’d all been laid off from their jobs at Obsidian Entertainment, where they helped work on games like Fallout: New Vegas and an unannounced project called North Carolina. When North Carolina was axed, Obsidian had no choice but to let the team go. It was grim. Job opportunities were limited. Some of the team—particularly artists and designers—were worried they’d have trouble finding gigs.  Five months later, they’ve all got gigs—and an ambitious plan that promises to give us a new way to play video games.”

Toki Tori 2′s Wii U ‘Tokidex’ Detailed (Joystiq)
Toki Tori 2 was officially announced for Wii U today, and will be available on the console and Steam “soon-ish.” Developer Two Tribes stated back in February that it planned to bring the chick-fil-adventure to the Wii U’s eShop, but set its intentions in stone today on the company’s site.”

Super Space Rubbish (PixelProspector)
Super Space Rubbish is a polished and challenging tribute to the classic Asteroids with a fine soundtrack and nice physics… Swirl around. Destroy enemies. Slice rocks. Harvest space junk. Upgrade ship…”

Pay Once For PC And iOS? Galcon Dev Experiments With Dynamite Jack (IndieGames.com)
“In a rather novel pay-once, cross-platform experiment, Galcon developer Phil Hassey has offered a limited deal to give iOS purchasers of Dynamite Jack free Humble Store codes for PC.”

Super  Amazing Wagon Adventure: The Interview! (Hookshot Inc.)
“I love Super Amazing Wagon Adventure. Not only does it have a really good name (you can’t fail when you hook two adjectives together, you just can’t), but it’s also a wise and wonderful homage to eighties game design principles. And it’s on Xbox Live Indie Games without being a Minecraft clone!  I needed to know more about this silly and surreal pastiche, so I done interviewed its creator, Sparsevector. And here is what Mr Sparsevector said.”

Lost Humanity 7: Healing (Eurogamer.net)
“I’ve never been so unsure of something I’ve written in my life. I’ve probably never written something so personal. But I felt that to properly convey how important I think Ed Key and David Kanaga’s Proteus is, I had to be honest about why it really speaks to me.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Trajectories


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Indie Links Round-Up: Deckplan

Today’s Indie Links deal with piracy, Playstation Plus, a puzzle platformer, a plush prototype, and paddles moved with pitches. Try saying that ten times fast (then make sure to wipe off your monitor).

We Should Be Calling The Designer Of These Games Some Kind Of Genius (Kotaku)
“Schneider’s turned out more than a dozen games in two years, a feat that’s impressive no matter what you think of his output. And that output from his RadianGames studio has been very, very good. From the hypnotic Joy Joy to the clever hybrid Inferno, Schneider’s games have taken familiar design templates and branches them out in challenging ways tweaks them to feel modern, re-invented and fresh.”

Interview: Subset Games Talk FTL (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Last week Adam posted some impressions of the spaceship managing FTL, and you’re allowed to read them. And now, Craig’s spoken with its creators, Justin Ma and Matthew Davis. They talk about how the project came to be, how they’re still in shock over their massive Kickstarter success, and how it was that the game was inspired by text adventures.”

Experimental Gameplay: Audio Input Games (IndieGames.com)
“Developers created six games for the experimental gameplay project‘s July theme of audio input. The above-pictured Tone Death by Malcolm Brown uses a microphone for input; players must shatter glass by hitting the note next to it. A mismatched note equals a fiery death.”

Thomas Was Alone And A New Breed Of Reviews (Gnomes Lair)
Thomas Was Alone is a game by Mike Bithell and Mike Bithell is one of the first indie game designers I started writing about sometime six years ago. He was still a student back then, but had already come up with more than a few intriguing ideas and was more than capable of creating beautiful games. Games like Reunion if you remember, which I deeply enjoyed and (hint, hint) would love to see evolved.”

Piracy Is A Fact Of Life, So Why Not Just Have Fun With It? (Gamasutra)
“Tackling PC game piracy is always an on-and-off talking point for indie developers. Every now and again a studio throws out awful piracy rate figures for its latest release, and the internet goes ballistic over how terrible it is and what can be done to prevent it. These discussions usually culminate in DRM being called the worst thing to happen to video games ever. One indie studio recently took a different approach to piracy, and ended up being called out by a number of other devs for actuallyadvocating piracy.”

Jim Rossignol On Sir, You Are Being Hunted (Hookshot, Inc.)
“As to why we’re making Sir specifically, well, it was too much fun as an idea. It exploded out of a conversation about what we should be doing, and grew from there. I want to play it. That seems like reason enough.”

Wooly Spaceships, New Frontiers: Launching An Indie Career With Voyager (Gamasutra)
“New-minted indie developer Ken Amarit is something of a jack of all trades, about to make his formal game dev debut on iOS withVoyager. Aiming to do the whole works on his own, he was drawn to emphasize perhaps the most unique of his many skills. It’s his approach to game creation that holds interesting takeaways for all beginning indies, and those about to fly solo for the first time.”

Knytt, Big Sky Sequels Coming Free To PlayStation Plus (Eurogamer.net)
“Indie publisher Ripstone has announced a trio of releases for Sony’s PlayStation Plus Presents label: retro platformer Knytt Underground, hypnotic ‘shmup Big Sky Infinity and a third, as-yet-unannounced game.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Deckplan


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Indie Links Round-Up: Just Around The Corner

Coincidentally, today’s Indie Links include a number of games about squares: a roguelike with the map on a parchment-like square grid, a puzzler involving pushing things around square grids, another puzzler that involves lining up squares and rectangles.  But don’t worry; we’re not all squares here.  You can also read about the Indie Megabooth, Xbox Live, and more.  (Note, however, that the ”MEGA” letters in the Indie Megabooth logo are also pretty close to squares.  Huh.  Never mind.)

Everything You Knew About Playing Tetris Won’t Help With This Clever New Puzzle Game (Kotaku)
Slydris operates on the same falling-block template pioneered by Tetris and, yeah, you’re still aligning the tumbling shapes into horizontal lines to clear space on a vertical playfield. But Slydris finds unique ways to differentiate itself from other efforts to recapture the glory of Alexey Pajitnov’s all-time classic game.”

Video: Creating The Audio For Bastion (IndieGames.com)
“If there’s one thing the industry will remember about Supergiant Games’ Bastion, chances are it’ll be its audio. The game’s rich, ethereal score and iconic narration gave the game a very unique tone, and went a long way toward establishing its striking aesthetic. And at the 2012 Game Developer ConferenceBastion‘s audio and music designer, Darren Korb, discussed the ins and outs of how he made the game’s sound stand out from the pack.”

Brief Impressions: English Country Tune (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“At RPS, we’re hardy men. Jim can often be seen carrying a shed on his shoulders, packed with all his tools. Alec and Adam run a side business as fix-it gentlemen for logging machines, while Nathan is officially San Francisco’s Sturdiest Man. And I once fixed a tap. But English Country Tune is too much for us. (Well, for me and Jim, as we’re the ones who tried it.) A really beautiful puzzle game that Quinns once sent a biscuit. But by golly it’s hard.”

Mercury (Beta 1.1) (TIGSource)
“Described as an “experimental, winner-generated arcade roguelike”, Mercury is a simple dungeon crawl that allows the two top-scoring players at the end of each 4-day cycle to permanently add something new to it. Released as beta last month, the game began with only one monster, item, and class, but has since been expanded by the leading players in its community. There’s also a Chaos Mode, which allows anyone to add new entities to the game at any time (this is an easy way to see how the creation system works).”

Indie Megabooth Makes A Triumphant Return To PAX Prime (Joystiq)
“The Indie Megabooth proved to be a success at PAX East and is returning, bigger and better, to PAX Prime 2012, running August 31 – September 2. The PAX Prime Indie Megabooth will feature 29 independent studios and more than 30 games, each one shrouded in mystery and intrigue for now.”

Unepic (PixelProspector)
Unepic is an action adventure platformer with RPG elements that draws inspiration from the Castlevania series.”

Kickstarter Katchup – 4th August 2012 (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“There’s an absolutely enormous winners’ list this week, which is always a pleasure to see. Unless they turn out to be international money laundering thieves who release mediocre games at best. Then it will be a bit of a shame. So at what will you throw your money?”

How To Fix Xbox Live Arcade (Hookshot Inc.)
“Microsoft’s most recent dashboard update (a bi-annual-ish freshening of the Xbox 360’s menu screen that rearranges its form and tweaks its function) has been widely-criticized. Its haphazard arrangement bespeaks Microsoft’s muddled vision for their console’s twilight months – ballooning the size of advertisements, emphasizing the system’s media hub capacity by putting movies, TV and apps front and centre and, largely, ghettoizing the ‘game’ aspects of the system.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Just Around The Corner


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Indie Links Round-Up: Light And Dark

The games covered in today’s Indie Links let you play as a ninja, a restaurateur, or a claymation body-swapping adventurer.  (Not all in the same game, though a body-swapping ninja restaurateur would be a unique character.)

Indie Events: Freeplay Submissions Open, Lunarcade Landing Soon (IndieGames.com)
“The eighth annual Freeplay Independent Games Festival, open to international submissions, and Lunarcade are coming soon to Australia.”

Terraria Meets Borderlands In FortressCraft2d (Kotaku)
“ProjectorGames, creators of one of the best-selling Xbox Live Indie MineCraft clone FortressCraft, are going in a different direction with FortressCraft2D: sideways.A far cry from the 3D building game that sold like gangbusters in the XBLIG channel,FortressCraft2d is a 2D zombie survival game that leans heavily on procedural generation of worlds and weapons to keep the experience fresh and new every time it’s played. There’s a definite Terraria vibe here, with a little Borderlands thrown in for good measure.”

Hardcore Restaurant Sim Preview: Cook, Serve, Delicious (Vertigo Gaming) (IndieGames.com)
“Hardcore restaurant sim management, you say? From the developer of The Oil Blue, I’d expect no less. In Vertigo Gaming’s upcoming commercial sequel to Ore no Ryomi 2, players must return the Cook, Serve, Delicious restaurant to its five-star status by keeping the menu items interesting, toilets cleaned, and the buzz high, in addition to preparing food.”

Letters From A New York Indie #3: How Much Is Enough? (Hookshot Inc.)
“Letters from a New York Indie is a diary written by friend of Hookshot Inc, Kevin Cancienne, one of the creators of Drop7, who recently left his position as Director of Game Development at area/code to pursue life as an independent game-maker. The series documents life as a one-man indie as Cancienne explores what happens next.”

In Good Conscious: The Swapper (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
The Swapper has been in development for a good long while now. We first noticed it in October 2010, and today it’s one of seven games receiving the Indie Fund’s financial support. Today they’ve announced that they’ve had Penumbra’s Tom Jubert writing their game’s story (“leading narrative development”). The 2D puzzle-platformer will apparently discuss such existential questions as whether we have a soul, what is consciousness, and the very nature of our being. Which it’s fair to say is something platformers all too often forget to broach.”

Google Play Cracks Down On “Confusingly Similar” Apps (Ars Technica)
“With the latest changes to its developer policy, Google seems to making a serious effort to try to impose some sort of order on the wild west town that is its Google Play Android app store.  The most important change for the unsavvy consumer might be the new restrictions on copycat apps. Now, these knock-offs ‘must not have names or icons that appear confusingly similar to existing products.’ That new policy should be useful in combatting apps like Infinity Blade II, a fake version of Chair Entertainment’s popular iOS game that surfaced on Google Play recently, or Temple Run, which appeared in many forms on Google Play before the official version was ready. Apps with names like ‘Irate Birds’ or ‘Snip the Rope’ might also come under fire for being ‘confusingly similar,’ depending on how strictly Google plans to enforce the clause.”

Warsow 1.0 (TIGSource)
Warsow is a free, open source competitive FPS game built on Qfusion, a heavily modified version of the Quake 2 engine. In development for 7 years, the design is based on Quake 3 but adds new movement abilities – such as dashing, wall jumping, and ramp sliding – that are accessible via a special key. Additionally, Warsow has a number of features that make it easy to modify the game and spectate matches.”

Reinventing Stealth In 2D With Mark Of The Ninja (Gamasutra)
“Although there are plenty of ninja games, quite few depict the ninja as the master of stealth and trickery he ought to be. And stealth games are precious rare in the platformer genre. But with its upcoming Mark of the Ninja, Klei Entertainment wanted to try a couple new things. “

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Light And Dark


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Indie Links Round-Up: Castles In The Sky

In addition to all the articles about indie games that you expect, today’s Indie Links include some articles about the finances involved: the effects of Steam sales, and winning and losing indie game campaigns on Kickstarter.

The Project Zomboid Interview (IndieGames.com)
Project Zomboid, the incredibly ambitious zombie survival RPG that pits gamers against loneliness, starvation, desperation, insanity and, yes, zombies, is about to get a brand new version, and Will Porter, Project Zomboid’s writer and co-designer, is about to answer a few questions. So, uhm, read on!”

Steam Sales: How Deep Discounts Really Affect Your Games (Gamasutra)
“Valve’s Steam sales have always proven a great time for consumers to score some cheap PC games, but over the past several months, there’s been some debate over whether these promotions are good for game developers. Some have argued that the major discounts devalue games, and end up hurting the industry in the long run.”

Kickstarter Katchup – 28 July 2012 (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“As the Kickstarter Katchup grows, I’m scanning the budget to see if I can hire a personal assistant. With 29 tabs open for projects, if Chrome crashes at this point I’m going to walk out the front door and just keep walking. Just for the sake of my sanity, I’m going to have to keep some of the entries shorter, but give them a click if it sounds like something you want to know more about. If there’s a project you’re just aghast we haven’t included, email me via my name above and I’ll take a look – but, you know, try to do it nicely.”

A Nation Of Wind (TIGSource)
A Nation of Wind is an action sim where the goal is to control obelisks in levels composed of floating islands. To control an obelisk, it has to be surrounded by four temples, which are expensive in resources – you’ll have to start by building an infrastructure that includes farms, saw mills, and mines. Enemies will attack your colonies by land and air, however, so you’ll also need walls and turrets to defend. Direct attack is possible with your airship, too, using a variety of weapons that are fired with the mouse.”

Kitty Catch Mouse (PixelProspector)
Kitty Catch Mouse is a fast paced gravity switching neon colored platformer about a cat that hunts a mouse in space.”

Aliens Vs. Presenter: Natural Selection 2 At Rezzed (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Rezzed was twelve hundred million years ago, but there are still a few dev sessions left to share with those who couldn’t make it down to lovely Brighton on the day. Here’s Unknown Worlds chatting about and demonstrating their aeons-in-gestation FPS/RTS mash-up Natural Selection 2, including a whole lot of giant mouth-based action.”

The Day After #ScreenshotSaturday 5 (IndieGames.com)
“I’m diving right into the fifth edition of The Day After #ScreenshotSaturdaywith Martin Ziegler’s visually striking Wake Up Call. The beta of it went well enough that everyone should get to play it ‘next week.’  The premise is rather out there. The game happens inside a comatose man’s mind, and he has to to earn his consciousness back. I’m ready, Mr. Ziegler. I can’t say the rest of the games have such a deep premise, but they sure are nice to look at! That’s what this feature is for, after all…”

Now That Dear Esther Is Done, Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture (Kotaku)
“Indie developer thechineseroom’s experimental first-person adventure Dear Esther was a runaway success, despite the fact that wonderfully moody and atmospheric experience wasn’t exactly what one might consider a game. Now that they’ve set the mood, it’s time to add in a bit more game with Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, the story of the end of the world and the inconveniences that might cause.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Castles In The Sky


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Indie Links Round-Up: Into The Blue

Today’s Indie Links celebrate the anniversaries of ModDB and PixelProspector.

Celebrating 10 Years Of ModDB! (Indie DB)
“It’s hard to believe that ModDB is 10 years old, after launching way back in June 2002 when Altavista was still the no.1 search engine, Google was just an up-and-comer and Twitter / Facebook didn’t even exist. ModDB was first created because while attending various lan parties in the Counter-Strike heyday, my friends and I wanted to try and play heaps of different mods. Finding them was impossible, so creating a database of mods was our solution and hence ModDB.com was born.”

3rd Anniversary Of PixelProspector! (PixelProspector)
“Well well…PixelProspector just turned 3 today! To celebrate the 3rd anniversary of PixelProspector I have created a new video called 44 Free Indie Games In 4 Minutes (Multiplayer Edition). Enjoy!  Since I started the site in 2009 I met lots of great people and learned quite a bit about many things.  Here goes out a BIG THANKS to all the developers who create great games and to all PP visitors for checking out the games and spreading the word about them and the indie resources.”

Microsoft Attacked For Five-Figure Xbox 360 “Patch Fee” (Ars Technica)
“Developer Phil Fish knows there’s a problem preventing some people from enjoying his Xbox 360 puzzle platformer Fez as intended. But he’s not going to fix it, thanks to what he says is an exorbitant fee of “tens of thousands of dollars” that Microsoft would charge to recertify the game after a needed patch.”

Dyad’s Ending Is Perfect (Kotaku)
“Few endings get it right—often, they can be the most disappointing part of a work. ButDyad, the PS3′s new psychedelic downloadable racer, nails it. Spoilers ahead!”

Driving Discussion: Ashley McConnell On Online Racing Championship (IndieGames)
“Not all indie driving games are created abstractly. Ashley McConnell’s free-to-play Online Racing Championship (ORC) aims to improve realistic racing with advances in physics, networking, graphics, and ranking. McConnell posits that ORC can stand on its own as a free-to-play title without any programmed AI, too.”

Kerbal Space Program 0.16 – One Small Step (TIGSource)
“Today marked the 43rd anniversary of the first lunar landing and the first steps taken by mankind on the surface of the Moon. In celebration of this grand scientific achievement, the team at Squad has released the newest alpha version of their outstanding space game, Kerbal Space Program. Version 0.16 allows players to direct their Kerbal explorers to leave their vehicles for the first time and travel around on foot or even by jetpack. Will it be a momentous occasion for the annuls of history, or a embarrassing failure of aeronautical mishap? It’s up to you.”

The Day After #ScreenshotSaturday 4 (IndieGames)
“This week’s Screenshot Saturday sampling is about a lot more than zombies, though, with almost 200 pics to peruse. Enviro-bear 2010 dev Justin Smith posted a cryptic character shot (of something!?!). The arwork of Tyrone Henrie’s Catapult for Hire and Final Boss Entertainment’s Doom-like FPS Wrack have received major updates, too. But that’s just the beginning of The Day After #ScreenshotSaturday.”

App Marketing Costs Could Price Indies Out Of Mobile Market Says New Report (GamesIndustry)
“The average cost per user for mobile apps has risen sharply these past few months, according to a new report produced by W3i, an analytics firm specializing in mobile app monetization. The firm says that the average cost per user for Android has risen a sharp 70 percent, up from 30 cents to 51 cents. Costs for Apple’s App Store users have also risen steeply, up from 59 cents to 92 cents, a bump of 56 percent.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Into The Blue


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Indie Links Round-Up: A Lonely Road

Steam Greenlight, PlayStation Mobile, and Gary Gygax. Okay, so one of those things is not like the others, but they’re all still subjects of today’s Indie Links.

This Might Be Steam Greenlight’s Biggest Problem (Gamasutra)
“Greenlight is a potential game changer for digital distribution platforms, because it relies heavily on the community. Steam users will be able to submit both released and in-development games to Greenlight, filling their Greenlight game page with trailers, info, screenshots, system requirements and links to press coverage… But while the hype for the upcoming initiative is palpable, there’s one element that is quietly being discussed among indies — with an expected influx of Greenlight candidates, how exactly is Greenlight going to handle discoverability?”

Q&A: Martin Stig Andersen On Limbo’s Soundtrack (IndieGames)
Martin Stig Andersen‘s soundscape for Limbo received the Interactive Achievement Award for sound design from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Recently released for Mac and PC, Limbo Special Edition comes bundled with a boy sticker, seven original art cards, 3D glasses and the award-winning soundtrack. We had the chance to meet with the sound designer, together with French-language news site Musica Ludi, to hear about the process behind Playdead studio’s independently funded game titles.”

Preview: Fighting Is Magic (TIGSource)
My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic is a fighting fan game that’s currently under development. Created using 2d Fighter Maker 2002, MLP:FIM will eventually feature 17 ponies from the popular animated show. Each character has its own unique movelist that includes launchers and special magic attacks. The developers have said the game, which uses four buttons, most closely resembles Marvel vs. Capcom in design.”

Will PlayStation Mobile Be Xbox Live Indie Games All Over Again? (Gamasutra)
“Back when Sony’s PlayStation Suite was first detailed, it quickly became clear that it had quite the resemblance to a certain other digital platform — one that has its share of, ahem, problems.”

Gary Gygax: The Father Of Games Design (GamesIndustry International)
“‘So how do I become a games designer?’ is a question I often get asked as I engage with students and gamers in my work. The reply I often give is simple, ‘Shutdown your PC, switch off your tablet, turn your phone to silent then get hold of a copy of Dungeons & Dragons‘. Of course I don’t mean the various video game versions (great as many of them are) and I don’t mean the recent Facebook game (which is also fun). I mean the original rule book plus some pens, paper and loads of dice (don’t forget those d20s!). Then, Level 1 Magic User, you will be ready to begin your journey…”

Preview: Drox Operative (Soldak Entertainment) (IndieGames)
“Building on their experience with Diablo-esque action RPGs Soldak Entertainment is currently adding the finishing touches to Drox Operative; a most ambitious sci-fi RPG, that shockingly does at certain points actually play a bit like Diablo. Or at least that’s how I felt while giving its preview beta a thorough try.”

Modders Making Multiplayer Slender: Source (Shacknews)
“The creepy indie game Slender is getting a Source-based facelift, complete with multiplayer. A modding team has taken it upon themselves to make Slender: Source, a revised version of the original with prettier visuals. The game is still in a rough phase right now, but the promises are intriguing.”

The Video Game Kickstarter Report – Week Of July 27 (Zeboyd Games)
“Scoreboard time! Ouya has raised another $400k+ in the past week and is now at $5.6 million with 12 days left. The Penny Arcade kickstarter has raised $35k in the past week and is now at $378k with 18 days left. The Defense Grid kickstarter has raised another $30k and is up to $162k (goal of $250k) with 17 days left. 3D Dictionary finished up with $28k ($12k goal). Shadowrun Online is up to $178k ($500k goal) with 17 days left. Spacechem is up to $5k+ with 66 hours left. And the Ninostarter still hasn’t reached its first goal.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: A Lonely Road


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Indie Links Round-Up: At The Arcade

Today’s Indie Links include games from a former designer at Zynga, from team members who had worked on a cancelled MMO conceived by Steven Spielberg, and from the warzone of Syria.

War-Torn Developers: Creating Games From The Front Lines (Gamasutra)
“What’s it like to create games in a warzone? We’re talking about the same kind of environments mimicked in our most violent shooters and open-world adventures, video games that often ignore the real people traumatized by the bloodshed, and the near-constant state of anxiety their lives have become?  Gamasutra talked with several developers in countries torn by war or trying to rebuild after a revolution, seeking to learn about the struggles of trying to make games while there’s an insurrection mounting and the cracking sound of gunfire outside.”

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: ErnCon (Joystiq)
“Indie developers are the starving artists of the video-game world, often brilliant and innovative, but also misunderstood, underfunded and more prone to writing free-form poetry on their LiveJournals. We believe they deserve a wider audience with the Joystiq Indie Pitch: This week, Ernest Woo of Woo Games (we wonder how he thought of that name?) talks mobile, multiplayer space combat with ErnCon.”

HFB Q&A: A Brief History Of SideTracks’ PixelJunk Soundtrack (IndieGames)
“Alex Paterson and Dom Beken of the hip-hop duo High Frequency Bandwidth were nominated for a BAFTA Award for their score to Q-Games’ independently developed title PixelJunk Shooter.  The UK music group and Kyoto game studio have since collaborated onPixelJunk Shooter 2 and PixelJunk SideScroller for PlayStation Network. We had the chance to catch up with Dom Beken for a brief overview of the history behind the latest soundtrack release, SideTracks: The Soundtrack to Sidescroller, now out on iTunes and Amazon Mp3.”

CastleVille Designer Leaves Zynga To Lead A (Much) Smaller Team (Gamasutra)
“‘I enjoyed my time at Zynga,’ says Dave Pottinger, ex-lead designer on Facebook behemoth CastleVille. ‘The reality is that I want to work on smaller projects with smaller teams.’ This yearning to run with the smaller teams is what led Pottinger (bottom right in picture) to found new studio BonusXP earlier this year, alongside a few other notable industry veterans, including former Robot Entertainment programmer John Evanson (bottom left in pic) and former id Software artist Jason Sallenbach (top).”

In-Fighting To Win In Behemoth’s Battleblock Theater (Joystiq)
Battleblock Theater is poised to follow in Castle Crashers‘ footsteps as an addictive, enthusiastically fun cooperative platformer with oodles of replay value and longevity when it eventually launches on the XBLA. I played through two levels on two separate cabinets, on two separate days with two different people, and had the same joyful experience with both. Battleblock Theater is a game to be enjoyed with friends, or with people who seem to have a good attitude about getting hit with friendly explosive Frisbees in the middle of complicated platforming maneuvers. ”

Skulls Of The Shogun – From Spielberg To Advance Wars On XBLA (Hookshot Inc.)
“Skulls of the Shogun was one of the most striking titles on the show floor at last month’s Rezzed. Of course, it helps that Strategy RPGs are the KINGS OF ALL GAMES but, even aside from that, 17-Bit’s forthcoming XBLA/ Windows 8 title is full of visual and mechanical wonder.  It’s also a game to bring a few first’s to Microsoft’s aging platform, being the first asynchronous multiplayer game for XBLA (I guess we’re not counting Trials’ ghost data competition here) as well as the first title to offer cross-platform play between Xbox and Windows 8. Exciting.”

IndieGames Podcast #26: E3 2012 (IndieGames)
“This installment of the IndieGames Podcast takes place at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles and the Blip Festival concert in New York. We hear from game designers, a game writer, music composer, sound engineer and filmmaker.”

Hands On Horror Mod: Grey (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Scaring someone is a fine art. Scaring someone when they’re expecting to be scared makes it even trickier. So Grey is a big task for the Deppresick team of modders. A total conversion mod for Half-Life 2, it’s a horror game that borrows liberally from every other horror game, movie, book, and scary painting you once saw. I put on my bravest trousers and had a look.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: At The Arcade