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

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Indie Links Round-Up: The Underground

Echro

Gulag Paradise, Echro One and other unusual games highlight today’s Indie Links.

Redshirt, or ‘If The Starship Enterprise had Facebook’ (Gamasutra)
“I’ve personally wondered for a while now how social media could be better integrated into video game experiences. Inviting friends and tracking online high scores is all well and good, but it seems like there’s a whole world of social opportunities that haven’t yet been fully explored.”

Echro One lets you battle hedgehogs in underground caverns (Polygon)
“Indie developer Cellusious released Echro One yesterday, a game about adventuring through a treasure-packed underground cavern and battling giant hedgehogs.”

TowerFall creator talks story modes, inspiration, pricing and ‘yomi’ (Polygon)
“TowerFall creator Matt Thorson was not prepared for the response to his game. “The game had been testing really well since about six months into development, when everything just started clicking,” he told Polygon. “I had my close friends in my basement every couple of weeks to party and play TowerFall, and they started really enjoying it and asking when the next time they could play was. When I bought the game to developer meetups, it would draw crowds. Even at Evo… It was just amazing.””

Where Pain Meets Pleasure (And Slavery): Gulag Paradise (RPS)
“Soviet Gulags were not known as the nicest places, so of course someone went and made a game about vacationing to them. Gulag Paradise is neon-blistered getaway, a week of torturous labor for those who are “tired of the same old family summer trip”. Admittedly, TV taught me that everything was black-and-white back in those days – not pink and orange – but I’m no historian. Anyway, about the tedium and discomfort: Gulag Paradise isn’t really either one of those, but it is an interesting little typing game. It sees you both grind boulders with your splintering fingernails and make choices about how you’ll communicate with your merciless overlord by typing out every word, and I think it works rather well.”

New PlayStation Indie Channel Games for week ending July 17, 2013 (IndiePub)
“With the release of PlayStation’s Indie Game Channel in their store, we decided to start a weekly article covering indie games released on the PSN Store! Check back each week to discover some of the great indie games that you can play on your PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. ”

Indie Pleas: Indie game crowd funding roundup for July 19, 2013 (IndiePub)
“The theme this week on Indie Pleas is strategy. Get your fill of fun, action-packed RTS and tower defense with the games Wars and Battles and Stone Wardens.”

I Can’t Stop Playing Cube World (Kotaku)
“Today is the type of day where I look back on the week and go holy moly, I’ve spent most of my time recently doing one thing. In this case, that one thing has been playing the PC voxel exploration game, Cube World.”

Bastion Makers Tell Fans To Go Ahead And Stream Their Games (Kotaku)
“Supergiant Games, makers of Bastion and the upcoming Transistor, would like you to know that they’re totally cool with you streaming “Let’s Play” videos of their games.”


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Indie Links Round-Up: Stranger Things

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Today’s Indie Links feature articles on Teslagrad, Gunpoint and Spin the Bottle.

Interview at Gunpoint (Games Industry)
“When Tom Francis was a teenager, living with his parents, he roughed out a plan for a game featuring a bounty hunter in space. Now, years later, he’s a respected games journalist and the creator of Gunpoint, a stealth game that has found success (and significantly large sales) on the indie scene.”

Spin the Bottle interview: team designing and marketing a TV-less console game (IndieGames.com)
“Redgrim (Dragon Pussy, MRS. DAD) and Knapnok (B.U.T.T.O.N.) are working together and marketing Spin the Bottle: Bumpie’s Party, a party game coming this summer to the Wii U console that never uses the TV. Here, the two discuss working remotely, creating trailers for games not played on a screen, the characters’ “phallic-in-nature” design, and other challenges that come with marketing a “spin the bottle” game.”

Preview: Teslagrad (Indie Game Reviewer)
“Teslagrad from Rain AS based out of Bergen, Norway, is a puzzle-platformer currently in production for which IGR had the pleasure of sampling an early build. I got to experience play up until just after the first boss, at which point I came upon a boarded-up barrier telling me this was the end of what was in the current build. In the opening scenes I was impressed with the quality of animation in the character sprites. In fact, the whole aesthetic of Astro Boy classic style animation is incredibly well done. As for music, I could only enjoy the trailer teaser music as there was none in the build I played.”

Splatter Interview (Independent Gaming)
“Strolling through IndieDB can get you some awesome indie games, and I found Splatter, an upcoming (edit: now available!) shooter with a slick style. I contacted Thomas, the creator, to find out about how the art style was made, among other things.”

Call of Tomsk-7: An Overlooked Gem (Independent Games)
“Daniel Mercier, AKA Red Tree Games, first caught my attention with his excellent freeware puzzle-platformer Burn Pixel Wood. But that’s Daniel’s second game; his first game was released commercially in January of 2013 and flew so low under the radar that I only recently learned of its existence (not that I’m omniscient, but I do make it my business to at least be aware of as many indie game releases as humanly possible). That game, of course, is Call of Tomsk-7, and it turns out that I like it very much.”

The indieComplex (TIGSource)
“Some young gents are trying to pick up where the TIGCast left off. So, please guide and aid them in their endeavors.”

Live Free, Play Hard: Illegal Gender Magic (RPS)
“Illegal gender magic. Raise your horse from a young larva. Skull critter time wars, in a ravishing shade of multiplayer.”

Kickstarter Katchup – July 7th (RPS)
“There are several failures this week, although most vow to return or to continue development by finding other means of funding. That’s becoming increasingly common by my reckoning. There are also more developers realising that while operating a campaign is hard work in and of itself, the amount of effort expended before even launching can be just as important. New space games make up the bulk of fresh entries and Centration is already at the top of my personal wishlist. Space Station 13 from a first-person perspective? Oh yes.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Stranger Things


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Indie Links Round-Up: But The View

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Today’s Indie Links include articles on beautiful indies, like The Witness and Proteus.

Here’s a look at the games from this year’s Molyjam (Gamasutra)
“Molyjam Deux, the second worldwide game jam inspired by the pie-in-the-sky thought processes of Black & White and Fable designer Peter Molyneux and his parody @petermolydeux, came to a close late last night with nearly 200 games from more than 30 participating jam locations.”

Staying Humble: Proteus’ Origins And Ed Key’s Next Game (RPS)
“Proteus is a warm, soothing bubble bath for the soul. The lo-fi first-person explorer lets players loose on an island that’s one part rainbow dreamscape and another chirpy chiptune music maze. Basically, it’s what I imagine nature lovers believe the outdoors to be, even though every real-life forest, hill, and tree is actually made entirely out of spiders. And yet, for all of Proteus’ high-minded inventiveness, it certainly didn’t start out that way. Creator Ed Key had to learn some very important lessons about, er, not being Skyrim before his first independently developed game traded bullets for butterflies, and – despite Proteus pulling in a fair deal of money – he’s trying very hard to keep them in mind for his next game.”

Witness The Witness (Eurogamer)
“There are a couple of refreshing things about Braid designer Jonathan Blow’s presentation of his next game The Witness on Sony’s stand at E3. The first is that it’s happening at all. The second is that he’s showing us the actual game. Such is the illusory nature of the great annual video game circus, where even virtual worlds aren’t real.”

Here’s Your Chance, Do Your Dance at the Kerbal Space Program Jam (Kotaku)
“Kerbal Space Program is a space exploration sandbox game—think Minecraft in space. Most folks assemble spacecraft and try to launch them without killing their occupants. Others, as seen here, build orbiting basketball goals and go for extra-vehicular dunktivity.”

Phantasy Star Meets Suikoden? Sign Me Up. (Kotaku)
“The next indie role-playing game from a studio known for solid indie role-playing games is sci-fi, turn-based, and inspired by some of the all time greats.”

Interview: The Enclave (Independent Gaming)
“I stumbled across a neat little Kickstarter game while exploring that site. The Enclave is a post-apocalyptic sim game where a huge amount of the gameplay focuses on using the GPS functionality of mobile devices. I was intrigued by the concept and so I contacted the creator, David Kidd.”

Alpha Gameplay Trailer: Routine (TIGSource)
“Routine is an upcoming first-person survival horror title set on an abandoned lunar research station. The game features some roguelike elements, such as permanent death and randomized hazards and key item locations. The game’s three-person development team has also emphasized that there will be no HUD or scoring systems so as to increase the immersion. They are hoping to provide support for the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift at release.”

Gunpoint review: Indie film noir espionage (Kotaku)
“Gunpoint is the perfect game at the perfect time. At the same moment the industry is heavily promoting console innovation with aurally destructive stage demos, this indie game from reporter Tom Francis and a ragtag crew of volunteers offers a simplistic and quiet respite: an outstanding puzzle game with sharp writing, beautiful music and clever mechanics. As freelance spy-type Richard Conway, players work to investigate a murder – in which he is inadvertently involved – using handy spy skills like long distance leaping and scaling walls.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: But The View


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Indie Links Round-Up: One Foot In Front Of The Other

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A host of reviews and spotlights in today’s Indie Links, including looks at The Swapper and Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe.

The Story Of An Indie Game’s Life (And Impending Demise) On Steam (Kotaku)
“There are literally thousands of games on Valve’s Steam service, and a growing number are small, independent titles. You’ve probably never even heard of many of them, but for the tiny teams (or sometimes individuals) behind them, their success or failure can be literally life-changing. Take Lunar Flight, for example.”

The Swapper review: Swap it to me (Opposable Thumbs)
“While walking through an interstellar outpost midway through The Swapper, you come across a giant asteroid lodged into a series of steel girders and bathed in dotted lights. You might think it’s a weird choice of interior decoration, made all the weirder by the all-caps message it soon beams into your brain. “The one called the Swapper: it manipulates minds by some method that is not persuasion or argument. Is it a weapon?” By this point in the game, though, it would be weird if the asteroid didn’t start spouting nonsense—and besides, this is the first time the voices in your head make even a little sense. This rock is plainly describing the game that contains it, which may seem quite familiar at this point. After all, The Swapper’s brain-bending 2D puzzles, super-scientific yet non-violent gun, and cryptic sci-fi disaster setting will hardly turn the puzzle-platformer genre on its head.”

Indie Fund-backed titles Mushroom 11, The Swapper offer unique, memorable experiences (Polygon)
“Mushroom 11 and The Swapper are two vastly different games with one common ally: Indie Fund, a funding source for independent developers with remarkable titles.”

Guacamelee DLC Incoming, Sequel Possible (IGN)
“Guacamelee was the best-selling game for both PSN and Vita last month, and there’s good reason for that: it’s friggin’ awesome. In a conversation with IGN, Graham Smith, co-founder of Guacamelee creator DrinkBox Studios, talked about the game’s success, as well as future DLC possibilities and – oh yes – a sequel.”

Review: Unmechanical (Indie Game Reviewer)
“Unmechanical features a great number of engaging puzzles to solve. The art design is the real hook, and Talawa Games has done a fantastic job creating an alluring inner mechanical (and yet strangely organic) realm that aptly conveys a sense of enormity.”

Review: Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe (Indie Game Reviewer)
“Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe is a SNES-era Super Mario Bros. and Tetris mashup from indie developer Andrew Morrish and published by Adult Swim Games. Those are the low-hanging comparisons. It’s a simple enough premise, but it is fun. I immediately modified the default control scheme on my Xbox gamepad to use the left thumbstick to move directionally in lieu of the default joypad mapping. I set the right trigger to shoot and left to fire the secondary weapon, and A to jump. Suddenly this was a no-brainer to pick up, and I found myself returning to it frequently for a quick pick up lightning round of jumping, blasting dodging and yes even a little strategizing. There really isn’t much more to it than that, well there are a few more things, but it works.”

Former Grubby Games, Big Fish dev Ryan Clark on his DDR-like roguelike (IndieGames.com)
“Upcoming rhythm and roguelike hybrid Crypt of the NecroDancer developer Ryan Clark recently spoke with me to fill in the gaps left from the early alpha trailer above. His latest project is certainly different from his earlier work at Grubby, such as FizzBall and IncrediBots. He still likes creating title words with capital letters in the middle of them, though.”

Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage (Pixel Prospector)
“Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage is a combat racer with machine guns and rocket launchers in which you drive speedily around and cause explosions either in single player or multiplayer mode (LAN or internet). Beside normal racing action (reach finish line asap) there is also a deathmatch mode which offers FPS arena action (with cars). I highly recommend to check it out… it’s great fun!”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: One Foot In Front Of The Other


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Indie Links Round-Up: Brick By Brick

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RPG gems on XBLIG, Monaco, Kentucky Route Zero and more – in today’s Indie Links.

Breathe In The Road: Cardboard Computer And Kentucky Route Zero (Polygon)
“With Act 2 of their five-act piece on the horizon, artists Jake Elliott and Tamas Kemenczy discuss their past and their process and speak to their critics.”

Indie platformer Cloudberry Kingdom will be published by Ubisoft, coming this summer (Polygon)
“Indie side-scrolling platformer Cloudberry Kingdom will be published and distributed by Ubisoft this summer, the company announced today. Developed by Pwnee Studios, and successfully crowdfunded via Kickstarter last summer, Cloudberry Kingdom will feature levels that randomly generate each time you enter, presenting players with new challenges for each playtime, and adjustable difficulty ranging from casual to hardcore. Levels will adapt to the player’s skill level and the abilities of the in-game characters. Players will also be able to create their own characters and challenges.”

Guacamelee review: Wrestlevania (Joystiq)
“Is there anything more paltry than the video game chicken? Guacamelee lets you kick the poor featherballs, lock them in your log-like luchador arms, and pile-drive them into the ground so hard they bounce around the room. In the presence of a protagonist, the only thing worse off than a chicken is a vase.”

Monaco review: A good day to spy hard (Joystiq)
“I’m a terrible thief. If ever there were an investigation into a string of high-profile burglaries in my neighborhood, all I’d have to do to clear my name is invite some police officers to sit down, get comfortable, and watch me play Monaco for five minutes. The officers would see my glowing, pixelated character get caught on the walls around doorways while running away from hordes of angry guards with guns; they would laugh as I rushed into rooms full of alarms and set off every single one; and they would leave soon after I forgot, again, that my character could dig through walls, hack locked doors or easily knock out unsuspecting enemies, and I’d be a free woman. Just like I’d planned all along.”

The State of XBLIG RPGs (Independent Gaming)
“RPGs are powerhouses of both the AAA and the indie game industries. That’s no different on the Xbox Live Indie Game Marketplace, where they’re some of the best games on the service. Like RPGs? Here are some XBLIG suggestions for you.”

The Prisoners May Be Innocent in One of 2013′s Most Interesting PC Games (Kotaku)
“I’m already on-record about how fascinating Prison Architect is. Seriously, it’s SimPrison—or ThemePrison, if you will—made by people who seem to be damn near fearless about making video games about uncomfortable topics.”

Indiemon: Earth Nation (Indie Gamer Chick)
“I have an idea for a children’s game. In it, you’ll play as a pre-pubescent lad who will wander the world making animals fight for sport and for fame. You’ll start with one enslaved creature (possibly an adorable mouse-lightning bolt thing, something that just oozes cuteness) and then randomly fight other adorable creatures along the countryside. During a fight, right at the moment before your huggable little animal buddy delivers a merciless death-blow to the creature it just beat into a pulp, you’ll capture the creature in a cage way too small for it to possibly live comfortably in. You’ll then force it to fight creatures that you wish to enslave, with your ultimate aim being to capture one of every creature like some deranged, asexual Noah.”

Getting a start in making games, from the man behind Thirty Flights of Loving (IndieGames.com)
“This week I [was] fortunate enough to be featured in The Humble Weekly Sale. My email inflow has skyrocketed, and amongst them I get a fair amount of messages like this: I’m a student in high school and I’m really interested in making games, but I have no clue where to start. I was wondering if you could offer me some insight into where to start? Everyone’s brain is wired differently. For me, my best suggestion boils down to: Make stuff. Then make more stuff. If you’re not into brevity, I’ll get more specific.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Brick By Brick


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Indie Links Round-Up: Violet Vortex

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Try something new with today’s Indie Links, which include last year’s top 10 (or 25) experimental games of 2012 – or if that doesn’t appeal to you, there are plenty of games of established genres you may not have played much, too.

Top 10 (Free) Experimental Games of 2012 (IndieGames)
“Ten games and another fifteen honorable mentions and we still can’t feel 100% happy with our Top 10 free experimental games of 2012 list. If there is one thing indie developers simply excel at, you see, is not just coming up with, but actually trying out and releasing games based on wild and at times radical ideas. Games so different, so innovative and so unique we can’t help but describe as experimental.”

A Common Thread: Rami Ismail (Quote Unquote)
“My name is Rami Ismail, age 24, and I’m the business & developer guy at Vlambeer, a two-man independent studio in the Netherlands best known for Super Crate BoxRadical FishingGUN GODZ and our upcoming game LUFTRAUSERS.”

Review: Medal Wars – Keisers Revenge (Indie Game Reviewer)
“Though Medal Wars provides a decent amount of action and plenty to keep players busy, it feels unpolished in places and suffers from clunky controls.”

Jumping The Kickstarter-Gun (Indie Gamer Chick)
“Kickstarter is not venture capital.  It’s not angel investing.  Pledgers are not looking for a monetary return on their investment.  I do understand this.  And yet, I’m still not a supporter of Kickstarter, because I think it sends the wrong message to potential developers: money is easy to come by.  I believe it’s irresponsible to teach young entrepreneurs that money should be given to them based on a concept and raw enthusiasm.  Funding should only be given on the grounds of actual ability, a proven track record of completed, competent projects, and the willingness to personally sacrifice for the benefit of your project.  It’s shocking to me how people fund games from people who meet none of that criteria.  I’m even more shocked when a developer reaches their Kickstarter goal, gets the money, and within weeks has another ask posted for even more funding.. and gets it.”

Road To The IGF: Blendo Games’ Thirty Flights of Loving (Gamasutra)
“Brendon Chung of Blendo Games has produced some of the most exciting and unique video game experiences of recent years, from the delightful Gravity Bone to IGF 2012 finalist Atom Zombie Smasher. Now the indie dev has yet another game as an IGF finalist. This time around it’s Gravity Bonesequel Thirty Flights of Loving, and it’s just as intriguing as its predecessor.”

Blind Eye Games – Interview With George Sawyer (Independent Gaming)
“I was lucky enough to contact George Sawyer at Blind Eye Games to talk about his upcoming zombie game, Safe Zone, a game where you’re tasked with travelling across the U.S. to get away from the zombie horde.”

‘Indie’ Means Nothing, And It’s Everyone’s Fault (Indie Statik)
“Man, oh man. The big question: What is ‘Indie’? You’d think a publication that has the word ‘Indie’ in its title and is staffed by primarily ‘Indie’ fans, all of whom write exclusively and exhaustively about anything and everything ‘Indie’ under the sun, would sorta know what the bloody word actually meansby now. Well, turns out we don’t. Turns out no one does. Turns out not a week goes by where I don’t hear someone meekly ask their fellow gaming compatriots whether or not GAME X is ‘Indie’ or not, only to be subsequently thrown aback by the crashing waves of wildly conflicting opinions on the matter until they find themselves gasping for air as they plunge deeper into an ocean of bickering, twisted logic and malice. Turns out this is a problem. So I’ve decided that for the good of all the game lovin’ peeps everywhere that I’m gonna figure this shit out right here, right now!”

Live Free, Play Hard: The Week’s Finest Free Indie Games (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Multiplayer god poem. HUNT FOR THE GAY PLANET. Super Hallucinogon. Color domming.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Violet Vortex


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Indie Links Round-Up: Interlocked

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If you’ve got a need for speed, today’s Indie Links are for you, with the results of the Indie Speed Run game jam… as well as plenty of other fast-paced games, and maybe a few not-so-fast-paced ones too to shake things up.

Light Fighters (Indie Gamer Chick)
“There is nothing really wrong with Light Fighters besides not being fun.  The game didn’t crash.  There weren’t physics glitches.  Everything wrong with it can be boiled down to “this game probably had no chance of being entertaining from the onset and the developer should have recognized that and tried something else.”  Even if the ships were more interesting, or the bullets they fired more exotic, or the AI less unfair, or the reload-rates less painfully slow, or if multiplayer matches didn’t all boil down to glorified button mashers that leave little to no room for strategy, or if it had something to keep track of what your best times are in meteor mode, or if the meteors weren’t so fucking spongy, or all of the above, Light Fighters still would have been boring.”

Atomic Creep Spawner!! And Ore Chasm Are Your Ludum Dare 25 Winners (IndieGames)
“The top overall games from Ludum Dare’s 25th competition have been decided, after judges played through 1,327 entries. deepnight’s Atomic Creep Spawner!! takes home the gold for the 48-hour compo and Black Ships Fill the Sky’s Ore Chasm (I see what you did there) wins gold for the 72-hour jam.”

Joe Danger‘s Most Impressive Stunt Is How Good His Mobile Game Turned Out (Kotaku)
“When I first caught wind of Hello Games bringing their stunt-racing hero Joe Danger to iOS, I imagined a straight port of the original PlayStation Network release, complete with a screen cluttered with virtual controls. Instead they’ve delivered a game that fully embraces the touch-based platform, one that’s as refreshing to play as it was for the company’s founder to develop.”

Play Free Indie Speed Run Games Now (IndieGames)
Indie Speed Run’s 48-hour jam games are now available to play for free. While they await judgment from the star-studded cast including Minecraft’s Notch, Passage’s Jason Rohrer, Journey’s Kellee Santiago, and Limbo’s Dino Patti, here are just a few highlights of the hundreds of games available (with more being added throughout the day).”

Indie Speed Run Games Now Available For The Public To Play (Polygon)
“Games that were created as part of the Indie Speed Run game jam are now available on the event’s official website for the public to play. The Indie Speed Run is a global game jam where teams of one to four developers create a game in any 48-hour span during the game jam period. The most recent jam ran from Nov. 28, 2012 to Jan. 6, 2013.”

We Can Finally See The Dark Side Of The Moon (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Lovely Love-maker Eskil Steenberg has finally revealed what his next project will be. He just popped a video up on Youtube, showing off the prototype for a Dark Side Of The Moon, a “real-time strategy stealth action game”. The video is a quick look at some of the units he’s preparing for the battlefield. It looks like he’ll be focusing on smaller battles, rather than turning out a StarCraft clone.”

Juego Rancheros’ Fistful Of Indies: January 2013 (Venus Patrol)
“Every month, as part of the regular monthly meetings of the Austin, TX independent game community JUEGOS RANCHEROS, we do a very casual & chatty rundown of the ten or so games from the previous month for the audience, to give people — especially those curious onlookers from outside the indie community itself — a look at what they may have missed. The featured games are both local and global, and both indie and, on occasion, a bit-bigger-budget — what binds them together is simply that they’re all amazing.”

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


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Indie Links Round-Up: Dental Hygiene

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Today’s Indie Links recipe calls for several cups of platformers, with a heaping tablespoon of fighting games and a soupçon of other genres.

Road to the IGF: Richard Hofmeier’s Cart Life (Gamasutra)
“Richard Hofmeier’s Cart Life was originally released in May 2011, and for a good while it drifted along without all that much attention. This was a huge shame, because the retail simulation title is as brilliant as it is deep. You play as an entrepreneur who is looking to start a business, while also making sure other areas of his or her life are kept in order.”

Platformer From Hell And Little Acorns Deluxe (Indie Gamer Chick)
“Platformer from Hell comes from Hoosier Games, a group of academics from Indiana.  I know, I know.  Academics?  In Indiana?  I went ‘Hah!’ too, but upon further research, they do have institutes of higher learning there.  I’m not sure what is considered higher learning in Indiana.  ‘Cow Tipping 101′ or ‘Why you can’t pork your sister’ I would imagine are on the agenda.  I’m kidding of course.  Actually, I’m quite friendly with project manager Derrick Fuchs (I hope that’s pronounced the way I think it is) and I ranked their previous effort, Warp Shooter, on the Indie Gamer Chick Leaderboard.  It was flawed but functional and fun.  I applauded their efforts and looked forward to their next game.  Which is here.  And it sucks.  A lot.”

Play Nifflas’ Nordic Game Jam 2013 Winner Spaceship With A Mace And More For Free (IndieGames)
“The Nordic Game Jam 2013 concluded with, as of this writing, approximately 80 games completed at the reported 470-person event. Nifflas’ multiplayer game Spaceship with a Mace was crowned the Grand Prize winner of the event. Stikbold, another multiplayer only game, was crowned ‘most fun game.’”

Damn It, Owlboy, Why Aren’t You Out Yet (Kotaku)
“It’s been a long time coming. A long, long time, and still no release date in sight. But indie adventure/platformer Owlboy looks worth the wait. This video, released over the weekend, showcases both the music of composer Jonathan Geer and the game’s charming art style, which for want of something more descriptive reminds me of a Genesis version of Wind Waker.”

State of XBLIG Fighting Games (Independent Gaming)
“Fighting games have always been a staple of video games to some extent, whether big or small, but they’ve seemed to disappear in the last decade or so. Seemed to. They’ve started to experience a resurgence in the AAA market; probably with a bit of help from the indie market. Xbox Live indie games have a handful of good fighting games so, without further ado, here are some interesting/fun XBL indie games of the fighting genre, in no particular order.”

Review: Marvin’s Mittens  Rekindle The Joy Of Exploring A Winter Wonderland (Indie Game Reviewer)
“Though aesthetically, Marvin’s Mittens from Canadian developers Breakfall Games may appear to be geared towards a younger audience, there’s something on offer here that could be compelling for any audience, particularly those who fondly remember snow days from their childhood.”

The Soaring Successes, Surprise Endings And Abject Failures Of Crowd-Funded Video Games (Polygon)
“Kickstarter is no longer untested water for game financing. Since the website’s inauguration in April 2009, 3,843 projects have launched in its games category. But what happens to these projects after they leave Kickstarter, either through funding success or funding failure?”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Dental Hygiene


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Indie Links Round-Up: Spin The Wheel

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Today’s Indie Links include six top ten lists, and nine top five lists. So… I guess you can pick your top five or ten top ten/five lists, if you really want to.

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Ravaged (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, 2 Dawn Games’ Carsten Boserup talks crowdfunding and indie publishing with his Steam game (now on sale!), Ravaged.”

Little Inferno (Indie Gamer Chick)
“Tis the season of gifts.  Or, if you want to be a killjoy, the season to burn toys in a fireplace.  That’s the idea behind Little Inferno, an independent game for the Wii U.  It’s by the guys behind World of Goo, which was probably the best digital-download game on the original Wii.  But World of Goo got by on being a quirky, addictive physics-puzzler.  Little Inferno, on the other hand, feels like the type of time-sink you would find on the iPhone market.  In fact, there are lots mechanical issues with Little Inferno that make me think it started life as a micro transaction-oriented mobile game, like Doodle God for arsonists.  Only such games typically cost $1 or less and make their money by nickle-and-diming you to speed up the gameplay.  Little Inferno charges you $15 upfront, and keeps the action nice-and-slow.”

Top 10 Best Indie Games of 2012, Honorable Mentions and IGR’s Most Anticipated Games of 2013 (Indie Game Reviewer)
“At IndieGameReviewer.com, we began compiling our Top Ten indie Games 2012 edition sometime around June. This is because we wanted to remember the impact of the games that came out in the first half of the year, and from that point forward, we looked at every game that crossed our path with the same consideration, regardless of its size…”

Music of the Spheres – Mathematical Beauty in Action (Independent Gaming)
“What kind of person are you, that you hunt angels?! Er, sorry. Music of the Spheres is certainly a simple concept at first glance, and is always interesting. But it gets more complicated. The theme certainly isn’t angel genocide, but something much more beautiful.”

Live Free, Play Hard: The Week’s Finest Free Indie Games (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“First off, lists are bullshit. But these are indie games, not some Triple A Shooter that everyone knows about already, so we threw together our top 5 in the following categories to entice you to take a second look at some of the best games of the year.”

Top 10 Indie Horror Games of 2012 (IndieGames)
“Horror, just like humor, is an ancient, fickle and hard to tame beast. Going beyond mere jump-scares and evoking the feeling of proper fear can be particularly tough, but more than a few indie developers seem ready to tackle such tasks. This particular roundup hopes to cover the best and, well, most scary horror releases of 2012 and is featuring both freeware and commercial titles for a variety of platforms.”

The Sequel To The Best Reverse-Tower-Defense Game Is Superb, If Barely A Sequel (Kotaku)
Anomaly Korea is actually very, very much like 2011′s Anomaly: Warzone Earth, the reverse tower-defense game. You still command a slow-rolling column of tanks and transports through a maze of evil enemy towers. You can still map out your route through the city streets using your fingers. You can still tap special power-ups into existence to briefly buff your vehicles or baffle your foes. You can still kill towers, collect money and upgrade your vehicles. You still need to get to a goal point with some vehicles. The game still checkpoints, makes you think, plan and re-plan, getting tough nice and quickly.”

Skulls of the Shogun Devs Interested in Cross-Platform Purchase Promotion, But Microsoft Can’t Yet Do It (Polygon)
“Buy one version of Skulls of the Shogun, get another for free? Developer 17-Bit would like to make that happen, but CEO Jake Kazdal told Polygon that the indie studio is hamstrung by Microsoft — the company doesn’t have anything like Sony’s PlayStation 3/PlayStation Vita Cross Buy promotion set up across Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows RT or Xbox Live Arcade titles.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Spin The Wheel


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Indie Links Round-Up: Polygonal Polly

Chasing-Aurora 1

How did an indie studio end up with one of its games as a launch title on the Wii? Some developers really like local multiplayer games. This question and answer are not related to each other, but they’re both related to today’s Indie Links.

Sportsfriends Developers’ Love of Split-Screen Gaming Influenced Their Collaboration (Polygon)
“In an Ask Me Anything on Reddit today, the four indie developers behind games like QWOP and the Sportsfriends Kickstarter project discussed their shared love of local multiplayer and how that influenced their not-yet-funded collaboration.”

Live Free, Play Hard: The Week’s Finest Free Indie Games (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Powerful game teens. @’s widow. EVERY DAY I WAKE UP AND OPEN PALM SLAM A KILLER RETORT TO MISOGYNY INTO THE SLOT.”

Delve The Dungeon Crawler Review (Independent Gaming)
“Dungeon crawlers and roguelikes seem to be a favourite type of game to make among indies and while there is lots of innovation and interesting ideas for these types of games (a GTA roguelike!) sometimes they all feel the same after a while.Delve the Dungeon Crawler is different.”

See The Difference A Year Makes For Anomaly: Korea (Kotaku)
“Last year, developer 11 bit studios released a scaled-down version of its reverse tower defense PC game, Anomaly Warzone Earthfor the iPad, and it was wonderful. Look how far they’ve come with the soon-to-be-released sequel, Anomaly Korea.”

How Did Indie Studio Broken Rules Get Chummy With Nintendo? (Gamasutra)
“There are plenty of indie game studios that would kill to work with Nintendo, and release games for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U home console — but getting the behemoth publisher to notice your team can be far more difficult than it sounds.”

The Prince of Monaco: Andy Schatz Talks Up His Indie “Heist Simulator” (Ars Technica)
“Indie gaming fans are all probably aware of the top-down, half-strategy, half-platformer, half-puzzler (yes, that’s three halves) Monaco. The game rocketed to widespread attention when an early build won the grand prize at the 2010 Independent Games Festival. Its premise is instantly graspable to those who have been bathed in Hollywood from a young age—there are things to be stolen, and it’s up to you and your crack team to pull off the heist. Coupled with a slick retro style and controls that appeared quick to learn, Monaco stole the show—and we’ve been waiting for it ever since.”

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Unmechanical (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, Jesper Engström of Sweden’s Talawa Games talks his BIG win in Brazil with PC puzzler Unmechanical.”

Review: Air Buccaneers (Indie Game Reviewer)
“With what appears to be the dawn of ship-to-ship crew battle as a genre, we are now privileged to join the ranks of Buccaneers of the Air. In this little ditty you’ll be weaving a tale of your exploits as you carve your legend into the sky with your wits and wile.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Polygonal Polly