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Indie-Links Round Up: Construction Crustaceans

In today’s Indie Links: Making a video game out of paper, the end of a doomed journey, and why making your players suffer can be a good thing.

FTL: The Fatal Frontier – The Last Stand (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“These were the voyages of the Starship Moggy. Its eight-sector mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new weapons and new system upgrades, to boldly go somewhere no-one has come back alive from before (apart from save-scummers).”

The Benefits Of Making Your Players Suffer (And Maybe Throw Up) (Gamasutra)
“Bennett Foddy, creator of QWOP, GIRP, and CLOPamong others, likes to play with his players, and he suggests that more of us should be doing the same. At the top of his talk at IndieCade on Friday, he asserted, ‘I’m going to try to convince you to put more suffering in your games.’”

Double Droids And The Wonder Of Game Development (Hookshot Inc.)
“This weekend I made an award-winning video game. I should probably clarify that.”

Video Game Origami: ‘Derrick The Deathfin’ Goes From Paper To Playstation (The Verge)
“There’s an incredible diversity in the kinds of graphics that video games have presented us with over the years, but developers are still managing to find ways to surprise us. Derrick the Deathfin is a new downloadable title launching today on the PlayStation Network that not only looks it was made out of paper, at one point it actually was. In order to make the art style as realistic as possible, the team at developer Different Tuna crafted papercraft models of each object before making them part of the game world. It’s a lengthy process but one that adds a sense of realism to a game about a cartoon shark. Or as Different Tuna’s Gordon Midwood says, it creates ‘something that’s kind of organic, that doesn’t look like every other video game.’”

TIGSource Devlog: Dom2D’s Visual Showcase Of Awesome New Games, Issue #1 (Venus Patrol)
“Since 2005, TIGSource has hosted the largest forum dedicated to independent game development. Its devlog section, in particular — where developers show their work-in-progress and get feedback from the community — has proven to be a goldmine for amazing design, gorgeous art and constructive criticism. As a game designer and an artist myself, I find these quite inspiring and feel these projects deserve more attention.”

iOS Hit Nihilumbra Coming to PC (IndieGames)
“Beautifun Games’ iOS puzzle platformer hit Nihilumbra is coming to Windows and Mac. Our own Cassandra Khaw appreciated the iOS version’s 10+ hours of gameplay. Additions to the PC versions include improved atmospheric and weather effects, new HD textures, an improved and fully remastered soundtrack with a new song, and minigames.”

Kickstarter Katchup – 6th October 2012 (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“It’s glum in the Katchup this week and I’ve been spending most of this fine Saturday morning wiping the tears from my eyes with a twenty pound note. If only I’d pledged it to the promise of a game instead of using it as a handkerchief for all these long months. If only! Two of my personal favourites have fallen by the wayside and there’s only one winner, although it is an interesting one by virtue of not being an obvious success story, powered to victory by the presence of a celebrity developer. There are a few projects on the verge of success and if I were writing this on Monday, the ‘Winners’ column would probably be much more satisfactorily populated.”

(Not) Getting Noticed On Steam Greenlight: Incredipede’s Story (Joystiq)
“In the indie world of secret handshakes and underground brunch meetings, there’s a specific phrase for the following complex process, as described by developer Colin Northway: ‘Apply to Steam, be rejected, release without it, get popular, be noticed by Valve, release on Steam.’ This is widely accepted as the ‘Offspring Fling’ submission process. It takes the name of Kyle Pulver’s retro platformer, which launched on Steam in May, months after not launching on Steam, despite Pulver’s attempts. Northway shares this rejection jargon with us in terms of his own puzzle game, Incredipede, and Steam Greenlight:”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie-Links Round Up: Construction Crustaceans


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Indie Links Round-Up: Out The Window

MaK.  Prevail.  Party of Sin.  Edgar Rice Frotteur.  These are all very strange names for video games.  So obviously you want to read today’s Indie Links to find out just what these titles are.

Underrated Indie Games II: Under The Radar (TIGSource)
“After months of effort, Underrated Indie Games II was wrapped up a little while ago. It is part of moshboy’s endeavor to bring attention to overlooked indie games. The videos in this new addition to his series cover a 100 games of a wide variety to give you a glimpse of what you might have missed.”

Size Five On Stealth, Story & Swearing In The Swindle (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“A few days back, Time Gentlemen, Please and Privates dev, Dan Marshall of Size Five Games,revealed just why his ‘xciting upcoming cyberpunk crime caper The Swindle had gone eerily quiet for a few months. Fearful that the XNA language he’d been working with might not be supported by Windows 8, he started from scratch in Unity. In this second half of our chat, we cover the game itself – how important stealth and gags are to it, its ‘retrospective’ approach to storytelling and why it’s more Grim Fandango than Day of the Tentacle. Also Dishonored, because Dishonored. Also Hitler, because Hitler.”

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Party of Sin (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, Crankshaft Games’ Daniel Menard talks about his PC co-op puzzle-platformer about breaking out of Hell and storming Heaven, Party of Sin.”

Off The Vine: A Closer Look At Grinding Game Edgar Rice Frotteur (Venus Patrol)
“Swedish designer & developer Adam Henriksson — last seen providingvideo documentation of the debut of Mega-GIRP — has just uploaded a beautifully shot longer look at the 48-hour game he helped create at the 2012 Nordic Game Jam with Thomas PerlJohann Sebastian Joust creatorDoug Wilson, and Proteus musician David Kanaga.”

The Time You Killed Playing Super Hexagon Lives Again (Kotaku)
“This week I played Super Hexagon in the office of my insurance agent, financial advisor, and attorney, as I settled up matters relating to the sale of a house. That should establish the game’s cred as an outstanding time-killer.”

FTL: The Fatal Frontier, Sector 7 (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“And so my FTL campaign, the flight of the starship Moggy, limps to the game’s penultimate sector. It seems impossible that we’re still alive at this point – let alone that we now have seven crew, three guns and NO-ONE IS DEAD. The looming question is whether or not we’re anything like equipped for the final showdown in Sector 8 – but then again it’s foolish to go asking that before we’ve survived Sector 7.”

MaK (PixelProspector)
MaK is “a physics sandbox with tethers, rockets, explosives, teleportation, relative gravity and potentially unlimited room for creativity” that reminds of Super Mario Galaxy. RPs wrote a bit about the game and the developers explain the game in more detail in this 5 minute gameplay video.”

Petit Planets: Johnny Two Shoes Shows Off Their iPhone Adventure, Prevail (Venus Patrol)
“I spy a little bit of Glitch‘s free-wandering & subdued landscape, a little bit of GodFinger‘s deformable terrain, a healthy dose of predecessorPlunderland‘s highly physics-based platforming, and maybe just a touch ofSpore‘s explorable ecologies in this new gameplay video of Prevail, the latest from UK indies Johnny Two Shoes.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Out The Window


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Indie Links Round-Up: Escalation

Sung to the tune of “My Favorite Things”, from The Sound of Music:

Games based on Bosch, or on playing the cello,
History told by a puppet that’s yellow,
Hear what the team behind Octodad thinks.
These are a few of today’s Indie Links.

There, now try getting that awfulness out of your head with these:

Gimme Indie Game: The Improbable History Of TheCatamites’ Pleasure Dromes Of Kubla Khan (Venus Patrol)
The Pleasuredromes of Kubla Khan, just released as a free PC download, continues right where Murder Dog left off: a brief but hilarious interactive history lesson of the Mongol emperor’s Xanadu. Like a modern-day punk Encarta (and as with Murder Dog), its best feature is its frantic and entirely unreliable Muppet-esque narrator, providing meta-commentary on all your actions (toss yourself off the edge of the world to smash further through the fourth wall), as you find yourself headed straight into the hedonistic heart of the pleasuredrome.”

Live Free, Play Hard: Strategic Torture Simulation (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“A day late due to, um, let’s say otters, here’s this last week’s finest free indie games. Take it away, Porpentine.  Important historical edutainment game. Strategic torture simulation. What if Kirby were born billions of years ago. Ladder fortresses of jellyfish space. Lynchian piss world.”

City Tuesday’s Pretty Source Code (Hookshot, Inc.)
“The Xbox Live Indie channel may not be the most popular stop on the indie train line, but for that reason it continues to be a go-to destination for those who believe their game has more chance of being noticed there than on the brutal wastelands of Steam and the App Store. City Tuesday certainly stands out among the crowd, borrowing some threads of premise from Duncan Jones’ Source Code – in which a man relives the final few moments of his life before a terrorist attack over and over again, with the chance to change fate if he manages to find the bomb – and presenting it in sharp vector visuals and a generous spattering of Helvetica chic.”

Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Done: Octodad Team Interview (Sugar Gamers)
“Pax Prime allowed me the pleasure of sitting down with Young Horses, Inc., the team behind Octodad: Dadliest Catch, the sequel to OCTODAD.”

Forget Rock Band, Here’s Cello Fortress (Gamasutra)
Cello Fortress is a work-in-progress by Proundeveloper and Ronimo designer Joost van Dongen, and as far as I’m aware, it’s the first video game to incorporate a classical music instrument (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong!) into the gameplay. The game will first be shown at the Dutch Game Garden Indigo exhibition later this month.”

Boston Festival Of Indie Games Announces Lineup (Joystiq)
“The Boston Festival of Indie Games has revealed the 36 games that will be showcased at the event this Saturday, September 22. Featured games – with developers in tow – include Fire Hose Games’ Go Home Dinosaurs, Owlchemy Labs’ Jack Lumber and many, many others.”

Garden Of Delights: JB500 Opens Call For Hieronymus Bosch-Inspired Games (Venus Patrol)
“As a tyke, I had the extreme fortune of having at my disposal a number of art-history survey textbooks (thanks, dad) which I pored over daily — an early, self-guided & very valuable education in art appreciation — and I have very distinct memories of continually returning to one artist:Hieronymus Bosch, whose landscapes were littered with cartoonish-ly caricatured monsters, animals and half-humans that wouldn’t at all be out of place in a children’s TV show if they weren’t so overtly representative of grim morality tales. It’s with that said that I count myself super lucky to having been asked to be involved with a new art/game initiative from the Jheronimus Bosch 500 Foundation itself — an organization founded to honor the artist on the 500th anniversary of Bosch’s death.”

You Won’t Survive FTL‘s Space Mission, But You’ll Remember It (Kotaku)
“The flames shred through my vessel, eventually overtaking the populated rooms, but it didn’t matter. My men would burn, but there are worse ways to go than ablaze with the virtue of dedication. Of course I couldn’t give up. Not when good men and women spent their last moments proudly showing me the honor of what it means to serve a ship. It wasn’t something I understood before FTL: Faster Than Light, the spaceship roguelike by Subset Games where you command your own ship and its crew under a space exploration mission.”

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


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Indie Links Round-Up: Stone-Faced

A dungeon editor, a movie-themed puzzle racer, and a game about a robot photographer (that is, a robot who takes photographs, not someone who photographs robots): these are some of the subjects of today’s Indie Links.

There’s Something Primal About Super Hexagon (Gamasutra)
Super Hexagon‘s success on iOS has taken developer Terry Cavanagh very much by surprise. The game, an expansion on Cavanagh’s original Pirate Kart entry Hexagon, sold more than 10,000 copies in its first three days on sale in the App Store — a total that the dev never dreamed was possible for a seemingly niche experience.”

Joe Danger 2 – The Movie Review: High-Ish Voltage (Joystiq)
“Like a lot of film sequels, Joe Danger 2 sounds good on paper, in a bigger-better-more-explosions kind of way. Promoted from stuntman to star, Danger’s garage and scenery are now fuller and more diverse. One minute he’s skiing away from an avalanche, the next he’s jetpacking through a jungle and breaking dinosaur eggs. With an action-packed variety of backdrops and vehicles, the 2D puzzle-racer never looks the same from one level to the next. This is a quality not to be sniffed at; many games would do well to break out of their beloved grey corridors and empty brown plains.”

Friday Flashback #31: Watching It Hatch (Broken Rules)
“Refreshed and filled with new-found energy, we’ve looked at the feedback received during PAX Prime and are back to working our minds off to improve what needs to be improved and polish what needs to be polished. Faster than ever, Chasing Aurora fills up with content and takes more and more shape. It’s a bit like watching a bird hatch from its egg.”

Beyond Minecraft: Notch On Fame, Pressure, Sequels (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Notch is Minecraft. Minecraft is Notch. A year ago, those statements might have been true to some extent, but not anymore. The man behind the most pervasive invention since the wheel (which he achieved by simply putting the corners back onto the wheel) hung up his pick axe late last year. That does not mean, however, that he’s escaped from the shadow of the monolith he created. Notch and his creation are still synonymous, for better or worse. And so, during PAX, I spoke with the quick-to-smile yet surprisingly introverted developer about the pressures of overnight fame, having people hang on (and quote) your every word, the current status of 0x10c, and tons more.”

Grimrock Dungeon Editor: Steam Beta (TIGSource)
“After four months of hard work the Legend of Grimrock team has released a level editor beta for their first-person dungeon crawl. Due to Steam’s rapid updating capabilities, the editor is currently only available for players who own the Steam version of the Grimrock. To try it out, right-click on ‘Legend of Grimrock’ in your Steam library and select properties. Then click on the ‘Betas’ tab and opt-in to begin downloading the editor.”

Snapshot: Snapshot (PC) (Joystiq)
“Finally, someone made a game for all the Instagram hipsters in the world. All those crazy kids with their fancy smartphones, taking too-close photos of burritos and Starbucks cups, only to crop them, blow out the saturation, and add kitschy comments bookended by less-than-three hearts for all their digital friends to see. Retro Affect’s Snapshot is exactly like all of that, except way cuter and not at all like that.”

Love, Hate, And Xbox Live Indie Games (Gamasutra)
“For all the bad press that the Xbox Live Indie Games platform has received over the years, it’s easy to forget that, for some developers, XBLIG is a dream come true — a way for them to publish their games to a proper home console in a relatively easy manner. And while it’s also easy to dismiss Xbox Live Indie Games as a breeding ground for Minecraftclones and silly Avatar games — as I myself have done numerous times before — there are, in fact, many wonderful gems to be found on the store if you know where to look.”

Interview: 600k Downloads But Gasketball Still “Feels Like A Dud” (Hookshot, Inc.)
“Following the success of Sopliskier, two-man indie team Mikengreg spent a year developing their follow-up: physics puzzler Gasketball. The game released a month ago to positive reviews from both critics and consumers. But the hope that offering their creation as a free download would lead to a dramatic increase in in-game sales hasn’t paid off.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Stone-Faced


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Indie Links Round-Up: Lurking In Darkness

Today’s Indie Links include indie games for the Xbox, games about Slenderman, and games highlighted by the Austin, Texas independent games community.

Slenderman Mythos Coalition Interview: Three Times The Scare (IndieGames.com)
“Developers Parsec Productions, Ethereal Entertainment and Elder Productions have banned together to form the Slenderman Mythos Coalition, a trio that aims to offer three visually and mechanically distinct Slender experiences to horror and jump-scare fans. After the recent viral success of Parsec Production’s beta of Slender: The Eight Pages, several other Slenderman-scare games gained more visibility, as they reached for a piece of that lanky pie.”

Juegos Rancheros’ Fistful Of Indies: August 2012 (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 — both local and global, and both indie and occasionally a bit-bigger-budget — for the audience, to give people — especially those curious onlookers from outside the indie community itself — a look at what they may have missed.”

Getting Some Much-Needed Attention For Xbox’s Best Indie Games (Ars Technica)
“Ask practically any indie game developer, and they’ll tell you that the hardest part of making a successful game isn’t necessarily coming up with a concept, programming it, or even creating the art. It’s getting your game noticed after it’s released. This problem is even more pronounced if you decide to release your game on Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG), the completely open Xbox 360 service that lets anyone with $99 to spring on an annual XNA account become a console game developer.”

Eight Tips For Surviving Longer Than Five Seconds In The Fiendishly Difficult Super Hexagon (Kotaku)
Super Hexagon—the latest game from the creator of the super-hard VVVVVV that you can find in the iTunes store linked above (or its flash predecessor here)—has been the subject of the past weekend’s many conversations in my circle of video game industry friends and colleagues. And for good reason.”

4 Years, 12 Countries, And A Woodblock Artist: The Incredipede Story (Gamasutra)
“The average game development story is, frankly, a bit dull, no matter how you attempt to spruce it up. Tales of ambition and great inspirational values usually work to cover up the fact that, for the most part, developers sat at computers every day hammering furiously away on keyboards in an entirely unexciting manner. Some game development stories prove a little more intriguing than that. Incredipede, an upcoming physics-based puzzle game from developer Colin Northway, was written in over a dozen different countries while the dev was backpacking around the world with his wife Sarah (who was also creating a game, Rebuild, on the move.)”

Mark Of The Ninja Review: Kneel In The Shadows (Joystiq)
Mark of the Ninja makes it awfully hard to be an oaf dressed in black. No, it hasn’t been streamlined to the point of auto-play, and the inherent challenge of avoiding detection hasn’t been crushed into a pulp to please the plebes. Rather, developer Klei Entertainment has flattened the genre into a legible, two-dimensional blueprint. That’s why things are more likely to go according to plan.”

Smells Like Indie Spirit: The Official Fantastic Arcade 2012 Trailer (Venus Patrol)
“While I’ve already given a breakdown of the Adventure Time Game Making Frenzy, the Fantastic Arcade-related event coming in just a few short days to Austin, TX and around the globe, next week — from Thursday through Sunday — the Alamo Drafthouse will be hosting Fantastic Arcade proper: a free & public celebration of indie game culture featuring custom arcade cabinets for a selection of showcase games and an even larger field of spotlight games, with panels and developer talks by a number of local and visiting indies including VlambeerTerry Cavanagh,DennatonWhite WhaleStoic & more.”

FTL (TIGSource)
“Continuing the fine TIGSource tradition of posting old news… I’d like to mention that FTL came out earlier this month. The real-time spaceship simulation and ‘roguelikelike’ was released just five months after its successful Kickstarter and is available on Steam, GOG.com, and directly from the developers.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Lurking In Darkness


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Indie Links Round-Up: Red-Handed

Along with posts about a number of indie games, today’s Indie Links cover Kickstarter stretch links, Venus Patrol, and how to run your own Minecraft server.

Welcome To Venus Patrol (Venus Patrol)
“Fast forward past an incredibly arduous blur, and Phase One of all that good will & good intention is officially complete: the website before your eyes, designed by Cory Schmitz with background assets graciously provided by indie game developer Neil Thapen‘s not-coincidentally-titled 2009 game Venus Patrol (more on that relationship over here).”

The Shocking Truth Behind Super Hexagon Creator’s Score Scam (Hookshot, Inc.)
“Terry Cavanagh slouches in the quarter-light, his silhouette all puffed defiance. I can’t see his face but I sure can imagine its proud contortions, the winning smirk of the unrepentant cheater.  Why did you do it, Cavanagh?  ’Why did I do what?’ he says. ‘Why are you in my house? Why have you turned all the lights off? I can’t see you properly. Who are you?’”

Steam Users Can Now Buy To The Moon, A Game About Marriage, Memories, And So Much More (Kotaku)
“I put off playing To The Moon for months. Not because I thought it was terrible; far from it. A huge number of people I respect had showered it with glowing praise. It’s just that I knew something of its subject matter: the memories of a man who survived his wife, at the end of his life.”

Review: Lone Survivor – Jasper Byrne Is Playing With Your Expectations (Indie Game Reviewer)
“Created by Jasper Byrne, who has a history of making lovely low-rez games (that may have begun with a tribute to Amiga computer games on which I invested a large portion of my late grade-school years), Lone Survivor is his best outing yet and in kind is getting the attention it deserves, with high visibility on Steam and in major press outlets.”

Snapshot: They Bleed Pixels (PC) (Joystiq)
“I have a soft spot for difficult, precision platformers. Super Meat Boy was my number 2 game of 2010, edged out only by Alan Wake. I also have a soft spot for character action games. 2004′s Ninja Gaiden, for example, is probably my favorite action game of all time. Imagine my delight, then, when I first played They Bleed Pixels, which is both a precision platformer and a character action game.”

Blocks With Friends: How To Run Your Own Minecraft Server (Ars Technica)
“The game has an engrossing single-player component, with a core gameplay mechanism that feels like a LEGO block set—go build stuff!—but it’s much more fun to make things with your friends than to labor alone. Public Minecraft servers are widely available (here’s a good list), but they have an unfortunate dark side: as with any public online game, keeping out folks bent on making mischief is ultimately impossible. If you want to play Minecraft with just your friends, the easiest way to do so is to run your own server.”

Our First Look At The Slenderman In Slender: Source (Kotaku)
“Ever since we learned that there’s a multiplayer, source-engine take on the Slenderman game in the works, I’ve been hoping see more of the game in action. This video, which was shared on the Slender: Source Steam Greenlight page, gives a first look at the Slenderman in the game, as well as a hint of the effects that will happen when he closes in.”

Kickstarter: Stretch Goals (TIGSource)
“Even though the following three Kickstarters have been fully funded, I thought you might still be interested in hearing about the projects or getting in at the last moment to obtain prizes and help the developers reach their ‘stretch goals’.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Red-Handed


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Indie Links Round-Up: Birds’-Eye View

Where can you see SimCity mixed with steampunk, rabbits with revenge quests, match games with endless runners?  In indie games, of course, like those discussed in today’s Indie Links.

Clockwork Empires: A Preview Of Gaslamp Games’ Lovecraft-Laden Steampunk City-Builder (PC Gamer)
“Take SimCity and stuff it with steampunk. Take Dwarf Fortress and make it modern. Take Anno and dump H.P. Lovecraft into its oceans. Consider yourself mildly acquainted with Clockwork Empires, the next project of Gaslamp Games. The indies behind of Dungeons of Dredmor are creating a 3D, sandboxy city-builder teeming with 19th century imperialism. It’ll be populated by street urchins, aristocrats, volcanoes, sea serpents, war zeppelins, mad scientists, and at least one foodstuff that doubles as a building material. It’ll be irreverent, and PC-exclusive. It’ll have multiplayer. It’ll be moddable. Most of all, I think it has a chance to set a new standard for player-driven story generation in the genre.”

How A Bedroom Developer’s ‘Ugly Little Game’ Became An App Store Hit (Wired.co.uk)
“Dungeon-based puzzle app 10000000 (said “ten million”) is an unlikely autobiographical game. So unlikely, in fact, the developer doesn’t even realise how autobiographical it is.”

Mark of the Ninja: The Kotaku Review (Kotaku)
“So before starting Mark of the Ninja up, I assumed my brash nature would be at odds with what the 2D game required of me. I was right—at first. The game starts with the assumption that you are already a smooth killing machine, and the pith lies in the tension between a player’s clumsiness and the eventual embodiment of the refined ninja. The ultimate revelation comes in the transformation, in the metaphorical gain of the black belt. The game teaches you to feel at home in the shadows, to become quick on your feet, to bear the mark of the ninja proudly, with honor. And honor is one of the most important things in the game, but more on that in a second.”

Interview With ‘Dusty Revenge’ Developers, PD Design Studio (Epic Brew)
“‘Hey, thanks for having us. PD Design Studio started out 6 years ago doing various jobs, web, print, video, anything we can lay our hands on. But our very first project was actually a Flash game project. Over the years we started to focus on Flash educational-games. We must have done more than 20 of those. We found it thoroughly enjoyable to work on games but working on client-based games means we’ll never get to fulfill our inner fantasies. The studio actually has done a couple of game prototypes, but we left it at that. We had this game idea of a 2D platformer with supporting character mechanics. After talking through between ourselves, we thought let’s just do it.’”

Super Hexagon: The Joys Of Waiting (Hookshot, Inc.)
“Long story short, Super Hexagon, a game I knew about for ages, but which took its own sweet time to appear on iTunes – and then got yanked away again and is now finally back. I’m not going to tell you about it, because it’s well worth 69p, and if you’re an Androider, here’s Hexagon on Flash.”

The Killing Floor Of PAX: Welcome To Eighteen-Player Johann Sebastian Joust, Complete With Traitors (The Penny Arcade Report)
Johann Sebastian Joust, played at the higher levels, can turn everyone into a dancer. Every man who picks up a Move controller and understands the mechanic of appropriate speed, while trying to knock out his opponents, begins to move with more grace. Every woman who learns to evade while keeping the door open for attacks becomes a ballerina. The game is not available for sale to the public, but creator Douglas Wilson is hoping to change at some point in the near future. “I really need to release this,” he told me while packing up the controllers and laptops at the end of the night. You’ll hear no argument from anyone who has been lucky enough to play the game.”

A Streamlined Experience: Dungeon Dashers (TruePCGaming)
“Andrew Sum, developer of the online multiplayer dungeon crawler, Dungeon Dashers, spoke to TPG about all things PC gaming.  You will read how Dungeon Dashers was created, his early failures and achievements, thoughts about DRM, piracy and more.”

Thirty Flights Of Loving Isn’t A Game, It’s A Manifesto (Scripted Sequence)
“Well, obviously it is a game, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Brendon Chung’sThirty Flights of Loving, for those who don’t know, is a ten minute long, Quake 2-powered, short story. It’s about a heist gone wrong. That’s probably all you need to know.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Birds’-Eye View


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Indie Links Round-Up: Big Smile

Would it be possible to make a game like Portal in 2D?  Or a stealth game where you can’t see the movement of enemies out of your character’s line of sight? Or a game where things that aren’t illuminated cease to exist?  Today’s Indie Links say yes to all of these, and more.

If Portal Were A 2D Platformer It Would Go Something Like This (Kotaku)
“Coming this week to Steam and Xbox Live Indie Games, Gateways is a 2D retro-style platformer that creator David Johnston describes as ‘like Portal, only better.’ Those are fighting words, Mr. Johnston.”

To The Moon: A Lesson In Interactive Storytelling (Funsponge)
“Being a younger medium, interactive storytelling is still defining its language. Writers from more traditional backgrounds are adapting their tool kits, but dictating our experience in those terms often comes at the expense of interactivity. To the Moon falls into this category, for the most part you’re just along for the ride, but when the ride is so compelling, none of that seems to matter.”

I Have Played: Dark Scavenger (Scripted Sequence)
“Many of the best things in life derive from unexpected combinations. The peanut butter and jam sandwich, for example, is humanity’s single most glorious achievement, and yet a mathematical quandary: the sum is greater than its parts. Psydra Games’ adventure-RPG Dark Scavenger is born of a similar (if less hyperbolic) phenomenon. It sequences DNA from Phantasy Star and Zork, adds a dash of Discworld: The Trouble With Dragons, and feels like it might have been lovingly raised by Armando Iannucci’s comedic imagination — an analogy that’s bereft of Dark Scavenger’s triumphs and near-misses, but full of its spirit.”

Review: Mark of the Ninja Brings 2D Stealth With Style (Ars Technica)
Mark of the Ninja is utterly defined by the lack of information it gives players in key situations. If you want to know if there’s a guard in the next room, you have to lean up against the door and look through the keyhole (and be sure to dart away if he’s about to open that door). If you want to know if you’ll be spotted when you climb up over that ledge, you need to carefully peek your head up around the corner first. When you duck back down, a hazy, slowly fading red outline will tell you the guards’ last observed position, but you can still track their movements by watching the small grey circles that represent their subtle footfalls.”

Wot I Think: Closure (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“How many lives must be expended to put in a lightbulb? If a tree falls in a forest but there is no light to show its final position, can it bridge the gap across a chasm? These and other philosophical quandaries are answered in Tyler Galiel’s Closure, a platform-puzzler that constitutes a sinister journey comprised of a thousand tricks of the light. Here’s wot I think.”

[PAX] Turning Into A Chicken: A Hands-On With Guacamelee (Twinfinite)
“Metroidvania games have become as numerous as the leaves in a tree. Two classic series with admirable gameplay? Who wouldn’t want to mash them together and try to make a game. More often than not, the game is mediocre or just plain bad. Sometimes it turns out pretty good. Rarely, the right ingredients come together to make one damn good game. Guacamelee falls in this last category. Hit the jump to see why.”

Portabliss: Super Hexagon (iOS) (Joystiq)
“I feel weird about rendering a verdict about a game I’ve played for, at most, 48 seconds in a single session, but that’s just how Super Hexagon works. Besides, that 48 seconds was hard-won after dozens of less successful, even briefer attempts. I’m reasonably sure I get the idea.”

Storyteller Is An Incredibly Original And Surprisingly Deep Indie Game (FULLNOVAZERO)
“…His own game, Storyteller was going to be shown for one hour the next day. I, as always, was curious to see what this was all about. My friends and I got locked into a match of Natural Selection 2 the next morning and when everything was done I checked my phone and ran over to the Spy Party booth with only 10 minutes left. Now I’m glad I did, because this is one of the most original games I’ve played in a long time.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Big Smile


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Indie Links Round-Up: Gas Burning

The games discussed in today’s Indie Links include a game made up entirely of simple geometric shapes, a game that only existed for a day, and a game where you can use your computer to simulate using a computer.

GlitchHiker: The Game That Was Programmed To Die (Indie N)
“By some blessing, GlitchHiker’s creators didn’t have to see it go. The  team of five game developers and one musician were sat in a nearby bar when the text came in – like the hushed doctor, arms folded mutely in front of him – to say that the game didn’t have long left, that they should make their goodbyes before the end. This pioneering group of indie developers had built a game that was programmed to self destruct. Now, the curtain was falling.”

When Thief, Rainbow Six And Uplink Come Together… (Gamasutra)
“Whenever I’m asked who I believe to be the most exciting indie developers of the moment, without fail I mention Blendo Games. My love for Brendon Chung’s work began with the wonderfulGravity Bone, and extended to Flotilla, Atom Zombie Smasher and pretty much anything else he puts out.”

Kickstarter Katchup – 8th September 2012 (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“The winners keep pouring in. Another long list of successful projects this week, which I always like to think of as, “ones I don’t have to think of a new sentence for any more.” A few losers too, but so far the Katchup column is bucking the trend for Kickstarter success rates. Clearly I’m a lucky charm. Unless I show any confidence that your project will inevitably succeed, at which point I’m a curse and a millstone around your neck. As ever, please read the rules before huffing in the comments – I don’t know how to get more passive-aggressive about this.”

Play This: ‘Super Hexagon’ (The Verge)
Super Hexagon is the latest game from Terry Cavanagh, creator of the sadistic VVVVVVand somewhat friendlier CatLife: ChatChatAs a triangle cast into an unforgiving world, you must defend against attacks from all sides. Six of them, in fact, as you’re restricted to moving around the corners of a hexagon, at least at first — we won’t spoil the other shapes that come up.”

Wait, Why’s Pirate Bay Promoting An Indie Game? (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“If you’re a frequent RPS reader (or an infrequent RPS reader with uncannily good timing), the image on the front page of ubiquitous, recently-banned-in-the-UK-under-extremely-dubious-circumstances torrenting site The Pirate Bay might strike you as a bit familiar. If not, you may have still been able to guess that it heralds from Sos Sosowski’s McPixel because, well, the first four words on the page will tell you all of that. This, however, is the first time a game has ever been featured as part of Pirate Bay’s “Promo Bay” program – wherein, a creator gets to leverage the site’s incredible reach for exposure. But how’d this come about?”

Sense Of Wonder Night 2012 Highlights Experimental Indie Games (Gamasutra)
“Organizers for the Sense of Wonder Night competition have selected ten experimental indie titles that will be showcased at Tokyo Game Show later this month. Modeled after the Game Developers Conference’s Experimental Gameplay Workshop, SOWN seeks to feature games with unconventional ideas and designs, and to give developers an opportunity to present their projects to a game industry audience.”

Driftmoon (Bytten)
“It’s been a strange day. First you get a message to head into the village and find your father. His letter didn’t say what it was about, just that it was urgent. When you arrive, your mother pushes you down a well, which is pretty out of character for her. When you finally find your way out, you find everyone in the village has been turned to stone and your father has been taken prisoner by unknown invaders. Whatever is going on, and how can you put it right?”

Kickstarter, Contests Bring FTL To Life (Gamasutra)
“Since late last week, three simple letters have been floating around on Twitter as devs and gamers alike discover a new release on Steam that could very well be “the next big thing” in indie games. FTL – or Faster Than Light – is a space-faring simulation in the same vein as the wonderfulWeird Worlds, as players blast off with a custom crew, visiting randomly-generated planets and taking care of randomly-generated business.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Gas Burning


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Indie Links Round-Up: Gator Attack

In addition to the game links you’ve come to expect, today’s Indie Links include articles on experimental games, Steam Greenlight, and XBLA vs. XBLIG.

Indies On Steam Greenlight, Part 2: Possible Futures (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Here, primarily in the interests of good, honest decency, I simply wish to allow those who spoke in the first part of this planned series to finish their pre-charge thoughts about Greenlight – what changes they’d like to see to it, and how democratic it can ultimately be… Rather than form this into an editorialised feature as before, given the newly changed nature of the topic I shall simply present it as it was arranged – two questions, and the answers to them as they were given by a raft of indie developers big and small.”

Why Indie Fund Is Backing An XBLA Flop (Gamasutra)
“Indie Fund, a group of independent developers that offers “angel”-style funding to other indie game makers, has decided to back The Splatters, an unusual puzzle game that failed to find an audience when it launched on XBLA in April.”

Zeboyd: Microsoft Should Merge XBox Live Arcade And Indie Games (GamesIndustry International)
“Robert Boyd, one half of Penny Arcade’s On The Rain-Slick Precipice Of Darkness 3 developer Zeboyd Games, has told Edge that Microsoft should merge Xbox Live’s Arcade and Indie Games categories. ‘I’d like to see [XBLIG] kind of merge into XBLA,’ Boyd commented. ‘Keep Indie Games free to everyone but if you have a really good game, you could submit it to Microsoft for it to be upgraded to an XBLA title. Right now, becoming an XBLA developer is fairly difficult for a small team, so reducing the barrier of entry to XBLA could only help Microsoft, I think.’”

Wot I Think: Snapshot (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Photography-based puzzle-platformer Snapshot is the latest from depict1 dev Retro Affect (one half of which is Kyle Pulver, he of Offspring Fling fame). Long-anticipated, it finally gave itself to the world last week. Here’s what I made of it.”

Harold Preview: The Goofy Savant (Shacknews)
Harold is deceptively wacky. The racing-platformer from indie start-up Moonspider Studios carries a sense of humor reminiscent of the frenetic pacing of old Looney Tunes cartoons, but the game itself is complex enough to invite serious play. After some hands-on time at PAX 2012, Harold won me over.”

Indie Games Uprising 3 Costs You $11, Max (Joystiq)
“The Indie Games Summer Uprising is almost upon us: the coordinated rollout and promotion of high-profile (for XBLIG) games will begin on September 10 with the “arcade/documentary” Snake game, qrth-phyl. Find the full schedule for the two-week promotion after the break.”

Blendo On Quadrilateral Cowboy, Experimental Games (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“‘Twentieth Century Cyberpunk.’ That’s Quadrilateral Cowboy’s elevator pitch, but ‘hacking that’s not just some awful minigame’ would work just as well. I played Blendo’s latest during PAX, and my heart grew three sizes that day. Also, my brain turned into a copy of William Gibson’s ‘Neuromancer.’ I quite like it, is what I’m saying. Afterward, I sat down stood in a deafeningly loud convention center corner with dev dynamo Brendon Chung, and we discussed Quadrilateral Cowboy, Thirty Flights Of Loving, how to tell a good game story, and the difficulties of integrating such things into, well, games. It’s all after the break.”

Din’s Curse Review (ProvenGamer)
“In a culture of gaming that often demands a constant stream of new substance and material, it is quite ambitious to reignite some of the basic mechanics that many great games-of-old flaunted. Din’s Curse takes what seems to be a leap back in time, implementing components that many Diablo, Gauntlet and Warcraft fans will immediately recognize.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Gator Attack