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Indie Links Round-Up: Cannon Law

Heard about the new $100 fee charged by Steam Greenlight?  Well, today’s Indie Links include articles discussing it… along with games about bootleggers, hexagons, and space trees.

You Probably Can’t Last 30 Seconds In Super Hexagon, But Buy It Anyway. (Kotaku)
“After two weeks of careful study, I have determined that Super Hexagon is the bullriding of video games. It may not look it. It may look and sound like an old Atari game that fell through a timewarp and re-emerged on the iTunes store today. But it is, in fact, an experience that will break you, repeatedly.”

Eufloria Adventures Bringing Procedural Fun To PlayStation Mobile (Gamasutra)
Eufloria Adventures, the game’s working title, is set within the original universe, but it has very different gameplay mechanics. You control a single seedling ship this time around, sent out to study and collect ancient artifacts with which you can enhance your ship’s abilities.  As you explore deeper into the world, survival becomes far more taxing, and constant upgrades to your ship are necessary for defeating enemy colonies and discovering your exact role in the underlying story.”

Cannon Brawl Brings 2D RTS To The PAX 10 (Joystiq)
“The PAX 10 picked some excellent titles to show off right outside of PAX’s Indie Megabooth in Seattle last weekend. Of the indie games on display, a 2D real-time strategy game calledCannon Brawl was my favorite. Cannon Brawl (formerly called Dstroyd) is the product of four developers calling themselves Turtle Sandbox Games, and was a winner of the Activision Independent Games Competition last year, picking up $175,000 and a chance to be published with Activision.”

“Super Hexagon Doesn’t Hate You,” Cavanagh Tells MCV (MCV)
“Having enjoyed a brief pseudo-launch last week, yesterday Super Hexagon finally arrived proper on the Apple App Store.  And if your Twitter feed is anything like this author’s, last night was abuzz with chat about the title. And for every ‘Wow this is amazing’ there was a common caveat.”

This Old-School RPG Might Give You One More Reason To Buy A Vita (Kotaku)
“Here’s another look at Dragon Fantasy Book II, out for PlayStation 3 and Vita early next year. As you can see, it’s very SNESish. Gotta love that fake Mode 7.”

You Light Up My Life: What Steam Greenlight Is For Indies, From Indies (Joystiq)
“Steam Greenlight isn’t for everybody. Literally – five days after pushing Greenlight live, Valve implemented a $100 barrier to entry in the hopes of eliminating the barrage of prank game ideas by people who don’t ‘fully understanding the purpose of Greenlight.’ Before the fee, it was difficult to know what Greenlight was going to mean for the indie community, since its ‘new toy’ sheen hadn’t yet dissipated. It’s even more difficult to gauge what Steam itself wanted Greenlight to accomplish, with or without the fee.”

A $100 Lottery Ticket: Indies Discuss Steam Greenlight’s New Fee (Ars Technica)
“So to help ‘cut down the noise in the system,’ Valve announced late Tuesday that it was immediately instituting a one-time-per-developer fee of $100 to gain access to the Steam Greenlight submission system, with all proceeds going to Penny Arcade’s Child’s Play charity (so Valve doesn’t make any money directly from the new rule). ‘It was obvious after the first weekend that we needed to make some changes to eliminate pranksters while giving folks in the community the ability to focus on ‘their kind’ of games,’ Valve UI designer Alden Kroll told Ars.”

Land Ahoy: Proteus Gets Big Update, Oct Steam Launch (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Oh how I adore Proteus. It’s equal parts minimalistic, enchanting, and really, really difficult to describe to people who haven’t played it. I mean, the point is to just walk around an island that looks like heaven as imagined by the tiny, tribal colony of Atari 2600s that have been forever exiled to your closet. And then things kind of just… happen. Except when they don’t. (See what I mean about the description thing?) Ultimately, though, it’s about taking in wondrous sights and sounds. And, as part of a brand new beta update, you can now share yours with everyone else. And not just with screenshots.”

Thirty Flights Of Loving And The Invention Of Videogame Space (Game On)
“Usually, videogames inhabit spaces. They set them up to be populated, they create functioning, navigable environments that in some way or another have an unbroken connection to a previous space, even if it is only by virtue of the player’s memory. There is usually no cut. Like a long take from A Touch of Evil or Children of Men, the player wanders throughout a space at leisure, bearing witness to spatial connections unable to be hidden or emphasised through montage. But not always. Thirty Flights of Loving is a very unusual videogame. Thirty Flights of Lovingis a videogame that cuts space up.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Cannon Law


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Indie Links Round-Up: PAX It In

Today’s Indie Links include everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Steam Greenlight, unless there’s something you want to know about Steam Greenlight that isn’t included.  Tautology notwithstanding, there’s also a game about hacking, a free video game emulating tabletop games, and more.

Want To Bring Your Indie Game To PAX? It Could Cost $11,758.70. (Kotaku)
“Got a hot new game? Want to bring it to PAX? Hope you’ve got a trust fund. The people at BitFlip Games have written an entertaining (and eye-opening) blog post that breaks down how they managed to spend close to $12,000 just to get their game Minion Masterout on the show floor.”

Indies On Steam Greenlight, Part One: The Present (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Steam’s light has turned green, which means indie games which are not already available on Valve’s market-ruling online PC gaming store can now petition users to vote for them, in the hope that the eye of benign Sauron will turn to their game and grant it a coveted spot on Steam. I could all too easily hold forth about the pros and cons of the Greenlight system, enthuse about the potential democracy it might mean, muse about whether it’s an attempt to prevent Kickstarter stealing Steam’s thunder, wonder why a company so boundlessly rich can’t just employ a huge team of experts to assess every game submitted to them, why the blue blazes they’d include the troll-gift that is a downvote option, and offer hope that it means a bright new age of bold games finding larger audiences.”

PixelProspector’s Greenlight Picks (PixelProspector)
“I just wanted you to know that I have created a little site called Greenlight Picksthat showcases promising Greenlight Games…
(site will be updated every green moon once in a while).”

The Future Of Garry’s Mod (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“There are two versions of Garry’s Mod: the standard version that’s been in the same shape for a while now, and the beta. The beta, aka GMod 13, is a relatively recent arrival, built to allow Garry to overhaul the whole game without breaking the one everyone’s playing. It uncouples the development from the main fork, and that serves two purposes. Firstly, it gives Garry the opportunity to make big changes without constantly dealing with complaints that the game is broken, and secondly, it gives everyone a look at what’s being done to prepare for when the release arrives. The base game will be better, but other things will break. I asked Garry to walk me through the most important future updates. ”

Snapshot: A Virus Named Tom (PC) (Joystiq)
“There are so many games out there we couldn’t possibly review them all. Welcome to Snapshot, where we highlight games that might fall outside our usual coverage but are still something we think you should know about. Today: A Virus Named Tom for PC.”

Damascus And Golgotha (The Ontological Geek)
Dear Esther resolutely, and I think intentionally, resists any kind of complete analysis, but over the months since I first played and replayed the game, a kind of shape has been forming in my mind, one that grows and builds upon itself each time I go through it. The narrative in Dear Esther is famously opaque, but hopefully this commentary on the dialogue and events within the game will help to flesh out the underlying themes of the work, if not the specific narrative details.”

Card Hunter Combines Tabletop Gaming With Digital Magic (Joystiq)
“While Card Hunter may look shallow on the surface, it’s anything but. Chey and his team have crafted what’s essentially a love letter to tabletop gaming, combining mechanics usually meant for traditional board gaming (like game boards, cardboard cutouts, dice, and action cards) with a high-quality and well-designed video game.”

Hacking Done Right: Quadrilateral Cowboy (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“I think I have every right to consider myself a master hacker. I mean, videogames told me so… But anyway, let’s be honest here: hacking minigames tend to have zero basis in reality, and often end up feeling annoying, awkward, and out-of-place. In Blendo‘s  (they of Gravity BoneThirty Flights Of Loving, and Atom Zombie Smasher fame) Quadrilateral Cowboy, however, hacking is the entire game. So, how’s it work? Incredibly well, if the demo I played during PAX is any indication. “

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: PAX It In


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Indie Links Round-Up: Dithering

In the games covered in today’s Indie Links, you can control time travelers fighting alongside your own ghosts, a worm with aspirations to become a tree, an alien Amazon who ages the men she mates with, a creature that can be built out of limbs and muscles, or 30 ships on the screen at once… among other things.

Live Free, Die Hard: Ludum Dare 24 Special (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“This week is special. This week is the Ludum Dare edition. Ludum Dare is a massive game design competition where the goal is to make a game from scratch in 48 hours, a pressure cooker of insomnia and brilliance. We also have the Jam variant, where the rules are relaxed a bit and you have 72 hours. Anyone can enter–in fact, many people make their first game in Ludum Dare or one of the monthly MiniLDs.”

Incredibly Stylish Flight Game Luftrausers Coming to PC & Mac, May Cost $5000 (Kotaku)
“Here’s a new trailer for the upcomingLuftrausers, a game based on the very addictive flash game of the same name. The game is developed in conjunction with indie game duo Vlambeer (creators of Super Crate Box & Radical Fishing) and Devolver Digital.”

Super Time Force – Ingenious Game Mechanic, Funny Trailer (Hookshot Inc.)
“We have already written about Super TIME Force, the latest pixelated pleasure bomb from Capybara, but I just wanted to point you right at the latest trailer, which was made for PAX and is really rather funny. In case you accidentally didn’t read Will’s thing on the game, it’s essentially Gunstar Heroes or Contra (depending on your retro references of choice), but with a very clever little mechanic. Your sideways scrolling heroes are time travellers, and when you die, they zap back to the start of the level – and then you play alongside the ghost data of your previous attempt(s). That’s right, every time you die you make the current level a little easier for your next go, because there are your previous selves, blasting away at enemies.”

Xbox Indie Darling Shoot 1UP Finally Makes It To Mobile (Kotaku)
“Back in 2010 when we were first getting to know Windows Phone 7, indie developer Mommy’s Best Games demonstrated the platform’s power with a mobile version of its unique Xbox Live Indie bullet-hell shooter, Shoot 1UP. Two years later…”

Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe (PixelProspector)
Super Puzzle Platformer Deluxe is the upcoming sequel to the awesome arcade game Super Puzzle Platformer.”

I Spy A New Look For Spy Party (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Hecker told Joystiq that ‘We really wanted the art style to reflect the same level of subtlety that the gameplay has. I didn’t want it to be too realistic or too exaggerated, and I think we hit it on this really nice, call it naturalistic or illustrative – they look like illustrations. I’m super excited.’ He’s adamant that the new look shouldn’t/won’t affect the game outside of aesthetics, however.”

Preview: Incredipede (TIGSource)
“This is a new trailer for Colin and Sarah Northway’s Incredipede, which features artwork by Thomas Shahan. Slated for a late October release, Incredipede is a physics-based platformer where you control Quozzle, a little creature that can be built and rebuilt using jointed limbs and muscles. According to the game’s website, it will come with 60 levels and a level editor.”

A Brief History Of Garry’s Mod: Community Contraptions (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“According to Garry’s Mod creator Garry Newman: ‘There’s so much stuff going on in GMod that it’s hard to pull out individual addons. I think the real great thing about GMod is that all these addons exist. It has a rich user contribution community. It keeps itself entertained.’ It really is impossible to cover everything that the GMod community has made. I tried and gave up, instead creating an inexhaustive list of amazing things that have tickled me over the years as an on-and-off GModder. So this list includes my choices with a couple of Garry’s mixed in.”

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


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Indie Links Round-Up: A Single Flower

And now we present a list of some of the games covered in today’s Indie Links, in haiku form:

Wyv and Keep, Warsow,
Dragon Fantasy Book II,
Spy Party, Don’t Starve

We didn’t say it was a very good haiku.

Interview: Jenova Chen Looks Back At Journey (Shacknews)
“As the Journey Collector’s Edition hits retail stores today, it marks a series of milestones for thatgamecompany. With three critical darlings under its belt and its first retail title now available, the company is preparing to strike out on its own again and develop for a wider range of platforms. Company co-founder Jenova Chen recently took a look back at Journey with Shacknews, sharing thoughts on artistic games, griefers, and touching feedback from fans.”

In a Shocking Twist, This Game Stars Normal-Looking People. Some Of Them Are Even Old. (Kotaku)
“”This needs to be a subtle art style to go with a subtle game,” Chris Hecker told me during our latest conversation about one of the contenders for World’s Most Interesting Video Game.”

A Brief History Of Garry’s Mod: Count To Ten (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“‘It was never meant to be a big deal. I was just fucking about!’ says Garry’s Mod creator Garry Newman. His innovative physics-based mod for Half-Life 2 turned out to be a remarkably big deal, not least by being a forerunner in iterative and community focused design, and a game that’s perennially in Steam’s top twenty game stats. It’s an exercise in giving gamers tools and no direction, one of the few games that makes just messing about a core goal. Its strength is a flexibility that makes it a platform for people to make things like comics, maps, weapons, even gamemodes. It might have grown by enabling sexually suggestive poses of Valve’s stoic game characters, but six years on there’s so more to GMod than just fucking about. Here’s how it got there.”

This Brand New Old-School RPG Is Coming To PS3 And Vita Next Year (Kotaku)
“Here’s one more reason to get your hands on a Vita: Dragon Fantasy Book II, the sequel to NES-style iOS JRPG Dragon Fantasy, is coming to Sony’s portable system (and PlayStation 3) next year.”

Q&A: Leonard J. Paul on Retro City Chiptunes and Vessel Audio (IndieGames.com)
Leonard J. Paul is the lead composer on Vblank Entertainment’s Retro City Rampage chiptune score and has designed and implemented the dynamic audio found in Strange Loop Games’ Vessel. He will be performing at a pre-PAX showcase in Seattle on August 30 and speaking at the Gamercamp festival in Toronto this November.  We caught up with the audio engineer and musician to hear about his contributions to independently developed titles.”

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Wyv And Keep (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, the happy crew from Jolly Corpse describes the joy of retro co-op on modern machines with Wyv and Keep.”

Warsow (PixelProspector)
Warsow is a fast paced first person shooter with cel shaded graphics in which you jump, dash, dodge, and walljump speedily through the arenas. It is freely available for Windows, Mac and Linux.”

Don’t Starve: A Tim Burton Take On Minecraft (Gamasutra)
Don’t Starve is an upcoming survival game for PC, much in the same vein as the aforementionedMinecraft. With the title, Klei is looking to innovate when it comes to setting and overall look, with an obvious Tim Burton inspiration in place.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: A Single Flower


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Indie Links Round-Up: Beaming

An edition of Indie Links includes an article interviewing indie artist Anna Anthropy!  (Let’s count “Indie Links” as a compound word so we can say all the words in that sentence started with vowels.)  Also, an indie game that looks like a big-budget title, a survival horror game set on the Moon, and SpyParty’s redesign.

‘Retro/Grade:’ If I Could Turn Back Time (The Verge)
“Matt Gilgenbach burned through his savings, went into debt, and — by his own admission — didn’t give his new wife the attention she deserved, to make downloadable shooter Retro/Grade.”

Sup Holmes Invites Anna Anthropy To Blow Your Minds (Destructoid)
“I am going to talk as little as possible on this week’s edition of Sup, Holmes?. The more I can keep my mouth shut, the more we get of Anna. She’s easily one of the most interesting people working in videogames today. I’m sad that show is only an hour and a half long. ”

Syder Arcade (PixelProspect0r)
Syder Arcade is a faithful tribute to shmups in general and to the classic Defenderin particular. It offers really good visuals and challenging gameplay.”

SpyParty Redesign: The New Art Of Espionage (Joystiq)
“Last year, animator John Cimino turned down a cushy position at Zynga, pre-IPO, to work out of Chris Hecker’s garage redesigning Hecker’s ambitious, notorious indie gameSpyParty. Cimino worked in secret since September 2011 to transform the primary colors and block-based skeletons of SpyParty‘s characters into the artistic, realistic designs revealed today.”

Jack Lumber: All Logs Must Die (Hookshot Inc.)
“The sad tale of a swarthy chainsaw-wielder, murderous trees and a dear departed grandmother – Jack Lumber is a Fruit Ninja nod wrapped tight in some delightfully imaginative swaddling.”

A Routine Interview About Crafting Lunar Horror (Shacknews)
“The marketing geniuses behind the classic 1979 horror film Alien once noted: “In space, no one can hear you scream.” Aptly-named indie developer Lunar Software is in the process of exploring that adage through the development of a new first-person, survival-horror title set on the Moon, called Routine. The short teaser trailer for the game–which the developer debuted at this year’s Gamescom festival–is equal parts creepy and intriguing, even when taken at face value. However, after finding out that the game will ostensibly play out like a survival-horror roguelike, I had to reach out to Lunar Software’s Aaron Foster, to ask him about Routine’s revolutionary design, and get his take on what makes survival horror succeed in video games.”

Hawken Q&A: Khang Le On Resource Management On Illal (IndieGames.com)
“Adhesive Games, formed of team members of Project Offset, will release Hawken through a free-to-play model on December 12. It was announced yesterday that the game will support the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. The developer is currently putting the finishing touches on the garage where you customize your armored vehicle and is working on tutorials to train prospective pilots before they engage in combat on the virtual battlefield. We met up with creative director Khang Le at the 2012 Anime Expo, taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, to hear how story and gameplay reinforce each other in the gritty mech combat title.”

A Team Of Seven Is Making A Game That ‘Shouldn’t Be Possible’ (Kotaku)
“This is hardly unusual for an indie game: critical hits like Braid and Minecraft were created by even smaller teams. What is unusual is that Natural Selection 2 looks like a triple-A, big-budget, $50 million title. It runs on an original engine that the team developed just for this game. It’s ambitious, competitive, and difficult to market: as Jeremy points out, it’s a simple game, but a ‘very hard concept’ to sell.”

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


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Indie Links Round-Up: Bringing It To The Table

Today’s Indie Links get back to basics by addressing the fundamental question of just what is an indie game?  Whatever it is, the games discussed here clearly qualify, including Environmental Station Alpha, Gravity Bone, Ruin Diver III, Thirty Flights of Loving, and lots more.

What Makes A Game Indie: A Universal Definition (Sinister Design)
“I’ve been content to stand on the sidelines of the “what is indie” debate for a number of years now, satisfied that whatever the outcome, it wouldn’t really matter. I no longer think that. When a multi-million-dollar game with a team of nearly 50, created with the backing of a major publisher, can get into an ‘indie’ bundle with nothing more than a collective shrug of indifference, the indie community is in deep trouble. This article is an attempt to address a root cause of the problem.”

Play This Awesome Free PC Game. It’ll Take 15 Minutes, And You Will Enjoy Yourself. (Kotaku)
“Look, I’m not gonna mince words here. If you own a PC, you owe it to yourself to play Gravity Bone. I don’t want to tell you what it’s all about, since the game is so short that even telling you the setup would give you information in the same amount of time that you could just experience it for yourself.”

Kickstarter Katchup – 25th August 2012 (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“The loser column is sadly busy once again this week, with no winners we’ve been following. But as usual there are a lot of other Kickstarters in progress, and a bunch of new ones. Don’t forget to note the rules below, and the next person who writes “Why no love for…” in the comments is going to be buried on the moon. Have a great Saturday!”

Environmental Station Alpha (PixelProspector)
Environmental Station Alpha is an upcoming platform shooter that is inspired by Metroid. It features charming ultra low res graphics and is made by the developer ofThe Mushroom EngineTimerocketxbyGeneric and many other games

Live Free, Play Hard: The Week In Free Indie Games (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Porpentine of Free Indie Games returns with another selection of the web’s weirdest and wonderfullest indie fare from across the last few days. What have you got for us this time, Porpentine?”

Perfection Takes Time: Spy Party Dev On New Additions, Waiting ‘Til It’s Right (Ars Technica)
“When Chris Hecker talks about Spy Party, the video game he has been making almost entirely by himself for over three years, he likes to use the word ‘perfect.’ Based on a 30-minute conversation from his office in Oakland last week, he runs at approximately 26 PPH (‘perfects’ per hour).”

Go Back In Time, Destroy Warships At Austin’s Fantastic Arcade Next Month (Joystiq)
“Fantastic Arcade, the annual independent game showcase attached to the Fantastic Fest film festival, revealed its official selections for this year’s event this week. Capy’s Super TIME Force, Vlambeer’s Luftrausers, and Dennaton’s Hotline Miami are on display as the ‘main competition,’ along with FTLSuper HexagonUnmanned, and McPixel.”

Every Exit Is An Entrance: You Must Play Thirty Flights Of Loving (Hookshot Inc.)
“Thirty Flights of Loving is a short game that deserves a very long post. A long post would ruin the pleasures of discovery, however, so it’s going to have to wait. For now, all you need to know is that Brendon Chung’s latest is a wild tale of love, revenge, and stray cats, told in dazzling synaptic flashes. It destroys pretty much every other story-based video game I’ve ever played. References The Great Gastby, too, old sport.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Bringing It To The Table


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Indie Links Round-Up: Everyone’s Invited

Today’s Indie Links include a game where level design is also music composition, a game with a non-linear narrative, and a game where the “line” actually runs backwards.

Split Community: Kongregate To Host Contest For Ludum Dare (IndieGames.com)
“The indie dev community appears splitover Kongregate’s new contest which attaches a monetary prize to this weekend’s Ludum Dare 48- and 72-hour competitions. Kongregate’s prizes total $2,400 for the three games which are the highest voted on their service. From the judging rules, they are ’100% popularity based on the average five-star user rating on Kongregate.com as of 11:59:59 p.m. PT on September 28, 2012.’”

Retro/Grade Review: Time Machine Music (Joystiq)
Retro/Grade is a game about distraction. On a surface level, there’s a complicated premise that has you playing a side-scrolling shmup in reverse, avoiding enemy bullets as they return to the back of your ship and rushing to catch the projectiles that your ship fired when time was moving forward. You know, because you don’t want to damage the timeline by having a missile shoot out of nowhere.”

Sweet Mother Of Pearl, There’ll Be A Lot Of Indie Games At PAX This Year (Kotaku)
“This kickin’ trailer shows the 30+ games that will be on display at the Indie Megabooth at PAX Prime next week in Seattle. Can you name all the games? I… can’t. (Hmm, maybe that’s because I watched this with my mouse over it so the Vimeo logo blocks where it totally says the names of the games.)”

Sound Shapes Review (Shacknews)
“As a huge fan of music gaming, my enthusiasm for Sound Shapes was palpable. The latest game from Jonathan Mak, the man behind Everyday Shooter, this eccentric platformer promised to combine music creation with platforming to create a brand new experience. Not only would gamers be able to play interactive “albums” from Jim Guthrie, Deadmau5, and Beck, they’d be able to create their own as well.”

Joe Danger 2: The Movie – The Nintendo-Flavored XBLA Game With Jetpacks (Joystiq)
“The only place Joe Danger hasn’t ended up is on a Nintendo console. Which made Hello Games founder Sean Murray’s statement on the game’s inspirations distinctly confusing when he told me this last week during Gamescom:”

Wot I Think: 30 Flights Of Loving (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Like its predecessor Gravity Bone, Blendo Games’ Thirty Flights of Loving is a short-form tale of cool criminals in a cuboid world, told from a first-person perspective with a hyper-compressed, non-linear narrative that focuses only on the drama and comedy, not the filler. Here’s what I made of it.”

Pitiri 1977 (PixelProspector)
Pitiri 1977 is a physics based adventure platformer about a boy with special abilities (telekinesis, fireball etc.) The strengths (visuals, story) and weaknesses (bit unfinished) of the game are pointed out by Indie Game Mag and the german gaming blog Superlevel.”

SpyParty’s Graphics Leap From 1998 To 2012 In One Gallery (Joystiq)
“Up until now, the most interesting thing about SpyParty was its ridiculously deep gameplay. That remains the case, actually, but the game’s new look is certainly something to write home about. We’ve got a full feature with Chris Hecker detailing how the changes took place, but if you just wanna take a looksy, here you go!”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Everyone’s Invited


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Indie Links Round-Up: Forest Flora

In today’s Indie Links: art in games, going at it alone as an indie developer, and the return of an indie developer from before “indie gaming” was a thing.

Legendary 1979 TRS-80 Game Developer Returns To Rebuild in Unity (IndieGames.com)
“Leo Christopherson must have been a great math teacher, we’ll probably never really know, but we will always be certain of the fact that he was an excellent TRS-80 programmer and game designer that wowed computer gamers back in the late 70s and early-to-mid 80s. He was also very close to the archetype of what we’d today describe as an indie developer, what with him being a one man team with unique and quirky ideas, who still fondly remembers ‘the successes I had with graphics and sound on the old TRS-80 as being some of the best moments of my life…’”

Hands-On: Hawken (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“If anyone was keeping count, they’d probably tell you that I died a lot more often than I killed at Gamescom. Whether having my head knocked off by a hammer or huddling around a fire and failing to survive the Eastern Front, I spent a lot of time meeting makers. Let it be known, however, that I was actually quite good at Hawken, but that’s not the only reason I’m an admirer of the multiplayer deathmech delight.”

Letters From A New York Indie #4: The Loneliest Number (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.”

Joe Danger 2: The Movie Flipping To XBLA ‘Probably In The Next Month Or So’ (Joystiq)
Joe Danger 2: The Movie from UK dev Hello Games is leaping to your Xbox 360 in the not-too-distant future. “We’re pretty much complete,” Hello Games head Sean Murray told us at Gamescom during a demo of the upcoming 2D Xbox Live Arcade racer. ‘We’re showing the full game here, and hopefully people like it. Hopefully that means we’re nearly finished,’ he said with a smile.”

A Minecraft Experiment: 30 Players, Two Months, All-Out War (The Verge)
“What happens when you put 30 Minecraft players in a small, closed map for two months with a limited number of resources? An intriguing experiment earlier this year asked the very same question, and got a somewhat expected (but nevertheless disconcerting) answer: all-out war. The participants were unaware of the experiment’s goal, and were only given one rule, “never leave the bedrock walls.” Instead of banding together, the players broke into four factions — The Axe, The Brotherhood, The Dwarves, and The Merchant’s Guild — and began fighting for scarce resources on the 350 x 350 block map.”

This Game Lets You Show Cammy Your Thailand (Kotaku)
“Did you know that, over the weekend, there was an indie game get-together called Jean Claude Van Jam? And that it was all about making games based on Jean-Claude Van Damme? And that it happened only a few days after Van Damme gave perhaps the greatest Street Fighter-related interview of all time? What an amazing time we live in.”

Panel Video: Sony Devs On Art In Games (IndieGames.com)
“Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios president (and indie game champion for Sony) Shuhei Yoshida, Giant Sparrow creative director Ian Dallas (The Unfinished Swan), thatgamecompany co-founder Kellee Santiago (Journey), and Adam Volker from small start-up Moonbot Studios (Diggs: Nightcrawler for Wonderbook) discussed the role of art in games at Gamescom 2012 last week.”

Dust: An Elysian Tail Review – A Classic Formula Revisited (Joystiq)
“Every so often, a game comes along that reminds me why I play games. They aren’t always perfect, but they’re memorable experiences and that’s what really matters. Dust: An Elysian Tail is one of those games. It certainly has its flaws, but when you get past all that you’re left with a beautiful, quirky tale of self-discovery that still manages to be engaging and consistently surprising throughout.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Forest Flora


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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