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

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Dev Links: A Fresh Start

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The contents of today’s Dev Links come together to demonstrate how many different stages of development there actually are. (Hint: a lot.)

The Making of: ROM City Rampage (8-BIT Hardware Accurate Prototype) (VBlank Entertainment)
“How Retro City Rampage’s core was crunched down to a REAL 8-BIT game and how 8-BIT games are made!”

Yet Another Technology Status Update (Gaslamp Games)
“Last time I wrote a programming team update about Clockwork Empires, I made a comment that was somewhere along the lines of “the game is starting to hit that point where it transitions from a bunch of technology bits to something that looks like a game.” Well, we’re a lot closer to that goal than we were last update.”

Race Selection Screen (StarLife)
“Our new race selection screen. The custom race button will take you to another screen, which I will be working on the next few days.”

More about the complexities of Democracy 3 income… (Positech Games)
“Wealth is a complex thing in Democracy 3. far more so than before. I’ve been wrestling with bugs in it today which have reminded me how intricate the new income simulation is. How does it work? Well here is a rough synopsis.”

XXL Love for Serious Sam Double D (Mommy’s Best Games)
“Serious Sam Double D XXL is out now on XBLA–go download the demo if you’ve not yet! Critics are chiming in with some intense praise, see what they have to say.

Oddy Smog, Oddy Smog EVERYWHERE (PlayMedusa)
“What a huge week for Oddy Smog’s Misadventure. The game that was our second title, back in 2010, has been released for Android and has received a big update in the App Store.”

The Video Game Kickstarter Report – Week of March 1 (Zeboyd Games)

Playnomics partners with Unity to help indie developers (Polygon)
“Games-focused data science company Playnomics has partnered with the Unity Technologies Asset Store to provide indie developers with better tools to engage audiences and monetize their games, Playnomics announced today.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: A Fresh Start


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Indie Links Round-Up: Intangibles

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Games based on depression, an award winning game we’ll never get to play, and other interesting titles in today’s Indie Links.

How Jason Rohrer Won The Game Design Challenge (RPS)
“A real high-point of every GDC is the Game Design Challenge. Well, was. Sadly the tenth year of this annual treat was the last, with organiser Eric Zimmerman bringing proceedings to an end. And wow, did it go out in style. With the apposite topic, “Humanity’s Last Game”, some of the biggest names in the industry put forth their pitches for the last game we’d ever need. And one man entirely stole the show. For a second year, that man was Jason Rohrer.”

Voiceless and forgotten: facing depression through play (VG247)
“Depression Quest and Actual Sunlight are two games based on depression. Dave Owen speaks with their creators to find out how they can help.”

The Cat that Got the Milk sequel revealed, leaps from freeware to commercial (IndieGames.com)
“The Button Affair super stylish developers, now called Modern Dream, have announced The Cat that Got the Milk will receive a sequel. Titled Abstract No.3, it will expand on the series’ twitchy, path-weaving gameplay and will be the team’s first commercial release.”

Mobile review: Ridiculous Fishing (Shacknews)
“Fishing is a tough endeavor, one that isn’t as easy as it looks on TV or in the movies. Homer Simpson once had an idea to dump a plugged-in bug zapper into a lake and it resulted in a whole lot of easy-to-catch (if somewhat high voltage) fish. That’s a ridiculous idea. Yet it’s not as ridiculous as some of the heavy artillery that’s used in Ridiculous Fishing, the latest iOS title from Vlambeer (Super Crate Box), Greg Wohlwend (Puzzlejuice), and Zach Gage (Halcyon).”

Storyteller preview: In the eye of the beholder (Joystiq)
“”Wait, save that. No one’s done it that way before. You made it more complicated.” Daniel Benmergui reached out to grab the mouse and save a screenshot of my panels in his comic-book narrative game, Storyteller, where I had just concocted a tale of love and loss based on the page’s prompt, using a trio of static characters. One click and Benmergui let me regain control – he resumed his place over my shoulder in a quiet room off of the main GDC concourse, paper and pen in hand, taking notes on my visible thought processes as they played out on-screen.”

Preview: Hiversaires (TIGSource)
“After years of releasing engaging short-form games, prolific digital artist Aliceffekt is nearing completion of his first independent commercial project, Hiversaires, for iOS. Committing himself to full time development at the beginning of February, Aliceffekt has worked solo on the game, handling design, code, art, and music.”

Little Inferno scores big sales (Destructoid)
“Little Inferno didn’t have a lot to help it become a financial success. A fireplace simulator made to parody and critique current trends in videogames isn’t exactly what the big publishers would call “a surefire hit with a huge pre-installed fan base.” Thankfully, word of mouth, positive reviews, and the reputation of the game’s all-star development team seemed to have made up for any lack of marketability.”

Second Thoughts with the Chick – Terraria (Indie Gamer Chick)
“I reviewed Terraria for PlayStation Network/Xbox Live Arcade. I said that I did have fun playing the title, but I didn’t recommend it because it was too glitchy and unfinished. I also said that I had lost interest in the game. Since then, there hasn’t been a review up at my blog. Why? Because I’ve been busy playing Terraria. So allow me to eat some crow and do a 180 here. Terraria IS worth your time, glitches and all.”

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


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Dev Links: Dear Abbey

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Driftmoon, Ridiculous Fishing, Natural Selection 2… all games that went through long development processes (some more than others), and in today’s Developer Links you can read detailed tales from these processes that you may find enlightening.

Postmortem: Unknown Worlds Entertainment’s Natural Selection 2 (Gamasutra)
“This past Halloween, in 2012 — 10 years after the release of the original Half-Life mod, and after almost going out of business multiple times — we released Natural Selection 2 using our own “Spark” engine on Steam. It went right to Number One and has since sold around 300,000 copies. This article hopes to summarize what we learned during this epic period of toil…”

Indie Tools: Dagon (IndieGames)
Senscape‘s Dagon engine has been open-sourced! And, yes, it’s the very same and apparently extraordinarily sleek engine that will be powering horror adventure The Asylum and thus an engine specifically designed for the creation of modern, cutting edge adventure games.”

Ridiculous Fishing Is Almost Done! (Vlambeer)
“If you’ve been paying attention, you probably followed the development of Wasteland Kingsduring our participation in the annual Mojam. We’re extremely proud of the $450.000 raised for charity during the whole event and just as grateful for all your support, the nice comments in the chat and your enthusiasm for the game. However, Wasteland Kings was not all we were working on: while Jan Willem and Paul were jamming away on Wasteland Kings, Rami, Zach and Greg wrapped up something else over in New York: we submitted Ridiculous Fishing to Apple.”

Penny Arcade’s On The Rain-Slick Precipice Of Darkness 4 – Music Sampler! (Zeboyd Games)
“Over the weekend, Hyperduck submitted final versions of all the Precipice of Darkness 4 songs and we’re dying to share some with you.”

Super Hexagon On Linux (distractionware: devlog)
“One final port announcement! Super Hexagon is now available on Linux. If you’ve got the PC or Mac version of the game on Steam, then you should already have it in your library!”

A Prisoner’s Tale (The Behemoth Development Blog)
“The guard did growleth as he pushed us out, / Catnip stanking up each breath. / ’Your turn has come at last,’ he mewed, / His eyes aglow with death…”

Seven Years Is A Long Time (Driftmoon)
“It took us a while to complete Driftmoon. In fact, it took us over seven years. But we’re here now, and Driftmoon is finally just two days away from official release! Now is a good time to look at our long journey to today.”

Loadtesting For Open Beta, Part 1 (SpyParty)
Way back in 2011, right before I opened up Early-Access Beta signups, I loadtested and optimized the signup page to make sure it wouldn’t crash if lots of people were trying to submit their name and email and confirm their signup. I always intended to write up a technical post or two about that optimization process because it was an interesting engineering exercise, but I have yet to get around to it. However, I can summarize the learnings here pretty quickly:WordPress is excruciatingly slow, Varnish is incredibly fast, I ♥ Perl,1 Apache with plain old mod_php (meaning not loading WordPress) was actually way faster than I expected, slightly faster even than nginx + php-fpm in my limited tests, CloudFront is pretty easy to use,2 and even cheap and small dedicated servers can handle a lot of traffic if you’re smart about it.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Dear Abbey


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Dev Links: White Dragon

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Today’s Developer Links talk about garbage collection, tool development, a lighting technique, and a suggestion for how to classify RPGs.

The Top 10 Mistakes Tool Developers Make (Gamasutra)
“Since 1999, I’ve had the luck to work in the game middleware industry. It’s been extremely interesting, but something of a crusade. Why? Probably because game middleware is one of the hardest things to market and sell.”

Implementing Voxel Cone Tracing (AltDevBlogADay)
“In last year SIGGRAPH, Epic games presented their real time GI solution which based on voxel cone tracing. They showed some nice results which attract me to implement the technique and my implementation runs at around 22~30fps at 1024×768 screen resolution using a 256x256x256 voxel volume on my GTX460 graphic card. The demo program can be downloaded here which requires a DX11 GPU to run.”

Garbage Collection And Memory Allocation Sizes (AltDevBlogADay)
“As a performance conscious programmer in a soft-realtime environment I’ve never been too fond of garbage collection. Incremental garbage collectors (like the one in Lua) make it tolerable (you get rid of the horrible garbage collection stalls), but there is still something unsettling about it. I keep looking at the garbage collection time in the profiler, and I can’t shake the feeling that all that time is wasted, because it doesn’t really do anything.”

Dog Game (distractionware: devlog)
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A Better Classification System For RPGs (Zeboyd Games)
“The labels JRPG and Western RPG are commonly used genre labels that don’t do a lot of good in actually telling anyone what the game in question is like because there is so much variety between games that are arguably in the same genre. For that matter, some people still can’t agree whether these terms should apply strictly to the location of the developer that made the game or to the style of game. Surely, we can do better. Here are 9 criteria you can use to classify just about any RPG.”

Attempt Quest 1 (Auntie Pixelante)
“attempt quest 1 is an abstract, autobiographical game i made in 2004 – i would have been around 21. i can’t remember showing it to anyone, posting it anywhere. i don’t remember making it, didn’t remember that it existed until i found it in an old corner of my web host. but playing it, i could identify it as mine, like deja vu, or like being shown a drawing you did as a kid. at that time in my life, i was dealing with isolation, depression, sorting out my identity, and a fear of my own mortality that has never left me, just transformed. i put all these into this little game that i was too scared to show anyone.”

Announcing “Roger Steel and the Human Element” (Computer Games)
“‘It’s 1936 and the sun is still shining brightly on a steam-powered British Empire. Ann Trevelyan, a naïve but headstrong 21-year-old English girl, is exiled to Kashmir from the sultry streets of Calcutta in the aftermath of a forbidden love affair. Accompanied by her technology-obsessed brother, Arthur, who has been coerced into chaperoning her, and their lifelong Welsh friends, Christina and Neville Mortimer, the four expect nothing but boredom away from the glamour of the big city…”

What Are Games (Proteus)
“I find this rather burdensome to write, but it feels necessary to set out my thoughts given recent rumblings, and specifically to respond to this article and its comments. I don’t call Proteus an antigame* or a notgame. I call it a game, but obviously I am at pains to make it clear that it doesn’t have explicit challenge or ‘winning.’”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: White Dragon


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Indie Links Round-Up: Slices of Life

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Together, the games discussed in today’s Indie Links include more than sixteen million levels! Okay, that’s largely because one of the games discussed in today’s Indie Links has more than sixteen million levels by itself, but the other games may have much to recommend them as well.

Austin Wintory’s Journey to the 2013 Grammys (Joystiq)
“On the day Grammy nominations were scheduled to be announced, Austin Wintory didn’t get much work done. As the composer for Journey, Wintory had an inkling that he might be nominated in Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, and he was distracted all day, constantly refreshing the Grammy page, scanning for his name. By evening the list still wasn’t posted and he gave up on trying to focus. He got in his car, determined to go home, make dinner and then check the page again.”

Top Indie Games of 2012: Dev Redux Part 1 (IndieGames)
“The developers from our Top 10 Indie Games of 2012 (+2!) list have agreed to share their must-play games of 2012. Today’s list features the picks of Jonas Kyratzes, Anna Anthropy, Vince Twelve, Jim Crawford, Justin Ma, and Matthew Davis.”

Project Gert: Recon (Indie Gamer Chick)
“There’s exactly one good thing I can say about Project Gert: Recon.  The paintings featured in the game’s cutscenes are beautiful.  So at least one person involved in this project has an amazing talent.  Seriously, watch the trailer below.  The actual in-game graphics are spoiled by awful animation and piss-poor collision detection, but the paintings are spectacular.  I would totally commission this guy to do a portrait.  But that’s where any complements end.  Project Gert is yet another December entrant to the ‘potential worst game of the year’ category.”

Review: Teleglitch – A Fast-Paced Arcade-Style Roguelike. Yes, It Is. (Indie Game Reviewer)
“Sometimes roguelikes are not always turn-based. Sometimes shooters are not always First Person. Three years in the making, Teleglitch is both and neither. It is at once a fast-paced arcade-style action game inspired by DOOM, and a randomly generated, single-life, intense roguelike.”

The Game With Sixteen and a Half Million Levels – The Review (Independent Gaming)
“This game has 16,777,216 levels. I didn’t beat the game before I wrote this, just warning you. This is a totally new concept to me, and I like it, if only the execution was better. The Game with Sixteen and a Half Million Levels is an game made in Engine 001 by tower07.”

What AAA Can Learn From Indies — According To Indies (Gamasutra)
“Yesterday we asked some leading indie game developers about the lessons they had learned in the past year. Today, we ask what — if anything — big triple-A publishers could have learned from the indie game community in the last 12 months.”

A Common Thread: Renaud Bédard (Quote Unquote)
“My name is Renaud Bédard. I’m a 27 years old tall, skinny guy from Montréal, Québec, now living in Toronto. I’m mainly a C# programmer but will use other languages if forced to do so. I’ve been working with XNA a lot in the past few years, but FEZ, the project I’m known for, was my first project using XNA. Before that I was using an engine called TrueVision3D, and now I’m into Unity when doing game jams and personal projects.

Scoregasm (PixelProspector)
Scoregasm is one of the best arena shooters I have ever played (and I have played a lot of them). The game was over 2 years in development and it really shows: Smooth controls, super fun gameplay, colorful graphics, a great variety of levels and well thought out bullet patterns.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Slices of Life


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Indie Links Round-Up: Developer’s Lair

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Today’s Indie Links include a hundred indie game picks from the Independent Game Festival submissions, ten notable indie strategy games from 2012, and nine games that weren’t finalists in the IGF awards (but at least one judge thinks should have been).

100 Indie Game Picks for IGF 2013 (PixelProspector)
“Well…I’ve browsed through the 800+ Entrants (~580 Main Entrants and ~300 Student Entrants) and picked 80 100 games. All those games can be found on 100 Indie Game Picks for IGF 2013 (with links to: homepage, igf entry page and trailer)
The shown games are either picked because I have tested them personally (for example: Awesomenauts, Syder Arcade, Gas Guzzlers, Iconoclasts, Super House of Dead Ninjas…) or because they look promising.”

Top 10 Indie Strategy Games of 2012 (IndieGames)
“Strategy gaming, despite being one of the most demanding genres for players and developers alike, is also one of the areas indie devs seem to excel at and gamers seem to love. What’s more, 2012 was an excellent year for the tactically thinking masses indeed, what with its impressive selection of strategy offerings appearing on most platforms. What follows are our picks of the very best strategy games of 2012 and, as you will soon discover, it’s a list covering everything from RTS and turn-based games to tower-defense and rogue-like variants. It even sports some excellent freebies!”

Indie Studio Takes Stand Against Over-Priced Games In Australia (GamePolitics)
“Melbourne Australia-based indie game developer Endgame Studios is tired of the high prices that gamers in the region have to pay for video games (compared to Europe and other regions) and has decided to voice their opinion about how much they think it sucks. In a post entitled ‘A stand against exorbitant Aussie game prices!,’ the studio says that Australian gamers are asked to pay 50 – 100 percent more than American consumers due to – according to publishers and distributors – currency exchange rates. Endgame Studios says that now because of digital distribution of many titles (there is no physical product to haul) and because the Australian dollar is stronger than the U.S. dollar the old justification for higher game prices no longer works.”

3DS Game Review – Fluidity: Spin Cycle (Curve) (IndieGames)
“Curve has shown its platformer breadth and expertise once again, having previously mixed physics and blasts in Explodemon and stealth and speed in Stealth Bastard. The dev’s latest, Fluidity: Spin Cycle (or Hydroventure: Spin Cycle in the EU), is so slick with its water-based physics and puzzle platforming that it easily becomes one of the best games on the 3DS, retail or digital.”

Hit List Q&A: Supergiant Games Studio Director Amir Rao (Joystiq)
“Amir Rao is the Studio Director for Supergiant Games, the team behind the AIAS award-winning downloadable game Bastion, which was released on Xbox Live Arcade, Steam, Mac, Linux, Chrome and iOS. Prior to Supergiant Games, Amir worked at Electronic Arts Los Angeles as a designer on Command & Conquer 3 and Red Alert 3.”

The Inaugural Horace Awards For Forgotten IGF Entrants (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“The IGF 2013 finalists were announced yesterday, with many worthy nominees up for the trophies. But as a judge in the first round of voting, I spotted a bunch of games I’m disappointed to not see get further. Disappointed, and with my own website. So to fix this, I’ve pulled together the inaugural Horace Award For Forgotten IGF Entrants. The winners are below.”

Game The News Project Developer Interview (Independent Gaming)
“While surfing the web I came across an interesting concept. A group was putting together (indie) games to help people better understand the news and the world around them. I was so curious as to what the developers had to say that I contacted them and landed an interview with the creative director, Tomas.”

Playgrounds: Gaijin Games’ Jason Cirillo (Polygon)
“This is our very first installment of Playgrounds from outside of the Polygon staff and it’s with great pleasure that we introduce Mr. Jason Cirillo, a designer at California-based Gaijin Games (makers of the BIT.TRIP series), and host of retro gaming web series Bit Museum. If you’re a collector, developer or super fan with a collection worth sharing on Playgrounds, let us know at playgrounds@polygon.com! Take it away, Jason!”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Developer’s Lair


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Indie Links Round-Up: Losing Your Head

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“Chivalry”, “Hydorah”, “Sugarcube” and “Telepath” are all examples of dactyls, metrical feet consisting of one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables. More importantly, they’re all the first words of titles of games covered in today’s Indie Links.  (Heck, one of the titles, Sugarcube: Bittersweet Factory, consists entirely of dactyls. Huh.)

Bleed (Indie Gamer Chick)
“…In short, the name sucks and the price sucks harder.  Are we clear on that?  Good. Bleed is fucking awesome.”

Review: Blood, Grain, and Steel – An Indie Turn-Based Strategy Game (Indie Game Reviewer)
“Turn-based strategies are a delicate art; pacing is everything and it’s important that tactics and balance are tempered with regular reward. The genre, by its nature, provides measured and reasonably slow experiences (compared to other gaming genres at least) and it can be easy to drive away potential gamers with these qualities if the game doesn’t also offer some level of excitement and deep involvement. Blood, Grain and Steel faces this challenge, presenting turn-based strategy elements reminiscent of Total War combined with chess style grids.”

Today I Die Dev’s Storyteller Still Enchants (IndieGames)
Today I Die and I wish I were the Moon developer Daniel Benmergui is still working hard on his IGF 2012 Nuovo award winner Storyteller. He recently published a dedicated website for Storyteller and announced a late 2013 release for Windows, Mac, and iOS.”

Oh, Sweet Emotion!  Sugarcube: Bittersweet Factory (Indie Statik)
“…Thing is, 2D puzzle-platformers are the ‘bread and butter’ of that thing we awkwardly refer to as indie gaming. If you’ve been interested in this chewy slice of the gaming world for more than a couple of weeks, you can most likely name ten of them off the top of your head. This doesn’t detract from Sugarcube‘s quality in any way, it just means that the game would have to work very hard to stand out in a highly competitive field. There’d have to be something unique to make it worthwhile for more than just the die-hard ‘indie fan’. Which brings me back to the poo.”

Kickstarter Katchup – 15th December 2012 (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“The temptation is to throw copper coins out of my window at passing urchins, demanding that they purchase food and gifts on my behalf, but instead I decided to tuck into the selection box that is the Kickstarter Katchup to see what’s happening in the world of crowdfunding and gaming. The SPORTSFRIENDS survived, Consortium’s first-person role-playing adventure impressed and much else besides. I would say more but I really need to go and eat some painkillers though…”

GameStop Cancels This Year’s Indie Game Challenge, Future Unclear (Polygon)
“The Indie Game Challenge is on hiatus and will not be held during DICE 2013, a representative from IGC sponsor GameStop revealed to Polygon. ‘The 2012 – 13 Indie Game Challenge (IGC) will be on hiatus while we take time to analyze ways to promote and celebrate the independent game movement,’ GameStop’s media relations manager Wendy Dominguez confirmed via email. ‘We have been committed and continue to be committed to supporting the independent game developer community.’”

Hydorah 1.1 (TIGSource)
“In other Locomalito news, Hydorah has received a nice update to 1.1. According to Zosite on theshmups.com forums this update includes:…”

A Bloody Good Game  Chivalry: Medieval Warfare (Independent Gaming)
“From Torn Banner Studios –  the same developers as the Age of Chivalry mod for theSource engine - Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is a multiplayer-only realistic medieval hack’n’slash on the powerful Unreal engine. It features mostly melee combat but also contains ranged weapons such as the longbow, catapult and ballista.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Losing Your Head


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Dev Links: Big Daddy

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Today’s Developer Links are going places, with games going to diverse devices, cats going to the races, and what you can expect if you go to Japan.

Netrunner and Vulnerability (Natural Selection 2)
“Netrunner was a collectable card game released in 1996. While not a major success, it gained a strong cult following. Luckily, the game was re-released in 2012 as Android: Netrunner. The game features bluffing, deduction, unique character identities with special powers, 2 player asymmetric play, deck building, a cyberpunk theme (before it was cool…), and a variety of other game mechanics.”

On Episodic RPGs (Zeboyd Games)
“I can see two main approaches working for an episodic RPG. The first is to have each episode be a direct continuation of the previous episode…”

Rocket Report #1 (Rocket Bear Games Blog)
“Welcome to the first Rrrrocket Report!  I’ve decided to make weekly blog posts about Infested Planet and what I’ve been up to.”

Octodad In The News (1/11/13) (Octodad Blog)
“Sometimes Octodad is in the news, and sometimes people say some nice things about it. Dadliest Catch for instance has been getting a solid amount of attention in people’s “Most Anticipated Games of 2013″ lists. In case you don’t follow us on twitter or like us on facebook we figured it might be good to consolidate all these links to one place of maximum linkage.”

The Video Game Kickstarter Report – Week of January 11 (Zeboyd Games)
“Really quite weak. Only thing of note I noticed was the GameStick – a new console similar to the Ouya in that it lets you play Android games on your TV with a traditional video game controller… When you see stuff like GameStick and Ouya raising hundreds of thousands or even million dollars, it’s easy to think that they’ll be big success but for perspective, many people think the Vita is bombing and Sony has sold well over a million Vitas worldwide. If it’s hard to get serious developers to take the Vita seriously, it’s going to be even harder to get them to want to develop for systems like the Ouya that probably will never even reach a million systems sold.”

A Game Developer’s Take on Japan: The Myths and the Reality (Kotaku)
“One well-received and much commented-on blog post I wrote many years ago covered the “stages of living in Japan”. These are the 5 stages I have witnessed, again and again, in myself and in others, and though your mileage may of course vary, they seem pretty spot on. I daresay they could be applied to living in any country.”

Mew-Genics Teaser Week 12 (Team Meat Blog)
“Is your cat in shape? has he taken his pills? has he had a good nights sleep? does he have ADD? what about a few extra legs? Either way i think you should try your luck in the sewers and join Franks Cat Races, you could find your fortune there! or maybe a few magical poopies!”

Games Everywhere: The Game Industry’s Challenge For 2013 (Gamasutra)
“At CES 2013 last week, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang succinctly laid out the challenge facing the games industry at large in his opening remarks at the Nvidia press conference on Sunday evening: ‘It isn’t possible for you to enjoy the same video game on any device.’ Where the iPod, the Kindle, and the cloud have enabled consumers to consume music, books, and movies whenever and however they pleased, Huang said the challenge for the consumer tech companies is to invent the technology to make this happen with video games.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Big Daddy


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Indie Links Round-Up: Polygonal Polly

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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


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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