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

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Indie Links Round-Up: Purple Worm

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Dark times come in today’s Indie Links, with games set in shadowy worlds, a game where the lights actually go out, and a game that portrays the nightmares of a toddler…

Top 10 Free Platformer Games of 2012 (IndieGames)
“The indie universe continued to offer up in 2012 platformers of all types: auto-running, puzzle, exploratory, narrative-driven, and subversive. And even in this age where developers can easily charge money for their creations, some choose to release them for free.”

Behind The Sounds: Hotline Miami And FTL (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Music man David Valjalo follows-up his exploration of the big-budget orchestral soundtracks in the mainstream games industry with a look at the other end of the scale – the super-low-budget, ultra-catchy, sometimes kitschy scores of indie darlings. He rounds up the men behind Hotline Miami, Sweden-based Dennis Wedin and Jonatan Soderstrom, two of the soundtrack artists they hand-picked, US artists M.O.O.N. and Scattle, and FTL composer Ben Prunty, to get the scoop on making music for small games and, quite often, small change.”

The Horror Game Where You Play As A Toddler Still Looks Eerie Despite Some Public Outcry (Kotaku)
“Remember Among The Sleep? It’s that game by Krillbrite studio where you play as a two year old who has yet to ‘develop a full sense of reality, making you weak and susceptible to the horrifying creatures inhabiting your nightmares.’ If you’ve forgotten, this is your reminder that This Cool Game Still Exists.”

New Xbox Live Indie Games For Week Ending January 18, 2013 (indiePub)
“Best bets this week include: Little Acorns Deluxe, a pixel platformer game where you take on the role of Mr. Nibbles; Dynasty of Dusk, a role-playing game where you must stand up to an emperor trying to gain immortality; Grid Space Shooter, a shooter game where you try to survives massive swarms of enemy ships; and finally Ultimate Dodgeball where you create a Dodgeball team and perform amazing acrobatic tricks while attacking the other team.”

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: A Walk In The Dark (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 Flying Turtle team in Portugal talks barebones marketing and Steam Greenlight with its stylistic indie platformer, A Walk in the Dark.”

2013 Global Game Jam Expected To Break Previous Attendance Records (Polygon)
“Global Game Jam, a 48-hour game design event, is expected to break its participant record during the fifth annual event taking place this weekend, organizers announced. During the Global Game Jam, teams of professional and amateur developers gather to create games based on an announced theme. The event will take place in more than 300 worldwide locations in 60 countries. Game design professional Erin Robinson and Breat Victor will deliver this year’s keynote speech.”

Interview: Kentucky Route Zero’s Mountain of Meanings (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
Kentucky Route Zero is a joyously original, heartfelt thing. If you haven’t already played it, go do that. If you have, then step on down to the RPS porch, pull up a slightly weather-worn deck chair, and let some soulful bluegrass overwhelm your senses. Easy, easy. The interview will begin soon, but for now, there’s certainly no rush. Oh, fair warning: it’s pretty SPOILERY. Co-creator Jake Elliott and I discuss Kentucky Route Zero’s unique approaches to storytelling, theater’s heavy influence on the game, the negative general perception of the American South, talking to animals, ghost stories, economic hardship, and a number of specific in-game scenes. So then, stroll on inside RPS’ quaintly rustic hilltop abode whenever you’re ready. Or don’t. There’s always time.”

Audio Files: Aivi Tran And RPG Craymore (IndieGames)
“Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of rockin’ out with extremely talented pianist Aivi Tran at Magfest XI. Not only is she a beast at piano improvisation, she also composes music for indie games. Her recently released track “Climb, Lest I Fall” (above) was written for the upcoming RPG Cryamore, which looks to be reminiscent of Legend of Mana style gameplay. If my analysis of the gameplay is anywhere near the mark, Aivi’s music will do an excellent job at complementing Cryamore.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Links Round-Up: Purple Worm


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Dev Links: Going To Town

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Today’s Dev Links discuss doing things a little differently, with touchscreen controls and cloud gaming.  Also, version control, which is something you’ll probably have to deal with no matter what platform you’re developing your game for.

Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 4 News and Screenshots – Battles, Monster Allies, and World Map (Zeboyd Games)
“Lots of fun news for you all today.  First up, we have the first set of battle screenshots for the game. You may recognize a few familiar faces.”

Let’s Talk About Touching: Making Great Touchscreen Controls (Gamasutra)
“I’ve been working on making mobile games as the founder of an independent studio called Action Button Entertainment. In order to make the best mobile games, I’ve been dissecting and researching every interesting game-control mechanic I can find, from Pong to Angry Birds. Here is what I’ve found.”

Democracy 3: Voter Type Income Design… (Cliffski.com)
“Sooo.. I found myself almost sleepwalking into adding a new feature to Democracy 3. I honestly can’t remember actually making the decision to include it, it just seemed to ‘happen’. In democracy 2, the model for income of voters is fairly basic. You can implement policies which affect different levels of income (luxury goods tax hits the rich, for example), and that would affect the membership of the poor, middle income and wealthy voter groups. So far so good.”

What Is Bionic Heart 2 ? (Computer Games)
“I realized that I always talked about Bionic Heart 2 like if everyone played the first game. By the way, if you haven’t, you should since I lowered its price to $9.99 and even if was one of my earlier games, the story is still one of the best I think. Anyway, for those who haven’t played it, I’ll introduce the game. Warning there are some small spoilers about some endings/characters of the first game, so be warned before you continue reading!”

The Video Game Kickstarter Report – Week of Feb 22 (Zeboyd Games)
“First up for this week, we have a new Adventure/RPG hybrid called Mage’s Initiation. Developed by the team responsible for the King’s Quest 1-3 & Quest for Glory 2 remakes, Mage’s Initiation looks to be heavily inspired by the Quest for Glory series. That means multiple character classes, traditional Sierra Online style puzzles, alternate routes of success, and RPG stats. They’re off to a strong start with $39k of their $65k goal raised with 28 days left to go.”

A Clarification About Our PS4 Exclusivity (The Witness)
“There has been worry and speculation on the internet about the PS4 exclusivity that we announced during the press conference, so here are some details to help answer those questions.”

Game Development: Version Control (Unknown Worlds)
“Games are complex systems. They mix 2d and 3d artwork, sounds, game logic and rendering engines. These systems are most often created by teams. The biggest games are often worked on by hundreds of people. All these people are making changes, adding pieces, and fixing problems. It is essential to keep track of all these actions in order to maintain the integrity of the whole. Such tracking is facilitated by systems referred to in game development as ‘version control.’”

Cloud Gaming Helps Indie Developers, Playcast Board Member Says (Polygon)
“Cloud gaming helps independent developers break into the living room through digital distribution , according to Gadi Tirosh, a member of the board of directors of Playcast. Tirosh believes that distributing console quality games through the cloud circumvents retail channels that have prevented smaller developers from penetrating the market. Services like Playcast are ‘removing the barriers to distribution to console games, which historically have been quite high,’ he said.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Going To Town


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Indie Links Round-Up: Dental Hygiene

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Dev Links: When Pigs Fly

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Today’s Developer Links peek into the development of a puzzle game, an RPG, a party game, and… whatever you fancy calling SpyParty’s genre.

Practice Made Perfect: Super Hexagon (Mode 7)
“Super Hexagon is a brilliant game which is predicated on the relationship between persistence and mastery.  It also might just be a maze having a grand mal seizure.”

One Bug’s Story, Or, Assume It’s A Bug! (SpyParty Blog)
“This is the story of a bug in SpyParty.  This story has a happy ending, because the SpyParty beta testers are amazing, and they are constantly helping find bugs, of course, but they are also constantly helping me reproduce bugs, and narrow down the potential causes of bugs, and triage them, and are generally providing me with incredible support so I can make the game better.”

Driftmoon From A New Angle (Instant Kingdom)
“We’ve just released Driftmoon beta version 0.996! This is the first version featuring our new, tilted viewing angle that we mentioned earlier. It’s available right here. If you haven’t had a chance to try Driftmoon yet, or have patiently been waiting for us to add the angled camera feature, then now is the best time to start playing! And before you ask, yes, the full adventure is all there now, from start to finish.”

Ouya Game Jam Postmortem: Pig Eat Ball (Mommy’s Best Devlog)
“To help invigorate game development for the new console, a game jam was held for the  Android-based ‘Ouya‘ console. It was a bit of an unusual game jam in that it had no specific theme and had some troubles early on (there was a false start and the rules changed a bit along the way). Buuuut once it got going, it turned out pretty fun. And the event, hosted by KillScreen and named the ‘CREATE’ jam ended up being very successful with over 160 games made!”

Super Hexagon Now Available For Blackberry 10 (distractionware: devlog)
“Surprise! Super Hexagon is now available for the new Blackberry 10! This wasn’t originally something I had lined up – the opportunity to do it just sorta came along.”

Twine Bundle, February (Auntie Pixelante)
“here are some twine games i have enjoyed in the past while.”

Mew-Genics Teaser Week 16, The Ballad Of D. Claude! (Team Meat Blog)
“One of my personal faves on the soundtrack, The Ballad Of D. Claude, sheds light on the life of an alley cat from Boone County. The full track is available on Bandcamp free to check out (with lyrics!) and can be purchased for anything you’d like to pay :)

Vexing Puzzle Design (AltDevBlogADay)
“I enjoy a good puzzle.  At my core, I look for patterns in pretty much everything around me and I think we all do to some extent.  Looking for order in chaos is just something that we all do from the time we’re toddlers.  That’s when toddlers aren’t creating chaos, as I’m sure other new parents can attest to.  It’s no surprise that puzzle games are among the most popular games available for mobile devices.  A good puzzle game will keep us captivated for as long as we find it challenging.  I thought I’d take a moment and share my design process as a new game designer working on the puzzle mode for our imminent title, Vex Blocks.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: When Pigs Fly


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Indie Links Round-Up: Spin The Wheel

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

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Ravaged (Joystiq)
“Indie developers are the starving artists of the video-game world, often brilliant and innovative, but also misunderstood, underfunded and more prone to writing free-form poetry on their LiveJournals. We believe they deserve a wider audience with the Joystiq Indie Pitch: This week, 2 Dawn Games’ Carsten Boserup talks crowdfunding and indie publishing with his Steam game (now on sale!), Ravaged.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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‘Var and the Vikings: Smash Robots & Learn AI’ Bringing A New Standard To Educational Gaming

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Anyone who has ever played a squad based game is more than aware of just how bad AI can go wrong and this often ends in frustrating restarts. Now it is time to actually create your own AI from the ground up as Var And The Vikings: Smash Robots & Learn AI (Var) actually educates you on how to make AI and allows you complete control over it.

It’s interesting to see a game in development that encourages learning of vital programming skills in a fun way that make learning fun. In Var you control one central Viking (although you can take a step back and even build AI for all of them) whilst you must construct behaviour trees for your AI Vikings. These trees resemble elements that are used in real game programming and because of this allow a great deal of learning to be had whilst having fun.

This gives you complete control over what your allies do and for a change it is now your fault when they decide to run off and get killed, but you can also change that with some subtle changes. The concept is a great idea and once put into a fun game about Vikings smashing robots you can’t go too wrong with the execution.

Brainworth have had a great deal of support from the gaming industry and have some exceptionally talented people on board the project and have been working with some of the top art and music creates in the industry. However they desperately require extra funding to ensure that Var is completed and beyond that the team have a great deal of excellent ideas on how to create an even better game. With extra funding Brainworth hope to add a full level designer, Player Vs Player multiplayer, Extra character classes, and even an iPad version.

Var Archer concept

Var And The Vikings: Smash Robots & Learn AI looks to be an educational game that actually provides a great deal of fun to both young and old creating a new standard of educational gaming. To find out more be sure to visit the Kickstarter page or try the demo! If you like what you see consider funding this very interesting new project.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Var and the Vikings: Smash Robots & Learn AI’ Bringing A New Standard To Educational Gaming


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Dev Links: Maritime Maiden

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In today’s Developer Links, the developer of Sir, You Are Being Hunted discusses animation; the developer of Cthulhu Saves the World discusses repetition; the developer of Octodad discusses publicity; and the developer of Cthulhu Saves the World discusses repetition. (You see what we did there?)

Heileen 3 Postmortem (Computer Gaming)
“The Heileen series ends with this third chapter, and I’m overall satisfied by it. Without doubts it’s the best game of the series under several aspects: the longest, the most funny, the one with more variety of romances, the one with more artwork, the first one with a custom soundtrack and theme song, and the list goes on.”

Sir, Unity, Mecanim and the Trials of Small Studio In-Game Animation (Big Robot)
“We thought it might be insightful for you guys to be able to read a bit more about the challenges we’ve faced in completely overhauling our animation system since the success of our Kickstarter. As we mentioned in that pitch, animation is one of the key challenges for the game, and we feel we need high quality character animation to really make the experience work. So that’s what we’ve been doing. However, it was not without complications.”

On Repetition and Different Perspectives (Zeboyd Games)
“…This got me thinking about our own games. In one of our games, we have a dungeon that is split up into two parts – past and present. Your party gets split up between the two time periods & you have to go through the dungeon as each group. Your active party, the visuals, and the boss are different for each time period, but otherwise you’re going through the same stuff. Many people complained that they felt it was repetitive and I can’t really blame them. If I was to do it again, I would add more unique gameplay features to each time zone and otherwise reduce the amount of time you spent repeating content (there should have been fewer enemies for one thing).”

Purification Ritual for Computers (Auntie Pixelante)
“luna designed a game / ritual to purify your computer. she did the art, i did the technical stuff, with leon on call for consultation. downloads for windows or mac. purify your computer today.”

The Crowdfunding Experience (AltDevBlogADay)
“So, just recently, I was asked to give a 90 min lecture in my home city regarding crowdfunding after managing to run a successful campaign myself in mid 2012. The lecture is pretty long, but I’ll include the video at the end in case anyone’s interested in sitting through the whole thing. If not, I was also asked to write a shortened version of it for people to read, so I thought I’d share it here.”

Mew-Genics Teaser Week 14, THE MAIL! (Team Meat Blog)
“The mail in Mew-genics is an exciting thing.. you never know what you might get! maybe it will be an invitation to the next Cat Fight? maybe your children sent you a dollar bill… could be a notice of violation from the county about the smell, or more importantly your next SSI check!”

Mavis Minecraft Teaches Coding – Part 4 (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“What’s left? Well, I’ll wrap up a few loose ends by introducing you to some nifty coding shortcuts called functions, tell you how to wirelessly communicate between computers using rednet modems, and explain how bundled cables work so you can make complex creations.”

Octodad’s Path to Popularity (Octodad Blog)
“It’s probably not a stretch to say that the first Octodad became popular for two major reasons: it was quirky and it was free.  But aside from that, it’s interesting to take a look at what has really helped push us into the spotlight over the past couple of years since our release on October 31, 2010.  (As a disclaimer, I tried not to accidentally leave out key people who have helped us, but I apologize if I did!)”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Maritime Maiden


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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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Dev Links: The Right Touch

suphexandroid

Today’s Developer Links include a few articles on getting started making games – though one of them may not be entirely serious.

How Do I Get Started Programming Games??? (Team Meat Blog)
“…I legitimately feel bad when I don’t respond because these are people that are just reaching out and want someone to shed some light game development. They are doing the same thing I did with that M.I.T. professor so many years ago. They are interested in what I do and want to know how to do it, they want to be a part of game development in some way. Well, I want to help but don’t have the time, knowledge, or desire to be a teacher …so here we are. This is an FAQ for anyone who wants some advice in some way from me about making games.”

Gaming New Year Resolution – Backlog Tackling! (Zeboyd Games)
“Like many gamers, I have way more games than I have time to play them. It’s just so tempting to buy new games when they’re in a huge sale even if I have no intention of playing them at the time of purchase. That stops in 2013! Basically, I’ve gamified the act of reducing my backlog.”

Understanding Challenge (Gamasutra)
“What is challenge? Talking about challenge is difficult when the vocabulary we have is limited to ‘physical’ or ‘mental.’ It doesn’t give us the necessary tools to examine games with any sort of substance. The Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics (MDA) framework states ‘Charades emphasizes Fellowship over Challenge; Quake provides Challenge as a main element of gameplay.’ We inherently recognize that the challenges between these games are significantly different, but there is no language available to explain that difference. We need to move away from vague, ambiguous words like “physical” or “mental” and toward a more definitive vocabulary. But what?”

The Hold Up (distractionware: devlog)
“So, first of all, this post is 90% good news! Super Hexagon on Android is basically done. It’s been basically done for a while, in fact – we sent out beta test copies before Christmas. (We being myself and the coder who’s handling the android port, Laurence Muller of EpicWindmill.)”

Networking Tips and Tricks Part 1 (AltDevLogADay)
“Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted to AltDevBlogADay! Life has been massively crazy for the past six months or so, and I’m nearing the end of my time in school. In almost 30 days, I will be a college graduate! In the midst of our final project sprint, I was asked by a friend of mine if I ever thought about doing a blog post about networking.”

BattleBlock Theater Is Being Watched (The Behemoth Development Blog)
“Happy new year! Hope all the holidays have been well and that you all had a chance to spend some time with your loved ones your video games. We certainly did. It’s only been a week since the start of 2013 and we’ve been extremely active in BattleBlock Theater development. Here are some mini updates for you folks:…”

How To Launch Your Game Development Career In 2013 (Kotaku)
“Okay. You need one original idea that no one has ever had before. Try this: Everything we do is a game. Games are systems, and since everything is, like, totally a system, you can almost say life is a game. Find yourself at the kind of party where everyone is ‘seeking capital’. Raise your glass enigmatically to your lips as you tell an attractive member of the opposite sex: ‘I think life is a game.’ Oh man. You’re on your way.”

2012 Postmortem and 2013 Goals (Olofson Arcade)
“Over at the indiegamer forums, we have this annual tradition of someone starting a thread where we report our activities and progress during the year that passed, and our plans for the coming year. This is an adaption of my post.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: The Right Touch


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Indie Intermission – It’s Time To Take ‘The Power’ Back

The power SS01

Today’s game was created a little while ago and was even covered to some degree on the site. However this was before I got here and felt after reading Amidos’ year in review for 2012 it was only appropriate to look back over one of his best games from the year (that I didn’t cover) The Power.

The Power is a very interesting metroidvania game that has a very interesting and unique art style, created by Amidos and Alexitron. The art style is fantastic and very retro as everything appears to have been created in a vector manner, with all manner of smooth empty shapes really harking back to very early video games.

Aside from the interesting graphics and nice bit tune music the game plays out very intuitively and you will fluidly move throughout the many areas in the game. The Power is a game that is great fun from start to finish and proves to be a worthy addition to the genre.

The power SS02

Average play time – Less than one hour

The Power has been lovingly crafted from some of the finest shapes around. It provides a really fun experience throughout and although the music may slowly start to get repetitive you can mute it so this is not too much of a problem.

I managed to stumble across The Power whilst reading over Amidos‘ year in review and it was a compelling read, documenting the ups and downs of indie development. It really is a must for any budding indie developer as it delivers a full picture of what it’s like to try to break into the industry.

Be sure to play The Power now as you won’t regret it, and if you want to read Amidos blog or just look over some of his other games check out his official site.

If you are a developer with A fun indie game that can be played over a coffee break, we want to hear from you! Private message us on twitter @IndieGameMag or shoot us an email at editors@indiegamemag.com with the subject “Indie Intermission” and you could be our indie intermission pick of the day!

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Indie Intermission – It’s Time To Take ‘The Power’ Back