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

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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

vidiotgame

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

Var screen

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

playgrounds

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


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Dev Links: Facial Features

Today’s Developer Links comment on possible alternative financing models, different promotional techniques, an oft-overlooked aspect of human body movement, and, well, commenting.

XNA-To-Unity Part 2: Rendering (Radiangames)
“Last time I covered the general setup for the XNA-to-Unity transition.  This time I’m going to delve into details of the most difficult system to port: Rendering.  Some of the problems I encountered are specific to my methods of rendering, but you’ll likely run into many of the same problems.”

make your first game in twine (Auntie Pixelante)
“being the author of a book about digital game-making for non-coders and a hopeful ambassador for game creation, i figured i should have some link on the front of my site where someone with no game-making experience can click and learn how to make her first videogame. naturally, i picked the simplest, most non-coder-friendly, and my favorite game-making tool: twine.”

Head Over Heels: Upper Body Movement In Gameplay (AltDevBlogADay)
“When it comes to in-game locomotion, we rarely get to see the eyes clearly as we’re mostly behind our character, so the next stop down the chain of importance is the head. Unfortunately, when we place such a high focus on maintaining solid foot-planting, we create a fulcrum point at the ground and our characters often pivot in extreme ways to compensate. This is especially noticeable in bigger direction changes and when aligning characters to interact with each other (melee, high fives, piggyback rides, etc.).”

Expos And Shows Vs. Advertising (Cliffski.com)
“I was rambling to someone a few days ago about advertising and risk, and something hit me about indie attitudes to risk and promotion. I know a lot of indies who never do any advertising. I don’t mean word-of-mouth promotion, tweeting, updating facebook and sending people press releases, that’s PR, it’s not advertising. I actually mean paying for banner ads, and search advertising, and even print or video adverts. For most smallish indie teams, the advertising budget is zero.”

The End Looms! (Instant Kingdom)
“That means we’ve completed at least two thirds of the NEW content (or about 98% of the whole game) for the final alpha, which will be the final version before release! Yay! I don’t yet know how long it will take to complete the rest, but rest assured, you’ll be the first to know if you’ve signed up for the release newsletter.”

Fantastic Arcade: Once More, With Feeling (Octodad Blog)
Last year we made our very first visit to Austin when we were a featured spotlight game at the super rad event Fantastic Arcade, part of Fantastic Fest, at The Highball.  While there we showed off the first Octodad in a really interesting arcade machine setup. This year we may not be part of the spotlight, but Octodad: Dadliest Catch will be there and playable on all the showcase laptops for ya’ll to try out! FOR FREE! So if you’re in the Austin, TX area be sure to come by and play Dadliest Catch along with all of the other spectacular titles we’re showing with.”

The Elements Of Comment Style (AltDevBlogADay)
“Programming comments are a critical, and often overlooked, part of the development process. Comments may not be exciting enough to have certifications and training classes dedicated to them, but in many ways the difference between a good codebase and an excellent codebase can come down to the quality of the comments.”

Can Film-Inspired Project Financing Work For Games?  (Gamasutra)
“In this extensively-researched piece, former Ubisoft associate producer Yann Suquet, who has a masters in corporate finance, takes a long hard look at precisely how films are funded and pulls apart the question of whether the same could work for games.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Facial Features


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Dev Links: Triple Header

Today’s Developer Links cover breaking the rules, texture atlasing, infinite replayability, and more.  Though not infinitely more.

Q-003: What Is One Mistake You Made Recently…? (AltDevBlogADay)
“What is one mistake you made recently and what lesson could you share with others?”

Cooperative Gaming Co-Op (Auntie Pixelante)
“my comrades john and james have put together a free arcade in downtown san jose that opens tomorrow. they asked me to put together a selection of games for them – to curate an arcade cabinet centered around the idea of game zinesters. there are the games i selected, which will be available to play at the arcade until october 13th (and are, naturally, free to play online):”

Storytelling Without Stories: Writing For Infinite Replayability (Gamasutra)
“What goes into writing for a game without a linear narrative? A lot, say Valve and Madden veterans, who explain the keys to writing for games which will be played again and again.”

Innovating By Breaking The Rules (Lazy 8 Studios)
“A big congratulations to Ann Burkett for putting on a successful inaugural Game Design Conference here in San Francisco! I gave a talk on on Innovating by Breaking the Rules. For those who are interested in my lecture slides, you can find them here. I’ll try to post a video later.”

Building An HTML5 Game? Don’t Shrug Off Atlases (AltDevBlogADay)
“HTML5 is an amazing technology for designing web sites. The general flexibility of HTML5 markup and JavaScript often leads web developers to create their content using individual image elements. This approach works well for small sites with low overhead, but for games or other high-load websites, using droves of single image elements leads to long load times and slow performance, resulting in a poor end-user experience.  In an ecosystem where 3 seconds may cause you to lose half your users, it’s important to use the proper tool to address this issue: texture atlasing.”

Indie Tools: Ogmo Editor (IndieGames.com)
“Did you know that Offspring Fling actually used the Ogmo Editor? Well, you do now and you are also about to find out that using the Ogmo editor is both extremely simple and very cheap indeed. Actually, it will cost you nothing, as the tool is a freeware, open-source offering you can download for your Windows PC right here.”

Inafune’s Onward March To Independence (Gamasutra)
“In this interview, [Keiji] Inafune talks about the hidden talents of Japanese developers, why there are few large independent Japanese studios, why he wants to work with Western partners to develop games, and how the back-and-forth of working with external partners works. It’s a calmer, more optimistic interview than we’ve seen from the man who has, of late, become more notorious as the doomcrier of the Japanese industry than recognized for his game development skills.”

A Big Post About Sir, You Are Being Hunted (Big Robot)
“The past couple of weeks have seen us enter a new phase with the game. We’re following the sort-of-standard development cycle in that for us “alpha” means “playable, but not yet feature complete”, and that’s where we are now. That’s not to say that the game is entirely fleshed out, because it lacks a tonne of art assets to fill out multiple islands, and it needs lashings more work on fine tuning our combat and stealth systems.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Triple Header


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Dev Links: Floorplan

Is the conventional wisdom about AI in games really so wise?  Today’s Developer Links ask this question, along with discussing multiplayer development and “glorious trainwrecks”.

glorious trainwrecks dot exe (Auntie Pixelante)
glorious trainwrecks dot exe is exactly the kind of inventiveness i want to see more of. made by mike meyer, it automatically indexes glorioustrainwrecks.com and allows you to browse games by event – whether they were made for last month’s klik of the month or for the gdc pirate kart or whenever – read their descriptions and download and play them instantly. glorioustrainwrecks is an amazing site that empowers everyone to make games, and uses monthly two-hour game-making events to help authors understand that creativity is more important than polish and presentation.”

Gratuitous Controllable Battles (Yes, Really) (Cliffski.com)
“I’ve been working on an expansion pack for Gratuitous Tank Battles, but hit a bit of an admin snag in releasing it right now, which gave me time to do something else. As I’ve had this GSB update pending for ages, I thought I’d get around to finally releasing it for everyone. This isn’t just a minor tweak and bug fix, it adds some good stuff. You might want to update your copy, and try this one…”

Level Lobby ft. The Level Editor [The Sequel] (The Behemoth Development Blog)
“Here’s a follow up post to the previous Level Lobby announcement and with all the fun facts that the first post didn’t have! Questions will be answered, such as: ‘What else is in the level lobby?’ ‘How do I use this thingamabob?’ ‘What do you think about sequels?’”

Q-001: Where Do You Feel Like You Are Being Held Back By The Status Quo In #Gamedev? (AltDevBlogADay)
“This was the question that started my twitter #gamedev Q&A series. As of right now we’re just shy of having discussed 100 questions on twitter. Feel free to join in!”

Cook, Serve, Delicious! Status Update (Vertigo Gaming)
“CSD has been undergoing private beta testing, and so far the results have been excellent. Squashed a lot of bugs, polished the game up quite a bit, and aside from a few bonus galleries the game is essentially complete. I’m definitely going to release it by the end of the month, however there are two things I’m waiting for before going forward with a release date:…”

Guerilla Multiplayer Development (Gamasutra)
“What’s the best way to get a networked game up and running on a smartphone? For his space battle game ErnCon, Ernest Woo investigated existing network techniques and integrated them together, coming up with a solution useful to iOS and Android developers, which he shares within.”

“Flip The Question Around” – Interview With Andy Schatz (Made by Pixelate)
“Andy Schatz has been highly influential and inspiring to the independent game development community for a long time, so I’m delighted to have had the chance to talk to him about Monaco and the Venture Games, the growth of indie games and the most important skill to run an indie studio.”

Over 3 Million Castle Crashers (The Behemoth Development Blog)
While we were in Seattle for PAX Prime 2012 the XBLA Castle Crashers leaderboards reached 3 million! This means that over three million humans have hacked and slashed their way into a castle in hopes of gaining animated glory! We are tremendously grateful that in four years, we’ve had the continuing opportunity to share this game with the world.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: Floorplan