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

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IGM Under Construction: Ludum Dare Edition- The Road

As you age you get larger making it harder to avoid the obstacles of life. How far down the road can you get?

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Created by Zephyr Moore

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Source: The Indie Game Magazine – IGM Under Construction: Ludum Dare Edition- The Road


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‘Gunpoint’ Demo Released, Pre-Orders Open, Arriving June 3rd

Gunpoint

Earlier this morning, Tom Francis, PC Gamer editor and game developer, and the rest of the Suspicious Developments, team proudly revealed the release date for their tactical stealth shooter, Gunpoint. After much teasing, Francis revealed that Gunpoint will launch on June 3rd, and immediately opened pre-orders through the game’s official website.

“I’ve been working on Gunpoint for three years,” Francis explains in the announcement, “and it could be a turning point in my life. If it does well enough, I will quit my job to become a full time game developer. I could make more games like this, hopefully better and more quickly.”

Gunpoint comes in three different packages: the standard edition, the special edition, and the exclusive edition. The standard edition comes with a DRM-free copy of Gunpoint and a Steam key for the game. The special edition contains the standard edition and the soundtrack, and optional developer’s commentary provided by Gunpoint’s designer, artist, and musician. The exclusive edition contains the special edition as well as a 40-minute “Making Of” documentary, a prototype pack, four additional musical tracks, and Beta access to future Suspicious Developments games.

Currently, Gunpoint is for Windows only, but the team is not ruling out expanding to other operating systems in the future. A level editor comes with the game, allowing players to easily create and share their creations.

Visit the official website to read the full announcement and purchase a copy of Gunpoint.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Gunpoint’ Demo Released, Pre-Orders Open, Arriving June 3rd


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Indie Intermission – ‘And Everything Started To Fall’ A Deeply Thought Provoking Game About Life

And Everything Started To Fall ss01

Todays game is yet another melancholy title that follows the characters life from birth to death in a very creative platforming style. And Everything Started To Fall was created by Alexitron and Heatex, as it aims to show life through a small very short window mirroring life.

And Everything Started To Fall really is a very emotive and emotional journey that you take with this character as he has to jump over hurdles in his life. As you progress further on you will start to be put up against an array of ever more difficult platforming events which you must try to overcome, but to what end.

The reward in the game is somewhat unconventional and is actually quite easy to guess just by looking at the theme of the game, as death is inevitable here.

And Everything Started To Fall ss02

Average play time – 5 minutes

And Everything Started To Fall is a short but sweet game that casts a light inwardly on to all who play it as it tries to highlight a lifetime of achievements and experiences into just a few minutes, which actually helps to put life into perspective.

Play And Everything Starts To Fall on MoFunZone now.

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 – ‘And Everything Started To Fall’ A Deeply Thought Provoking Game About Life


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Indie Intermission – ‘Papers, Please’ Is There A Game For Everything?

papers, please ss03

When video games first came around we saw games that allowed you to battle the beasts of hell, race F1 cars, and explore far flung worlds. Basically if you could imagine it A game would come to cover you.

With all these wild fantastic ideas you would never expect developers to create games about working in retail (Cart Life) or other mundane ventures, however Lucas Pope has created the latest simulator to simulate the life of a border control agent during the 1980s.

Papers, Please is a dark insight into the life of a border control agent for an imaginary eastern block country during the cold war era. Papers, Please is equal parts mundane as it is brilliant as you set out to complete ever more complex and comprehensive checks on people moving over the border working to the time constraints set in place by the working day.

Papers, Please is such a dark and depressing insight that it gives this game such gravity it is impossible to resist the call of this mundane lifestyle.

papers, please ss01

Average play time – About an hour

Papers, Please is currently still in beta although if the current beta is anything to go by I am sure the finished game will be a dark and moving insight into humanities struggle to provide for their family.

Be sure to check out Papers, Please and find out just why the mundane is so magnificent. Papers, Please can be downloaded via Lucas Pope’s 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 – ‘Papers, Please’ Is There A Game For Everything?


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Indie Intermission – ‘Murder Dog IV: Trial Of The Murder Dog’ It’s A Dogs Life

Murder Dog ss01

Murder Dog IV: Trial Of The Murder Dog (Murder Dog) is a rather interesting take on the judicial system that is full of comedy from start to finish. Created by Thecatamites Murder Dog is a point and click adventure through court as you take command of a murderous dog on the look out for blood.

It is up to you to try to get this Dog off the hook, although this will not be easy considering just how much of rampage you have been on prior to this hearing so expect a rather bumpy ride. Full of humours dialogue and awesome witnesses the game feels like a great deal of fun with ever surprising outcomes.

Although the visuals often feel lacking the game seems to have been constructed rather well overall and the dialogue makes up for it creating a rich and interesting game.

Murder Dog ss02

Average play time – 10 minutes

Murder Dog is a fun little game that has some rather fun dialogue really transcending the game above the average. With numerous different outcomes for our hero you can spend quite a while trying to figure out ways to play the system and maybe even get the dog off the hook.

Be sure to check out Murder Dog now and see if you can say the murderous dog.

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 – ‘Murder Dog IV: Trial Of The Murder Dog’ It’s A Dogs Life


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Hammer Time: ‘John Lee’s Day Of Awesome Power’ Released For Free

John Lee's Day Of Awesome Power

Making a debut game is always a harrowing experience – so many things to learn, unpredictable mishaps to delay proceedings and the pressure of making something people actually want to play. The 2D Team have managed to pull through with John Lee’s Day Of Awesome Power; an action platformer of sorts. Oh sorry, I meant a SMASHING action platformer.

Those blasted aliens have landed on Earth again. As the boy who has “never had a boring day in his life”, it’s up to John Lee to sort them out. John Lee’s is certainly a praiseworthy effort for a first game. There’s not a whole lot to it really, and that’s a good thing we might add, you travel to the right running and jumping and occasionally bringing a rather large hammer atop the heads of the foe scattered around. When that fails: fireballs! There are power ups too, these can be stacked as well so that they more you have, the more devastating your attack will be.

Then of course you have the bosses, of which we’ve only seen the giant eye at the moment. Seems like a good thing to look at but lacks much in the way of ferocity – maybe some more animation to spruce it up? We’ll give the game a full review soon but from what we’ve played so far it’s pretty fun and worth trying out. Until we give our more full verdict, you can have a look at the trailer below and grab the game yourself for free from the official download page.

More information on John Lee’s Day Of Awesome Power can be found over on the game’s official website.


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‘Lilly Looking Through’ Preview – Hints Of Wonderland

Lilly Looking Through

Geeta Games appear to be offering something quite enchanting with their upcoming release, Lilly Looking Through. Having played through the publicly available demo, I can advise you that point-and-click puzzling is the order of the day, all undertaken within a unique fantasy world that is as compelling as it is dark and unsettling. The visuals are immediately arresting – the scenes, as we might expect from our indie adventures these days, are beautifully drawn and painted. The game presents a sweeping, ominous art style that seems at once at odds with the innocent playfulness of the characters that move through it.

Lilly is our protagonist, a young girl who we first meet engaging in an entertaining spot of frog-bothering. She mimics it, hopping alongside it as the creature watches uncertainly before eventually slipping away in fear. The frog may not be happy, but this initial encounter does a fine job of setting the tone and indicating the childlike, fairytale nature of the game.


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Indie Connect: Can Indies Exist In The Free-To-Play Model?

Realm Of The Mad God

One of the big debates that came out of Indie Connect involved free-to-play (F2P) games, which are a rising trend in the industry, and whether there is room for indie games in this space. Indeed, do indie developers want to fit into this space when some of the game design morals are “exploitative”?

The idea of F2P indie games was brought up by Martin Nerukar‘s talk The Indie Brain On F2P. You could sense the distaste of such a proposal as soon as the talk’s initiation was announced – as I made my way over to the lecture hall, there were mutters of “not fucking free-to-play” from the groups of chatting developers who ultimately decided to skip the talk altogether.

Martin first introduced himself as a game designer who now works on making F2P games but originally was a committed Quake modder. It wasn’t too long before he made his first defense move – that those who look at F2P as exploitative and dumbed down were short-sighted and narrow-minded. Fortunately, he did present a good counter argument by bringing up a few a examples of current F2P indie games: Realm of the Mad God, Triple Town and Tiny Tower.

Tiny Tower

Martin’s other point was that classic arcade games such as Asteroids were made with money in mind but you wouldn’t strike them down as gameplay experiences. This is what it seems many people do at the mention of F2P though because they perceive these games as taking game design and tweaking it in such a way that the player is compelled to keep playing but to pay a fee at some point to either continue playing or gain certain in-game desirables.

The fact is, this is what they do actually do. Implying that they don’t would mostly be false but that’s not to say that it’s inherently bad entirely and that indie games could never fit in this rising sector of the industry. Martin’s point was not to prove to people that F2P doesn’t do these things that so many developers despise, in fact he brought a slight discomfort into the room with ideas such as “monetization design” and looking at indie games as “products”. On these things, we’ll quickly note that he says you need to present a price range to your players from very cheap to expensive purchases and they all need to be something cool because you want to appeal to as many players as possible.

One of Martin’s main points he wanted to bring up was a theory he had, that making F2P games can make you a better game designer. The reasons for this belief started off with the necessity for making an engaging start to your game to ensure that players want to keep playing upon trying it out – this encourages game design with an alluring aspect that could benefit any game. Designing F2P games also teaches designers about working with a community to improve the product from tweaking certain aspects to providing “content refresh” in which you sustain the life of a game for as long as possible with new things for players to do or aim for, as well as holding community events and other forms of promotion.

Hawken

After Martin had presented his talk the questions started coming in, one of which really stuck out: can indie game developers operate a F2P game if they remain small in size? The answer to which was a mixture of yes and no. The point being that F2P is a game of scale – to exist and carry on doing so, a game has to have the biggest player base possible as most of your players will not give you the money that you need to survive. It was pointed out that, if you are smaller in number then of course you will need less money than a bigger company will need but the fact is you will still need a big and dedicated community.

By the end of the discussion about indie games and F2P, it was accepted that indie games can exist in the F2P market but it’s not easy and the developers may find themselves making design choices with money in mind rather than the creativity that Indie Connect and its attendees was much more in tune with. If there was any doubt as to the overall opinion of the Festival about F2P, Jonathan Brodsky of Lucky Frame took to the stage the next day and happened to mention that he tried F2P once with a game but found it to not fit his game or his morals. Summed up, when asked why he resented the F2P model and he said “because it’s fucking exploitative”, one of the biggest cheers erupted of the whole festival.


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Metaphysical Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Moebius’ To Be Next Jane Jensen Point And Clicker

Moebius

Jane Jensen and her new development foray, Pinkerton Road Studio, have announced the first game to made under their name following the results of a poll conducted with those who supported via Kickstarter.

Notorious adventure game writer and mystery woman, Jane Jensen, formed her own studio called Pinkerton Road Studio and took to Kickstarter to get adequate funding for the first title. Those who put the money upfront also got to vote on the first title that the studio would produce and now the voting is is. Out of Moebius, Gray Matter 2 and Anglophile Adventure; it was the very first which gained 61% of the vote, probably due to its being pitched as a spiritual successor to Jane’s much loved Gabriel Knight series.

Moebius will be a point and click adventure title adopting the third person view and a 2D graphical look. Intuitively, Moebius will have two modes: Casual Adventure and True Adventure with the former offering hints, hotspot reveals and a simplified interface, the latter being more attune with style and difficulty of Jane’s previous games.

As to the story, well, we’ll leave that to the master:

Moebius is a metaphysical sci-fi thriller in the vein of Fringe, Jane’s novel Dante’s Equation, and (of course!) Gabriel Knight. Antiquities dealer Malachi Rector hunts down artifacts all over the world and compiles dossiers on their history. He has a knack for sensing “the soul” of an object. After his upscale Manhattan store is destroyed in a fire, Rector is hired by millionaire Amber Dexter to investigate a series of events and document them in his meticulous way.

The first event is the death of a young woman in Venice, who was found hanging from a bridge. As Rector investigates her life, he soon realizes that this beautiful and talented young woman — and the interrupted path of her life — had great hidden significance. It appears that Amber Dexter and his associates are playing with the fabric of life in a way Rector never imagined possible. Even he, Rector himself, is part of a larger pattern.

Malachi Rector must figure out who is doing what — and whether their intentions are for good or ill — before he can decide whether to play his pre-scripted role or try to change the outcome.”

Pinkerton Road Studio still need more funding to ensure that Moebius will be ready to release by March 2013, so get over to Kickstarter and get yourself a copy of the game and other goodies. If funding is exceeded then another title will be released in June 2013

More information on Moebius and Pinkerton Road Studio is available on the official website.


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A Metroidvania To Nostalgia-gasm About: ‘Axiom Verge’

Axiom Verge

Thomas Happ is making a sidescrolling metroidvania – so what’s new? Well, this one has ignited our nostalgic-passion meters into overdrive. That’s some damn fine art and gameplay to match. Corr blimey.

There’s not many things in this world that arouses enough passion within us to send us rubbing our legs in some creepy state of anticipation but Axiom Verge is certainly one such thing. If you’ve ever played a sidescrolling metroidvania or perhaps just a console game from the late 80s/early 90s, you’re about to be sent into a head-spin by Thomas Happ’s efforts. We haven’t seen such luscious-disgusting (yes we just invented that) boss designs for years. YEARS WE TELL YOU! That slug fella at the top is almost pornographic for anyone who can appreciate it. He’s not the only one dribbling at the mouth.

Axion Verge is said to contain 8 hours of playtime, over 60 hidden items and powerups and over 20 upgradeable weapons. So that’s the meat to go with your gravy. Slap on a “pulsing” sci-fi soundtrack and you’ve got yourself a rather sumptuous delight awaiting our shaking hands.

While we’re at it, here’s the outline of the story from Thomas himself:

“You play as Trace, a relatively normal (if quirky) guy who suffers a fatal-ish injury, after which he wakes up in a strange, unsettling new world that is both high-tech and incredibly ancient. Why is he here? Where are the world’s inhabitants? And what is the myterious force that seems intent on ending his life?”

We’re told to expect Axiom Verge to grace PC and Xbox 360s in 2013 which is far too long, but we’ll wait if we have to – it will hopefully be so worth it.

More information on Axiom Verge can be found on the game’s official website.