Memory of a Broken Dimension is an exploration based, otherworldly adventure through the visual representation of a damaged computer system. The player attempts to realign aspects of this virtual world in order to allow further advancement through the broken landscape.
Residue is an intelligent, story-driven 2D platform adventure in which you control three different characters, exploring an abandoned excavation site in the remains of the Aral Sea in present-day Uzbekistan. Once the fourth largest lake in the world, the Aral Sea is now an arid wasteland, a victim of decades of Soviet cotton irrigation. To some, it is the prime example for humanity to stay out of nature’s business. To others, it’s a world waiting to be saved.
An overhead racer that plays out with a bumper car vibe as it aims for some serious racing fun without actually taking itself seriously. Mini Motor Racing EVO lets you nitro boost your way across sunny beaches, rainy city streets, and everything in between. Combined with a track editor, this one comes with nearly unlimited multiplayer mayhem in a non-chase cam racer!
Slated to be Norwegian developer Rain Games’s first release, Teslagrad is a steampunk-styled 2-D puzzle platformer currently in development for the PC, Mac and Linux. Set in the titular capitol city of Elektropia, the game promises to be an electrifying escapade full of perilous puzzles designed specifically to test and tantalize one’s brain.
This is technically Rain Games’s second game; their first project, a multiplayer game titled Minute Mayhem, was put on hold in favor of finishing Teslagrad first. Despite vastly differing gameplay, both are set in the fictional universe of Chroma, and the developers have hinted at a desire to continue exploring Chroma in future releases.
Ridiculous cloning, surgical simulation, and another chapter in the indie support debate between Sony and Microsoft – in today’s Indie Links.
Cloned at Birth: The Story of Ridiculous Fishing (Polygon)
“The interview is over. The story, told in pieces at least a hundred times in bars, at hamburger joints, on stages and in private circles of up-and-coming game developers, has now been told for the first time in its entirety. It is a story about the little guy getting bullied and making a stand. And winning. It is the story of Ridiculous Fishing, and how two men from the Netherlands rallied the worldwide community of independent game developers to take on the practice of game cloning and reclaim their invention to launch what will become (for a time) the best-reviewed iOS game of 2013.”
Microsoft hasn’t lost touch with indies, insists XBLA dev (Eurogamer)
“Microsoft’s relationship with indie studios remains strong, the developers of forthcoming XBLA title Max: The Curse of Brotherhood have insisted – and while it might seem that the platform holder is losing its grip on indie gaming as Sony attracts more and more developers to PlayStation, there’s plenty going on behind the scenes to ensure that won’t be the case come the next generation.”
Review: Spyleaks (Independent Gaming)
“*wipes sweat off face* Gee, that game can be tough at times. What game am I talking about? Spyleaks, an old-school stealth-puzzle game by HeartBit Interactive using the XNA engine (it is available on XBLIG and on the PC).”
Super Brain Eat 3 (Indie Gamer Chick)
“PlayStation Mobile is to the Vita what Xbox Live Indie Games is to the Xbox 360. Whether that’s a good thing or not is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. I wasn’t around for the early stages of XBLIG, but based on what I hear from my buddies Ryan, George, and Justin, the early days were nowhere near the desolate wasteland that PSM is turning into. Looking at the slate of recent releases, nothing really has caught my fancy for it. But then again, nothing really caught my eye on iPhone either. My Vita has been getting a bit dusty though. Nothing like my Wii U, which currently wears the same amount of dust as your average mummy.”
I’m Mexican. Am I Supposed To Be Offended By Guacamelee? (Kotaku)
“I remember being told I was a bad Mexican. To some of the white friends I hung out with, I was one of them. Once someone told me that because I played video games, read science fiction, and spoke with no accent, that I was whiter than they were. Now that was weird. Maybe I should have worn a sombrero or poncho around campus. Maybe then I would have been a Mexicano auténtico. To my extended family, my choppy spanish and awkward adolescence was a sign of my absolute assimilation into a destructive other.”
Wot I Think: Surgeon Simulator 2013 (RPS)
“As a games blogger, the question I am most often asked is: “When are you going to go back to school so that you can get a real job, like an accountant or a doctor?” To which I reply: “Look, Mum, Dad, writing about videogames is a real job now. I’ve paid my rent unaided for at least several years.” Then I show them games like Surgeon Simulator 2013 and ask why I would want to be a real anything, when I can be a simulated everything?”
Quality-of-life, DRM, Piracy and other discussions reverberate in today’s Developer Links.
Indie Fund Now Backing “Panoramical” (IndieFund)
“We are super excited to announce our support of Panoramical, a collaborative project by Fernando Ramallo, a game developer from Argentina, and David Kanaga, best known for his work on Proteus and DYAD. Panoramical is something really different from what we’ve funded in the past, and its difficult to describe it in words. It uses an input device like an iPad or MIDI controller to explore hand-crafted musical landscapes, allowing the player to alter the visuals and music to their touch.”
Game Developer Quality-of-Life Survey (Gamasutra)
“”Game Developers: How are you doing?” That’s the question we asked approximately 1,000 of you at the end of 2012. We know that between the long hours, frequent layoffs, and crunch phases, the game industry can be a notorious grind. While we perform a yearly Salary Survey every April to check the pulse of developers’ financial health, we thought we’d supplement that with a quality-of-life survey to see how you’re doing in ways not measured by dollars and cents. Are you satisfied with your pay? Are you confident in your current project? Do you want to be in this industry five years from now? Read on to find out how your colleagues responded.”
Meat Boy dev: DRM hurts more than piracy (Games Industry)
“The troubled launch of EA’s SimCity due to its always-online requirement has raised the issue of digital rights management and the effectiveness of anti-piracy measures once again. In a post on his own blog, Super Meat Boy developer Tommy Refenes gave his own take on the subject, arguing that developers’ attempts to keep their games from being pirated are hurting themselves first and foremost.”
Vlambeer: Mobile devs mustn’t be scared of charging more (Develop Online)
“Mobile developers should not be scared of charging more for iOS and Android games, a developer from Vlambeer has said. Speaking in a Reddit Q&A, developers from the Super Crate Box studio said that indies needed to be sell a countless number of titles at the standard $0.99 (£0.69) price just to survive on the platform, and encouraged more developers to start charging more.”
Anomaly: Warzone Earth is a game that has sat in my Steam library for as long as I can remember. I think I picked it up in some indie bundle from a few years ago, but I honestly cannot remember. The only thing I knew about it was that it involved the tower defense genre, and because of that, I had very little interest in the game. My issue with tower defense titles is that I find them dull. Being stuck in an area and forced to watch as units scurry down a predetermined pathway is just incredibly boring for me. I prefer making on-the-fly decisions, being rewarded with bright explosions, and namely not being anchored to one location. To my amazement, Anomaly 2 delivers all of that.
How Anomaly 2 works is that it inverts the tower defense mechanic, so that it is the player’s job to get their convoy through the tower-filled gauntlet, and to the objective at the end. There are multiple pathways through every level, and players get to customize their convoy along the way. The enemies, just like a typical tower defense game, have plenty of towers at their disposal, and it takes an apt player to know what unit to use against what sort of tower. Knowing what to use when isn’t difficult thanks to a handy tactical map that players can pull up whenever they like. It shows not only the enemy positions but also allows players to alter their convoy’s route on-the-move. You, are the TomTom.
From what I’ve gathered with my five-ish hours within Anomaly 2, the human race is on the rebound after getting their butts kicked by some sort of robotic alien species that the humans have cleverly taken to calling “The Machines”. The last bastions of humanity have banded together in convoys to keep on the move, always running from their robotic pursuers. Hope for humanity remains in the mystery of Project Shockwave, a weapon which has the potential to wipe out the alien aggressors. The initial levels of Anomaly 2 involve seeking out the remaining scientists responsible for Project Shockwave and looking after their well being, to ensure their research does not go to waste.
While the story isn’t anything special, it really just serves as an excuse to fill a post-apocalyptic Earth with really badass robots. These machines are Decepticon-caliber cool. Unfortunately, they do nothing but try and kill you through the entire game. Fear not, for you have some pretty neat tools in your arsenal as well.
Players control a little commando future-soldier who they can order around the map. The soldier is not limited to the roads, so he is able to run anywhere the player wants him to. However, the enemies will target the soldier if he strays too far from the convoy, so it is generally a good idea to stick close to your little armada. The soldier is armed with some enhancements that play out to be crucial as the game progresses and the gauntlet becomes tougher to get through. One ability, for example, drops an area-based healing effect, that causes friendly units passing through to quickly regain their health. Another ability allows the soldier to drop an EMP bomb and disable enemy towers, knocking them offline until the convoy units engage them. While being a pretty straightforward mechanic, it really helps to keep the monotony of typical tower-defense games, at bay.
The convoy units themselves are not helpless, though. In fact, these units will do the majority of the work…as long as the player helps them stay alive. So far, every convoy unit has an alternative form. Take, “The Hound” for example: in its default form, it sports a big mini-gun that gradually powers up to full-speed, dealing massive amounts of continuous damage. This is great, if there is simply one enemy after another to take down. But, if there are two enemies across from one another, switching The Hound into its secondary form transforms the vehicle into a bipedal machine which sports a flamethrower on each arm, allowing it to roast two nearby enemies at once.
Some enemy towers are great at countering specific vehicle forms, so players have to literally stay ahead of the game by constantly checking the tactical map to know what is coming. Heading down a road unprepared will certainly get you killed.
Anomaly 2 is not your typical lazy tower defense game. It’s badass, action-packed, and you’ll only survive by the skin of your teeth. With four difficulty settings that can be switched at the start of every level, the game ensures that all types of players will be able to find a challenge within the game’s hostile, ice-covered, environments.
Anomaly 2 is set to be released May 15th, pre-ordering through the official website gets buyers some pretty neat bonuses.
Today’s Developer Links pass on more good PS4 vibes from indies, along with updates from games including The Witness, Clockwork Empires, and Democracy 3.
PS4 will support indies, agree optimistic devs (Develop Online)
“A number of developers have stepped forward to state their optimism about the PlayStation 4′s support for indies. Speaking to Develop individuals from companies as diverse as Gearbox and nDreams have expressed hope and positivity that, in contrast to previous sony consoles, the PS4 will be accessible and affordable for indies. Their views appear to reflect comments made to Develop by Sony Worldwide Studios SVP Michael Denny, who insisted indies are set to be core to the PS4.”
A Little Something For The Pipe Fanciers Out There (Gaslamp Games)
“From just about the beginning we’ve been into the idea that Clockwork Empires should involve running giant assemblies of pipes and cog-laden axles across settlements to transmit energy and water and completely harmless high-pressure superheated steam between various machines and factories. The basis for this came early: if we’re to embrace the aesthetic we desire we need to fully embrace the visuals of mechanization, of machines and factories and the wonders of technology of this Age of Progress & so forth. If we hide the machines inside the factories then you won’t be able to see any of the Fun gears and pipes. So, the breakthrough: put the machines, the pipes, the gears on the outside of the factory.”
Low-Light Combat Art Asset Overview (Wolfire Games)
“We recently made a charity jam game called Low-Light Combat. In this jam, I wanted to try cutting out the most time-consuming steps of the traditional art asset workflow, to see if it would make any real difference in the final product.”
iPad video update #1 (The Witness)
“Andy’s got the iPad port far enough along that you can sort of play the game now. Here’s a short video…”
More Democracy 3 simulation fun and games (Positech Games)
“The core mechanic of Democracy 3 is going to take a lot of careful explaining in tutorials and tooltips and help windows. Essentially, it’s pretty simple, in that you implement policies, and you can adjust the intensity of a policy using a slider. So with a policy like income tax, the slider adjust the rate of tax from low to high. A series of bars show you the effect this policy has on everything, such as voter happiness, GDP, and so on. Sounds simple so far right? This is where it gets complex because there are three additional factors, which are implementation times, effectiveness and inertia. I’ll explain each one…”
Even Ugly Babies Need Hugs (Dejobaan Games)
“Our good friends at Zapdot and Hybrid Mind have been working hard on Ugly Baby. Ichiro continues to rest as evidenced by this picture from yesterday. This is most excellent news because a rested Ichiro is worth at least 3 times as many points as a tired Ichiro! This week we look at visualizers and also the in-game HUD that tells you when your stunts are X-Games worthy.”
Managing Risk in Video Game Development (Gamasutra)
“How do you best manage risk when creating a game? Using this article and the attached spreadsheet, you can better identify the problem areas in your game and get a sense of whether any decisions you are making actually make business sense.”
The Language of Monetization Design (Gamasutra)
“Automobiles and computers were so simplistic in their first 10 years that today we have a hard time looking back and appreciating just what a leap in technology they were at the time. Like all technology, they benefited from the iterative process, slowly adapting to changes in allied technologies, consumer demands, and infrastructure. Today both cars and computers have components in them that did not even have names 10 or 20 years ago. Before they could be added to these products, they had to be thought about and given names so that they then could be optimized and adapted to various uses.”
Today’s Developer Links cover one week of game development, 30 weeks of game development and a plea to avoid too much development.
30 Weeks of Game Development (AltDevBlogADay)
“Outland Games is an iOS game I’ve been working on at Uber Entertainment since late last summer. We just released the game to the app store this week (iTunes – $0.99). This post is the first in a short series on it’s development.”
Overfunded Kickstarter Projects – Please Avoid Feature Bloat (Zeboyd Games)
“We’ve seen a number of video game kickstarters raise a lot more money than they requested. Inevitably, these projects take this extra money and drastically scale up the ambition of the project with the result that they miss their projected release date by a huge amount.”
Seven Day Roguelike, Day 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6- 7 (Distractionware)
“So, I’m making something for 7 day roguelike. This compo has an uncanny knack for clashing with other things, so this is the first year I’ve ever actually been able to do it!”
Forbidden space (Auntie Pixelante)
“my friend andi was really excited that nasa was hosting a game jam on her birthday. she wanted to rope a bunch of us in to making games with her thirtieth birthday – then she found out that you had to book tickets months in advance. BULLSHIT. not to be deterred, she had a bunch of friends over to my place for a KICKED OUT OF NASA GAME JAM. (they’re still here. it’s still going on.)”
Making wrong choices (Winter Wolves)
“I’m at one point where I fix a plot hole, and a new one appears. I check a variable, one path works, the other doesn’t. A scene that before was fine, now plays out of order. I’ve worked like crazy in past 3 days, I’m stressed like never before and then I came to a simple conclusion. There’s no hope to make this work. Every time I open the script I have a headache now. Writer doesn’t have time to help. So I’m thinking what to do. It’s really embarrassing for me. Despite all the efforts, I know that I can’t make this work, unless I make some really big changes.”
Races #2: The Empire (Purple Orange Games)
“Nobody knows the origins of the Empire, how it was formed or by whom. Scientists speculate that a once peaceful race, the Lirri, endured some kind of disastrous genetic disease which made them seek salvation by means of complex genome modifications. Unfortunately, the process went wrong, and the newly created creatures turned on their masters and, not encountering any resistance, quickly conquered the planet. Soon, there were no Lirri. There was only the Empire.”
The Metrics Aren’t the Message (Gamasutra)
“Metrics can rule you — but should they? The Workshop Entertainment’s new design director and Free Realms veteran Laralyn McWilliams explains how a pivotal moment in her life showed her that overreliance on analytics and friction in social games isn’t the answer.”
Port Wine, Live-Streaming, Drunken Robots and Ugly Babies (Dejobaan)
“This week’s blog post is brought to you by the letter T and the number 2! It has been a fun week for all of us over at Dejobaan. Ichiro is in Portugal taking a much deserved vacation. We are laying on the beach did our second live-stream on Twitch (more on that below) and we continued working hard on Drop That Beat Like An Ugly Baby, Drunken Robot Pornography and Monster Loves You. Did I mention that we are working HAAAAAAAARRRRDDD! But first Ichiro drinking port, because everyone should drink port!”