Earlier today, Rain Games released a demo for their upcoming platformer, Teslagrad. The demo is the first opportunity the general public has had to try out the game. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, the Teslagrad demo samples the beginning portion of the game as well as a boss fight. Rain Games also teases that the demo contains some clues that reveal the lore of the game’s universe. Players anxious to get their hands on Teslagrad can do so through Desura, whether as a direct download, or through the Desura client.
In conjunction with the release of the demo, Rain Games has initiated a speed run competition involving the Teslagrad demo.
“Do you think you can beat the demo with a time that will shock and amaze us?” Rain Games asks on the official Teslagrad website. “We think you can! And if you get the best time, you get to not only bask in the glory of your accomplishment, you can also also win a unique, lovingly awesome CD with Teslagrad’s Soundtrack by Jørn Lavoll.”
Rain Games goes on to explain that to be considered for the prize, players must complete the demo and find the nine hidden secrets “within a decent time” between today and September 19th. To further challenge players, they must beat the demo in one consecutive playthrough. For all the rules of the competition, check out the announcement post on the Teslagrad website. Uploading videos of the speed run to YouTube is encouraged by Rain Games.
Look for Teslagrad on the PC, Wii U, and PlayStation 3, later this fall.
The fifth installment in the Game Music Bundle series, aptly titled ‘Game Music Bundle 5‘, launched earlier this week, featuring six soundtracks for the minimum price of just a dollar. Among the soundtracks up for purchase are those to Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine, FTL: Faster Than Light, FEZ, and Gunpoint.
The bundle has been widely successful in the past, and with a very low minimum price and some of the best soundtracks in indie gaming, this one is sure to be a hit. There are a few things that make this bundle unique: first of all, there’s a second tier of albums you can get for $10, which includes remix albums for Fez and Monaco. Second, the top contributors get prizes, with the number one contributor getting a Fez shirt signed by Disasterpeace. Both are great ideas to get some extra money towards these hard-working musicians.
The first tier ($1) albums are:
Austin Wintory – Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine
Ben Prunty – FTL: Faster Than Light – Original Soundtrack
Disasterpeace – FEZ: Original Soundtrack
John Robert Matz, Ryan Ike, Francisco Cerda – Gunpoint – The Soundtrack
Austin Wintory – Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded
Kyle Gabler – World of Goo Soundtrack
The second tier ($10) albums are:
Various Artists – FZ: Side F
Various Artists – FZ: Side Z
Various Artists – Monaco: The Gentleman’s Private Collection
Austin Wintory, Malukah, Tina Guo – The Forge
Trickster Arts – Hero of Many
Calum Bowen – Marble Time: Original Soundtrack
James Dean – Super Panda Adventures
Various Artists – Anodyne Remix Album
Various Artists – Frog Fractions
Kyle Gabler – Little Inferno Soundtrack
Seagaia – Anodyne
David Saulesco – Me and My Dinosaur 2 Official Soundtrack
Soldak Entertainment / Tori Kamal – Drox Operative Soundtrack
Six of the artists behind some of the most popular web games on the internet have teamed up to release The Open Game Art Bundle, an name-your-own-price indie bundle replacing games with soundtracks, sprite sheets, and source code.
“The web is meant to be an open landscape; being in this bundle is how we choose to honor this,” the artists explain in a statement on the bundle site. “We want to give works to the public, funded by the public.” Every purchaser will get the items included in the bundle on a Creative Commons Commercial License. If the bundle reaches the threshold of $10,000, all works included will be released into the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero License.
The artists and items included in the bundle are:
HalcyonicFalconX (Three soundtracks from Adventure Story, Bullet Hell, and Epic Battle Fantasy 3
Jimp (Art and animations from two unreleased games)
NutcaseNightmare (Soundtrack and Source Code from Reimagine :The Game:)
Strat Kat (Two full albums and a collection of background music)
Kenney (A platformer game art pack)
Mind Chamber (art assets from three of his projects)
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.
Dan Fitzgerald and Lisa Bromiel are the latest indie developers to try their hand at crowdfunding, having launched their Kickstarter campaign for Dog Sled Saga a few days ago. We covered the game previously, and took a great deal of interest in the game’s approach to the under-represented sport of dog-sledding. Evidently, this interest has been echoed by the wider public too; at the time of writing Dog Sled Saga stands at $4,149, with 25 days to go. If the positive trend continues, this should be more than ample time for the campaign to hit its $6,000 goal. As well as this, Dan and Lisa’s campaign has been featured on the Kickstarter “Staff Picks” list, which gives a great deal of exposure and is a boon to anyone hoping for Kickstarter success. A very impressive start for the pair.
Big news came in recently from Misfits Attic, the team behind the virus out for revenge, A Virus Named TOM. While the game was considered a big hit by both gamers and critics, several issues were raised and desired by the community to make the vengeful virus even better. This year the team will address some of those desires the community has, accepting suggestions on both their blog and at PAX Prime.
The goal is to find what features the community is willing to help fund such as online multiplayer and a level editor to name a few. While it has not been stated how the community will help fund the additions to the already addicting puzzle game, I can’t help but think it involves us buying more copies of A Virus Named TOM. Thankfully, this is even easier than ever, Misfits Attic will be selling copies of the game on sale at 25 percent off on their website during PAX Prime (Aug 31st - Sept 3rd). For those of you brave enough to confront the convention floor you can visit Misfits Attic in person at the Indie Megabooth and receive a copy for 50 percent off. While you’re there, you can also say hello to the over 30 other indie devs currently setting up shop there. A full diagram containing all of the devs in attendance at the megabooth can be found here.
As an added bonus to all those fans of A Virus Named TOM’s soundtrack, you can now pick it up over on BandCamp for $3.00 USD.
The album features 12 tracks, including a 13th “hidden track.” Each song can be bought for $.99 or the whole album can be purchased for between $9 and $10. You can review the track listing below.
1. The Abyss and I
2. Origin: Somewhere
3. I Heart You
4. A Clockwork Purple
5. Time for Reflection
6. Mine the Gap
7. Happy in Lava
8. Skinny Dipping
10. Quite the Quiet Quest
11. System Malnutrition
13. Sunshowers (Hidden Track)
Each track is written by an artist named “wrench.” The soundtrack is a welcome edition to the recent surge of video game soundtrack popularity. It is a mixture of dark undertones and industry inspired sounds making it a highlight of a solid game. Fans of the game should definitely give some of the samples a look as Itunes and Amazon offer short 30 second pieces of each track. A look at Unmechanical and a sample of the sound can be seen in the announcement trailer below.
Unmechanicalis the first effort from Talawa Games, a small developer based out of Sweden. Unmechanical was released on August 8th, 2012. It is a physics puzzler which runs on the Unreal 3 engine. The story of Unmechanical is of a robot which falls into a series of tubes and finds itself trapped in a mysterious mechanical factory and must solve a series of puzzles to escape. Unmechanical is available for purchase from multiple sites including Steam, GOG, Gamersgate, and Onlive, as well as a pending release for iOS.
Talawa also announced that the demo for Unmechanical is up and running on Steam for players to test out some of the puzzles and mechanics. Feel free to also check out our review of Unmechanical.
Terraria and Dark Souls, two great tastes that normally would have nothing at all do to with each other. Until now, that is. Now that development of the exceptionally popular platform-sandbox action-RPG is complete, the community have moved in and started picking apart exactly how it works, and putting it back together in strange new ways. The Story Of Red Cloud is one of the most impressive and ambitious mods to be released so far, and sports a rather hefty feature list. Here’s just some of it:
Dark Souls Game Mechanic
12 uniquely themed Dungeon areas spread between both normal and hard modes
18 bosses (7 vanilla plus 11 mod bosses)
Custom Soundtrack inspired by Princess Mononoke & Zelda
Over 150-200 new mod items, weapons, and armors compiled from a dozen of the best mods from the community
In short, it’s a hand-crafted world, rather than a randomly generated environment. Things are more controlled and scripted than in regular Terraria, but there’s still nothing stopping you from taking the world apart with a pickaxe or building yourself a fortress home, but the focus does seem to be on exploration, combat and gear more than the regular playstyle. It’s definitely a little darker than the usual happy-go-lucky adventuring, with the story (as it is) beginning with you waking up in a shallow grave, and digging to the surface reveals that your homestead has been burnt to the ground, along with your protagonist’s parents. Grim, considering the cute 16-bit style. Still, this is more Zelda than Dragon Age, when push comes to shove.
‘So’, I hear you ask; ‘Where does the Dark Souls part come in?’ Well, that’s your whole secondary progression mechanic. Each enemy type drops a certain number of souls, and they effectively act as a secondary currency. You can spend them (via certain special crafting recipes) at rare demon altars scattered around the world in order to upgrade both your character and your gear, although you’ll still be able to get some mileage out of the regular Terraria construction system. Unlike Dark Souls, this mod isn’t going to force you head-first into a meatgrinder – there’s even included Easy and Hard mode variants of the mod, just in case you want something more casual or hardcore.
Swimming in lava might be bad for your 'Elf
Probably the largest weakness here is the storytelling. Terraria was never designed to tell a story – you tell your own through playing – so your own character’s internal monologue, dialogue with other characters and even hints on dungeon progression are all provided through signs posted throughout the world. It would have been nice if there was some kind of involved dialogue system, or some way to present this information without using such an awkward kludge, but Terraria was never designed to be modded in the first place. It’s impressive that they’ve done so much without any official tools or support, and I’d imagine that the quality of fan-made tools will improve for quite some time to come.
There’s clear limitations imposed by the framework of the game it’s built on, but the world of The Story Of Red Cloud is well designed, and the many dungeons are complex, multi-layered things with plenty of switches, mechanisms, traps, blind drops and obstacles. Enemy spawning – however it is managed – seems to be a lot more controlled than in regular Terraria as well, and an optional plugin allows you to wield an ‘off-hand’ weapon so that you can alternate between melee and ranged styles more freely, although this, too is a little bit of a kludge, overriding the right-click ‘use’ functionality and not looking too hot in action. Useful, though, and it does technically let you dual-wield weapons, if you’re really looking to put the hurt on something.
Souls, and the slimes that hoard them.
The installation process for The Story of Red Cloud is a little bit convoluted, but shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, and is well worth a play if you’ve already exhausted all there is to see in regular Terraria. There’s a lot of fun to be found in exploring a hand-crafted world, rather than a procedurally generated one. The mod is still being actively developed with small updates being released every now and then (the main focus being high-level balance right now), but it’s currently considered stable and complete. You can find the latest build and full installation instructions on this Terraria Online thread. If nothing else, this should help those feeling Terraria withdrawal pains survive until the release of Starbound.
With their 2D deathmatch platformer Awesomenauts now in full swing following its release on Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network, Ronimo Games have announced the official release of the game’s soundtrack via Sonic Picnic.
The digitally-downloadable album features 15 tracks, each taken from the madcap, 80s-inspired game. In keeping with the space cartoon-derivative Awesomenauts vibe, most of the compositions assume a staccato, techno-basted aural ambiance, allowing spellbound players to listen to the game’s punchy tones whilst out and about in the real, less exciting world.
Today’s Developer Links include links about many aspects of game development, from funding to feedback.
Botanicula Soundtrack Vinyl Edition (Amanita Design)
“Botanicula Soundtrack is released on 12″LP in edition of 1000 copies, whilst 300 copies are on turquoise vinyl, 300 copies on amber vinyl and 400 copies on standard black. Each copy features three large format inserts [30x30 cm] with art reproductions by Jaromír Plachý, author of the game artwork, and as always, a coupon with a code to download MP3/FLAC versions of the album.”
Indie Tools: Inform 7 (IndieGames.com)
“Inform 7 is being described as a design system for interactive fiction based on natural language. Shockingly, it does exactly what it says on the tin (and quite a bit more), while simultaneously being a truly powerful tool for creating intricate pieces of interactive fiction on most platforms you’d care to mention.”
For Indies, With Love: TIGA Releases a Guide to Self-Publishing (IndieGameMagazine)
“The TIGA Guide to Self-Publishing: Liberating the Developer is designed to help out with the business side of game publishing for the small developer. In their announcement, TIGA recognises the growing trend sparked by the growing opportunities for developers to release their games without a publisher, particularly in mobile gaming and the social media space.”
Swordfight is Good Art (Mommy’s Best Devlog)
“The experience here is only possible because of a game. Photos or videos don’t do it justice. No amount of reading about it (don’t quit reading! or watching conveys the full experience, it must be played. Interaction being the defining distinction of games.”
Frictionless Feedback (Cliffski.com)
“One thing that a lot of companies don’t get is the importance of frictionless feedback.
All companies perpetuate the myth that they want to hear from customers. They pretend to value their feedback, and want to hear from them, regardless whether or not the feedback is good or bad. In very few cases is this really true. I’m not referring to actually abusive or threatening feedback, which obviously just gets binned.”
Luftrausers Devlog #1 (Vlambeer)
“LUFTRAUSER was about feeling like the coolest person in the world. You sat behind your computer but really you’re a pilot going 5 million miles an hour shooting enemies and making water splash up behind you and doing loopings all while smoking multiple cigarettes at once and reading the newspaper. In the highly anticipated superlative sequel, we are bringing you more of that & we’re letting you do it your way. You will be able to get dirty and build your own RAUSER from the ground up. By destroying enemies, completing missions and all that you will unlock new parts. Parts come in 3 types: weapons, bodies and engine.”