Shortly before Christmas I was given the opportunity to interview Brjánn Sigurgeirsson: the CEO of Image & Form, the small Swedish development studio that delighted gamers around the world when they released Steamworld Dig on..
Indie micro-studio Allgraf have released a new patch for 2D craft-em-up Darkout. Patch 1.2.3 brings a number of overhauls designed to improve the player experience – an overhauled user interface and a new tutorial, among..
A new update for the arcade-style shoot ‘em up Syder Arcade is now live, bringing with it a number of notable features. Included in the game’s first major update is a new playable starship, as..
“You are Master Spy. In a world of corruption and decay, you’re not just good at what you do – you’re the best”, the blurb goes. “With the aid of your prototype cloaking suit and quick wit, you’ll sneak your way past a multitude of enemies and obstacles, all while uncovering a plot of conspiracy and intrigue that thrusts you into a role far greater than your contract promised…”
With some neat 8-bit retro graphics and cutscenes which evoke memories of a childhood spent playing growing up playing NES games with a childhood friend, it looks like a pleasing throwback to the 1980s when games made up for their low amount of storage capacity with incredibly challenging gameplay. There’s a nifty retro soundtrack too, courtesy of chiptune composer Sferro.
Taking place in 2d with simple animated cutscenes employed to tell the game’s story, gameplay is simple, but challenging; navigating the levels requires some pin-point platforming as you collect dossiers and move from screen to screen (the game utilizes a flick-screen format) and guards will need to be avoided in order to avoid raising the alarm. Thankfully your character is equipped with a handy cloaking device which helps him to remain undetected by roaming guards and security cameras. It’s not without penalty however – while cloaked, your movement speed and jumping range are curtailed considerably and guard dogs won’t be fooled, dashing across the screen to catch you.
Even at this early stage the game is fiendishly addictive. An alpha-version demo is available to play on the game’s website for people before casting your vote on Greenlight and it shows a game that has plenty of promise. Games of this nature can be difficult to get right though – too easy and players will become bored, but if the platform and timing required becomes too precise, it can quickly become frustrating and feel unfair. So far the developer seems to have found a good balance though, so we hope that fine judgement of difficulty continues through to the finished product.
Retro genre mash-up Mansion Lord has just been green lit on Steam, developer Golgom Games has announced.
Mansion Lord seeks to combine murder mystery, business sim, world-building and turn-based RPG combat all in one game all wrapped up in lovely 16-bit pixel graphics resulting in a final look that isn’t too far removed from mobile games such as Tiny Tower or Pocket Trains.
Players will build their mansion tile by tile and invite guests to dinner parties. As those guests start to embark on murderous sprees, you can hire detectives to identify and capture them for a reward. Detectives can be levelled up and equipped with a huge variety of different weapons and accessories as well as teach them new skills to make them more adept at their sleuthing.
Cash bounties are nothing without the ability to spend them though, so you can also look forward to buying new rooms for your mansion, research new upgrades and buy new and more effective equipment for your detectives.
But that’s not all! You also need to keep your employees happy by giving them gifts and providing them with their own personal bedroom, build relationships between different detectives to make them more effective at working together and even send them into randomly-generated dungeons to clear out all manner of nasty monsters.
Aside from Steam, the game will also be distributed through Desura and GOG and the developer is also hoping to release the title on iPad, Android, PS Vita and Wii U in the future – depending on how their Kickstarter goes. It’s currently sitting at $15,982 of its $28,000 goal, with 11 days to go.
Mansion Lord will be released sometime in mid-2014, with a price currently set at $10.
Just days after openly inviting gamers to pirate their copies of Pixel Piracy, the 2D pirate rogue-like developed by Vitali Kirpu is now Greenlit on Steam. Yesterday, the team noted they jumped from being in the top 92% straight into the top 100, and today they’re signing the necessary digital paperwork to sign up as a new Steamworks Partner.
In Pixel Piracy, players take control of a pirate crew and set sail across the open sea navigating through procedurally generated events; encountering ruthless rogues all while trying to enlist new recruits, upgrade their ship, and keep their crew in line. There’s treasure to plunder and other ships to combat, but such is the life of a pirate. Pixel Piracy is currently in alpha and can be purchased through Desura, currently for 20% off. For more information, check out their IndieDB page.
Image & Form, the makers of SteamWorld Dig, which released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop in August, are bringing their Western-meets-steampunk themed mining platformer to the PC on December 5th. The 3DS game was met with outstanding critical success and the PC version looks to improve upon that experience by presenting the game in full HD and adding new content.
In SteamWorld Dig, players tunnel through the Earth in search of gold and other treasure, meeting a charming cast of characters along the way and eventually unearthing an ancient secret. As players dig deeper and deeper, the things you smash with your pickaxe (that is, enemies and earthen materials) get stronger, so upgrades are a must.
Fans of the 3DS version need not fear Image & Form abandoning the platform. The CEO says that “it would be strange to leave the 3DS community; they’ve embraced SteamWorld Dig and carried us, and we owe them a lot.”
SteamWorld Dig will be available on Steam on December 5th tentatively priced at $9.99. 3DS owners interested in getting a taste of it before then can purchase it on the eShop for $8.99.
Chris Hayes, one of our IGM PAX Prime 2013 team members, shares his interview with developer Squad — providing his impressions of their hit Steam Early Access title Kerbal Space Program as well.
You would never know with a game like Kerbal Space Program that the idea came from lead developer Felipe Falanghe making spaceships out of fireworks as a child and having foil astronauts named Kerbals ride them into oblivion. But if you were to watch me learning to play this game, it makes perfect sense. Kerbal Space Program is a game where you build yourself a spaceship, try to launch it past orbit, and explore various planets to research what is out there and expand your technology.
Part of building the spaceship is determining the order that the rocket engages. Fail to do this or build your spaceship incorrectly and you will end up with doom on your hands. For example, my most successful mission had my four booster rockets run in phase 1 and the launch pads detach me in the second phase. Once the fuel burned out I detached the booster rockets in phase 3 and ignited my second booster rocket in phase 4. Once the booster rocket ran out, I detached that in phase 6 to free float in orbit for a while. However, as I never made it this far, I hadn’t planned on making it to orbit. Eventually gravity kicks in and I get drawn closer but phase 7 should save me when I let out my parachute, which doesn’t deploy correctly, and I end up crashing into earth in a fiery blaze of failure.
But even though it took me 24 spaceships, and 32 Kerbals to get this far, it was fun, and only the beginning. Former modder and now technical artist for the game, Chad Jenkins explained that space exploration is another key factor with Kerbal Space Exploration. Successfully returning from a mission with data will allow you to expand your research tree. In addition, how you provide that data matters as well. One example he offered is if we were to say make it up to Mars and get a sample of the planet, we could radio our results back to the planet with nominal scientific progress. However if we were to bring back a chuck of rock to our researchers on the planet, the data will reap bigger benefits. You then use this research to expand your tech tree and available spaceship parts as you see fit.
One of the most mind-blowing aspects of all this is our interview was that Felipe, Chad, and Bob Holtzman were at PAX to judge a tournament for their game not to show it off. The kicker is that Kerbal Space Program is currently available as Early Access and has not their official launch date yet. While there is plenty to do and play around with the game only Sandbox Mode can be played, with a career mode and other features to eventually be implemented.
Kerbal Space Program is available as a Steam Early Access title on Windows, Mac, and Linux — and it’s currently on sale for 40% off through the weekend.
PixelJunk Inc. is a simple concept, with a ton of depth. The sandbox tower defense hybrid has players digging out there own Soup factory, customizing it with a cast of command-accepting robots for gathering supplies and sentries for blasting aliens that are jealous of your gaudy soup factory base.
Lead designer Rowen Parker of Q Games spoke with us about this multifaceted title concerning the manufacturing process of soup:
PixelJunk Inc. is being prepped for a Steam-exclusive Windows PC release later this year, with Mac and Linux ports planned for sometime after.