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

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Aerena – Bite Sized Battles

Aerena is a fun new hero-centric turn-based tactical combat game with a unique Ætherpunk setting that allows players to play against each other across iOS, Android, and Steam. Set in an alternate world where the discovery..

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Aerena – Bite Sized Battles


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Teslagrad Review

 Rain Games is a developer that understands the golden rule of spinning a good story: Show, Don’t Tell. Completely eschewing the written word and spoken dialogue, Teslagrad’s tale is told purely through its gorgeous visuals..

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Teslagrad Review


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New Darkout patch brings major refinements

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..

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – New Darkout patch brings major refinements


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Dev Links: What Really Matters

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Today’s Developer Links include articles on creating VR games, what to expect when publishing on PS4 and gaming tax credits.

When self-publishing on PlayStation 4, here’s what to expect (Gamasutra)
“Agostino Simonetta, senior account manager at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, has given some insight into how the self-publishing process on PlayStation 4 works.”

Creating Virtual Reality Games: The Fundamentals (Gamasutra)
“When I was on a field trip to London back in high school, I played my first virtual reality (VR) game: Zone Hunter. I was immediately hooked and I knew I wanted to work in VR! I started my VR career more than 12 years ago working on industrial VR training applications and VR software tools.”

How educational games are best played two-by-two (Polygon)
“There are good reasons to create video games for schools that are designed to be played by one person, with a second student collaborating, but not actually touching the controls.”

Child-like avatars cause players to perceive the world in new ways (Polygon)
“When adults are placed in the virtual body of a child, they identify more closely with child-like attributes, according to a recent study published in PNAS and reported on by BBC.”

Works In Progress (Terry Cavanagh)
“A little while ago on twitter, inspired by Andi McClure, I recorded some vine videos of some of my unfinished games. Here’s Vine 1, Vine 2, and Vine 3. It’s far from comprehensive, just a couple of random things I cared about and didn’t mind showing.”

Zeboyd Weekly Art! (7/17/13): CSH logo, and SMT IV Isabeau fan art! (Zeboyd)
“Hey everyone, Bill Stiernberg here. Have couple of things to share today! For starters, Shin Megami Tensei IV came out yesterday for the 3DS. To celebrate the release of an awesome game in an awesome series, I decided to produce some fan art of a main character, Isabeau.”

Gaming Tax Credits: A Developer’s Guide to Free Money (Games Industry)
“As TV infomercial star and Riddler-inspired fashionista Matthew Lesko would say, “The government is giving away FREE MONEY to game developers!” Or to put it less colorfully but more accurately, there are dozens of government programs in the United States and Canada offering tax credits and rebates for companies producing video games.”

Spark Cinematics of Natural Selection 2 (Unknown Worlds)
“Hello, this is Brian Cummings aka Chops from Unknown Worlds. This blog post is to talk about my experiences with the Spark Cinematic Editor. I started with the company in 2009 near the beginning of production for NS2. I was hired as an intern to help with scheduling and tracking the Art tasks for production. After a short while I started to see some other useful things I could do for the team. One of the tasks that came up was to create a more interesting cinematic for the next alien to be revealed… the Lerk. I volunteered to create the cinematic using our Spark Cinematic Editor and got started.”

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Dev Links: What Really Matters


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‘Ghost Of A Tale’ Developer Interview – Talks Transition From Hollywood, Kickstarter Woes, And More

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If you search for the name “Lionel Gallat” on IMDB, you’ll find the name attached to a number of animated feature films: animation director for The Lorax, animation director for Despicable Me, supervising animator for Shark Tale, and the list goes on.

But more recently, Gallat has stepped away from animated feature films, and started developing a video game…on his own. The game is called Ghost of a Tale, and with one look at a screenshot it is easy to see that Gallat’s artistic skills have easily transitioned into the video game. Ghost of a Tale looks beautiful.

“As an animation director I was responsible for the animation of entire movies, leading 60+ [person] teams,” Gallat explained to IGM. “I was longing to go back to the nitty-gritty of creation; writing, modeling, painting, rigging, programming and… playing. I’ve already been in a position where I mostly tell people what they should do (and it’s probable [that] one day I’ll go back to that position) but today I’m having a lot of fun doing things myself for a change!”

Gallat, who is in the middle of promoting the funding campaign for his debut title Ghost of a Tale, chatted with IGM for a bit about his experience transitioning from Hollywood to the game development scene, his woes with Kickstarter, and why Ghost of a Tale deserves your support.

Ghost of a Tale

IGM – What inspired you to start working on a game, and move out of the animation industry?

Gallat - It was a good time for me to do so. I’ve always loved games and I’ve always enjoyed writing stories, creating models and animating them. But I also love programming (I’ve written tools used in production in several studios). So it wasn’t really that far-fetched for me to put the two together.

As an artist who programs I can get lost in a coherent game world and get to look everywhere I want, and interact with things that I created. In a nutshell it’s a lot of fun. I feel like a kid again, when I was programming moving sprites (an achievement!) in Microsoft Basic. It’s a huge amount of work obviously, but so rewarding.

IGM – What are some of the pros and cons of working on developing a video game on your own…as opposed to working on a movie with a team?

Gallat - When you work on a big-budget movie the team is obviously very big. Quite a few people have their say, which is normal since a lot of money’s involved and the goal is to appeal to the widest audience in order to reduce the risks. Sometimes you run into the classic issue of “too many cooks spoiling the soup”. Also you are always in a situation were you do what you’re told, no matter your hierarchical position. Which is also very soothing in a sense, because you don’t really have to worry too much about anything else besides what’s on your workbench.

But for me, working on my own allows me to let my imagination roam free; I know where I want to go, I have an idea of where the journey’s going to lead me, but I’m not just doing a job. It requires a lot more personal discipline than when you work in a team. The hard truth is, when you work on your own, if you have a natural tendency of being complacent or if your motivation is only temporary you will fail.

So far that’s the main difficulty; only being able to rely on myself. I have spent my entire career collaborating with people on projects, so that’s a big change for me. So far I’m really enjoying the experience, although if I can manage to get a budget to pay some collaborators I’ll be a happy camper!


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Pre-Order ‘Indie Game: The Movie’ Soundtrack Now; Bonuses Available

It may be looking to storm the big screen in the next few weeks, but Indie Game: The Movie might just be taking over the airwaves too. That’s because the film’s soundtrack, composed by the multi-talented Jim Guthrie, is now available for pre-order through Bandcamp in anticipation for its May 15th release.

While the standard digital version of the album will set you back $5 CAD, there are a few other tempting offers for enthusiastic fans of the movie. First up is a special $19.99 CAD package that combines the standard digital soundtrack with one of three t-shirts, each with the film’s logo proudly emblazoned on them. Buyers can choose between blue, poppy or silver, which, according to its marketing pitch, is “cooler than white.”  Alternatively, $32 CAD is all it takes to receive both the album in its digital form and, as an extra treat, on the beloved LP format, decked out with some fantastic cover artwork courtesy of Cory Schmitz.

Those who pre-order the album will also be granted immediate access to four of the soundtrack’s 24 tracks, available in .mp3, .FLAC or almost any other popular audio format.

Indie Game: The Movie is a unique inside look at the behind-the-scenes struggles of an independent development studio. Featuring such indie classics as Super Meat Boy, Fez, and Jonathan Blow’s The Witness, it’s been met with a hugely enthusiastic critical reaction upon its initial showings in front of key media personnel. If you don’t feel like taking my word on that, give Mike Gnade’s PAX East review a read.

Look for Indie Game: The Movie to premiere in US cinemas on May 18th. An official release date outside the United States has yet to be revealed, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that some news will emerge very soon.


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‘Gambitious’ To Launch In March: Equity-Based Crowdfunding For Indie Developers

A new portal has just been announced for indie developers to find funding for their projects – unlike others though, the investors actually take a share of the profits depending on how much money they put forward.Gambitious is a fusion of “games” and “ambitious”, although we immediately thought it was “gamble” and “ambitious”. The guys behind this new start-up, just announced today, were quick to correct us on that one.It seems to be of no coincidence Gambitious pops up out of the bedrock just a few days after Double Fine’s Adventure made over $1,000,000 in just 24 hours through a Kickstarter campaign. They certainly seem to have their finger on the pulse; announcing their project which will launch in March while everyone is still in debate over the potential of crowdfunding for game developers as an alternative to publisher support.Gambitious is something a little different to the likes of Kickstarter though – it presents crowdfunding in a manner very similar to the stockmarket, including the buying and selling of shares. This brings along the idea of risk as well as reward to the investor. Essentially, investors pay for a share in the game’s profits (a literal share) with the understanding that they could lose their money if the game is not successful.

Original Source: ‘Gambitious’ To Launch In March: Equity-Based Crowdfunding For Indie Developers

This Article was originally posted on our sister site, The Indie Game Magazine written by Chris Priestman.