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

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‘The Splatters’ Sequel Coming To PC/Mac/Linux Later This Summer


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‘The Adventures Of Shuggy’ Price Reduced In Anticipation Of “Shuggy’s Teleporting Troubles”

The Adventures Of Shuggy

Soon after the release of Gateways on Steam, Desura and XBLIG, Smudged Cat Games’ hit title, The Adventures of Shuggy has been reduced down to a low price of $5 on both the PC and Xbox 360. The Adventures of Shuggy is a retro-styled 2D platformer widely known for its intuitive puzzles and many special abilities. The game is currently available through the developers website as well as the two digital platforms Steam and Desura. This price drop is perfect time as Smuged Cat Games is getting ready to add a new level pack to the game called, “Shuggy’s Teleporting Troubles” It should be released just in time for Halloween, so shelling out $5 for this fantastic game is really worth it.

We did a review onThe Adventures of Shuggy a couple of months ago and came to the conclusion that it was great and really worth the purchase. Overall the game was met with some really good reviews, also finding a great deal of joy to be had with Shuggy. The Adventures of Shuggy is available for both PC and the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Arcade.  The cool thing about the PC variant of the game is that it is DRM free via Direct Download from Smudge Cats own website.

If you’re heavily into retro games and indie titles while also enjoying some fantastic puzzles, this game will not let you down whatsoever.

If you’re looking into purchasing this game, you can head over to Smudge Cats website to purchase it, or alternatively Steam or Desura.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘The Adventures Of Shuggy’ Price Reduced In Anticipation Of “Shuggy’s Teleporting Troubles”


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‘InterGalaXia’ Just Released

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InterGalaXia (IGX) is a space shooter from ByteBox released today on the XBLA and really is not your normal space shooter. IGX tried to move away from the traditional space shooter style in adding a game engine that would change the game’s appearance and gameplay noticeable every time you play. This will make the replayability so much greater and no longer will you be just stuck with one predictable title but with an ever changing title. Be sure to check the pre-release trailer below to see the game in action.

Of late there really has been a big push for many developers to start using procedural generation and random elements in their titles, due to the way this can extend the life of a game hugely. This falls in line with people getting more conscious of the price of games, so making titles with random elements really helps people to buy into them. It works in IGX with the whole galaxy generation being done in real time. Every single star is a new star which moves, flawlessly on its own according to its own makeup. Planets are rendered in real time, spawn at random and move with their own attributes. This goes for the shooting stars, asteroids, comets and nebulae making IGX to be quite the impressive title.

Even the overall galaxy difficulty is randomised by looking at many different elements it is largely focused around the enemy generation attributes, this is yet another feature to make this game very unpredictable in terms of its gameplay.

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IGXs overall story is that you are working to complete missions fed to you by “The Corporation” who provide a private funding budget allowing you to weapon up your arsenal before deploying to the mission at hand. No doubt the story will expand as you try and beat IGX with some twists and turns rounding this title off.

IGX is now available on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 80 Microsoft Points. Though if you would rather try out IGX first there is a trial on the marketplace, definitely try this out as it sounds to be an interesting twist on the space shooter genre. There are future plans to move IGX to PC so be sure to keep an eye on that over on the official site here. As always be sure to check back to The Indie Game Magazine for all the latest new as and when it breaks.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘InterGalaXia’ Just Released


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‘Cannon Brawl’ A New Take On RTS

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Cannon Brawl was showcased at PAX and looks to be a very interesting take on strategy games. Crossing some of the tried and tested mechanics from the Worms series with elements of tower defence and a nice dash of artillery styled game thrown in over the top. All making for a very interesting take on RTS, be sure to check out the PAX trailer below and judge it for yourself it does indeed look to be an interesting take on the genre.

Cannon Brawl is from Turtle Sandbox, an independent studio founded in 2011 by Pete Angstadt after winning the Activation independent games competition with Dstroyd (now renamed to Cannon Brawl). The graphics styling looks very interesting taking a heavily cartoon feel to the game, making for a very interesting aesthetic.

Cannon Brawl will include a single player campaign that is largely to be implemented to teach the game mechanics along side telling an exciting story, which is expect to span around 20 levels. The first level infact has you playing as a baron in an airship to rescue your friend from the kings jail, which just sounds to be the makings for a great level in the game. Also it will feature a great multiplayer which looks to be the main heart of this game as you battle against others to prove dominance in strategy and planning.

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Cannon Brawl will include the ability to alter your loadouts prior to the game allowing for more tactical play along with creating your own personal play style which adds another great dimension to the game.

The graphic styling and the awesome level design really make Cannon Brawl one to watch as an upcoming strategy game. I am sure for all the people who played it at PAX the gameplay was great fun and it looks to take some great ideas from a few games and mix them into something new.

Cannon Brawl is still in development and is billed for a PC, Xbox and PS3 release. You can follow the progress on Turtle Sandbox’s site here or IndieDB here. Of course all the news will be covered right here on The Indie Game Magazine so be sure to check back soon as the story breaks.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Cannon Brawl’ A New Take On RTS


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Sandbox Platformer Mega-Hit ‘Terraria’ Coming To PSN & XBLA

Well, they hinted and teased at big news yesterday, and this just about lives up to the description. While it looks like Andrew ‘Redigit’ Spinks (lead developer on the original PC version) isn’t getting back into the game or continuing development on the existing version, he is overseeing the development of a console version of Terraria already scheduled for release on both the Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. Given the enormous sacks of cash that the XBLA release has brought Minecraft, it seems like a very savvy business decision.

There’s some outsourcing going on here, though. Rather than Re-Logic stepping up to handle the port to consoles, coding duties are being handed off to Dutch studio Engine Software, notable for their supporting work with other studios. The business side of things is also being handled by publisher 505 Games. It definitely stretches the definition of ‘indie’, but due to Microsoft policy there’s no way to get on XBLA short of a direct invitation unless you have a publisher nowadays, so it’s a necessary evil if you have any plans to release on both key consoles.

The original PC version of Terraria has shifted over 1.6 million copies – many at Steam discount prices, admittedly – but when your entire development team is 2-3 people, even a couple of dollars per sale goes a long, long way. The console version of the game is due out early next year, and given the pricing of the original, it’s safe to assume that the price tag will be around the $10-15 mark. Here’s wishing Re-Logic and everyone else involved the best of luck with this new release. There’s no official site up for the console version yet, but we’ll update this article once one surfaces.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Sandbox Platformer Mega-Hit ‘Terraria’ Coming To PSN & XBLA


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New XBLA Sim ‘Smooth Operators: Call Centre Chaos’ Released Next Month

Smooth Operators: Call Centre Chaos Screenshot 01

Smooth Operators: Call Centre Chaos is the latest game from game developer Andrea Heydeck (Heydeck games) scheduled to be released within the Indie Games Uprising III filling the Friday slot (09/14/12) on the Xbox live arcade with a PC port currently being worked on. From what I have seen of the game it looks a well polished sim game with enough gameplay to keep you busy for hours. See what you make of the gameplay trailer below:


The game takes the tried and tested sim model and moves into the call centre, allowing the micromanagement of a workforce looking at balancing the ever changing needs of individuals whilst attempting to fulfil goals and achieve a healthy profit. From what I have seen of the gameplay it looks well designed and engaging with enough depth to create strong gameplay whilst not being too overbearing. The graphics style distinctly reminds me of  Tiny Tower on the iOS in its cartoon like nature with a similar lift layout and floor stacking there is indeed several comparisons, however it has been adapted to make for a game with a similar look whilst retaining its own charm.

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Smooth Operators: Call centre Chaos is due for release onto the Xbox Live arcade on Friday 14th of September of this year and is just one of the promising games in the Indie Games Uprising III. For anyone who has ever played a sim game this may be worth picking up along with anyone interested in the more casual style strategy games and of course those who have whiled away hours on Tiny Tower, this release may very well just be what you have been waiting for on the Xbox.

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Source: The Indie Game Magazine – New XBLA Sim ‘Smooth Operators: Call Centre Chaos’ Released Next Month


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‘Dust: An Elysian Tail’ Gets Cinematic In This XBLA Launch Trailer

Ever since the first in-development footage of Dust: An Elysian Tail surfaced years ago, I’ve been following it like a hawk. It went on to win Microsoft’s Dream Build Play contest, and secured itself an Xbox Live Arcade publishing deal. Now, it’s the crowning item in this year’s Summer of Arcade event. Next week, on August 15th, it finally releases on XBLA for $15/1200MSP. Here’s the rather Hollywood launch trailer:

The game is an impressively large Metroid-esque platform adventure RPG, with a combat engine reminiscent of Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden. All of that – voice acting and music aside – is entirely the work of one man. Can’t get much more indie than that. This is probably the most ambitious solo project to be released on XBLA, and one of the highest-budget solo releases that I’m aware of, period.

IGM are currently hacking through the game right now, and will have a full review up on Monday. Dust will be available to buy on Wednesday, August 15th. It’s exclusive to Xbox 360 at the moment, although given that Fez is now planning to jump ship once its exclusivity deal ends, perhaps this one might make it back to PC someday.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Dust: An Elysian Tail’ Gets Cinematic In This XBLA Launch Trailer


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‘Pid’ Kid Meets His Enemy, The Crook, in This Trailer

Pid

In a trailer for what we can only assume is one of many bosses in Might & Delight‘s creative upcoming XBLA platformer, Pid, a young boy named Kurt meets The Crook. Kurt, the main character of the game, seems to be strolling about when a fearful personified balloon shoots at him and launches what appears to be a boss stage of some sort. The trailer is pleasantly creative and showcases that perhaps there’s much more to Pid than just some tired old formula of the indie platformer.

Pid has been confirmed for initial launch on the Xbox Live Arcade, but information at E3 seemed to indicate that the game would also see the light of day on the PlayStation Network and PC. It promises a campaign stacked with many puzzles and twists, and its perhaps one of the most exciting games to look forward to in terms of aesthetics. We’ll keep you posted on developments for Pid. In the meantime, though, enjoy this superb trailer:

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – ‘Pid’ Kid Meets His Enemy, The Crook, in This Trailer


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Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Passes Three Million Units Sold

Minecraft: XBox 360 Edition passed three millions copies sold, as Notch tweeted earlier this morning:

“I got told Minecraft for XBLA passed three million sales today!”

It is amazing to watch the console version of Minecraft continue to grow, especically with the knowledge that it set the record for the best selling Xbox Live Arcade game a little more than a month ago.

The sale milestone comes on the heels of a new patch for Minecraft that added pistons, sheep shears, and additional player skins. While the 360 port of the popular PC game is still leagues behind the original version of the game, it is making progress by bounds, and the development team still seems interested in drawing players to the game.

Minecraft: XBox 360 Edition is on sale for 1600 MSP (~$20). If you’re one of the ten people in the world who still doesn’t own Minecraft in some form, take a look at  The Indie Game Magazine’s review of the game.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Passes Three Million Units Sold


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Save-Devouring ‘Fez’ Patch Returns Unfixed – ‘Blame Microsoft’, Say Devs

Damning words from Team Polytron tonight. The good news: Fez is patched again, and devoid of game-breaking bugs. The bad news: For a small percentage of players already deep into the game, it may devour your save and progress to date. The reason this hasn’t been fixed? Microsoft certification policy, it seems, and the limited resources of a small indie developer.

In this lengthy letter to fans, Polytron spell it out, plain as day. It’s harsh, but I think this is something that really needs to be brought to light. Here’s the important bit:

“We’re bringing the first FEZ patch online.
It’s the same patch.

We’re not going to patch the patch.

Why not? Because microsoft would charge us tens of thousands of dollars to re-certify the game.

And because as it turns out, the save file delete bug only happens to less than a percent of players. It’s a shitty numbers game to be playing for sure, but as a small independent, paying so much money for patches makes NO SENSE AT ALL. especially when you consider the alternative. Had FEZ been released on steam instead of XBLA, the game would have been fixed two weeks after release, at no cost to us. And if there was an issue with that patch, we could have fixed that right away too!”

This is backed up by statements made by Tim Schafer of Double Fine not long ago, suggesting that the price of certification for even a tiny hotfix patch (the kind of stuff a developer can produce in a day or two, and roll out on Steam in hours) is in the tens of thousands of dollars for a small XBLA release. From what I can gather, Sony do have a vaguely similar certification process, but it’s much cheaper – developers seem far more willing to roll out smaller updates for PS3 games.

Naturally, Steam, Desura and all the other PC equivalents have no such certification fees attached to updates. Bugs can be fixed as and when they surface, and patches rolled out literally within hours of issues being detected, if the developers are fast enough on the draw. There’s a definite note of frustration in the press release here, and no doubt this’ll be burning some bridges between Polytron and Microsoft, but given the resurgence of smaller-scale PC development, that doesn’t seem so bad.

As I write this, Tim Schafer actually chimed in via Twitter, in support of Polytron. Hopefully if enough people make a noise, Microsoft might just consider changing their oppressive policies. It might be a good idea to do it sooner rather than later, as sales of XBLA games have been dropping sharply in recent months, and a lot of this seems to be due to indie developers jumping ship to other, less problematic platforms.

Still, for those who just want to play Fez, this is bittersweet news. While a small percentage of players might lose their progress to date, the game is at least stable and reliable now. I’d been holding off on fully completing it until a new patch was released, so I suppose I’ll have to make do with this one. As much as I should be frustrated at Polytron for letting a bug like this slip through, I can’t help but feel that the ball is firmly in Microsoft’s court on this one – their horrendously expensive certification process somehow missed this bug first time through, and they want to charge full price again so they can just wave it through?

Ah well – the silver lining to this big, unpleasant cloud is that Fez is finally patched. It’s Adventure Time, Gomez! You can buy the game via XBLA for 800 MS Points ($10) or equivalent, and it’s a damn fine game. Such a shame that it’ll be forever tarnished by this sad story.

Update: More support, this time from Team Meat – another studio notoriously burnt when working with Microsoft. And Polytron drop an interesting ray of hope here:

Fez coming to PC? Maybe.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Save-Devouring ‘Fez’ Patch Returns Unfixed – ‘Blame Microsoft’, Say Devs