Welcome to IGM Under Construction, where we cover indie games that are not finished quite yet. Be they Alphas, Betas, Preview Builds we will be covering them once a week. Like what you see? Be sure to LIKE the video and SUBSCRIBE to the channel to be notified of our latest content.
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Created by Zephyr Moore
Point-and-click puzzle fanatics eagerly anticipating the release of Sos Sosowski’s McPixel have been greeted today with the disappointing news that the game has been delayed from its original release date of June 6th to June 25th.
The game, currently in its final development stages for the PC, Mac and Linux computer platforms, apparently needs an extra couple of weeks’ polish before being ready to grace the hard drives of players around the world, according to Sos’s latest blog update. As a result, it’ll be waiting in the wings a little longer, effectively meaning that we’ll all just have to enjoy the Summer sunshine or something.
With cloning allegations currently rife in the independent gaming industry, one wonders quite how a developer can go about building upon an existing formula without stepping on the toes of its original creators, yet without sacrificing the essence of what made it so popular in the first place. Well, popular developers Petri Purho and Marin Jonasson claim to have the solution.
It’s “juiciness”, apparently.
Speaking at last week’s Nordic Game Indie Night, part of the 2012 Nordic Game Awards is Malmö, Sweden, Purho, best known as the creator of Crayon Physics Deluxe, and Jonasson, the creative force behind jesus vs dinousaurs, gave a stirring speech on how to spruce up a classic game with a dose of “tweeny juiciness.” Using the tried-and-true frameworks of Breakout as a basic foundation, the dynamic duo explained how they managed to give the game a new lease of life, simply by changing a few bog-standard animations, in-game physics, background music and colour design. Here’s the full 15-minute presentation in video form:
We stumbled across a little game called Trash TV and were left gagging to know more. The solution? We spoke to the developer and he gave us an insight into the game and its history.
Upon happening across Trash TV‘s official website and watching the gameplay on show, we were breathless. It’s looking really good and no one knows about it. Such injustice! We scrambled over to the developer who told us that the game is a puzzle platformer intended for release on XBLIG and PC and it should hopefully be ready soon so that he can submit it to this year’s Dream. Build. Play competition, so by June 12th.
Let’s give that developer a name then – it’s Lawrence Russell – and let him tell his tale, because it’s a good one and makes us love Trash TV even more!
“[Trash TV] will be the second game I’ve ever released to the public with my first one being a one button slot machine I made to prove to a friend that people will play a tactic-less game. Shockingly it’s been played over a hundred thousand times for around 7 – 8 minutes each, totaling 1 and a half years of people pressing space bar. I’d almost feel guilty about it if it wasn’t so baffling,” Lawrence told us amidst a smirk.
“After that ‘success’ I started on a series of gameplay experiments stemming from Super Crate Box and Super Meat Boy. I tried to make those games into huge sprawling metroidvania style games and ended up creating puzzles that you had to solve to progress further and this is where Trash TV started.”
“The theme for the game came about very early on and totally by accident. I tried to draw an astronaut and gave him a test card for a face in a kinda CactusSquid edgy way. It looked exactly as you see the main character now and the whole game has been built around him. The Trash part comes from the characters been stuck inside a recycling centre, but the theme also extends to the mixture of old and new in the art style. It’s retro 8-bit graphics but not limited to the traditional colour palette and it uses cool lighting and sweet fluid physics system for the fire.”
So there you go, that’s the story behind Trash TV‘s development, the sweeter side we might add. It’s looking like a really interesting game and just one that attends to pure fun. Citing influences like Super Crate Box and Super Meat Boy already give it expectations and it’s looking like they will be delivered. We’re also reminded of Stealth Bastard in parts of the gameplay too – running between lasers and crushers for instance.
Let’s hear the rest of the development story behind Trash TV though, shall we? It’s nothing upsetting really but it’s a tale that we’re sure a few indie game developers can identify with.
“As for the team behind Trash TV. I work as the designer, artist (minus the website art) and programmer in between my day job as a run of the mill factory worker. I just turned 23 and last year I dropped out of university. Upset at the skeletal timetables and dismayed at seeing friends struggle to land a job with their degrees, I dropped out using the last of my money to fund a years full time development. Money ran out quicker than I expected but it’s not all bad, I’m only on a pound an hour less than my peers. I’ve never worked as a programmer or in the games industry but it’s been my dream forever.”
Currently, Lawrence is working with Nate Gallardo, a sound design student he found on the TIGforums who was willing to create the sound effects for me and so far we’d say he’s doing a pretty good job of it. Soon they will both be joined by Chris Geehan of HyperDuck SoundWorks who will be producing the music for Trash TV and we can’t wait to see how it all comes together!
Look out for Trash TV and any updates in the future over on the official website and the YouTube channel.
The hilarious spoof of Indie Game: The Movie by Mega64 has finally hit Youtube. It was originally shown at the Indie Games Festival / GDC 2012 earlier this month.
It makes a lot more sense if you’ve seen Indie Game: The Movie but is still funny either way. In either case, click here to see the original trailer that they are spoofing. The videos by Mega64 were definitely a highlight of the IGF / GDC awards. Hopefully they’ll follow-up and release their “Indie-Man” video from the awards ceremony, but until then here they are mocking Minecraft and Notch:
24 Caret Games has done something damn cool in relation to their upcoming guitar-peripheral friendly PSN title Retro/Grade. The developer has recorded two days of work and compressed it down to a little over a minute in the video below.
Why? Why not. See Matt Gilgenbach (if I’m not mistaken) in action:
Look at him go! See, game development is a blast; at least done at hyperspeed.
The developer mentions interest in bringing the title to other platforms including PC in the future as well, so hopefully not just PSN’ers will be enjoying this arcade-style gem in the long run.
As mentioned in yesterday’s double preview, Fractal Softworks’ upcoming space combat action/strategy/RPG hybrid Starfarer is quite a looker. It’s also available in public alpha format, if you’re willing to put down $10 for an early preorder, it’s a lot of fun to play and spectacular to look at despite being still relatively early in development.
Robert Allmand has recently released the interactive game portion of his escapism vs. reality project entitled Howard Glitch. I first posted the trailer for the animated segment of the project a few weeks ago, but now the point and click game is available to explore.
Utilizing YouTube’s placed comment links, it leads you through a variety of videos where you use both YouTube controls and logic to maneuver your way through the story. It’s an interesting use of the medium and possibly a sign of things to come. It works something like a choose-your-own-adventure with YouTube as the framework.
Check out the trailer for the adventure segment below and then go give the game a try yourself and let us know what you think. The game is clever in its use of points to click, so don’t think that you’ve won or lost the game after just a few screens. It goes on to get even more intriguing with the use of sound and silence and even other unique uses of the video site. But don’t take my word for it, there are interesting things afoot!
Pixel Prospector pointed out an intriguing new project to me this morning which follows a mysterious story through (at least) three different mediums. And we all know that intrigue is one of the most powerful tools an indie developer has at their disposal.
The tale is about passengers trapped aboard a futuristic shuttlebus and its told through a book, music and animation. But the developer has confirmed that there will be an interactive element as well placing this project somewhere in the realm of being an experimental indie game.
The developer told me the following about the interactive aspect for the project: “I’m using Youtube as my actual gaming platform, and despite attempts that have been made before to do so in an interactive way, I’m really pushing the medium as far as possible in an experimental way.” Because he didn’t want to reveal more for fear of spoiling the experience, all we can do is scratch our heads until more information is released.
But I’d urge you to watch the teaser trailer that digs into the situation the passengers are in:
If you’re interested in poking around some more, there are a few more questions answered on the official website though they give no further look at the game element of the project.