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Found 12 results

  1. A Gamasutra community member discusses how your game needs to be "good enough" for release in 2015... http://gamasutra.com/blogs/DanielWest/20150908/253040/Good_isnt_good_enough__releasing_an_indie_game_in_2015.php
  2. PC World has posted the article "15 quirky, fun indie PC games that blew us away at PAX" Kona, Hob, and Through the Woods look interesting...Fantastic Contraption can't figure out. Read the article http://www.pcworld.com/article/2978877/software-games/15-quirky-fun-indie-pc-games-that-blew-us-away-at-pax.html
  3. J.U.L.I.A.: Among the Stars from CBS Software has been released today for Windows PC. The developers, Jan Kavan and Lukas Medek, say they are working on a Linux and Mac OS version but haven't been able to test the game on those platforms yet. The game costs $19.99 at Steam. Here's the description. J.U.L.I.A.: Among the Stars is an innovative narrative driven adventure game. The story centers on Rachel Manners, a 35 year old astrobiologist. She is a member of an elite group of scientists, chosen to embark on one of the most critical missions ever conceived on Earth. Now Rachel is alone, orbiting an unknown planet.
  4. The IndieCade International Festival of Independent Games is just around the corner, and it's something that's definitely worth going to. If you're not sure what this festival's about, allow me to enlighten you. From Oct 9 - Oct 12, top indie developers will be gathering in the Los Angles area, and bringing 150 of the year's top indie games with them. What's more, they'll bring games still in development for you to play and try out. So not only can meet and greet with your favorite developers (and expand your network of contacts) you can see what they're up to and the newest innovations in indie games. If this isn't enough to entice you, then GameU will be. GameU is a series of sessions and tutorials run by professionals to educate up and coming game developers with the knowledge they need to get started. Some lessons are what you might expect, such as a quick introduction to programming in Unity, design workshops, and a few art shops, while others are sprinkled throughout. They'll cover what makes a good university game program, to both help young students choose the best university and help universities know what they need to do to give students a successful education. These only scratch the surface of all the events being held as part of GameU this year, which is promised to be their biggest GameU yet! If you want to read over all the events, head over to http://www.indiecade.com/2014/gameu/ and take a look. If you want to look over the festival as a whole, then look at http://www.indiecade.com/2014/. Or, if you just want to pick up your tickets (with an early bird discount) then check out http://www.indiecade.com/2014/registration/ to get the tickets you need, with an All Access pass running at $445 for early birds.
  5. I can't help but feel a little excited for Moon Hunters because I love local co-op gaming experiences. I'm a little skeptical as to how they are approaching the mythology/personality aspect of the game, especially considering the whole idea of how warped and skewed stories can become over time especially when they are passed down through the generations, but it seems like an interesting enough idea. What I hope it doesn't become is a standard morality meter, because those are typically uninspired and boring. What do you guys think?
  6. Juicy Beast will release the 2D multiplayer game Toto Temple Deluxe on Thursday, July 24 exclusively for OUYA. The indie game developers are also the creators of the platform game Knightmare Tower. "The goal of Toto Temple Deluxe is simple - get the goat, and hold on to it as long as possible! Up to four players can challenge each other in fast-paced goat-based keep away, dashing through the game’s arenas deep under the sea, inside an active volcano, and everywhere in between. Players can unleash super-charged power-ups to turn the tide of a round, and the finely tuned auto balance system helps keep every round interesting for veteran and new players alike." With free for all, team battle mode, and single-player challenges, Toto Temple Deluxe’s quick cat-and-mouse (or should I say cat and goat?) gameplay caters to both casual and hardcore gamers. Source: Juicy Beast http://pressreleases.triplepointpr.com/2014/07/21/ready-set-goat-juicy-beasts-toto-temple-deluxe-coming-to-ouya-july-24th/
  7. What is indie? How do you define an indie game/company? Is it budget? Company size? Profits? Is it a philosophy or a business model? Both?
  8. We’ve all been there, right? It’s getting late. You’re driving down a lonely stretch of countryside, trying to find that one road that isn’t on the map. The deeper you get into the territory, the more uneasy it feels, seeing stray roads that lead who knows where, and you wonder if you should have just turned around and gone home on the main stretch. But what if you did go down one of those unusual roads? Such is the idea behind the first episode of Kentucky Route Zero, a “magical realist adventure” from the minds at Cardboard Computer where, on a quiet evening in the back country of Kentucky, a weathered but good-natured delivery driver named Conway rolls up in his antique of a pickup with his straw-hat-wearing dog at an odd oil and gas station in the middle of nowhere, asking an old blind man directions to a “5 Dogwood Drive.” He is informed that the address in question is on “the Zero,” a mysterious highway conspicuously absent from his map. After getting directions to someone who knows how to find it, Conway gets his first taste of how strange and extraordinary his journey is about to get, which quickly escalates into Twilight Zone territory. Realist is the key word here. At first glance this is a contradiction of terms from the description of the game provided by Cardboard Computer, which puts it as realism rather than surrealism. But the story you experience in this first episode of a multipart journey has a few surprises, and that is the heart of the genius at work in this game. At the beginning you are asked by the old blind man at the gas station if you heard about a wreck that occurred only hours before that spread glass all over the highway, and you are immediately tempted to connect this to Conway and his delivery truck, and that he might be dead. However, one of the best aspects of Kentucky Route Zero is its ability to throw you little curveballs against what feels like veiled fact. This brings us back to the realist nature of the game, one that isn’t hampered by complex puzzles and confusing pathways but is, like Dear Esther, a more pure story experience that does require a little bit of puzzle-solving but nothing requiring rocket science. It is through this puzzle-solving that we get to see parts of the game that we would otherwise miss. From the get-go, fans of old-school adventures and minimalist storylines (not to mention minimalist graphics) will immediately be drawn into the world of Kentucky Route Zero, brought to life by its classic style of 3D animation that hearkens back to the days of games like Another World and Flashback. Blocky, polygonal character models sport a somewhat caricaturized but effective appearance against a backdrop of much higher detail, where structures and scene details are well thought out and placed. The art direction goes a step further in its atmospheric expression by introducing certain blink-and-you-miss-them visual elements when you turn off Conway’s lantern. But the game isn’t just a series of interconnected scenes, as are common in traditional adventure games. The game also lets you drive Conway’s delivery truck to whatever route you need to get to via a black and white overworld, which is in the form of a road atlas with the truck represented by a single wheel that spins as you move. Certain landmarks that show up along this view aside from the main story path can be also visited, but remain text-based in their description and interaction. For instance, you come upon an old white church where loud singing is heard. Upon choosing the appropriate dialogue options, you find that the church singing was nothing more than a reel-to-reel tape player squelching old hymns to nothing but an empty space. Sites like this are found by what feels like accidentally on purpose, where you feel you were somehow guided there without really looking for them. While the world is largely contemporary and realistic, even the oil and gas station at the beginning of the game manages to make it fantastical and surrealist, reminding us that photorealism is just a sub-category of quality visuals. What secrets are within the old barn? Unfortunately, not everything is executed in a manner that keeps us steeped in intrigue. Interaction with characters comes in the way of several unique dialogue choices with each new situation that serve as an opportunity for the player to give Conway a bit of their own personality. With each odd situation (and 100% of them are odd), we are treated to some quirky responses and situations that don’t entirely make sense. While that helps the intrigue, the dialogue is very flat and boring, “on the nose” as screenwriters would say. While the developers wanted a minimalist approach, they could have done more with the dialogue to give it some pep. Characters do not speak with any kind of vernacular speech as would be especially noticeable in the American south. One could theoretically read this kind of thing into the characters, but the dialogue and even the art direction fails to meet the player half-way and thus we tend to find ourselves wishing it had that something extra. Despite this, the dialogue does do a good job of informing the player of their surroundings and its lore, even though it never even comes close to asking the question of why Conway would go through all this just for a routine delivery. This isn’t to say that the characters themselves aren’t interesting, as the developers did a good job of giving us characters we can endear ourselves to. Conway proves to be a likeable character from the start, having kindly taken in an old and weathered dog on its last legs as a traveling companion. The amiable old blind man comments on the beautiful sunset despite facing the wrong direction. Even the bland-talking TV repairwoman gets some feeling out of the player as she tells of her parents breaking themselves in the old mine. All of this is accompanied by an almost tangible and ambient silence that makes you feel like you’re in Kentucky with these characters. Conway’s journey is also tinged with occasional music motifs by game composer Ben Babbit. In addition, the game includes a host of bluegrass and classic gospel hymns performed by the Bedquilt Ramblers. Kentucky Route Zero is a game of ambience and adventure, where minimalism is used in almost all the right ways to make this experience as real and engrossing as possible. Although players who are looking for well-scripted and path-altering dialogue between characters will be disappointed, the rest of the game more than makes up for the lack of personality and emotional depth that may very well be present in subsequent entries of the series. When all is said and done, this is a fantastic ride into uncharted territory with a surprise ending that makes us rev up for more. Rating: 7.8/10 This post has been promoted to an article
  9. Last Friday I got a chance to sit down with Greg Kasavin, creative director of the 2011 smash indie hit Bastion and now working full steam ahead on Supergiant’s newest title Transistor. We talked extensively about Transistor’s story, what the game has in common with Bastion and how it differs, and a lot about what it means to design games. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTik6sYT_BE How are things going on development so far? Pretty good! Finally returning to some sense of normalcy after an exciting few weeks. What is the narrative style of Transistor and how does it differ from Bastion? Are we going to have real-time narration or is it going to be a unique creation for this game? We have the whole team from Bastion working on Transistor, including Logan Cunningham, the voice actor who was the narrator from Bastion. From our point of view, the way in which Transistor’s story unfolds is very different to us, and presents its own challenges and opportunities. Basically the key difference is that it’s a character who is with you for the events of the game. He is kind of discovering the events along with you as you go, as opposed to in Bastion where you have this kind of omniscient sounding narrator who is holding back a lot of information, and the story is unraveling as you go and telling the tale of your journey as you make progress. So this time around, it’s someone who is along for the ride. We have this pairing of characters. We have Red, the protagonist character, this woman who has literally lost her voice and she finds this extraordinary weapon called the Transistor, which contains the consciousness of this speaking character who has been reduced to only a voice. We liked the idea of that kind of partnership and developing that relationship over the course of the story. That sounds incredibly interesting. They kind of depend on each other. Yes, that’s exactly right. They very much do. The guy who’s trapped inside the Transistor, there’s not a whole lot he can do [Laughs], which creates some kind of fun dynamics in terms of the kind of relationship that the characters have. From what people played hopefully we it came across that the speaking character cares very much about Red and he wants to make sure that she Is gonna be alright, but there is only so much he can do. He knows the city very well and things of that nature, but he kind of needs to go along with what she decides to do, not by choice but by necessity. That’s a fun dynamic for us and we’re still exploring all the different ways we can do interesting stuff there. So he’s kind of a hero in chains. Yeah. It’s very much the player’s story, we feel, similar to Bastion. I think our high level goals for the story are similar to Bastion. We want to surprise players. We think surprise is a key component to an interesting story. We also want to make sure the story feels very personal to you, maybe not straight from the beginning, because it’s a specific character in a specific situation, but by the end we hope that players will become more invested in the events and the world. I think that’s what can make game stories so powerful is the sense that you are the driving force of this story, you’re not just a spectator. It’s very important to us to let players interact with the situation and not just feel like they get a reward cut scene every few minutes or something like that. The initial statements from around the industry have been overwhelmingly positive. When you started designing this, did you start with the story idea or was it more of a gameplay thing first? That’s a good question. It’s very chicken and egg for us. We do see ourselves as a gameplay driven studio. We don’t come up with stories and retrofit gameplay to suit those stories. Quite the contrary, we develop gameplay ideas and experiential ideas and come up with narrative that can sort of tie it all together. So in the case of Transistor, we did have ideas around this type of character pairing that I was talking about before. But it wasn’t even necessarily in a science fiction context that you see in what we’ve shown. It was just kind of a broader idea, and along with that we had a lot of thoughts on the kind of gameplay direction we wanted to take, wanting to do something that maybe felt more deliberate and had more drama from moment to moment as opposed to the very fast-paced action packed feel of Bastion. We still very much want a fast-paced, easy to pick up and play kind of feel in this game, but we wanted to see if we could introduce more tension and suspense into the moment to moment gameplay. That sort of evolved into this more strategic combat system that we’ve developed. So those things combined, and some of the early narrative ideas, that in turn motivated us wanting to create a whole new setting and a whole new world for this game. The world building aspect of Bastion was something that was really fun on that project, like the part where we created our own fiction for it and all that, and it was a well-regarded part of the game. SO we wanted to see if we could do that again, really, and let’s try to make a whole other world from scratch and see what people think. So kind of like Red and Transistor depend on each other in a circular manner, it’s kind of interesting how the game story and the game design kind of tend to feed each other in a similar way. Yeah, that’s absolutely the case for us. We think that the deep connection between those things is crucially important and we spend a lot of time just sort of trying to maneuver those things, especially the narrative, to align with the gameplay as closely as possible thematically. One of our high level design goals on Bastion and I think on Transistor as well is we just want the game to feel complete, like every aspect of it just fits. No vestigial little elements or anything, no tacked on features, it’s just all part of a cohesive whole. Just making sure that the narrative and the play experience are closely aligned, and you feel like everything you’re doing is in the service of some thematic core of the experience, something like that, which could happen subconsciously for players. It’s important to us. The way Bastion felt when I played it, it really hearkened back to a lot of the old school kind of titles when games didn’t have these monumental production tasks. You know, Assassin’s Creed is great, but it is never going to be as easy to implement a story in that as it is something more scaled down graphically. It really did feel complete for that reason. Yeah, that’s great, I mean we do think of it sometimes in those terms. I often feel like the game industry took a pretty dramatic turn kind of in the later nineties when the PlayStation rolled around. There was all this knowledge of experience around building really terrific 2D games. There was stuff like Super Metroid and Chrono Trigger, and any number of these games that are regarded as classics from the 16-bit era. But it seemed like a lot of that knowledge had to be thrown out, and now people have to learn 3D cameras, basically having to relearn everything about game making now that everything is in 3D. I like to think that some of the stuff we were doing is almost like, in that older tradition, if people kept making games in that tradition what would they be like today with somewhat more modern storytelling techniques and some of the technological improvements that are available now. But yeah, for the most part it’s easier to trace back our work to stuff like that than a fully 3D action adventure game or something. I still love a lot of those old games, and I miss the feel of them and even the way they told story and stuff like that. I think we’re not the only ones working in that kind of tradition. I’m glad there’s stuff like that out there again, where for a while it seemed like only 3D blockbuster experiences that can feel a little monotonous after a while. Yeah, it can. The indie movement and Bastion in particular have done a lot to bring back that feeling. Having said that, in Transistor is it going to be a similar feel to that do you think? Or do you want to push a head a little more as far as exploring new emotional territory in a game? Oh yeah, I mean, absolutely. I think, you know, what I say about it is that it’s really important to us that the game has its own identity. It’s certainly no accident that we kinda went ahead and tried to create a whole new setting and a whole new premise. A new gameplay direction. Something that we were really happy about coming out of PAX East, when we let people play the game for the first time, was the response to the gameplay. People told us that they felt it was really different and felt fresh. That made us really happy because it feels very different to us and introduces a whole new set of interesting design challenges as we create encounters. But you never really know until you put it in the hands of other people. In the same way the play experience, we think, is quite different even though technically its maybe part of the same action RPG genre. I think from a narrative point of view, this game should feel quite different as well, apart from the fact that this game, like Bastion before it, the narrative will be an important part so that’s something that the games have in common. Hopefully it gives some sense of the experience people will be in for, but at the same time I think our job is to surprise people which is an interesting challenge this time around. I think Bastion had kind of a dark horse advantage in the sense that we were an unheard of studio and no one knew what to expect from us at all. And this time around, people who have played Bastion, they may think they know what our tricks, are as it were, so it’ll be interesting to see if we can surprise them yet again. But again, the initial response to this game suggests that hopefully we’re onto something and it’ll feel sufficiently surprising and fresh if not more than sufficiently so. So with the combat system being more strategic, did you have any ideas that were inspired by Bastion or springboarded off of them? Or is this a complete fresh start? Yeah, it’s sort of indirectly in response to Bastion in the sense that, having worked on Bastion, we wanted to try something different. Our design goal around the combat in Bastion was to sort of reward playing with finesse and have lots of satisfying timing-based mechanics and let people kind of find their own play style within that, and have different weapons with a lot of character and distinction, so we were happy with how that panned out. But rather than just keep pushing in that direction, we wanted to see if we could do something new. Several of us, myself included, come from working on real-time strategy games, and we all love classic turn-based gamed and tactical RPG’s, so we thought about that style of play and we sort of decided pretty quickly that we didn’t want to make a straight-ahead turn-based game because that didn’t line up with the kind of narrative goals we had in mind, and just the kind of experience we wanted. But we still wanted to see if we could capture the character strategic games within the context of an action RPG, and like I mentioned before just get the drama of some of that across, because in a game like Bastion, when you get very good at it, the encounters tend to get solved very quickly. You could just blaze through fights, just play very effectively and that’s sort of your reward for getting good at the game. And here we wanted to see if we could capture more of a sense of ebb and flow to the battle, where you could kind of quickly turn the tables on your enemies and vice versa. Sometimes they can turn the tables on you. It’s more of this cat and mouse game. As we explored that further, we really liked where it was going and we introduced this ability early where you could essentially stop everything besides yourself and plan your next set of actions, then execute them in a supercharged fashion. We found we were all using that ability in different ways, and that’s I think when we felt we were really onto something that started to feel very deep and open ended. That’s kind of what we wanted out of it. Going back to Bastion a little bit. The last time I fired I heard an interesting phrase from Rucks. When the game started up it said “I’ll see you in the next one.” Yeah, that’s when you start the New Game Plus mode. Oh okay, so this isn’t a sequel tease or nothing like that? No. [Laughs] Dang it! I wish I didn’t say no in the sense that I don’t like to discredit people’s theories, because I think in Bastion we tried to answer a lot of question and tried to build toward a satisfying conclusion. But I think part of what makes fictional universes interesting are the parts that are left open to the imagination. But yeah, in the case of Bastion there is an implied sense of continuity in the new game plus mode. The line “I’ll see you in the next one.” was not written in anticipation of Transistor for what that’s worth. Anything else you’d like to talk about today as far as where you’re at in development? It’s pretty early right now. It’s in a pre-alpha state, so what we showed at PAX East recently is kind of our first time we had something we felt was showable and we really wanted to put it out there to see what people thought before we go down further in this particular rabbit hole. The response has been really terrific. We’re just really really grateful for that, because it makes it that much easier for us to push forward with the confidence that people like what they see of it so far. The pressure for us is a very good one, of just trying to create something that lives up to the promise that people have seen in it, and there was a similar feeling on Bastion so that definitely help me through the days and weeks because we haven’t always worked on games that people are excited about. It could be pretty rough working on something like the people out there don’t think is going to be anything worthwhile, so it’s good to have this type of pressure instead. We plan for it to come out sometime hopefully early next year, so we’ve got a ways to go, but we will try to keep everyone posted on how it’s going. We always appreciate the feedback and the questions on everything. So with your design stages, how long did it take you to get to the pre-alpha stage? It’s been a little over a year in development, though it’s kind of hard to measure on this particular project because we actually spent a lot of time last year still working on Bastion stuff. We released the iPad version of the game, which was a pretty intensive project. Only since the Fall of last year we’ve been working on Transistor with a whole ten-person team full speed ahead. At the same time it was really good to have a good amount of time for some of the core ideas, the narrative and the aspects that are designed for that, just to stew for a while, because linear time can really help when it comes to just generating early ideas. It’s impossible to schedule when you’re going to have a good idea for something. You could get writer’s block or whatever, start twirling around not sure where to go when you have an open-ended goal. So it’s been good having some of this other Bastion stuff just to give us some distance from this project so when we’ve come back to it we’ve been able to make good progress, and now we have a much stronger sense of where we’re going with it and are mostly in that mode where we just need to build out the rest of it, which is kind of a more comfortable problem having to just build the whole game than it is to just go “Well, what are you gonna do next?” and just total blue sky. The blue sky stage can be fun, but something about it very daunting as well. You could do ANYTHING, so what are you going to do? But that’s my own take on it. I feel different levels of anxiety about all different stages of game development. I can imagine. Being creative people, we’re kind of our own worst critics. We kind of create our anxieties if the fans don’t create them for us. Yeah, that’s for sure. We really appreciate the support and that people are keeping an eye on us. We’ll do our best to live up to what people have seen in this thing so far. Thank you very much for your time, Greg. It’s been a very big honor to finally meet you. Thank you very much!
  10. Luftrausers is an arcade shooter being released soon to the Playstation 3, PSVITA, PC, MAC, and Linux by Vlambeer. This incredibly addicting game puts the player in the role of the most legendary Rauser pilot of all time, taking on daring missions and creating the deadliest fighter plane in the sky. The player can partake in over one hundred hair-raising missions in order to obtain further parts and variations for their plane with over one hundred and twenty five combinations of weapons, bodies, and propulsion systems that can make your plane feel unique and deadly. Luftrausers first started out as a very simple flash game called Luftrauser, which was eventually marketed and turned down for being too extreme. After setting tracking analytics for the game, it was released ad-free to all portals, quickly reaching top-five status across all portals and led to the eventual creation of Luftrausers. We here at Indie Game Source have already spent a massive amount of time playing Luftrauser on their official site and are on the edge of our seats as we wait for the inevitable release of its sequel.
  11. Monochroma is being created by Turkish gaming development company Nowhere Studios. You can read an interview with one of the company's founders, Burak Tezateşer, in this Gameverse article.