Saturday, 27 February 2010

Indie Games featured on BBC News

BBC correspondant David Jenkins has posted an article on the indie gaming scene in Britain - "Return of the British Bedroom Game Designers", including brief interviews with Cliff Harris of Positech Games and Dan Marshall of Zombie Cow Studios.  One particularly interesting quote from this article that I think is very true:

"I think the lines are getting blurred as everyone starts to inch towards digital distribution. Once people download their games by default….smaller independent games will be on a more-even footing."  (Dan Marshall)

To read the full article, click here

Friday, 26 February 2010

AudioSurf (PC)

The Indie game scene is well known for pushing back boundaries and experimenting with new ideas that commercial companies might shy away from, and AudioSurf is a fantastic example of this.  Kind of a cross between Guitar Hero and the visualisations in Windows Media Player, it creates "rides" from songs in your own music collection, which you then compete on.

Er... okay, maybe I'd better let the game developers explain this in their own words:

Audiosurf is a music-adapting puzzle racer where you use your own music to create your own experience. The shape, the speed, and the mood of each ride is determined by the song you choose. 
 
You earn points for clustering together blocks of the same color on the highway, and compete with others on the internet for the high score on your favorite songs.

Find out more, download the demo or buy the full game ($9.99 / £5.99) at the official website, http://www.audio-surf.com/


Thursday, 25 February 2010

New Authors On Board

Having been a little waylaid in my developing Indie Game News due to connection difficulties - would you believe someone actually stole all the copper telephone wires from our entire street?! (Hopefully the replacements are fibre-optic and both faster and less desirable to thieves...)

Anyway the two new bods are Janet from The Code Monkeys and Joe from Amaranth Games.  I expect great things from them both.  Once we have a few more indie game authors on board we'll really start turning this into the sort of news resource I'm aiming at.  In the meantime if you have any indie gaming news that you think we should be letting people know about, please feel free to email me about it.  Also please contact me if you're an indie game author who'd like to join the writing team.

We're not where we want to be yet... but we're definitely getting there.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

BOH update10 in the works


BOH players might be pleased to know that update10 is in the works. Lately, a few changes were made that convinced me to prepare a new update. For now update10 does the following:
  • makes enemy fields harmful like traps;
  • adds recoloring of statistics screen according to mission outcome;
  • makes global time recalculation more robust (shared buffer was used);
  • updates user's manual;
  • applies various other changes.
New changes are being evaluated. The update will be released when it will be substantially richer.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Awesome Soccer by Red27 Studios

The Blurb...

Awesome Soccer takes it's inspiration from the genre defining soccer games of the last decade, blasting them into the 21st Century with the graphical realism, features and polish that today's modern gamer demands.


Awesome Soccer features the "Awesome Aftertouch System" - a revolutionary control system that enables you to apply bend and swerve the ball with dramatic effect. It's so sophisticated - yet so simple to use – that you can even bend the ball in Multiple Directions during a single shot! Finally, you can bend it BETTER than a certain footballing icon!

The game allows you to challenge for glory in over 12 Preset Competitions from around the World, with yet more in the pipeline that will be available to download free of charge.

Awesome Soccer has been written by just one guy, Peter Cox. But he was helped out by Simon Cowell...

An interesting fact is that he did most of the coding on a laptop whilst sitting next to his significant other as she watched the myriad of Reality TV shows like “Big Brother”, “Britain's Got Talent” and “The X-Factor”...

...the rumours that Simon has been thanked personally in the credits are, as yet, unconfirmed...


Check Out This Teaser Video...



Getting Your Hands On The Game...

Awesome Soccer is available now for Windows, Mac and Linux from http://www.red27studios.com for just $9.95.

DropZap for iPhone - puzzle mayhem!

I played the web-based PC version of this puzzler and got pretty addicted - it might look like a match-the-colours game, but it's not. It is however very good, very playable in the easy to play but difficult to master mould of so many classic games.  The graphics don't look anything special but the gameplay is immediately accessible and very rewarding when you manage to play it well.  At only $0.99 for the iPhone version you're getting terrific value for money. 




Coming Soon - Boryokudan Rue

Boryokudan Rue is a forthcoming indie adventure game made with AGS (which I'm sure I don't need to tell anyone who's been playing adventure games over the past decade stands for Adventure Game Studio - Chris Jones' excellent adventure creation tool has been utterly invaluable for the indie / freeware adventure game sector).  The release date and price are yet to be decided, but development and beta testing will hopefully be finished before too long - you will of course hear about it on indygamenews.com as soon as the information is available.

To give you a taste of what you can look forward to in this game, in the developer's own words:

Features
  • A traditional verb box point 'n click interface
  • The Kick Verb!
  • Two narratives interweaved into one.
  • An intuitive notes and names system for investigations
  • A fine-tuned action system, fair to both action and non-action gamers.

Boryokudan Rue is a full-length game spanning over 80 rooms with hand-painted backgrounds, dozens of characters with animation, a neo-noir soundtrack by Nathan Allen Pinard, and featuring 4-8 hours of gameplay. The game was developed over the course of nearly two years with additional help by Nathan Allen Pinard on music.

This one is definitely going to be worth looking out for - keep your eyes peeled!  In the meantime, check out the trailer below:




Friday, 19 February 2010

Arcen's Upcoming Puzzle Game Gets Official Name, New Alpha-Version Screenshots

Looks like I'm number three to make a post here -- that's a good number. I'd also like to thank CaptainD. Since this blog is about aggregating news, expect cross-posting from a lot of individual indie news pages so that you can see all that sort of news in one place. To that end, here's a cross-post from the Arcen news page, which hasn't made the rounds into the wider gaming media yet (we're waiting until our beta release to really start doing much publicity for our new games):

Arcen's currently-inwork puzzle game now has an official name: Tidalis. The teaser preview for the game has been updated to show the game's new logo, as well as a lot of the game's current art. Please bear in mind that most of the middle-ground sprites are currently missing from the shown backgrounds, and that the look of the HUD is quite temporary. The new screenshots are from the actual game -- not concept art -- and so should give a better glimpse of what is coming.

In other Arcen news, the tower defense game A Valley Without Wind (AVWW) has been pushed back to 2011. In place of that title, the completion of Arcen's zombie puzzle-based adventure game, Alden Ridge, will be the next priority for the company after Tidalis. Alden Ridge is already about 70% complete (though filled with temporary art and music), and now that the last design roadblocks have been resolved with this game, it should fit better with Arcen's 2010 lineup. Most specifically, completion of this game in place of AVWW will allow adequate time for the second expansion to AI War to also be completed in the fourth quarter. Currently, development of AVWW is expected to be Arcen's primary focus for the first 6-8 months of 2011, or more if needed. It's a big game (as is Alden Ridge, but Alden Ridge already has 80 completed levels, a finished engine, a complete level editor, and so on).

We at Arcen are quite excited to share all of our upcoming work with you -- much more information to come about Tidalis in particular in another 2-3 weeks, along with public pre-release versions for demo or for full access to via preorder. Stay tuned!

BOH got updated - see for yourself!

Hi everybody!

It looks like I have the honor of being the first lucky developer to write here, so let me thank CaptainD for his nice initiative of creating a blog that reduces the distance between indie developers and gamers.

That said, I guess there'd better be a reason for making this post - well, there is one, I just hope you'll find it good enough.

Last year I released a retro game called BOH and I've been constantly updating it and expanding it ever since. The latest update (the 9th) is quite recent and does the following:
  • adds secret missions, i.e. missions that remain hidden until one or more other missions are completed;
  • reworks hidden passages so that they follow the orientation of barriers and are / can be perfectly unified with them;
  • re-adds trembling to fixed lights;
  • improves video modes suggestions by indicating also the optimal zoom factors;
  • forces recalculation of global time also when 0:00;
  • retouches themes;
  • improves missions "getting started" and "unequal alternatives";
  • fixes mission "watch your step!" (it had been left in a test/altered state);
  • fixes pits near barriers (in some cases they may have looked weird);
  • adds two new missions;
  • adds the latest expansions;
  • updates the manuals;
  • applies various other changes.
Due to the constant update process, the original trailer became way too outdated (and, anyway, it wasn't good enough as it was conceptually flawed: since the game is rather weird, I had tried to introduce it to the watcher gently, through a progressive unveling of some of the game's aspects, but the result was admittedly dull and boring), so just a couple of days ago I released a new trailer. If you're curious, you can either download the full-quality video from here (~22 MB) or watch it in streaming on GameTrailers, GameVideos or DailyMotion.

Now, I must have considered at least 100 ways of closing this post, and they all sucked. So, please let me to sign off with a sort of mad oldschool coder motto: pixels are beautiful!

Super Laser Racer now on Steam

Hi all. Looks like I'm the first indie developer to post an article on here, so before I do I just want to say thanks to Dave for coming up with the idea for this site and setting it all up. Here's hoping we can get a lot more developers involved and posting articles.

I just want to announce that my little space racing combat game Super Laser Racer is now available on Steam. This is the first New Star Games title get the nod from Valve so I'm pretty excited about it. I'll report back at some point with some sales stats when I have them so we can all see whether it is a success or failure! In the meantime why don't you check the Steam store page:

And here are is a screenshot to whet your appetite:


It is a kind of cross between Geometry Wars and WipeOut and was based on the game engine from my other racing title New Star GP. The great thing about developing Super Laser Racer was the fact that the vector style graphics were easy to do and meant I didn't have to pay an artist! Anyway, feel free to add your comments and let me know what you think.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Indie Game Reviews

Just to get things started here, below are the indie games I've reviewed over at my PC Gaming Blog.  I'm not planning on having any reviews on Indie Game News, though I'm happy for reviews on other sites to be linked to by game authors.

Indie Game News - Coming Soon

This site is currently a work in progress.  The aim is to bring together indie game developers from around the world and they can use this site to tell you about their newest projects, behind the scenes info, latest releases directly.  Game players get the chance to find out just what's happening in the indie gaming world, straight from the horse's mouth; game developers get a chance to speak to their audience.


If you're a game developer and happen to stumble upon this, please email me if you would like to be involved.


If you're simply interested in indie games, please check back soon - I'm aiming for a proper site launch on 1st March.