Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Exodus Studios announce the release of "Vastar", a nostalgic RPG

After over a years' worth of development, Vastar is now available! Vastar is a family-friendly, nostalgic roleplaying game for the PC, featuring an in-depth storyline, many sidequests, an amazing music score, and much more!

Original artwork by Rebecca Long, creator and artist of the comic!

More info / Download Demo / Buy Game

Price: $11.99 (USD)
Platform: PC









Screenshots from Vastar:



Competition for iPhone owners!

Welcome to the first ever competition hosted by indiegamenews.com...

Four our first competition, indie iPhone game publisher Illogika (http://illogika.com/) have kindly donated 5 promo codes to get their spiffy steampunk space shooter, Steam Wars, for free.

All you have to do is tell me which weapon is described as "ultra-precise" in this earlier post about Steam Wars.

As this is the first comp and I have no real idea how many iPhone gamers are visiting this site, I'm going to give the codes to the first 5 people to email me the correct answer and then close the competition, rather than run it for a specific time period. (We'll see how that goes?!)

Send your entries to bookmoviegamereviewer@gmail.com with the subject line "Steam Wars Competition".  I'll email promo codes to winners within 48 hours (probably much sooner).

COMPETITION NOW CLOSED

ALEPH GAMES LAUCHES ITS FIRST GAME: THE ANTBLOX

Focused on games and 3D applications, with playful interface that seeks to introduce innovative gameplay, Aleph Games launches today its first game for the platform of the iPhone and iPod Touch. 


Through a series of games in the curious world of ants programmed for the future, Aleph Games, an independent game studio from Brazil, chose to release the game AntBlox, a set of physical simulation for IPhone and IPod Touch. 


The history of AntBlox is simple — the focus of the game is the gameplay, the experience of gameplay. In it, the ant Antonia feeds on special apples. But apples are in different places, and build a path to it is not always easy. 


The goal in each stage is to help the ant to reach the apple. For this, the player must build the road blocks. When you release the blocks, they fall to the ground, so when they are released is important. In addition, phases with earthquake, mud, among many others, make it more difficult to mount the path.

Watch it on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBHiBoEWmv0




Monday, 29 March 2010

Promo Trailer for "Elemental Shoot"

LightWorks Game Studio have nearly finished their game Elemental Shoot, which is a top-down shooter with RPG elements... here's the promo trailer:


KOG just got powered up!

Back in 2007, a game was born from a rib of BOH, when the latter was in early state of development: its name was KOG. After a month or so of development, it got released. Lately, during the development of the latest update of BOH, something convinced me to update those parts of code that KOG had originally imported from BOH and that, in the meanwhile, have improved a lot. Bad move: I found myself heavily reworking the whole game! Eventually, the game was brought to new heights and it is now available for free to everyone who feels like getting mad at me ;)

Enjoy!

KOG homepage


Sunday, 28 March 2010

Bandera Games talk about Battle Dex, about to go beta...

Hey all. Our new turn-based strategy/collectible card game, Battle Dex, is going to beta soon!

It plays like Advance Wars + Settlers of Catan + Magic: The Gathering, IMO: turn-based strategy on a boardgame-style hexgrid, with digital collectible cards that you can play in battle.

We're giving out free packs for tournament signups, so you can open packs and build custom decks before a match.

Here's what it looks like:





Intro video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6erk3ecYOw

We need testers, so if you want to check it out: http://www.battledexgame.com

We're also giving a $25 Best Buy gift card to a random player in Sunday night's tournament, so sign up if that interests you.

Developer diary here: http://battledexgame.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=75
 
(Posted in Indie Gamer Forums)

Saturday, 27 March 2010

BOH updated screenshots

Here are a few screenshots that have been re-taken to show the visual changes brought by update10.



BOH official website

BOH update10 released

Campobasso, Italy - March 27, 2010


10 updates: a big achievement which is self-celebrated by the massive amount of improvements brought by update10, released today.



More specifically, this update:
* adds acceleration to the turning of the main character when standing (allows to turn by small degrees and, at the same time, to change totally direction more quickly);
* makes enemy fields harmful like traps;
* adds sound effects to enemy fields and conveyor belts;
* improves the sound volume balancement of clusters of squares (enemy fields, conveyor belts and traps);
* intensifies the hit sparks effect;
* increases a bit the weapons shoot rate (so killing enemies is a bit easier);
* replaces the "USE ENHANCED/STANDARD WEAPONS" option with the "DIFFICULTY: normal/easy" option, which affects also the spawning rate of enemies;
* removes the "ENABLE/DISABLE BARRIERS" option;
* adds the "NAME REQUEST: once / per session / always" option;
* adds walls graphics to the themes "C64", "default" and "warm";
* extends the illumination range of rotating lamps;
* adds music and recoloring of graphics to the mission report screen;
* adds 10 new short pieces of music;
* improves some graphical elements, sound samples and music pieces;
* simplifies menus and adds the number of the non-secret missions;
* modifies the automatic theme switching so that it will not occur after selecting another video mode or another different automatic theme switching option;
* optimizes slightly the graphical engine;
* adds a new secret mission;
* makes some minimal changes to a few missions;
* updates and improves the manuals;
* applies various other changes.

The update can be downloaded for free from the DOWNLOADS page of the official website at www.bohthegame.com.

The demos have been updated to reflect the changes.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Snakeworlds

Okay, so this isn't new news - the game has been out for about a year - but since I've only just come across it, I'm giving it a mention.

Snakeworlds takes the classic snake concept and twists it round - specifically, by making the game area a 3D globe.

Features:
  • A complete 3D experience - Say NO to flat worlds! Using polar based movement, Snake moves very much like we do on Earth.
  • Three unique worlds* - Play on more then 24 globes, each with its own unique layout and styled in one of the three themes.
  • Power-ups & upgrades - During the game, Snake can be upgraded in several ways. Try all options for maximum re-play value.
  • Netbook support - Snakeworlds has been optimised for netbooks/mini-laptops, which makes this a very portable Snake indeed!
*Only in the full game
For more info, to download the demo or buy the game (€4.95 / $6.80), visit:
http://www.snakeworldsgame.com/

Gameplay Video:

Thursday, 25 March 2010

New Tileable Textures Set released by Quotix Software

Quotix Software has released a collection of seamlessly tileable old/dirty wall, ground, brick, floor, concrete and stone textures. Normal, bump and specular maps are included. There are 110 high resolution (up to 2048x2048) textures in this collection. For more information please visit: http://www.quotixsoftware.com

Quotix Software makes resources, including textures, animated characters and other 3D models for game developers.

Tumble Jumble - now on PC!

After a good few weeks of enhancing our acclaimed iPhone game Tumble Jumble it's ready for sale on PC.

We also picked up 2 fantastic retail deals recently covering all English speaking countries (US, UK etc) and it will be available in the shops very soon but why wait for that when you can pick it up today?

Tumble Jumble : Intergalactic Rodent Removals is a fantastic new physics-based puzzle game from Utopian Games. As an employee of the Intergalactic Rodent Removal Company, you must rotate and drop a specified number of block-shaped rodents into containers while avoiding a variety of obstacles, including lasers and evil platforms.

Features:

* Powerful physics engine.
* Stylish high quality vector graphics and animations.
* Catchy original music and sfx.
* Addictive and challenging gameplay.
* 64 amazing levels.
* Online worldwide leaderboard.
* Level editor, make, play and share your own creations.
* Download and play other players levels free of charge.
* FaceBook, tell your friends how good you are.
* Story book tutorials and cut scenes
* Unique gameplay.
* Amazing power-ups.
* Lasers and dangerous obstacles to avoid.
* 5 medals to collect on every level including the ultimate "beat the developer".


Priced $19.95, £12.99, €14.95.  

Visit the game's page on Utopian Games to buy



Aleph Games launches on March 30th its first game: the AntBlox

Focused on games and 3D applications, with playful interface that seeks to introduce innovative gameplay, Aleph Games launches on March 30 its first game for the platform of the iPhone and iPod Touch. The game was already accepted for sales in AppStore.

Through a series of games in the curious world of ants programmed for the future, Aleph, a technology enterprise from Brazil, choose for first release the game AntBlox, a set of physical simulation for IPhone and IPod Touch. One reason for the choice of the physical puzzle with ants was the success of this type of game, which is modeled on the World of Goo and Crayon Physics.

The history of AntBlox is simple — the focus of the game is the gameplay, the experience of gameplay. In it, the ant Antonia feeds on special apples. But apples are in different places, and build a path to it is not always easy.

The goal in each stage is to help the ant to reach the apple. For this, the player must build the road blocks. When you release the blocks, they fall to the ground, so when they are released is important. In addition, phases with earthquake, mud, among many others, make it more difficult to mount the path.

"The game takes advantage of the innovations of the iPhone / iPod touch, using the accelerometer as a method of interaction, with which the player control where the blocks are falling," said Maicon Brauwers, one of the creators of the game. But the Aleph Games team is already thinking about the next game: "where the player will have to grow your nest, fight other insects, and even dominating other holes," said Brauwers. 

Follow us on twitter for promocodes and news: http://www.twitter.com/alephgames


About Aleph Games
Aleph Games is an independent game studio held in Brazil. The studio is in pursuit of development games with innovative gameplay, from mobile games (iPhone/iPod) to Desktop. We believe in digital distribution, original IP and building a family of games for a variety of game machines. 


(This is the press release I received verbatim; clearly translated by an web translation service or someone who doesn't know English too well... still, you can get the general idea from it!)



Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Exclusive Screenshots: Arcen Games' Tidalis now on Unity3D

One of the biggest complaints about our first game, AI War, was how onerous the install process could be for players who didn't already have the .NET 3.5 Framework installed (a fair number of people on Windows XP). Another common complaint was that Mac users wanted to be able to play the game, but could not except through VMWare and other similar solutions thanks to our reliance on DirectX and .NET, both of which are Windows-only.

Tidalis Is Coming To Unity 3D (And Also The Mac)
Therefore, starting with our upcoming puzzle game Tidalis (detailed preview info now available at that link), Arcen Games is moving to a prerequisite-less cross-platform engine, Unity 3D. Unity currently has support for both PCs and Macs (though I'm not certain about Linux compatibility), as well as the iPhone and Wii -- with XBox 360 and PS3 support coming this summer. Right now Tidalis is heading to the Mac and PC for sure, and other platforms are under consideration for further down the road with this or other games.

The Tidalis Codebase, Now Running On Unity

But the switch to Unity 3D is going to enable us to do more than just make installation easier and add support for new platforms: with Unity's methods for streaming data, advanced shaders that automatically disable themselves on older hardware, and impressive array of built-in GUI windowing controls, Arcen will be able to add increasingly impressive visual effects for the latest hardware without sacrificing that all-important backwards compatibility with older or onboard graphics cards and older CPUs.

Never-Before-Shown "Snowy Mountain" Tidalis Theme Running In The Unity Editor

Is AI War Coming To Unity?
One big question that I'm sure a lot of folks will have is whether or not AI War will become a Unity 3D title (after all, a lot of people are still hoping for that title on the Mac). That's still something that we're not sure about, to be honest, as AI War can be an incredibly intensive game at the higher unit counts / map sizes, and it's also something that requires a rock-solid deterministic simulation. Based on our early work with Unity 3D and Tidalis, our plan is for all of Arcen's future titles to become Unity titles, and we view an AI War port to Unity as potentially feasible, though not a certainty.

Most likely if we do port AI War to Unity, that would happen around the time of the second expansion, currently expected to hit in early 2011. Right now AI War is still receiving plenty of support in the form of monthly free DLC on our existing platform for it, and at worst we'll simply stick with our current platform for that game for the rest of its life (another 3-4 years at least).

Other Big Changes
Arcen Games has been a bit quiet publicly of late, but that's because we've been so incredibly busy behind the scenes. We've been upgrading our capabilities all over the place, in fact, along with a lot of our internal tools and workflows. Look for big changes to our sound capabilities in the coming months, including a completely remastered AI War soundtrack that will blow you away with its increased fidelity and realism. More news on that further down the road.

Adjusted Arcen Schedule
- Tidalis is currently expected to release digitally in early June, and if it comes to retail that would likely be in the fall. Thanks to the Unity porting, we're a bit behind on the public beta, so that is still a few weeks out.

- Alden Ridge is currently expected to release digitally very late this year, after a complete overhaul/upgrade of its music, sounds, and graphics, and a port to Unity, along with the last 30% or so of the game content being implemented.

- The second expansion for AI War is now expected to release sometime in the first quarter of next year.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

New Indie Game Competition

This site is one to keep an eye on...

Submit a Game for Your Chance to Win

$100,000

Welcome to The Hive! Our Indie Game Contest is back in full swing, and starting May 1, one of you could walk away with a multi-platform publishing deal and $100,000! Not bad, right? Just submit, vote and win. It’s that simple.

So, whether you’re submitting a game or just want to be part of our community that decides the winner, sign up today for your chance to be the part of the next big thing in gaming. What are you waiting for?

You can sign up to be told of new developments.  If anyone has any further news on this that people should know about, leave a comment here.  

Linebacker for iPhone released

Mini Monster Media and Espn Arcade is proud to announce Linebacker for iPhone!

Get it now!



Background
Be the Linebacker in ESPN Arcade’s most popular game online now available on the iPhone and iPod touch. Get past blockers, stick the running back, and defend your end zone!
Game Play

Features
Game features include:
• Joystick Mode
• Accelerometer Mode
• Dive Tackles
• Unlock Special Moves
• Global and Local Leaderboards
• Live ESPN Sports Feed Ticker
• Infinite Gameplay
• Adjustment for Left Handed and Right Handed Players

Aldorlea Games announce the release of Dreamscape

STORYLINE:
Erin is a young woman who is studying at university and enjoying just a normal, down-to-earth life. Little does she knows that this thursday morning, as she enters her boyfriend's room, all of this is going to change!

Her boyfriend, Terry, wants her to just watch him as he listens to a tune. He says it will be a special experience. She says he should stop joking but since he insists she gives him what he wants. After all, it's only wasting a few seconds of time.

Terry puts his headphones on. The next moment - the bedroom no longer exists. Erin has entered another world. She can only call out as she sees Terry across a bridge from where she is standing just moving away from her. Further and further away. Then, she is alone with nothing around her.

What has happened? Will Erin pierce the secret of Dreamscape? And will she ever find Terry again?

FEATURES:
* 4 modes: Ataraxia, Utopia, Dream and Nightmare
* Lots of Goodies to discover
* Loads of Awards to obtain
* 4 hidden characters and 1 secret world
* Multiple of worlds and places to discover
* Exciting and funny quest with delirious characters
* Face the dangerous Dreamlords, their minions the Dream Catchers, and their rivals the Renegates
* Awesome musics and artworks from the Millennium award-winning team
* Enter the imagination of everyone you meet

Screenshots:


Visit http://www.aldorlea.com for more details!

Special Offer on "The Goalkeeper" by WinterWolves


For this week only (ending 28th March 2010), WinterWolves' game The Goalkeeper can be yours for just  $4.99 / £ 4.99 / € 4.99!



Game Description:

Ever wanted to take the role of a great goalkeeper?
Now with The Goalkeeper game you can!

Create your own goalkeeper, choosing between Handling, Reflexes, Jumping and Charisma skill. Then select your starting team from 6 different leagues: England, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Netherlands.

The game features the Training Screen, where you can train yourself to increase your skills and your chances to do well in the next match. Then there's the Statistics Screen, where you can take a look at every possible stats you want! Lastly, the Contract/Coach Talk Screen will let you choose your attitude towards the team, if you want to stay there or move, and also talk to your coach to convince him to make you play the next match (in case he doesn't think that way!).

The match itself show stats for each player of both teams, like goals, injuries, substitutions, etc. The commentary describe what's going on: when the opponent striker tries to score, you have 3 options: Arcade Save in which you must intercept the ball using the mouse, Strategy Save in which you choose between three options, and Instant Save that, as the name suggests, is calculated instantly.

Gratuitous Space Battles Updated - Message from Positech Games

Its that time again, time for space battles to be patched so they are even more gratuitous than before!
 
We just released version 1.36 of Gratuitous Space Battles, compelte with a new demo. The updated version is live now and will filter out to our partners such as steam over the next few days. Your game will auto-patch if you have put in your serial code and picked a username. If you haven't already got GSB, get it here!
 
It might sound scary that there have been 36 patches for GSB, but most of those have contained new content rather than just pesky bug fixes.

The changes in this latest version are:

version 1.36
1) Bug Fix: Limpet launcher UI no longer shows it tracking targets and firing if all mines are currently launched.
2) Bug Fix: Limpet launchers no longer draw if cloaked.
3) Usability: Ship icons on the deployment screen now list their speed and cost in the mouseover tooltips.
4) Usability: The post challenge button greys out once you have actually submitted the challenge
5) New Feature: New option after a challenge victory to retaliate with the fleet you just won with.
6) Usability: The 'go to fleet hq' button isn't an option any more for the outcome window during challenges, when you don't earn honor anyway.
7) Bug Fix: Fixed bug where some fighters, depending on speed, may not be able to dock with a carrier.
8) New Feature: New 'challenge details' screen, complete with retaliation list and image previews.
9) New Feature: 'stick together' order for fighters, keeps them clustered in squadrons.
10) Bug Fix: Intel GMA 450 video cards now correctly default to software processing and don't crash on startup
11) Bug Fix: The ship design screen now correctly calculates armor resistance, which was previously wrong!
 
It's a mix of tiny bug fixes, some UI tweaks and new features line on-line challenge retaliations, which will make fighting to-and-fro battles between GSB players much easier. If you would rather we added something different to the game and think we are doing it all wrong, then GET INVOLVED! We read every suggestion posted here, and a lot of the new features for the game come direct from gamers suggestions.

If you want to keep up to date with GSB, don't forget you can follow us on facebook here, and also at the blog here. And if you don't already have the Order and Tribe expansion packs for the game, you can get them here and here. Please feel free to pester all your friends into getting a copy of GSB too. You know their lives are incomplete without it...

Happy Battling!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

A Couple of Quick Announcements

Firstly, we will in the very near future have two more authors here - watch this space.

Secondly, Super Meat Boy's development blog has a new home - http://supermeatboy.com/

Oh, and a third (hadn't originally intended a third, but here it is):  I'm running a poll on my PC Gaming Blog about indie games.  Click here to cast your vote and see how the results are coming along...

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Hamlet - the world's first adventure game based on a Shakespeare play (?) soon to be released for PC

Platform: PC
Genres: Indie, Adventure, Logic, Puzzle, Twisted tale
Description: The classic adventure game based on twisted William Shakespeare's "Hamlet".
Features:
• In the best traditions of classic adventure games.
• The first indie game in the world based on Shakespeare's "Hamlet".
• Original logic puzzles. There is no inventory in the game.
• Boss battles.

Release date: 8 April 2010

Website: Official blog
Trailer: Gameplay trailer


Screenshots:

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Professional 3D Models for your games

Another resource that may be of use to indie game developers is 3dbud.com.  From their website:

Since 2005, 3dBud has provided computer graphics solution to the video game and related industries. Today 3dBud has acquired a group of talented artists on board, we extend our service abilities to a full service studio; including visual development design, 3d modeling, animation, 2d/3d graphics, and more. 

3dBud also provides outsourcing solutions for the games industry since outsourcing has rapidly become an integral part of doing business in today's global economy.

Our services include :

• Modeling
• Texture/ UV
• Animation
• 3D You Now!
• 3D Demo Making
• 3D Game Making
• World Building


Please contact us for more information about our services.
E-mail: mail@3dbud.com


http://3dbud.com/

A couple of demos of their work:

Dysnomia released on XBox Live


Stranded with a failing ship and a lack of supplies after narrowly escaping certain death, a lone space marine must find his way home.

The closest sign of civilisation: a remote mining outpost on Dysnomia, moon of the planet Eris. Forced to make an emergency landing and with all attempts to make contact with the outpost failing, the marine must scavenge what he can to refuel and repair his ship - and perhaps discover the fate of the outpost's inhabitants.

Classic shoot-em-up action in the vein of Alien Breed and Gauntlet, with a few Team Mango gameplay twists thrown in. 


Featuring two-player co-op, survival and exploration elements, and detailed hand-crafted 2D art; Dysnomia is available to download NOW on Xbox Live Indie Games.

http://www.dysnomiagame.com/

Star Cargo 3000 released for iPhone

************************
A long spacecraft, reminiscent of 2001's Discovery One, is in parking orbit above an unstable planet. Mining equipment is being evacuated in large cargo containers which attach directly to the exoskeleton of the giant cargo vessel. But at the same time the containers are propelled upward to the ship, there are violent seismic events on the planet's surface throwing up dangerous debris endangering the vessel. There may even be weapons fired at the spacecraft from somewhere on the planet. The player must use the touch-screen to zap incoming projectiles until all 10 containers are loaded.

Features:

- Dynamic touch-screen interface intercepts quickly moving projectiles
- Sound affects accompany shots, hits and collisions
- 3 planets, 45 levels, 12 lethal projectiles
- Openfeint connectivity including Leaderboard and Achievements
- Complete scoring with targets, hits, misses and percentages
- Smooth, responsive graphics which react immediately to touch screen

************************


Gameplay Video:



Screenshots