Friday, 30 July 2010

Wearing Multiple Hats, PR, And The Secrets To Success As An Indie

I've written a couple of new articles today targeted at new or aspiring indie developers.

The first about the challenges of wearing multiple hats as well as some PR-related stuff.  Essentially, many indie developers seem to struggle with balancing the business side of their work with the game-development side of their work.  I know I do, and this post breaks down some of why this might be, as well as reasons and goals for overcoming these challenges.

Case in point: by any objective measure, I really messed up the PR for the release of Tidalis.  We had far too little PR, and now that awesome reviews are coming in it's still too late for the actual launch of the game.  This has led to sales being about ten times lower than my minimum expectation for the game, even though the game has still been very successful compared to most indie games in its first two weeks.  It certainly beats the pants off of what AI War did at first, and AI War went on to sell around 30,000 copies of itself and its expansion.

So what does that mean for Tidalis?  Is it to be permanently harmed due to the lack of advanced press before initial release?  Short answer: No.  That certainly wasn't the case for AI War, and the reviews are even more positive for Tidalis than they were for AI War.  Longer answer: I wrote a second article about the secrets of Arcen's success as an indie company, which outlines how we took AI War from a complete unknown to a cult classic.  It's worked for us, I suspect this is what worked for Dwarf Fortress, and I know this is what worked for the likes of Doodle Jump and similar on the iPhone.  And best of all, it's the sort of thing that big companies by and large would never do for their customers.

Happy reading!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Five Golden Rules for New Indies

If you're just starting out, you might find this post on the WinterWolves & Tycoon Games Blog helpful.  Five pieces of good advice for new indie developers.

Alawar Entertainment Releases Snark Busters: Welcome to the Club for the PC

Alawar Entertainment Releases Snark Busters: Welcome to the Club for the PC
All-new hidden object adventure sends players on an unusual quest

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 29 – Do you have what it takes to find the Snark? Find out today in Snark Busters: Welcome to the Club, a new PC game from leading casual game publisher Alawar Entertainment. In this imaginative hidden object adventure, players help heroine Kira Robinson secure a spot in the elite Snark Busting Club by hunting down the elusive Snark, a creature few have seen—and no one has caught. The game can be downloaded from http://www.alawar.com for $9.95. A trial version offering one hour of free gameplay is available as well.

In this colorful game, traveling through mirrors and into inside-out and upside-down worlds is commonplace, and every object you discover has a hidden use. Diligent players will decipher the clues, solve the puzzles, and piece together the tools needed to track the stealthy Snark. The game's seven chapters feature dozens of puzzles, over a dozen mini-games, 30 animated locations, and a light, comical storyline that ends with an unexpected twist.

"Snark Busters is bright, colorful, humorous, and full of surprises," says Kirill Plotnikov, vice-president of publishing of Alawar Entertainment.  "It's also packed with unique puzzle-solving challenges, as the actions of the player on one side of a mirror can affect how things appear on the other side. We believed the market was ready for something innovative and fun, and we've delivered it."

Key features of Snark Busters: Welcome to the Club include:

  • Seven chapters
  • 30 animated locations
  • Dozens of puzzles
  • Over a dozen mini-games
  • A captivating, humorous story
Snark Busters Screenshots:




About Alawar Entertainment

Founded in 1999, Alawar Entertainment specializes in the development, publication and distribution of casual games. The company has published more than 200 casual PC titles, including some of the industry's leading downloadable releases, such as the Farm Frenzy®, Hyperballoid®, Magic Encyclopedia®, Craze® and Treasures of Montezuma® games. In addition to the PC, Alawar's titles are available on the iPhone, Sony PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, Mac and J2ME platform. Soon, the company will enter the social games and MMO markets and expand onto other leading-edge platforms.

Today, consumers in more than 60 countries can purchase Alawar's games through leading online portals, distribution networks and retail outlets. Moreover, the company is the leading distributor of casual games in Eastern Europe, where more than 2,000 Web sites and major portals use Alawar's turnkey affiliate program to acquire a game catalog and earn additional revenue.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

New iPhone and iPad game offers an unique way to play with your photos

Boston, Massachusetts – Independent developer Evan Beland announced today the successful launch of Match aPhoto, a unique game for the iPad and iPhone that allows users to play and interact with their photos in a new way. The game is an update of the card game known traditionally known as Concentration, Memory or Pairs. Match aPhoto allows you to take photos on the fly and add them directly into the game. Match aPhoto is free on the Apple App store as part of an introductory offer that will run through July 28th.

During the first 48 hours of the introductory offer more than 1400 users downloaded Match aPhoto in 39 app stores worldwide. Most notably in the Netherlands where at the time of this release Match aPhoto is ranked #2 in the kids games category and is the #56 most downloaded iPhone application.
Match aPhoto is fully customizable to help you remember what you want to remember. You can play with your photos or photos of anything you add to your device’s library and even add pictures on the go with the iPhone camera.

Some of the many features include:
* Six difficulty levels to suit any age or intellect
* Import photos from your device library or camera
* Easy import tool makes game pieces from your photos
* 200 picture perfect images in five categories to start you out
* Add match descriptions to remember, places, names or anything you like
* Quick peek to help out when interrupted
* Fun animations and sounds

“Finally a game that I am interested in playing with the kids! …. We compete to see who can do it the fastest. The pictures are ones that interest them and I finally have them playing something that benefits their minds. Great job guys!” – TinyStar101 (Canada)

“Really enjoyed this app myself, especially with the “use your own photos” mode. My daughter absolutely loves it. I’ve had a hard time getting my phone back since showing it to her” – santoran (USA)

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iOS 3.1 or later
* 44.8 MB

Pricing and Availability:
As part of an introductory offer, Match aPhoto 1.1 is free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. To receive a free trial promotion code for reviewing purposes please send your contact information to Evan Beland.


Mr. Beland is an independent iPhone and iPad developer and contractor based in Boston, MA. Copyright (C) 2010 E. J. Beland. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Spring Up Harmony released for Xbox

The game's author says:

This project started as a basic port of my last PC/Mac game "Spring Up!" but turned out to be a unique game (modified gameplay, higher resolution, different levels, multiplayer mode). I took into account the reviews of the original game and improved what needed to be improved.

From the official website:

Spring Up Harmony takes the best of Breakout and Pachinko and spices it up with 2D physics. Launch balls on color-matching items to clear the 30 levels of the game and collect the ten rewards. Use motors, fans, mechanisms, hanging objects and gravity to your advantage to catch the falling objects. Challenge a friend in the multi-player mode, where both players are playing on the same screen.

Screenshots:


Game trailer





Official Website

Spring Up Harmony on XBLA

40% Off Sale On August Of 'Labyrinthica: The Quest Of Lima' At ImpulseDriven.

The melee action indie game 'Labyrinthica: The Quest Of Lima' will be 40% off on sale at the beginning of August. The discount will be available on Stardocks's ImpulseDriver portal.

Haifa, Israel -- July 27, 2010 -- 40% off sale of the indie game 'Labyrinthica: The Quest Of Lima' is expected to be available at Stardock's portal, ImpulseDriven, in early August.

With Impulse, users purchase a game and can then immediately download and install the game through the Impulse client. Impulse seamlessly manages updates and provides community features like ImpulseTV, which allows fans to check out videos and commentary from the seasoned Impulse publishing staff, and more.

Pompi Pompi Entertainment's game 'Labyrinthica: The Quest Of Lima' is an action, melee focused indie game. You move Lima with the keyboard and aim with the mouse. Unlike similar games, you will need to fight monsters face to face rather than shoot them from a safe distance.

'Labyrinthica: The Quest Of Lima' is normally sold for 12$. For a limited time only, exclusively on Impulse, the game will be sold at a 40% discount. The sale will start in early August.

More Information

About Pompi Pompi Entertainment

Ofer Rubinstein is an indie game developer based in Israel who go by the label of Pompi Pompi Entertainment. Ofer has developed Labyrinthica: The quest of Lima, while working part time in a university as a researcher.

Monday, 26 July 2010

RIP Gravity Core?!

Gary Maples of SuiSoft has written a very interesting essay on the development and death (commercially, though technically this isn't true since the game is still available to buy for those who want it - and personally I recommend it because it's a very fine game [Gravity Core review]) of his first game, Gravity Core.  It's great reading for indie developers (especially ones starting out or about to do so), because Gary goes into some detail about what he felt went well and what didn't, and what he's learned that will help development and marketing of his next game.

In fact I'd go so far as to say that this is essential reading for all indie companies starting up. 

Click here for the article.

Alawar Entertainment releases Amelie's Cafe: Summer Time for the PC

Alawar Entertainment releases Amelie's Cafe: Summer Time for the PC

Downloadable sequel offers more than 50 levels of time management fun
                                                                                     
ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 23 -- Alawar Entertainment, a leading publisher of casual games, today released Amelie's Cafe: Summer Time for the PC.  Players with an appetite for fun can purchase downloadable time management sequel at www.alawar.com for $9.95.  A trial version offering one hour of free gameplay is available as well.  Visit http://www.alawar.com/game/amelie-cafe-summer-time for downloads and more information.

In Amelie's Cafe: Summer Time, Amelie moves to the tropics with three things on her mind: sun drenched days, carefree nights, and opening the best beachfront cafe Paradise has ever seen.  Throughout more than 50 fast-paced levels, players cater to a variety of guests, keep Amelie's cooks busy and rack up big money, all in an effort to turn a ramshackle hut into the classiest joint on the island.

In a unique twist on time management games, Amelie's Cafe: Summer Time features a match-3 mini-game that runs alongside the main game, allowing players to earn bonuses that make Amelie run, restores the patience of her guests, automatically cleans the cafe, and more.

"With simple but challenging gameplay, colorful graphics, and two game modes to master, Amelie's Cafe: Summer Time is sure to be a hit," Kirill Plotnikov, vice-president of publishing, says.  "We think players will have a blast."

  • More than 50 levels
  • Three cafes to run
  • Story and Endless modes
  • Five bonuses to utilize
  • Five achievements to earn


About Alawar Entertainment

Founded in 1999, Alawar Entertainment specializes in the development, publication and distribution of casual games. The company has published more than 200 casual PC titles, including some of the industry's leading downloadable releases, such as the Farm Frenzy®, Hyperballoid®, Magic Encyclopedia®, Craze® and Treasures of Montezuma® games. In addition to the PC, Alawar's titles are available on the iPhone, Sony PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, Mac and J2ME platform. Soon, the company will enter the social games and MMO markets and expand onto other leading-edge platforms.

Today, consumers in more than 60 countries can purchase Alawar's games through leading online portals, distribution networks and retail outlets. Moreover, the company is the leading distributor of casual games in Eastern Europe, where more than 2,000 Web sites and major portals use Alawar's turnkey affiliate program to acquire a game catalog and earn additional revenue.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Q&A Chat Session with Axelo, Inc re: Purify Puzzle

CaptainD of Indie Game News interviewed Monjoni Osso and Enrico Crevecoeur about forthcoming indie puzzle game, “Purify Puzzle”. 
 
CaptainD:  First of all, on behalf of indiegamenews.com, thank you for agreeing to do this interview.  

Monjoni:  on behalf of Axelo, thanks for your interest in Purify Puzzle!  We're really psyched to talk about the game with you 

CaptainD:  Great stuff.  Can you tell me a little about the company first - when it was set up, what sort of focus you have?  

Monjoni:  Well, Axelo itself started in about 2005 as a technology company, developing motion controllers.  I joined in the summer of 2009 as a QA Lead for a PC motion controller Axelo was developing.  Later in 2009, Axelo started a software division with a focus on games, ranging from social games to small indie projects in December of 09, Enrico contacted me about the game Purify Puzzle - it was called “Aspire” back then, 

CaptainD:  So Enrico was the person to come up with the idea for Purify Puzzle? 

Monjoni:  Not just the idea, it's actually built in his own engine, the “Scarlet Engine”.  Would you like to talk about that one, Enrico?  Where'd the idea for Aspire start?  

Enrico:  Sure.  The Idea for the game came from the Arcade style puzzle games that i used to play as a kid.  For this game i wanted something with a similar feel, and that’s where the idea came from. 

Enrico:  The engine is something that I have been working on for a while as well. 

CaptainD:  Is it purely a puzzle game engine, or a more versatile 2d engine? 

Enrico:  It’s an engine suited for creating games it supports 2D and 3D, though the 2D side of the engine has been ramped up quite a bit as a result of this game, 

CaptainD:  What's the basic concept of Purify Puzzle? 

Monjoni:  The basic idea is a match-3 puzzle title where the player's skill and responsiveness matters more than just item placement.  We have a new feature, where essentially the player can select not only where they want to place an item but what item they want to place; in other words, it's not only important to respond quickly when solving our puzzles, but the quality of the player's response matters too.  For example if you're trying to match a series of red items, but the only items you have access to are Cyan and Pink, the player can spend a certain amount of "swaps" to change one of their currently held items to a Red item, thus enabling them to make the match.  This is really noticeable in our multiplayer mode, making it very easy to ascertain just how good another player is. 

CaptainD:  Tell me about the multiplayer features - do you have co-op and completive multiplayer? 

Enrico:  Yeah for this game it's critical that the player knows how the board can be taken apart by smart item placements. 

Monjoni:  Our multiplayer right now is purely competitive, and most reminiscent of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.  Players compete by making matches, and the first player to clear their board wins.   However, games usually aren't that simple, 

CaptainD:  Is there a handicap system to match up players of differing abilities?  Online play modes? 

Monjoni: There is local and online multiplayer, and we're currently working on a profile system.  There isn’t currently a matchmaking system in place that takes into account differing player skill, but we're very much still in development, 

CaptainD:  When is Purify Puzzle likely to be released? 

Monjoni:  We're aiming for a September release window, though of course we're still an indie project and the success or failure of our Kickstarter project will affect that window very much. 

Monjoni:  Are you familiar with Kickstarter? 

CaptainD:  Would you hate me if I said no?!
 
Monjoni:  Only a little! Kickstarter is a brilliant website several indie projects are using to acquire much needed funding - even indies need to eat!  It works essentially like the US' National Public Radio fundraisers; donors can donate a certain amount of money and get rewards from projects. 

CaptainD:  It's not the same as "The Indie Fund" though? 

Monjoni:  Correct.  The Indie Fund is run by a small cabal of very excellent indie developers, while Kickstarter is public and for everyone.  Our own page can be found at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mlubker/purify-puzzle-a-multiplayer-puzzle-game?pos=1.  We're taking advantage of it due to the public nature of the funding process, and the relative risk-free nature of the donations - if our project doesn't meet its overall funding goals, there's no obligation from donors to actually give money nor for us to give rewards to donors.  Only if we're successful in raising the amount of money we ask for will the project receive any funds from the donors. 

CaptainD:  How's the money-raising gone so far? 

Monjoni:  It's gone well, though not as well as expected 

CaptainD:  So you're doing this completely without funding from the Axelo parent company? 

Monjoni:  Somewhat correct.  Though initial work from myself, Michael Lubker, and Christina was paid for by our parent company our objective is to not have to rely on their finances  Our and their objective is to have the software division become independent, and Kickstarter is a very big part of our initial plans.

CaptainD:  In terms of sales, what sort of numbers will you need to make it worth producing another game in the future? 

Monjoni:  Hmm, now that's a great question.  Well... 

Enrico:  Michael knows that one! 

Monjoni: We make back our costs at roughly 2000-3000 units 

CaptainD:  Would this sort of venture even be possible without digital distribution? 

Monjoni:  In order to continue with development, such as DLC and even sequels, we'd need something in the range of 7-10,000 - and without digital distribution this would be a much, much harder task.  Impossible?  I don't think so, but shareware is a very, very old way of doing things.  

CaptainD:  I remember the old days of shareware... nowadays most people don't even seem to understand the term! 

Monjoni:  I think it's easy to forget that's how the modern industry really started.  There'd be no Gears of War if not for Wolfenstein and Doom, and those games started out on shareware. 

Monjoni:  I must have played episode 1 of Doom on my old DOSbox hundreds of times, and those free floppies did more for advertising that game than anything else. 

CaptainD:  I remember Llamatron and Revenge of the Mutant Camels on the Atari ST... and Yak Minter is still going strong today!  Which shows that it can be done, I guess. 

CaptainD:  I think most people don't realise just how competitive the indie marketplace is these days.  Just how difficult is it for a new company like yourselves to stand out and be noticed? 

Monjoni:  Nearly impossible, I'd say.  We've been doing what we can through social media, though people are inundated with stuff from sites like Twitter and Facebook.  Getting the message out there has been our hardest task. 

CaptainD:  Social websites do seem to be the way to go (even though I admit that personally, I hate most of them!!) 

Monjoni:  I'm fine with them, though I use them only sparingly.  I'm not a "FarmVille" guy 

CaptainD:  Tell me a little about the graphics in Purify Puzzle - with Christina jetting around Europe like there's no tomorrow, I can't ask her!   

Monjoni:  LOL.  Well, Christina's not done all the art.  She's provided some excellent background work, but Drew Soman is responsible for our beautiful character sprite as well as our menu screens, and our storyline cinematics.

Enrico: The graphics are hand painted and are in HD resolution, up to 1270x768. 

CaptainD:  From the screenshots I’ve seen they look great and quite unique, which is definitely going to help make the game stand out. 

Monjoni:  Yeah, the artistry in the game is quite outstanding, even more so when you consider that it's the fruits of basically two people.  We've been quite lucky to land talents like Christina and Drew, at this point I couldn't really imagine the game without their input. 

CaptainD:  Enrico - what particularly has proved to be challenging in regards to the coding of PP? 

Enrico:  There have been a lot of challenges. 

Enrico:  The biggest was probably the networking, since I didn't have a lot of experience in the area. I’m primarily a graphics programmer lol.  Making the code thread safe was another thing, since initially the framework wasn't designed with multithreading in mind. 

CaptainD:  Forgive my techno-incompetence, multithreading being the term for using more than one CPU core at a time, right? 

Enrico:  Yes correct - to take advantage of the current chipsets nowadays, multithreading is required due to everything being dualcore. 

CaptainD:  Or quadcore :-D   

CaptainD:  So how long ago did you actually begin developing the Scarlet Engine? 

Enrico:  I made it while back – 2005, I believe. I keep working on it all the time, as the technology for the engine grows for each game that’s made with it. 

CaptainD:  How many games have you made with it so far?  Have they all been indie releases? 

Enrico:  So far I’ve used it for 5 other projects.  Purify Puzzle will be the first commercial game that uses the engine.  

CaptainD:  How did you arrive at the title “Purify Puzzle”, anyway? 

Monjoni:  I got the first build of what was then called Aspire in December 09.  That continued to be the working title until we started preparing content to go to various publishers, at which point we entered a mini-crisis because we didn't really know what to call the game.  None of us being marketing experts, we decided democracy was the way to go.  The team took a day or so and each of us got together lists of what we wanted the game to be called.  From one of these lists, Purify Puzzle stood out and that's the one the majority of us went with. 

Enrico:  Scarlet started off as a personal engine of mine which i used for experimentation and expanding my skill set as a programmer. Over time as more features were added it became viable for using on a commercial product. Purify Puzzle will the first commercial product to be released using this engine. Currently the engine has been used to make a platformer, a shoot-‘em-up (still in development), two puzzle games (including purify puzzle), and a 3D Racing game(prototype).
 
 

As indie game players, we look forward to not only the release of Purify Puzzle but hopefully also many future games from Axelo, Inc!  

Saturday, 24 July 2010

PreVa and Kino One Bundle Pack

Get these two games for just $7.99!

PreVa is an Anime/Manga style Mecha 1st/3rd-person shooter. In PreVa you play as the commander of alpha squad, it's up to you to stop the I.A.A.'s plans. You will have multiple V.A.s to choose from and your squad mates to aid you in this task. Fight on the surface of the moon, in the zero gravity of space, and on earth from the icy mountain peaks of Greenland, to the rain forests of Brazil, all the way to the deserts of Africa. The I.A.A. will throw their best at you, but you and your team can stop them if you have what it takes.

● Fight your way through 12 Singleplayer levels.

● Gain points to unlock more levels and V.A.s.

● Over 30 V.A.s to unlock and pilot.

● More than 15 levels play.

● You Can Play as the U.E.F. or the I.A.A.

Kino One is a return to old arcade game-play. Featuring five homages to some of the classic games that made going to the arcade in the 80's so much fun and have made games what they are today. Kino One's graphics and story also pull from the style of classic 70's Japanese animation “Anime”. And the humorous characters and narration will have you laughing well after the game is over. As spacefighter pilot Flash Brannighan you're the only one who can save the Earth from being destroyed by the evil Solak Empire. Even with the help of the newly discovered alien spaceship Kino One and the Doc there to help, it will be no easy task.

● Five levels of play with ten waves per level.

● Kino One will take you from the Moon to Earth, Mars even Jupiter. All the way to the Solak's home planet to defeat the alien threat.

● After you've finished Kino One's main game the fun doesn't stop there.  Grab a friend and go to the arcade and play a game of Ping, Tacman, Spacerocks, Invaders from Space or Break'n.



See the Official Website for more information and to take advantage of this special offer.

System Requirements: P4/AMD 1.5 Ghz Processor; 512 MB RAM; DirectX 9 3D video card with 64+ MB memory; 16bit
Sound Card; Windows XP/Vista and DirectX 9.0c or above; 2 GB Hard Drive space; Windows Media Player 9 or higher; Monitor
supporting 1024x768; An Analog Gamepad is Required to Play Kino One with a Gamepad. Digital Gamepads are not
supported.


Recommended System: P4/AMD 3.0 Ghz Processor; 1 GB RAM; DirectX 9 3D video card with 256 MB memory; 16bit
Sound Card; Windows XP/Vista and DirectX 9.0c or above; 2 GB Hard Drive space; Windows Media Player 9 or higher; Monitor
supporting 1024x768; An Analog Gamepad is Required to Play Kino One with a Gamepad. Digital Gamepads are not
supported. A Second Analog Gamepad and Player for Kino One.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Catnap Games release Type Raiders

Space Invaders meets... touch typing?!



Get the demo or buy the game at http://www.typeraiders.com/

Available for PC and Mac.

Jolly Rover Special Offer!

Discount code for 50% off the Steam version Jolly Rover is: BOSN000LS

Which brings the price of Jolly Rover to under $10!

The code is valid until midnight on Sunday July 25, and is not limited in the amount of copies people can purchase.


Which is the same as going to the Jolly Rover 'buy' page and clicking on the top 'Steam Key' option.

For those sitting on the fence about Jolly Rover this is the time to get in there and see what all the fuss is about!


Happy Nutz Studio release Super Match Elements for iPad - and it's FREE!

Happy Nutz Studio -- July 23, 2010 -- Super Match Elements for iPad is now available at AppStore. SME is a friendly game that have something for everybody from brainless game just for relax to true strategy were you really have to think about your moves in order to complete the puzzle levels.

Description:

Super Match Elements is an addictive puzzle game that breaks the mold by allowing players "freedom of movement". Challenge yourself and match the elements together, feel the adrenaline in surviving mode and take the ultimate test in endless mode. 


Unlock the special levels and discover why Super Match Elements will blow your mind!

Features:

-Free basic game
-50 Puzzle levels
-3 Endless levels
-3 Survival levels
-10 Special levels
-Beautiful surroundings and music
-Background ipod/iPhone music
*Advanced levels are in-App Purchase

Platform: iOs for iPad
Size: 42.8 MB
Category: Games, Puzzle, Action
Price: Free (in-App purchase)


Get it for free from Happy Nutz Studio

Press Release - World Riddles: Seven wonders now available for PC!

Welcome to the entertaining continuation to the Puzzle World series! A new journey into the world of ancient civilizations.

This time you will dive into the world of ancient civilizations!
You will learn many new things about the history of the creation of the Seven Wonders of the World. But this knowledge will require effort, as ahead of you are even more new puzzles and entertaining minigames. Onwards, start your fascinating journey!

World Riddles: Seven wonders features:
- 200 new riddles
- New minigames
- Additional gameplay mode
- Fascinating historical facts
- Seven Wonders: Mausoleum of Halicarnassus,  Statue of Zeus, Temple of Artemis and more!
- Many Hours of Addictive Gameplay

BUY NOW ($14.95)  

Visit our site www.FunnyBearStudio.com for more information.

Milton 2010 European Video Game Creation Awards - NOW WITH ADDED INDIE GOODNESS!

                                                             MILTHON 2010       
European Video Game Creation Awards  

The Milthons reward the European video game creation studios for their artwork quality. More generally, they are here to promote the Cultural Industry of Video Games in an independent way and to put the selected artworks under the spotlights, together with their creators. The Ceremony will take place opening the 5th Paris Game Festival.

The nominations

The nominations will follow the call for entries, open from June the 30th till July the 30th 2010 included. Can only enter the competition games published in the last 12 months prior to the Ceremony.
A 1st evaluation of all registered games will enable to select 3 games for each category.
The official nominee games list will be out in August 2010.  
  
The rewards
8 MILTHONS will be given:
    • Best Direction
    • Best Visual Design
    • Best Sound Design
    • Best Console Game
    • Best Mobile Game
    • Best PC/MAC Game
    • Best Independant Game
    • The Game of The Year
The Ceremony will be held on Friday 10th of September 2010, as the 5th Paris Game Festival Inauguration, open from September the 10th till September the 12th 2010 at the Parc des Expositions de Paris (Paris Exhibition Parc) - Porte de Versailles.


The Milthons will also be the occasion to once again reward the Video Game Creation teaching organizations and their students' artwork excellence, thanks to the Paris Game Festival Student Award. 


The 4th Milthons ceremony is presented by Games Fed, the Cultural Ministry, the Industrial Ministry, the National Cinema and Motion Picture Centre and the Regional Île-de-France Council.

Registration and regulations

The official regulations and the registration form will be available online at www.milthon.com.
Official contact: contact@milthon.com

[CaptainD's Note] - This is the first year that these awards have ever had an Independant Game section - more proof that the indie community is becomming recognised as an important feature of the overall video gaming scene.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Tidalis Officially Launched!

The day that puzzle fans have been waiting for has finally arrived! After 6 months productions time, Arcen Games' second project, Tidalis, has finally launched!

Tidalis is a block-based puzzle game with casual appeal, hardcore depth, and an addictive new "streams" mechanic. The basic rules of the game are this: blocks fall down into the board and have a color and an arrow direction. If a stack of blocks exceeds the height of the board, you lose. In order to clear blocks, you must right-click and drag paths through the arrows to set up chain reactions of like-colored blocks.


Simply Put :

* Puzzle game with casual appeal, hardcore depth, and an addictive new mechanic.
* Two-player co-op and competitive play (both local and networked).
* A wide selection of both action-oriented or brainteaser-like levels.
* Casual-friendly adventure mode, hardcore-focused custom games and vs modes.
* 20+ game styles, and dozens of items and special blocks.
* Rich, painterly art style and beautiful music.
* Players can create and share whole new themes, levels, and adventures.
* Options for colorblind players, players averse to lots of light and motion, and older computers.

Trailer:



Screenshots:


Demo:
http://www.arcengames.com/tidalis_download.php

More Info:
http://www.arcengames.com/tidalis_features.php

Invader Attack 50% Off

If you're quick, you can get retro shooter Invader Attack for $4.50 instead of $9 - visit CoderGames.com to grab it while it's hot!  (Alex, who made the game, attirbutes this discount to the hot weather this week... ?!)

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Limbo Released for Xbox!

See www.limbogame.org for full information

Help to fund Purify Puzzle!

See the Purify Puzzle Kickstarter Page.

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Press Release - Spoon Lets Users Play Indie Games with No Installs

Spoon Lets Users Play Indie Games with No Installs
New Indie Game Garage Provides Instant Access to Indie Titles via the Web

SEATTLE – July 20, 2010 Spoon, a Seattle-based developer of app virtualization and
delivery technologies, today announced the launch of the Indie Game Garage, a free
service that lets users instantly play games from independent studios without needing to
install or download the titles. The Indie Game Garage provides a platform for indie
developers to gain visibility with the gaming community and potential publishers by
allowing users to play games without the hassles of setups and potential uninstalls. Once
on Spoon, games can be shared on Web pages, blogs, and social networking sites such as
Facebook and Twitter.

The Spoon Indie Game Garage is available now at http://spoon.net/indiegames.

“The Indie Game Garage is an ideal use for Spoon’s zero-install Web delivery
technology, as users and publishers may be reluctant to spend time installing and
uninstalling games from indie studios,” said Kenji Obata, founder and chief executive
officer of Spoon. “The Indie Game Garage is a great way for indie developers to get users
and potential publishers playing their games by making them available directly on the
Web – without the need to develop a separate Flash version.”

“One of the biggest challenges we face as an indie game developer is finding ways to get
our games in front of publishers," said Francisco Santos Belmonte, founder of Tip Tap
Games. "Indie developers simply don’t have the resources to invest in marketing to gain
visibility with users and publishers. The ability to publish and share games via the Web
without installs has the potential to completely transform the indie game development
community.”

The Indie Game Garage is delivered using Spoon Server, an application server which
allows Windows apps to be delivered via the Web without the lengthy downloads and
complex install processes normally associated with app distribution. Spoon’s unique app
virtualization technology allows apps to launch without setup, administrative privileges,
or dependencies such as the .NET, Java, or DirectX runtimes. And because Spoon apps
execute locally, games run without the latency associated with remote desktop-based
approaches and can be migrated to the local desktop for offline use.

About Spoon

Spoon develops technologies that allow enterprises and software publishers to deliver
desktop apps via the Web without installs, downloads, or hassles.

Spoon’s technology is used by industry-leading educational, entertainment, financial,
government, health care, and information technology organizations, including Autodesk,
Novell, and the United States Marine Corps.

A free evaluation download of Spoon Server is available at http://spoon.net/Server. For
more information on Spoon technology and access to hundreds of sample streamed apps,
please visit http://spoon.net.