Monday, 24 July 2017

Indie Game ‘Alaska’ Launches Kickstarter With Demo

The one man behind Wreck Tangle Games, Adam Reed, has decided to launch a KickStarter Campaign in hopes to garner enough funds to continue development of his adventure game, ‘Alaska’, full time.

With the new details, photos and videos, we get to see a lot more of Alaska than has been previously shown. Graphically the game has had a blizzard of improvements, the sun glistens off the footprints in the snow and the colours are so perfectly implemented, they make the outside feel cold but the insides of the cabins feel warm next to the roaring fires.

New information, along with some GIFs and videos, show off some of the gameplay elements we can expect from the full version. You will learn skills as you progress through Alaska; these skills include fishing, wood chopping and hunting, and will have to be learnt to progress in objectives.

Other gameplay elements include story driven puzzles and multi choice conversations with the characters that populate the small town.

The story is the driving force of Alaska; the details that have been released explain that the game should be described in two parts, the good times and the bad. In the first half of the game, you will be spending a week in the life of our protagonist Blake; he is in the midst of getting over a divorce and decides to spend time with his neighbours in hopes to lighten his mood. This first half promises to be a real unique experience for a game; it is calm, relaxing and feels almost personal as you get to know the people of your town. Adam Reed has detailed how much time he spent working on the script, “to make sure that you really do feel like these are your neighbours, to make sure you feel close to them, to make you feel like you know them, care for them. This is important as in the second half of the game, everything changes.”

A body of one of your neighbours is found murdered on the town’s airstrip. This find will then lead you onto a traumatic adventure, where you will struggle to solve the mystery of who is the murderer. As everyone starts acting suspicious around you and more deaths occur, you must work out, who do you trust now?

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Saturday, 22 July 2017

Yonder - The Cloud Catcher Chronicles - Gameplay Videos

Got a review code for this game and it looks utterly charming. 
Have done some short videos of the game:




General exploring, gathering, and other stuff:

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First Look - Doctor Kvorak's Obliteration Game

Doctor Kvorak's Obliteration Game is a puzzle platformer hosted by an alien with god-like powers, with whole planets at stake as "prizes".  You control one of three aliens as they attempt to find all the pieces of the planet on offer in each stage.

Have only played the first couple of levels but I can tell you that it's a lot of fun (and my daughters - 6 and 3 years old - both love watching me play it), with lots of humour from the host's commentary on proceedings - frequently lapsing into personal reminiscences - and, for reasons I have yet to figure out, a large sentient chicken.  The game has a nice learning curve, doesn't seem too difficult to complete a stage but it's really quite a challenge to find every piece of the puzzle that will let you win the prize.

I'll do a full review when I've had time to give it a thorough test, but early signs are good!

Doctor Kvorak's Obliteration Game is available on Steam.

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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Review - Neofeud

Futuristic dystopias seem to be a fan favorite among point & click adventure game enthusiasts.  Even if the tendency isn't evident in the mainstream, it's certainly true of developers working with the Adventure Game Studio engine. Recent years have seen the release of Gemini Rue, Primordia, Technobabylon and Shardlight -- all of them grim visions of what the future (whether near or distant) holds, but each unique in style and flavor. Neofeud, likewise, presents its own angle and tells its own story in its own voice.

You play as Karl Carbon, a lowly social worker down on his luck, just trying to make ends meet - just like most people (and non-human persons) going through his office every day: single moms, war veterans and robots just wanting humane treatment. All the while, high above the vast expanses of the urban misery, the rich and powerful live lives of unimaginable wealth and prosperity - whiling away the hours in their sky castles (literally!). But something's brewing, and it isn't long before Karl finds himself right in the middle of a grand conspiracy - one that will shake the fabric of reality itself!

As an ex-cop, Karl is no stranger to danger.  He digs deeper to get to the bottom of things, and indeed Neofeud's gameplay resembles an investigation: gathering evidence, going to some shady places, asking around, questioning witnesses, suspects, informants and local bigshots.  There's a heavy emphasis on talking, and even more listening (it's worth noting the game's fully voiced). Fortunately there's not much legwork involved: there's no tedious backtracking, most puzzles can be solved via interactions only within the area you're currently in.  The puzzles themselves tend to be on the easy, common-sense side - and I truly prefer them that way, so that they don't disturb the flow of the story itself.  The plot thickens and twists abound, and Karl wouldn't get far without the help of two most unlikely allies.  The three strangers, each coming from a completely different world, will face a challenge larger than life.

The conspiracy runs deep and is quite massive in scope. Politics meet technology, philosophy meets madness. But even beyond the intrigue itself the world of Neofeud is quite a detailed and intriguing construct, with its own history and lore. It's not a shiny future. Not for all, at least. Under the guise of cyberpunk dystopia hides the world of today, with its socio-political issues: inequality, discrimination, uneven distribution of wealth. But the game's not all about serious matters and lofty speeches. It allows itself some humor, too. While the characters do have their dramatic moments, there's plenty of grim sarcasm (mostly courtesy of Karl) and over-the-top theatricality, especially in the portrayal of the dismayed upper class. There's no shortage of odd expletives (such as "Jobbs" being the equivalend of "Gawd!"), puns and curious amalgams. Karl, for instance, drives an old Toyundai. Because the future is in no way as colorful as we'd have wished.

Though then again, it is quite vividly colorful in the literal sense. From the makeshift, provisional, use-what-you-can-find architecture of the slums, through the neon-lit gangland underworld to the obscenely green grass of the skyborne islands, the art in Neofeud follows the modern trend of saturated dystopias such as Fury Road or the movies of the modern 80's cinematic revival, soaked in red and teal lights rather than the bleakness and muted colors of The Matrix in the early 2000's.  Developer "Silver Spook" also goes against the general trend of lo-res pixel art that is prevalent in commercial AGS games. The graphics in Neofeud are part digi-painted, part collage. It's not classically beautiful, and the animations are simple and somewhat stiff -- but this style suits the scrapland where most of this grand adventure plays out.

The soundtrack -- created by Silver Spook himself -- consists of various flavors of electronica; an obvious choice, given the futuristic setting. And indeed it fits in perfectly. It's minimalistic when it needs to emphasize the dreariness of the slum world. Action sequences, in turn, are punctuated by a pounding beat -- whereas a distorted piano plano creates a watercolor-like backdrop to some of the game's most powerful moments of existential reverie. As mentioned already, the game is a full talkie. It's something that's expected of a modern game -- but the workload and the quality are actually impressive. The writing, especially in some heavily stylized parts, really profits from engaged delivery -- my favorite being Proto-J's slang and the General's southern drawl. It's also worth noting that the lead and one of the sidekicks were voiced by the creator himself -- which I didn't even realize until the credits rolled in. 

Everything about the game just oozes the love for sci-fi: the literary cyberpunk and the 80's and 90's movies. It utilizes familiar motifs and plays around with the tropes from Blade Runner, Robocop and Terminator (on a side side-note: the main character sounds a little bit like Arnold at times - and the token juvenile delinquent reminded me of young John Connor from Judgement Day). But even more interesting than the theme of the blurry line between man and machine - explored in Neofeud in many ways - is the personal aspect of the story's background. The creator writes most his characters with a tongue in cheek - especially the filthy rich. But there's one group that he treats with a great deal of earnestness. The disenfranchised. The ones living on the flipside of paradise. And that is what makes good sci-fi: a social commentary on the world today. A very personal story dressed in a cyberpunk trenchcoat.

Reviewed for Indie Game News by FiTZ.

Neofeud is available for $15.00 from

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Creavures - Gameplay Video

A quick snippet of gameplay from the enchanting puzzle platformer Creavures.

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Gas Guzzlers Extreme - Gameplay Video

Sorry all for the lack of updates, I do have a couple of things lined up but in the meantime, I did at least manage to record a gameplay video for Gas Guzzlers Extreme, a brilliant racing game:

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Monday, 10 July 2017

Seven years in the making, deadly game show extravaganza Dr Kvorak's Obliteration Game for PC

Welcome to the biggest game show in the galaxy –Doctor Kvorak’s Obliteration Game, a single-player puzzle adventure starring three talented alien contestants, a mysterious rhyming chicken and a dastardly deity with an ego problem.

  • Play the deadliest game in the galaxy – defeat dangerous traps, solve complex puzzles, rescue your friends and save your world from doom
  • Control all three individual characters, each with their own special power, who must work together to outwit the evil Doctor and win fabulous prizes 
  • Collect weird and wonderful artefacts to unlock skins for your contestants
  • Follow the fully crafted story told over fifteen challenging game zones,  with unique dynamic camera view allowing you to play from many different perspectives
  • Explore an omnipotent being’s inner journey through his enormous ego and solve the mysteries of life itself.
  • Create and share your own maps using the comprehensive level editor, fully integrated into the Steam Workshop.

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Thursday, 6 July 2017

FMV and absurdist arthouse cinema collide in THE AWKWARD STEVE DUOLOGY

Release date: July 17, 2017


Introducing The Awkward Steve Duology! A pair of absurdist arthouse FMV games about social interaction and how to avoid it, coming next month to Steam and—and soon to be showcased at the Smithsonian American Art Museum as part of the SAAM Arcade.

First, help Awkward Steve psych himself up to answer the door in A STRANGER COMES CALLING! Lower his Anxiety by hiding under tables, petting rabbits and more, so he can build the courage to open his front door to somebody he doesn't even know.

Then, in DON'T TURN YOUR BACK ON THE OCEAN, Steve gets trapped in the bathroom while his roommate's throwing a wild rager! Hang out in the bathroom with Steve until it's over—or until...?


·         Two games, for the price of two games!
·         A full TV show's worth of full-motion video.
·         Photorealistic graphics. So many frames per second.
·         Multiple endings to unlock!!
·         Written, programmed and filmed by one person.
·         Probably the weirdest thing I've ever made.
The two games will be bundled together as The Awkward Steve Duology and released together on Steam and on July 17. Anyone who previously purchased the original game on will be upgraded to the new release, free of charge.

About Oh, a Rock! Studios
Oh, a Rock! Studios is an indie game-development studio/loosely connected group of friends that makes funny, weird, and sincere computer games. It was founded in 2014 by award-winning beard grower Paul Franzen, and its titles include Cat President: A More Purrfect Union, a visual novel about handsome cats running for office; and a throwback point-and-click adventure game called The Beard in the Mirror. The studio's work has been shown at Boston FIG and will be showcased at the Smithsonian American Art Museum as part of the SAAM Arcade in August. For more information, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or check out

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Scribble Racer 2 - A Game for Creative Minds Launches on Android

Recently released Scribble Racer 2 is a challenging game with focus on the creativity of players.

The player has to stay within a scrolling track to get as far as possible.  By playing the game, the trace forms outlines of drawings which can be colored by creative players to decorate the tracks.

Available for Android on the PlayStore.

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Friday, 23 June 2017

Quick update about the lack of updates recently

Sorry for the lack of action on this blog folks, I've had to direct my energies towards other things recently, including my own game which is creeping ever nearer to release.  I hope to be back posting regular updates fairly soon.

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Friday, 9 June 2017

Valerian Universe is now live

If a space-faring MMORPG where you can earn various cryptocurrencies sounds like your cup of tea, go ahead and Valerian Universe.

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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Exploring TinyWars’ Live World Concept, Improved User Interface & Game World Graphics

5th June, 2017, Higher Eclectic Ground – Bizurk Software concludes another month of TinyWars’ development by further expounding its Expanded Gameplay Model.
The current build of TinyWars now features a functional Overworld page; functioning as an in-game dashboard, the Overworld provides a visual representation of player progress.

It was announced in April that said Gameplay Model would seek to blend various quest-based mechanics with tower defence gameplay, with players being granted the ability to complete both mandatory and optional quests to further the game’s tower-defence narrative.

‘As the player progresses through the game, more and more pieces of the map will become colored,’ explains Lead Developer, Andrew Taraba. ‘Each area will contain its own story and characters; players who take their time to visit the optional areas on the map will most likely be rewarded well for their time and unlock certain items which might make beating the main tower defence missions easier.’

Zooming-in and selecting a particular area on the Overworld map yields various elements within that area — buildings, foliage and other populace — clicking on which takes players to a ‘Live’ world.

The Live world is a responsive version of the selected area, featuring various characters and elements that players can interact with, shops from which items can be purchased/sold, acquire/maintain properties within and even earn in-game currency via side quests.

‘This portion has not been fully developed yet, and it will actually be developed a little later in the development pipeline, ‘continues Taraba. ‘After we finalise and refine the gameplay a little further, that is. But this is a feature in the game which we are very excited for!’

With regards to which, updates to the game’s various visual/GUI elements are now in effect. These include a new and improved notification system that aims to reduce cognitive load, as opposed to speech bubbles that exist within the current prototype.

All notifications are set to appear in a distinct section at the top of the in-game HUD, which although providing the same information as the prototype HUD, now has a cleaner and more minimalistic feel.

The improved HUD design further incorporates player feedback procured from the prototype, implementations of which can be seen in new pre-Battle screen and inventory designs (attached). The team is also working on various revisions for the game’s graphical style, hoping to implement them in code by the end of the month.

Finally designs for a new enemy character, concepts of which were previously previewed on social media, were completed by artist Litchipix during the course of May.

‘Rose is not our friend; she’s capable of using her forbidden magic to control thorny bushes and plants.’ describes the development team.

‘This will hopefully make for an interesting battle and we do intend to throw the player immediately into the fray with the characters, story, and some big battles in the limited content we have to show off in this new Story Demo! We hope you’re excited for it.’

Due for a release later this year, the Story Demo will be a vertical slice of the full TinyWars experience. Those wishing to get their hands on a free tech-prototype of the game’s tower defence element meanwhile, can download the same for Windows PC and Android via the Downloads section of the game’s website.

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Formula Fusion released

Sorry this news is a little late (six days to be exact) - and apparently the devs are already working on a major update!

Anyway, the hotly awaited Formula Fusion is available on Steam.  Check out the trailer below:

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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Aftertile Teaser Trailer

LOSTALLOY have released a teaser trailer for their ghostly but insanely cute game Aftertile, a game about a cute little ghost traveling a huge maze and using his ghastly powers to make friends and help other ghosts.  The trailer shows off the band Soft Hugs in one of their performances (Soft Hugs is an all-girls band that plays Japanese traditional instruments; they perform all the tracks for the game, and they will be on the spotlight in one of the stages):

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Monday, 5 June 2017

New Open-world Action Multiplayer RPG Development Announcement (EverEmber Reborn)

EverEmber Reborn is an Open World Action Multiplayer RPG made by a small indie dev team. The game is without boundries, you form your own adventure based on your own choices. If you are in the mood for a hardcore openworld action RPG similar to that of Runescape/Ultima online/Skyrim, then this is your type of game!

You are free to travel around, explore, fight, meet new people, progress through the ranks, and eventually conquer Ember Castle for yourself. With a vivid player based economy that thrives on player made items with an in game crafting system, interaction between players is vital. The goal of this game is to recreate an emotional connection with your character, with hardcore death experiences, human interaction, and trail/error based game play.

Players are free to role-play, form teams, and add each other to their friends list. Friends can add each other to each other’s parties, and travel in safety across the large world of EverEmber. PVP is rich, with plenty of options between melee weaponry, potions, ranged weapons, and armor. Guilds will keep the player base together, forming guilds, partnerships and guild wars for Ember Castle. There is also a lack of class constraints, which enables for players to freely change between playstyles at any moment!

It's aiming for a Kickstarter in a few months, but in the meantime check out what's happening at the official website.

The screenshots are pretty tasty, too...

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Venture across the magical sub-Saharan desert to bring water to your village in AYO: A RAIN TALE – now seeking votes on Steam Greenlight

Embark on a journey for clean water in AYO: A RAIN TALE – a lyrical side-scrolling platformer that addresses the plight of more than 319 million people in Sub-Saharan communities.

Ayo: A Rain Tale explores the psychological impact of trekking across the desert – revealing the struggles of millions of young African children. Players take on the role of Ayo, a young girl who is about to leave home for the first time to gather water for her family. To do this, Ayo must face the harsh conditions of the Sahelian droughts and overcome her fears without falling victim to her own mind ...

After encountering a sudden sandstorm, Ayo loses her path and is lost in the desert. Fortunately, she meets the Asili Twins – who join Ayo on her search for water and provide help along the way. However, as she continues to travel, the world around Ayo begins to look mysterious and magical – as if she’s been transported to a new land.

The desert is a dangerous place, and you will face many hardships. Crawl, climb, and jump your way through the Sub-Saharan lands as you solve puzzles, avoid dangerous hazards, and discover hidden paths during the scorching days and chaotic nights. Escape from crashing boulders, time your jumps perfectly with moving platforms, and challenge ruthless enemies – all culminating in a climactic encounter with Ja Thunderstorm, a large bull who wants to keep all the water for himself!

If you survive, the trek back home is grounded in reality – a harsh reminder of the world we live in.

Ghaith Fleifel (Founder & Lead Designer, Inkline):

“We want Ayo: A Rain Tale to help raise awareness about the daily hardships faced by those who live in the Sub-Saharan region. Ayo represents every child who courageously takes on the job of fetching water for their family. It’s a story that must be told, and we’re confident that games – the preeminent interactive media of our time – are the perfect way to do so.”

*   Explore Sub-Saharan lands by crawling, climbing, and double-jumping.
*   Experience day and night cycles on your journey.
*   Solve puzzles and push through boulders to advance.
*   Withstand the harsh desert heat and fight for strength and emotional balance.
*   Face challenging enemies and confront Ja Thunderstorm!
*   Discover hidden paths and avoid natural hazards such as thorns, lightning – and even lava geysers.

Ayo: A Rain Tale is now seeking votes on Steam Greenlight. If Greenlit, the game will be available on Steam (Windows/Mac) on Q3 2017.

*   783 million people do not have access to clean and safe water worldwide.
*   319 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are without access to improved, reliable, drinking water sources
*   1 in 9 people worldwide do not have access to safe and clean drinking water.
*   Women and girls are responsible for water collection in seven out of ten households in 45 developing countries.

WHO/UNICEF JMP for Water Supply & Sanitation
World Health Organization (WHO)

Based in Beirut, Lebanon and founded in 2012, Inkline began as a design consultancy supporting local and regional brands. With the goal of raising awareness and giving a voice to humanitarian struggles, Inkline devotes its time and resources to creating games that shed light on these topics through symbolic, interactive, and enjoyable gameplay. Inkline is currently paying homage to classic video games and shining the spotlight on water-fetching realities in sub-Saharan Africa. For more information about Ayo: A Rain Tale and Inkline, please visit

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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Interview with H&R Studio, currently developing Empire in Ruins

I interviewed Emiliano, founder and lead developer/manager of the H&R studio.  He was born and raised in Italy, but has spent the last 10 years living across Europe (France, Germany, Estonia).  In 2012, during  the stop-over in Estonia, he met George – and an Indie dev adventure was born!

1 - So tell us a little about your team

We're a quite colorful bunch, spread out across Europe and with the studio based in Tallinn, Estonia. We got started as a hobbyist 2 man team almost 5 years ago, then in the last year and half we found some more likeminded people, and production started skyrocketing.

·         Emiliano (Italy) - Project Manager, Lead Developer and Designer
·         George (Greece) - Artistic director, 3d Generalist
·         Konrad (Latvia) - Illustrator, concept artist
·         John (Greece) - 3d Rigging and animation
·         Alexandros (Greece) - 3d Modeling and textures
·         Marcus (Germany) - SFX crafting and audio management programmer
·         Alessio (Italy) - Static 3d assets modeling
·         Yannis (Greece) - Marketing and texts

Additionally, we have a couple of external technical "advisors" for UX/UI and for C# related technicalities, and a 4-elements folk metal band for the soundtrack, the Red Dew Hellpipes.

2 - You're currently working on "Empire in Ruins" - could you tell us about that game?

Empires in Ruins is the thing that has occupied every single minute of our free time for the last few years. It's basically a story-driven mix of 4X, Tower Defense and RTS genres.

You take the role of a grumpy alcoholic Sergeant, Hans Heimer, and you try to quell the rebellion in the Western Marches of the Principality of Koth.  As your superiors in the capital don't seem to have much faith in the campaign, you get assigned a small ragtag army led by a bunch of unruly officers, and therefore to win the day you will need to resort to ambushes and dirty tricks rather than direct assaults.

You rescue the provinces from the enemies by fighting TD/RTS-like battles (26 maps), and then you manage your conquered provinces through officers, research and building assets, in 4X style.

Meanwhile, not everyone in your principality seems to be sharing the same agenda, so you will find yourself knee deep into a political struggle of factions that the you would have gladly avoided.

3 - What part of gamedev have you found to be most challenging?

Well, beside the obvious technical problems of a project this large (art coherence, story writing, optimization, gameplay mechanics quality and balance, etc.), I think the real challenge is to maintain an unshakeable faith in being able to reach the target (before dying of old age!). Dedication has to be a daily state of mind when a project spans years of work, I am not being dramatic about this, it really is so!  

Projects this long take a toll on personal life, free time, incomes, etc., so you really need motivated people to get to the end of them. I can't even start telling you how lucky I feel with the tough and focused team we have. We like to think of ourselves as a juggernaut, aiming for release day with a quality product in our hands while trampling obstacles that are on our way.

4 - On the other hand, what part(s) of gamedev do you find most rewarding?

Well, one is the fact of seeing your own dream growing up in your hands, and the satisfaction of seeing the effort you put into it paying off in quality and quantity. Let's face it, everyone that makes games, specially indies, is just grabbing by the horns a childhood dream, what could be nicer than that?

The other one is the feedback of people. You throw hours and hours of your work and thinking out there, to public display, and then wait, excited as a teenager on the first date. And when positive feedback (and I gotta say, most of the feedback we gathered in these years is very positive), man, it's a unique feeling really. Worth every ounce of sweat.

5 - Is there anything that makes Empire in Ruins stand out from other strategy games we might have played?

Well, I think that for one, we took a steep but rewarding way in order to give the game a well-defined character. I am one of those players (it changed, when I was young I minded much less), that can't play a game without character for too long, no matter how brilliant everything else.

That is what we are trying to avoid in EiR. Strong characters, mostly corrupted, nasty and rude, a sort of grim sarcasm wrapping it all up, then quite unique visuals (don't get me started on this cause I could talk about it for hours ;) ) and even the soundtrack, as we have a band composing folk metal music specifically for the game. (little preview of the music here)

Besides that, and this is really something we care for a lot, the mix of gameplay is also something that personally I never saw anywhere else. We did try to keep it deep enough to satisfy strategy geeks (like me) but avoiding going too deep into micromanagement. We also quite like the alternating of turn based management with fast paced real time battles (worry not, they have active pause available), most of which fought on the premise that probably the enemy is stronger than you to start with. I think all together, if well balanced, this might make for a quite peculiar strategy game.

6 - What sort of games / developers / development teams have been your inspiration?  (In terms of this game and becoming developers in general)

Well, I can talk mainly for myself (Emiliano) in this. It all began on Amiga, then I said for the the first time the sentence "I want to make videogames" after playing Monkey Island (I know it's not a strategy game, but a 12 years old kid had to get the dream started somewhere).

Then came the 90s RTS era. Warcraft, Starcraft, Red Alert, Age of Empires, etc etc. That can be seen as the real inspiration behind all of this I guess. I was never really into the game development scene, so I am one of those that barely know the names of a handful of famous developers or game designer.

I could mention Ron Gilbert, but it's just because of Monkey Island ;)

7 - When can we expect to see Empire in Ruins available to download?  Also, from where?

Empires in Ruins gets daily closer and closer to seeing the light of day(finally!). I would say that if nothing strange happens, the end of summer beginning of autumn will be the time. But quality comes first, I think that rushing it in the final months would be the best way to waste the work of years.

As for where, for sure Steam (we're already greenlit since almost one year and half, see shameless self-promotion link), then we will definitely try Gog, and most of the online stores that will decide to accept us.

8 - If you could give other aspiring indie devs just one piece of advice that you view as most important, what would it be?

Be realistic, be creative, prepare for hell :D I think that summarizes pretty well. Nowadays hundreds of games get released each month, quality is for sure essential to get your game in a spotlight, but the whole side struggle to achieve visibility really requires patience and perseverance. That said, come and cover us with love or insults anytime in our public pages:
·         on Twitter
·         on Facebook
·         on IndieDB

Thanks Emiliano for a great interview and I can certainly identify with what you say about the hardships of the indie life – as well as the rewards!  We look forward to the release of Empire in Ruins. 

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