7 Search results

For the term "where are they now?".

Where are they now? Catching up with my Top 20 from IGF 2014

Going through all the entrants for the 17th annual Independent Games Festival this year got me thinking: This is the fourth year I’ve done this and some of these games I’ve seen every year while others I’ve lost track of. So I went back to my bookmarks archive and quickly checked in with some of my top picks. You can check out my recap from 2012 and 2013 that I posted earlier this week but for today we’re moving on to last year’s list: IGF 2014.

igfwhere-elegy

Elegy for a Dead World – I like writing… *glances at past 9 years of GameLuv posts* … yeah, I’m pretty sure I like writing. So when a game promises to plunk me down all alone on a dead alien world and tells me I’ll be documenting it for posterity, I take notice. Elegy has gone on to see official release but now that part of the experience is reading other peoples writings I feel like I’d have a pretty boring story to tell. Stage fright? That’s an interesting concept in itself. I really should buy this some day.

Moon Intern – This one had a pretty high, high concept in 2013 as a “serialized side-scrolling action RPG […] with each day acting like a single episode”. An episodic, pixelart platformer sounds enticing but work has been hampered since Day One according to the devs. With a new emphasis on “random and procedural elements” it’s starting to sound like most other indie games of the day. That is to say, a lot less interesting to me.

Perfect Stride – I rediscovered Perfect Stride amongst the L.A. Game Space demos in 2014 and was finally able to make sense of its stunning lo-fi visuals. It also has a really chill soundtrack. As for the future, who knows. The creedo remains: Perfect Stride is coming to $team whenever we finish it. It continues to pop up at events but I haven’t heard much more on its progress.

PixelJunk Inc. – Now known as Nom Nom Galaxy, this “2D Minecraft” has seen several updates since I uncharacteristically bought into its Early Access build. The biggest news, though, is that Q-Games is once again working with Sony to bring the game to PlayStation 4 and Vita. How this impacts the PC version that I bought has yet to be seen but the game continues moving forward at a decent pace.

igfwhere-white

The White Cane – The White Cane is literally a black void until you start bumping into stuff. Your characters thoughts — visualized as words — create the world around you as you come to grips with where you are and what’s following you. As a student project from 2013 the team has obviously broken up and only one of them is continuing to work on the game. It’s a long ways off and may never happen but I’m here, still holding on for another update. It’s that striking to play!

THUMPER – Is it an endless runner? Is it sort of like Rock Band but without the emphasis on instruments? I don’t know but it looks splendid and incredible and I will hold on as long as needed in order to play a release version. Public demos are already happening in 2015 but so far I’ve not been close enough to attend.

Where are they now? Catching up with my Top 20 from IGF 2013

Going through all the entrants for the 17th annual Independent Games Festival this year got me thinking: This is the fourth year I’ve done this and some of these games I’ve seen every year while others I’ve lost track of. So I went back to my bookmarks archive and quickly checked in with some of my top picks. You can check out my recap from 2012 that I posted earlier this week but for today we’re moving on to IGF 2013.

igfwhere-against

Against the Wall – A game about scaling a sheer wall and slowly discovering mysterious stuff by pulling out odd-sized blocks to make a path. It’s so simple and pure, I’ve pined for it since 2012 and it’s still not done. Work continues but it seems to be overshadowed by newer games from developer Michael Consoli. I can wait, I just hope it isn’t retired.

Chroma – In a year when every other entry had something to do with manipulating light and shadows, Chroma was the one that looked most appealing. Mark Foster has since found more success with Titan Souls but Chroma remains at the top of his site’s projects list. I hope one day it happens.

Cradle – I’ve had just as many concerns over this game making it out as I’ve had dreams about playing it. Development has always seemed shaky and coming from Russia some of the updates have been hard to follow. Thankfully there’s been news already in 2015 and the script and voice acting have been completed. Paying actors to record dialog is a pretty good sign a game is moving along so I’m hoping to play it sometime this year.

Don’t Starve – Back at the dawn of the neo-roguelike age I fell in love with Don’t Starve. Like most I enjoyed the terror of coming to grips with the game’s mysteries and fighting hunger like it was a tangible enemy. It was the first Early Access game I bought into and the last I’ll ever play with that much dedication. By the time the game was released I’d burnt out on it and everything I understood about how it worked had changed. Still a fantastic game, I just came at it the wrong way and I’ve learned a gaming life lesson from it.

igfwhere-leaper

Leaper★ – Leaper is as old as 2010 but I didn’t dig deep enough on Sophie Houlden’s website until writing this post to find the playable demo of it. I want it even more now despite not owning an iPad anymore which is where the star-enhanced edition would debut… if it ever happens. It’s a great one-button platforming concept that feels wonderful. I hope it happens some day, in some form that I can actually get ahold of.

NEO Scavenger – Constantly tempting me to repeat the same mistake I made with Don’t Starve was NEO Scavenger. It was in playable Alpha form and then on Early Access for the better part of 2 years and I always wanted to jump in. Finally, I bought the full game when it was released proper and it has continued to kill me in more and more inventive ways every time.

StarForge – At the start all I needed was the confirmation that you could build a tower of dirt right out of the atmosphere and into space. Then there was the reveal of the crazy gun generation system and the momentum-based physics of movement. Then the fort-building, wave-based Horde mode. It all seemed to be careening wildly right up my alley. I never bought in but going by Steam the final, release version of the game is a messy shell of all that potential. I’d still like to give it a shot some day but wow, what a letdown.

Where are they now? Catching up with my Top 20 from IGF 2012

Going through all the entrants for the 17th annual Independent Games Festival this year got me thinking: This is the fourth year I’ve done this and some of these games I’ve seen every year while others I’ve lost track of. So I went back to my bookmarks archive and quickly checked in with some of my top picks. I’ll do a separate post this week for each year I’ve been at this so let’s start at the start, IGF 2012.

igfwhere-causality

Causality Flux – Their homepage has never expanded beyond some placeholder imagery surrounding the same trailer they submitted to the IGF. It’s one of those games that looked promising but probably isn’t going to resurface. This happens a lot and it’s the No.1 pitfall of going through all these IGF games.

Crabiton – After launching on iOS in 2011 and being one of the last iPad games I was interested in, Two Lives Left are now bringing the space munching game to Kinect for Xbox One. With Kinect able to track fingers in a very crab-like manner it seems a perfect fit.

Crystalides – One of the games I was most excited about started out in 2011 as a Java-powered cellphone game. Since then the project has been retired with the universe and some of the gameplay I loved retooled into C-Wars. It’s been Greenlit for Steam and continues development after a Kickstarter fully funded it in 2013.

Fader – One of the first “controlling different stuff on two halves of a screen” games I ever saw and it’s still not out. The combination of art style and music are why I’m still holding out for Fader. The latest from developer Chris Makris’ twitter is “I move like molasses”. Glad to know it’s still in the works.

igfwhere-leshy

Leshy – I’ve played a lot of “rolling ball puzzle/platformers” over the years so if you see one in these lists you know it’s something special. While an expanding and contracting ball doesn’t sound like much the developers nailed the sense of scale even in this short demo and it blew my mind. I’ve followed up with some of the team because I think about Leshy a lot but unfortunately the project never went any farther. Shame, but at least we can still play the demo and dream!

Nitronic Rush – That other DigiPen game I just mentioned, it’s as close to San Francisco Rush as we’re going to get. Much of the team has gone on to make Distance which looks similar but, to me, feels even more about survival than the classic Rush vibe Nitronic held to. Both are fabulous in my book though.

Nous – Another DigiPen team game like Leshy and Nitronic Rush, Nous was a great 4th-wall-breaking twin-stick “shooter” with some great moments. Brett Cutler, Nous’ designer, is now at 17-BIT working on Galak-Z which makes perfect sense from what I’ve seen of it and Nous.

igfwhere-zomboid

Project Zomboid – The game has come on by huge leaps since 2011 but it continues to be an Early Access affair. Once it’s content is certified “Released” I’ll jump back in but since my first blush with the game I’ve put it anxiously on hold.

Proteus – The visual wonderland of Proteus wowed a lot of us in 2013. It’s continued making the indie hop from platform to platform. Ed Key, one half of the game’s creators, continues to blow up my twitter while simultaneously exploring the U.K.’s outback. The lucky bastard.

Red Rogue – Possibly the web-based game I’ve spent the most time with. At a moment when all I wanted were roguelikes, here comes an adorable, side-scroller with mysterious loot, adorable (but gory) animations and a fantastic, muted color palette.

Treasure Adventure Game – This was one of the first times I’d heard a 2D game referred to as featuring an open world and it captivated me. Turns out what they meant to say was it’s ‘just like Metroid’. The soundtrack has persisted much longer as a personal favorite though. And much like Spelunky, the pixelart original has been redrawn “as originally envisioned” and is working its way towards a full, expanded release as Treasure Adventure World.

Check out 31 mostly new Indie games coming to Xbox One

030415-idxboxgdc

If you’re tired of all this virtual reality news coming out of GDC and just want to check out some new games, the Xbox YouTube channel has posted 31 new trailers of upcoming indie titles. These games are all part of Microsoft’s indie publishing program, ID@Xbox, which has some booth space at GDC to show off the games.

Many of these are games I looked at in the IGF this year and it’s good to see them updated and getting console releases (Submerged, The Sun and the Moon, ClusterPuck 99). There are also a lot of titles I hadn’t heard of making their “console debut” on Xbox One. Of particular note is The Flame in the Flood which looks like a fantastically artsy rogue-lite set amongst a flood in a “forgotten post-societal America”. You can check out most of the games on the Xbox channel but I’ve included their bullet point listing after the break if you want to read some more.

(more…)

I was sure that would work

021413-octoputtz

Playing Jackbox Games‘ new mobile title, Word Puttz, I was certain the letters they gave me in this tutorial stage were a knowing setup. I was wrong. The purveyors of the classic You Don’t Know Jack series (hosted by Cookie Masterson. Get it now?) have applied their clever word play to the word game genre with Word Puttz. …word.

It’s Scrabble on a minigolf course, a design choice that repaints the traditional square board in new layouts while adding other gameplay wrinkles. Coins tempt you to run off of the direct course, tubes redirect your word train into perplexing corners, and word limits force you to plan ahead. There’s also this evil mechanic that locks your letters in place as you build words. On your way to spelling SHEATHES, for example, you’ll be locked in at SHE, SHEAT, SHEATH, and SHEATHE, being issued new letters to fill in your hand as you go. If things go bad you can remove any letters you laid down previously but you don’t get them back and the letters issued at each stop count against your limit for that stage. I’m seventeen stages in and it’s getting downright strategic.

Being a mobile game there are naturally hooks for in-app purchases. Hearts regenerate over time and you lose one if you quit out of a stage. Hints, shuffles and power-ups come in short supply. There are cheaper packs to refill these consumables but the $4.99 option buys you a less sleazy game. I’m no wordsmith and so far I haven’t run into a need to pay, despite one of the stages being cheekily titled “The Pay Wall”.

It’s a nice spin on the crowded word game genre, one that makes you think in new ways and, for a change, doesn’t require you to lure in friends and family as competitors. It’s available now for free on both Android and iOS.