This is an interesting blog post by the developers The Game Bakers in which they overview the financial side of iOS games. We all know about the success of games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, which both have made quite a bit of money. But what about all the other games that are nowhere near the same sales figures? That’s what this article addresses, looking into many games including an overview of their own Squids. Definitely a good read for anyone thinking of going into indie game development. 

This is an interesting blog post by the developers The Game Bakers in which they overview the financial side of iOS games. We all know about the success of games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, which both have made quite a bit of money. But what about all the other games that are nowhere near the same sales figures? That’s what this article addresses, looking into many games including an overview of their own Squids. Definitely a good read for anyone thinking of going into indie game development. 

For the past few days I’ve been addicted to Picross 3d, which is a lovely puzzle game for the DS. I find it’s a great way to wind down before bed, although that might change when I inevitably reach the harder and potentially frustrating puzzles. It’s a simple thing really, but I find that half my amusement in this game is trying to figure out what object I’m slowly whittling out of this nondescript grey block. 

This same satisfaction is not completely unlike that my 8 year old self felt each time I uncovered and therefore rescued a baby ball thing (?) in Tetrisphere

tl;dr I like puzzle games where you blow up blocks in order to uncover things. Or I just find blowing things up to be fun

Forgot to post this earlier, but Indie Game: The Movie is going to be shown at the Sundance Film Festival! This documentary is about the creation of video games, that follows the makers of Braid, Super Meat Boy and Fez in particular. 
It looks like it will be an amazing film and I’m so happy to see that it’s going to be featured at Sundance. Just like the recent Grammy awarded to a song from Civilization IV, I think this is another step for video games being recognized as an art form. 

Forgot to post this earlier, but Indie Game: The Movie is going to be shown at the Sundance Film Festival! This documentary is about the creation of video games, that follows the makers of Braid, Super Meat Boy and Fez in particular. 

It looks like it will be an amazing film and I’m so happy to see that it’s going to be featured at Sundance. Just like the recent Grammy awarded to a song from Civilization IV, I think this is another step for video games being recognized as an art form. 

I haven’t played much of it yet (since I’m procrastinating from studying and need to get back to it) but I just wanted to point out how visually stunning this game, Voxatron that is included in the Humble Indie Bundle (2 days left!). The aesthetics are certainly what makes this game. So far there isn’t anything very unique about the gameplay, it’s certainly fun, but that’s not what makes this game stand out.
There’s something really satisfying about seeing the environment around you actually being affected by your battles by slowly being destroyed. This is probably the most detailed environment damage I’ve seen in a game (granted it’s a stylized aesthetic as opposed to realistic graphics, however that’s precisely why they were able to make it work) 

I haven’t played much of it yet (since I’m procrastinating from studying and need to get back to it) but I just wanted to point out how visually stunning this game, Voxatron that is included in the Humble Indie Bundle (2 days left!). The aesthetics are certainly what makes this game. So far there isn’t anything very unique about the gameplay, it’s certainly fun, but that’s not what makes this game stand out.

There’s something really satisfying about seeing the environment around you actually being affected by your battles by slowly being destroyed. This is probably the most detailed environment damage I’ve seen in a game (granted it’s a stylized aesthetic as opposed to realistic graphics, however that’s precisely why they were able to make it work) 

I just heard about this upcoming survival horror game, Amy, and I’m really excited about it! 
The game takes place in 2034 in a small US midwestern town where there was this virus outbreak essentially turning people into zombies. This game seems like it will be vastly different than all those other zombie games out there: the focus here is on the story.This story centers around Lana, who is actually infected herself, however in the presence of this young autistic girl, Amy, the virus is repressed in her. The two must work together in order to survive this ordeal. Not unlike Ico, there will be a hand-holding mechanic in the game, where the player will be able to ‘feel’ Amy’s heartbeat via the rumble of the controller. The faster the heart beat, the greater the present danger. Another interesting gameplay feature is that when separated from Amy, Lana will progressively become more zombie-esque and will actually be able to slip through groups of zombies unnoticed. 
In an interview with Edge, Paul Cuisset had this to say: “…I am quite sick of all the games where you have only combat and nothing else. A good story needs good characters, and good characters need good relations to build something. I think that we tend to forget that we can do something different in games – it needn’t only be shooting and action games, we can also tell stories.”
It seems like it’ll be a very poignent story; I’m definitely going to buy it when it comes out. 
edit: haha, so I definitely lied in this post because after I saw the extremely poor reviews it received I didn’t want to buy it. Good idea, looks like it wasn’t executed that well though…

I just heard about this upcoming survival horror game, Amy, and I’m really excited about it! 

The game takes place in 2034 in a small US midwestern town where there was this virus outbreak essentially turning people into zombies. This game seems like it will be vastly different than all those other zombie games out there: the focus here is on the story.This story centers around Lana, who is actually infected herself, however in the presence of this young autistic girl, Amy, the virus is repressed in her. The two must work together in order to survive this ordeal. Not unlike Ico, there will be a hand-holding mechanic in the game, where the player will be able to ‘feel’ Amy’s heartbeat via the rumble of the controller. The faster the heart beat, the greater the present danger. Another interesting gameplay feature is that when separated from Amy, Lana will progressively become more zombie-esque and will actually be able to slip through groups of zombies unnoticed. 

In an interview with Edge, Paul Cuisset had this to say: “…I am quite sick of all the games where you have only combat and nothing else. A good story needs good characters, and good characters need good relations to build something. I think that we tend to forget that we can do something different in games – it needn’t only be shooting and action games, we can also tell stories.”

It seems like it’ll be a very poignent story; I’m definitely going to buy it when it comes out. 

edit: haha, so I definitely lied in this post because after I saw the extremely poor reviews it received I didn’t want to buy it. Good idea, looks like it wasn’t executed that well though…

Never before have I been so terrified of an ripples in water before. I played some Amnesia last night, and man my nerves are not cut out for such a game. The designers in this game were brilliant in designing a truly terrifying experience mostly due to two reasons: making the player feel powerless, and by largely leaving the monsters up to the players’ imaginations. 
I mean this water… demon…thing… is completely invisible yet it induced so much fear because I knew as soon as I touched water it would sense me and that ominous splash of water would soon be right behind me. I like that they made it move in successive circular splashes, instead of having a continual ripple. Something about the rhythm of the splash and seeing and knowing it’s coming towards you is so unnerving. 

Never before have I been so terrified of an ripples in water before. I played some Amnesia last night, and man my nerves are not cut out for such a game. The designers in this game were brilliant in designing a truly terrifying experience mostly due to two reasons: making the player feel powerless, and by largely leaving the monsters up to the players’ imaginations. 

I mean this water… demon…thing… is completely invisible yet it induced so much fear because I knew as soon as I touched water it would sense me and that ominous splash of water would soon be right behind me. I like that they made it move in successive circular splashes, instead of having a continual ripple. Something about the rhythm of the splash and seeing and knowing it’s coming towards you is so unnerving. 

"I don’t really have the education, jacket, or fedora to properly interpret ambiguous ancient carvings."
Oh Guybrush Threepwood, how I’ve missed your witticisms. 

"I don’t really have the education, jacket, or fedora to properly interpret ambiguous ancient carvings."

Oh Guybrush Threepwood, how I’ve missed your witticisms. 

Atom Zombie Smasher is a very unique zombie apocalypse-centric game, and is definitely worth checking out. This indie game is probably the most light-hearted zombie game I’ve played, but at the same time it’s probably the most stressful and terrifying. I didn’t know this combination was possible. The reason I say this is because the aesthetics are very cartoony and it’s coupled with surf-rock music and the story anecdotes they have are humorous (granted, it’s dark humor). The reason I say it’s stressful is because this isn’t a game about killing all the zombies; rather it’s about trying to save as many survivors as possible, and you quickly find out that it’s simply not possible to save all of the survivors, in fact, you’re lucky to just meet the goal. 
This game is a wonderful example of good storytelling through gameplay. As a military tactician, you have to play a game of numbers, and the top-down view with all the units represented by dots is a good visual of this. It is a way of disassociating the survivors from being actual people, as I imagine someone who would be responsible for their care would try and do, since they can’t all be saved. However, if you’re like me, you’ll find that you can’t completely disconnect yourself from these dots and you become really tense when you see one lone purple dot (a zombie) coming towards a yellow cluster (survivors) because the second that purple dot reaches the cluster, a group of people just turned into a horde of zombies. If you’re lucky you’ll have snipers that you can aim in that direction to protect the people, but chances are you won’t. From mission to mission you are given scarce units to use. You might be given only barriers, trip mines, and a stink bomb thing that attracts the zombies and have to figure out how to work with just those. 
The difficulty of this game is fitting though since it is a zombie apocalypse; it’s not going to be easy. 

Atom Zombie Smasher is a very unique zombie apocalypse-centric game, and is definitely worth checking out. This indie game is probably the most light-hearted zombie game I’ve played, but at the same time it’s probably the most stressful and terrifying. I didn’t know this combination was possible. The reason I say this is because the aesthetics are very cartoony and it’s coupled with surf-rock music and the story anecdotes they have are humorous (granted, it’s dark humor). The reason I say it’s stressful is because this isn’t a game about killing all the zombies; rather it’s about trying to save as many survivors as possible, and you quickly find out that it’s simply not possible to save all of the survivors, in fact, you’re lucky to just meet the goal. 

This game is a wonderful example of good storytelling through gameplay. As a military tactician, you have to play a game of numbers, and the top-down view with all the units represented by dots is a good visual of this. It is a way of disassociating the survivors from being actual people, as I imagine someone who would be responsible for their care would try and do, since they can’t all be saved. However, if you’re like me, you’ll find that you can’t completely disconnect yourself from these dots and you become really tense when you see one lone purple dot (a zombie) coming towards a yellow cluster (survivors) because the second that purple dot reaches the cluster, a group of people just turned into a horde of zombies. If you’re lucky you’ll have snipers that you can aim in that direction to protect the people, but chances are you won’t. From mission to mission you are given scarce units to use. You might be given only barriers, trip mines, and a stink bomb thing that attracts the zombies and have to figure out how to work with just those. 

The difficulty of this game is fitting though since it is a zombie apocalypse; it’s not going to be easy. 

I’ve played through the first sequence in the game Trauma, which I got from the current Humble Indie Bundle, and so far the music is powerful, the story is poignent, and the imagery is great. What I especially want to point out though is how they designed the mechanic of moving around. I’m accustomed to those room-escape games where you just press the arrows on the side of the screen in order to look at another wall or area. In this game however, when you move your mouse around the image, different spots will light up that you can click in order to change your perspective. I think this is a vast improvement upon the arrow method especially in a game such as this where arrows would not only mar the image, but also limit where you can explore. 
You can actually play Trauma in your browser for free if you would like to try it out. 

I’ve played through the first sequence in the game Trauma, which I got from the current Humble Indie Bundle, and so far the music is powerful, the story is poignent, and the imagery is great. What I especially want to point out though is how they designed the mechanic of moving around. I’m accustomed to those room-escape games where you just press the arrows on the side of the screen in order to look at another wall or area. In this game however, when you move your mouse around the image, different spots will light up that you can click in order to change your perspective. I think this is a vast improvement upon the arrow method especially in a game such as this where arrows would not only mar the image, but also limit where you can explore. 

You can actually play Trauma in your browser for free if you would like to try it out. 

I’m particularly excited to try out Trauma from the new Humble Indie Game Bundle. According to the game’s website Trauma “tells a story of a young woman who survives a car accident. Recovering at the hospital, she has dreams that shed light on different aspects of her identity - such as the way she deals with the loss of her parents.”

I’m particularly excited to try out Trauma from the new Humble Indie Game Bundle. According to the game’s website Trauma “tells a story of a young woman who survives a car accident. Recovering at the hospital, she has dreams that shed light on different aspects of her identity - such as the way she deals with the loss of her parents.”