Beau is an expert at crafting excellent “let’s all play a game on the couch together” experiences, and Samurai Gunn is by far his best yet. It’s extremely simple to pick up and play, but offers deep reaction-based choices for the expert rōnin.
That Doseone soundtrack!
We’ve been playing early versions of this game all year, and I can’t wait for all of you to join in on the fun. It’s my favorite game of the year, and our go-to game whenever friends/enemies come over.
One of my favorite items, back when I used to write for GameSetWatch (God rest its soul) was Hatoful Boyfriend, an otome visual novel at women. But instead of cute/hot boys you date cute/hot pigeons. Here’s some additional info, straight from my original GSW post:
As a student at St. PigeoNation’s Institute, “the most splendid and greatest academy of the pigeon, by the pigeon and for the pigeon”, everything’s going as well as can be expected, at least for someone who’s the lone human at an all bird institution. Until you find yourself attracted to those feathered bodies you’re surrounded by. Thus the adventure of a lifetime begins.
And guess what? Hatoful Boyfriend is finally available in English! Actually, this might be old news; I’m only hearing about in now. Whatever. The best part is how you can nab it, alongside another doujin soft, for as little as $1.50 via the Let’s Build A Doujin Bundle 2.
The rest of the offerings don’t look half bad, including a few shumps that are highly reminiscent of Touhou Project. Alas, Ether Vapor Remaster plus the original Yatagarasu aren’t up for grabs; those were in Let’s Build A Doujin Bundle 1, sorry.
My buddy and game design mastermind Steve Swink just launched a Kickstarter for SCALE. Look how pretty it is!
The game is all about scaling the size of objects up and down and exploring the environment. In its early state, there are already all kinds of crazy things going on.
Is anyone else getting flashbacks to that episode of The Magic School Bus where the Frizz takes the class on a trip inside Arthur’s body?
I played an early build, and I’m super excited to see Steve + team finish this up and mess with all my preconceptions of how a 3D environment can be explored! I’m ready to shrink the whole world and put it in my pocket.
You have 4 weeks to grab your copy of SCALE for $10. Check out the trailer below!
Every now and then someone will ask me for advice on making it as a professional indie game developer. First, it’s a huge honor to be asked that. So I want to say “Thank you!” Second… damn, if I really want to help out it’s a serious endeavor. Of course, I could always say “Give it your best! Work hard! Be true to yourself!” and it wouldn’t be a terrible reply… just not a terribly useful one, either.
So here it is. Here is what I’m going to link when that rare situation arises again, because it’s too much work to write it up more than once! This is advice that I feel may actually be practical to someone who is just starting out as an indie game developer. Hope it helps!
So yeah, what does being “indie” even mean? Is “indie” short for independent? Is this game “indie”? Is “indie” a genre? IT’S CONFUSING – WHY DO WE NEED THE WORD “INDIE” AT ALL.
To answer the last question, I offer the following scenarios. Scenario 1: a person is looking to make games, and perhaps start their own studio. They type “game development” into a search engine. The results, to say the least, are underwhelming. Dry. Academic. Programming-centric. (Try it yourself and see.)
Scenario 2: the person instead types “indie games” into a search engine. Instead of pages upon pages of conferences, bachelor’s degrees, and programming tools, that person is met instead with pages upon pages of games to play and vibrant communities filled with people who are doing exactly what he or she wants to be doing. Some of them went to school, but many did not. A wealth of different ideas and tools are used. There are even documentaries about making games! It’s not just something where you get a degree and wait in line for a job. You can start making games RIGHT NOW.
The word “indie” is more than just a way to describe a type of developmental process… like any label, it actually provides an avenue for people to explore that process and then flourish within it. It has a real purpose. It serves real lessons on game creation and entrepreneurialism. It offers real motivation!
Of course, it can be irritating to see the term misused, or become a vehicle for pretentiousness and arrogance. Like any label, “indie” also breeds a certain amount dogmatism, croneyism, and other -isms. But the net result is really worth something. As someone who once gave up on professional game-making because I thought it meant a 9-to-5, I can tell you that it’s genuinely valuable.
As for what games are “truly” indie, we’ll never fully agree, and that’s probably for the best. But I can tell you the criteria I’ve devised for The Independent Gaming Source to determine whether a game is fit for coverage:
1. “Independent”, as in no publisher.
2. Small studio (roughly 20 members or less).
I choose that definition because it’s the most useful one. Someone who is looking to become an “indie” game developer is interested in what is possible under those constraints and how those types of studios operate. It excludes companies like Valve and Double Fine, which are certainly independent but too large to be “indie”. It also excludes “feels indie”-type games that are not self-published.
Under that definition you still run into gray areas, but hey, just because we don’t know when “red” turns into “purple” doesn’t mean the words aren’t useful. Just think about someone who wants to make a game with a small team and self-publish it… what should they type into Google for inspiration, advice, community, etc.? “Indie” is still as good a word as any, in my opinion.
Minitroid (A Mini Metroid Adventure) is a PC indie game that shrinks our beloved Samus while maintaining the agility and mechanics that 2D Metroid games thrive upon. It also represents how the handheld form-factor is worth exploring outside of handheld platforms.
A design constraint of handheld is the miniaturization of the sprites, level design, and viewport. It’s a design constraint that I find incredibly compelling—I often cite how the greyscale Gameboy “Bionic Commando” is more enjoyable to play than the NES version. Another great example is “Todd’s Adventures in Slime World,” which is a rare instance of a handheld game being upscaled to a console (from the Atari Lynx to the SEGA Genesis respectively). The handheld version was far superior.
Perhaps it’s the intimacy, or that our imaginations can roam with limited pixels, or maybe great things simply come in small packages. As for these examples: “Bionic Commando” is a game about WWII (in Japan at least), so greyscale makes sense and then there’s tighter hook mechanics too. Todd is even easier—the alienated and claustrophobic atmosphere of his adventure was lost on the upscale.
As an aside, an isometric (2.5D) port of Metroid was released a few years back. Isometric perspective is another interesting design constraint that’s worth exploring, although Minitroid looks decidedly more fun to play in this particular comparison.