We’ve just had a note passed to us, under the door, that says Minecraft developers Mojang are about to announce the four main bods behind Bukkit have “joined ranks” with the company. Bukkit would be the Minecraft server mod that made running Minecraft servers so much easier, and enormously improves mod support on the server side. The plan is to have the same flexibility on the official Minecraft server. I barely understand what I’ve written, but this works better:
John: So will this mean that Minecraft will finally properly support modding?Carl Manneh: Yes!
As the poor chaps behind moody triangle-noir game Flatland: Fallen Angle observe, getting dicked over by an online payment firm seems to be something of a rite of passage for indie games these days. Still, perhaps finding yourself mentioned in the same breath as Minecraft, Project Zomboid and Xenonauts makes up for it to some degree. Flatland devs SeeThrough Studios had a day in the sun yesterday due to a fair bit of coverage across the web (including from some miserable Limey buggers who run a PC gaming site), and then a night in the cold darkness when their chosen online purchase service, Paymate, decided to cancel and refund all existing purchases of their $1 ‘Appreciation Edition.’ Which is even worse than the usual story of the goons at Paypal deciding to lockdown indies’ earnings for months.
Why did Paymate do this? Because it’s a game. (more…)
Jet Set Radio continues to be an astonishingly good looking game, over there on the last of the Segaboxes and wherever else it may have popped up over the years. It’ll be looking even better on PC soon enough, with announcement that a high definition digital download version of the game is due on XBLA, PSN and my computer this summer. Maybe it will be on your computer as well, or maybe you’re not yet convinced that its scratchy audio treats and cel shaded visuals are for you. Look at this trailer, which is still lovely today several graphical and musical trends after release. This was before all game promotional material legally required use of dubstep or that BWAARRRRR Inception noise.
Every fantasy you’ve ever had to reroute power to the shields exists in FTL. I know because I just pulled power from the sick-bay to boost my shields while I attempted to flee a hostile enemy scout. If you don’t have those fantasies yet, then soon it’ll be all you can think about. FTL’s random, rogue-like space-faring nastiness just got me into an unwinnable fight against an unmanned scout ship: if I destroyed it, it would automatically send out a distress signal to inform the rest fleet that I’d just Captain Mal-led him. So instead of going for a death blow, I had to stoke the shields and retaliate by hitting their weapons, keeping us both alive while my FTL drives powered up. No-one was hurt so far; the sick-bay was expendable. Recuperation would have to happen post-battle. (more…)
In the second part of our interview with Double Fine‘s Tim Schafer (the first part is here), we get to talking about the nature of the adventure game, and reflect on some of Schafer’s defining classics from the 90s, Day Of The Tentacle, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango, to consider what lessons they offer for today, the reasons for avoiding 3D altogether, and I almost trick him into making a sequel to Day Of The Tentacle.
Gotham by Gaslight - aka Victorian Batman vs Jack the Ripper – was a big deal for comics back in the early 1990s, what with it both transplanting Bats into a new setting and being a self-contained tale rather than the usual unending episodic fare. Sadly it’s been largely ignored in this modern age of ultra high-tech Batmen and Grant Morrison miring poor ol’ Bruce in endless, obtuse fantasy stories about nothing, but a few years ago Day 1 Studios were set to make a videogame based upon this 19th Century superhero. You’ll know Day 1 from FEThreeR, the Xbox MechAssault games and the upcoming PC multiplayer mech title Reign of Thunder, so their heritage perhaps isn’t really in the vein of the quiet, thoughtful oddness of GbG.
Whether or not they’d have pulled it off is something we’ll never know, as it was canned before development started in earnest – but a leaked proof-of-concept animation trailer does suggest it could have been an especially atmospheric steampunk odyssey. (more…)
I suppose it’s a bit of a cultural death knell for an alternative dance music genre when middle-class geeks start ritually making vaguely inaccurate gags about it, and indeed when it suddenly finds its way onto every other game trailer. Dubstep – increasingly better known as Wub Wub – appears to be the go-to games marketing of 2012. Far Cry 3 and Borderlands 2 have already staked their wubby claim, and now it’s the turn of Unreal 3-powered MMO Otherland. Spectacular environments, light-trees, big fat men, big fat women and ladyvoice-ehanced wub wub wub wub wub wub wub wub await. (more…)
Onlive and the IGF are spooning for a fortnight. The sensual lovers are celebrating the Indie Gaming New Year by giving you access to 30 minute demos of 16 IGF finalists. The alphabetically sexy list of games is: Atom Zombie Smasher, Be Good, Botanicula, Dear Esther, Dustforce, English Country Tune, Frozen Synapse, FTL, Lume, Nitronic Rush, Once Upon a Spacetime, POP, SpaceChem, To the Moon, Toren, and WAY. (more…)
Like a beautifully illustrated children’s storybook, The Old Tree is an interactive adventure following the first steps, or lurches, of an odd creature that hatches in the base of the titular timber. Think Samorost but with insect bellboys and an excellent mammal cameo. Interaction is simple, with the player enabling the tentacled apple-bulb to progress by clicking on parts of the environment to create a path. It’s oddly sinister too, although nothing horrific happens so don’t worry too much. Maybe it’s just because I don’t like grubs and insects. It’ll only take about twenty minutes to play through and strange scenes like the one pictured above make that time well spent, I reckon.
Jumping, falling, kicking through walls, RUNNING AWAY. It’s how I’ve spent my morning and some of last night, as I made my way through the alpha release of Lemma, an indie game set to be released as a charity fundraiser. The most obvious point of comparison is Mirror’s Edge and since I’ve not woken up enough to make a more obtuse comparison, let’s go with Mirror’s Edge because in Lemma you perform parkour from a first-person perspective. There’s a story, told through exploration of the island on which you inexplicably awaken as well as through convincingly written text messages exchanged with someone in need of assistance. Stumble from your precarious foothold and join me below for a trailer and more.