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Indie Games

Thank you, IndieGames.com, for noticing Merry Gear Solid 2: The Ghosts of Christmas Past. Merry Gear Solid 2 is the sequel to indie developer (I'm on an indie kick today, apparently) Arthur Lee's Merry Gear Solid: Secret Santa, which he describes as a "top down stealth action game that plays like a simplified version of Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid series."

Lee's spins on the Metal Gear formula seem to merge the modern sensibilities of the recent Metal Gear games with the original look and feel from the series' origins. I wonder what Kojima would think about the game blending.

"I’ve now completely outlined the plot, and I’ve begun work on the script," said Lee on his blog. "Fans of the Metal Gear Solid series won’t be disappointed, as I’ve made every effort to make the story and dialogue as convoluted and incomprehensible as possible."

Merry Gear Solid 2 is scheduled to arrive sometime in December, but you can play the original now. You can also follow the game's progress at Lee's website, superfundungeonrun.

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Kevin Pereira is back with this edition of Indie Games, and, this time, he's talking about The Great Flu, a game that allows you to find and try and stem the tide of a bunch of different flu pandemics, all in search of a vaccine. You can try and cure it, and even close down pathways for it to get to people. It's like working for the CDC, without all of the emotional pain of people actually dying!

Check it out.

 

Indie Games: The Great Flu »


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Indie Games: Pixel

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Posted September 28, 2009 - By Mike D'Alonzo

There's nothing like a browser-based addictive shooter with cool music to get you excited about Indie Games. In this edition, Kevin Pereira shows off Pixel, a game that allows you to just sit back, shoot, and watch all of the pretty colors while cool music plays in the background.

Maybe you'd like to take a look.

 

Indie Games: Pixel »


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Indie Games: Airforce

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Posted September 21, 2009 - By Mike D'Alonzo

Have you ever wanted to engage in a dogfight, flying an MQ9 Reaper airplane and taking out your enemies high over the ground? Ever wondered what it would be like to control a big steel bird, trying to keep the horizon from flipping and keeping your cool while encountering those enemies? Well, Kevin Pereira has an indie game for you courtesy of your old friends at the Air Force.

Check it out.

 

Indie Games: Airforce »


Tags: Indie Games

Seattle!

What I love about Seattle:  Coffee, Pearl Jam, the fervent local support of the Sounders, green trees everywhere you look, Pike Place Market on a Sunday afternoon, and every so often, the rain.

Oh yeah, Penny Arcade Expo is pretty cool, too.

We're on our way up north to one of our most favorite events of the year, not just because it takes place in one of America's best cities, but because PAX is all about the gaming community -- that's you guys and girls. The show has a very different vibe compared to something like E3 or GamesCom:  it's energetic, but still relaxed, and it feels like you're among friends that you just haven't met yet. And it's all for a good cause, to boot. Here's what we've got planned for you this weekend on G4tv.com:

Feedback Live!

We're recording a special live episode of our new weekly show Feedback directly from PAX. If you're at the show, stop by the Raven Theater at 11:30AM to see Billy, Sterling, Patrick, Adam, Morgan and Blair. We'll be doing a Q&A session at the end of the panel, if you're so inclined. For home viewers, we'll be putting up that edition of the show early next week, followed by next week's regular episode on Thursday.

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In 2003 indie game designer Jakob Dvorsky founded his Czech development studio Amanita Design. What they churned out were surreal and critically-acclaimed, point-n-click adventure games Samorost and Samorost 2 which garnered:

Samorost1:
- Webby Award 2004 nominee
- Top Talent Award 2003 nominee

Samorost2:
- Webby Award 2007 winner (Games category)
- IGF 2007 - Best Web Browser Game
- Flashforward Film Festival 2006 winner in Original Sound category
- Best Web-Work Award in SEOUL NET FFESTIVAL 2006.
- 4.5 out of 5 stars by Adventure Gamers

Their latest upcoming project Machinarium (which also took the Excellence in Visual Arts Award from the Independent Games Festival at this year's GDC convention), is a puzzle/adventure packing surreal visuals, a robotic world and a haunting soundtrack. Here's a taste:

Machinarium Trailer »



Beautiful. For more visit the official site here.

When it comes to Chinese internet-addiction camps, you take a one step forward and two back. Recently a controversial re-education service decided to stop electrocuting teenagers who break camp rules, which is a plus, but reports have come out of China that a 16 year-old prisoner at another camp in Nanning, China was beaten to death by three supervisors, apparently because he didn't run fast enough, which is a huge minus. The alleged murderers were arrested, and victim Deng Senshan's family plan to protest the untimely, pointless death of their child. Senshan was probably a gamer: Most teenage "internet addicts" in China are.

“The teachers promised me that they would not use any physical punishment on my son when I dropped him off,” Deng Fei said.

Chinese internet users have reacted with outrage as well, asking, "Why do they always exaggerate their kids’ hobbies, turning them into addictions or problems?”

On a Chinese news forum, one member called for greater tolerance of Web habits: “I am sure only China has such a term: Internet addiction…. Why can’t its people accept new ideas and new things with an open mind?”

The Chinese obsession with internet addiction maybe highlights the speed with which the recently-agrarian country has moved into the modern age. Tech advances and the lifestyle changes they bring with them are coming so incredibly quickly in that country, it's not surprising that people are freaking out. Even here in the U.S., the advances in technology sometimes feel like suddenly waking up in a science fiction movie. Don't underestimate what the sudden introduction of radical technological change into a culture that's thousands of years old will do.

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In case you missed it, yesterday the AIAS, the Guild Hall at SMU and GameStop announced their Indie Game Challenge, which offers prize money and scholarships to the winning independent game developer. Check out Adam's interview with AIAS's president Joseph Olin.

Now that we're on the same, you will know where Adam is coming from in this week's Sessler's Soapbox. The Sess wanted to explain why he thinks games coming from independent developers are so important for the industry and gamers alike. If you bring more creative voices to the table, everyone else has to match their game and be just as innovative, creative and interesting as the other guy. So press play and find out what Adam has to say on the subject.

Sessler's Soapbox: Indie Games Are Important »



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Xbox LIVE Community Games Renamed Xbox LIVE Indie Games

Wow. A second indie game-related story in one 24-hour span? So that’s why I’ve been feeling underappreciated and overlooked all day. Huh. Anyway, for anyone out there steeped in the world of Xbox LIVE Community Games, then you’re probably aware that Microsoft has just released XNA Game Studio 3.1, the newest version of its free game development software.

In addition to plenty of tweaks and updates on the technical side, Microsoft is also planning to do a little cosmetic work on XNA's image as well. Starting today, the company begins the process of transitioning the name "Xbox LIVE Community Games" to the practically unrecognizable "Xbox LIVE Indie Games." The name isn't scheduled to be officially applied until late July, but if you don’t want to alienate yourself from your indie developer friends, you should probably start using the new name immediately.

Anyone here used XNA’s SDK to build their own games? If so, can we play them?

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Katamari Damacy Creator Joins TGS Sense Of Wonder Night Jury PanelIf you’re a fledging indie-game developer, nothing could be more valuable than being able to show your work to established and respected professionals during some industry-sponsored showcase of some kind, preferably in Japan. Fortunately for you, just such an event will be taking place on September 25 at the 2009 Tokyo Game Show.

The second annual Sense of Wonder Night gives independent game developers the chance to present their games to a panel of jurors, with the winner receiving the approval of their peers and free Business Day entry to TGS 2009 on September 24 and 25.

Plus, as reported by Gamasutra, fans of the bizarre and trippy Katamari Damacy series and Noby Noby Boy for the PlayStation 3 will be especially pleased to know that the twisted mind behind those games, Keita Takahashi, will be one of the showcase jurors. (You know what that means. The more insane your game, the better off you'll be.)

Submissions are being accepted from now until August 16. If you’re interested, be sure to check out the Sense of Wonder Night’s official site for all the details.

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'inFamous' Gets Flashy Browser-Based Mini-Game

Keeping with the long and storied (aka fairly recent) tradition of high profile titles being released in browser-based mini-game form (Portal, Mirror's Edge), Sony has announced the release of a browser-based mini-game version of the upcoming PS3 exclusive inFamous.

The less flashy web version of inFamous lets players experience a brief, yet morally treacherous, chapter in main character Cole's electrifying adventure. Your objective, spread out over three levels, is to reach a power generator located atop an abandoned house in Empire City.

At the start of the game, you must choose whether you will use your powers for good or evil, and your actions will influence your karma meter as you go along (killing civilians = evil, helping civilians = good). You can hurl bolts of electricity, rejuvenate incapacitated citizens with your defibrillator-esque hands, as well as perform various other combat and platforming maneuvers also found in the PS3 version.

The controls are a bit wonky, and the action isn't all that exciting, but it does sport some nice physics-based puzzle elements and the electricity effects are nicely done. Plus, the added morality system pushes it beyond your typical mindless Flash game.

For anyone looking to take a break from counting the minutes until inFamous is released on Tuesday, the game is a decent distraction that will certainly whet your appetite for the full game. Also, be sure to check out X-Plays preview of the game if you feel like punishing yourself even more.

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Indie Developer Quits Via 'Super Mario Bros.'When it comes to quitting your job (something you probably shouldn’t be doing these days), the last thing you want to do is make it forgettable. You want people talking about it six months later. “Man, I still don’t know how Fred got all of those chickens in the air ducts. What a hero.” Something like that. Or, if you happen to be the indie developer Farbs, and you feel that it's time to part ways with 2K Australia, you could just retool a classic game like Super Mario Bros. and get your message across that way.

If you want to see what an awesome job-quitting-based game looks like, you can play it at Farbs’ site.

Is it too early to speculate about a sequel?

Source via Offworld

Ever have a flash of game-designing brilliance in the middle of fraggin' your friend, leading your guild through a raid, finishing a puzzle or just plain brushing your teeth in the morning? Wanted to do something about it but too afraid to touch a command console to input progamming languages?

Microsoft Researcher Lead Matthew MacLaurin walks us through a revolutionary new take on computer programming with the Kodu Game Creator being created for the PC and Xbox 360.

"The Kodu language is designed specifically for game development and provides specialized primitives derived from gaming scenarios. Programs are expressed in physical terms, using concepts like vision, hearing, and time to control character behavior. While not as general-purpose as classical programming languages, Kodu can express advanced game design concepts in a simple, direct, and intuitive manner."

Features:

  • High-level language incorporates real-world primitives: collision, color, vision
  • Uses Xbox 360 Game Controller for input — no keyboard required
  • Runs on XBox 360 and PC
  • Interactive terrain editor
  • Bridge and path builder
  • Terrain editor - create worlds of arbitrary shape and size
  • 20 different characters with different abilities

For more, check back later today for Raymond Padilla's impressions on Kodu straight from San Francisco and our GDC 2009 crew there. For now, it's safe to say that this isn't your parent's Logo Writer programming software.

Kodu Game Creator Demo Walkthrough

Kodu Game Creator Walkthrough »


World of Goo

Ron Carmel, whose company 2D Boy created awesome puzzle game World of Goo, does not like digital rights management (IE: copy protection.) Rather than seeking to change DRM, Carmel just wants to scrap the whole thing. He gave the following advice to indie game developers at the Game Developers Conference today:

"Don't bother with DRM--it's a waste of time. You just end up giving the DRM provider money. Anything that is of interest gets cracked, and the cracked version ends up having a better user experience than the legit version because you don't have to input in some 32-character serial number."

"Wait, what does this Carmel guy know about piracy anyway?!" you might ask. Turns out, he know a lot. According to 2D Boy, World of Goo has a 90 percent piracy rate . Yet, the company says it's still making a profit on the title.

Read More »

Kevin Pereira talks about the bleak, Japanese side scroller, Suicide Salaryman in which the object is to commit various, gruesome suicides.

Indie Games: Suicide Salaryman »


Suicide Salaryman

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