30 July 2012

It’s nice to know that the arcade-inspired Vektropolis will be released during doomsday next December… so none of us gets to enjoy Daniel Gallagher‘s (& co) game but… if the world doesn’t end… then windows users should  be able to put their hands on Vektropolis by the end of the year, for the rest of the platforms… 2013 it is.

Your objective will be to rescue as many humans per game level as possible earning bonuses and trophies depending on how many are saved and we should expect a growing level of difficulty with single and multi-player modes available. The shooter  is still being polished with the help of London-based 3D design company Gamoola, so while they keep adding a few more game dynamics and cleaner (and maybe adding the possibility to mute those warnings) we’ll keep dribbling in front of their teasers. More info on their webpage.

Vektropolis screenshot
Vektropolis screenshot

 (first trailer from last year)

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11 July 2012

After just 8 hours of posting the project on-line the android gaming console had already met and surpassed its initial $950K goal on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. This morning most on-line press websites echoed the success and the project had already reached the 2Million dollar mark, and one day after the project already has over 3million dollars. Can a project like Ouya die of success?

the initial Ouya interface
the initial Ouya interface

There are still too many unanswered questions and doubts about this upcoming device… not a defined business or distribution model for the game developers… at first they’ve talked about an “all free” gaming experience, games included, but then, developers should be able to choose the monetisation formulas to earn some $$ and make of Ouya a credible and viable platform where to place their babies.

Some are criticizing the poor specs of the mini-box which equals most Android-based portable devices nowadays with a Tegra3 quad-core processor, 1GB of Ram and 8GB of internal storage. Others are praising its launching price ($99) and for positioning Julie Uhrman’s shiny box on the affordable/low end side of the gaming market.

With the increasing relevance of the indie game industry, cloud gaming and the dematerialisation of traditional gaming platforms Ouya could easily become a cheap substitute for those in need of a casual gaming alternative. As many point out, it may not become a short term threat to Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft who’ve got the partnerships, content and right muti-screen & portability ecosystems but these may soon see hundreds of developers stop knocking at their door for a an arcade or a live window.

Ouya controller
Ouya controller

And like many Android-based projects Ouya is also willing to make use (and depend) not only on the crowdfunding but the crowdsourcing benefits too. A hackable platform (so popular nowadays to release “hackable” devices…) which poses many concerns but that hopefully will become a credible alternative and not a one-summer-wet-dream project like that other open & social project once was. More info on their KS page.

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Indie Game The movie finally released

12 June 2012

Yup, it took them two years to send today’s e-mail but James and Lisanne finally did it! Indie Game: The Movie has been 2 years in the making, about two years since the first Kickstarter founding campaign and 12 months since they got the extra $71K from their their second KS campaign…

An awful lot of game developers, gamers, bloggers and fans have been waiting the doc which follows the creation of some of the flagship games of the so-called indie game movement… Fez, Braid, Super Meat Boy…

Tommy Refenes - Edmund Mcmillen from Indie Game the Movie
Tommy Refenes and Edmund Mcmillen still from Indie Game the Movie

It all started in September 2009 when James & Lisanne were commissioned to produce a short documentary on Alec Holowka of Infinite Ammo and Aquaria fame. The short introduced then to a universe they weren’t familiar with… independent gaming, they took it seriously and started thinking about a videogame documentary. After a 6-month research period they both attended the 2010 GDConference  and filmed a ‘test piece’ with Edmund Mcmillen & Tommy Refenes of Super Meat Boy, the beginning of everything.

The rest is known by all of you, 2 highly successful crowdfunding campaigns, a lot of media coverage (and  hype) and today IGTM sees the daylight via iTunes, their own website store and the gaming platform Steam for $9.99.

Phil Fish (still from Indie Game The Movie)
Phil Fish (still from Indie Game The Movie)

A documentary which includes the collaboration not only of the game developers themselves but many other people like Jim Guthrie (from Sword & Sworcery) adding the soundtrack  and that has proven already successful (Sundance last year, an HBO deal to develop a series…). Highly recommended.

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A Maze Festival

25 April 2012

And from a video festival …. to a game festival! Tomorrow opens this year’s edition of A Maze. Indie Connect 2012.. in Berlin again (well… the vernisasge is actually today but the exhibition & party start tomorrow!). The A Maze collective who’ve been gathering geeks & creatives for quite a few years now (Jump’ N Run, Games Culture circle, First Step Fest….etc) celebrate this year’s edition with a nice selection of nominees…

Talks! Workshops! Insights! Inspiration! and all the usual jazz (full program this way) concentrated in 2 very inspiring days right before the award show & the never-ending party. We’re pretty sure this year’s nominees are pretty anxious to know who gets those 5000€… we would.

This year’s mighty lucky finalists include…

Messhof‘s ASDFPLANE, Threaks’ Beatbuddy, our beloved Botanicula (by Amanita Design… who we interviewed last week btw), Brokenrules’ Chasing Aurora, Woolly Robot’s Flight of the fireflies, Sparpweeed’s ibb & obb, Nicolai Troshinsky’s Loop Raccord,  Ed Key and David Kanaga’s Proteus, Black Pants’ Tiny&Big and last but not least…. Bernhard Schulenburg’s Where is my heart?.

Who is it gonna be?

Oh, and because we can’t vote like on the vimeo awards (not that our votes count there anyway), maybe you’re interested in knowing that Indie Connect’s 2012 jury includes Zuraida Buter ( zo-ii / Global Game Jam ), Chris Adkins ( IGM ), Thierry Platon ( Bip Media ) and Marek Plichta ( Spaces of Play ).

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17 January 2012

Two months ago when knowing Altered Zones was no-more we panicked. Where are we going to get our amazing news from besides label newsletters, pr agencies and artists themselves? AZ and it’s great galaxy of indie music blogs (gorillavsbear, internationaltapes, yourstruly….) was considered by many the best agglomeration of quality music discovery. 15 sites, each with its very own identity and even radically different music styles, but a great exercise of rootless music coverage.

We know AZ is not entirely dead, at least 2 of its editors: editors Ric Leichtung and Emilie Friedlander will continue this mission by opening later on this year. But they’re facing some competition in the indie-blog associative movement: Portals.

 If AZ was 15, Portals will be 16 (we’re big fans of Pasta Primavera ourselves!). If AZ was an international collective, Portals will be a “transcontinental intersection”… but does bigger mean better?

Besides the international coverage of the DIY movement in all its forms Portals aims to “change the way music is discussed online”, it will also include a traveling showcase that will begin in the USA initially and a monthly mixtape where each blogger provides an exclusive track from one of their favorite artists. Here goes the first one…

Let’s see where this collaborative futuristic adventure takes us to, we shall embrace it without complaints.

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