Jul 8, 2014

A Short Summer Break and a short game on smoking

Having completely missed last summer and having endured what has without doubt been the worse six months ever, the time has come for my humble tired self to go on vacation; take a couple (or maybe three) weeks off. Have a bit of fun. Attempt to relax. Catch my breath.

This, of course, also means I'll be able to return and be properly refreshed in order to do all sorts of creative/indie things... You know, finish the Earthling Priorities freeware point-and-clicker (everybody else's work is mostly done), properly edit Workers In Progress, revamp this very blog, write more on indie and other sorts of games over at IndieGames.com, Warp Door, Retro Treasures and some other --to be announced and rather exciting-- places.

Oh, and did I mention I'm working on a dream project of mine with some absolutely brilliant people? Well, I am, but can't say much more besides admitting it's a RPG of sorts.

And now, dear reader, I bid you goodbye! I expect to be back before you know it (i.e. 14 days or so) and here's a lovely little something to keep you occupied: The Smoking Simulator. It's silly and good looking and quite a bit of fun and, well, it also is a freeware offering.

So, uhm, see you!

Jul 4, 2014

The Watchful Indie Watch #4.7

And with the third installment to the Watchful Indie Watch series it's time for a short break. After two years I too need a few weeks in order to avoid random re-calibrations of that old gnomic brain; the Watch will thus probably return in August (or late July)!

Richard Cobbett has thoroughly cobbetized Fallen London and given us Fallen Swindon. Anything else said about it is a spoiler and thus, wisely, avoided.

Excellent bear-filled beat-'em-up Fist of Awesome has just made it on Steam. And is on sale. And a bear-'em-up. And as pixely as ever.

Dwarves, astronauts, dwarf-astronauts in Stone Space and some lovely art make for a rather promising Kickstarter. We Are The Dwarves!

Fire with Fire won't be launched for another 10 days or so, but it does have a shiny new trailer. Oh, and it's gonna be a tower defense / tower attack thing with some creepy creeps.

The second episode of stunning point-and-click adventure The Journey Down, the aptly named The Journey Down: Chapter Two has entered beta and will soon get its release date.

Eternal Desert Sunshine is currently asking for your moneys over at IndieGoGo. It wants to become a wonderful, surreal arcade adventure set in ancient Egypt.

Voyage to Farland, on the other hand, already is. It's a hardcore rogue-like that plays traditionally but looks like something even a child would appreciate.

Back to things that haven't been released yet: Missing Translation -- a most definitely beautiful affair that manages to draw its inspiration from both FEZ and traditional adventure games.

Aching to download something? Good! Here's the latest version of ascii-esque FPS Illuminascii for Windows, Mac and Linux; it definitely feels unique.

Jul 3, 2014

BITBITJam and the Classic Hardware Freebie Indies

Jams are a lovely thing. A varied thing also and even the one jam I never expected to see happen, well, happened. It's the BITBITJam and it tasked developers with creating games for actual, vintage machines. Not retro-inspired games, that is, but games that would run on your very real, rather old, most probably dusty ZX Spectrums and Sega MegaDrives.

And lo, 10 brand new freeware games for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Sega MegaDrive, Nintendo Game Boy and MSX have been released! Download them all here.

The Speccy is a bit over-represented, which is always a good thing, and has gotten itself five offerings, followed by the MegaDrive with two, while the other platforms got one (lovable) game each. As for me, I only tried a few of said offerings, really loved Conspiralove and Leovigildo's Murcian Conspiracy and am aiming to play through the rest of said entries as soon as possible.
Mind you, in order to play everything, you will probably need several of these handy emulator thingies: WinApe (Amstrad CPC), ZX Spin (ZX Spectrum), BGB (GameBoy), blueMSX (MSX) and Kega Fusion (MegaDrive).

Reminder: I could really use your support via Patreon in order to survive long enough to make more indie gaming (and gaming in general) words and things. Thanks! 

Jun 30, 2014

The thankful Patreon Shout Out!

Time to put on the Patreon face, remind you of the fact that you can still support me and my work on indie gaming, and publicly thank some of the wonderfully generous people who have done so already. Mind you, those are not all my benevolent patrons, but just the ones who have provided me with the links and info for this shout out (hopefully more will follow).

Here's to some of the kind souls that have helped me then!

Christos “acer7” Tountas (twitterfacebook); a good friend and supporter of every game-related thing I have ever done.

Adventure developers and masters of all things black and white Expression Studios (twitter, web, email).

My friend, master pixel artist and indie developer Gionathan Pesaresi (twitter) of Neutronized.

The great producer of C64 cartridges James Monkman (twitter) of RGCD fame.

The kind St├ęphane.

My ridiculously (multi-)talented friend Eriq Chang (twitter, web).

And my dear, close friend Agustin Cordes (twitter) of Senscape; the creator of the best horror adventures ever and a staunch supporter for years.

Also, a huge thanks to Rob, Tim, Alan, Dan, Ben, Tam, Richard, John, Eric, Kurt, Ofer, Delyth, Dagda, Georgios and Daniel, who, I hope, will very soon get their proper shout out too (psst, just drop me a line)!

Jun 27, 2014

The Watchful Indie Watch #27.6

It's always the second installment in a series of posts that matters and apparently it's usually the longer one too. Also, here's what's been happening in indie gaming lately:

Wadjet Eye Games, those stalwarts of adventure gaming, have properly and unashamedly announced they are working with Grundislav Games on a little something called A Golden Wake: a roaring '20s adventure with a swingingly teasing teaser.

Brilliant platformer Thomas Was Alone has gotten its first DLC and it's both free and a prequel chapter. If you already own TWA you already own Benjamin's Flight. If not, you can currently own everything for a hefty 60% off.

Lovely freeware platformer You Only Get One... MATCH! for Windows and Mac has been made available to all former arcade goers and, happily, everyone else too. Jump around, light fireworks, avoid baddies and never let your match burn itself out.

Escape to Na Pali: A Journey to the Unreal has been published and it's a rather unique (and successful) attempt at a book about games. If you ever cared for Unreal or the construction of game worlds you should read it.

Dave the Devourer is out for (your) Windows on itch.io and Desura, and though I haven't found the time to properly try it out yet, I'm really intrigued by its art style. And the bonkers plot too.

The fifth major installment to the venerable DROD series of two dimensional puzzle-filled dungeon crawlers has been announced and it's none other than DROD: The Second Sky. The game can be demo-ed and pre-ordered and will launch on the very first day of July.

The Adventures of Clive McMulligan on Planet Zeta Four doesn't simply come with a long and satisfying name, but also with a hefty, 20 levels long demo. Also, a trailer.

And now for the crowdfunding-powered finale...

A Blind Legend; an ambitious attempt at creating an audio-only, fantasy action adventure, that can be enjoyed by everyone. Here's a most enlightening demo.

Based on a very interesting theory of dynamic narrative, The Hit aims to become a unique multiplayer stealth action game set in a living, breathing city. As an added bonus it's already looking lovely.

Never heard of dieselpunk before, but InSomnia will be set in a brutal universe of the sort. It will be a real-time combat sporting RPG too and even feature some pretty glorious retro-futuristic graphics.

As for Timespinner, well, it will hopefully become a beautifully pixelated Metroidvania with intriguing game mechanics.

Jun 25, 2014

Kaptain Brawe II singing for Viggo on a ZX Spectrum

Hello reader, here are three Kickstarter campaigns that deserve our love:

Kaptain Brawe 2: A Space Travesty

The original Kaptain Brawe, its very first demo to be precise, was one of the first indie adventures I covered on this blog back in 2006. It was a point-and-clicker that looked absolutely lovely in its hand-painted world  and one that spent a few years in development hell before finally becoming a good game ages later. Now, veteran game writer Steve Ince and Bill Tiller of Monkey Island 3 fame have been brought on board for what can only be described as an ambitious and exciting sequel that needs your crowd-funding moneys.

The campaign will be live for another day (at the time of writing) and can still use all the support it can get in order to reach its goal.

A Song for Viggo

Created using folded paper and stop-motion animation, A Song for Viggo is both visually striking and aiming to touch upon the depression that follows a tragedy. Its grim theme is in stark contrast to its beautiful visuals, its writing seems to be able to move and its mechanics will apparently be built around a single puzzle: living you life. Oh, and the two new videos the dev released (here and here) are more than promising.

The Story of the ZX Spectrum in Pixels

It's a new book on the ZX Spectrum by Chris Wilkins and, just like his previous books, it's looking lovely. It will apparently be a colourful and well-laid out affair covering most of the definitive Speccy games, while also providing interviews with developers and bits of history. The book will mainly be a visual journey from 1982 to the early '90s filled with huge screenshots, retro game advertisements, inlay artwork, loading screens and more.

Reminder: I could really use your support via Patreon in surviving long enough to make more indie gaming (and gaming) words and things. Thanks!