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Indie Ain't Just a Word

Jared Rosen offers a postmortem of GAME_JAM, a failed reality show about game development produced by Maker Studios and sponsored by Pepsi. Contestants Adriel Wallick, Robin Arnott, and Zoe Quinn also offer their perspectives.
posted by gilrain on Mar 31, 2014 - 46 comments

Embedded with London

Embedded with London Cara Ellison writes about some of the game developers (like George Buckenham, Alice O'Connor, Ed Key) involved with the Wild Rumpus, an indie game nightime event. This is a part of her ongoing independent embedded videogame reporting.
posted by zabuni on Jan 29, 2014 - 2 comments

Enough games to keep you occupied until 2015

freeindiegam.es has posted a bunch of "Best of 2013" lists for your enjoyment. Some of the games can be played in your browser (HTML5/Flash/Unity); others require a download—but they're all free! (And indie!) [more inside]
posted by escape from the potato planet on Jan 1, 2014 - 22 comments

Gone Home

Released today on Steam, Gone Home has garnered praise for its deeply affecting narrative, stripped-down design and a unique aesthetic steeped in 90's nostalgia and riot grrl culture. "When I played Gone Home I had the stunning realization that there could be a game for me. Someone can make a game for me." -Leigh Alexander. "It’s touching, unsettling, deeply honest, and enormously compassionate. -Rock, Paper, Shotgun. "Gone Home is an epic story, but its definition of epic is far removed from how we usually talk about scope and drama in games. It’s epic, personal and revelatory to the people involved, and that’s why it’s so special." -Giant Bomb. Polygon's 10/10 review. How Gone Home's design constraints lead to a powerful story. The Fullbright Company's Journey Home.
posted by naju on Aug 15, 2013 - 197 comments

Something wonderful is about to happy!

Footage of the "Sync" level from the indie game Fez. While Fez is mainly known for its central gimmick – it's a 2D platformer set in a 3D world – and for the complexity of its puzzles (which include a constructed alphabet, a code based on Tetris tetrominos, and a "practically impossible" final puzzle) – "Sync" is a retro-colored world with blocks whose rhythmic appearances and disappearances trigger notes when the player is near them. The result is somewhat enchanting (as is the rest of the game). [the Fez soundtrack with the Sync backing track; a Fez remix soundtrack with the various block rhythms added in; Fez previously on MetaFilter]
posted by Rory Marinich on May 30, 2013 - 67 comments

The Finances of a Successful Indie Game

"When we first started working on Dustforce, it was frustrating to not be able to find much data about whether indie game development is a realistic thing to do with your life." Hitbox Team helps remedy that for future designers in this article about the finances and sales of their game, Dustforce.
posted by gilrain on Apr 16, 2013 - 37 comments

Your home is your castle.

The Castle Doctrine is the new "home invasion MMO" from cult game designer Jason Rohrer (previously: Sleep is Death, Passage, Chain World). It portrays a rather bleak world in which you must place traps to defend your home, family and life savings from an onslaught of burglars. At the same time, you must invade other players' homes to steal their life savings, in order to buy more expensive traps and tools. The more money you gain, the more attractive target your home is, so you better be clever in rigging up those traps. It's fiendish, brilliant, and currently open for public alpha at 50% of the full price. Rock Paper Shotgun has some early impressions: Part 1, Part 2.
posted by naju on Mar 13, 2013 - 101 comments

Depression Quest

Depression Quest is an interactive fiction game about living with depression. Pay what you want, or play for free. A portion of the proceeds go to http://iFred.org. Here's a rather perfect trailer for the game. [more inside]
posted by naju on Feb 14, 2013 - 60 comments

D I C K H A N D

"For the past few years, I have been trying to learn how to do all the various creative and technical things that go into making a video game - programming, graphics, interface, writing, gameplay design - in addition to music and sound, which I do for a living. The 2013 Global Game Jam was this past weekend, and over two sleep-deprived days I completed my first solo project: A game for OS X and Windows where you punch spaceships with your dick. (Probably safe for work, unless your boss considers it inappropriate to see a pink laser beam with a boxing glove on the tip which shoots out of a giant robot's groin.)"[via mefi projects]
posted by ocherdraco on Jan 28, 2013 - 13 comments

The Board Games Women Make

Ever played Monopoly? Then you've played a board game that was designed by a woman (it was, under its original title, "The Landlord's Game," the creation of Elizabeth Magie). Want to play more board games designed by women? Let's go! [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Dec 16, 2012 - 24 comments

The Video Games Women Make

"The experiences of women may not be easy to portray in the aggressive world of videogames. If such a game is made - and I hope it is - it will be because its creators demanded to be heard. It will be created because women made it." (Source)
While the vast majority of video game titles are designed primarily by men, women have been a part of video game development since the earliest arcades. Here are some of their games: [more inside]
posted by subject_verb_remainder on Dec 1, 2012 - 40 comments

The Further Adventures Of Cube-Head

From BLENDO Games: Thirty Flights of Loving, the very strange sequel to the equally strange Gravity Bone. [more inside]
posted by anaximander on Aug 22, 2012 - 12 comments

The Old Man of the Sea

Proteus is a beautiful game by Ed Key with no goals except admiring natural features and exploring a procedurally generated island [some spoilers in videos], modeled loosely after the open land near Key's parents' home in Cumbria. The game also features "reactively mixed" ambient electronic music (think 'chiptune Boards of Canada') composed by David Kanaga, which changes and shifts according to your physical context. Though only in v0.1, it has already won critical accolades, as well as an award for The Most Amazing Indie Game at A MAZE 2012.
posted by p3on on May 31, 2012 - 50 comments

Contra as Wolfenstein

8bit Killer is an interpretation of an archetypal 8bit sidescroller within a 2.5 dimensional FPS engine. It's short, fun, and free. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Dec 8, 2011 - 9 comments

The Princess is a Lie....You Monster.

Mari0 is a Super Mario Bros and Portal mashup currently under development. Previously, the same developer made Not Tetris; a faithful reimagining of the original game, but with the addition of realistic physics and geometry.
posted by schmod on Sep 1, 2011 - 21 comments

The Indie Game Legend! and more free indies

The Indie Game Legend! Save the indie developers from an alien world full of vicious inhabitants in this meaty top down shooter. (via Pixel Prospector. You might have heard of PP when he made the video compilation 235 Free Indie Games in 10 minutes. He's followed it up with 75 Free Indie Games in 5 minutes and 93 Free Arena Shooters in 10 minutes.)
posted by The Devil Tesla on Jul 31, 2011 - 6 comments

"MY MINIONS HAVE FAILED ME. YOUR DOOM AWAITS IN MY CHAMBER!"

Friday Flash Fun: Realm of the Mad God is a co-op MMORPG shooter with cute 8-bit graphics. Death is permanent, play addictive. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 22, 2011 - 18 comments

Achievement Unlocked: Ba-da-bing.

An interview with Jonanthan Blow, creator of Braid, about his upcoming game, The Witness by Simon Parkin in Gamasutra. [more inside]
posted by shadytrees on Dec 25, 2010 - 24 comments

Emotional Limbo

Playdead's Limbo released today, and the reviews are glowing. Following on the heels of a spate of well-received independent video game titles like Braid, World of Goo, and Machinarium, we may be seeing a major shift in the habits of video game reviewers. The trinity of duration (short games = bad games), sheer intensity (slow-paced, non-violent games = bad games), and graphical 'realism' (non-3D, non-photorealistic games = bad games) seems to be giving way (somewhat) to a recognition of the value of feel, expressivity, and game mechanics that fit within a holistic experience that integrates art direction, sound design, and storytelling elements. Previously. [more inside]
posted by macross city flaneur on Jul 21, 2010 - 45 comments

Prepare to die. A lot.

Hydorah is a delicious shump inspired by the likes of "Gradius, Castlevania or R-Type, but also from other classics treated worse by the time: Turrican, Enforcer, Space Manbow, Hellfire, Guardian, Hydefos, Armalyte and many others...". Also, "There is a single dificulty level, based on the 80's standards." Translation: try not to cry on your keyboard. [Windows] [via Destructoid]
posted by threetoed on Jun 7, 2010 - 35 comments

"Without spoiling too much, this game will show you a bit about yourself and humanity."

Strangers is a very short (~5 minutes to complete) Windows platform game, "which has an interesting twist that you may or may not see coming." Download and forum here, with an admonition to "play this song while playing." [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Feb 3, 2010 - 19 comments

FlashPunk AS3 Library

Howdy, Flash game developers! Remember flixel? Well, a new raster-based ActionScript 3 library has just been released: FlashPunk by Chevy Ray Johnston, creator of Skullpogo and Beacon. [more inside]
posted by archagon on Jan 10, 2010 - 21 comments

Damn you, shopkeeper!

Spelunky is a (Windows-only) game that blends roguelike elements with a platform game reminiscent of La Mulana or the original Spelunker. Add this to the pile of fantastic indie platformers, I guess. [via]
posted by sonic meat machine on Dec 31, 2008 - 8 comments

TIGsource Demakes competition results

Nearly a month ago jbickers made a post that mentioned the TIGsource Demakes competition. The competition is over, and the winners have been announced. All of these are playable. Most are for Windows, except for those that are Flash or something else:
1. Soundless Mountain II (Atari 2600 Silent Hill) (from previous post)
2. Gang Garrison II (Kyntt Stories-like Team Fortress 2, complete with multiplayer)
3. Aquarium (NES-ish Aquaria)
4. Little Girl in Underland (Soviet McGee's Alice)
5. House Globe (Homeworld)
6. S.T.A.C.K.E.R. (Nuclear Tetris)
7. Squish
(Crush is a PSP game where the player can switch the world between a 2D and 3D representation. Squish is a game in which the player switches between a 2D and a 1D representation. See for yourself.) 8. (tie) Fillauth and Advanced Set The Rope On Fire Cartridge (an Intellivision-like remake of this, previously mentioned)
9. Sexy Seaside Vollyball (NSFW, pixelated breasts) (Sinclair Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Vollyball)
10. Macarena of the Missing (A thematically-appropriate demake of Limbo of the Lost)

Lots more after the jump! [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Oct 7, 2008 - 29 comments

Indie platformer extravaganza!

Do you enjoy classic 2D platformers? Then boy, are you in luck! The indie game community is thriving, and a good majority of its games are exactly that. I've spent many hours playing these unique, beautiful, and often exceptional projects, and there's quite a few - more than I can count on my fingers! - that could stand toe-to-toe with the finest contemporary games. Inside is a list of some of the greatest indie platformers, based on community recommendations and my own experience. Enjoy! [more inside]
posted by archagon on Jun 24, 2008 - 48 comments

Dino Run

Pixeljam (the folks responsible for the retro flash classic Gamma Bros) have just released a new game: Dino Run. Control your dinosaur and escape the wall of doom.
posted by pancreas on May 7, 2008 - 17 comments

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