Sunday, 26 January 2014

Indie Gaming: Spelunky

Some games can be obnoxious, frustrating and difficult to the point of hatred. Spelunky could be considered such a game, except that it manages to do just enough to turn each new death into a learning experience.
Finding the entrance!
Oh dear, this can't be good.

Spelunky is an action-oriented platformer set in a constantly shifting dungeon filled with supernatural monsters and devilish traps. Each experience is slightly different from the last, as the levels are procedurally generated to add to the challenge. You cannot simply learn the path to the end through repetition, you must learn how to navigate past each trap, monster and environment.

Indie Gaming: Gone Home

Going home. A short phrase that can mean a few different things, depending on the context. Perhaps it's the return after a holiday, perhaps it means moving back to your country of birth after living abroad for many years. Sometimes it's as simple as heading back to your parent's house for Christmas or some other family celebration, sometimes it's heading home after a night at the pub. Other times it is not so joyous, nor welcome, but the journey must be made all the same.

An adventure game of sorts, set in June 1995

Gone Home is not a game about going home, the home is where the game begins. It is also not your characters home, so there is less a sense of return and more of arrival. Your parents have moved into the large rural house of a deceased family member while you have been away. On this dark and stormy night (is there ever any other sort of night for these kinds of tales?), your arrival is met without fanfare, without any greeting whatsoever.

Your family

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Kickstarted: Broken Age

Today I received the code for the Double Fine adventure Broken Age. It was one of the first gaming Kickstarter campaigns, and received a massive 3.3 Million Dollars (way over what was being asked for). I've played the game for a little while, so here are just a few first impressions.
Two characters, but what is the connection?

Indie Gaming: Game Dev Tycoon

Few games capture your attention from the very beginning. Often a game begins with a lengthy cinematic, or perhaps has a certain complexity which requires the player to invest time in familiarising themselves. Game Dev Tycoon is one of those wonderful games that, while being quite complex under the hood, allows you to jump in and play straight away.

Where it all begins, in your garage

The game itself is a wonderfully crafted simulation of the experiences of a game developer from the 1980s to the present day. Over the course of 35 years (you can play after this, but there are no more "story" elements) you create multiple games and make your name in the industry. How you do this is up to you, choosing the types and genres of games you want to make and attempting to rise through the ranks to become a "AAA" developer.