Gods Will Be Watching, a self-dubbed “point-and-click thriller”, puts you in a variety of harrowing moral dilemmas set against the backdrop of space. From the sound of it, there’s no walking around or gathering items, just tense, thrilling scenes that give you choices with big ramifications throughout the game. What’s really interesting is the game also provides you with no moral compass of sorts, it just lets your choices be your choices.
I know that pixel art is getting a bit cliche these days, but there’s something really timeless about the art style that hits me just right. And I’ll be damned if these short, story-based, tense kind of dilemma games don’t ring my bell just right.
One thing I always miss from the good old days of gaming are really bad-ass mech games. Those kind of waned for a long time, but Titanfall seems to be bringing it back. But, if a first-person-shooter is too goddamn casual for you, there’s also Matador, an action-strategy roguelike mech game from developer Stellar Jockeys. You can check out the trailer below and man, does it look gorgeous.
If you’re familiar with the card game for horrible people, Cards Against Humanity, then you may be familiar with Max Tempkin. You may also be familiar with his tumblr, Maxistentialism. But, did you know that he also published a game recently? The four-player brawler Samurai Gunn by Teknopants, in which you have a slash attack and three bullets to outwit and dice your foes, came out recently and hot dang does it look like a good time. Check out the launch trailer below!
In a pretty astonishing move yesterday, Square Enix announced Collective, a new crowdfunding platform that allows indie developers to pitch and create games for some of their old, dormant IPs. With Collective, Square Enix is basically allowing indie developers to rouse some of their sleeping properties, with Anachronox, Fear Effect and Gex going up for grabs. Developers that create games for these will receive a majority of their profits if Square helps publish, and all of the profits if Square does not.
To me, this is an inspiring, fascinating idea, and one that makes total sense. If you’re a developer with a huge backcatalog of IPs, some of which you know for sure you don’t have the resources or interest in resurrecting, why not hand them over to the community to see what comes out of it? It’s incredibly forward thinking of Square Enix, and I’m dying to see if other companies follow suit. In particular, I can’t wait to see what folks do with Anachronox, an often-overlooked cyberpunk noir RPG that had a rich atmosphere, ripe with potential.
So my question for you all on this Friday of Asking Things is this: if you had a chance to resurrect an old, long unvisited property, what would it be? What are some old games that you’d love to see more of, and would you change anything about how they’re presented? Let’s call this an impromptu game jam. Go!
In the last few years, some of the most striking, emotional experiences I’ve had in games have come from stripped down, simple titles. Titles like Journey or Bastion, which give the player one simple goal, and execute the carrying out of that goal in a skillful, artful manner.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a new title from Starbreeze Studios which does just that. The best way to describe Brothers is that it’s a single player co-op game, one in which you control two brothers simultaneously, with each analog stick on a controller, along with its triggers. While it sounds simple enough, trying to solve puzzles with two characters at the same time can be a decent enough challenge of your dexterity and brainpower.
Indie game maker, head of Polytron and creator of the charming platformer Fez Phil Fish is known around the Internets as kind of a hot head, and there’s no better way to get juicy quotes out of these kinds of folks than poking them with a proverbial stick.
Unfortunately for gamers, this latest attempt at provoking Phil Fish backfired, leading to the abrupt cancellation of Fez 2. Marcus Beer, also known as “Annoyed Gamer”, during a section of Game Trailer’s Invisible Walls went on a rant about Phil Fish and fellow indie game developer Johnathan Blow, calling them several rude things and basically trashing their reputation as independent developers. This resulted in Beer and Fish having a nasty back and forth on Twitter with the end result of Fish announcing the sudden cancellation of Fez 2 and his departure from the games industry. Continue reading Phil Fish Cancels Fez 2 After Twitter Argument
Usually we don’t give a lot of attention to Steam Greenlight titles around here, but this one is worth talking about. Papers, Please, a “Dystopian Document Thriller” has been accepted via the Greenlight process and will become a real game in the next while. For those unfimiliar with the game, you play a border guard in the fictional nation of Arstotzka in the early 1980s.
Arstotzka has just finished a war with its neighboring country Kolechia and has recently reopened its borders and it’s up to you to keep up with an increasingly complex series of security checks as hundreds of people try to cross the border. The mechanics of the game are fairly simple: a person hands you documents and you need to check them against certain things to make sure everything is on the up-and-up. You need to be conscious of the issuing date, whether or not the picture matches, if the issuing city actually exists in the issuing country, that kind of thing.
There are things that will trip you up, like a girl who warns you that the man behind her in line is plotting on selling her into slavery, but his papers are in order, so do you let him in or turn him away? You get two notices before the Ministry of Admission starts docking your pay, and you need all the money to keep your extended family warm, fed and healthy.
If you want to try out the Papers, Please Beta, you can check it out on the creator’s website by clicking the highlighted words. I highly recommend it. Have any Sushians played this game?
When I first heard about Hotline Miami, I didn’t quite understand the attraction. My assumption was that it was just a gruesome beat-em-up with the old-fashioned pixellated visual style so common in indie games these days. I just wasn’t that interested in a game that appeared to involve nothing more than bashing in the heads of an endless number of goons. However, when I had a chance to pick it up on sale over the holidays for $2.50, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Hotline Miami is stranger and far more challenging that I was originally expecting, and I knew within a few hours of gameplay that it was worthy of a place on my personal top ten games of the year.
The world of making indie games is something that’s become a recent fascination for gamers. With wide open platforms and fewer barriers between a game creator and the consumer than ever, it’s certainly appealing for would be game-makers to take a stab at producing their own content.
This summer, one of XBox Live Arcade’s blockbuster releases was a game known as Dust: An Elysian Tail. Dust is a Metroidvania (or Castleroid if you’re nasty) style game with a bit of a cartoony flair, with a really interesting art direction and a wonderful setting. I’ve heard nothing but good things, and the gameplay videos are promising as well.
But the most interesting thing about Dust? It was created, essentially, by just one man, Dean Dodrill. In a fascinating Postmortem feature at Gamasutra, Dean walks through his solo development cycle for Dust, in which he quit his day job, taught himself how to code, built the game’s systems from scratch and struggled to get it out on time. He goes through the ups, the downs, the woes, the prayers, the deadlines and everything else, in what’s probably one of my favorite game articles I’ve ever read.
Seriously, if you’re interested in ever taking a stab at your own game or just admire the people who do, I highly recommend checking out this article. Has anybody played Dust? Anyone out there already dabbling in constructing your own video games? When do we get to play them? Go!
Sometimes a little indie game manages to grab your attention and hold it much better than a big old triple-A title. Take FTL (Faster Than Light) for example. It’s a spaceship management roguelike game with hints of Firefly where you take your craft through encounters and become bigger and better. I’ve been waiting for this kind of spaceship-tweaking which I haven’t had since the old X-Wing games back in the day (ELS, what’s up?).
If you’re curious about what exactly you do in FTL, here’s a gameplay video by Nerd³, who I find much more digestible than Total Biscuit. It’s pretty lengthy, but it should give you an idea about what to expect from FTL.
I’m going to be sinking some time into this over the weekend so I hope to have some thoughts on this by next week. By all accounts this game is a fantastic experience, so I’m anticipating my time with it. Is anyone else going to try FTL?
One thing that most shooters gloss over is the fact that guns are fiddly little things, prone to failure as often as function. There’s more that goes into the operation of firearms than your average FPS player would suspect: it’s not just point-and-click, there’s a whole myriad of things you need to check before you can start cappin’.
As part of the 7 Day FPS Challenge, indie studio Wolfire Games created Receiver, a cyber-punk game where it’s just you and your trusty 1911 A1 versus a swarm of robots as you uncover a conspiracy. Maybe I’ll just let the walkthrough explain:
For a game created in seven days, the depth of the gun mechanics is pretty impressive. A bit more work would have obviously helped polish the game but as it stands right now it’s a pretty cool take on the FPS genre. The way that the gun commands light up as you progress through them really helps you learn how to get a gun ready and I appreciate all the small details such as being able to do a brass check. What do you guys think of Receiver?
Kickstarter. It’s the newest buzzword. And not just in the video game realm, but in every realm. Anyone anywhere that has a dream can take to this crowd-funding service in order to make their pet project a reality, and now artists all over the world (and all over the talent spectrum) are heading there in droves. After Double Fine’s successful Adventure project, Kickstarter was heralded as the savior of the industry, in that it could provide a new method for publishing titles that don’t always get their fair shake. But are people hopping to Kickstarter too quickly on both sides?
A few weeks back, Ben Kuchera had a nice editorial on PA Report about the Ugly Side of Kickstarter, looking at what all goes into a successful Kickstarter venture. Not only are there a ton of fees that supporters (and project leads) are unaware of, but frankly, many of these people don’t understand how to spend your money in the right way. And what happens to the first crowd-funded game that severely disappoints its backers? What then? Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: The Kickstarter Process?
Over the last couple of years, the indie games scene has been given the spotlight in a major way. With shockingly good titles dropping on Steam, PSN and XBLA, more people have access to these off-the-beaten-path games than ever before. And with the recent influx of games like Journey, Fez, Trials Evolution, Super Meatboy and Botanicula, plus a slew of cheap downloadable mobile titles, it looks like this won’t be slowing down any time soon.
But are people giving these smaller titles too much slack, just because they’re indie? That’s the question that Game Front’s Jim Sterling poses in his new article, Are We too Generous to Indie Games. In it, he wonders if people give passes to indie games simply because they’re not made by Activision or EA — and as such, let indie games get away with a lot more grievances than most games.
This is definitely an interesting question, and one we sort of touched on in the as of yet unreleased podcast. There’s this idea going around that just because something is small and charming, it’s better — and if you don’t like an indie title, it’s because you love Call of Duty or Halo too much to appreciate a title like Fez’s nuances.
I honestly don’t know how I feel about this viewpoint. While I recognize that some of the gaming community is indeed soaking up everything indie, I also think that some of these titles are totally worthy of the praise that they’re getting. I also think that yes, it is fair to cut some slack to a game that you paid only a few dollars for as opposed to one that requires a $60 entry fee. I absolutely don’t expect as much out of something that didn’t take much of an investment as I do out of something I have to spend an ample amount of money to play.
So what do you guys think? Are people too forgiving of the flaws in indie titles? Are they given too much slack? Sound off!
While I don’t think mobile gaming is certainly the end-all in terms of a handheld experience, I do have to say how much the right app can really take me back in terms of its creativity and design. To this point, some of my favorite experiences over the last couple of years haven’t come by way of a major console or the PC, but rather, my iPhone. Such is the case with Zombies, Run!, a new iPhone app that combines a running tool, audio adventure and town sim/zombie game all into one really smart package.
The gist of the app is simple: run away from zombies. And yes, I mean run in the literal sense. Zombies, Run! uses your GPS to track your pace/distance, interspersing an audio adventure of a zombie apocalypse in with your music library. The game puts you in the role of Runner 5, who’s trying to get supplies for Abel Township. The audio bits are meant to make you feel like you’re actually on these missions, which is a nice touch. On top of that, it uses your GPS to award you random supplies throughout your run such as bandages, ammo and more. Where this gets interesting is that the app will occasionally throw sudden zombie attacks at you, requiring you to move at a faster pace for one minute to outrun the horde. And once your run is finished, you use the supplies you gathered to level up your town and access new missions.
Even though the app is a bit expensive compared to other things in the iTunes app store (it comes in at $8 bucks), I’d definitely recommend it. The game is going to be organized into seasons, with season 1 coming in at 30 full audio sessions, each one taking about 20-30 minutes to complete. Which is a heck of a lot of entertainment, when you break it down. You can also play the game without listening to the sessions, continuing to collect supplies and such.
Anyway, I think if you love running, zombies, or both, you should check it out. It’s already helped my runs in the last week or so. What do you guys think of this idea? Are there other apps or games that have caught your attention with their creativity recently?
I love when you see something so simple yet so brilliant that it kind of blows your mind. Tim Schafer has been in the spotlight quite a bit this week, what with his Psychonauts 2 shenanigans with Notch and all. But this actually goes a step further:
Tim Schafer is letting you (meaning us) finance Double Fine’s next game, a classic point-and-click adventure. Normally, a game like this would have little chance of being put into production by a publisher, so he’s taking the game straight to fans on Kickstarter. Rather than blather on about it, I’ll let Tim tell you about it himself.
And there you have it. For $400,000, Double Fine will make an old school adventure game, and the fans get to be a part of the process. Meanwhile, all of it will be documented by 2 Player Productions, the dudes behind the Minecraft/Mojang documentary.
It’s hard for me to express just how excited I am about this. While I don’t think it’ll necessarily change gaming as we know it, it certainly opens the door to start developers down that path. They would answer to fans and cut out the middle man completely. At the same time, what we’re seeing of the game isn’t being dictated by marketing, but rather an in-depth documentary crew. It’s just a little bit rad.
So what do you guys think of this? I’ve already donated some money. The numbers are already past 100k in the first day of the campaign, so I don’t think they’ll have any problems hitting it. Do any of you think you’ll join?
Edit: At the time I published this, the Kickstarter was at 122k, up from 90k when I started writing/donating.
We’ve taken a bit of time away from the podcast (and if you’ve noticed, the site in general) to recharge our batteries a bit before heading into the fall. The thing about video game news is that like anything else, it works in seasons of dry spells and deluges, and the month of July is a drought of anything worth talking about on the whole. This is mostly due to E3, since the games industry seems to save all its mojo for one special week, and then deals with the announcements for another couple of weeks after. And then the dread silence.
So, we decided that for the podcast, August through E3 will now be a “season” of the show. Which technically makes this season 2, I guess. Welcome! We’ve got a game of over/under for the first few games of the fall, some talk about Bastion, as well as some silliness about the Nintendo 3DS price drop.
Just like anything else, video game have become a source for urban legends, creepy little anecdotes that get passed around to keep the nerdy and guillible up at night. The comedy wizards over at Cracked have cooked up a list of eight video game urban legends that just happen to be true.
Now, I don’t know about the GLaDOS one, as that picture of her interpreted as a bound woman is just a piece of art made by a fan, but the rest of them seem pretty plausible to me. That Mario Galaxy 2 one is especially disturbing. What are those aliens doing up there?
So what do you guys think of these urban legends? Are they for real, or just a bunch of people looking at video games a little to hard? Honestly, can these even be urban legends since all of these things are purposefully put into these games by the developers, essentially making them unnerving Easter eggs? Hit us up with your thoughts!
Today I got a treat of something that that seems to be circulating around the internet. An indie company called Adhesive Games is working on a new project called Hawken. Adhesive Games’ upcoming indie title will be Mech Combat FPS, something I haven’t seen done well since Phantom Crash. The game looks absolutely stunning in two of their early game footage videos featured below. First we have a look at the beautiful world of Hawken in their unofficial trailer followed by some stunning gameplay. Hit the jump to check out the gameplay trailer!
The video games industry is starting to remind me of the East Coast/West Coast hip hop wars of the 90s. First, Nintendo said that smartphone gaming was destroying the value of video games. Then they crapped all over “garage developers”. Now, the Angry Birds are firing back at the Big N for their arrogance.
“Of course, if I was trying to sell a $49 pieces of plastic to people then yes, I’d be worried too. But I think it’s a good sign that people are concerned – because from my point of view we’re doing something right.”
He goes on to say that the consoles aren’t the fastest growing market anymore and that “real” games can be made on smartphones, as well as consoles.
Now, I have no interest in smartphone gaming one iota and I personally think Angry Birds is an overrated game, back when I played something similar to it years ago, but I agree (to a point) with Vesterbacka. There is enough room for everyone in this industry, but it appears he is doing the same thing Nintendo is.
Nintendo is writing off smartphone gaming because they view it as a threat. Vesterbacka is doing the same thing with consoles because they aren’t the hot new thing out there anymore. Both can coexist in the same market, though. And Vesterbacka shouldn’t worry: Nintendo is pretty good at selling pieces of plastic.
What say you, GamerSushi nation? Is Nintendo right or are the Birds’ anger justified?
I’m always on the lookout for something different (yes, even though I play Call of Duty) and I’ve been hearing about Bastion, an upcoming downloadable action-RPG by Supergiant Games, an indie developer, for some quite. So I finally decided to take a look see at what all the fuss is about and honestly, I am intrigued and looking forward to its release on PSN, Xbox Live and PC this year.
I don’t know much beyond this: I kinda love the art style, the isometric viewpoint brings back fond memories of Super Mario RPG and the constant commentary is going go be awesome or super annoying within the first 15 minutes. Have a look: