Indie Links Round-Up: At The Arcade

battleblock-theater

Today’s Indie Links include games from a former designer at Zynga, from team members who had worked on a cancelled MMO conceived by Steven Spielberg, and from the warzone of Syria.

War-Torn Developers: Creating Games From The Front Lines (Gamasutra)
“What’s it like to create games in a warzone? We’re talking about the same kind of environments mimicked in our most violent shooters and open-world adventures, video games that often ignore the real people traumatized by the bloodshed, and the near-constant state of anxiety their lives have become?  Gamasutra talked with several developers in countries torn by war or trying to rebuild after a revolution, seeking to learn about the struggles of trying to make games while there’s an insurrection mounting and the cracking sound of gunfire outside.”

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: ErnCon (Joystiq)
“Indie developers are the starving artists of the video-game world, often brilliant and innovative, but also misunderstood, underfunded and more prone to writing free-form poetry on their LiveJournals. We believe they deserve a wider audience with the Joystiq Indie Pitch: This week, Ernest Woo of Woo Games (we wonder how he thought of that name?) talks mobile, multiplayer space combat with ErnCon.”

HFB Q&A: A Brief History Of SideTracks’ PixelJunk Soundtrack (IndieGames)
“Alex Paterson and Dom Beken of the hip-hop duo High Frequency Bandwidth were nominated for a BAFTA Award for their score to Q-Games’ independently developed title PixelJunk Shooter.  The UK music group and Kyoto game studio have since collaborated onPixelJunk Shooter 2 and PixelJunk SideScroller for PlayStation Network. We had the chance to catch up with Dom Beken for a brief overview of the history behind the latest soundtrack release, SideTracks: The Soundtrack to Sidescroller, now out on iTunes and Amazon Mp3.”

CastleVille Designer Leaves Zynga To Lead A (Much) Smaller Team (Gamasutra)
“‘I enjoyed my time at Zynga,’ says Dave Pottinger, ex-lead designer on Facebook behemoth CastleVille. ‘The reality is that I want to work on smaller projects with smaller teams.’ This yearning to run with the smaller teams is what led Pottinger (bottom right in picture) to found new studio BonusXP earlier this year, alongside a few other notable industry veterans, including former Robot Entertainment programmer John Evanson (bottom left in pic) and former id Software artist Jason Sallenbach (top).”

In-Fighting To Win In Behemoth’s Battleblock Theater (Joystiq)
Battleblock Theater is poised to follow in Castle Crashers‘ footsteps as an addictive, enthusiastically fun cooperative platformer with oodles of replay value and longevity when it eventually launches on the XBLA. I played through two levels on two separate cabinets, on two separate days with two different people, and had the same joyful experience with both. Battleblock Theater is a game to be enjoyed with friends, or with people who seem to have a good attitude about getting hit with friendly explosive Frisbees in the middle of complicated platforming maneuvers. ”

Skulls Of The Shogun – From Spielberg To Advance Wars On XBLA (Hookshot Inc.)
“Skulls of the Shogun was one of the most striking titles on the show floor at last month’s Rezzed. Of course, it helps that Strategy RPGs are the KINGS OF ALL GAMES but, even aside from that, 17-Bit’s forthcoming XBLA/ Windows 8 title is full of visual and mechanical wonder.  It’s also a game to bring a few first’s to Microsoft’s aging platform, being the first asynchronous multiplayer game for XBLA (I guess we’re not counting Trials’ ghost data competition here) as well as the first title to offer cross-platform play between Xbox and Windows 8. Exciting.”

IndieGames Podcast #26: E3 2012 (IndieGames)
“This installment of the IndieGames Podcast takes place at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles and the Blip Festival concert in New York. We hear from game designers, a game writer, music composer, sound engineer and filmmaker.”

Hands On Horror Mod: Grey (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Scaring someone is a fine art. Scaring someone when they’re expecting to be scared makes it even trickier. So Grey is a big task for the Deppresick team of modders. A total conversion mod for Half-Life 2, it’s a horror game that borrows liberally from every other horror game, movie, book, and scary painting you once saw. I put on my bravest trousers and had a look.”




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