Indie Links Round-Up: Demolition


Along with the usual articles about new or upcoming indie games, today’s Indie Links discuss minimalism in level design, the importance of story in games, and why indies should start on PCs.

Indies Should Start On PCs, Says Frozen Synapse Dev (Develop)
“Independent developers should make the PC their primary platform, the developer behind Frozen Synapse told Develop.  Mode 7 Games’ joint managing director Paul Taylor said the PC’s open nature is what makes it a strong gateway platform for independent developers and new talent.”

Sound Shapes Q&A: Prototyping For PlayStation Consoles (
“Queasy Games’ Sound Shapes for PlayStation 3 and PS Vita is a sidescrolling platformer, where level design generates sound design. The game allows you to customize your own stages in its level editor, incorporating building blocks designed by guest artists like Beck and deadmau5, and share those results over the PlayStation Network.”

‘Why Hasn’t Story In Games Advanced?’ Amnesia‘s Designer Has Some Opinions! (Gamasutra)
“In his incredibly animated talk at GDC Europe on Wednesday, Frictional Games co-founder Thomas Grip (Amnesia: The Dark DescentPenumbra) discussed horror and storytelling in games, explaining his personal theory of what’s vital in telling game stories. His prime thesis is that in games, ‘story is not just the plot.’ In fact, regarding what’s important in interactive storytelling, Grip postulated: ‘We want the player to play through the story, not just sit through it.’”

Zineth (TIGSource)
“Developed by a group of students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute during their Spring semester,Zineth is a non-linear action game that mostly lets you skate around, but also gives you the option to fiddle around with fetch quests, races, Twitter, and a strange Pokémon-esque minigame that’s accessible through the player’s mobile device. The main draw, however, is the skating, and it feels fast and fun. It’s complemented by a cool aesthetic and an expansive world that offers plenty of opportunities to grind, glide, and wall jump across huge distances.”

Kickstarter Katchup – 18 August 2012 (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“The loser column is sadly busy this week, with a couple of high profile projects not making it. But then there’s also a big surprise in the winner’s section too. And as ever, an awful lot of other Kickstarters in progress for your perusal. Don’t forget to note the rules below before throwing your cash in every direction.”

Joe Danger 2: The Movie – ”No Mr Danger I Expect You To Fly!” (Hookshot Inc.)
“A first play of Joe Danger: The Movie is like mainlining endorphins: a proverbial explosion in a sweet shop. As you play through the various films Joe’s a stuntman for a huge variety of level-types are thrown at you – outrunning avalanches on skis, police bike chases after Team Nasty in a city centre an Indiana Jones mine cart. Amazingly, meanwhile, each vehicle is as much fun to pilot as the last.”

This Whacked-Out, Wicked Cool Music Game Does Everything Backwards (Kotaku)
“The new video game Retro/Grade takes that same idea and runs with it. In this game, you read music from right to left. You also play the game backwards—not just from right to left, but rewinding through time. It’s just as cool as it sounds.”

Taking The ‘Less Is More’ Approach To Level Design (Gamasutra)
Eufloria‘s Rudolf Kremers believes that “less is more” is the perfect approach for indie developers on a budget when it comes to level design, and his GDC Europe talk today described the various ways this approach can be achieved.  Procedural generation in particular, as seen in such indie titles asSpelunky, Minecraft and Kremers’ own Eufloria, can help free up development time for other areas of your game, and is “a great way to create enormous amounts of content” in a short space of time, he argued.”

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