It was the first time either had embarked on anything quite like it. FitzGerald studied communications in college, and had spent time doing contract video production (including trailers for other video games) and web design in an effort to get deeper into the gaming scene. Bromiel, meanwhile, is a trained artist with a focus on material art, though she hadn't consistently worked in digital illustration. As confident as they were about seeing the concept through to completion, they didn't have much insight as to going from making an original game to actually presenting it as a purchasable product. Well, at least until Rami Ismail came to town.
Ismail, the business and development half of Dutch indie studio Vlambeer (Super Crate Box, Luftrausers), stopped in Chicago in February to give a talk as part of DePaul University's Visiting Artists Series. FitzGerald and Bromiel attended, expecting to hear anecdotes about creating their beloved games, or the painful cloning saga that marked the development of Ridiculous Fishing.
Instead they got a real lesson – Indie Game Business 101, if you will – defined by the lecture's catchy three-word title: "Monetize That Shit."
Going by this screenshot, Fightback is a skils-orientated, side-scrolling beat-em-up. The meter at the bottom indicates a three-star score based on points accumulated by skill moves like 'Skull Splitter' - think Bulletstorm, perhaps, but with more punches and kicks, and maybe a Blood Dragon vibe. It looks like you can use guns too, though. Also, is that a Japanese love hotel?
"Mobile and tablet gaming is a phenomenon that we just couldn't ignore as a studio and we're very proud to be working with one of the industry's heavy-weights on bringing Fightback to market," said Ninja Theory Product Manager Dominic Matthews. "Ninja Theory has always strived for the highest production values and that absolutely remains the case in this exciting new space."
Chillingo is showing off Fightback at E3 next month, and expects to launch it this summer.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy HD is a bundle of the first three DS games, Ace Attorney, Justice for All and Trials and Tribulations, all "remastered and enhanced for retina displays," Capcom says. The app itself is a free download for iOS 5.0 and greater devices, with the first two chapters of the first game serving as a demo. Each game may be purchased separately – the first is $6 and the other two are $7 each – or in a collection for $17.
It's not that there are too many indie games; it's that there aren't enough hours in a day to play all of them. The Joystiq Indie Pitch curates the best indies to play now and watch out for in the future.
Bam fu is a two-, three- or four-player game on one device where you tap on pebbles – a fancy word for the buttons in this game – as quickly as you can to make them your color. Other players are trying to do the same and the colors change in a cycle, so the pebbles will definitely not stay on your color for long. The game goes on with you trying to reclaim your pebbles as fast as you can, until all, or almost all, pebbles are your color. That's when you win.
What's the coolest aspect of Bam fu?
We think that the coolest aspect of the game is that you can play it with everyone. Any gender, age or language; literally everyone!
The rules are so simple that it doesn't take more than a second to get them. In fact, we are yet to find a player who doesn't skip the the tutorial. Plenty of thought has gone into small details to keep things simple. For example, we are using the fingers on the hand to count your points, so it's immediately clear that you play to five.
We have also made the game accessible to colorblind players, which was a challenge for a game than distinguishes between players by color. This is why the pebbles were designed to point toward a player's corner.
In a recent Kickstarter update, developer Roundthird announced that its draw-your-own-game app Pixel Press will launch for both Android and iOS devices, once its funding goal of $100,000 is met.
Originally announced as an iOS exclusive, Pixel Press will now debut for Android in 2014 if funding succeeds. Roundthird will ramp up production for a simultaneous iOS and Android launch in December of this year if funding reaches a newly announced stretch goal of $125,000.
To create platforming challenges within Pixel Press, players start by drawing level layouts on printable graph paper. These layouts can then be imported and made playable by uploading a photo of the finished design. The app is aimed at students wishing to enter game development; a $40 "teacher package" reward tier includes multiple copies of Pixel Press and access to online educational resources.
Currently, Pixel Press backers have pledged over $33,000, as 21 days remain in Roundthird's funding campaign.
In non-allegorical terms, gross revenue (overall sales) and net income (post-tax profit) were both down year-over-year, at $1.865 billion and $54.6 million, respectively. As far as net income, that's a 24.69 percent decrease from the $72.5 million Gamestop reported at the end of Q1 2012.
Meanwhile, mobile device sales were up 290 percent, though this massive increase was largely due to the fact that Gamestop's mobile trade-in/sales program was just getting started during Q1 of 2012. Digital sales also increased, to the tune of 47.3 percent year-over-year, while new software sales, both physical and digital, fell 3.8 percent.
As was the case during Q1 2012, used hardware and software sales accounted for the majority of Gamestop's pre-tax profit, with new hardware and software sales making up just 29.5 percent of the quarter's overall gross.
In March, Square Enix President Yoichi Wada stepped down and the company announced widespread restructuring that it expected to cost $106 million. Square Enix posted a net loss of $134 million for fiscal year 2013, citing "weak" sales of major console games, including Sleeping Dogs, Hitman: Absolution and Tomb Raider, the last of which sold 3.4 million in its first month.
Regardless, Dying clearly has a Saw vibe. It's story revolves around characters being trapped in foreboding environments, forcing them to solve strange puzzles and try to escape. The game will be released episodically with the first episode, "Last Hour," slated to arrive on May 25.
"Mobile games development is possibly the most dynamic and exciting industry in the world, and it's an honor to be able to help so many developers be so successful in fulfilling their visions and in building their businesses," said Unity CEO David Helgason. "We were able to make Unity free for the web and for desktop computers a while ago, but have been dreaming of doing the same for mobile for what seems like forever."
To contextualize this, Unity is already a beast in the mobile field in terms of market share and developer relations. The company just opened the flood gates further.
Godus will use DeNA's Mobage platform for mobile and social games, joining previous handheld iterations within the No More Heroes, Final Fantasy and Professor Layton franchises, to name a few.
"IPTV" could mean any number of platforms, including set-top boxes such as Apple TV and Roku. The job listing noted that the developer is working on a "new ground-breaking multi-platform and mobile project."
FreeStyle Games posted a number of jobs to LinkedIn in the last week, including one for a mobile gaming producer role that will "develop strategies to leverage mobile enabled business models including free-to-play and freemium." That person would also be in charge of creating "features to bridge online, console and mobile games to create a connected product."
FreeStyle Games' most recent efforts were seen in Sing Party for Wii U, so the Activision-owned developer hasn't strayed too far from music-based games. Whether its next multi-platform and potentially free-to-play project falls in line with that genre remains to be seen.
Spicy Horse is unsure which game it will make next, OZombie or Alice: Otherlands, and it all depends on whether the studio can regain the Alice rights from EA. If Spicy Horse and EA work out a good deal, then Alice it is. If not, OZombie gets the green light and probably a Kickstarter.
"Actually, the more I think about it – and the more I see/hear feedback from you guys – the more I'm personally leaning towards Oz," Spicy Horse founder American McGee writes on the OZombie Facebook page. "There's so much fun stuff to explore, so many interesting characters and locations to discover. Wonderland will also be there, if not today, if not the next project, then perhaps the one after that?"
Keep in mind (and mind your brains) that OZombie is entirely separate from American McGee's Oz, the game Atari canceled in 2004.
Scurvy Scallywags, the upcoming game from Ron Gilbert and DeathSpank co-creator Clayton Kauzlaric, is a little different from most match-three puzzlers. As we learned in March, players can influence the direction in which the board collapses after making a match. This, in turn, can move their character around the board and allow them to engage in combat with other characters.
The concept is a bit difficult to put down on paper, so thankfully there's a new trailer! Take note of the end of the video, as we're fairly certain this is the first sea shanty in history to feature a theremin.
The Nvidia Shield – previously known as Project Shield – is a handheld gaming console powered by Android. It has a five-inch retinal multi-touch screen capable of 720p, 16GB of internal storage and can stream your PC games, granted you have a GTX 650 GPU or better in your PC.
There are quite a few Sonic games available on Android, but today marks the first appearance of the Blue Blur's original adventure, Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic's first adventure has been updated for mobile devices, adding widescreen support, a remastered soundtrack, leaderboards and more. Furthermore, a brand new addition will allow users to play as either Knuckles or Tails. This new feature is also being added to the iOS version of Sonic the Hedgehog via a free update.
The game hasn't appeared on the North American Google Play store as of this writing, but it's slated to arrive today for $2.99.
Today, we feature answers from Ridiculous Fishing's Rami Ismail, Canabalt's Adam Saltsman, Octodad's Philip Tibitoski, Retro City Rampage's Brian Provinciano and others. This group of developers had specific thoughts about Steam, the Humble Store, Apple's app stores and the Android hub, Google Play.
This follows yesterday's batch of answers from the Steam, Humble Store, iOS and Android camps. Let the confessions begin:
Rovio's intent on creating a feature film was made public late last year, when the studio tapped producers John Cohen and David Maisel from Despicable Me and Iron Man to lead the project. The Angry Birds movie is unique in that it's being completely done in-house – Rovio is funding and producing the film entirely on its own.
This is Portabliss, a column about downloadable games that can be played on the go.High Voltage, and your first thought might be the Conduit series of first-person shooters (or this). While the studio is indeed known most recently for The Conduit, one of its other ideas has been languishing for quite some time, namely Animales de la Muerte. Originally slated for WiiWare, and then for XBLA and PSN, the game has finally found a home on iOS.
Renamed Zoombies: Animales de la Muerte, the game tells the story of two children who must save a Mexican zoo from being overrun by a horde of zombified animals. To do this, the kids utilize every available tool of destruction, ranging from axes to shotguns, roman candles and even the occasional dollop of guacamole.
Zoombies is the most festive zombie game I've ever played, and it's also one of the most immediately entertaining.
Google Play's games services differs from Apple's Game Center in that it offers backend support, rather than a standalone application.
Anyone making a game with Google Play has access to its developer services. A handful of games already have these services incorporated: World of Goo, Super Stickman Golf 2, Beach Buggy Blitz, Kingdom Rush, Eternity Warriors 2 and Osmos.
"We won't make it a mandatory exercise, or have any certification process around it," Google lead product manager Greg Hartrell told Engadget. "We create fantastic services that allow developers to create these great game experiences, and help promote their discovery, help retain their users and keep them engaged."
Check out the games services on Google's developer site.
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