Freeware Review - is it time?
is it time? is an indie art game that explores what it’s like to be old, feeble and living out your final days alone. It is an unflinching look at the relationship between ailing parents and their adult children, and it pointedly asks the question “When is life not worth living?” This is subject matter that is extremely uncomfortable for most people, and therefore not something you see in many mainstream games or films. On the other hand, the difficulties of getting old are an almost universal human experience, and one that should be explored. Luckily, game designer Jaime Fraina has found a way to turn this experience into an engaging game that can (and should) be played by everyone.
Hey, I’m looking for some advice. Remember a while back I said I want to recreate the entirety of Shadow of the Colossus as a text adventure in Twine? Well, I haven’t been able to shake the idea, so I’m still seriously considering doing it. As lessie2D pointed out, I need to be sure not to run afoul of copyright laws. I will of course title it something different (my current thought is Wander in the Forbidden Land), and will make sure that no actual words are the same. I will change dialog enough to be different, either change names or not use them, and come up with different names for the few in-game objects whose names are known.
I’m wondering what other protective measures you guys would recommend. I need to walk a tightrope: the game needs to be recognizably SotC so that fans and media outlets will know about it and play it, but it needs to be different enough that Sony and Team Ico won’t be showing up at my door with a cease and desist letter. What sort of language would you recommend I use in descriptions of the game, or in a possible devlog?
Saw this video on IndieGames the other day.
Yeah, saw this earlier, thought about it for a while. I wanted to give my opinion on it. I’ll say before anything they obviously blew up everything about indie development. So, it is like “don’t believe da hype” kind of thing. I’ll just make some quick points.
it’s really good up until like, let me check, 19 seconds I feel that it is pretty honest and accurate. But then…
guy 1: “pushing the boundaries of game design” indie devs obviously have more wiggle room vs industry to try new things, but let’s be honest here, 99% of the stuff out there is designed from very old design content. Don’t make it sound like indie dev’s are making revolutionary games. The foundation of taking a base design and expanding on it is still there. Please. This is not the second coming of pixel jesus.
girl 1: “indie designers are the saviors of video games” Yep. Keep saying shit like that, and people wonder why a lot of game devs get a bad rep. Please shut up with this. Saviors how? Like I said before, we all take base ideas from the “pool” and create our own content based off that. It’s absurd and incredibly pretentious for ANYONE idc who you are saying indie is the “savior” of video games.
The industry has a place.It always will. that is reality. Indie games also will have a place in the giant vortex that is creative medium. JEEBUS.
Kickstarter is another subject in the video. Kickstarter is a great tool, I’ve seen really great games get supported by “the people”. But, instead of relying on the public to fund your games, Why can’t indie devs find other means to get support? or at least get an easier way to do so. Why is it the average joe always have to carry them? If indie dev is exploding why aren’t there more programs to get games in the hands of the people?
Instead of trying to create a very good game for the public to enjoy, you have to dive into advertising, and shady marketing tactics just to get a “chance” to finish a game, and have your game polished.
Anyway, it’s an alright video. I think it’s blown up a lot, generally these kinds of feelings and design choices are talked about and discussed. It kind of sounds weird when you hear other people talking about it and people kind of get that “hipster” vibe because you do not understand where designers are coming from 99%. A good example is the guy who made braid.
Overall, I agree with a lot of the video, fact is the video itself comes off really pretentious like “indie is just better” when it’s not. It’s different. It’s the product of very small teams, small budgets, and trying to provide players with a certain level of entertainment. I like indie games, I like commercial ones too. Why does it have to be this “indie vs industry” vibe constantly? indie games have there place, just like every other platform. It’s like the guy who loves the band 311 and thinks nothing else is just as good . Just makes you look stupid, because there are thousands of different kinds of music out there, and it comes down to your opinion.
bads w b badz.
Boons for Indie Devs
In my last post, I lamented the state of affairs for someone interested in working for a big studio. This doesn’t mean I wouldn’t work for one. It would just have to be the right one. I mentioned Epic Baltimore because they are one of those places I’d work for. I’ve been very vocal in my criticism of Epic’s previous games, from the writing in the Gears of War franchise to the juvenile glorification of dick jokes in Bulletstorm. Under all of that, they make games that are fun to play and are packed to the brim with action and innovation. Plus, I love how they run their company.
On top of everything else, a few years ago they decided to release a free version of their award-winning Unreal 3 engine for anyone to use, and bundled it with all their content tools. Since then, they’ve been updating and maintaining the UDK while promoting developers who make cool things with their product.
That brings me around to the state of the industry for independent developers. It’s a good time for people who want to make good games with small teams and smaller budgets.
The UDK is just one of the free tools available, but making games still costs money. I’d like to focus on how indie studios can collect that money, and what is out there to help them distribute their game once they’ve completed it. We’ve learned that industry veterans can gather millions of dollars via Kickstarter, but that’s not a sure bet for everyone. The games category on the fundraising site only has a 34% success rate, which places it 10th out of 13 for all project areas you can donate to. There has also been growing skepticism and hesitation towards funding game projects this way, with one high-profile fraud exposing the flaws in such a system. Game development is such a tricky and unpredictable animal that often it is difficult to lay out a timeline for completion so early in the process, especially for indie devs.
There are other sources of crowd-funding starting to appear. Gamesplanet Labs is a combination funding/distribution platform with a selection process for which projects go up for donations, and clear set of “commitments” for devs to follow.
IndieGoGo is another crowdfunding site that allows you create a campaign for almost anything. The benefit of IndieGoGo is that you can elect to use a Flexible Funding set up, where you get to keep whatever you make, even if you don’t hit your goal.
Once you make your game, getting it out so people can buy it is important too. Valve’s digital distribution service Steam has been a popular choice (and with good reason), but making the cut is tough. To make things worse, Valve has been overwhelmed with submissions and just can’t get through them all to make good selections for the platform. That’s why they’ve announced Steam Greenlight. As an extension of their Workshop system for mods and add-ons, developers will be able to put their games up for consideration on Greenlight, and the gamers will be able to vote on which games they like. The best received games will get promoted to the full Steam service for purchase.
This sort of popularity contest does mean that so much will rely on social media and marketing, as the ability to get the word out will mean a better chance of your game getting published. It will be more difficult for the sleeper hits to gain traction, but overall I think this is a great idea.
You can look to the future with your game if you want. OUYA is an Android-based console that is being funded on Kickstarter right now. If you want to make your game in Java for the Android platform, you can get it on this new console that, so far, everyone is making a big deal about.
It is worth noting that Epic has said that they will add Android support to the UDK eventually.
This might be stupid, but I’m starting to get kind of nervous about my #FishingJam game, like maybe I can’t do it. But I know I can! #LetsGO — http://twitter.com/alamantusgames/statuses/336978463313498112