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Found 9 results

  1. Video games are wonderfully weird. We all know it, but sometimes it just needs to be said. That weirdness tends to surface in the indie world more than anywhere else. One of the games coming to IndieCade later this week really delves into that strangeness. The Black Window comes courtesy of Flux, an interactive story-telling studio that has worked on various narrative projects since 1999, often far outside the mainstream and with unique approaches to creating their experiences. In the late 1800s, Louisa Collins received a conviction for the murders of her two husbands in 1887 and 1888. She was hanged for her crimes... but was she truly guilty? Players are tasked with uncovering the truth by physically interacting with a custom made wooden spirit board controller to communicate with Collins' in the afterlife. She responds to a wide variety of questions as players delve deeper in their lines of questioning. It's certainly a unique take on mystery solving, but it's unclear if the game will see a wider release. People interested in fringe indie experiments can play The Black Widow for themselves during IndieCade this coming weekend, October 6-8 at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, California. You can learn more about The Black Widow on Flux's website. View full article
  2. Video games are wonderfully weird. We all know it, but sometimes it just needs to be said. That weirdness tends to surface in the indie world more than anywhere else. One of the games coming to IndieCade later this week really delves into that strangeness. The Black Window comes courtesy of Flux, an interactive story-telling studio that has worked on various narrative projects since 1999, often far outside the mainstream and with unique approaches to creating their experiences. In the late 1800s, Louisa Collins received a conviction for the murders of her two husbands in 1887 and 1888. She was hanged for her crimes... but was she truly guilty? Players are tasked with uncovering the truth by physically interacting with a custom made wooden spirit board controller to communicate with Collins' in the afterlife. She responds to a wide variety of questions as players delve deeper in their lines of questioning. It's certainly a unique take on mystery solving, but it's unclear if the game will see a wider release. People interested in fringe indie experiments can play The Black Widow for themselves during IndieCade this coming weekend, October 6-8 at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, California. You can learn more about The Black Widow on Flux's website.
  3. Among the giants of gaming with their colossal booths was a haven for the indie crowd at E3 2017 in the form of Indiecade. The goal of Indiecade is to give indies the spotlight–a great juxtaposition considering the commercial, triple-A nature of E3. One such game being showcased was called Borders. Borders has its players navigate as an immigrant trying to cross the U.S./Mexico border with many dangerous obstacles in between. At its core, the game is simple in both its controls and graphics, but it's the message behind it that makes it a powerful piece. The 2D side-scroller intends to not only demonstrate the storytelling prowess of video games but also hopes to shed light on the risks facing illegal immigrants. Developer Gonzalo Alvarez (artist, creative director, art direction, and animator) created the game alongside Jon DiGiacomo (engineer, level designer) and Genaro Vallejo Reyes (game, level, and sound designer) after they met each other at another Indiecade event. Development of the game spanned a seven-day game jam with Reyes being the only team member with prior game development experience. Alvarez's inspiration came from his own parent's stories of crossing the border. "They get excited to see all of the little things," Alvarez said standing beside a demo of the game on the E3 show floor speaking about his parent's reaction to the game. In Borders, players have one goal: get to the border. In between there and the starting point, though, are plenty of border patrol and a constant risk for dehydration. Again, the experience is straightforward (you run and duck into the occasional bush) but it is very addicting. Borders is still a game, and it can be easy to get sucked up into the standard gaming goals: dodge the enemy, make it to the end. But the landscape is littered with constant reminders of its political purpose. Skeletons are left in wake of the players failed attempts symbolizing the sometimes fatal nature of crossing the border for immigrants. This feature was even more startling in the E3 demo since everyone who had played the game and died had their markers piled up along the path. Needless to say, there were a lot of skeletons. Borders gained attention after an art exhibit showcased it in arcade cabinet form earlier this year. Major news outlets covered the game, and long story short, the attention earned it a featured spot at E3. "It is surreal," said Alvarez about being at E3, "if it wasn't for Indiecade I probably wouldn't be a game developer." The game is available now on Windows, Mac and Android marketplace. Depending on the platform, Borders is either $.99 or name your own price. The three devs formed a game company called Macua Studios and are currently working on a non-political game called Paleo Hunter.
  4. Among the giants of gaming with their colossal booths was a haven for the indie crowd at E3 2017 in the form of Indiecade. The goal of Indiecade is to give indies the spotlight, a great juxtaposition considering the commercial nature of E3. One such game being showcased was called Borders. Borders has its players navigate as an immigrant trying to cross the U.S./Mexico border with many dangerous obstacles in between. At its core, the game is simple in both its controls and graphics, but it's the message behind it that makes it a powerful piece. The 2D side scroller touts the mission of not only displaying the storytelling prowess of video games overall but also hopes to shed light on the risks facing illegal immigrants. Developer Gonzalo Alvarez (artist, creative director, art direction, and animator) created the game alongside Jon DiGiacomo (engineer, level designer) and Genaro Vallejo Reyes (game, level, and sound designer) after they met each other at another Indiecade event. Development of the game spanned a seven-day game jam with Reyes being the only team member with prior game development experience. Alvarez's inspiration came from his own parent's stories of crossing the border. "They get excited to see all of the little things," Alvarez said standing beside a demo of the game on the E3 show floor speaking to his parent's reaction to the game. Playing the game you have one goal, get to the border. In between there and the starting point though are plenty of border patrol and a constant risk for dehydration. Again it's straightforward, you run and duck into the occasional bush, but it is very addicting. Borders is still a game and it can be easy to get sucked up into the standard gaming goals, dodge the enemy, make it to the end. But the landscape is littered with constant reminders of its political purpose. View full article
  5. SupeRaven

    IndieCade Festival

    until
    IndieCade features indie games from around the world, an annual award show celebrating 12 different innovation award categories, and a three-day conference in beautiful Culver City, California. The Extra Life Los Angeles Guild will be returning to the IndiCade Village October 23-25 to represent Extra Life. IndieCade Festival Hours Friday, October 23rd 12:00 PM - 8:00 PMSaturday, October 24th 10:00 AM - 6:00 PMSunday, October 25th 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  6. I really adore the game 6180 Moon (even though I am just awful at it) for its tight platforming and clever puzzle mechanics. So imagine my delight to find that the developer behind 6180, Turtle Cream, had returned to E3 this year with a rough build of a new game with a new central mechanic that I have never seen before. Long Take is another game that is both clever and challenging. The premise is that instead of controlling the main character of the game, you are merely the camera man who is trying to make the hero look good. Here is where it gets interesting: Everything outside of your camera frame ceases to exist. All manner of hazards from rockets to lasers can be avoided by zooming the camera closer to the hero. However, the proximity of the zoom has to be weighed against how fast the hero is moving. If the platforming protagonist leaves the camera frame, you fail the level and start over again. This means you have to be careful if he decides to go back to collect the last few coins in the level or makes a dash for the exit. This leads to a number of creative puzzles that revolve around where you point the camera. Though I didn’t have an extended play session with Long Take, it shows a lot of promise for such an early iteration of the concept. I only had a couple gripes about what I have seen thus far. First, the player isn't given time to survey each level to formulate a strategy beforehand (only a brief glimpse of everything before automatically beginning), which leads to a number of frustrating and seemingly unavoidable trial and error deaths. Second, I encountered a bug where things off screen continued to fire despite not being visible, which is really debilitating to the core concept of the title. There were a few other minor annoyances along the lines of the second complaint, but I was assured that they were due to the early build and would be ironed out before release. Overall, color me intrigued and hopeful that Long Take will live up to the pedigree of 6180.
  7. I really adore the game 6180 Moon (even though I am just awful at it) for its tight platforming and clever puzzle mechanics. So imagine my delight to find that the developer behind 6180, Turtle Cream, had returned to E3 this year with a rough build of a new game with a new central mechanic that I have never seen before. Long Take is another game that is both clever and challenging. The premise is that instead of controlling the main character of the game, you are merely the camera man who is trying to make the hero look good. Here is where it gets interesting: Everything outside of your camera frame ceases to exist. All manner of hazards from rockets to lasers can be avoided by zooming the camera closer to the hero. However, the proximity of the zoom has to be weighed against how fast the hero is moving. If the platforming protagonist leaves the camera frame, you fail the level and start over again. This means you have to be careful if he decides to go back to collect the last few coins in the level or makes a dash for the exit. This leads to a number of creative puzzles that revolve around where you point the camera. Though I didn’t have an extended play session with Long Take, it shows a lot of promise for such an early iteration of the concept. I only had a couple gripes about what I have seen thus far. First, the player isn't given time to survey each level to formulate a strategy beforehand (only a brief glimpse of everything before automatically beginning), which leads to a number of frustrating and seemingly unavoidable trial and error deaths. Second, I encountered a bug where things off screen continued to fire despite not being visible, which is really debilitating to the core concept of the title. There were a few other minor annoyances along the lines of the second complaint, but I was assured that they were due to the early build and would be ironed out before release. Overall, color me intrigued and hopeful that Long Take will live up to the pedigree of 6180. View full article
  8. In the midst of the insanity that made up E3 2013, I encountered a game called Pinstripe at the IndieCade booth. What followed was akin to a descent into surreal madness of the sort one might expect from a more malign Alice in Wonderland. With little introduction, I was thrust into the role of James Weaks, an absurdly wealthy man who is aboard a train with his wife. After being asked to retrieve my wife’s scarf, I was able to explore the various compartments of the train using the W, A, S, and D keys to move. As I moved through the train cars, I came into contact with various other passengers who chatted about their goals in life, before I was able to proceed. Once I obtained the scarf from several cars farther forward, I encountered what appeared to be a demonic cat. With some cryptic words, the cat vanished and the train wrecked itself in a snowy land. The haunting melodies of Pinstripe’s soundtrack played as I tried to get my bearings. Donning my wife’s scarf against the cold, I soldiered on through the ice. Soon I began to meet other survivors from the wreck, but all of them seemed different, obsessed with their desires. One of the first people I encountered was an alcoholic from the train, who was now obsessed with drinking the honey from black beehives. After retrieving a hive for him to eat, he allowed me through his shelter and I found a blunderbuss. With this weapon I was able to sever ropes and fight the enemies that had appeared; odd tear drop creatures with propellers that dropped oozing bombs. It became clear that not everything was right in the world. Pressing onward, I solved more problems from people who had been on the train and I met what seemed to be a dog from my childhood. I saw the fleeting image of my wife, running in the distance. Shortly after, I was told by the demonic cat that my wife was waiting at the hotel, a building off in the distance. To reach the hotel, I needed to take a boat across a lake. In a scene that brought to mind the crossing of the river Styx from Greek mythology, I was propelled on the boat by a lanky, oozing, black creature with a singular red eye for a head. Upon reaching the far shore, I disembarked (hoping never to see that monster again) and made my way into the nearby hotel where I was greeted by the demonic feline. At this point, my demonic guide revealed that the world was no longer the mortal world, but “a place where the selfish become more selfish” before vanishing into a puff of smoke. More than a little disturbed, I made my way to the top of the hotel, encountering fantastical creatures, like a strange spore-spider creature the size of an entire room. In the process of solving puzzles, I ran across a newspaper with a headline proclaiming the suicide of a certain Mr. James Weaks and a scrap of paper hinting that the pinstripe man might know of a way out of this world. More and more perplexed, I made my way to the room in which the cat had told me my wife would be, only to find a mannequin and the black cat, taunting me for my foolishness and condemning me to spend eternity within the room. Seemingly doomed to spend the rest of existence trapped and alone with my dog, I explored my prison. After fiddling with a singular mirror, a portal to another world was opened and I stepped though with my trusty dog companion. On the other side of the mirror, a crystalline wall arose and would not open, unless someone stood on a certain spot. Gently, my dog explained that it had been my loyal friend its entire life, and it would not stop being so now. Urging me to go on, it stood on the switch and allowed me to proceed – leaving him behind. It was a poignant moment and one that was followed by the conclusion of my time with Pinstripe. At its heart, Pinstripe is a 2D point-and-click adventure game with some light puzzle, action, and platforming elements. Overall, the impression I walked away from Pinstripe with was good. The surreal insanity of the world really engaged me and kept me wondering where the story would bring me next. The sound design and music are worth noting as well, given how well they blended with the simple and understated visuals. The actual gameplay was frankly a bit bland, but it was serviceable and it didn’t really need to be interesting given the intriguing aesthetic, sounds, music, and story. Pinstripe is being developed by one-man team Thomas Brush and will continue development until it is done, aiming for a release on PC sometime in 2013.
  9. In the midst of the insanity that made up E3 2013, I encountered a game called Pinstripe at the IndieCade booth. What followed was akin to a descent into surreal madness of the sort one might expect from a more malign Alice in Wonderland. With little introduction, I was thrust into the role of James Weaks, an absurdly wealthy man who is aboard a train with his wife. After being asked to retrieve my wife’s scarf, I was able to explore the various compartments of the train using the W, A, S, and D keys to move. As I moved through the train cars, I came into contact with various other passengers who chatted about their goals in life, before I was able to proceed. Once I obtained the scarf from several cars farther forward, I encountered what appeared to be a demonic cat. With some cryptic words, the cat vanished and the train wrecked itself in a snowy land. The haunting melodies of Pinstripe’s soundtrack played as I tried to get my bearings. Donning my wife’s scarf against the cold, I soldiered on through the ice. Soon I began to meet other survivors from the wreck, but all of them seemed different, obsessed with their desires. One of the first people I encountered was an alcoholic from the train, who was now obsessed with drinking the honey from black beehives. After retrieving a hive for him to eat, he allowed me through his shelter and I found a blunderbuss. With this weapon I was able to sever ropes and fight the enemies that had appeared; odd tear drop creatures with propellers that dropped oozing bombs. It became clear that not everything was right in the world. Pressing onward, I solved more problems from people who had been on the train and I met what seemed to be a dog from my childhood. I saw the fleeting image of my wife, running in the distance. Shortly after, I was told by the demonic cat that my wife was waiting at the hotel, a building off in the distance. To reach the hotel, I needed to take a boat across a lake. In a scene that brought to mind the crossing of the river Styx from Greek mythology, I was propelled on the boat by a lanky, oozing, black creature with a singular red eye for a head. Upon reaching the far shore, I disembarked (hoping never to see that monster again) and made my way into the nearby hotel where I was greeted by the demonic feline. At this point, my demonic guide revealed that the world was no longer the mortal world, but “a place where the selfish become more selfish” before vanishing into a puff of smoke. More than a little disturbed, I made my way to the top of the hotel, encountering fantastical creatures, like a strange spore-spider creature the size of an entire room. In the process of solving puzzles, I ran across a newspaper with a headline proclaiming the suicide of a certain Mr. James Weaks and a scrap of paper hinting that the pinstripe man might know of a way out of this world. More and more perplexed, I made my way to the room in which the cat had told me my wife would be, only to find a mannequin and the black cat, taunting me for my foolishness and condemning me to spend eternity within the room. Seemingly doomed to spend the rest of existence trapped and alone with my dog, I explored my prison. After fiddling with a singular mirror, a portal to another world was opened and I stepped though with my trusty dog companion. On the other side of the mirror, a crystalline wall arose and would not open, unless someone stood on a certain spot. Gently, my dog explained that it had been my loyal friend its entire life, and it would not stop being so now. Urging me to go on, it stood on the switch and allowed me to proceed – leaving him behind. It was a poignant moment and one that was followed by the conclusion of my time with Pinstripe. At its heart, Pinstripe is a 2D point-and-click adventure game with some light puzzle, action, and platforming elements. Overall, the impression I walked away from Pinstripe with was good. The surreal insanity of the world really engaged me and kept me wondering where the story would bring me next. The sound design and music are worth noting as well, given how well they blended with the simple and understated visuals. The actual gameplay was frankly a bit bland, but it was serviceable and it didn’t really need to be interesting given the intriguing aesthetic, sounds, music, and story. Pinstripe is being developed by one-man team Thomas Brush and will continue development until it is done, aiming for a release on PC sometime in 2013. View full article
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