Tag: Indie »
Indie games development can be tough, especially when you’ve got a good idea for something but you’re not quite sure what way to take it. Having heard about Booya Squad, a Wisconsin-based team keen to turn their childhood comics into a mobile card battler, we wanted to learn more about their journey.
Booya Squad is a joint effort between Mike Bloom and his brother-in-law, John. They’re currently working on a social card game called Mario Italiano Four Families, but the story starts much earlier than that. Based on a comic book world they created over ten years ago, it’s been a long time coming. In that time, they've had to juggle big moves across country, raising a family, job changes, health issues, and many more challenges. The team’s blog explains the full story, such as how Mike skipped on a regular sleep pattern in order to get work done, but we also had a chat with him to learn the pertinent details behind everything.
148Apps: How much have various free internet resources helped you in your quest to go into game development? What would you recommend to other aspiring developers?
Mike Bloom (MB): We used the internet to learn how to do everything we needed to know. When we started, we were very naïve to the amount of knowledge and skills we would need to complete the game. So as we progressed through the project we often came upon an obstacle where we needed to learn or come up with something. So we would Google it or search for it on YouTube. We were constantly amazed that if we dug deep enough into these sources, we would always find exactly what we needed. The trick is to use different search phrases. We did this for everything from balancing stats, building a clean UI, all the way to marketing methods.
The idea here is to not be scared to start down the development path because you don’t know how to do everything you will need to do, or better yet you don’t even know what is all needed. Since we went in half blind, we just found the answers when we needed them, and that was actually fun. It was like, oh we have to do that? Well, I’ll do that one, learn the skill and put it to use right away.
French one-man studio Pated has unveiled Seashine, "a poetic journey into the abyss." Players take on the role of a jellyfish struggling to survive in the harsh deep ocean caves, with the game set to be an experience built around exploration, reflection, and survival.
In a search for light in the deep dark waters, players will have to hunt for rare light sources to last a little longer, avoiding the many natural and supernatural obstacles in their path. Using one-finger tilt-and-touch controls, players will be able to challenge their logic in levels, or their survival and exploration skills in an endless survival mode.
Seashine will swim into the
light App Store sometime either later this year or early next year, and will be free to download.
Set for release on the App Store in September is Beatbuddy, previously a success story for the PC, Mac, and Linux.
Beatbuddy combines puzzle solving, enemy vanquishing, and plenty of exploration. Even better, it offers a fascinating story contributed to by Rhianna Pratchett of Tomb Raider and Mirror's Edge fame. There'll be six hand-drawn worlds to explore, each offering their own original soundtrack.
That's not all, though! Beatbuddy is also set to allow you to buy the game's tracks from iTunes without leaving the game. A feature that hasn't been available in a game for iOS before.
Developer, THREAKS, promise that there will be numerous free updates post-launch, ensuring that Beatbuddy sounds pretty cool to us.
Check out the gameplay trailer below for a sneak peek at what to expect, come September.
A massive update for innovative puzzle game, Eliss Infinity, has just been released.
The game now offers Game Center achievements, an in-game counterpart to such achievements called Gems, immediate visual feedback to demonstrate when planets should be bigger or smaller, as well as visualization of recent supernovas.
Elsewhere, the difficulty curve has been smoothed out meaning things should start out a little easier for Eliss Infinity novices, plus the tutorial has been touched up and improved upon so things make more sense.
Already garnering 4.5 stars from us, Eliss Infinity just got even better. It's out now and it's priced at $2.99.
We've talked about Monument Valley in the past. I got a chance to sit down with some of the development team at GDC last week to get an update. The game is looking even better than the last time I got my hands on it. I can't wait for the release. And the good news is it's going to be released next week on April 3rd!
Monument Valley, the upcoming puzzler from London-based ustwo, has raised quite a lot of interest since first being teased a few months ago. It's uniquely MC Escher inspired interactive 3D puzzle style has piqued the interest of many. It seems to be on-track to be the next indie hit for iOS. I recently had a chance to sit down with Dan Gray, Producer, and Neil McFarland, Director of the game to discuss and play through the game. Let's find out if all of the early accolades are deserved.
Ustwo has a reputation of quirky, yet quality games with a very unique visual style. Their office in an old warehouse in the Shoreditch area of London is just what I would imagine from a company that makes games like Whale Trail. A large number of bright, interesting, inspirational, funny, and oddball bits and found objects all over the offices and common spaces fits that perceived personality. It's as though their offices were in the world's largest art student dorm room. A perfect environment to foster the unique styles and somewhat off-the-wall games. Their previous iOS hit, Whale Tail, is the perfect illustration of their unique style in action. It combines a visually interesting look and bright color pallet with fun game mechanics and music.
Monument Valley takes a slightly cleaner, reserved aesthetic over Whale Trail, though it maintains a very oddball game mechanic. In this game the main interaction is rotating parts of the screen, mechanical or otherwise, leading to illogical optical illusions that create new paths for the characters to travel. It's these unique puzzle elements that require that you put what your mind thinks of as spacial reality on hold. Swinging platforms and stairways connect in seemingly impossible ways by rotating the entire structure or small sections on screen. It seems illogical, but when it fits, it's genius.
The game is designed with flat colors and intentional lack of detail that lends perfectly to the logic defying geometric puzzles. The lack of color and detail is almost the exact opposite of what would be expected for a game that moves in this way and stresses perceived logic so greatly. Where detail is given in the game, it is intentional to draw the eye to an available action or clue to how to progress. Tremendous thought has been given to the many levels of puzzles in this game. Maddening levels of trial and error have lead to some of the most unique puzzle and maze elements I have experienced.
For some reason the game reminds me of what a sliding 15 tile puzzle would look like if MC Escher designed it during a month long bender on absinthe and peyote. It's absolutely visually compelling and draws you in, wanting more and more. Moreish as the English say. It's relaxing and stressful. Balancing that line perfectly.
Ustwo takes pride in making unique and interesting games and it shows in Monument Valley. We can expect to see it released at some point this spring or early summer. It will be a premium game, priced reasonably the developers tell us.