Why It’s An Indie Games Roundup

By John Walker on May 4th, 2011 at 9:08 pm.

Oh this just feels wrong.

Recently we put out an appeal on Twitter (@rockpapershot) to indie devs to get in touch if they thought their game deserved some coverage. We had a lot of responses. I’ve taken a look at some of them (and only some, so far – we were inundated), and given some thoughts below. Today we have underwater swimming, telekinetic green rectangles, space battleships, and, um, the ghost of Bin Laden.

Luminesca comes from Matt Glanville, and is currently in development, releasing betas to those who’ve pre-ordered. In fact, to get it made he’s looking for funding via the Kickstarter-a-like, IndieGoGo. The game has a lot in common with Aquaria, The UnderGarden, and various others in the underwater denizens of what Glanville describes as the “Metroidvania” genre. It’s developed in Unity, which means it can be played in a web browser. Well, if you pay $5 toward the fund, you can. It plays much better on a 360 controller at the moment (which frankly is the only sensible means of controlling such games on PC), and while I’d like to see its art style deviating a little more from others in the genre (stalky plants with glowing flowers on the end have pretty much been done, and it’s unlikely anyone will best the gorgeousness of those in the UnderGarden for a bit), this is looking interesting.

Benn Powell sent us his Ludum Dare 20 entry, a game he seems to have forgotten to name. In involves controlling a green rectangle with telekinetic powers through a series of screens. Sold. The concept is actually rather brills, and if he gives himself more than 48 hours to develop it further this could be a fun game. In its current state it’s extremely easy, and very short. Still, there’s a good joke at the end.

Kenney Vleugels got in touch regarding his Flash games. And kudos to the guy – his game, Osama’s Revenge, challenging you to kill Bin Laden’s ghost may be tasteless, but it’s prompt. (And quite fun.) Mir & Ror is a somewhat more sophisticated game, a fun puzzler in which you have to get two characters across a screen to their goals, despite each moving in the opposite direction at the same time. Definitely worth a look, if you switch off the horrible music. Vleugels is clearly a talented Flash game designer. (Oh wait, Mir & Ror – I just got that!)

GBM Productions is Marcin Tasz, who’s working on three games at the moment. The one that you can play, currently in alpha, is called Space Command One, which is the sort of utilitarian name I can get behind. It’s intended to eventually be an RTS/Tower Defense hybrid, with aims to be similar to Homeworld in scale – a mighty challenge, and perhaps a little over ambitious. At the moment it’s a floating ship with some cannons on it. But the potential is interesting.

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36 Comments »

  1. arccos says:

    Its kind of surprising all the games you picked are currently in development. Any finished games that deserve some coverage?

    Edit: Errm… I guess Kenney’s games are finished? Don’t mind me, then.

  2. Kaira- says:

    So, is the RSS-feed bonked or why hasn’t this appeared yet on my feed?

    Edit:/ Also hooray, indies!

    Edit2:/All fine and dandy

  3. dr.castle says:

    “It plays much better on a 360 controller at the moment (which frankly is the only sensible means of controlling such games on PC)”

    Certainly you’re not suggesting that other types of controllers are not sensible? I personally prefer a PS2 controller + USB adapter + XPadder. Works for everything, is super cheap, and has a much better D-Pad than the 360 controller. For 2D platformers and the like, the 360 D-Pad just doesn’t cut it for me.

    • Alextended says:

      Not to mention comparing this style of game with Aquaria then saying it’s best with a pad is contradictory… Aquaria plays beautifully with the mouse, if this one doesn’t then it’s a design choice not a rule for such games.

    • CrowbarSka says:

      Luminesca plays really well with any controller with an analogue stick, I’m just developing it using an Xbox 360 controller.

      I’m working on mouse support too!

    • Hatsworth says:

      Indeed, the 360 controller has terrible faults.

  4. Tei says:

    I am looking forward for Terraria, SPAZ, Starfarer …

    Making games is hard, so giving credits to people with alphas don’t usually pay, as some of then (maybe most) don’t go anywhere.

    • Icarus says:

      Yeah, I’m really looking forward to Terraria after seeing Dominic White’s videos of it. Very eager to see how it turns out. Shutupandtakemymoney.jpg

    • Kaira- says:

      Terraria seems rather nice (watching videos for the first time atm), but it reminds me of Survivors of Ragnarok. Nonetheless, very nice.

    • Axyl says:

      Omg yes, I’m SOO looking forward to S.P.A.Z.

      I believe it’s purchasable as of the 9th (monday).

      Ever since i saw Total Biscuit’s 2 part preview of it, I’ve been dying to get my hands on it. It looks a lil like a top down X (as in – The Reunion, etc etc).

      I’m kinda surprised that it wasn’t in this list tbh, it certainly looks like a VERY top end indie game.

      (Top End Indie Game = imo Magicka, Minecraft, Altitude for example) :)

    • Tacroy says:

      Oh my gosh now I’m really looking forward to SPAZ on Monday.

    • Memphis-Ahn says:

      Yeah, 2011 is gonna be bombin’. I’ve already pre-ordered Starfarer, which is a lot of fun albeit limited (it is still an alpha after all) and money is saved up for SPAZ on monday and Terraria whenever.
      There’s also HAWKEN of course.

    • Diving Duck says:

      Count me in for SPAZ too, damn, I was hooked from the first time I saw a video of it. Also liking Starfarer and have only yesterday discovered Pioneer, although how Frontier react if/when they work out that someone has basically remade EliteII is anyone’s guess.

    • Premium User Badge

      BathroomCitizen says:

      Anyone got a link for S.P.A.Z.? Cannot remember what title is that!

    • Urael says:

      @Diving duck: Frontier know. It was announced by denizens of SpaceSimCentral on Frontier’s forums last year. No official reaction as yet, but Frontier staff may be too afraid of the carpet-munching sounds coming from Braben’s office to tell him.

  5. pakoito says:

    Colour me uninterested, even though that Osama one was fun.

  6. iLag says:

    There’s also LazyBrainGames’ attempt to raise some money in order to turn their browser games into a nice little standalone package of what looks like very well done 8 bit games. It’s called the Lazy Indie Bundle and there’s a trailer for it right here: http://8bitfunding.com/project_details.php?p_id=179

  7. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Hmmm, Space Command One is aiming rather high. All I’ve to say now is this: do get some more interesting meshes for the ships, devs!

    • mcwill says:

      I still think L-systems are the way to go for spaceships. They make really excellent buildings, and a spaceship is fundamentally a building with a different ruleset (its all space subdivision).

    • Bob5602 says:

      To be honest the Homeworld thing is aiming high, but I’m not out to copy it, merely pay homage to it. And yes, models will be much better in the future. This was just an alpha to get some playable game out to people. Not nearly all I can do for models, just placeholders.

      Cheers,
      Marcin

  8. qrter says:

    Go on then, why is it an indie games roundup?

  9. DarthBenedict says:

    I’ve made an indie game too!

    There’s some stuff I want to get done before I think about asking for coverage in a newspost (getting a website at the very least), but here it is for everyone reading this thread to try:

    http://apps.facebook.com/xenoraptor/

    • dadioflex says:

      I quite enjoyed that even though I’m pretty crap at arcade games. Maybe make the pickups a little easier to collect – I’m old and my reflexes are non-existent so take that advice with a pinch of salt.

    • DarthBenedict says:

      They’re a bit hard to pick up at the moment because the player hitbox is a little smaller than the model (enemies were getting stuck on the model when I used an accurate one), so an expanded pickup trigger is on the to do list.

    • DarthBenedict says:

      Update with the bigger pickup hitboxes (among other things) is up.

  10. masteredsoftware says:

    I’ve just released the 1.0 Gold version of my Indie Space Strategy Game: Astriarch – Ruler of the Stars, it is a retro style single player turn-based space strategy game similar to great games such as Master of Orion II, Stellar Conflict and Sins of a Solar Empire. If you play the game and have any feedback let me know!

    • dadioflex says:

      Well got my ass kicked first game but now I know what I’m doing…

      Reminds me most of Galactic Civilizations but obviously a lot simpler, actually a lot like the games I used to play way back on the BBC B. I think I’m disliking the interface too much to enjoy it right now, although it does a fair job of presenting all the information you need.

  11. bill says:

    Why would a 360 pad EVER be the best controller on an open platform that has hundreds of much cheaper usb alternatives that do exactly the same thing?

    • CrowbarSka says:

      See my comment above.

      It’s just that I’m building it using an Xbox 360 controller. Any controller with an analogue stick and two buttons will work just fine, and I’m also working on mouse support.

  12. randomnine says:

    Benn’s game is called “The Last Survivor” on the Ludum Dare site.
    It’s far from the only good game to come out of this latest LD, but they’ll trickle out over the next few weeks, I’m sure :)

  13. Keith Nemitz says:

    So, this is what I miss for not signing up for Twitters. Sigh.