Posts Tagged ‘Cliff-Harris’

Treadnaughts: Gratuitous Tank Battles

It wasn't over by Christmas!

Hello 2012! The observant among you may have noticed that I appeared to write something yesterday but I actually wrote that in 2011. Yesterday, I was still in a burrow eating the last needles of the Christmas tree in preparation for emergence. The first thing I saw as my eyes adjusted to the light was a developer diary for Gratuitous Tank Battles, so I brought that with me. Within, Cliff puts forward two game design proposals. One, “a sort of Upper Class World War I English General Simulator”, the other a game taking place during a war that has spanned centuries, leading to battlefields strewn with laser-spewing Tiger tanks, tiny infantrymen and robots alike. He’s making the latter. We must demand the former as well.

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Tanks In Progress: Gratuitous Tank Battles

Tanks, but also towers.
Cliff Harris has sent word that the first footage of his next game, Gratuitous Tank Battles, is now available. You can see it below. Cliff describes this as “a video showing early work-in-progress footage from battles in ‘Gratuitous Tank Battles’, the RTS/Tower Defense/ Sim strategy game.” In it you can see elements of both the attacking and defending games, as well as some of the conditions of battle, such as pesky darkness. For more on this you can have a read of my interview with Cliff, in which he explains the inspiration for the game and his aims for building on Gratuitous Space Battles with a more complex and strategic game.
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Revealed: Gratuitous Tank Battles

Today we got to see Positech’s sequel to Gratuitous Space Battles for the first time. Logically enough it was called Gratuitous Tank Battles, because it features a multitude of tanks, and even robots. However, it was very nearly called Gratuitous Trench Battles, and even “Over The Top”, and you can find out why by reading on, below…
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WoL Footage: Harris, Steenberg, Betts

So we already posted the Subversion wobblecam footage from last year’s big indie event, World Of Love, but now there’s much more from a bunch of other speakers. Almost certainly the most interesting of these is the talk by Cliff Harris, who speaks in plain terms about the practicalities of making a living from producing indie games. If you don’t have a cash-button formula like Minecraft then there’s still a lot of hard work to be done, and Cliffski lays that out with illegible Powerpoint slides and straight-talking. Really, this one is worth a watch.

There’s also some of Eskil Steenberg’s wizardry, and some thoughts about how to avoid retro visuals and look good in the 21st century from Tom “Nullpointer” Betts. Go take a look. Also, don’t forget the second World Of Love is up this month. More on that soon!
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Cliffski Shows Us The Games

Even more games, yesterday
Cliff “Positech” Harris, the man who is currently finishing off the campaign parts of Gratuitous Space Battles, has been busy with a side project: wrangling independent developers.They now have a new indie portal called Show Me The Games. It’s supposed to be a collection of some of the best indie games on the PC, and includes some that you might recognise. Cliff explains:

SMTG is a crazy plan to try and prove that indie game developers, despite theoretically being in competition, can come together as a group, throw some money in an ‘advertising’ bucket, and help promote each others games. It’s true that getting indie developers to organise together is like herding cats, but I’ve owned 4 cats over my life, so I’m not scared. Using the amazing nasa-like technology of random numbers, the SMTG site randomises the games listing so nobody gets ‘top slot’. This simple listing of games is hopefully just the start, there may well be competitions, discount bundles or all kinds of stuff happening on SMTG in the future. The main point is that we now have a fixed location to host that kind of thing.

Go take a look.

Develop 10: The Microstudios Panel

Hot hot hot developers!

The Microstudios panel proved to be the most controversial and widely talked about at Develop 10, but the exchange of commentary followed by detente wasn’t all that was worth taking away from the gathering, where Beatnik‘s Robin Lacey (Plain Sight), Positech‘s Cliff Harris (Kudos, Democracy, Gratuitous Space Battles), Introversion‘s Mark Morris (Darwinia, Defcon, Uplink) and Hello Games‘ Sean Murray (Joe “They’ll all be in” Danger “if there’s not a PC port”) talked about the state of the Microstudio. Starting with what a microstudio is anyway…
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Mark Rein Says Sorry To Cliffski

See, look how friendly he is! Picture from

Mark Rein has said sorry to Cliff Harris over his comments at last week’s Develop Conference. The Develop website reports that Rein was mortified when he learned of Cliffski’s upset, and has written him an email to apologise. The text of the email is available in full over on Develop. Rein makes it very clear that he does support indies, and that his passion and big mouth got him into trouble. It’s an extremely contrite response, and one in which he makes his motivations for interrupting Harris’s panel very clear, along with explaining how Epic isn’t the enemy of the indie. How has Cliffski responded to this? I’d wager good money he’ll let us know in the comments below.

Developer Beef Watch: Positech Vs Epic

Sometimes I love this job.

It really was the Develop for it. After Schafer’s lobbing of the prick-stick at Kotick, Cliff Harris returns from there to write a furious blog post arguing that Epic’s Mark Rein is “a jerk”. Which is a lot milder than prick, but Cliff keeps-on-keeping-on climaxing with him telling that Triple-A bosses should “Fuck off”. The cause for his concertation? Well, it’s the microdeveloper panel at Develop where Harris – on the panel – took umbrage with Rein – in the front row – interrupting the discussion to give him a piece of his marketing wisdom. Go read Cliff’s takes on the event – though I was actually at the event, so will hopefully write it up soon. It’s worth noting that Rein’s interruption came when Cliff was talking about his time with Lionhead and getting into trouble with PRs for speaking to the forumites. However, it quickly continued into the wider area, with Rein basically acting like a fifth panelist for the closing section.

I’m hoping this erupts into a full-scale war between the American Mainstream and British Independents by next Develop, and look forward to Terry Cavanagh saying that Valve are a big bunch of tossers or similar.

Gratuitous Space Battles Add-On Ahoy!

News of a mini-expansion for GSB arrives over on the Positech blog. Cliffski says: “…current plans for the pack are to introduce a new race to the game. It will have the same variety of ships as the other races. The ships will also have a few race-specific modules, and some quite drastic ship bonuses. It was a relief to work out that ship bonuses can be negative, meaning this new batch of ships will have weak shields, weak armor, and very strong hulls.” He’s not yet decided on a price for said expansion, claiming he only wishes to recoup the cost of making it.

Kudos 2 Released: Time To Get A Life?

The aesthetic upgrade doesn't make this any easier to get screenshots for. Pah!
It’s a bit of an indie season, innit? News reaches us that comments-regular Cliffski’s latest game - Kudos 2 – is now available to buy for the sum of twelve quid. Its the sequel to his popular alternate-take on the Sims – think the Sims meet Princess Maker. And if you don’t know Princess Maker, think Championship Manager with a Teenage Girl, except Kudos is about 20-somethings. I liked the first one, and this one seems a genuine improvement, not least because of the cool indy aesthetic brought by Jamie “Suburban Glamour” McKelvie. A demo can be downloaded off the electric internet. It’s amazing! Like, a game just arriving on your hard-drive by clicking on your screen. This shit is going to catch on. Seriously, try it.