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Money In Old Hat: The Indie Buskers

While watching people code is unlikely to be an event at this year's 2012th London Olympathon, it has become more popular than I ever imagined it would. Admittedly, I imagined it would be marginally less popular than drinking your own eyeballs through a crazy straw so the fact that it's an activity of choice for anybody is something of a surprise to me. You may remember the Indie Buskers, a gaggle of hardboiled indie types who offered up their coding expertise online, to an audience occasionally yelling requests. The results are now available. Read on to find out what dark ballads were in demand.

I'm going to copy in the requests that were worked on, Molyjam style, since they're slightly more imaginative than the usual released press that so often reads "an cinematic immersion experience like never before, third in the best-selling series of some time". Or something like that.

From Sophie Houlden, Pirate Kart contributor extraordinaire, comes Rose and Time, a "time travel stealth game where you are avoiding copies of yourself from the past/future". She's currently working on the day 1 DLC, or perhaps simply jesting about working on the day 1 DLC.

Rat King Entertainment, whose previous work I haven't played, thought it would be a good idea to listen to these ravings: "It might be cool to have a game where you control objects to block sunlight to create a path of darkness - so that a vampire can get to their intended victim." Intriguing as the concept sounds, I can't help but imagine it'll be a light reflecting puzzle game rather than a work of true madness.

Ido Yehieli, who previously created the rather charming Cardinal Quest, heard these words being yelled by a passing hobo: "Pacman with tower defense elements, played in a huge world. eat dots and use them to build defenses against the ghosts." That's the sort of innovative gaming mash-up that I'd expect from such a fellow (the hobo) and judging by the video handily inserted below, it looks like Ido may be on to something.

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Apart from having the best name of the group, Pekka Kujansuu also made Tiny Hawk, which has an equally delightful name but is a skateboarding platform-puzzler rather than a Finnish person. I just played it for far longer than I should have done. For the busking session, Pekka went with "a game about a pirate trying to be an astronaut", a concept which I find insulting to our austronautical heroes, who undergo extensive training and education. I can only hope it's a one button game about failure and the delicious degradation of rum.

Finally, and it's last for a reason, Sos Sosowski's "roguelike set in an office building. It's your first day at work and you have to climb to the top to become the CEO". Oh yes. That's what busking was invented for. If I could walk down Market Street in fair old Mancunia and see people coding the likes of that, I wouldn't have any money left to spend on beer by the time I'd navigated my way through the gauntlet of worthy and worthless causes that litter the area.

In the tradition of buskers everywhere, the fine folk are allowing you to flip coinage of your own choosing into their keyboard cases and battered old pork pie hats. I can't actually recommend any of them yet since I haven't had time to play, but a single dollar could let you be both a pirate who wants to be an astronaut and a time travelling sneakotron.

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