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Transmissions From Cactus 

My favourite indie games developer, Jonatan "Cactus" Söderström, has been receiving a good deal of attention lately. And it's hardly surprising, because his weird, short games are appearing regularly and each have something unique about them. For games developed often in just a few days they're remarkable achievements. This is the kind of chap I'd like to see get a little bit more money and some time to work on something beefier.

Anyway, that aforementioned attention comes in form of a brief interview about his entry to the IGF over on Indiegames.com, and something rather more substantial from GamesLab. The Gameslab interview covers his background, influences, and a little about what he gets out of developing his weird, minimal shooters and puzzle games. An extract:

Half-Life is my all time favourite game, because it felt like a much more mature approach to games than I was used to when I first played it. Gone were the "cool" cutscenes that plagued so many other games, and the game lacked attitude in general, which made it feel more serious and immersive. I really wish I could try to create something similar, but I doubt I'd ever be able to top it, no matter how much I tried.

Not sure I agree about that. Oh, and as ever he has a new game out. A dreamy platformer called Psychosomnium. Bizarre, and tough.

Finally, he's released a screenshot of yet another project, Winter Journey, which shows the influences towards making an RPG-skewed "exploration platformer with a longer storyline than my previous games have featured", as mentioned in the Indiegames.com interview.

There it is:

Finally, it's interesting to take a look at this teasers thread on the Cactus forums, if just to see how many ideas Söderström works on without even completing them as full games.

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Jim Rossignol