You may have thought that XBLIG was long forgotten, based on the decreasing number of titles being released each week, but Cashie Brothers still have something to say on the platform. Their upcoming title, IOTA will be their first title on XBLIG, but if the trailer is any indication of how things are shaping up, then we’re in for treat with a game which holds distinct aesthetic on the indie channel .
Much like the color switching mechanic IKARUGA popularized nearly ten years ago, IOTA’s protagonist can absorb the power of colored orbs when it makes contact with one. That power is then used to offers the capacity for the protagonist to perform various maneuvers, including hovering briefly and dashing through obstacles.
Development team run by siblings out of Nova Scotia, Canada, Ruben and Dermot Cashie, claim that we’ll be able to give this 2-5 hour experience a go by the end of the holiday season on XBLIG, and a Windows release is to follow shortly after. Not a newcomer to the industry, before working on IOTA, Ruben had experience working on titles such as the FIFA and NBA Live franchises.
You can find out more about IOTA at the game’s home page, here.
The Swapper is an interesting title because it is as derivative as it is unique. For every element it has borrowed from other games or movies, it introduces something completely fresh and new, and wraps it all up within a brilliantly subtle epistemological and ontological treatise on the nature of gaming. It is a product of an industry that uses focus groups as design tools while simultaneously boldly going where few titles, mainstream or indie, have ventured.
The major industry tropes are definitely present here, with scripted events, one-sided conversations between our mute hero (let’s call him “Jack”) and supporting characters, a platforming object collectathon, and a game world that gradually opens up, but it is all presented so smartly and beautifully that the first few hours of The Swapper are absolutely magnificent. Read more
Only a month between casts this time? What are we thinking?!?!
Podcast season is nigh, prepare yourself and sit down with us! This time Taylor, Gil, Daniel, and Wayne talk about their recent plays, the Playstation 4 day one update, XBOX player color coding, what system is going to win the holidays, and how the new generation of systems is going to effect the indie landscape.
Side scrolling real time strategy games aren’t super common outside of the mobile gaming market, but two ex-LucasArts developers calling themselves Seacliff Interactive seek to extend the genre further into PC, Mac, Linux and Ouya territory with Super Roman Conquest. On top of this they look to expand the strategy of the genre and reducing the mundane nature of simply making tons of units to mash into each other by adding additional planes in the third dimension.
The plane system gives off some reminders of earlier SNK fighters or Guardian Heroes in concept but utilizes it to offer branching paths, choke points, and create more in depth strategies from what the video portrays. When finished, Super Roman Conquest will also offer branching story paths, unit upgrade and management, and some sort of community interaction model which they claim to “recreate the intrigue and power of the Senate in the Roman Republic.”
Seacliff Interactive aims to fund further development, sound designers, improved art assets, and add extra polish through their Kickstarter than you can find here. You can also keep tabs on the progress of Super Roman Conquest development over at the website.
Indie games and the developers behind them have have more opportunities to get their titles on a plethora of platforms than ever before. Certain problems may arise when trying to get your title out there, including negotiating business deals, royalty splits, marketing and PR, and finally, knowing the right people to get your game onto said platforms.
Well, as of late we’ve seen the rise of indie focused publishers come to the forefront in order to handle all of these tasks for you. This week Rebel Machine hit the streets in full force to get the word out. A result of the collaboration between Evolve-PR head Tom Ohle and cinematic producer and director on Killzone 3, Khaled Ibrahimi, Rebel Machine.
A game about gathering a bunch of nerds around a table and have them all casting magic missiles at fictitious fantasy enemies? Straight ballin son. Alright, maybe it shouldn’t be classified as “Ballin” but the game is good enough to warrant a review from the Armless Octopus crew. Please watch and enjoy.
Years ago, industry visionary Peter Molyneux promised a means to interact with digital avatars using speech. Despite our high hopes, the experience never came to fruition, although another studio hasn’t lost hope. North Side Inc., out of Montreal Canada, has done away with the typical way of responding to AI by selecting dialogue trees on screen, and instead relies on the user’s voice to guide the action. The development team currently has quite a bit in place in terms of content, and is looking to release content in an episodic manner — although the full prologue for the first episode will be made accessible to all backers, and won’t be available after sales start. The first two episodes are already underway, but the team has a target of 12 total.
The tech powering the game, “natural language understanding (NLU) technology – deep Artificial Intelligence, which the company began researching in 2001,” seems promising, based on the trailer. Northside claims “Currently, the software understands English well enough to enable a player to complete game levels, as long as they don’t veer too much off topic.” Set on a South Pacific set of island in the year 2021, the world faces decline due to excess population, poverty stricken denizens, and withering resources.
Similar to Isaac Asimov’s critically acclaimed novel iRobot, our automaton creations seem to be the only solution to dig humans out of the hole we’ve created. Today is the first of the team’s Kickstarter, with a goal of 100,00 CAD.