Earlier this year, back when Guncraft was a fledgling Kickstarter project, an Xbox Live Indie Games version was mentioned as “up in the air”. Now it seems that the game could head straight for the big leagues, so long as everything goes as planned.
Exato Game Studios told Armless Octopus that they are in discussions with several publishers about bringing Guncraft to Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade service. Mojang and Microsoft were mentioned as potential partners, though talks are still in a preliminary state.
“Honestly, it’s just been us shooting emails back and forth between each other,” said Executive Producer and Lead Game Designer John Getty. “No contracts signed or anything. They’ve been very professional, but it’s all very unofficial right now.”
The console port is planned to be “as similar as possible” to the PC version, which just launched in beta form. Getty said that sacrifices may be required if the game does end up on XBLIG instead of XBLA, though the new file size limit may prevent sweeping changes. An XBLA version would allow them to explore console exclusive features, however, like split-screen multiplayer.
If a publisher is found, then a release date is currently unknown. Otherwise Guncraft will see an XBLIG release before the end of the year.
Guncraft has officially gone from Kickstarter hopeful to downloadable beta project. In fact, you can grab the beta right now, as it has been made available to the general public as of this morning.
A beta is a great way to track how users react to your game and can highlight what needs to be changed or strengthened. Exato Game Studios knows this and is hoping that they can use feedback and other data from the community to build Guncraft into something truly special.
“With the availability of this open beta we welcome the feedback and participation of a much wider audience,” said John Getty, Guncraft‘s Executive Producer. “For fans of both Minecraft and modern warfare games we offer a unique experience not found anywhere else.”
There are two guarantees in a release by developer Apathy Works: one is that there will be violent deaths, and the other is that cute things will be involved in the process. Gamers will soon have the opportunity to experience both when Cute Things Dying Violently extends its reach to the PC from its original home on XBLIG.
The most successful title of last summer’s Indie Games Summer Uprising at 25k copies sold, CTDV will appear on Desura, IndieCity and IndieVania on July 17 for $2.99, so you’ll no longer be required to trade in Ballmer Bucks to get your fix of cute things.
A number of improvements have been made over the XBLIG original, including a complete aesthetic makeover with new art from head to toe. Furthermore, 60 levels will be packaged in, as will be a number of achievements (you can finally call them that because it isn’t on XBLIG!), in addition to a built-in level editor. Those seem to be all the rage these days.
Those who previously purchased the title have nothing to be bitter about either, as the XBLIG version will be receiving all of this content for free in the near future as well.
Microsoft’s annual Dream.Build.Play competition brings a ton of promising titles out of the woodwork, and 2012 is no different. Bootdisk Revolution is responsible for one of the most promising trailers in this year’s crop with Bleed.
Bleed is a run-and-gun style shooter with a heavy emphasis on action. If it brings back memories of classic games like Contra or Gunstar Heroes then the developer has nailed their intentions.
“It’s my stab at creating the kind of game I’ve always wanted to play, one where movement and attack are fluid and truly unconstrained, where nothing holds the player back but their own skill and split-second decision-making,” Bootdisk Revolution said on the dev blog.
The game has been in production “in some form” for three years. An earlier build was entered in Dream.Build.Play 2011. The game is planned for release on both PC and Microsoft’s Xbox Live Indie Games channel, though no date has a bullseye painted on it yet.
Good party games are hard to find on Microsoft’s Indie Games service. Even harder to find are games that see improvement after release. Chompy Chomp Chomp is now among them.
Utopian World of Sandwiches has taken post-release feedback into account with their latest patch (our review included) and improved several aspects of the game with a patch.
A convenient list of fixes
- Brand new bubble power up (pictured above)
- Settings are saved instead of forgotten
- Winning Chompy wears a crown in game
- Immunity on spawn
- Ability to turn all of the power ups on and off
- Compy Chompys (AI) is less evil
We’ll be sure to try the newest version of the game out and report back with an update to the review should there be a notable level of improvement. Chompy Chomp Chomp is available now on the Xbox Live Games Marketplace for 80 Microsoft points ($1).
Nearly a year after its debut during the Summer Uprising, Doom & Destiny has received a new update that delivers a ton of new content. Version 1.3 introduces an entirely new adventure where you have to rescue 7 lost dwarfs, as well as 5 new super dungeons, more than 20 new powers, and a level cap increase. You can check out the full list of improvements below, which we’ve shamlessly copy-pasted from their official website.
an entire new adventure! 7 dwarfs are lost around the whole world and need your help to return home! find them all!
the ship! the ship! the ship!
5 new super dungeons;
more than 20 new powers!
a complete new set of weapons, armors and utilities sold in various new shops and secret locations;
3 new sidequests for hardcore players;
new hilarious graves!
tons of new monster and challenges;
level cap increased from a lame 40 to a legendary 60!
Vampires are pretty “in” right now, in case you hadn’t heard. So maybe that’s why In Excelsis Studios, while participating in a game jam, (a time-sensitive game development challenge), created Nuclear Unicorn Force, a bullet hell shoot’em up about a vampire who can only feed on unicorns. It’s not clear if it was a result of the vampire basis or not, but NUF ended up claiming top prize. After the game’s success at the game jam, In Excelsis started full time development on the game, and it’s now due for release on PC and XBLIG this summer.
Nuclear Unicorn Force rides on the vampire idea, incorporating it as a main mechanic. The most effective way to dispatch enemies is to get close, let out your fangs and suck ‘em dry. Additionally you can summon companions that can fire projectiles using energy. It will feature more than 30 stages, and what would a bullet hell shooter be without epic boss battles? The game is built using a typical anime aesthetic and is reminiscent of some titles of the Tohou series. This art style persists into the story telling as well, with cut scenes featuring static anime style drawings and full voice over. Personally, I’ve always wanted an animated solution to my unicorn blood sucking fantasies.
It’s been a great week for both XBLIG and a number of its alumni.
Escape Goat, the well received puzzle / platformer and one of our favorite XBLIGs of 2011, is part of the June Bug Bundle from Indie Royale. Also included are PixelJunk Eden, Noitu Love 2: Devolution, and Auditorium. Earlier in the day Escape Goat was even trending on Twitter.
Escape Goat isn’t the only game making a jump from XBLIG, though. The brothers Doucette of Xona Games have released bullet hell on Google’s Chrome store with their 2010 shmup Score Rush. Installation takes one click within your browser and transfers you to the Turbulenz service, where you can share and compare scores with friends.
Now you can rush scores in your browser!
Of course, there’s good stuff happening on Microsoft’s indie service as well. Apple Jack 2, the sequel to 2010’s hit platformer Apple Jack was released on XBLIG yesterday. We were quite fond of the original. You may want to glance at our review in order to get an idea of what you’ll find in the sequel.
Finally, the much anticipated Penny Arcade: On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 is coming out soon than expected – June 25 (that’s less than two weeks from now!) instead of the originally planned date of July 10. While we had a chance to try the game out at PAX East 2012, XBLIG developers can playtest it today. The iOS version has been submitted to Apple for official approval, but developer Zeboyd Games hasn’t heard anything back yet. Ports to Android and Mac are planned for release shortly after.