Management simulators have seemingly fallen out of favor in recent times. It used to be you’d see new theme park managers or train simulators on what felt like a weekly basis, but that’s not so much the case these days. Firebase Industries’ upcoming Arcadecraft is the newest member of that genre, though it evokes the spirit of a sadly long-dead chapter in the gaming industry: the American arcade.
The build shown at PAX Prime 2012 showed off what Arcadecraft is about pretty well. As an aspiring arcade owner in the year 1980, you’re given a loan from the bank to start your business. The space you find is perfect — a nice corner spot in a decent part of town. There are two pillars slightly offset from the center of the room and a desk. Otherwise, the room is entirely empty and ready to become a fully-fledged arcade in ways only you can imagine. The first step to lining your pockets quarter by quarter, of course, is buying your first arcade machine. Read more
Before Cthulhu saved the world or death took seven breaths, there was Penny Arcade. Robert Boyd and Bill Stiernberg, the duo Zeboyd Games, met on the Penny Arcade forums when Boyd was searching for help on Breath of Death VII. Two and a half years later, the pair has quit their day jobs and is now putting the final touches on Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 (we’ll just call it Penny Arcade 3).
After the disappointing sales of Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 2, it appeared the series may go the Shenmue route and fade into obscurity. That changed when a devoted fan suggested that Tycho and Gabe allow an indie developer to pick up the series, and specifically suggested Zeboyd Games. “I posted on the thread that it would be really cool, but I don’t think they’d be interested. A few weeks after that, I got an email from Robert Khoo at Penny Arcade.”
Penny Arcade 3 has actually been in development since 2010, before Cthulhu Save the World was even released. “As you can imagine, it’s been hard to keep it under wraps for so long,” said Boyd. One fan even guessed that Zeboyd was working on the game after he spotted their name on a whiteboard in the background of an episode of Penny Arcade TV, but his commented disappeared into the ether of the Internet without much fanfare. Read more
Metroid fans have been clamoring for a new 2D entry in the series, but their cries have fallen on deaf ears. Luckily for them there’s someone out there putting together a game called Axiom Verge that should help quench their thirst.
Petroglyph Games employee Tom Happ has been plugging away at Axiom Verge for two years now, crafting all of the assets and writing all of the programming alone. In fact, Happ considers the game’s first area to be complete.
The game should be fully featured when it’s finished, including 60 items and power-ups to gather as well as 20 upgradable weapons. Depending upon exploration habits, Axiom Verge is targeting eight hours of playtime.
There’s going to be no shortage of mystery or atmosphere concerning the storyline, either. Your character goes through a near-death experience and wakes up in a mysterious world alone. Why is it simultaneously high-tech and ancient? Are there any friendly beings left? How did you get here? The answers await you on Xbox Live Indie Games and PC in 2013.
Silver Dollar Games is taking a break from trying to figure out who fornicated with whom and wants you to start smashing faces with One Finger Death Punch. The reflex-based kung fu game has your stick -figure hero dishing out the pain with an impressive array of moves that are pulled off with just one or two buttons, depending on the difficulty level.
Why just a stick figure? Developer Jon Flook said “We don’t have the skills to do the animations ourselves and can’t afford an animator. To overcome this obstacle we decided to use a stickman style of animation. This allowed us to create many frames of animations ourselves without the need of an animator, simply because it’s affordable. It’s not as cool as having custom drawn animations with a unique artistic style but we do the best we can with the resources available.”
Flook said the game is “at least two months from completion,” but that they are looking to add in customizable special attacks and other features before the game is released. Anything you’d like to see added? Drop a comment on the Youtube trailer page.
The waiting game is often a tricky one. Sometimes an extended wait can lead to having some of your wildest expectations fulfilled, and then some. On the other end of that spectrum, however, lies disappointment. That doesn’t necessarily mean that what you had finally received was poor by any means, but it simply didn’t live up to what you were hoping for. Brand is one such title which unfortunately suffers the fate of the latter.
When we first got wind of it in August, Brand was seen as a beautifully textured and modeled platformer, with all signs pointing towards a hit: A rarity on XBLIG. In terms of appearance, it has fulfilled its end of the bargain and carries quite a bit of the weight for the rest of the product. The models are crisp, the textures and color palette are vivid, in addition to being diverse. Each of the three stages has its own distinct feel, despite being inhabited by many of the same enemies.
Whenever someone disagrees with a critic, their first reaction always seems to be “I’d like to see you do it better.” Well, Nick Puleo is going to try and do just that. The founder and managing editor of Co-Optimus has teamed up with longtime friend Dave Paul to form Brian Shape Games, and their first release, SCHAR: Blue Shield Alliance, is due out later this year for Xbox Live Indie Games and PC.
As you might imagine, SCHAR is a cooperative experience and looks to spice up the twin-stick shooter experience by adding strategy and RPG features. Set in the year 2997, you play as one of four unique ships in the Blue Shield Alliance, which is humanity’s last hope against the Constituents of Nothing, a bunch of aliens with a penchant for antagonizing human colonies.
“I’ve always been interested in game development, and have been tinkering with it for many years. I’m a programmer by nature and have been doing it since I was 12 or 13,” said Puleo. The pair have been developing games casually together for about 20 years, and have been working on SCHAR at night and on weekends.
The trailer is heavy on story details, but light on actual gameplay. “We’re only about halfway through the development process at this point, and we have a lot of work to do on things like art, sound, and level content,” Puleo wrote on a post on Co-Optimus. We’ll have a better feel for it after we get our mitts on it this spring at PAX East.
Our favorite fruit-headed hero might not return until 2012, but My Owl Software just unpacked slew of new pics of Apple Jack’s Great Escape to keep your appetites whetted. The new screens show off one of the new boss fights, a combo system that should look familiar to fans of the first game, and enough pandas to scarf down an entire bamboo forest in an afternoon. We’ll let you know when we learn more details surrounding Jack’s return to XBLIG.
It may have been a bit outrageous, but the original Apple Jack (not to be confused with the mouth-scraping cereal of the same name) was one of our favorite indie games last year. What could be crazier than a game with pigs in tutus, laser-shooting owls and a protagonist with a Granny Smith dome? We should find out soon, as My Owl Software is hard at work crafting a new adventure for our apple-headed hero and promises the story will be even stranger this time around.
Tentatively titled Apple Jack’s Great Escape, the sequel will feature a greater variety of level sizes and shapes and a new “Flashback” system that allows players to rewind time. Locations will no longer be named after actual British towns, and this time Apple Jack will journey through preposterous areas such as “The Panda Factory” and “The Bacon Exchange.” The game is still early in development, but My Owl Software is aiming to release Apple Jack’s Great Escape by the end of the year on XBLIG.