We’d hazard to guess that it has been an exciting year for Steve Hunt, the founder of Cold Beam Games (yuck, can’t believe we went there). His trippy, XNA-powered Beat Hazard was recently ported to Steam, the Xbox version was updated to include new features and tweaks and it recently won fourth place in the Dream-Build-Play 2010 Challenge. Through all the excitement and the kaleidoscope of swirling colors and spacedust, he took the time to answer some questions about Beat Hazard and his future. To find out what we thought about his twin-stick, music-fueled shooter, feed our review to your hungry eyes, and click that little “read more” button to see the full interview with Mr. Hunt.
What was your reaction to finding out about your finish?
Oh it was great news! It feels so rewarding to be in the finalists, there’s some great games out there so it’s very cool to be noticed! We’re also keen to try and get Beat Hazard on to XBLA and this is one way to do it, so fingers crossed on that one!
There are varying opinions on how much of a game needs to be played before a competent review can be written. Is a reviewer obligated to play every potentially grueling hour of an RPG before formulating an opinion? Does he/she owe it to the game to see it through to the end? Would a film critic walk out after half a movie and write a review?
Thankfully, such a quandary doesn’t exist for A Killer’s Dream, because it can be finished in less than five minutes.
I was actually a bit intrigued by the game’s premise: you play the role of a psychic detective who can go inside the dreams of homicidal maniacs to try and determine their identities. If handled correctly, the concept could be fleshed into an innovative game involving interesting characters, puzzles mixing real-world and dream clues and a strong narrative. A Killer’s Dream incorporates none of these elements and is a thankfully brief one-trick pony, which squanders a potentially great idea.
Soul reached out with its warm fuzzy ball of light and sucked me in before I had any idea what it was even about. I feel superficial to say I like a game because of its style or because of the graphics, but Soul’s aesthetics are so charming and endearing, yet grimy and intimidating, that they captivated me before I could finish the first level.
Soul opens with a person dying in the grungiest, most decrepit, rundown excuse for a hospital ever conceived. Flies hover around the toilet, clothes hang out of ramshackle furniture haphazardly and the walls are barely covered by a coat of cracked lime-green paint. Out of that fresh carcass emerges its soul, represented by a glowing blue orb, which is probably quite intimidated by its oppressive, seedy environment. Trapped in some form of dreary limbo, the goal of the game is to guide the soul to a heaven, a task made more imposing due to a network of mazes, puzzles and obstacles that lie in your path, not to mention the black oil demons that arise from the floors and ceilings to devour the poor little soul in one wide-mouthed gulp.
Kydos Studio recently won the $40,000 grand prize in the Dream-Build-Play 2010 Challenge for their colorful 2D platformer, Lumi. The studio has been busy developing indie games and iPhone games since it was founded by Christophe Panattoni and Nicolas Daures about a year ago. I caught up with Panattoni and had the chance to talk to him about the competition and Lumi.
First of all, congratulations on winning the Dream Build Play Challenge.
Thank you. The credit mainly goes to Nicolas Daures and Mathieu Akita, who really worked hard the month prior to the game submission to make Lumi a potential winner.
Kudos to Kydos Studios for winning Microsoft’s Dream-Build-Play 2010 competition and netting the $40,000 grand prize for their light-based puzzle-platformer, Lumi. The stylish 2D platformer triumphed over 350 entries to be crowned this year’s winner of the annual competition of games developed using Microsoft’s XNA Game Studio. In Lumi, “the player controls a small creature whose goal is to bring back to life its surround world.” It will be released this spring on Xbox Live Indie Games.
Information and videos on the rest of the winners after the break. The future looks bright for Xbox Live Indie Games. Read more
I like videogames. I like music. I like having my retinas assaulted by swirls of colorful space dust.
If you enjoy treating your brain to videogames and music like I do, and are enthralled with the amalgamation of the two, then there’s a good chance you’re going to enjoy Beat Hazard as well. It’s a twin-stick shooter, meaning that you move around with the left stick and fire your weapon with the right stick, but the twist is that Beat Hazard uses your own music to create custom levels.
Beat Hazard uses songs from your Xbox hard drive or streams them from your computer, so you can choose which song you want to play and the game creates a level around it. Levels begin like the arcade classic, Asteroids, where you reduce large hunks of space rocks into smaller pieces with your lasers before some mean old spaceships arrive to provide put up a fight. The unique aspect of the game is that everything from the velocity of the asteroids to the quanity of boss ships you fight is dependent upon the music.
In perhaps the first ever instance of reality mimicking a movie based on a fictional videogame, our dreams of a universe where The Last Starfighter comes true may be upon us. Dead Pixel Arcade is looking for the top pilots on this side of the universe, and athough it is just speculation for now, it is safe to assume the winners will soon be defending us all from an alien menace. It’s giving away $125 worth of Microsoft Astrocredits (That’s 10,000 MS points!) to the person who holds the high score in their twin-stickshoot ‘em up, You Will Die. If you are unfamiliar with the game, it’s a fun little shooter where you fight an ever-evolving boss who enjoys taunting miniscule spaceships before reducing them to spacedust.
All scores must be submitted to Twin Galaxies by August 1 for validation. Two other pilots-in-training will win a humiliating-by-comparison sum of astrocredits (1600 and 400) to justify sweating away their summer honing their skills. Check out Dead Pixel Arcade’s official site for all the rules and lawyer speak.
I wish you all luck, our future heroes of humanity.
The contest is closed – Thanks to everyone who entered. Congratulations to our winner, Ilradd!
Thanks to Dan Frandsen at Red Button Games, we have a free copy of the trippy shooter Olu, to give away to one lucky winner. Essentially an on-rails shooter with psychadelic vector graphics and a fantastic soundtrack, Olu is one of the best indie games out there and here is your chance to score it for free. There are two ways to enter into the contest, and you are encouraged to enter both ways.