Our topic today is dungeons, and the keeping thereof, from creature management to the ongoing nuisance of “heroic” dungeoneers. Evil is good — we learned that in 1997, with Bullfrog’s seminal Dungeon Keeper; again in 1999 with Dungeon Keeper 2. Recreating that wicked goofballery has proven an elusive brass ring. Subterranean Games is grasping for it with War for the Overworld, which promised to be Dungeon Keeper 3 in all but name. Did they succeed? Or is evil thwarted again? Gregg and Steerpike cackle their way to the answers you need.
I met Connor Hart at Philly Dev Night, where he was showing off his game PUSH, a PC-targeted Sokoban-style puzzle game. Now that PUSH is released, I checked back in with Connor to ask some questions about his process, the game, and the trials and tribulations of being a part-time game developer! Hit the jump for another edition of Local Flavor!
Let’s talk about a little thing called Homestuck.
You’ve heard of it, maybe? If not, a little background: Homestuck is the fourth and longest chapter of an online comic series titled MS Paint Adventures. Homestuck began as a riff on adventure games, starring a basic character in an adventure game world… but slowly morphed into an internet epic, spawning its own fanworks, full animations, music albums, cosplay, and more.
Among the “more” was an extremely successful Kickstarter, to bring everything full circle and fund an adventure game based on this comic based on adventure games. The Kickstarter for the game gathered almost 2.5 million dollars, just one example of how extremely motivated the Homestuck fandom is.
At GDC, I got a chance to talk to Jess Haskins from What Pumpkin Studios, the game development team that is working on the Homestuck Adventure Game project. Later I followed up with her on Skype to ask some questions about the New York-based What Pumpkin, and what we can expect from this game, called Hiveswap.
Sometimes you go all the way to the other side of the country, then get a chance to chat with developers who work right in your backyard. That’s what happened to me when I met up with the development team PHL Collective while they were at the ID@Xbox booth at GDC. They were there showing off their game, ClusterPuck 99, available now on PC, and coming soon to XBox One.
EarthNight started out as a simple idea: a runner game with just two buttons, but a little bit of depth. This basic idea lead Philadelphia-based game developer Rich Siegel of CleaverSoft to a project that would take a lot longer than expected, but yield beautiful results. Now, EarthNight has been announced for the PlayStation 4, as well as targeting PC, PS Vita, iOS, Mac, and Android platforms. I got to see it at IndieCade East and try it out on PS4, as well as ask Siegel some questions about its development.
Do you love learning about upcoming games and their developers? Well… you know the drill by now! I talk to developers on the East Coast who make neat things, and ask them stuff about their neat things. I caught up with several developers at the IndieCade East event in New York City last weekend, so for the next few weeks, I’ll be discussing projects out of New York City, Baltimore, and of course my home town Philadelphia.
I’m going to start off covering my IndieCade East finds with Extreme Exorcism, a game by Golden Ruby Games. I sat down with game producer Mike Christatos in the IndieCade East Esports arena to ask him a few questions. And I got to try out the demo right there on his laptop, pure indie developer style.
A new year brings some new editions of my Local Flavor series, where I talk about and with local game studios on the east coast, especially indies, and especially around my home base of Philadelphia. In this article, I’m chatting with local shop QuadraTron Games, a team that works out of the Philly Game Forge co-working space. My questions were answered by studio head programmer Zenas Bellace, who moved into game making full time in 2013, with a little input from the rest of the studio. Q&A after the jump!
Joel Goodwin and I are now nine whole Great British episodes into our collaborative video series Side by Side which aims to cover an assortment of local multiplayer games both old and new, from the familar to the foreign, the physical to the frightening. If you haven’t checked it out yet then here’s a slice of what you’ve been missing:
2014 was the year I took a step back from writing and dug into my backlog without worrying too much about whether I should pen my thoughts or not. Yet, despite playing more than usual, this list is somewhat shorter than my previous years’. That probably makes it about normal size then.
If you’re a Tap-Repeatedly veteran you know our Game of the Year lists are not always lists, not always games, and almost never devoted entirely to the previous year. This year, when discussion about the feature began shortly before Christmas, everyone said it had been a bad year for games. “I don’t know what I’ll write about,” they moaned, meaning what games. Me, I worried I wouldn’t know how to write about them. It’s a feeling I’ve become familiar with in the last twelve months, to my sorrow and my detriment.
Hi Tappers! Thanks for tuning in for our Games of the Year lists. Once again it seems like I’m the one to kick this series off here in January, so let’s ring in the new year and with a list of my favorite or most interesting games of 2014.
This is a special edition of Local Flavor. Instead of visiting a game studio, I went out to Washington, DC with my co-worker Shahed Chowdhuri, to visit Children’s National Health System and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation.
So how is this relevant to games? In an amazing way. The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation is using video game technology to drive innovation in pain detection and management in children. Or to put it even more simply: games for healing.
Shahed and I spoke with Christy Baxter and Dr. Julie Finkel at the organization to learn more about their use of gaming technology to help children. In the process, we learned a lot about how pain works, and a lot about what Children’s National is doing to fight it.
It’s been quite a while since I posted anything on Tap but my good friend Joel Goodwin over at Electron Dance has just launched our new 15 episode local multiplayer video series ‘Side by Side‘. I say our, it’s more his because Joel has done all the hard work, I just hosted the sessions, giggled a lot, spoke with him about our experiences and fed him cheese and ham sandwiches.
Anyway, I’m incredibly happy with the first episode which covers Jan Willem Nijman’s fantastic TENNNES and very much starts the series as it means to go on. Side by Side has its own YouTube channel so feel free to subscribe, like, share and all that other social media jazz. If you know anyone who enjoys a spot of local multiplayer then point them our way: we’ve got lots in store.
Hi everyone! Welcome back to Local Flavor!
I’m taking another broad interpretation of local and traveled to the opposite side of the state, to Pittsburgh, PA and the Schell Games studio. I have a history with this studio as I spent about six months working with the company last year. I was eager to check out their brand new space in Pittsburgh’s Station Square, and talk to the team behind one of their releases this year, Enemy Mind. Photos and interviews below!
This edition of Local Flavor takes me out to Boston. Quite by accident, really. I originally met Michael Silverman on a message board set up for Philadelphia game developers. I really enjoyed his game Don’t Shoot Yourself, which is currently on Steam Greenlight and playable on iOS. But before I could nail him down for an interview, I discovered he was moving to Boston, to work out of the Fire Hose Games incubator! Though I couldn’t check out his physical workspace, I still snagged him on Skype to ask some questions about Silverware Games, his design process, and his newest project. Check it out!