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!
I’m continuing with my series of visiting local indie developers around Pennsylvania and the East Coast! This trip took me just outside of Philadelphia, to Woodbury, New Jersey, where I visited with indie development house Island Officials. Island Officials makes mobile experiences: from Android, iOS, and Windows Phone to the DS and 3DS. They also create analog games, working in the back rooms of the Tiki Tiki Board Games shop. In their business, they make new games, and sell old ones too.
While I was visiting, I checked out some of their newest mobile app store offerings, and asked CEO Ryan Morrison a few questions about the Island Officials brand of game development. More info after the jump:
In my current dayjob I cover a travel territory that reaches through Pennsylvania, out to Baltimore and outside of the DC area. I have met a lot of cool developers through Philly Dev Night who like to come out to Philadelphia every week to create, discuss, and play indie games. I’ve also met some students and researchers doing some fascinating things with game technology to make the world a better place for gamers and non-gamers alike. So, I’m starting a new series of articles. For the next few months, I, AJ, am going to be traveling around my neck of the world talking to indie developers about the work being done in the Philadelphia/Pittsburgh/East Coast gaming scene. I meet interesting people every day, and I want to share their work and words with you!
I’m kicking off the series by talking to Shawn Pierre, the sole proprietor of OriGaminc in Philadelphia, PA. He’s just coming off of a successful Kickstarter for his card game These French Fries are Terrible Hot Dogs and has presented his games at IndieCade East, the Boston Festival of Indie Games, and the Indie MEGABOOTH at Pax East. I asked Shawn a few questions about his current work and future plans. Check out our interview below the jump:
It’s been not two but three weeks since our last On Tap, because, like, sometimes Dix gets lazy. In that time, one of this console generation’s first anticipated releases has hit with Watch Dogs, and proved that we’ll likely have no shortage of sociopathic protagonists in case anyone was worried; LeVar Burton and Reading Rainbow blew the lid off Kickstarter by getting all the money; and everyone’s been placing their obligatory E3 bets.
But since we have a little time to kill before Geordi can once again read us to sleep, we’ve had to turn to the comforting embrace of these games…
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of another two weeks. So let’s drink to the last fortnight and have another for the next. Here’s what’s On Tap!
Where did the last two weeks go? What even happened? I totally wasn’t paying attention.
Well, I guess the Star Wars cast got announced. That was pretty big. But we here at Tap don’t have time for motion pictures based on older motion pictures. We only like games here. Games only!
Holidays are notorious for being bad times to be on the road, what with the higher volume of people traveling. Of course, based on what we’ve been up to this last week, apparently, it’s probably pretty unsafe to be on the road with anyone who writes for Tap, ever. There should be a registry or something.
Can you believe that just one week ago, we couldn’t catch Pokemon on Google Maps? And we didn’t know how badly we need a Blizzard tournament fighter? It was a world without Captain America: The Winter Soldier. A world where former Uncharted creative director Amy Hennig wasn’t yet attached to the next big Star Wars game. A world in which five-year-olds were widely believed (unjustly) to be unable to crack the security on an Xbox One. It was truly a time of darkness and ignorance.
Good thing we had these games to keep us warm at night.
Hey, we managed to get a regular feature two weeks in a row! That’s a new record.
With the acquisition of Oculus Rift by Facebook, I know that all of us – every reader, every staff member here at Tap, and really everyone – cannot wait to get our FarmVille fix through a headset. That’s all I’ve been thinking about this week! Being able to see my computer just really takes me out of the social game experience.
That said, Rome wasn’t built in a day (it took at least eight turns, I expect), so we have to find something to occupy ourselves until we can bug our friends incessantly from right in front of their faces. Here’s just a few things that the Tap staff have been using to pass the time.
It’s a little known fact that, behind the scenes at Tap, everyone is required to report every game they so much as look at. This is important so that we know who to ostracize for their gaming tastes in the secret staff forum. In this, the first installment of On Tap, our newest regular feature, we share some of our current gaming adventures: ones that don’t rate an article of their own – good, bad, or ugly – or ones still percolating in our tiny minds. This is important so that we know who to ostracize for not contributing to On Tap any given week.
Just…just assume everyone else’s contribution this time would have been Dark Souls 2. That’s probably where they are right now, in Drangleic. Except maybe Steerpike, who might be driving to Oklahoma as we speak with an axe and a shovel and fire in his eyes. But mostly Dark Souls 2.
Today, Dix and Steerpike take the tap.
Haven’t got time to preamble. Too many games to cover.
Remember when I said something like “maybe I’ll get to Red Dead Redemption in 2012!” ?? That still hasn’t happened! Oh all of those lols and such, et cetera as that guy from that Fallout game would say! What I learned– or continued to learn– above all else, in 2013, is that no one should try too hard to do things. For example, why bother saying you’ll try to eat seventeen bushels of broccoli in 2014? When you end up eating one bushel you’ll be ashamed of yourself. Instead, just buy some broccoli when you walk past it and your eyeballs and brain get together and say I guess that broccoli looks like some of the good eating times. Just do that. And heck, on your way out maybe you’ll grab a peach pie too. What does it matter? At the end of the year you’ll have purchased six quarts of broccolis, let four go rotten, and then eat a taco and buy some dumb games on Steam. Whatever, man.
The American holiday of Thanksgiving marks the start of shopping and gluttony, and also the Hollywood Oscar Season, when movies considered “Oscar-worthy” are released in theatres. The thinking is it keeps important films fresh in the minds of the nominating committee, whereas something that came out last spring is easily forgotten. The same happens with gaming, for different reasons, yet this year’s holiday was a very quiet time. Practically nothing of interest happened.
No, not even that.
It’s that time of year again. A time for quiet reflection. A time for looking ahead. A time for staying up super late and celebrating solar mechanics. Most importantly, though, it’s a time for reminding ourselves of some awesome games we played in the last 365 days – measured in the gaming world as “the time between the releases of Retro City Rampage and Dr. Luigi.”
Some years there are games that characterize my gaming experience. That sum up everything that was most memorable about that year in gaming. Other years, like this one, it’s hard to point at any one title or experience. This last year was, for me, more of a tidal shift. I’m a lot more of an indie player than I was twelve months ago (though that’s a highly relative thing). For probably the first year ever, the pinnacle of my gaming experience didn’t come (at least not definitely so) from a console release from a major publisher. That’s not to say I’m shelving my PS3 and swearing off the AAAs, but the reality of how much they’re losing their power really struck home for me personally, rather than just academically, in 2013.