The third and final part of my coverage. Phew.
Last year the Indie Arcade was a narrow corridor with computers lining each side, on counters roughly above waist height, showcasing the various indie games. It got pretty cosy in there at the best of times. Additionally, it was positioned right next to a booming Just Dance 3 stand so talking was strained and anything coming out of the headphones connected to each computer was polluted by the Black Eyed Peas’ Pump It, which seemed to be on loop throughout the expo.
Well this year the corridor seemed a little wider, but the computers were on counters just above knee height with very few seats, if any. Kiss those knees or that back of yours goodbye. Furthermore, it was sandwiched between Just Dance 4, Dance Central 3 and the Scan Computers stand which had its own DJ and PA system. I love you Scan, but damn you Scan. The expo was very loud anyway so the added noise didn’t make that much of a difference, but the lower computers and the general lack of seating made playing much more uncomfortable than it really should have been, especially after spending several days lugging our bags around London.
This year’s Eurogamer Expo took place over the weekend and I, along with Mat C, Joel ‘Harbour Master’ Goodwin and a couple of other friends, had the fortune of being able to attend again and spend a few days bumbling about sampling whatever we could. And there was a lot more to sample this year.
Chalk up another record-breaking Kickstarter… yesterday, Obsidian studios (makers of favorites such as Planescape: Torment, Fallout: New Vegas, and Alpha Protocol) started a kick for a new, original RPG, codenamed Project Eternity. This is perhaps the “spiritual successor to Planescape” project that’s been considered a theoretical possibility for some time in studio interviews.
Given the studio’s pedigree, even with a fairly vague pitch, it’s already gone on to make a million dollars in 24 hours.
We’re fans of the Steam platform here on Tap. Yesterday saw the launch of its new system for submitting and discovering indie games: Greenlight. Being a fan of both indies, and of Steam itself, I figured I’d check it out. Here, generally, is how it works: developers submit a game to Greenlight, including sample screenshots, promo videos, and whatever else they have handy. Then the community votes on which games they’d like to see end up on Steam.
So far, great idea, but there are a few problems that I can see…
Sometimes here on Tap we occasionally link to Kickstarter or other crowdfunding projects. We don’t always cover them all (I haven’t even covered the ones I’ve funded!) because there’s so many, but today I am linking to one in particular. Why? Because I tried the demo on iPad at GDC, it’s clever, it’s clay, and I’d like to see it happen!
The wheels of justice continue to turn (sort of) this week, with the conclusion of two big wrangles that games industry watchers have been, ah, watching.
The biggest news is the settlement between goliath publisher Activision/Blizzard and former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, both of whom were abruptly fired in March of 2010. West and Zampella sued, claiming A/B owed them monstrous royalties for Modern Warfare 2. Activision/Blizzard countersued, claiming that West and Zampella were stupid-heads, and the whole sordid affair dragged on for a while.
Hi Tappers! My convention schedule this year is about to continue… with a trip this week to Columbus, Ohio, for the Origins Game Fair. This has always been one of my favorite events: large enough to attract a good variety of gamers, but small enough that it still sort of feels like coming back home.
Unless you’ve been living in a closet lately, you’ve probably noticed a lot of excitement focused on Kickstarter. Kickstarter, the crowd-funding resource, is being used to fund all kinds of cool games for development. Often, these are games of the quirky variety that might be considered too unusual for a regular publisher to take a risk on. Today we’re drawing your attentions toward a promising Kickstarter done by some friends of Tap: Map Monsters.
The formerly iPad-exclusive Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is now available (and on sale) for PC on Steam. So you should definitely go get it if you don’t have an iPad. If you do have an iPad, you better have played this already! Because it’s amazing.
Sword & Sworcery is an indie action/adventure game with a really incredible soundtrack, and is frankly not quite entirely unlike anything you’ve ever played probably. It was also one of my games of the year.
So what are you waiting for? GO NOW.
The presence of Dungeons & Dragons was felt throughout the long, broad halls of Boston’s PAX East convention this past weekend. Wizards of the Coast brought with them this year the traditional tabletop offerings, running tables of D&D Essentials and the new Lords of Waterdeep board game in the convention’s table gaming room. But Dungeons & Dragons also means video games these days. In addition to checking out some new content premiering for the existing Dungeons & Dragons Online, I also got a first look at the newest D&D MMO, which is simply called Neverwinter. My thoughts on the latter lead off a series about the things I saw this past weekend at PAX. Join me past the jump.
I normally don’t post breathless and shocking announcements, but it’s just been brought to my attention that there’s been a huge upset in the world of gaming. Specifically, SWERY65, director of Deadly Premonition, has had his blog taken over by an alternate-dimension doppelganger with a terrifying mustache. And I gotta say, the game that development genius ZVVORY666 is working on now looks incredible.
The Wipeout series has always been dripping with cool. Studio Liverpool’s clinical vision of the future has consistently been supported by industry leading electronic soundtracks and audio design, with it’s original logo’s and and aesthetic created by The Designers Republic setting the tone of the series from 1995 to the present day. It’s the videogame equivalent of a chic underground nightclub, and it’s a vibe that has always resonated with me. This is one of my favourite gaming franchises of all time and is probably the closest thing Sony have to a “system seller” to me. Hence my purchase of a Vita along with Wipeout 2048 last month.
Musical indie Cipher Prime has returned to its roots with a sequel to the firm’s mesmerizing debut, Auditorium. I adored – and still adore – that brilliant, beautiful puzzler. Fractal, Cipher Prime’s sophomore achievement, I could have done without. Still, they’ve made a name (and a living) for themselves in a hard, harsh world… and now they’re Schaferizing, using Kickstarter to help fund Auditorium Duet, a multiplayer sequel to the original.
Do I want it to be multiplayer? No, I hate other people. And Auditorium’s beauty has always been a very single-person thing to me. But still, I wish the best for Cipher Prime, and if you have some change in your couch cushions, you should do the same.
The 3DS is doomed. Nobody wants dedicated portable games consoles anymore. iOS is taking over. Nintendo going third party confirmed. Pack it up guys, it’s over. Well no, actually. Turns out the 3DS is pretty popular. So popular infact that the system has just pushed past the five million mark in Japan alone, a feat managed in just 51 weeks and faster than the Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii. For comparison’s sake, the …