Picks of the Week 9

Hello everyone again! This week I have had lots of problems with my ISP (don’t buy Vodafone) and that is one of the reasons this post is coming out rather late on the Sunday (Over 2 hours late! Shame on me 😛 ). But, instead of your morning coffee, go for the midday coffee (or tea), sit back, relax and read interesting stuff from the last 7 days 😀
  • Eurogamer has a pretty nice bunch of video interviews from the last week’s GDC in San Francisco. Featuring guys like Peter Molyneux, Andy Schatz and Markus Persson. Warning! The videos are over half an hour each, so be prepared to waste your time 😛
  • Scott Steinberg – a well known video game expert and the man behind Game Theory website – has released his book Videogame Marketing and PR – Vol.1 Playing to win for free download. As I have no idea how long it will stay there for free, grab it now!
  • Want to hear something crazy and awesome at the same time? Here it comes: A Swedish network technology company Pikkotekk is going to make a 1000 player (yes! You read it right, thousand!) player online first person shooter! Awesome! They are trying a world record with the coming game. I got the feeling it is just a one time thing, so keep your eyes open for more info! Check the video here.
  • Making games is probably every little boy’s dream (at least those who become programmers when they grow up). The life of game development isn’t always fun and the life of an independent developer is even more perilous. Here is an interesting blog post on perils of the XNA from one indie’s point of view.
  • Unity (game engine) held a competition with Konkregate (an internet game portal) for the best unity made webgame. The winners have been announced. Read the results here and check out the games that scored the highest! Congratulations to all the winners!
  • More on starting own companies 😀 (Yeah, I kinda do have fascination for the idea of going indie… 😉 ) Gamasutra features another Post Mortem on Bane Games’ Flick Buddies. It is a story how a four guy indie game company started doing their first game for iThingies, how it went and what should have been done otherwise. There’s always a lesson to be learned from other peoples mistakes (although the problem is normally, that you don’t learn anything if you don’t do the mistake yourself). Check out the story 😀
  • Still a moment with the IGF that ended last week. Indie Games posted a collection of interviews of the winners of the IGF awards. Watch them at indiegames.com
  • Analysts are waiting for Nintendo to release the next console at this years E3. Okay, so the new generation of consoles is coming and the race is going to start for the best console. Well well. What will Nintendo invent this time? A wireless mask so you can SMELL the game? Better be something decent 😛
  • Many developers don’t like Apple’s app store. It is just way too easy to get lost in the ridiculous amount of apps in there. Here is a good proof that being an indie game developer for (at least solely) iPhone is not reall worth it.
  • I have never been to GDC, although it would be nice (perhaps next year?) However, here is a short video on the IGF Displays on the exhibition hall. This way you get some idea what is going on (crowded!)
  • A new Amnesia -like game has been released by Lasse Westmark Nielsen. Check out the trailer on his webpage and download the game for testing (it ain’t perfect, but considering it was done in such a short time, it is worth to give it a shot).

Picks of the Week 8

The week has passed among GDC 2011 in San Francisco. A lot has happened and most of all, Congratulations to Minecraft and Amnesia (this one is a definite must! At least try the demo from Steam). Good Job! Now, let’s get to the business!

  • Well, everyone who is really interested in indie scene, has probably already seen the results of IGF awards. For those who have missed this (how is it possible?), read the results from here.
  • The Guardian UK Games Blog has decided to start following the life of 12 indie developers during the whole year. Sounds interesting, yet only future will if the story stays interesting. Check out the introduction of the twelve devs part 1 and part 2.
  • Team Meat discussed about the difficult road of making their successful hit Super Meat Boy and how they were disappointed with Microsoft’s promises for good publicity. Living the life of starting indie with almost no money ain’t a walk in the park.
  • GDC had a good inspirational talk by the creators of the Humble Indie Bundle (for those who don’t know, they had a bunch of indie games for download on their website and everyone was allowed to pay whatever they felt was right – It was a huge success). The probably most important thing to notice here, is that Linux users paid more than other platform users. Maybe this is about the problem of not having decent games supported on the platform.
  • IndieGames.com Podcast number 16 came out on Tuesday. Always nice stuff to listen to indie game ranting (there are really not enough indie podcasts in the web in my opinion). Listen and enjoy the guys talk.
  • Unity version 3.3 was released on tuesday, featuring the long awaited Android support. Gamasutra, for example has a short story about the release.
  • What are the requirements for successful independent game studio? At least to make a living? According to the developers interview by Indiegames.com they are Marketing, team work and creativity 😀 I guess that goes to most of things in life.
  • Microsoft has announced their Dream.Build.Play competition for this year open. again, there are big money prices awarded for the top games created with XNA. The most important aspects being fun, creativity and uniqueness. Might be worth a shot?
  • Andy Schatz, the creator of Monaco and winner of IGF 2010, gave a speech on GDC about his life as an indie before Monaco and how he ended up with the winning game. Read the speech here.
  • An Awesome 5 minuter speech from the GDC about Observations on AAA Indie Games. Really, if this is the only link you look from my post, it should be this one 😀
  • GDC 11 also featured a good talk by successful developers on their projects that did not succeed. Don’t make the same mistakes and read the story 😀

Here is a Commander Shepard music video 😀 Really worth watching for all Mass Effect fans.