Rodeo Games Disbands After Lacklustre Warhammer Game

Rodeo Games was an independent studio specializing in digital adaptations of Warhammer board games. Given the Warhammer license, you would have expected to hear more about the developer but their creations have gone under the radar. Their latest and sadly final title, Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch was originally an iOS game and eventually ported to PC for £18.99. As you might expect, this didn’t go down well, and consumers felt very angry about the idea of paying so much for a basic mobile port. According to a post on Touch Arcade, the company has officially closed due to the poor reception of their latest game. Former staff member, Matthew Spencer said:

“I and the majority of the team left 4 months ago, so afaik there’s no one to offer support or make content. Like most indie developers, you’re only as good as your last game, and even though Deathwatch was Rodeos highest metric game, it didn’t make enough so we had to move on.”

“If you need support, I’ll try and help with what I can, I suggest hitting me up on Twitter, I don’t think the official channels are monitored anymore (I used to do it), I can’t offer any real support because I don’t have access to tools or builds but I might be able to help. Don’t flood me with a billion messages though, I don’t get paid and I do it because I care.”

One user review on Steam sums up the general consensus and reads:

“The game has fine art assets but seriously lacks in features. This was a mobile game and it shows. The fact that this costs over 20€ is absurd.”

It’s a shame to see a British development studio fold and hopefully those affected can find work at another company. Clearly, their business strategy to simply move a mobile game onto PC was flawed, and they didn’t create enough enthusiasm for the game across a wide audience. The current independent scene is extremely competitive which makes it very difficult to become profitable.

Portugal’s Piracy Blocklist Censors US Indie Developer

Portuguese internet server providers currently have a voluntary agreement with anti-piracy groups and began blocking hundreds of websites which allegedly host links to copyrighted content. This allows copyright holders to easily add new pirate sites to the blocklist without requiring any jurisdiction from a court. More specifically, websites should contain a minimum of 500 links to infringing material to be flagged. Of course, ISPs prefer this scheme because it doesn’t cost them any money to become involved in expensive legal proceedings on behalf of their customers. However, blocklists have a propensity to wrongfully include certain websites with legitimate content.

For example, according to TorrentFreak, US indie developer, Carbon Games has for some bizarre reason been added to the blocklist. The issue was first reported by Revolução dos Bytes, and confirmed various ISPs including NOS, MEO and Vodafone had restricted access. This is quite an embarrassing turn of events, and showcases the pitfalls of content flagging via blacklists. I’m not entirely sure how Carbon Games’ website fell prey to the algorithm as it’s only meant to apply to websites with loads of illegitimate referrals.

Thankfully, the block is easily circumvented by accessing the website using a non-www address. Additionally, users can change their DNS to something that doesn’t rely on their ISP, such Google DNS or OpenDNS. Once again, this illustrates how pointless many blocklists are, because they can be expensive to implement and take seconds to circumvent. Perhaps, a more sensible approach would be to keep the internet’s open ideology and stop profit organizations from seeking control. In almost every circumstance, anti-piracy measures appear to make the situation worse for rightholders, or legitimate customers. I can’t see this changing anytime soon though, and if anything, anti-piracy groups are becoming more aggressive and a threat to the internet’s open roots.

I’d love to hear if you’ve experienced any problems accessing legitimate websites.

Developers Increased Steam Game Prices Before Autumn Sale!

The Steam Autumn Sale has finally begun and it can be extremely tempting to purchase a huge array of games across various genres. Bizarrely, the current sale doesn’t feature any flash or daily deals and critics have argued this could be a result of Steam’s Refund Policy. Arguably, Valve is concerned about people purchasing something at a specific price, using the Refund Policy and re-purchasing 24 hours later at a cheaper rate. As with any promotion, it’s important to be skeptical and realize the majority of sale events are a marketing exercise. You only need to look at Black Friday to see the tricks employed to make people overspend.

According to Steam Spy, a number of games have increased their base price just before the sale began. As a result, the discounted percentage is larger and makes the consumer feel they are getting a better deal. It also explains why 75% off doesn’t equate to £2-3 anymore.

While this is pretty dishonest, it’s been going on for some time and I cannot see it changing anytime soon. Developers are implementing every possible trick to maximize profits from each purchase. It’s a sorry situation, but you have to take into account the poor discoverability on Steam and huge quantity of games. This means it’s very difficult for smaller studios to remain in business.

On the other hand, honesty is always the best policy and developers should respect consumers more by avoiding these sort of marketing tricks. It once again shows how Steam is simply becoming a client to play games while a huge number of people purchase codes from third-party resellers.

Unofficial Zelda Maker is Available on PC

Mario Maker on the Wii U has been described as “Nintendo’s Minecraft” and allows players to let their creativity flourish. The game features a number of advanced tools and user-creations are bound to test your reaction times. Unfortunately, as a Wii U exclusive, the PC will never be able to experience the joy in Mario Maker. However, an independent developer has created a fan-project for PC based around the Zelda universe. Here’s what the project entails:

“Zelda Maker (Temp) is a non-official project started by myself, which will allow players to create and share Legend of Zelda worlds of their own. Nintendo might cease and desist a project like this, so in time, when I’ve got the ability to change the sprites, I will do so, and I will also add things that Zelda games don’t have to make it a somewhat unique experience. Regardless, I won’t be acting like this isn’t going to be a Zelda (Maker?) clone, through and through. I’d just like to add some things that I think official Zelda games could use. This is a very early build of the game, and it does not represent what the final game will look like.”

As an unofficial creation, it’s likely Nintendo will demand its removal given their less-than-stellar track record. Although, the pixel art, and gameplay looks absolutely stunning! I wish Nintendo would support projects like this from fans who invest so much time and skill in honoring memories from their childhood.

Despite being in such an early stage of development, The Legend of Zelda Maker has loads of potential and I could easily spend hours creating dungeons.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1OlEyY6e-A

You can download the Alpha release here, but I would be fairly quick as Nintendo lawyers will no doubt shut down the official links quite quickly.

This Weeks Top PC Gaming Deals

Nobody likes paying more than they have to for things, that much is especially true for a lot of gamers, as we all know that retail launch prices of games tend to be quite expensive. Of course, we’ve got a huge range of sites out there offering deals and discounts on a virtually daily basis, so we’ve had a dig around the web for you to find you some of the best PC gaming deals around!

From indie gaming classics and newcomers to blockbuster AAA games that have come down in price, an MMORPG epic and even a new release! We’ve got a few great details going around at the moment and I’m sure there are many more still to be found. Remember, don’t spend too much of your money, because there’s often a Steam Sale towards the end of this month or at the start of November!

What games are you hoping to see discounted soon? Let us know in the comments and we’ll keep our eyes out for a deal!

Humble Indie Bundle 15 – Pay What You Want


Starting things off, we’ve got the ever popular Humble Bundle, offering up a nice collection of Indie games from $1 for the first four, or pay over the average of $7.20 to unlock even more! It’s certainly worth beating the average, as this will get you ten games, including the excellent Skullgirls + DLC, Planetary Annihilation and Xenonauts.

Get this deal on Humble Bundle

Aliens Collection (Steam) – £4.74


Some of the Aliens games have received noticeably better receptions than others, but for the most part they’re absolutely fantastic fun to play, especially if you’re a fan of the movies. So what better way to start off your collection of Aliens games, than with a big bundle that crams in Aliens Vs Predator, Aliens: Colonial Marines and a massive bundle of DLC to boot! That’s a huge saving and a whole lot of gaming to keep you busy for a few weeks.

Get this deal on Steam

The Elder Scrolls Online PC – £17.99/$27.40


Get ready to unleash one of the biggest MMORPG games of the year, with Elder Scrolls Online! Certainly one fans of the Elder Scrolls series won’t want to miss out on and also one of the most enjoyable MMO’s of recent years too. What’s even better is that you can pick the game up at a bargain price right now, making your adventures in Tamriel all that more affordable. As an added bonus, the game no longer has a mandatory subscription.

Get this deal on CD Keys

This War of Mine – £5.99


This War of Mine is a unique and very gripping survival sim, but changing from the usual soldier of death armed to the teeth, you take the role of civilians, struggling to survive in a besieged city, with no food, medicine and, of course, constant danger from the surrounding enemies. It’s a unique tale and one that certainly stand out from the crowd. Of course, you’ve little excuses to be missing out now, now at these prices! As an added bonus, the DLC is currently £0.79.

Get this deal on Steam

Dragon Age: Inquisition – Game of the Year Edition – £49.99


EA and their Original platform are not the best when it comes to deals, that much we’ve all known for some time. However, despite their slightly elevated launch prices the latest game on the Origin platform is a good deal. The Game of the Year edition of Dragon Age: Inquisition packs every bit of DLC, add-on content, deluxe edition chests, new weapons and so much more, making it the best version of Dragon Age: Inquisition to date, and also the easiest path to take for those who have yet to play the latest game in the series.

Get this deal on Origin

Famous YouTuber Asked For $22,000 to Cover Indie Game

The popularity of gaming channels on YouTube is astonishing and already surpassed the influence of many leading print-based websites. Also, the huge array of indie games on Steam means it’s very easy to be overlooked and requires marketing from a YouTube personality or website. Ideally, indie developers would like to engage in an advertising campaign but this isn’t possible given their limited budget. As YouTubers become more powerful, there is a greater chance of personalities having a sense self-importance and making outrageous demands.

According to a post on Reddit, this appears to be the case as Ben Tester from Wales Interactive claims a very famous, undisclosed YouTuber asked for $22,000 to cover an unknown title. The developer in question created Soul Axiom and initially offered to send a review code. Ben divulged the course-of-events and said:

“On one of my normal PR rounds I received an email from a very popular YouTuber with a few million subscribers offering to have one of our games featured on their YouTube channel for a rate of either $17,600 for 2-3 talking points or $22,000 for 2-3 talking points AND a description link,”

“An interesting Tweet I saw from SteamSpy this afternoon claims there doesn’t seem to be much of a correlation between number of Steam sales a game has after it’s been covered by a popular YTer,”

He also clarified that the YouTube channel is genuine and declined the monetary offer:

“I must stress that I emailed the YTer first to ask if they would like to receive a free code for our game to play for their channel. The YTer did NOT mention anything about making a ‘positive’ promotion nor was this a scam from a fake YTer. Finally I’d like to state that I refused the offer.”

The traditional gaming press has a terrible reputation with consumers and often seen as untrustworthy. This now appears to be plaguing at least one major YouTube channel and it’s unknown how widespread this problem is. Perhaps, it’s always best to be cautious and not idolize and kind of celebrity to prevent disappointment.

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information.

Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones Free On Humble Bundle

The generous folks at Humble Bundle have decided to offer Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones for free and includes a Steam key and DRM-free version. This promotion ends on August 31st and promotes Humble’s end of summer sale. Not only that, this freebie is the special Humble Deluxe edition featuring a set of wallpapers and game soundtrack. In Stealth Inc 2, your role involves escaping a dastardly high-tech facility across 60 unique and beautifully constructed levels. The gameplay adopts a fairly challenging difficulty level which makes the experience feel rather satisfying. Currently, the standard version retails at £12.99 and the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Here is a run-down of what you can expect:

Features

  • Break free from the linear levels of the original game in a fully explorable Metroidvania style overworld, rescuing your fellow clones through a diabolical testing centre with five distinct areas and 60 individual levels of traps, puzzles robots and lasers.
  • Test out the latest in hi-tech gadgets from the friendly, smiling face of the Inflate-A-Mate to homicidal cloning tools like the Me Too, equipment and gadgets are part of the game like never before. You’ll use your gadgets to not only solve puzzles but also open up new paths and discover the games many secret and hidden area.
  • Enjoy HD graphics running at 60 frames-per-second, animated cut scenes and a synth-heavy industrial soundtrack. Feast your eyes the many varied environments of the facility, including outdoor levels for the first time in the series.
  • Test yourself both as a player through the online leaderboards and raking system, and as a designer with a fully functioning level editor that allows you to create and share complex levels with friends, enemies and parents.

Microsoft Releases Slimline Windows 10 for the Raspberry Pi

Microsoft has unveiled a developer-focused, Windows 10 edition designed for the Rapsberry Pi. Windows 10 IoT Core is targeted towards small form-factor devices and doesn’t utilize the default Windows shell. This means you create your own Universal Windows App and construct a visual frontend. To access these creation tools, you need a development machine running Windows 10 (Build 10240) and Visual Studio 2015.

The operating system is built around software development and encourages new and existing developers to make Windows Apps. The software supports the standard UWP languages such as C++, C#, JavaScript and Visual Basic. There is also a wide array of tools to help with debugging and ensure systems like Node.js and Python are integrated into the toolset without feeling too different.

The Microsoft blog post shows the company’s intentions to create an open-source community of developers who can share and discuss projects on Github. The Raspberry PI is a fantastic learning tool for coders and can create an assortment of unique, yet cheap devices. I’m not convinced if this software package is enough to deter people from a Unix-based environment. Possibly, the focus on is commercial usage and marketing hardware as being invented on a Microsoft development platform.

Clearly, Microsoft is trying to push their own struggling App Store and compete with the Apple Store and Android’s Play Store. Giving developers the tools to create interesting projects is an important step but is it already too late?

Super Meat Boy 2 is a Distinct Possibility

Super Meat Boy is an excruciatingly difficult but thoroughly addicting fast-action platformer which help start the indie revolution. The studio, Team Meat originally said a direct sequel would never happen and concentrated their efforts on a game called Mew-Genics. However, Team Meat’s Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes discussed the possibility of a sequel on the latest episode of Game Informer’s podcast. The team said:

“An interesting thing happened in the midst of chaos,”

“We were like How can we finish [Super Meat Boy Forever]? We have to finish this, and I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“That was around the time we realized we could release Meat Boy on other platforms, too. So it was kind of like this change of perspective in a way. What we talked about was possibly working on a sequel, and it’s something that I like a lot.”

“There were aspects of Forever that were moves that Meat Boy did…that we were prototyping that felt like they could be better used in a sequel. The future of Meat Boy is definitely up in the air, but a sequel is something that I wouldn’t be opposed to doing even though we both said that we wouldn’t do it.”

McMillen and Refenes explained why they were so hostile to producing a successor to Super Meat Boy:

“We wouldn’t even be mentioning anything about a sequel if we didn’t feel like it was realistic enough,” 

“But with Meat Boy, it’s not the same. With Mewgenics, it’s a genre that doesn’t really exist. We’re inventing as we go. With Meat Boy…we know what Meat Boy is. You run and you jump, right?”

“We purposefully avoided working on another Meat Boy because we didn’t want to jump back into it,”

Indie Game: The Movie showed how emotionally charging and stressful Super Meat Boy’s development was and the team couldn’t envision going through the same process again. Now over 5 years has passed, the studio feels refreshed and more confident about making a sequel. I cannot wait to see how the development of Super Meat Boy 2 pans out.

Image courtesy of Super Meat Boy Wiki.

Thank you Game Informer for providing us with this information.

8-Year-Old Game Developer Easily Reaches Kickstarter Target

Ari Hackner is an 8-year-old boy from Los Angeles with a penchant for technology and game development. His mother setup a Kickstarter asking for $1,100 to help with expenses and launch a project designed to enhance his creativity and marketing awareness. With 16 days left, the Kickstarter has already amassed $1,530 and contains 32 backers. The rewards include a thank you note, pixel art drawing, 8-bit song, personalized animation, custom thank you card, personal Skype call and a play date at the Retro Arcade.

The Kickstarter specifically states:

“Ari intends to work on this game throughout the school year, but his priority will always be his school work.”

Ari appears to be an inspiring young man and has a driven focus to become a games developer. However, I wonder how much is down to his own personality and not the overbearing wishes of his mother. Additionally, while this comes across as quite cynical, it’s difficult to forget the case of Susan Wilson, a millionaire who scammed $21,000 from 1,149 backers. That’s not to say this Kickstarter is fraudulent, but it’s always important to proceed with caution and perceive any funding as an investment, with clear risks. This is especially the case when young children are involved.

I believe a complete rundown of the equipment required and how extra funding will be utilized would reassure some people. Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure this project is genuine and hope this is an enriching experience for Ari.

Indie Dev Will no Longer Offer Free Press Copies

Paul Stephen-Davis, the CEO of Retro Army Limited, has announced the company will no longer provide review codes to press outlets. This decision comes after a wave of scammers and key resellers exploited the developer and pretended to be a legitimate website. Indie developers struggle to deal with the PR side given their limited budget and the line between press and consumer has become quite vague in recent years. Now, each developer has to judge if a Twitch streamer, YouTuber or print press are eligible for press copy and the numbers of requests have risen exponentially.

As a result, I greatly sympathize with his position and feel too many “press” are being allowed access to pre-release games. Currently, many reviews come from individuals with another job who don’t invest their full-time into this career path. I believe, press keys should only be provided to “professional” reviewers who do this as their sole means of a living. The developer argues:

“Personally I think it’s unfair to players that buy the game when others(reviewers) are getting it for free.”

“Our main policy is to protect and take care of our players first.”

This is where I disagree with the comments made, and in quite a strong fashion. While being a member of the full-time professional press is possible, it’s very unlikely in 2015. Most reviewers are unpaid, on a pitiful wage or rely on Patreon funding. It’s absurd to ask reviewers to fund their the cost of reviews considering they are usually giving their time and expertise for free. Most job listings for a gaming website describe a review position as voluntary and argue compensation is provided through game codes and access to press events.

Consumers might be irked that the press receive games for free, but the reality is they are on a much higher wage than 99.9% of the gaming press. Writing is a 7-day a week, demanding job without 9-5 office hours. Unfortunately, the reputation of gaming journalists is atrocious and some of the perceptions are valid. Members of the press can lash out on social media or have potentially biased relationships without disclosing any information prior to publishing.

To reiterate, I understand how frustrating this must be for indies, but they must realize how difficult it is to forge a career in the gaming media. Ironically, low-medium tier press have virtually no money and work on a smaller budget than a tiny studio. In an ideal world, I would like the most talented and insightful journalists to be paid a good, living wage. However, with reducing ad-revenue, community media and Adblock, it seems this could be a dying art-form.

Do you think games critics should receive titles for free?

Super Trench Attack 2 is currently available from Steam for £4.99 and is a survival turn-based squad game set in a fictional world war setting.

First Trailer for Indie First Person Game Fantasiam Released

We get a lot of emails from random people wanting to share their work with us, some we cover but most we throw away because it looks like something created in a 6th-grade computer class. Fantasiam is one that caught my eye right away and while this is very early footage, I like what I see.

Fantasiam is a first-person game built on Unreal Engine 4 and with a heavy involvement of puzzles and explorations. We already get a little glimpse at some of the puzzle types in the gameplay trailer below. The game will have a connection with Slavic mythology and as the author notes, that is still an unexplored area when it comes to games.

The man behind the game is Belmin Kozlić, an indie game developer from Bosnia-Herzegovina. He created the game and got help from the UK-based studio White Noise Wate for the in-game voices, sounds, and music. And that is possibly one of the things that might give this game an edge over other startups. The main actors character and voice is brilliantly made and brings a wit and sarcasm to the table. That is something that can make a game a lot more entertaining as we’ve seen in other games. A great example is Van Helsing’s partner Katarina that made the game hilarious with her dry wit.

The author has plans to hire more people as funding falls into place. He has applied for an Unreal Dev Grant and is also thinking about a possible Kickstarter campaign later on. I know I would back it.

The game is still in early phase and the author promised more info, trailers and screenshots in the future. I will be looking forward to it and I’m sure that I’m not the only one.

Free Game for Batman: Arkham Knight Early Adopters

The aptly named, No Bull Intentions indie studio has decided to provide a free copy of their satirical comedic game, The Supreme League of Patriots to Batman: Arkham Knight purchasers. This even applies if you have already filed for a refund and able to send a proof of purchase. Although, doing so would be taking advantage of this kind gesture. Cynical folk might argue this is nothing more than a PR exercise from a small studio to gain publicity and help lackluster sales figures. However, I will give No Bull Intentions the benefit of the doubt and applaud their passionate plea to PC Gamers. In a Tumblr post, the developer said,

“We think that PC gamers get taken for granted far too often. Those who choose to play on PC are often subjected to shoddy console ports, driver problems, poor optimisation and game-breaking bugs, not to mention invasive DRM and launch delays of weeks or even months for some titles. We’re making this offer to show our support for PC gamers.”

“As such, we’re offering anyone who bought Arkham Knight for PC before midnight PST on 30th June, 2015 (digital or retail) a free copy of the entire first season of Supreme League of Patriots. While we have every confidence that Rocksteady and Warner Bros. will keep patching Arkham Knight until it’s the amazing game we all anticipated, that doesn’t take away the disappointment that gamers felt. We recognise that our little superhero caper can’t do that either, but we hope the comical adventures of The Purple Patriot will bring a smile to their faces while they’re waiting.”

Supreme League of Patriots is a traditional point-and-click adventure game designed to mock popular culture, politics and rely on self-referential humour. The leading protagonist isn’t familiar with political correctness and runs amok as a freak accident turns him into a superhero! To take advantage of this offer, you need to e-mail supremeleagueofpatriots@gmail.com and attach an image showing the purchase confirmation.

On another note, there are some rumours circulating about Batman: Arkham Knight customers being offered a free WB game or season pass. This would follow a similar pattern to Assassin’s Cred Unity but the current time frame for this occurring is unknown and there’s still doubts if this will be offered at all. Another factor to consider is, will this offer or anything from WB games in the future apply to those who received a free copy with their NVIDIA 900 series GPU.

If you are intrigued by the game’s concept, here is the official trailer:

Dimension Drive Kickstarter Ruined by Funding Troll

Being an independent developer and creating your own game worthy of release is hard enough and getting it all out is even harder. Thanks to Kickstarter and similar crowdfunding pages the whole thing got a lot easier as you can sell your idea for funding – that is unless you get trolled at the last minute.

That is what happened to the indie developers 2Awesome Studios that are behind the game Dimension Drive, a comic book styled space adventure with a really interesting-sounding teleport mechanic, which has players battling in two worlds at once.

When the funding was about to close, 2Awesome Studios were short €7000 and that is when what appeared to be a hero stepped in and pledged the remaining funds by himself. Needless to say, the developers were excited and went onto Twitter to thank the person.

The joy didn’t last long as Kickstarter soon informed them that the pledge was fraudulent and had been removed again.

With too little time left for other backers to enter and pick up the pieces and make this game come true, the funding failed.

The developers were just as crushed as their dreams.

“Honestly speaking it has been an exhausting month for us. We have been working really hard to make our campaign a success, and right now we are speechless, demoralized, you name it.”

I hope they’ll find another way to get their game off the ground as it looks really interesting and fun. I also hope that Karma will catch up with the fraudster.

Kerbal Space Program to Finally Leave Early Access!

After nearly 4 whole years since the initial release, Kerbal Space Program is finally ready to make the move from Early Access to full release on 27th April! The news came about after a developer post on the game’s forums announced the date of the release alongside a short youtube video (below) announcing the inclusion of female Kerbal’s in the 1.0 version of the game.

The hugely popular space craft/exploration simulator, which is being developed by indie studio Squad, has received huge praise from the community ever since it’s launch and continues to hold an overall “overwhelmingly positive” review on steam. Needless to say the incredibly complicated and groundbreaking title has captured the imagination of all of those longing for their own space adventure and even Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, described the game as “awesome”, which is some praise coming from someone who literally builds rocket ships in real life, and even seems to have a higher success rate than most players tinkering virtual rockets.

Nonetheless, Kerbal has always stayed at the forefront of the Indie scene, never letting fans down with misleading promises or dodgy crowd-funding campaigns, which could be something that other Indie devs should think about before announcing their newest survival game.

Thank you Squad for providing us with this information.

Indie Survival Game P.A.M.E.L.A. Looks Promising

VYVE Studios, an indie games company made up of 4 team members, has announced a new first-person survival game by the name of P.A.M.E.L.A. It is powered by the latest Unity 5 game engine and is said to currently be in its pre-alpha development stage for PC.

The game takes place in a sci-fi world called Eden, where the player has to survive against all odds. Players are said to have the need for sleep, eating and drinking, just like any other survival game, but a unique element added here is time. It is said that days are short and the player needs to work on keeping the lights on in Eden to help him stay alive.

In terms of weaponry, the title gives players the ability to wield their own ‘unconventional’ gadgets. All of them can be mounted on the AARM, the mounting point between the character and the rest of technology on Eden.

Another key feature is its immersive technology, which comes in the shape of a holopad that aids players in their quest to survive in the Eden world. One interesting aspect is that Fallout fans might find the holopad to be an improved version of the Pip-Boy from the Fallout titles. More information about the title can be viewed here.

Source: P.A.M.E.L.A.

Unreal Engine 4 Powered ARPG Age of Blood Gets Greenlit on Steam

Age of Blood, an ARPG game by the indie developers Galaxy Interactive, has recently been greenlit on Steam as well as a complete re-wrap of everything. The game had started out based on UDK, but the goals for the game just weren’t within reach with that. So an almost complete recode and now it all runs on the Unreal Engine 4 and looks better than ever.

Playing as either Cael or Ariet, adventurers find themselves marooned on the Island of Heavens Fall, but after a failed invasion our heroes find themselves locked in a battle against the Scourge, a technologically advanced and psychically enhanced menace not of this world.

Harnessing the power of the gods both Cael and Ariet utilise a vast array of skills specialising in either Necromancy, Demonology, or Angelology. As Cael you’ll engage in bone-breaking close-combat or annihilate your foes from afar in third-person magic based combat incorporating forbidden magic and summoned monsters.

Trapped on Heaven’s Fall island, players will discover long forgotten temples, be challenged to solving nefarious puzzles, explore perilous locations, and ultimately uncover the secrets of the Scourge and a mysterious ancient race with the ultimate goal of banishing the Scourge from the world once and for all.

With the new engine to power everything, a new video and new screenshots have been released to showcase the advancements and some of the different game environments. The goal to get the game on Kickstarter is still existing, but there isn’t a final timeframe on that. As the last update note said, they want to release a great product and that takes time, and that is in my opinion a great thing considering some of the crappy game releases we’ve seen lately.

More detailed information about the upcoming Age of Blood can be found on the game’s official website and the Steam Greenlight page.

The latest trailer for the game can be seen below, and I think I might have to snatch myself this game at the first available opportunity.

Thanks to Galaxy Interactive for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Galaxy Interactive

Indie Zone booth at Insomnia i52

One of the more unique attractions here at Insomnia i52 was the Indie Zone, a collection of smaller gaming areas where smaller developers have chosen to setup everything from Oculus Rift to consoles for people to come and play their latest games or in development projects.

There are a lot of very weird and wonderful games to try out, but it’s well worth stopping by and trying them out, especially for those seeking a break from the AAA blockbusters that dominate much of the event and I highly recommend you stop by this section just to try out the Oculus Rift DK2, any excuse to play with one is a good excuse.

If you want to take time and speak with the developers about the games on display, they’ve got plenty of time for you and we’ve had a lot of fun trying out these fun little titles, many of which we expect are already available on services such as Steam.

Enjoy the gallery below and if you’re at the show, drop by the Indie Zone and have some fun!

Commodore 64 – Watch_Dogs 1989 Edition

It’s not the first time we’ve seen a retro-edition of a new game, remember the old school shoot em’ up version of Borderlands that was released a couple of years ago? Well aside from the fact that this game would need to shit on a colossal amount of floppy discs, or lots of very slow loading cassette tapes, the video shows us what Watch_Dogs could have looked like all those years ago.

In fairness it is just a bit of fun, even by 1989 standards the game looks too advanced, I loved my Commodore 64 and yet I have to admit it wasn’t capable of being this good. I certainly wouldn’t say no to this being created as some kind of an indie title, as it does look a lot of fun, is somewhat basic when compared to its real-world and very much playable counterpart.

[youtube width=”800″ height=”450″]http://youtu.be/Ml3jjWssiCs[/youtube]

With all the hype surrounding this game at the moment, I’ve seen a few cool videos relating to the game, but none was as cool as this one from a few days ago.

Thank you YouTube for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of YouTube.

Fulfil Your Lifelong Dreams With Goat Simulator!

Armin Ibrisagic of Coffee Stain Studios has created one of the strangest games I’ve ever seen, although in all honestly I think it is a little bit of a stretch to even call it a game. Goat Simulator was the result of the recent Global Game Jam, and it acts more like a prototype, there is no purpose to this software, you just be a goat and do some goat life stuff, hence the name Goat Simulator.

Ibrisagic has released two short alpha gameplay videos of Goat Simulator so far and while the whole ideal of this game is pretty stupid, I can’t help but think it’s a great way to kill some time on my next break. Run around runing partys, climb things, headbutt cars and just generally be a jerk.

“Goat Simulator brings next gen goat simulation to a whole new level. You no longer have to fantasize about being a goat, your dreams have finally come true. WASD to write destiny.” said Ibrisagic.

Check out the videos below and let us know what you think.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/WgTQglGvNUs[/youtube]

[youtube]http://youtu.be/AnryOUNnlWk[/youtube]

Thank you Laughing Squid for providing us with this information.

Indie Dungeon Crawler StarCrawlers Revealed, Brings A Sci-Fi Twist To The Popular Genre

Independent game studio Juggernaut Games have just announced their first title – StarCrawlers. The dungeon-crawling genre is one that has been done to death in the world of gaming, knights, wizards and more have graced our screens more times than I care to count, but it looks like Juggernaut Games have found a refreshing way to bring it back with StarCrawlers. The game is a sci-fi dungeon-crawling RPG, you run a crew of talented fixers taking shady jobs on the fringes of space where your choices dynamically change the way you explore the environment, fight your foes, resolve encounters, and how your story ultimately unfolds.

“Whatever their particular skillset – be it hacking, smuggling or advanced ass-kicking – StarCrawlers are individuals who specialize in taking jobs others won’t. Your team will venture into procedurally-generated environments full of lethal enemies, unexpected events, and deadly traps. Conspiracy is afoot, and you may stumble upon valuable information – how you choose to use it is up to you.” – Said Juggernaut in a recent press release.

As you progress through the dungeon, you’ll face tougher and tougher enemies and be tested against elite bosses, requiring you to make strategic decisions about your team build, their combat specialization and their gear. Team build will also have an impact on what you can do while exploring, with each character class bringing their own specialized skills to bear to help you avoid obstacles, deal with NPCs, and navigate hazards more effectively. Interestingly the game is played in first person, with RPG and turn based elements, exploring, procedurally generated environments and stunning graphics that really make it stand out from the crowd.

Features:

  • Soundtrack by Ben Prunty
  • Classic first person dungeon crawling exploration
  • Procedurally generated environments with random encounters, traps, and enemies
  • Deep character customization with abilities that can be modded and changed
  • Randomly generated and upgradeable loot
  • PC, Mac, and Linux support

Development is clearly doing well already, but Juggernaut Games say the game will also be heading to Kickstarter very shortly to give it an extra boost. The release date is currently unknown, but expect more updates very shortly.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/TUjtefaOYN8[/youtube]

Thank you StarCrawlers for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of StarCrawlers.

Free MMO/RPG ‘Fantasy Realm Online’ Now Available To The Public

Fantasy Realm Online is a FREE classic sandbox MMO/RPG hybrid for Windows and Linux that has a similar look/feel to the Ultima series (Specifically U7/UO). the development team have been working on the game independently over the past few years, putting thousands of hours of development and tens of thousands of dollars into it. The game has been working quietly in the background for a while now, but the team feel its time to let the game out into the wild, as its time to get more players enjoying their digital world.

Fantasy Realm Online uniquely blends many of the classic aspects of single player RPGs and a massive multiplayer game. It has been designed to be fun to play by yourself and with others (as any good MMO should). The world can be explored as a brave adventurer that allows you to battle opponents collect treasures and build your character through quests and combat experiences. You can also explore the world as a merchant, apprentice under shop keepers, mine mountains for precious metals, chop through forests for rare woods, craft items, and much, much more!

[youtube]http://youtu.be/e7_KAkDoTc4[/youtube]

If you would like to play the game sign up for an account and download the game here.

“We are always welcoming new players, their thoughts, ideas and feedback! So if you enjoy an Ultima-esque style RPG you will love Fantasy Realm Online! We are constantly evolving and expanding the game.” – Chris The Avatar, Creator of Fantasy Realm Online

The game may not have the graphical might of most other releases, but its crammed full of retro RPG/MMO charm that will go down well with old school gamers, and Indie gaming fans. The game is still very much in development and the team plan on taking it to Kickstarter later this month to take it to the next level, so stay tuned for more updates.

Thank you Fantasy Realm Online for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Fantasy Realm Online.

IndieDB Present 2013 Indie Title Of The Year

Indie DB have been a long supporter of independent developers and their games, the site is a great place to showcase work and build fan bases during and after development of a title. With all the hardwork that gets put into games, it’s always great to get a little appreciation and recognition for your work and despite only just releasing an alpha, the Players Choice 2013 Indie of the Year will likely come as little surprise to most. Starbound’s popularity is undeniable, which is why after 97,500 votes the players have crowned it this years best independent game. Despite it’s popularity however, only a handful of votes separated the top 10 indie games of 2013 which includes:

10. Rogue Legacy
9. Outlast
8. Tales of Maj’Eyal
7. Path of Exile
6. Into the Dark
5. The Stanley Parable
4. Space Engineers
3. Kerbal Space Program
2. Contagion
1. Starbound

“Congratulations to the victors and huge thanks to the award sponsor Desura, the developers and supporters of the awards who recognize the work that goes into making an amazing indie game.” – IndieDB

Personally I put my vote on Kerbal Space Program, I’m a sucker for anything physics based and it’s a great title, then again I’ve also been blown away by FTL (Faster Than Light) this year. What was your favourite indie gaming title of 2013?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r82YmKvcPl0&feature=share&list=UUjpwPAyQewUTNISFblWJq2w&index=2[/youtube]

Thank you IndieDB for providing us with this information.

2013 Indie Of The Year Has Begun

As another year comes to an end, it is time once again to begin our search for the Players’ Choice Independent Game of the Year. In 2013 Desura joins as the major sponsor, offering $15,000 in digital distribution prize money to the winning games.

After amassing a record 78,000 votes in 2012 which resulted in Chivalry: Medieval Warfare being crowned the eventual winner (Minecraft won in 2010, Terraria in 2011), voting booths have been added to all game profiles on IndieDB. With amazing indies such as Risk of Rain, The Stanley Parable, Rogue Legacy and so many more all releasing in 2013, it is now up to the players to click the “vote” button and help us crown 2013’s best.

Scott Reismanis, the Founder of IndieDB, commented, “Indie DB has grown massively this year, as indies continue their meteoric rise propelled by Sony, Microsoft and all publishers looking to score the next indie darling. Nominations have already started to pour in, and it is exciting to see the games jostling for a spot in the top 100 which will be announced on the 11th of December.”

Until January 1st join us in celebrating all that is great about our beloved independent game developers by participating and voting to decide the top 100, and the overall ultimate winner.

For information about how to vote and a live scoreboard head to the official site. Personally, my vote is going on Solarix, but let us know who gets your vote in the comments section below.

Thank you IndieDB for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of IndieDB.

Drox Operative: Invasion of the Ancients Demo Released

A demo for upcoming expansion to indie space RPG Drox Operative has been released, Invasion of the Ancients brings ancient invasions, space stations, persistent galaxies, Scavenger race, Drox Guild quests, new Talon, Legion, and Overlord monsters, 19 playable subraces, and much more!

Before the Drox ruled the galaxy, before they were even sentient, there were older races now known as the Ancients. Using their Operatives, the Drox crushed and enslaved most of these races. The rest fled known space. When the Drox turned on their own Operatives, the Drox were utterly destroyed. Newer races emerged and thrived in the power void, never knowing the menace waited. Seizing their chance, the Ancients are invading to take their rightful place in the galaxy, as rulers! Thirsting for revenge, the Ancients can’t harm the extinct Drox, but they can crush the next best thing, the Drox Operatives.

The Ancient enemies are back! Can you defend the Drox Operative Guild and younger races against the Invasion of the Ancients?

Destroy or defend space stations (military and production) Guide the evolution of persistent galaxies Design components with socketable chips Play as or against the new race, the Scavenger Battle new Talon, Legion, and Overlord monsters Solve new quests and equip new components Drox Guild quests Unlock and play as 19 subraces

The demo for Drox Operative: Invasion of the Ancients is only around 140MB, so there’s no reason not to give it a try, for more information or to download the demo, check out the official site here.

As fans of space faring RPG games, and some what of an Indie gaming fan I can’t resist this one, so expect a full review in the coming weeks.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/OfJDQ52MbTI[/youtube]

Thank you Soldak Entertainment for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Soldak.

Insomnia i50 To Feature Indie Game Jam

Multiplay, organiser of the Insomnia series of gaming festivals, the largest gaming festivals in the United Kingdom have just announce a series of initiatives designed to showcase the best UK talent from the indie scene at Insomnia50.

The Indie Zone, sponsored by GAMDIAS, is a new addition for Insomnia events and is an open invitation to the unique and wonderful games being created across the country by independent developers. Each developer has access to a top-of-the-range PC station, dedicated time on the Indie stage which will have prime position in the exhibition hall; featuring some of the industry leading retailers, manufacturers and development studios.

This provides the perfect opportunity to connect directly with the gaming community and interact with other developers such as Hypersloth Games (Dream), Dead Shark Triple Punch (Epigenesis), Pumpkin Games (Doppelganger) and many more.

Supporting creativity further is Global GameCraft, who organise game jam events designed to allow game-makers to meet, share ideas, have fun, compete for prizes and most importantly make games! Each day, participants will be set a task, having as little as ten hours to complete, with a judging panel demoing stand-out entries on stage and awarding prizes to the best submissions.

To take part, you must have a ticket to Insomnia so you can reserve your complimentary space for the GameCraft Game Jam. In order to purchase a ticket or reserve your space you can do so at insomnia50.evenbrite.co.uk.

“Indie games are fast becoming the most original sector in gaming, giving us new ways of playing videogames”, said Craig Fletcher, Multiplay CEO. “We want to support the UK industry and enable developers to show their products off to as large an audience as possible, and to invite future designers to get involved with their peers through initiatives like the Indie GameCraft. Insomnia50 will be the most diverse festival we’ve ever held, in part due to the brilliant response we’ve had from indie developers, and we hope to continue to bring events like this, that support our industry and its talent to future Insomnia gaming festivals.”

If you are a game developer and would like to take full advantage of a free PC ‘station’ and a 45 minute live demo and talk on the Indie Stage at Insomnia50, please register your interest at multiplay.com/indie-games.

Once again eTeknix will be at the show and checking out not only the Indie gaming section, but all the latest tech from the event so keep an eye out for us on the trade show floor, or keep an eye on the site at the end of the month.

Thank you Insomnia for providing us with this information.

Kyttaro Announce New Indie Dev Grant Initiative And Latest “Bundle In A Box”

This week, Kyttaro Games have announce another new Indie Dev Grant initiative along with their latest thematic indie bundle. Their new initiative is set to help one more indie developer or team achieve their creative goals and all of the submitted projects reach a wider audience.

Having already supported such amazing indie projects as Maia, Under the Ocean, Whispering Willows, River City Ransom: Underground, Courier of the Crypts and 99 Spirits and having helped bring more exposure to as many excellent indie games as they could, Kyttaro Games and Bundle In A Box are ready to once again accept your Indie Dev Grant submissions!

On top of that, the team have just announced their “The Indie Strategy Bundle” that will be going live shortly, with an impressive selection of indie strategy and tactical games.

“The Indie Dev Grant, that popular feature of Bundle In A Box we are most proud of, is a grant designed to help indie game developers actually create the games they’ve always wanted to. For every 100 bundles sold $15 will be added to the grant. One indie developer (be it a group or an individual) voted by the esteemed fans of Bundle in a Box will get the whole amount after the bundle ends.”

No strings will be attached by either Bundle in a Box or Kyttaro Games. The grant can be used in any way the developer that earns it sees fit and will in no way be obliged to co-operate with Kyttaro Games or Bundle in a Box.

Developers that have already taken part in one of our bundles or are willing to do so in the future are also eligible for the grant. Actually, absolutely anyone is free to enter; yes, even people trying to buy some time in order to create their next freeware gem. If you want to be part of it, you just have to make sure you are indie and submitting a game.

Thank you Kyttaro for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Kyttaro.