Monthly Archives: February 2009

Anticipation 1

A couple of indie games that have been in development for some time are nearing completion. I’m jealous. I’ve also really been looking forward to both, so I’m also very happy.

I’ll talk about one of them later, but one I’d like to mention now is The Path, a game by Tale of Tales. I’ve discussed this title briefly in the past, but I’ve been following it for quite a while. These are the folks that made The Graveyard, the art title about an old woman in a cemetery that generated a lot of discussion on the tubes about games as art, and challenged people’s assumptions about what technically constitutes a “game.”

From what I’ve seen so far it appears likely that [More...] Read the rest

Posted in games as art, indie games | 1 Response

(Indie) Business is Business

Generally speaking, this is a good time to be an indie game developer. There are scores of inexpensive development tools and environments to choose from, many potential opportunities and channels for marketing and sales, and a number of great online communities for discussion and support. It’s tough to make it as a full-time job, though. A few individuals or groups have done consistently well over the years, and of course there are the recent stories like Braid making everyone drool over the possibility of big-time success even for small developer groups. But for the most part, it’s incredibly tough to find that sweet spot of just enough critical and financial success.

Take the story of Mousechief’s Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble, for instance. [More...] Read the rest

Posted in indie game business, indie games | 2 Responses

Targeting Older Systems

Way back when, when the Vespers project was first starting out, I had to decide which game engine to use. Initially, the choice was between the Torque Game Engine and the Unity engine. I eventually chose TGE for a few reasons — at the time, the engine had been around longer than Unity, the community was larger, and it was less expensive and more straightforward to develop cross-platform games (specifically, Mac and PC).

Once that decision was made, then there was the choice of which Torque engine to use: the basic TGE engine, or the higher-end TGEA (TGE-Advanced) engine, which back then was called TSE (for “Torque Shader Engine”). TGEA offered a number of more advanced features, the most obvious of which was higher-quality graphic [More...] Read the rest

Posted in Vespers | 12 Responses

Making the Rounds: Machinarium

This game has topped my list for Most Anticipated Seriously Beautiful Game for some time now. Amanita Design is a small group of indie game developers responsible for some very cool, short point-and-click Flash games in the past: Samorost1, Samorost2, and Questionaut, which was nominated for a British Academy Award. Hell, they’ve even made a short little adventure for a band I’ve enjoyed listening to in the past, The Polyphonic Spree, which includes some previously unreleased music. In each case, the recognizable artwork is beautiful, the gameplay is light and engaging, and the accompanying music and sound effects are charming.

For a while now they’ve been bringing this same style to a full-length adventure, Machinarium, which is an IGF finalist [More...] Read the rest

Posted in adventure games, games as art, indie games | 2 Responses

An Aging Brew

So as it turns out, I’m looking through my older blog posts and I realize that today marks one year since beginning The Monk’s Brew.

Although I had written a number of blogs about the development of Vespers over on prior to starting this blog, I remember feeling apprehensive about doing this given the extra commitment it would require. Time is valuable these days, and I’m not a fast writer. Ideas abound, but I often find I lack the clarity of thought to put them into meaningful words. The last thing I wanted was to start a blog, and then let it die out because I couldn’t keep up.

There have definitely been times when it was hard to keep up, and times [More...] Read the rest

Posted in miscellaneous | 1 Response