Category Archives: games as art

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

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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

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Aaron Reed has written some pretty fine IF. Gourmet was one of my favorites from the 2003 IF Comp, just a lot of fun to play. It even has its own theme song (judge for yourself). And of course there’s Whom The Telling Changed, which received much well-deserved recognition and was a finalist in 2006 at the now-defunct Slamdance Guerrilla Gamemaker Competition. I also see that Aaron was interviewed back then for Get Lamp, Jason Scott’s (hopefully) upcoming documentary on text adventures.

He also lives about ten minutes away from my house. We met a couple of times at the quarterly Utah Indie Gamers Night, and he’s a pretty fascinating guy.

Aaron is about to launch his epic new work of [More...] Read the rest

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Tale of Tales Goodies

Tale of Tales is the Belgian group led by Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn that brought us the thought-provoking poetic “art game” (for lack of a better term, I suppose) The Graveyard. It was an intriguing piece that generated a lot of discussion around the tubes, much of which was unfortunately negative because many people didn’t quite get that it doesn’t fit the traditional definition of “game”. It was also created with the Unity engine, a very cool 3D game engine/development tool that runs primarily on Macs, and which I came very close to using for Vespers. In any case, I thought it was a worthwhile experiment and I have a lot of respect for what these folks are trying to do.

Of [More...] Read the rest

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The Money Factor

Seems that money is on people’s minds lately.

Jay at The Rampant Coyote recently published an article on The Escapist about mainstream developers going indie. It’s a good read that involves a number of interesting folks from around the indie scene, including Steven Peeler from Soldak Entertainment, Steve Taylor from NinjaBee, and one of my Torque heroes, Andy Schatz of Pocketwatch Games, among others. The article nicely summarizes many of the issues driving and confronting indie game developers — creative freedom, independence, marketing and publicity, piracy, and distribution. Of course, underlying most of these issues is the money factor. It is, of course, the focus of the main question (“Why give up a steady paycheck in order to labor in relative obscurity?”), and from the [More...] Read the rest

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