indie

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  • Cellar Door Games

    A sequel to beloved indie game 'Rogue Legacy' is in the works

    by 
    Igor Bonifacic
    Igor Bonifacic
    04.03.2020

    What at first seemed like a potential April Fool's joke has turned out to be real: almost seven years after the original came out, Cellar Door Games has confirmed it's working on a Rogue Legacy sequel. The indie studio didn't share a release date for Rogue Legacy 2, nor did it say anything about potential platforms. In fact, besides some screenshots showing off a lovely new art style, the only significant tidbit of information we got is that Judson Cowan and A Shell in the Pit will return to score the game's soundtrack.

  • Valve

    Steam Game Festival lets you play indies that would've been at GDC

    by 
    Igor Bonifacic
    Igor Bonifacic
    03.18.2020

    With industry events like the Game Developers Conference cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Valve is stepping in to help small, independent game developers get the word out about their upcoming projects. Starting today, the company will highlight more than 40 new and unreleased indies as part of the Steam Game Festival: Spring Edition.

  • Hello Games

    Nintendo gets cute with its upcoming indie lineup

    by 
    Igor Bonifacic
    Igor Bonifacic
    03.17.2020

    If you're looking for something to take your mind off the current state of the world, the latest slate of indie games coming to the Nintendo Switch might just do the trick. As part of its recent Indie World Showcase, the gaming giant detailed more than a dozen forthcoming indie titles. And while we knew about a lot of them before today's presentation, most now have release windows -- with many of them coming to the Nintendo Switch first before any other platforms. We've highlighted some of the more notable ones below.

  • Bisma Zia, Anam Sajid, Ali Hamza

    Strict visa rules are still keeping game devs out of the US

    by 
    Jessica Conditt
    Jessica Conditt
    02.06.2020

    The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Foundation awards scholarships each year to up-and-coming artists, writers and programmers from around the world. The scholarships offer passes to the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, plus a travel stipend, exclusive networking opportunities, tours of local studios, help with resumes and portfolios and one-on-one mentorships with industry veterans. For a developer trying to break into video games, it's a fantastic prize.

  • Engadget

    This is the end of 'Kentucky Route Zero'

    by 
    Jessica Conditt
    Jessica Conditt
    01.27.2020

    Kentucky Route Zero ends with a funeral. It's a beautiful sight. The ceremony is in front of a towering dilapidated barn that serves as the anchor for a pastoral artists' community buried deep in the Kentucky woods. The setting sun bathes the town in gold as residents gather around a mound of dirt and an open hole, sharing haunting poetry and a song about the two bodies inside. Everyone calls them The Neighbors.

  • WolfEye

    'Dishonored' and 'Prey' co-creators reveal 'Weird West'

    by 
    Jessica Conditt
    Jessica Conditt
    12.12.2019

    Weird West doesn't look as strange as it does stylish. The game comes from WolfEye Studios, whose co-founders include Dishonored and Prey veterans Julien Roby and Raphael Colantonio, and it's being billed as an immersive sim set in a dark fantasy reimagining of the Wild West.

  • Thomas Happ

    'Axiom Verge 2' and more indie games will hit Switch in 2020

    by 
    Jessica Conditt
    Jessica Conditt
    12.10.2019

    Nintendo has already curated a library of wonderfully weird independent games on the Switch, and it's not slowing down in 2020. The company today revealed a handful of indie titles heading to the Switch next year, including heavy hitters like Axiom Verge 2 (a sequel fans have been waiting for since 2015), Sports Story (the follow-up to Golf Story), and Streets of Rage 4 (which we've found to be shockingly fun).

  • Tequila Works

    'Gylt' hands-on: Stadia's first exclusive game is simply spooky

    by 
    Jessica Conditt
    Jessica Conditt
    11.20.2019

    The developers at Tequila Works get bored easily. At least, that's how it seems after scrolling through a list of games the independent Spanish studio has released since 2012. It starts with Deadlight, a dark, side-scrolling action title set in a lonely zombie apocalypse. After that, Tequila Works released a murder mystery set inside a trippy mansion casino, a heartwarming platformer about a long-lost civilization, a narrative-driven VR title, a world-building app for iOS, and the official VR project for Sony Pictures' Groundhog Day.

  • Chesnot via Getty Images

    Sony's PlayStation leadership is changing again

    by 
    Rachel England
    Rachel England
    11.07.2019

    With the PlayStation 5 due next year, PlayStation is no doubt keen to get its ducks in a row. It's seen a number of managerial changes recently, and has now announced two new moves. Hermen Hulst, formerly of studio Guerilla, is now head of worldwide studios, tasked with making sure the PS5 has plenty of first-party blockbuster games on its roster. PlayStation veteran Shuhei Yoshida, meanwhile, takes the helm of a new initiative to encourage more indies to the platform. Hulst co-founded Amsterdam-based Guerilla, best known for the Killzone franchise and Horizon Zero Dawn. Sony acquired Guerilla back in 2005, and since then Hulst has been responsible for driving a number of innovations, including proprietary game engine Decima which has been used to produce a number of titles, among them the upcoming Death Standing. Meanwhile, Yoshida's new role will see him leading a new company initiative designed to support independent developers -- exactly what that looks like isn't clear yet, but Yoshida is well-known in the business for his love of indie games, and Sony could certainly use a boost in this area. Once a staunch backer of independent developers the company's foothold in this market has weakened in recent years -- Yoshida's new position could turn this around.

  • Kong Orange

    Morbidly charming puzzle game 'Felix the Reaper' lands October 17th

    by 
    Jessica Conditt
    Jessica Conditt
    09.24.2019

    Felix the Reaper is a tragic, comedic love story that plays out in the bureaucratic cubicles of the underworld, and it's coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC on October 17th. It stars Felix, a marshmallowy dancer on a mission to attract the attention of his crush, Betty The Maiden. The problem is, Felix works at the Ministry of Death, and Betty works at the Ministry of Life. So, Felix has to sneak his way into her heart by taking a job in the field as a reaper, ensuring the deaths of all the humans on his list. He causes their demise one by one, dancing through the shadows of various, grid-lined maps, solving spatial and physics puzzles along the way.

  • XD Network

    Indie darling 'To the Moon' makes its console debut in January

    by 
    Igor Bonifacic
    Igor Bonifacic
    09.12.2019

    Indie darling To the Moon will launch on Nintendo Switch on January 16th. Developer XD Network and publisher Freebird Games shared the revised release date in a new YouTube teaser. The title was previously set to launch this summer.

  • Honig Studios

    'El Hijo' is a Spaghetti Western stealth game with heart

    by 
    Jessica Conditt
    Jessica Conditt
    08.23.2019

    The art at the top of El Hijo's website says it all. A young boy in a red poncho stands at the edge of a cliff, overlooking a sun-bleached desert valley with a stuffed bear dangling from his fingertips. His shadow unfurls across the rock behind him, the teddy bear transformed into a pistol. This little boy is a fighter.

  • The Chinese Room/Sumo Digital

    Popular indie game 'Dear Esther' is coming to iOS

    by 
    Kris Holt
    Kris Holt
    08.08.2019

    Journey made a surprise debut on iOS this week and you'll soon be able to play another indie darling on the go. The Chinese Room says its exploration-focused Dear Esther will be available for iPhone and iPad later this year.

  • Ivy Games

    From indie development to Guerrilla Games: The 'Gravity Ghost' story

    by 
    Jessica Conditt
    Jessica Conditt
    08.08.2019

    Erin Robinson Swink knows when someone has actually finished her game, the hand-painted physics-based adventure called Gravity Ghost. "I can usually tell if they played it until the end based on the way they say that to me," she said. "Like, 'Yeah, I played your game.' Or like, 'I played your game,' and then they look off into the distance. OK, that person played to the end."

  • Heart Machine

    The Netflix business model is bad news for indie games

    by 
    Jessica Conditt
    Jessica Conditt
    07.16.2019

    The Netflix model doesn't work for video games. Neither does the Spotify plan, the HBO Go ecosystem or the Amazon Prime Video marketplace. Sure, digital distribution is king and subscription-based streaming services will absolutely become a dominant market force in gaming. But, when it comes to paying content creators, current subscription models just don't make sense. Especially for indie games.

  • Jo-Mei

    'Sea of Solitude' looks like a brilliant, emotional horror show

    by 
    Jessica Conditt
    Jessica Conditt
    06.21.2019

    Sea of Solitude feels like coming home. Footage of a hulking black monster swimming among the rooftops and balconies of a waterlogged Berlin plays on repeat like a GIF in my psyche, as comforting as it is terrifying. I've been viscerally afraid of giant creatures in deep waters for as long as I can remember -- it probably has something to do with my after-school routine as a kid. My older brother, dressed in steel-toed Docs and long-sleeved black shirts even in the mid-year Arizona sun, would walk me home and we'd plop down in front of the TV. Sometimes it was Baywatch, sometimes it was Terminator 2, but the afternoon our parents told us they were getting a divorce, it was Jaws.

  • Richard Hofmeier

    The magnificent reappearing act of Richard Hofmeier

    by 
    Jessica Conditt
    Jessica Conditt
    06.05.2019

    Richard Hofmeier was an early superstar of modern indie games. In 2010, he released Cart Life, an unassuming, grayscale title that he described as, "a retail simulation for Windows." In actuality, it was a poignant and powerful portrayal of modern existence. Cart Life captured the loneliness, triumphs and hopeless frustration of maintaining friendships, providing for a family and dreaming big in the capitalistic rat race, all tenderly animated in a sharp noir palate. Cart Life became an underground hit, and then a mainstream success. It landed on Steam in 2012, and in 2013, it was nominated in three categories at the Independent Games Festival Awards, where it battled giants of the day, including Hotline Miami, Kentucky Route Zero, Gone Home and FTL. Cart Life won all three categories. Hofmeier was the first-ever winner of the Excellence in Narrative prize, plus he secured the $5,000 Nuovo award for innovation and the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize. And then, he vanished.

  • Weed is worse than murder, if you're selling a video game

    by 
    Jessica Conditt
    Jessica Conditt
    04.12.2019

    Developers at Polish studio Vile Monarch had never made a tycoon game before Devolver Digital tapped them to build Weedcraft Inc. -- a business-simulation title about the legal cannabis market. Weedcraft Inc.'s gameplay mechanics fell well outside of Vile Monarch's wheelhouse, whose past releases included Oh...Sir!! The Insult Simulator and a sequel, both of which were fighting games where players battled with rude words. So, Devolver sent a legendary tycoon-game creator to consult with Vile Monarch on Weedcraft Inc. However, the developer had one condition. "He let us know from the beginning that he didn't want his name in any way associated or to be credited," Devolver founder Mike Wilson told Engadget.

  • Night School Studio

    Flirt with Satan, but not your best friend, in emo adventure 'Afterparty'

    by 
    Jessica Conditt
    Jessica Conditt
    04.10.2019

    You can flirt with Satan in Afterparty. In the coming narrative-adventure game from Night School Studio, the Prince of Darkness is hosting a rager on the outskirts of hell's waiting room, a city where fresh corpses are processed before being shipped off for an eternity of torture. There's a standing challenge for anyone who passes through: If you can outdrink Satan, you get to return to Earth. So, lifelong yet mysteriously deceased best friends, Lola and Milo, try to infiltrate Satan's party, accept his bet and, in the process of trying to drink more than Lucifer himself, they can even see if he's down to clown.

  • BioWare

    'Anthem' is proof that crunch can't save AAA games

    by 
    Jessica Conditt
    Jessica Conditt
    04.04.2019

    Anthem is a fiery mess. Since launching in February, BioWare's loot shooter has been plagued by game-breaking bugs, narrative and gameplay inconsistencies and an overwhelming sense of incomplete blandness. Critically, Anthem has received middling reviews, and its current Metacritic score, 55, is the lowest a BioWare title has ever received. Yes, that includes Mass Effect: Andromeda. A report out of Kotaku this week helps explain why Anthem is in disarray, and it shines a light on a consistent and increasingly public issue in AAA development: crunch.