Humble Indie Bundle 3 has begun, with 5 new games being offered: Crayon Physics Deluxe, Cogs, VVVVVV, Hammerfight, and And Yet It Moves. As usual, the bundle is pay-what-you-want and DRM-free, and you can choose to split the money however you like between the developers and charity (Child’s Play and the EFF). All the games are available for PC, Mac, and Linux.
For many of the games, this is their debut on Mac or Linux, and bonus content has been added to Hammerfight (Survival Mode), VVVVVV (a map editor and a bonus level by Minecraft’s creator, Notch), and AYIM.
His first game about drawing, Crayon Physics Deluxe, won the IGF Grand Prize in 2008 and since then, Petri Purho has been developing experimental games on a monthly basis. Cut It is his most recent project and features similar concepts seen in Crayon Physics, but also introduces new ideas and offers a solid concept from which the crayon master can draw on.
The gameplay is simple enough: use scissors to cut a straight line across various pieces of construction paper in order to make the white square land on the green paper and be at a standstill for a few seconds. There are multiple ways to complete each level, and apparently every level is possible to complete with a single snip. The gameplay itself is simple, offering no additional mechanics such as those seen in Crayon Physics Deluxe because it is only an experimental tech demo.
For those who were unable to attend, and those who want to relive the magic:
Also, the GDC Vault has released 3 videos: Jason Rohrer’s IGS session, titled “Beyond Single-Player,” The Indie Game Maker Rant, and The Game Design Challenge: My First Time, which features Heather “moboid” Kelley and Erin “The Ivy” Robinson. Thanks, Simon!
Hopefully more is on the way!
12:02 – I finally got into this session, which was supposed to start at 11:45ish. It’s PACKED, mostly because nobody from the previous session left. The basic idea, which was conceived by Phil Fish (Fez), is that various game developers get up and rant about something, anything, for 5 minutes. Phil was the MC for the session, and also participated.
Coming in late, I unfortunately missed Heather Kelley‘s rant – it was ending as I came in. Mark Johns just got up. He reminds us that he’s the creator of Shit Game, and is thus in the best position to talk about games and art. Some highlights of his rant include his assertion that critics of games as an art form, like Roger Ebert, will someday die and a reference to the somewhat notorious article about messhof in the New York Times. (One hopes that the NYTimes, which is in attendance, takes the mention in stride.)
12:05 – Steve Swink is up. He’s a designer at Flashbang/Blurst and also one of the IGS organizers. His rant is titled “Ethical Game Design.” He’s talking about personal freedom by using furries as an example. (Looking up at his scattered manbeard, I think he might be one!)
Steve equates ethical game design at least in part with making use of our freedom by creating worthwhile activities. “Don’t make the video equivalent of fast food and cigarettes. Don’t waste people’s fucking time.” “Worthwhile” is obviously kind of a difficult thing to define. Is it social? Is it about changing our way of thinking? Is it happiness?
And then Steve’s time is up.
12:11 – Infinite Ammo‘s Chris Lobay just got up. He has a film background, so he’s tying auteur theory to game development. He argues that independent game developers all fit the mold of the auteur. Game development, he posits, should not be decided by committee.
12:16 – Erin “Ivy” Robinson starts by revealing that she’s working on a new game called “Puzzle Bots.” And hey, now she’s talking about humor in games and using the TIGSource Demakes Compo as an example. Hold Me Closer, Giant Dancer is shown on screen and gets some hearty chuckles out of the crowd.
She just did a “dramatic reading” of Gears of War 2. Marcus Fenix and Augustus Cole wax poetic about how many metric shit-tons of locusts must be down there. Somewhere, an undead Marcel Proust facepalms.
Erin talks about some modern examples of mainstream games which employ humor, including Little Big Planet and Spore. She ends by talking about satire and the awful PETA game Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals. It’s Majesco’s straight-faced response that draws the most laughs.
12:21 – “Those crazy artists from ”http://tale-of-tales.com/“>Tale of Tales” are up! Auriea Harvey opens by saying that this is “a slightly meditative conceptual rant about being an indie developer.”
Auriea and MichaÃ«l wonder openly what it is that indie developers are independent of, exactly? They are taking turns reading out loud the various possibilities (which are displayed on the projector with occasional images). I can’t write them all down, but here are a few of the things they’re mentioning: game publishers and developers, time spent with loved ones, clothing, sexual orientation, web 2.0, C++, Shigeru Miyamoto, CliffyB, ideologies, morality, success, air, Edge Magazine, Steam, XBLA, language, Final Fantasy, TIGSource Forums, love, pets, Simon Carless (who I’m sitting right next to), mortality (a picture of Paul “rinkuhero” Eres accompanies the slide), Google, debugging, object-oriented programming, and finally, whether or not games are art and whether the audience thinks they are pretentious for making their rant.
They’re walking off with a simple picture of the Earth on the projector. Phil Fish says “Thank you for that. I mean it!”
12:25 – thatgamecompany‘s Kellee Santiago wants to talk about that step “after games are art.” She’s comparing games to radio and television.
In what strikes me as a very Obama-esque moment, she rallies developers to work together to bring about change in the games industry.
12:32 – Mare from metanet takes the rant to a more directly practical area by talking about why demos are important. Her main point is that there are cons from the developer’s perspective, but not from a consumer’s perspective.
12:34 – Raigan, the other half of metanet, proposes some solutions to making 3d games easier to create. He talks briefly about using simple shapes like boxes, non-photorealistic rendering (e.g. NPR Quake), and post-processing (e.g. Textmode Quake).
12:38 – “Up next: me,” says Phil. He says he couldn’t think of anything, so he’s taking requests from the audience. Someone asks him what the most important thing about Fez is for him, and he fumbles a bit before exclaiming that this was a stupid idea.
Someone then shouts out “What’s wrong with the IGF?” Which is probably the best thing that could have happened at this point. The rant begins.
“IGF is broken! ”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PixelJunk_Eden">[Pixeljunk] Eden should not be nominated for IGF." Phil says the rules for entry are “hell” of vague. “I have a problem with a guy entering IGF who created Star Fox for fuck’s sake. What if portal was entered in IGF? Would anyone here have a problem with that?” He asserts that he likes the game itself, but compares Erik SvedÃ¤ng’s Blueberry Garden, which was made by a single guy in a bedroom or basement, with games backed by large companies.
“The [IGF 2008] Art Award for Fez made me.” Phil mentions young developers on TIGSource who don’t even have $100 to spend on the IGF admission fee. “What’s 100 dollars to Q-Games? It’s like a fart.” He thinks Eden’s submission was a “cynical marketing campaign” meant to promote their upcoming expansion pack (to be announced at GDC later this week).
12:42 – Simon Carless gets up and walks to the podium with a smile on his face. “Are you going to stop me?” asks Phil (sincerely, I should note, and not like a guy going crazy on PCP, as you might read it).
Simon addresses the audience and says that he’s the director of IGF. He wants to clarify that Eden was submitted long before the expansion had been announced.
Phil ends by saying that he’s so proud of being indie, that it kind of drives him nuts that it’s so hard to define.
12:44 – In response to Phil’s rant, Matthew Wegner comes on stage briefly to mention that there are 22 finalist games, some of which have bigger teams than Eden, and suggests that we celebrate how wide the spectrum of IGF finalists is.
12:45 – Petri Purho is attempting to do the impossible – to make a game in the 5 minutes allotted to him for the rant. The room, already pretty riled, applauds wildly. “This is the indiest thing you can do,” exclaims Petri. Somewhere in the distance, a wolf howls.
Petri’s got Visual C++ open on his screen. “I already have a basic framework…” It crashes as Petri tries to compile it, to laughter. Erik SvedÃ¤ng got people to write game ideas onto slips of paper for Petri to use in his game. The first idea is pulled out of the bag.
“…Peggles?” The audience seems to generally think that this is a shitty idea, so they pull out another one. “Ragdolls.” Okay… Petri starts coding away like a madman, cursing like a Finnish sailor. “FFFFFFUCK. This is the worst idea.”
With 2 minutes left, Petri tries to compile, but there’s a bug. “Fuck.” After a couple of tweaks, success. A wireframe ragdoll falls from the top of the screen and hits the ground, to the cheers of the crowd.
“We still have to add Peggles to the game.”
With roughly 1 minute remaining, Petri stands up and beats on the keyboard like the drummer on a Nordic slave ship. Even though we’re indoors, a warm breeze somehow makes its way into the room and unravels his ponytail, sending his flaxen hair waving as Wagner’s Flight of the Valkyries is pumped in through Moscone’s humble speakers. Code is scrolling across the screen like it’s The motherfraggin’ Matrix. Men and women alike unconsciously lift their shirts and display their chests to this… this… Finnish demigod of game development.
But even Odin himself couldn’t beat these odds – the final grains of sands are making their way to the bottom of the hourglass.
“Cactus, help me!”
And the young Swede jumps on stage and the two of them create what can only be described as RagnarÃ¶k on a laptop. A game made in 5 minutes. About ragdolls. And Peggles. It is done.
Phil returns to the podium as the duo are carried away by a heraldic griffon. “Welcome to the first and probably last indie game rant.”
Somewhere in the distance, a stag whispers its final breath and dies alone in the forest: “Indie Games.”
Make My Head Grow is a two player competitive game of head-smashing and box-pushing, made within 48 hours, that recently cleaned up at the 2009 Nordic Game Jam. I find its gameplay remarkably disturbing.
While I’m here, I might as well post Petri‘s “experimental art game” entry (which apparently Heather and ’ Site">Cactus contributed to) called <a href=“http://www.kloonigames.com/blog/games/4mins33secs” title=“4’33” of Uniqueness">4â€²33â€³ of Uniqueness. It makes me feel a little bit sad.
Check out Kokoromi’s site for more info and also pictures as well!
Some great news to report: Mousechief Co.‘s Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble has been nominated by the Writers Guild Association for “”http://www.wga.org/awards/awardssub.aspx?id=1516#videogame">Best Writing in a Videogame [sic]," an honor it shares with Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, Fallout 3, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and Tomb Raider: Underworld (I didn’t know boobs could talk!). The WGA Awards have been celebrating writing in television, radio, and movies for 60 years, and added an award for video games just last year. The 2009 show will take place on Saturday, February 7th.
Also: Petri Purho’s Crayon Physics went on sale January 7th, and shortly thereafter became stripped by the popular gaming webcomic Penny Arcade. PA, which has been dabbling in independent game development through its episodic adventure-RPG and its online game store, has been friendly toward indies in its comic before, when it mocked the internets outrage over Braid’s $15 price point on XBLA this past summer.
Congratulations on both the release and the comic, Petri! You should ask them for a print of that one, if you haven’t already.
Finally, I’m pleased to report that TIGSource was picked as one of the Guardian’s 100 Top Sites for the Year Ahead, along with Eurogamer, Pocket Gamer, Metacritic, and Jay is Games. We even made it to print (many thanks, Harvey James)! Not only that, but I picked up a copy of the latest PC Gamer US last week, to find that they did a full page on the Bootleg Demakes Competition. The compo has also been mentioned in the UK edition of the magazine.
2008 was undoubtedly a big year for the independent side of games, and also for TIGS (and for me personally, as an aside). As we start in on 2009 we’re looking at a very interesting and slightly controversial IGF, and, with so many big releases out of the way, I can’t help but feel that there’s a somewhat bigger question mark hanging over this year. Or is that always the case? But anyway, when it comes to games, I personally enjoy a surprise, and I can already tell there are going to be a lot of them in the months to come. If you’re looking to make a splash, now is always the time to do it. Let’s make it a good one!
There’s a brand spankin’ new website for Crayon Physics Deluxe. You can now pre-order the IGF award-winning physics game through PayPal, for $14.95 ($5 off the full price). That will also get you into the beta, whenever it starts. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that Petri can get this game out in 2008! That would pretty much cap off what I feel is the best year for independent gaming yet. Wouldn’t it?
Jimmy’s Lost His Toilet Paper, and you’ve got to go find it! This is a new 7-day game from Petri “Fuck Yeah!” Purho. In each level you’ve got to roll up the loose toilet paper and head toward the exit, a task which is made much more difficult by platforms, crates, and other obstacles. The concept is not only incredibly cute, but it works great in practice, and creates some interesting (and challenging) physical puzzles. I’d love to see Petri polish it up a bit more (Ã la Crayon Physics)… for one thing, it could definitely benefit from some kind of save feature/level select screen.
I wanted my next post to be about a game, but this is too fun not to share. Petri Purho has put up a gallery of crayon drawings he collected from various other indie developers at GDC this year.
Thanks for the tip, Data… who also happens to be the artist of the above image!
Thanks to Hideous for scanning/translating for us an interview with Petri Purho in Swedish gaming magazine LEVEL! Petri is the creator of countless experimental games, including the IGF 2008 Grand Prize winner, Crayon Physics Deluxe. He also summons demons onto Earth when he undoes his ponytail and starts wailing on the guitar.
Here’s the scan, and here’s the translation:
In Finland, there’s a guy playing with crayons and physics on a computer screen. How can you not love something like that? Time to talk to Petri Purho.
So who is Petri Purho?
Well, I was born in 1983 in Kouvola, Finland. For almost 16 years I’ve had game programming as a hobby and I’ve worked on different projects. During fall 2006 I started Kloonigames with the idea of releasing a new game every month on the internet. Except for when I had a months vacation, I managed to do that.
How did you get the idea of Crayon Physics Deluxe?
I got the idea when I heard about a children’s book named ‘Pelle and the red crayon" and it’s about a kid who draws the world with crayons. That’s the basic concept of what I’m working on right now. You can draw whatever you want instead of just rectangles, and that opens up new possibilities and a free, interactive world.
What’s the hardest thing about designing a world like this and the endless amount of variables that you have to predict?
First I thought the biggest problem would be the open nature of the game, and that people would cheat through the levels. Then I found out that that’s not a problem since Crayon Physics Deluxe is not about finding a specific solution, but more about getting the players to find creative solutions. Personally, the most fun thing about it is finding unnecessarily complicated solutions to solve very simple tasks. So the biggest challenge is to create challenging puzzles without at the same time limiting the player’s creativity.
Will you be able to create your own levels?
Absolutely, the game will include a level editor that you can play around with, so if anyone hates my puzzles, they can create their own.
Crayon Physics Deluxe looks like it’s the Nintendo DS’ best friend. Do you have any plans on trying to create the game for different platforms?
The problem is that it’s hard to find a publisher, money and so forth to be able to publish the game on the Nintendo DS, but I would love to play it on that machine.
You released the prototype for free, but what will you do with CPD?
I’m going to try to sell it on my website for about $20 and there will of course be a demo that you can download and try first.
And finally, will I be able to draw penises in the game?
Absolutely. That’s what I do all the time. And if you’re like me and you like to draw penises, you can make that your goal: To clear all the puzzles in CPD just by drawing penises.