Yo, I’m in Washington right now for PAX (first time)! The show starts tomorrow, but today I got to attend a Microsoft event where some indies were in attendence. Slick Entertainment was one of the teams present, and they were showing off Scrap Metal, a “cars with guns” racing game that’s coming out to XBLA next year. As a fan of Rock n’ Roll Racing, RC Pro AM, Off Road, etc., I’m very excited about this one. The handling and physics felt great, and the action was raucous.
The inimitable and cheeky Introversion guys were also present and had Darwinia+ available to play. This game includes both the IGF award-winning Darwinia as well as Multiwinia (shown in the video above). I enjoyed Darwinia a lot but hadn’t ever played Multiwinia, mostly due to my aversion to multiplayer-only games (this might change now that I’ve tried Left 4 Dead 2). But hell, Multiwinia is great fun in singleplayer mode against the computer, too. I’ll be looking forward to grabbing D+ for the full experience.
And finally… Fez wasn’t on hand at the event, but it is coming out for Live Arcade in 2010 and there is some new footage of it in this episode of G4’s Electric Playground (around the 6:00 mark).
Slick Entertainment, which put metanet’s N+ onto XBLA, has announced their first title, Scrap Metal. What little information there is about the game so far is in this video. Cars. Guns. Explosions! I love Rock n’ Roll Racing, so I’m already excited about this. But as I already suggested to Slick’s Nick Waanders, “I want to see more colorful colors!”
I guess metanet and Nick Waander’s “”http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3583/n_beyond_the_postmortem.php">Beyond the Postmortem" interview (which was incidentally conducted by insert credit’s Brandon Sheffield) sparked some controversy, because they were so candid about some of the failings of the service. One of the biggest being that the ratio of good games (like N+) to bad (like Toyota Yaris Racing) is totally out of whack.
metanet has since clarified their position a bit by saying that the people they worked with at Microsoft were good, and that they weren’t complaining about their sales (N+ was released after the interview).
But overall, what they said was much less controversial than I thought it would be (natch). It’s obvious to anyone who follows XBLA that there are way too many crappy games on the system. I’m sure part of the reason is that legitimately good developers are put off by the service’s notoriously difficult certification process (Minter rant alert), and prohibitive cost (possibly upwards of $125,000). And, of course, there was the bomb dropped around GDC 2008 that royalty rates have since slipped from 70% to 35-45% (depending on your sales).
The obvious fallout from all this is that Sony and Nintendo can probably look forward to an exodus of developers to their systems in the coming months.
Nick Waanders, of Slick Entertainment, has released the slides for his and mare’s N+ postmortem. Slick did the development for N+ for XBLA.
Kotaku actually has a nice write-up of the game, where they laud, among other things, the excellent multiplayer co-op:
I’m seriously (srsly) sad that I’m nowhere near an Xbox 360 with Live support right now. Good co-op is so rare in games…