Posts from 2007

War Angels Post-Mortem

By: Derek Yu

On: August 21st, 2007

war angels creativity vs. time graph

Hamish McLeod has a nice post-mortem for War Angels up on his blog. An entertaining and self-reflective article, and certainly anyone who has been on a project that’s spiraled out of control can empathize. I especially like the graph shown above! It’s a pretty accurate depiction of game development.

The only way I can make games is by adhering to my own creative vision. By taking in outside input and ‘adjusting’ my vision, the game suffered. By fixing the game in stone, on a schedule I created, and not letting it grow with myself, I had sealed the fate of my game.

I think where scheduling can be useful is in planning and executing a game project that can be finished before you get to the point where the red, blue, and green lines start diverging. Creativity is boundless, but time, resources, and skills are not. You have to manage that on a large-scale project. And, to a certain extent, I feel like a lack of satisfaction with one’s work goes hand-in-hand with being a creator. It’s what drives you, right?

Regardless, I hope that Hamish gets back into game development sometime in the near future. C’mon, man, you know you still got that itch!

IGF 2008 Finalists and Winners Get Lawyerly Help

By: Derek Yu

On: August 21st, 2007

tom buscaglia

Gamasutra reveals that all the finalists for this year’s IGF will receive help from “Game Attorney” Tom Buscaglia, with winners receiving some one-on-one consultation.

All Finalists – All finalists will receive a free copy of Buscaglia’s Game Dev Kit. The Kit contains essential information and forms for new independent game developers: Starting a company, contracts and NDAs, and advice on managing copyrights and intellectual property ($295 value).
Category Winners – In addition to the $2,500 cash prize, winners of each of the seven major awards will also receive a free one-hour consultation with Buscaglia ($400 value).
Seumas McNally Grand Prize – In addition to the $20,000 cash prize, the Seumas McNally Grand Prize winner will also receive ten hours of free consultation with Buscaglia ($4,000 value).

Nice work from Simon (source!), Steve, and Matt! The IGF is in great hands.

Least Best Room v0.1

By: Derek Yu

On: August 20th, 2007

least best room

I do declare that Tim W. has been chosen as the Prophet for the Great Wazoo, Kenta Cho. All hail Tim! All hail Kenta Cho!

But yeah, Timmy found a very early version of a very unconventional Flash shoot em’ up, called Least Best Room. (I wonder what the name means. I imagine it has something to do with math? Or is it just the lack of space?) I really like the basic mechanics of the game, which have you squeezing past red “balloons” and dodging mines. You can press “z” to inflate the balloons and burst them. All the while you must replenish your green energy bar up top.

The squeezing concept and the ticking timer do a good job of inducing panic. It hasn’t felt this good to make my way through a crowd since Dead Rising… I’m looking forward to v1.0!

Gameplay video courtesy of Adigun Polack!

YAJBI: Yet Another J. Blow Interview

By: ARelativelyHotGirl

On: August 20th, 2007

To celebrate Graham Goring’s first TIGS post, I thought it was topical to bring up this keynote speech from Melbourne’s Free Play Conference with Braid creator, Jonathon Blow – who has apparently traveled to Australia to publicly dismember World of Warcraft while (I assume) exposing his massive biceps.

He also encouraged attendees to try The Marriage by Rod Humble. “If you care about the future of games as art, it’s a significant milestone.”

Oh dear!

The full speech (yes, I suppose its not really an interview, is it?) can be found at The Age’s website.

(Also, JB has entered the B-Game Compo! Be afraid. Very afraid.)

Raptor 2 (doo-doo, push pineapple, shake the tree)

By: Graham Goring

On: August 20th, 2007


Raaaaargh! RAAAAARGH!

Dinosaurs are ace – FACT! But games featuring dinosaurs have often been crap, like Chuck Rock, Adventure Island and Rampage. I mention those three because I’m sure that someone here holds them near and dear and their rage should at least bulk out the comments section.

Luckily, Bouncing Fox Software is here to redress that balance with Raptor 2, sequel to the couldn’t-be-arsed-to-play-that-as-the-screenshot-looked-a-bit-boring-game Raptor. I should mention that I shall be rectifying that mistake forthwith, given how the sequel is shaping up.

In Raptor 2 you’re tasked with stopping a giant meteor from hitting earth. As goals in games go this is not only a bit demanding considering you’re a dinosaur with crappy little arms, but also – should you succeed – it would have pretty shitty repercussions for the rest of us in the modern day.

This boils down to some really very good platforming courtesy of a nimble and versatile main character who can climb up vertical surfaces, leaping from one to the other. You can also attack things, but truth be told that aspect of the gameplay has proven to be a bit crap so far.

Aaaanyhoo, even though the graphics are a little plain and desaturated for my liking, this game is supremely likeable thanks to solid platforming gameplay combined with a genuinely funny, punchy and knowing script which doesn’t outstay its welcome and which made me laugh out loud on several occasions.

Mind you, I’m halfway tempted to recommend you wait for the finished version as it will allow you to configure your keys. The current control set-up is spread around the keyboard far too much for my liking and couldn’t be less friendly if the instructions required you to plug in a second keyboard for the Walk Left button. Also, the manner in which it attempts to cram multiple functions on a pair of keys is a bit counter-intuitive. I’m all for context-sensitive controls, but these don’t feel right and need a bit of reworking.

But despite those quibbles, you should get downloading! Or if you’re lazy, have a look at the 5.5Mb Quicktime trailer movie instead.

(Source: The Mighty Tim!)


By: Derek Yu

On: August 20th, 2007

castlevania rl

Slash, who runs the wonderful Temple of the Roguelike, wrote to inform me that version 1.26 of his CastlevaniaRL is finished! The game has been out a while, but a crashing bug with the graphical version kept me from posting about it. Now that is totally fixed and the game is very much playable in both ASCII or tiles!

CastlevaniaRL remains very true to the series it’s based off, and it’s both a blessing and a curse (pun?), since it kind of compromises both Castlevania games and Roguelike games, in my opinion. At its best, CastlevaniaRL can be a fun and fast-paced RL, filled with awesome shout-outs to the original games, and at it’s worst, it mixes the linearity of action games with the complexity of Roguelikes.

A good example of this problem, I think, is Stage 2, when you are forced to cross a very long, narrow, Castlevania-esque bridge, guarded by mermen and skeletons. Here, the possibilities for exploration and tactical strategy that make RL’s so interesting are diminished, and yet the controls remain cumbersome. Having to jump over a gap in the bridge (by first pressing “j” and then choosing a direction for my jump) feels like something I’m forced to do simply because Castlevania had me do it, and not because it serves the game’s design.

Still, CastlevaniaRL has many, many great things going for it, including some really interesting class options and a beautiful graphical tileset. The way Slash handled movement between different elevations is awesome, too. And at it’s heart, it’s a fun game that’s simple enough for a beginner to get into, but with enough challenge and variety to interest longer-time players. But in order to reach “classic” status, I think there needs to be more focus on balancing the game to be a Roguelike over being true to Castlevania.

Ye Olde TIGSource (Part 3)

By: ithamore

On: August 19th, 2007

<img src=“” width=“240” height=“193” alt=“Bob on bed censored” hspace=10 vspace=10 align=right />We now learn Flaming Pear fell upon such bad luck that not only did he have to abandon TIGSource; even the $40 refund he would receive by canceling service with his domain host would help out. Lucky for us, Puppygames donated the necessary funds and Derek took the controls. Then TIGSource began to shape into the site we know and love.

Of note for this installment: Cave Story gets its first appearances on TIGSource, PomPom is interviewed, we learn of Derek’s ex-girlfriend’s inappropriate relationship with Snood (might this ex be the Video Games we read about several posts ago), PopCap is mentioned thrice with no ill word typed, and the announcement of the Sexiest Indie Gamer of All Time Contest (which helped to bolster the self esteem of indie gamers while inadvertently gaining the website some additional search engine hits from “special” keywords).

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine’s Day!

<img src=“” width=“240” height=“177” alt=“Heart Attack” hspace=10 vspace=10 align=left />

For those of you with special Valentines, good luck and may you get lucky. For those of you free of the burden, now’s the time for an extra helping of self-lovin’. Remember, you are all beautiful people. So here’s a little indie gaming treat on this romantic holiday.

posted by Derek Yu

Sunday, February 13, 2005

The First Contest Sponsor!

And it’s none other than (drumroll, please)…

<img src=“” width=“400” height=“110” alt=“moonpod_logo_big” hspace=10 vspace=10 />

That’s right, Moonpod, creators of the hit indie game Starscape, are sponsoring our contest “The Sexiest Indie Gamer of All Time”, and donating not only a copy of Starscape for the winner, but also a limited-edition mousepad featuring the lovable Mr. Robot.

<img src=“” width=“240” height=“180” alt=“mrrobotpad” hspace=10 vspace=10 align=left />

The contest page has been updated with the appropriate info, and I’ve tried to reformat it to make it more clear. I knew that it would take some big names to get some of you to take the contest seriously (well, don’t take it TOO seriously, it’s all in the name of fun), so here you go! There will be more sponsors to come! Keep the submissions coming in!

And many thanks to Moonpod!

posted by Derek Yu

Doukutsu Monogatari Madness

According to my calculations, Doukutsu Monogatari (“Cave Story”) web searches are accounting for almost a third of our referrals. So, I was thinking that I’d actually give all you Cave Story fans what you wanted, and maybe put up a guide to the game on the site, with screenshots and such. If you’re interested, post in the comments!

posted by Derek Yu

The Power of Personality

Thomas Warfield, the creator of Pretty Good Solitaire, has an interesting, well-written blog that I just discovered. The post that caught my attention today was titled “The Power of Personality”, where Thomas discusses how a developer’s personality can show through in a game and really go a long way to making a game fun, or even just different. Specifically, he mentions Snood, a game that’s received the coveted status of mainstream popularity as well as the jealous eyes of other indie developers who see it as nothing more than an ugly Puzzle Bobble clone.

<img src=“” width=“240” height=“188” alt=“snood” hspace=10 vspace=10 align=left />I think Thomas makes some very good points. However, in the case of Snood, I feel that he missed something key – namely, that so-called “hardcore” gamers have a much more discerning eye for graphics and originality and we definitely take it out on our games. As a fan of Puzzle Bobble, I dismissed Snood almost immediately as an ugly clone when it first came out (I probably ticked off a quick review of the game in my head and gave it like 1 floppy disk out of 5 or something). But for my girlfriend at the time, who’s not nearly as much of a gaming nerd as myself, those things didn’t matter. She was looking for a quick, SIMPLE, game to play, and that’s exactly what Snood provided. That fact that it had ugly graphics and redundant gameplay was moot.

A few months later, I walked in on her while she was in bed with Snood, so we broke up.

posted by Derek Yu

Saturday, February 12, 2005

TIGSource Interviews PomPom

Our stable of indie interviews grows as I shoot the proverbial shit with Michael Michael, head graphics and sound guy at PomPom Games. This interview is, dare I say it, about a million times more interesting than the last one we had – you know, the one with that idiot that made Eternal Daughter. Anyway, click here if you want to find out about PomPom’s next game and where you can buy the best drugs in the UK (just kidding about that last part).

posted by Derek Yu

Dark Horizons: Lore Invasion on Linspire

Garage Games has announced that Dark Horizons: Lore Invasion will be released exclusively on Linspire, a Linux-based operating system, with Windows, Mac, and other Linux distros to follow soon.

I’m kind of confused as to how Dark Horizons: Lore Invasion differs from Dark Horizons: Lore, as there doesn’t seem to be much info about the game anywhere. Is it a new game, or more of an expansion? Dur?

posted by Derek Yu

IGF Audience Awards: Vote Now!

In past years, the GDC attendees have voted at the conference for the Audience Award winners. This year, in collaboration with the IGF, GameSpot is offering our audience the opportunity to vote as well. Check out the 10 finalists in both the Web/Downloadable and Open categories, and cast your votes today!

This is going to be a tough election.

posted by Derek Yu

Moonpod’s January Dev Diary

<img src=“” width=“128” height=“128” alt=“miniGuardian” hspace=10 vspace=10 align=left />Moonpod‘s development diaries are becoming increasingly good reads for me, revealing all kinds of behind-the-scenes happenings and lots of nifty screenshots. Their current project, Mr. Robot, is an isometric action/adventure game in the same vein as old Speccy classics like Knightlore and Head Over Heels. This month’s dev diary reveals a bunch of the enemies from the game and talks extensively about lighting and texturing. It’s looking great.

posted by Derek Yu

Friday, February 11, 2005

Dragon Spires 2

Dragon Spires 2 is the Java-based 2D multiplayer online RPG that puts lead in your pencil. A very non-traditional medieval RPG, DS2 currently has a very small, but active, group of members (including myself) that has been around since the very first iterations of the game. The current version is in alpha, but there’s still plenty to see and do, and the game’s creators encourage users to build their own mods for the game and help develop it further.

posted by Derek Yu

Valentine’s Pack for Magic Ball II

Alawar is releasing a Valentine’s Pack for Magic Ball II. The pack costs $14.95 and you must own the registered version of Magic Ball II to play it. Time to git yo’ indie game freak on, on Valentine’s Day.

The add-on includes 100 never-before-seen levels of 3D brick-busting action, six new animated characters and visual surprises that celebrate the beloved holiday of sweethearts the world over.

posted by Derek Yu


<img src=“” width=“240” height=“180” alt=“Blockland” hspace=10 vspace=10 align=left />I don’t think I can describe this ANY better than the fine folks at Insert Credit can, so here you go:

If saucy polygons don’t tempt you, Blockland is “a non-competitive multiplayer game where you build with interconnecting bricks” – basically, a free online multiplayer ‘Lego’-style construction kit. It’s still an early Beta right now, but the first screenshots look quite promising. You might find some people from the forum working on spectacular projects if you log in.

posted by Derek Yu

Info on Darwinia Modding

The Next Game, a Darwinia fan site, has some interesting info on its front page about modding Darwinia. There is an editor, apparently, but you can’t unlock it until you beat the game. Check out the site for the complete story.

posted by Derek Yu

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Who is the Sexiest Indie Gamer of All Time?


posted by Derek Yu

Hunted to Extinction II

I just discovered this (very free) game today. It’s called Hunted to Extinction II, and it’s an online RPG/battle game that you can play in your browser. Using a party of four characters, you challenge other users to Final Fantasy-style battles and then gain experience and gold based on the outcome. From there you can upgrade to different jobs and buy weapons and armor. The game is mainly text-based, but the characters are displayed using graphics from various SNES-era Final Fantasy games.

It’s quite fun and easy to play. My username is “bossquibble”, so if you see me, feel free to challenge me to a duel (I’ll probably lose)!

posted by Derek Yu

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Bring Your Resume to Seattle…

… for the Seattle Video Game Industry Job Conference and Resume Workshop this Saturday, February 12th. Lots of companies are hiring, including some indies like PopCap and Zango.

This event is designed for students and professionals looking to get into the industry as well as existing industry insiders looking for new opportunities. For artists, programmers, designers, business professionals, musicians and writers.


posted by Derek Yu Interviews Max Gaming just interviewed Adrian Wright and Logan Foster of Max Gaming Technologies, and it’s a good, long read. These charming gents are the masterminds behind the multiplayer online Mech game Dark Horizons Lore. Lore happens to be one of the finalists in this year’s Independent Games Festival. (Shoot, that was a lot of links in one paragraph.)

(Source: Garage Games)

posted by Derek Yu

Gamasutra: 2004’s Most Creative Games

Creativity seems to be a big issue in the game industry these days. Gamasutra recently posed a question to its readers: “What was the most creative game of 2004 and why?” Of course, a lot of people mentioned indie titles, including Alien Hominid, Gish, and Outpost Kaloki. Click here for the full skinny.

(I was also pleasantly surprised to see some neat pixel art from the designer drububu featured in the article.)

posted by Derek Yu

Burger King = Classic Games?

That’s right. For a limited time, if you can choke down a Kid’s Meal you can get a free handheld with a classic Activision game on it! The games available are Kaboom!, Grand Prix, Tennis and Barnstorming.

(Source: Joystiq)

posted by Derek Yu

PC Shmup Database

Roger Post’s PC Shmup Database has a huge collection of links to PC shmups, mainly of the indie and Japanese variety. If you’re in the mood for a good shmup (and honestly, who isn’t?), it seems like the place to go! Thanks, Roger!

posted by Derek Yu

Spellcaster Review

<img src=“” width=“240” height=“180” alt=“Spellcaster” hspace=10 vspace=10 align=left />

David Laprad sends word that he’s got a review of Superluminal’s Spellcaster up on Game Xtazy. Spellcaster is a word-finding game that’s similar to PopCap’s Bookworm, but with a dash of Harry Potter. Anyway, I’ve played the demo myself, and it seems like David’s review is pretty spot on.

posted by Derek Yu

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Darwinia Demo v1.1!

Alright, the new Darwinia demo is finally out! This demo adds a more detailed tutorial and also fixes some registry problems and other stuff.

My take? It’s much better. Not perfect by any sense of the word, but much better. There’s actually a narrative this time, which immediately draws you in. You have… purpose (cue angels singing).

In fact, I actually finished this version of the demo and the highest praise I have to give the game is that when it was all over, I didn’t want to leave. I just kind of roamed around and watched my Darwinians for a while and admired the landscape. That’s impressive as hell.

So yeah, I think it’ll be worth the fifty some dollars (29.99 GBP) I’ll be paying for it. It’s expensive for an “indie game”, I know, but dammit, when is an indie game just a good game? When it’s Darwinia, of course.

[v1.1 can still be downloaded from 3D Gamers.]

posted by Derek Yu

Creativity on the Decline in Industry?

Well, no sh… excuse me. A couple of interesting articles from the “legit” gaming press. The first is a Gamespy report on a speech Tim Schafer – the founder of Double Fine – gave at this year’s DICE Summit. It’s on taking risks in the game industry, and here’s a choice quote from that:

He noted that, when publishers looked at a game, “Creative” almost became a stigma. “Wow, that’s really … creative,” people would say. He joked that when his team heard those fateful words they started packing up their bags.

What disturbed him the most was this actual quote from an executive at a large publisher: “This is really great. This is creative. It’s too bad people aren’t going for creative stuff right now.”

The other article is from IGN, titled “The Fight for Original Games”:

But depending on who you speak with, the videogame industry is either reaching the most impressive convergence of its entire 30-plus year old existence, or it’s falling into a never-ending death spiral of sequel-heavy, rehashed, franchise dominated blocks of stinking cheese.

Well dang, that’s just sad, really. Just remember, as a consumer, you have the power to decide what games get made and what games don’t. Next time you have 50 bucks burning a hole in your pocket, think about picking up an innovative little underdog (or maybe even two or three) over the next installment of some big-namer licensed crap. Oi!

posted by Derek Yu


<img src=“” width=“240” height=“185” alt=“ShortHike” hspace=10 vspace=10 align=left />ShortHike is Kai Backman’s rather interesting experiment in indie gaming. Rather than making people plunk down money once for a game that may or may not be supported a year from now, Kai is allowing people to buy a yearly membership into what he calls a “guild”. That is, a dedicated community around his game, and the assurance that, as long as you stay a member, he will stick around and provide top notch support for many years to come. That includes bug-fixing, updates, upgrades, and new content. Certainly a lot more than just a game and some patches.

What’s the game, you ask? Well, it’s a space settlement simulation, which means that most of you probably just went “YAWN”. But for the minority group that’s into these types of technical simulations, this could be a dream come true. The community does seem to be quite active, and with this guild business it sounds as though you’ll have the developer’s support for quite a long time.

If you want Kai’s full spiel on why you should join, go here. Otherwise, the game’s homepage is right here. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot on the actual game at the moment, but maybe that’s not important if you know it’s a space settlement simulation. The renders seem nice.

posted by Derek Yu

Monday, February 07, 2005

Sea Wolves

Continuing with the naval theme, Alawar Entertainment has released Sea Wolves, which looks like it’s an action/arcade-style shooter on the open seas. You’re a pirate, I think. I don’t know, I wanted to try it, but I had some problems with the demo’s installation. Damn.

(Source: DIY Games)

posted by Derek Yu

Lost Admiral Returns

<img src=“” width=“240” height=“180” alt=“Lost Admiral Returns” hspace=10 vspace=10 align=left />Fogstone Games has released Lost Admiral Returns, an update to the 1991 classic, Lost Admiral (which I never played). It looks like a solid turn-based strategy game for naval war buffs. The game is going for $19.95, but you can download a 30-day demo for free from their site.

(Source: DIY Games)

posted by Derek Yu

X-Box Live Arcade

X-Box Live Arcade seems like a very good thing for indie developers, and I hope it starts a trend. The basic idea is that you get to pay for and download classic and indie titles through X-Box Live. Sounds good in theory, and they’ve already signed with well-known indie developers like PopCap and PomPom. Has anyone had any personal experience with it?

posted by Derek Yu

Weird Worlds Site Up

Hey, I just noticed that Digital Eel’s got a page up for Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, the sequel to its successful space-faring game Strange Adventures in Infinite Space. There’s not much up yet, but there’s a little information on the game, at least:

The universe is expanding in both size and depth. Whereas the tag line for SAIS was “Explore the galaxy…in 20 minutes or less!”, the Weird Worlds motto might be “Explore the galaxy…in 20 minutes or more!” Weird Worlds is larger, prettier, more detailed, more deadly and even stranger than its predecessor!

Sounds good to me!

posted by Derek

Doukutsu Guide

<img src=“” width=“80” height=“80” alt=“Cave” hspace=10 vspace=10 align=left />Doukutsu Monogatari is full of secrets. Along with all the different weapons and stuff, there’s also a secret “Hell” level that’s supposed to be hard as dickens. Well, if you’re having trouble finding out how to find all these secrets (or maybe just having problems completing the game), check out this fairly comprehensive text guide, written by ReroRero. It should do you good.

posted by Derek Yu

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Beer Dude 2

<img src=“” width=“500” height=“302” alt=“Beer Dude 2” hspace=10 vspace=10 />

[You can play it online here.]

posted by Derek Yu

Doom: The Roguelike

Well, this is a few weeks old, but… hell, I wasn’t around a few weeks ago! You read that right, it’s Doom: The Roguelike. Apparently, the author, Kornel Kisielewicz, abandoned the game two years ago, but recently has had a change of heart about it. Version 0.9.6. was released on January 16th.

Despite what you may think, it’s actually a very good Roguelike, and refreshing, too. Whereas other Roguelikes try to emphasize the number of things you have to do to survive (e.g. “Wow, I have to scrape mold off of my +2 Runed Codpiece or else my god will smite me!”), in Doom: The Roguelike, you just have to worry about keeping your weapon reloaded. Try blasting the radioactive barrels in a room full of bad guys – I daresay it’s almost more fun than in the real Doom, since you get to use your imagination.

posted by Derek Yu

Super Monster Painter Extreme

<img src=“” width=“320” height=“240” alt=“Super Monster Painter Extreme” hspace=10 vspace=10 align=right />Ah, another free game from good ol’ Johan Peitz!

Free Lunch Design has released <a href->Super Monster Painter Extreme – a fun little highscore-driven reflex game. The object is to keep monsters from filling the screen by squirting them with two sets of colored paint tubes. Yellow monsters are killed with yellow paint and so on, but it gets harder when you have to mix different colored paint to kill some monsters! Like all Free Lunch games, it’s a tight package – the graphics, sound, and control are all very solid.

posted by Derek Yu

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Still Waiting on Darwinia Demo Update

<img src=“” width=“240” height=“180” alt=“Darwinia” hspace=10 vspace=10 align=right />After Introversion released its demo for Darwinia a week or so ago, a lot of people were left very confused, me included. Let me just put it bluntly: the in-game tutorial for the demo is absolute crap. Any time you need help, you’re supposed to press ‘h’ – and then a bald guy comes on the screen to tell you what’s going on. This would be all fine and good, except that he has the annoying habit of leaving out some very important information, like what “officers” are and how to make them. Or what your goals are. Or even who the hell he’s supposed to be. The end result is that you’re left slamming the ‘h’ key repeatedly and getting frustrated because he keeps droning on about the same few things.

Not good. Darwinia, as beautiful as it is, and as much potential as I see in it as a great game, is not immediately intuitive. It involves understanding not only the basic controls for navigating the abstract 3D landscape, but also the “Task Manager”, a program which ostensibly allows you to create and control your units using “gestures”. I could see these controls being very easy to use after you’ve already learned them, but for someone just starting out, it’s less an exploration of the game’s interface and more of an exercise in frustration. (Keep in mind that at the time of release, there was no text reference accompanying the demo, either.)

Thankfully, Introversion has responded to players’ cries for help, and have said that a new demo is on the way, with a better tutorial. What bothers me, however, is this line (in that same announcement): “We have to admit to being slightly suprised by this, but we’ve obviously misjudged the amount of help that games players need.” It’s a little snooty-sounding, and it echoes similar statements that I’ve read on the Darwinia message boards by beta testers, telling confused players that the demo is ACTUALLY very easy to understand and that, basically, we shouldn’t be having the problems we are with it.

Well, screw that. The fact of the matter is that many players are confused, and if many players are confused, then the game is confusing. I refuse to feel like I’M an idiot (even though it’s very possible I am one) just because I can’t figure out how to get my Darwinians to ride the mine carts.

I guess I’m making a big fuss about this because I think that Darwinia has all the hallmarks of a great indie game: creative gameplay and innovative design. It would be a damn shame if it didn’t get the sales it deserved because of an esoteric demo and some righteous indignation. So yeah, Introversion, hurry up with the new demo. In the meantime, y’all try out the current demo with Introversion’s new tutorial. It’s fun.

posted by Derek Yu

Friday, February 04, 2005

Pardon Our Dust

Barring any unforseen problems, TIGS should get a little facelift this weekend. Then maybe we can get this beast rolling again, hey?

posted by Derek Yu

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Doukutsu Monogatari

<img src=“” width=“420” height=“420” alt=“Cave Story (resized image)” hspace=10 vspace=10 />

Doukutsu Monogatari (“The Cave Story”) – by Japanese freeware developer PIXEL – is one of the finest freeware games I’ve ever played. This non-linear platformer boasts a great storyline, memorable characters, and great gameplay. The graphical style is clean and crisp and very cute. The sound effects and music are all retro and very fitting (no really, it sounds like he used an 8-bit chipset to produce them).

It’s been an “in Japanese”-only release for quite a while now, but just recently an English patch was released by the rom-hacking group AGTP (many thanks to them for that!). So if you want to try an 8+ hour non-linear platformer with lots of items and upgradeable weapons, plenty of secrets, 3 different endings (no joke!), and more killer bunnies than you can shake a carrot at, then give Doukutsu a try NOW. I pity the fool that doesn’t.

Get the game here, and then get the English patch here.

(Source: Insert Credit)

posted by Derek Yu

Do Not Adjust Your Monitor

Greetings, citizens! Due to unfortunate circumstances, Flaming Pear has been forced to relinquish control of the site to me, Derek Yu. Do not be alarmed. Even though I’m not half as sexy as Flaming Pear, I will do my best to continue the fine tradition that F.P. started, bringing you the best indie game news, ’round the clock.

If you wish to contribute to TIGSource, that’s great! I’m all for making this a community effort. The easiest way is to write in with news. If you want to be a front page poster, however, please send me an e-mail with some sample writing and your reason for wanting to help out. I want writers that are dedicated and can type like adults!

My e-mail address is: yu.derek[at] (Please put something sensible in the subject of your e-mail)

Let’s wish F.P. well in his real life adventures, and hope that he comes back real soon! Signing off, your new best friend, Captain Sausage… I mean, Derek Yu.

posted by Derek Yu

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

TIGSource will continue!

Just a quick note to say that, thanks to a generous gift from TIGSource will be continuing! So check back soon!

posted by Flaming Pear

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Hope for TIGSource

Ladies (are there any?) and gentlemen of the indie gaming world, do not give up hope: there may be life in TIGSource yet.

Due to the comments and flux of emails I have received pleading for the continuation of this site, I have wracked my brains for a solution to the downfall. Several people have contacted me about taking over the reigns of TIGSource, and make no mistake: I do not want to see this site die.

However, I am currently in need of any money I can get, and, unaware of quite how popular TIGSource had become, and how many people would cry out for its continuation, I was planning on shutting the site down and collecting my $40.00 hosting refund. I really do need money, and yes, even $40.00 will help me.

So here’s the deal: if you are truly behind this site, and would like to see it grow and thrive, I am asking that you support that end by donating that $40.00 to me by February 4th, the last day that I can collect my hosting refund. You can donate by clicking on the button below. All donations are fully refundable. I will keep track of the income, and will post an update three or four times a day regarding the $40.00 mark (you can also get the info in real time here).

If the $40.00 mark is received, I will pass the site on to Derek Yu, who is one of the people who volunteered to maintain it, and allow him to make any decisions regarding potential input from the others who also volunteered (and I’m grateful to all of you). I have the utmost faith in Derek, and think he’s is a great man for the job. It is possible that I will also be able to make posts every once in a while, but not with any kind of frequency, due to the circumstances that I’ve already noted.

Again, thank you all, and long live independent gaming!

Amount received: $40.00 (updated 3-4 times per day)
Amount needed: $40.00 (by February 4th, 2005)

Posted by Flaming Pear

[All images are from the games’ websites unless otherwise note. The original comments can be found here.]

The YouTube of Games? (Question Mark?)

By: ARelativelyHotGirl

On: August 18th, 2007

Gamasutra has a Q&A with Jim Greer, one of Kongregate’s founders, on its plans to invest millions in independent flash games.

We’re funding developers as an advance against royalties on the microtransactions anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000, depending on the scope of the game. We’re looking at development cycles of 4 to 6 months with teams 2 to 3 people – some even less – in development, but we want to keep the initial experiments contained. And we’re guaranteeing the developer, “you’re going to pay all your expenses and make a little profit on these advances. But then if the game does well, you can keep 70% of the back end.”

Could this be the XBLA of independent flash games?

Or is it just tears. In the rain.


(but only if you wanna)

Klei on Portals

By: ARelativelyHotGirl

On: August 18th, 2007

Jamie Cheng (of Eets fame) finally started updating his blog again, and his latest article offers up 3 reasons why his company won’t be using portals any time soon.

“Last week I argued vehemently that fewer people can acheive better results than a huge group of people. I could write an entire article just on this (people have written books on it), but the most important ingredient in all of this is passion. The fact is, Klei is not staffed with people who are passionate about building games for this target market — that is, players who buy games off of Yahoo!, MSN, and Big Fish Games.”

In an earlier post:

“…several [of our] key staff are also weird people who have no preconceptions of what the ‘right way’ to develop a game is. This can bring some amazing results when mixed with people from the industry who are fed up with the ‘right way’ to spend millions of dollars to create a game you’re not sure people will enjoy.”

Inspiring words to some, perhaps.

Jamie’s blog can be found here.

(Source: GameSetWatch)

Star Wars Episode VII

By: Derek Yu

On: August 17th, 2007

star wars episode vii

I only have one criteria for Star Wars games, and that is “do I get to feel like a badass Jedi (or Sith Lord)?” Can you blame me, then, for being disappointed with 90% of the Star Wars games out there? Seriously, Lucasarts, what’s wrong with you? The lightsaber is the sweetest weapon ever invented, and all you guys can think about is X-Wings and pod racing. It’s sickening.

(I make an exception for Tie Fighter. That game was great.)

Well, anyways, many thanks to wourme for bringing to my attention Star Wars Episode VII, a game that does an amazing job of making me feel like a badass Jedi! The game is by Jazzuo, the creator of Sexy Hiking, so you know you are in good hands… strange hands. Molestuous hands.

The way you control your lightsaber is, funnily enough, similar to how you wield your hammer in Sexy Hiking, except you can use the left and right mouse buttons to swing the saber around in your hand. It feels really good once you get the hang of it. Not only that, but the visuals and audio are spot on. Sending a shower of sparks flying when you scrape the wall or lock sabers with an opponent (sha-ching!) is amazing.

With Jazzuo you can expect a couple of other things: 1. Really rough graphics (although they’re much more refined than in SH), and 2. extreme difficulty. You can get cut down quickly in this game, and you often have a Wookieload of lasers and lightsabers flying at you at the same time. Save points are sparse past the training levels, which are pretty brutal themselves (but also very cool). Still, like with SH, getting ahead in this game is pretty satisfying. Like hunting your own dinner. Or blowing up the Death Star with a single pair of proton torpedoes.

This game is amazing. Download it now before I “forth” choke you. Oh yeah, and one more thing: “best title screen music EVER.” I mean that.