Posts from ‘Comics, Cartoons, and Illustration’ Category

Machinarium Sketches

By: Derek Yu

On: October 14th, 2009

Machinarium Sketchbook

The indefatigable Brandon Boyer has posted some lovely concept art by Amanita Design. These are sketches for Machinarium, their adventure game which is coming to the PC and Mac this Friday. You can download a short demo and also pre-order the game from the Machinarium website.

Having played it, I can safely say that it is a must-buy for fans of adventure games.

TIGSource Comicompo

By: Xander

On: April 4th, 2009

This is something awesome

So TIGSource, do you like things? Things that are awesome?

Good! Because this is definitely something awesome. Even the alt-text says so. Comicompo is actually a project that started last year and is only now available in all its anachronistic entirety! ‘Comicompo’ is a community comic project, where anyone who wants to participate can draw a page which eventually becomes part of a whole issue of.. something. I say eventually because this apparently took an entire year to complete due to a number of complications along the way. The theme set at the start was ‘Indie Dreams’, focussing on the unconscious ponderings of the pictured protagonist before leading into a fantastical explosion of everything and nothing.

It’s a sweet community project that everyone should check out, especially because the website suggests the next Comicompo will begin sometime soon, so register your interests in the forums! Everyone is welcomed regardless of talent and government sponsored mental health sanctions. So get ready for something special! Something great.

Something awesome

Noitu Love Fanart

By: Derek Yu

On: November 12th, 2008

Noitu Love

I just noticed that there’s this amazing Noitu Love fanart on Joakim Sandberg’s website. Um, wow. I think I’m in love. With the artwork, that is, not… okay, yeah, I just fell for a video game character. That hasn’t happened to me since Phantasy Star II.

The artist is Halil Ural, aka MrDream.

And since I’ve still got some space left, you should also check out this samurai (pizza?) cat from Overgrowth, which is looking better and better every day.

More, eh? Digs furiously into pants. Alright, here’s a series of Mario/Cave Story mashup mockups from arundhir. Okay, that’s all I got. Go home, kid! I said, go home!

Booty Juggler

By: Derek Yu

On: October 8th, 2008

Booty Juggler

Oh boy do I get excited when illustrators take it upon themselves to make games (e.g. Gesundheit!). In Booty Juggler, you play an octopus trying to protect its pirate gold from falling bombs. I don’t really know how to top that sentence, so I’m going to end the paragraph here.

It’s the brainchild of Robin Davey, a UK-based artist and self-proclaimed gentleman.

(Source: Johnny, via Drawn)

Family Guy Meets Super Mario

By: Brandon McCartin (BMcC)

On: September 10th, 2008

The captured by mushrooms bit is pretty funny. But I’m not of sound mind. And is it just me, or does Mario sound like a cross between a stereotypical Italian (i.e., normal) and… Dracula?

(Source: Game|Life)

A rebuttal! And another. (Haha, thanks, Troy!)

On Braid and Pricing

By: Derek Yu

On: August 8th, 2008


The latest Penny Arcade strip is about Braid! As far as I know, this is the first indie game they’ve mentioned directly in a comic, which is pretty cool. I personally enjoy PA so I’m glad to see them promote indie games through Greenhouse, PAX, and now the strip itself.

In the post accompanying the strip, Tycho/Jerry sums up the whole pricing thing for me pretty nicely:

I wrung four and a half hours out of the finished product, coming into contact with genuinely huge concepts that hum with stradavarian fullness. You’re mad about five dollars? What? Shove your five dollars up your stupid ass.

Well, okay, maybe not that last part. At least not until rear ends start vending Cactus Coolers or bus tickets. What a waste, otherwise!

But in all seriousness, the pricing issue is another compelling problem for developers, especially an indie who can set his or her own price. It’s especially compelling because it’s become obvious that for some people (perhaps most people?), the price somehow enters into the equation that determines a game’s inherent worth. A game that costs more than it should cost becomes a worse game. Should that be the case? Should that idea be reflected in game reviews? I suppose it depends on whether the goal of the review is to help you make a purchasing decision or whether the goal is to evaluate the merits of a video game.

In Aquaria’s case, Alec and I priced the game at $30, $10 above what I guess is the “norm” is for downloadable PC indie games is, because that’s what we felt it was worth. We considered a lot of factors, from the quality of the game, to the effort we put into it, to plain ol’ numbers like how many hours of gameplay and how many assets we created. A lot of people felt it was worth what we charged, and a lot of people didn’t, which is fine. But some people took the pricing personally before they even played the game, which I’ll never truly understand.

I think the problem is that no one knows how much a game should cost, or how we should value games. Is a good, short game better than a mediocre, long game? What are pretty graphics worth to good gameplay? What about indie versus mainstream? Like with almost EVERYTHING about games, it’s just not as clear-cut as with other types of media. The industry is too young, and it’s just plain different, too.

But to quote Tycho once more:

You read a lot (in incandescent threads devoted to the topic) about how ten dollars is the “sweet spot” for Live Arcade titles, and that may be the case, but we should entertain the idea that its creator wasn’t trying to make an “Xbox Live Arcade Game.” Perhaps he was trying to make a good game, the best game he could, and Microsoft’s Broadening Initiative For Digital Content was the last thing on his mind.

In the end, I don’t think it makes sense to compare games to anything other than what you think is a good game. $15 is more than most XBLA games. It’s also about how much a 2-hour movie or an ironic t-shirt costs. I guess the question is… so what? What do you guys and gals think?

TIGdb: Entries for Aquaria, Braid

See Jonathan Blow’s explanation of Braid’s pricing after the jump:

(Video posted at

Plus – Free Indie Soundtracks

By: Derek Yu

On: August 7th, 2008

Plus / Rescue the Beagles

II (“Pause”), the retro/chiptune music label and community, has launched a new section to their website called Plus, which is specifically devoted to free indie/doujin game soundtracks. So far there are only two albums available, the Rescue: The Beagles OST, composed by Disasterpeace, and the Another Bound Neo (doujin FPS) OST. Label co-founder and artist Phlogiston says more are on the way, but he’d love to see developers contact II and release their soundtracks. You might recall that Phlogiston is the musician behind cactus and VilleK’s Brain Damaged Toon Underworld, among other things. He’s also collaborated with the chiptune music collective 8bitpeoples.

Great idea! Developers, submit your music – I hope to see many more games on there in the future. And definitely poke around the rest of the II catalog, too.

(The Rescue: The Beagles album art displayed above is by the very talented Annabelle Kennedy. Full version of the artwork can be seen here!)

TIGdb: Entry for Rescue the Beagles

Eegra’s First Annual Game Makin’ Shindig: Winners

By: Derek Yu

On: July 30th, 2008


You guys read Eegra, right? I hope so, because it’s the best gaming comic there is (see below right). And I’m not just saying that because their mascot is an octopus with a top hat and a monocle.


Well, Eegra has just finished their First Annual Game Makin’ Shindig, and the theme was “colour.” There were nine entries and four winners (two tied for third place).

I tried the top three entries and they’re all pretty solid, although I personally I felt Colourblind (#3, shown above) was the most interesting and polished game. It’s a physics-based game where gravity pulls different colors in different directions. Go Beryllium (#1) feels like a pretty standard bullet-hell shmup to me, and it doesn’t make nearly as good use of the theme, in my opinion. Spectrum Spelunker is a good #2. If the difficulty ramped up a bit faster this one would be ace.

Them’s just my opinions, however! Congratulations to Eegra for a successful compo and to the winners for winning!

Least I Could Do

By: Xander

On: June 3rd, 2008

Apparently it’s impossible to be a webcomic in the 21st century without having your own video game to go along with it. The newest in this growing breed is the game from Least I Could Do which is an entirely awesome comic based around the adventures of Rayne Summers as he teaches us about life, laughter, sex, trying to become pope, adopting street urchins to build you pidgeon launching catapaults and of course, %&ing a bicycle.

It’s still VERY early stages, as you’ll see from the animations above, and apparently it’ll be an old school action-platformer whilst being a strong parody of the original Super Mario Bros. I’m a little cautious about it myself, as it is much too early to really say how it’ll turn out. Of course, that’s where you guys can come in! The author ‘Ryan Sohmer’ is currently looking for people with video game/flash programming experience to help out on the project, so if you feel up to it just hit up the forum and fire him off an email. Who knows, you may just save Christmas.

UPDATE: Apparently I missed out that a Looking for Group is also in the making and the same request for help applies to that too. So you no longer have to choose between sex and elves. Good times…

Happy Gaming/Grinding/Ginormising!

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet News

By: ithamore

On: February 16th, 2008

Some wonderful news on ITSP came out last month:

Our first round of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet demos is now completed and the reactions from all publishers were overwhelmingly positive. Not only was the esthetic of our game praised but everyone was amazed at the game play as well. Of course, our intention is not only to make a beautiful game but to create a memorable gaming experience. I’m glad this is coming through.

The demos mentioned in the quote were live demonstrations to publishers such as “Sony, Ubisoft, Microsoft and a few others” (this list of publishers is from Michel Gagné’s December 1st post on his blog).

(Source: the2bears)