Posts with ‘JonathanBlow’ Tag

Braid at GameCity 2010

By: Derek Yu

On: April 30th, 2011

In September 2010, at the UK game festival GameCity, Jonathan Blow spent over an hour playing through Braid and providing commentary. This is a shaky-cam recording of the session, which, according to Jonathan, is “by far the most I’ve said about Braid in one place”.

His current project is The Witness, a first-person puzzler – you can follow the game’s development here.

PAX 2010: The Witness

By: Derek Yu

On: September 7th, 2010

Those of you who went to PAX last weekend may have inadvertently missed out on a chance to play Jonathan Blow’s next game, The Witness, which sat quietly at an unmarked table next to two other indie games: Chris Hecker’s Spy Party and Andy Schatz’s Monaco.

According to Jon:

I had several reasons for wanting to show the game this way. Firstly: At a show full of companies trying to capture your attention and sell you things, I wanted to do something that is subtle, and a surprise — if you notice it, and decide to investigate, you find something unexpected.

Also, I wanted people to be able to play the game for as long as they want, not feeling pressured to stop playing because of a huge line of antsy people waiting behind them.

Stephen Totilo, who recognized it for what it was and took the above footage, did a nice write-up of his experience, saying “this is a game for the patient, the un-flustered and the observant”. Apparently so!

IGS 2010: Abusing Your Players Just For Fun

By: Brandon McCartin (BMcC)

On: April 13th, 2010

Cactus v. Non-Programmers, photo by Rebekah Saltsman
Photo by non-programmer Rebekah Saltsman

I was planning to simply summarize the various IGS sessions this year, but instead wrote up every single note I had for my previous post. Today I shall exercise some restraint!

IGF Nuovo Award winner and indie mastermind Cactus’ first talk this year, Abusing Your Players Just For Fun, was ostensibly about designing games with obfuscated interactions, bizarre themes, trippy visuals, a high level of difficulty— the kind of stuff Cactus is known for— but really, to me, seemed more about encouraging people who would otherwise not develop games to try, about the desire to see an even greater variety of creative output from the indie games sphere. (I’m sure we’ve all wondered at some point what types of games Bowie might make! Or that baby.)

The session opened with a legitimate seizure warning (though, his talk last year was probably more dangerous in that regard) and, for the most part, he discussed various artists in other fields, like film and music, who bring a singular, unique creative vision to their work. He even stopped for a spell to show this scene from David Lynch’s Lost Highway.

But that’s not to say game designers didn’t get their due! Cactus went on to show the work of a few indies that inspire him, “punk rock” game developers as he called them: Matt “TheAnemic” Aldrige, creator of the surreal La La Land series of games (and most recently Uin); Mark “”" title=“Messhof’s Site”>Messhof" Essen, in particular his games Punishment, Flywrench, and Randy Balma: Municipal Abortionist; the multi-talented Jph Wacheski; and even Jon Blow. (He probably did, but I would also have to point to Stephen “”" title=“increpare games (Stephen Lavelle”>increpare" Lavelle and his ever growing portfolio of mind-bending works!)

If you’d like to read a description of the session by someone who, you know, actually knows how to write, I recommend this post Scott Sharkey made to his 1UP blog— he really nails it!

Indie Fund

By: Derek Yu

On: March 3rd, 2010

Indie Fund

A group of successful indie developers have started Indie Fund, a funding source for independent developers. The 7 backers of the fund (Ron Carmel, Kyle Gabler, Jonathan Blow, Kellee Santiago, Nathan Vella, Matthew Wegner, and Aaron Isaksen) are investing in indie games and supporting their development. The primary goal is to provide a way for indies to create and sell games without having to compromise their vision or legal rights to publishers. Of course, you’d also be getting the advice of some of the community’s most experienced and successful creators.

Currently, the Fund is investing in a few undisclosed indie titles, which happened “through word of mouth within the indie community”. Eventually, though, there will be a way for developers to submit their games. You can find out more about Indie Fund in this Gamasutra Q&A with Ron Carmel of 2D Boy.

Braid Released For Mac

By: Brandon McCartin (BMcC)

On: May 20th, 2009

The Braid Screen to Rule Them All

A quick one, for all you Apple eaters: Award winning, time-bending puzzle-platformer Braid has been released for the Mac! You can find it here, at Greenhouse, with a free demo and everything.

A lot has been said about this fine little game, but I thought I’d throw in my two cents, before it’s too late. (After the jump.)

I’ve played through it a number of times now, and really believe Braid is a landmark game. Not just in the realm of “indie” games, but interactive software (or whatever you want to call it) as a whole. It pushes forward in so many ways, particularly in (Jon’s favorite, ha) unifying the naturally divergent forces of Story and Gameplay, while still, at its core, being a wonderfully designed, approachable Game. That’s actually what surprised me most about Braid, at least at first — the “artsy” stuff is there, yes, but strip it all away and you’ve still got a unique, polished, challenging videogame to play. Impeccably designed. (Not to mention that David‘s art also makes it one of the most lovely games I’ve ever seen in motion.) Anyway, yeah, suffice it to say I find it all pretty inspiring!

Can’t wait to see what Mr. Blow comes up with next. (Braid 2?)

Braid Coming to Windows Today

By: Derek Yu

On: April 10th, 2009

The long-awaited PC version of Braid is now available on Greenhouse (including a demo), and will be unlocked on Steam around noon PST. The game will also be available through Impulse and through Gamersgate today. The price is $14.95 USD.

TIGdb: Entry for Braid

Soulja Boy on Braid

By: Derek Yu

On: September 16th, 2008

The rapper behind the Grammy-nominated, #1 hit single Crank That (Soulja Boy) gives us his thoughts on the IGF award-winning Xbox 360 masterpiece Braid.

(Courtesy of Alec.)

Jonathan Blow Interview: “No Compromises”

By: Derek Yu

On: September 3rd, 2008

Jonathan Blow

Matthew Boyd (Three Panel Soul), who interviewed Tarn Adams for about a month ago, just did another, shorter, interview with Jonathan Blow, where they discuss Braid, Microsoft, and the nature of being an independent developer.

I feel like there is enough compromise in the game industry. Everyone compromises on everything all the time. If I want to make something different, that really stands out, then a good way to do that is to not compromise. Plus, compromise does not suit my personality very well. It tastes bad.

In the past, I’ve noticed that before Braid was released, some people have took issue with Jon being vocal about his opinions regarding the games industry and the development process. Has that changed at all for you guys?

In any case, I’m digging these interviews. Keep ’em up, Matt!

Yahtzee on Braid

By: Derek Yu

On: August 28th, 2008

I’ve got a backlog of new indie games I want to tell you about, but ‘til I find the time you’ll have to hear our friend Yahtzee yap about an “old” one (so totally not old). Does anyone else wonder whether he’s wearing clothes while he records these? No? Uh, me neither!

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