Posts with ‘PennyArcade’ Tag

Pax 10, IndieCade Call for Submissions

By: Derek Yu

On: March 13th, 2009

PAX 10 and IndieCade

The Penny Arcade Expo (September 4th-6th) and IndieCade (October 1st-10th) are looking for independent games to showcase this year. The deadline for PAX submissions is May 9th, and the deadline for IndieCade submissions is April 30th.

IndieCade entrants are also eligible to appear at the various other expos that IndieCade participates in, including E3 and SIGGRAPH.


By: Derek Yu

On: January 14th, 2009

Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble

Some great news to report: Mousechief Co.‘s Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble has been nominated by the Writers Guild Association for “”">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.

Congratulations, Mousechief!

Penny Arcade on Crayon Physics

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!

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

PAX 10 Yes, Slamdance No

By: Derek Yu

On: July 14th, 2008


Penny Arcade has announced the 10 games to be showcased at this year’s PAX (August 29th). The games selected (out of 80 total submissions) are: The Amazing Brain Train, Audiosurf, Chronotron, Impulse, The Maw, Polarity, Project Aftermath, Schizoid, Strange Attractors 2, and Sushi Bar Samurai. These games will be showcased at the expo and one of them will walk away with an “Audience Choice Award.” Details and links at the PAX 10 website.

In sadder news, The Slamdance Games Festival has been cancelled “for the foreseeable future.” Slamdance cites a lack of venue as the reason for the cancellation. Things went badly for the festival last year when its organizers decided to remove the controversial Super Columbine Massacre RPG! from competition, prompting many other developers to drop out in protest.

(Source: Jonathan Blow)

Countdown to Penny Arcade Adventures!

By: Derek Yu

On: May 14th, 2008

Penny Arcade Adventures: On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness

Penny Arcade Adventures: On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness is hitting online stores on May 21st, and to juice you up for the release the PA guys are doing a countdown, and releasing a page of a comic each day. If you’re interested, take a look at this very positive hands-on preview by Chris Kohler at Game|Life. The game’s also gotten some very mixed reviews by the mainstream press, according to Gabe.

Precipice will be the first game released via Penny Arcade/Hothead Studios’ new indie game website, Greenhouse. It will be released for Windows, Mac, and Linux simultaneously.


By: Derek Yu

On: April 2nd, 2008


Penny Arcade and Hothead Games have announced the launch of Greenhouse (Beta), their new portal for downloadable PC titles. The first title to be launched, of course, is Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, which is being developed by Hothead.

[Jerry “Tycho”] Holkins says that the idea is to give indie gamemakers a better financial shake. “I think that most publishing arrangements are full of shit,” he says, pointing out that Greenhouse will give indie gamemakers a better share of the profits.

Naturally, the games will be hand-picked by Tycho and Gabe themselves. No indies are currently on board, although Gabe did have this to say in their interview with Wired:

[If] you’re asking me what sort of things are out there right now that I would love to see on Greenhouse? The crayon game. Crayon Physics. That’s the sort of thing that I would love to put in front of our audience, and say, you guys should play this, definitely. And obviously, we can link it, but to be able to actually distribute it through Greenhouse would be fantastic. It would enable us in a way that would be easy for the developer to get it out there with a royalty structure that is not full of shit. Which I think is a great combination.

So what to say, other than that this is exciting news? The enormous, built-in fanbase, the general attitude… I hope the PA guys pull this one off.

PAX 10: Indie Games Showcase

By: Derek Yu

On: March 1st, 2008


Oh man, first a sweet World of Goo shout-out on their front page, now this.

Gabe and Tycho have announced that, in cooperation with the DigiPen Institute of Technology, this year’s Penny Arcade Expo will feature PAX 10, a showcase of 10 independent games selected by 50 industry experts (including the two main men themselves). The games will sit right on the expo floor, and attendees will be able to vote for one of the games to win an “Audience Choice Award,” to be announced on the website the next week.

You have until May 7th to submit your game here (it’s $50). PAX, in case you didn’t know, is an annual, 3-day orgy in Washington for video game lovers around the globe. This year it starts on August 29th.

TIGSource meet-up at PAX, anyone?

(Thanks, Alec!)

Penny Arcade Adventures Hits XBLA in 2008

By: Derek Yu

On: August 27th, 2007

Penny Arcade Adventures

…along with the PC, Mac, and Linux! Not sure if it’s a simultaneous release, however.

Still rather ambivalent about this one, but it’s looking better all the time. One thing that still irks me is how brown the screenshots are, compared to the colorfulness of the comic strip. I understand that they’re going for a steampunk/noir vibe but… okay, I’m going to stop complaining until the game is released! I’m sure it’ll be fun and funny regardless.

(Source, including image: Game|Life)

New PA Adventures Trailer

By: Brandon McCartin (BMcC)

On: June 7th, 2007

Here is the second trailer for Penny Arcade‘s upcoming game Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. And I have to admit… It’s looking much better.

“We sort of consider this one the ‘real’ trailer,” says Gabe.

I can see why. Though, the quick cuts are kinda annoying. I wanna see what I’m lookin’ at, ya know?

Anyway, this plus Ron Gilbert may just equal magic. Time will tell, I suppose…

DISCUSS, and all that.

Ron Gilbert and Penny Arcade Adventures

By: Brandon McCartin (BMcC)

On: May 9th, 2007

i <3 ron gilbert
Whoa. It has just been announced that Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert is working with Hothead and Penny Arcade on Penny Arcade Adventures.

That is pretty darn sweet. Ron is one of my heroes. My hopes for this project have just increased!