Archive for the ‘Interesting Games’ Category

Those Halcyon Days

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Here’s another intriguing game we encountered at Casual Connect. I didn’t get to spend much time with it, but I saw enough to understand just how massive it is. If you’ve ever wanted to command a fleet of starships or command a starbase Halcyon 6 might be your ticket. I do have to admit I find all the game’s different mechanics a bit overwhelming, and I don’t see myself having the time to learn all the different interactions between ships, weapons and crew members. But then again I barely make time for any game playing these days, so that won’t necessarily apply to you.


– Peace and long life among the stars


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These Fossils Echo

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

So this is Fossil Echo, the game I briefly mentioned yesterday. I figured if I’m gonna mention it I might as well say a couple more words and throw in a link to boot. This game deserves way more attention than it’s currently getting.

Both the art direction and sound design are outstanding. Pretty much the entire game is hand-painted, with more eye-gasmic environments than you could shake five sticks at. Slap on a good set of headphones and the experience is crazy immersive. I can’t say too much about the story, as I only played for about 30 minutes, but what little I saw was pretty mysterious and compelling. Gameplay-wise it’s a fairly standard platforming affair with some mild stealth elements.

In any case, do take a gander at it and thank yourself later:


– Peace and fossilized echoes 


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Three Trillion

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

That’s how much money I made in the last four hours. Unfortunately though, that amount is not in any real currency. It also did not take any actual effort to make. You  might guess that I’ve been playing the new flagship title of idle gaming, AdVenture Capitalist. And you’d be right too!

Perhaps my favorite thing about this game is how neatly it represents the pinnacle of the casualization of games. It is so casual that you don’t even have to play anymore! You  just install the thing, tap upgrade buttons for a few minutes, and then just wait and watch all the sweet, sweet progress roll in. And there’s just so much progress to be made! I mean, you start with only a lemonade stand making a couple bucks here and there, but before you know it you’re suddenly making millions and buying hockey teams. Then soon after you start making billions and buy a few oil companies. And the progress just never ends. Trillions are only the tip of the iceberg here. Within a few days of upgrading things you’ll start making quadrillions. Then quintillions, sextillions, septillions, octillions, all the way to unpronounceable numbers that no one has ever heard of, because numbers of such magnitude are normally reserved for questions like “How many atoms are there in the universe?”

It’s exciting stuff, at least for as long as you maintain the illusion that these numbers and progress bars actually mean something. But to some extent or other we have been culturally hard-wired to attach meaning to such notations of success. And there is a rush when so much stuff comes to us so easily. And that rush happens, despite your higher cognitive faculties seeing perfectly well how hollow this particular skinner box is. Of course eventually the rest of your brain does catch on, and you get bored of the thing. For me that took about two days.

It has gotten me thinking though, about whether that rush of rapid numerical progress could be tied to a game that isn’t so completely mindless. And I have a little something in mind. At the same time I’ve been thinking that it might make sense to test the waters of Unity development with a small game, before I get too deep into developing my gladiator project. I’ll let you know how all that goes.

— Peace and limitless riches


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Yet More Tactics

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

This is a little something I came across on the Indie Game Developers FB group — Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire. It’s yet another tactics game, and clearly drawing hefty inspiration from Banner Saga. To be honest, I’m not super keen on all the environment art, but the animation is gorgeous and the setting sounds rather unique. Obviously it’s hard to say much about the gameplay at this point, though these Aussies seem to know what they’re doing.

If this sort of thing happens to strike your fancy, please head on over to the Kickstarter page forthwith: LINK

— Peace and astral echoes


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Those Dang Druids

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

I’ve lately started watching a lot of TotalBiscuit’s videos. Mostly his Hearthstone series, but also some of his well known WTF game reviews. And one of these recently caught my eye. A turn-based tactics game in fact, which may or may not come as a surprise. A tactics game featuring druids of all things. And going by the name of ‘A Druid’s Duel’. As luck would have it, my tactics game also had a rather druidic theme for the longest time. Although mine was not about shapeshifting, but rather about summoning golems. And for a long time I called this game concept ‘Iron, Root and Stone,’ or IRAS for short, handily combining the IRA and the IRS into a single super-acronym. Naturally, there were three types of shapers, as I called them, each specialized in summoning golems and obstacles based on their particular domain.

I’ve actually thought about keeping the title, despite my shift to a gladiator theme. There are ways to make it work, though they seem a little ham-fisted. And there are some other issues with this name too. It is a bit wordy, obscure sounding, and commas are not so good for SEO. They also makes the name awkward to mention in a list of game titles. I have another name in mind right now, but I’d rather not draw attention to it until I’ve made up my mind. Branding is absolutely vital in this business, and is absolutely something I have to solidify over the next few months. For starters I’m going to need a name, a logo and preferably some sort of poster boy character, like the big daddies in Bioshock or the raider dude from Borderlands. Ideally, I would start outputting a lot of concept art and screenshots after that, all with consistent presentation and a logo in the corner. That is plenty of work though, so I’m not entirely sure how well I’ll be able to follow best practices. Although concept art is obviously something I have to do anyway. I need some method of figuring out what these gladiators will look like, and drawing is pretty much the only possible starting point. However, my concepts do tend to be fairly quick things. Lighting and color are something I don’t really need to figure out until I go 3D, and the plain grayscale drawings are not necessarily that much to look at. But I think I’ll get around to making a few more rendered concepts even if they’re not obviously useful. Photoshop coloring is a skill I definitely want to improve on in any case.

Anyway, back on to this druid game I was talking about. It’s fairly interesting really, but mechanically pretty distinct from what I have in mind. Very chess-like, where my game is a lot closer to a tabletop war game. Druid’s Duel is also a smaller game, especially with regard to unit types, which is something I always seem to focus my efforts on. I think Arkeia has over fifty unit types, and Scrap Metal Heroes has about 200 different parts. Of course this sort of scope has always come with its own cost, mainly in polish and balance testing.

And by the way, the game looks a little something like this:

— Peace and druidic victories


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Friday, March 13th, 2015

This game is, hands down, the best investment you can make with seven dollars. I love the graphics, and the endless inventiveness. It’s not all just about catapults and siege towers. It’s surprisingly easy to make helicopters and walking robots too. Of course the classic limitation with sandbox games eventually crops up: it is far more a toy than a game. You poke at it for a while and it does some hugely amusing things, but that only goes so far. Still, for what it does I can’t recall any game doing it better.


— Peace and reckless destruction


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Full Indie Game Showcase

Friday, October 28th, 2011

So, I was at the Full Indie Game Showcase yesterday, with about a hundred other indie developers from the Vancouver area. Eight promising games got presented and played, while many a business card was handed out. Hell, I gave out no less than three of my own. If I keep up this rate every month, I’ll go through my stack in only another 25 years!

Here are some of the more interesting games from the meet:

Invasion Earth: 1953: Side-scrolling shooter meets ‘Destroy All Humans’ as your lone UFO must face Earth’s assembled military might. (

Boomtown Takedown: Very impressive vehicle combat game from a team of three after only two months work! The only game I know that lets you toss people into a meat grinder on the back of a humvee. (

Waveform: Incredibly simple to pick up but tricky to master. In Waveform you have to modify the wavelength and amplitude of a light wave in order to save the galaxy!(

Sky Pirates of Neo Terra: Looks like a pretty unique combat racer with some fantastic art. Make sure to check it out. (

Sword of the Stars II: Personally, I don’t think this quite qualifies as indie anymore but it does look very interesting. I’ll probably pick it up eventually despite the somewhat high price. (

– Peace and good gaming



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