You can’t see me right now, but I’m wincing—I’ve fallen so far behind.
It looks heart-palpitatingly awesome:
Air Pirates will debut next month at e4.com.
Until a few days ago, the iPhone game Eliss was knuckle-crackingly, hair-tearingly, eye-drippingly tough. Multicolored orbs swarmed the screen too quickly, perhaps, and new game elements popped onto the touchscreen with hardly an introduction.
But Eliss’s creator, Steph Thirion, very actively sought out players’ opinions during this March’s GDC; even after, he went so far as to assemble a whole new crack team of beta testers. Seldom have I met a developer so sweetly wracked with concern after his game has launched—and, moreover, even after his game has already received generally favorable reviews.
Two days ago, Thirion released Eliss v1.1, an update that both eases the difficulty curve and lengthens the game. He’s also clarified the tutorial—although, for my own part, I really preferred the murkiness—and, on top of everything, he’s reduced the app’s price to a comparatively paltry US$2.99. That price point is honestly small potatoes, considering Eliss is every bit as full an experience as Every Extend Extra or Gunpey.
I think it’s really important to note all these changes. Destructoid posted its review of the old version of Eliss today, which is really too bad: a lot of major complaints have been addressed, if not resolved. In any case, if the difficulty curve frightened players off before, Eliss certainly warrants another look.
To be fair, everyone had a terrible 2008, I think. As for Introversion—and to make the developers’ long story much, much shorter—several projects fell through their full plate, and besides that, hardly anybody played Multiwinia. 2008, it would seem, left Introversion in dire straits.
For me, this is the worst part: Introversion was left standing in the cold with their just-completed DEFCON for Nintendo DS. I cannot even begin to imagine the (positive!) response DEFCON DS would elicit.
The game still needs a publisher.
I know the title is kind of misleading, as there’s always a new Cactus game. Cactus—AKA Jonatan Söderström—is an especially prolific young game designer who demands your attention.
Here’s a sneak peek at his latest:
This edition of the semi-regular Linksplosion filches endlessly from Infinite Lives’ brand new Twitter thingie. I’m basically retweeting my retweets!
I was really, really unhappy I missed the IGF awards ceremony. Fortunately, several attendees described the Mega64 videos to me in excruciating detail. Here’s one of those videos!
This is more of a Not Dead Yet alert than it is a real post. Sorry!
- Computer = dead. Have been endlessly checking and re-checking email on iPhone instead. I don’t ordinarily go, “Gee, I’m so glad I own an iPhone!” but during GDC, that’s been my constant refrain. I know, I know: Mac users are so annoying.
- Met @gkokoris for lunch! Hurrah! Will also meet for dinner, along with Steph of Eliss (and possibly others).
- Met with Miguel of Spooky Squid Games at 1:30pm (scoop forthcoming).
- Emily Balistrieri was standing in a long line in front of the Apple store. When she saw me, she cupped both hands to her eyes, miming binoculars.
I stepped into line with her. “What are we waiting for?” I asked her.
“Hideo Kojima,” she said. “You know. Metal Gear Solid Touch?”
I looked at her as if she were crazy. We traded notes on what games looked good to us. She’d just come from interviewing Pixeljam.
“You’re a nerd,” I told her, “for Pixeljam.”
“I am!” she agreed. Even the Pixeljam guys acknowledge Em is their biggest fan.
The line started to move, and we waved goodbye to each other.
And the number one way to market your indie game? “Wear silly hats,” recommends Phil Fish.
I really grinned endlessly at Brandon’s “Slouching through Wednesday” post at Offworld, not only because I was there (at the… inadvisable… ehm), and not because I, too, slouched through Wednesday (and—I’m a weak girl—Thursday also). Brandon writes,
In a way, I wish the IGS was why we were all here, and that it could go the whole week through: especially this year there’s a palpable energy and even more a sense of purpose and community to the indie game devs. As more people leave their salaried positions to set up shop for themselves, there’s a definite (and in some cases, outright spoken) sense that This Is What We Should Be Doing, and There’s Room For All Of Us, and Let’s Not Let Anyone Else Get Left Behind.
And that’s the heart of things: I literally have absolutely nothing else to add to that.
In the comments, Touch My Pixel’s Tarwin Stroh-Spijer says,
The [Scarygirl] game is almost ready to play (going through final approvals), but in the meantime we’ve got this juicy final trailer for you, which should show a lot more of the game than you saw last time.
The Melbourne-based Touch My Pixel team has worked well over a year to bring the art (and toys) of Nathan Jurevicius to life. Scarygirl, a browser-based 2D platformer, will star everyone’s favorite eyepatched heroine in 14 levels of gameplay—which include, according to Tarwin, “platforming and adventure elements, as well as physics-based bike riding and even a street Street Fighter style fighting game.”
I cannot wait for this to come out.
Scott Sharkey is phoning me.
“Is that you over there? Standing lonely at the corner?”
“I am not lonely,” I tell him. “I was twittering.”
“Well, come over here, where we are,” Sharkey tells me. I squint at the intersection. A hundred feet away, Sharkey is waving.
Inside, I sit down across from Cactus. He frowns at me.
“You’re… Sharkey’s friend,” he says.
“You ate my snack mix,” I remind him.
Later in the night, Cactus will offer me potato chips.
Cactus presents Derek Yu with canned herring from Sweden.
“That isn’t legal,” I tell him.
“It’s legal… if I… didn’t show it to anyone at customs,” Cactus says.
Too late to worry about that now: we ate it all! Verdict? Pretty tasty, actually.Read the rest of this entry »