Indie Links Round-Up: Going Whole Hog

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Today’s Indie Links examine a bit of the dark side of indie games, with questions raised by violent games, a retro-style game that doesn’t live up to its “awesome” name, and a project that got funded on Kickstarter but never got made…

Top 10 Indie Games of 2012 (+2!) (IndieGames)
“If 2011 represented an “indie boom” for the scene, 2012 was an indie-vasion on all fronts. Free, paid, and free-to-play indie games revitalized aging Sony and Microsoft consoles, were often the highlight software of new gadgets such as the Wii U and PlayStation Vita, and even overwhelmed Steam to the point of Valve restructuring its entire submission process.”

Nathan Interviews the Creator of Archways, Michael Roe (Independent Gaming)
“I was confronted to do an article on an upcoming game called Archways by an old writer of ours and I totally said yes! It looked pretty neat. Oh, and random fun fact of the day, it looks like the game was a side-scroller a few months ago.”

Can We Talk About the Joy of Violence Without Sounding Like Complete Psychopaths? (Kotaku)
“In a fit of frustration over Hotline Miamiand the way gamers discuss violent games, I ended up talking to game critic/provocateurCara Ellison. She adores Hotline Miami, you see. Originally I meant to consult her about a different article, but our conversation was much more interesting than what I wrote. So we’re publishing our correspondence instead, which touches on the bullshit surrounding the discussion of violent games (which has gotten even more complicated lately), whether or not we confuse loving winning to loving digital murder, and more.”

Code Hero: The Kickstarter Success Story That Soured (Polygon)
“It’s a narrative that is easy to latch onto. An indie developer has a big idea to use video games to change the world. He takes this idea to the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter where his infectious enthusiasm garners the support of thousands of backers. He raises $170,000. A few months later, he disappears. His backers can’t reach him, there are no updates to the Kickstarter page and no word on the progress of his game. His backers get frustrated, angry. He’s taken their money, they assume. He’s taken their money and run off with it. The witch hunt begins. It’s a narrative that’s easy to latch onto, but it’s not entirely true.”

Review: Waking Mars (Had an Amazing Year) (Indie Game Reviewer)
“For independent game developers Tiger Style, what began as a humble release on the iOS mobile platform, became a breakout success story, selling over 100K copies within months and then undergoing some improvements and embellishments as it ported to PC and eventually Valve’s Steam platform (as a result of being selected through the Greenlight initiative)… So now it is our turn to weigh in on the final product…”

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Full Bore (Joystiq)
“Indie developers are the starving artists of the video-game world, often brilliant and innovative, but also misunderstood, underfunded and more prone to writing free-form poetry on their LiveJournals. We believe they deserve a wider audience with the Joystiq Indie Pitch: This week, Whole Hog Games’ Jake Federico talks fundraising for Full Bore, a platformer about friendship and, well, boars.”

Heavy Recoil (Indie Gamer Chick)
“Heavy Recoil harkens back to the good ‘ole days when games would kick your ass with a steel-toed boot.  This is also known as the period before I was born, so the nostalgic value of Heavy Recoil does absolutely nothing for me.  And yet, when I see a game that does a pretty convincing job of looking like an 8 or 16 bit era title, I usually get excited.  That’s typically because such games seem to go that extra mile towards having good level design and awesome play control.  So does Heavy Recoil succeed?  Yes, at least when it comes to looking like a Super Nintendo game.  If I hadn’t known it was on XBLIG and saw a trailer for it, I would have thought for sure it was an SNES title that I had never heard of.  And after playing it, I would have guessed I had never heard of it because it was shit.”

Wot I Think: Drox Operative (Rock, Paper, Shotgun)
“Being cut from the same cloth as previous Soldak titles – Din’s Curse and Depths of Peril – Drox Operative is not a typical action roleplaying game. Rather than rolling the player down a lane like a gradually accelerating, spike-accruing bowling ball smashing through increasingly robust collections of pins, Drox plants them in the middle of a playfield filled with packs of enemies, spacefaring civilisations and the occasional dimensional pocket or other surprise.”




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