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Posts Tagged ‘Steam’

Atom Zombie Smasher

March 18, 2011 Leave a comment

[screen shot via Steam]

Atom Zombie Smasher has been ruining my productivity lately. It’s hard to resit the urge of destroying pink zombies that are infesting my randomly generated cites. You should play it too.

Humble Bundle

December 9, 2010 Leave a comment

I mentioned the humble bundle a few months back, just a few days ago I received an email letting me know the bundle is now available on steam! Now your friends will know when you are playing awesome games like World of Goo or Aquaria. Thats not all; the email also mentioned a second humble bundle coming soon!

Thanksgiving Steam Sales

November 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve been neglecting my blog a lot lately and game development in general due to school. Anyways, here’s an update that many of you probably know about already. Steam (as always) is having ridiculous holiday sales and indie games are where you can save the most money. Each day so far they’ve had a special themed indie pack that contained four or five games for only five dollars. Tomorrow is the last day of these sales and I expect them to put all the sales on the website again. Now go spend some money!

Dogfighter on Sale for $1.50

October 26, 2010 1 comment

I totally forgot to post this the other day. Dogfighter is on sale on Steam for $1.50. You cannot beat that price.

Dogfighter is a 3d third person arena airplane combat game. There are a handful of maps with tons of different weapons and power ups. The developers have been very community focused and added many community requested features. Definitely worth the try, I mean, what else are you going to spend $1.50 on? A candy bar? Oh please.

Portal 2 Teaser

June 15, 2010 Leave a comment

[Kotaku]

The trailer for Portal 2 is now available! It was also announced that it will be available on the PS3, 360, and PC. The Ps3 version will be the first console sporting the ‘steamworks’ software similar to Steam on the PC/Mac. Looks like Valve is really pumping it out right now. First a Mac release, then console, soon Portal 2?!

[game sales] Torchlight for five bucks!

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Yummm! Steam’s Weekend Deal is Torchlight! Grab it now for only five bucks! This has been on my watch list since it’s release. It’s a really, really great RPG. It honestly feels like a modern Diablo. So it will keep you at bay until Diablo three is finally released. But Torchlight isn’t a copy cat, it has plenty of nifty features such as retiring old characters and using them for new ones. There’s tons of content here so five bucks is a steal! The only downer is that there is no multi-player support, but Runic games has stated that their next project is an MMO version of Torchlight. Thankfully it will be free to play, but with in game items that can be purchased with real cash. I’m already looking forward to it!

What Makes Indie Games Indie

March 8, 2010 1 comment

So why exactly are indie games you ask? Why are they different than main stream games? Well here’s a little information about the video game industry.

There are four levels of production to get a game from an idea to a store’s shelves:

Developer – Blizzard, Naughty Dog

The developer(s) can be one person or a team of X amount of people that actually get their hands dirty. They come up with the idea, plan out development, create graphics, program the game, etc. This is where all you programmers and artists are, where all the fun takes place! But also means living off spam and rice until your game is done.

Publisher – EA, Valve

After a developer comes up with the idea, they create some sort of demo to pitch to a Publisher. The publishers pick and choose games that they believe will sell. Publishers pretty much have control over a game because they are the ones paying the developers because the developers need the money to keep making their game. They also need the people who can get their game out on store shelves.

Manufacturer – Sony, Microsoft

The manufacturers create the mediums that games are played; computers/consoles/handhelds. Developers have to to spend big bucks on prototype or developer versions of the consoles (much often the same now-a-days except for a few jumper pins for debugging) in order to develop on the systems. Though for computers, you can start right away, as long as you have one and the write software! Manufacturers also regulate the games on their systems (once again except PC, unless your talking about digital distributing platforms like Steam. In that case Valve has the say on what games go on their storefront.) and create the CDs, ROM carts, and what not that gamers buy.

Licenses – NBA, Pokemon, Halo

This plays a major role in getting the game out there. A baseball game would hardly make it out of the shipping box at the store if it didn’t have an NBA logo. You often have to pay big bucks to acquire popular licenses, but it almost guarantees your game will sell because gamers will recognize the label.

And that’s how most main steam games are produced. Keep in mind, some companies combine all four steps under one roof, so they have in house development teams and what not. Which costs less but ends up creating less motivated employees.

So what do indie games do that are different? Well its often just the development team doing everything. Now that may sound like the fore mentioned paragraph but indie developers do it different.

Indie equals independent. Solo. Alone. With no help.  They create their game by them selves, with a friend, or a relatively small team that are dedicated to their vision. They promote their own game and sell it using services like PayPal eliminating the need of a publisher. But this also eliminates their paychecks, so everything comes out of their own pocket, aside from donations and sales later on. Most indie games are found on the PC/Mac so they don’t really need a manufacturer to create hardware or CDs/ROM carts, everything is digitally distributed.

But there have been so-called indie games on consoles and platforms like Steam. Are they indie games? Well that’s been quite a controversial topic, because in reality, they are getting help with sales and promotion. Everything is just handled differently. So some people say they aren’t indie games, some say they are.

But personally, indie games stand out in the industry because they aren’t the same formula used in hundreds of other games on the market; murder simulators, button mashers, etc. They often use the good ‘ole classic genres with retro graphics or some totally new game mechanic with hand drawn sprites. But when it all comes down to it, indie games are intuitive and original games that leave an impact on your mind.

But that’s what I just define as indie.