Indie Zoe: Raider of the Lost News (26 September 2013)

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Indie zoe raider of lost news
I’m a bad hipster – sure, I’ve got Mac products, but I don’t have skinny jeans or any ironic eye wear. Maybe I should start wearing my Gunnars to boost my street cred, but I’m not sure my brain can take it. Oh well, at least I’ve still got love for the indies – here’s all the indie news of the week!

First up, a bunch of guys from Klei and TelltaleGames have decided to make a new indie studio, Campo Santo. I must say, I love the intro to their new blog explaining what it’s like to found an indie studio:

Deciding to found and then actually CREATE a video game studio has felt like a mix of buying a winning lottery ticket and taking a brash detour that results in a near miss with a pedestrian. Impulse followed by action followed by sitting in your car hyperventilating. The outcome is thrilling at best and disastrous at worst.

Their first game is being backed and made in collaboration with the Mac utility software/design studio Panic Inc. Should be interesting to see where this goes – always nice to see studios opening rather than closing.

On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got some mismanagement of funds in the indie Kickstarted game, CLANG. Despite surpassing their $500k goal, development has moved into a hobby phase as developers can only work on it during “evenings and weekends” until they get more funding. That’s right, they need more money:

Is the CLANG project dead? At what point do you put a toe tag on an indie game and call it finished? Opinions on that might vary, but in our opinion, the project doesn’t die simply because it runs out of money. Projects run out of money all the time. As a matter of fact, game industry veterans we have talked to take a blithe attitude toward running out of money, and seem to consider it an almost obligatory rite of passage.

You know, I’m sure it’s easy for industry veterans to have a blithe attitude about budgets – they didn’t just falsely take $526 125 from people excited enough to Kickstart a project. In fact, I’m seriously put off by this phrase:

Kickstarter is amazing, but one of the hidden catches is that once you have taken a bunch of people’s money to do a thing, you have to actually do that thing, and not some other thing that you thought up in the meantime.

Really? Um, isn’t that kind of the whole point of game development? These guys are sounding like QCF Design with their Desktop Dungeons game that has been driving local indie supporters insane. I know indie development is really hard, and you want to make the best possible product, but sometimes you just need to release your game and move on – or be honest with people (and yourself) upfront about the time and financial costs involved.

Back to the good news, Sony has announced dates and opened entries for their Developer Open Days. They will be taking place in London and aim to raise awareness about developing and self-publishing on PlayStation platforms. I love the commitment to the indies that we’re seeing from Sony.

But enough about news, let’s get some games! IndieGameStand has launched a new store, and in honor of that launch they are having a sale. Who doesn’t love a sale? Go check out IndieGameStand and get your hands on some cheap indies. Meanwhile, GOG is also having an indie sale (Super 5 Promo) – you can get five games (although technically six because two are combined) for $5. These include Escape Goat and VVVVVV – go have a look at the bundle. Meanwhile, Bundle in a Box which I told you about last week, is still running. Get eight indie RPGs for $2 and an extra five games if you pay more than the average price which is still less than $6. That’s right, 13 games for less than $6 – not a bad deal. I just hope you all got the Humble Bundle – I got ten fantastic indie games for $5.

Last Updated: September 26, 2013

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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