We are but a few short days away from the unveiling of the next Xbox and the rumors are running quite rampant. One thing we do know for certain is that XNA, Microsoft's packaged game development tools, will no longer be supported, though nothing has been stated yet what that means for the XBLIG program. This week in Indie-Ana Co-op, we look at an indie game that shows the value in having a program like this on a console: Rise of the Ravager.
An indie game rarely is in development for four years; a variety of concerns (primarily money) would make it difficult for an independent developer to tweak and refine a game for that long. Yet Pocketwatch Games' award-winning and much anticipated co-op title, Monaco: What's Yours is Mine, managed to make it through its long development cycle and finally gets sprung today on PC. Some games spend years in development and fall flat. Monaco, though, is well poised to steal your gaming time.
In part one of our interview with Chris Park, Founder/CEO/Lead Programmer/Lead Designer of Arcen Games, we discussed Arcen's unique approach to game design and development; specifically, how none of their games can really be classified by one genre but are an amalgam of different concepts and mechanics. We then discussed one of their recent releases, A Valley Without Wind 2. In part two of the interview, we turn our focus to Shattered Haven and what lies ahead.
It has been over 3 years since the last time we spoke with Arcen Games and its founder, Chris Park. In that amount of time, many developers would have released another game, maybe two. Arcen has produced and released no less than three games and a ton of content for A.I. War; and there's more on the way. We speak with Chris about one of his latest releases, AVWW2, as well what drives Arcen.
One of the more classic forms of co-op games is the brawler/beat-em-up genre. From Streets of Rage to the up-and-coming Dragon's Crown, we all enjoy a solid co-op brawler from time to time. The developers at newly formed Dinosaur share that sentiment are currently developing their first game, MechKnight Chronicles. We only have a little information at this time about the game, but so far, it's looking very promising. Inspirations for the title read like a greatest hits of the brawler and they're currently working to ensure the game has 4-player online, local, and, ideally, LAN, co-op.
This month in Indie-Ana Co-Op, we hear from the Yeti Trunk, aka "Team Wanderlust." Since their initial outing into the world of game development a year and a half ago with Wanderlust: Rebirth, Yeti Trunk has released a couple of mobile game for the iPhone/iPad market. Now they're looking to return to the world of Wanderlust, and co-founder Matthew Griffin wants to share with all the other indie devs out there the one thing that's helped them out the most: listening to the fans.
Things were shaky for Retrovirus developer Cadenza Interactive for awhile. The Kickstarter campaign they launched for their cooperative six-degrees-of-freedom shooter failed due to a variety of reasons. Yet the small development team managed to press on and released the game on Steam last month. We talk with Matt Enright, one of the lead developers on the game, about how they managed it all, what challenges they faced, and what's next for them.
As indie gaming continues to grow, especially in the PC space, it's starting to run into a bit of a problem - namely it's becoming difficult to find the type of indie game you'd enjoy. Sites like Desura and GoG.com are a good place to find games but sometimes there's just too many to casually browse. Indie developers have their own problem, while Steam Greenlight gives them a path to the promised land, there's still stiff competition to get on the service. This means indies are fighting to get noticed by the exact people they want to play their games. This is where ShinyLoot comes in, a new store front launching in beta today for indie PC games.
Wraith Entertainment's Dawnstar, a cooperative space shooter with some action-RPG elements tossed in for flavor, reminds me of IKEA furniture. You know what it is supposed to look like. You want what it is supposed to be. It's just missing those last few pieces that will make it look like the picture on the box...
I have a special place in my heart for nerdy things related to old PC culture. Perhaps it reminds me of an innocent youth in front of my 386DX messing with config.sys and autoexec.bat files trying to determine if I should include or not include himem.sys. Still with me? If you are, then I've got a game that plays to those memories quite well. The game is call Retrovirus, from indie developer Cadenza, and it not only features plenty of geeky throwbacks and a full co-op campaign in 6DOF.
Not too long ago, though it certainly seems that way in gaming years, we spoke with indie developer BetaDwarf about their upcoming four-player co-op arena title, FORCED. The basic premise is that you're part of an enslaved people that are forced to compete in battles with the possible hope of surviving and eventually gaining freedom. Taking cues from Diablo, Left 4 Dead, and even Smash TV (in a way), the developers at BetaDwarf were hoping to get some additional Kickstarter funds to help see the game through.
A couple weeks back we mentioned that a new indie co-op game, Dawnstar, would be available that week. The game is a space shooter mixed with Diablo elements wrapped in interesting comic/cel-shaded graphics, and looked to be quite a fun time to have with up to 4 of your friends.
This week in Indie-Ana Co-Op, we speak with John Common, the creative mind behind the zombie indie co-op game, Dead Pixels. If you haven't had a chance to play it yet, I highly recommend it. It's a bargain at $2.99 on Steam, and a steal at $0.99 on the Xbox. A year after its initial release, the game is still going strong and we wanted to find out from John what's been so successful about the game and what he's learned along the way.
Let's face it, space combat games are a tough genre to find anymore. Thanks to the indie movement though, we're seeing a slight comeback in a genre which once features games like X-Wing vs Tie Fighter, Wing Commander and many, many more. This week there's an indie release sneaking out from upstart developer Wraith Entertainment. The game is called Dawnstar and it has a lot of potential.
A new year means a new year of gaming to which to look forward. While there are a few AAA co-op titles set to release over the next few months that we're excited about, there are also quite a few independent co-op games that are slated to come out within the first 6 months of the year. So, without further ado, we present to you our most anticipated indie co-op titles of 2013, in no particular order.
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