Positech founder Cliff Harris has been known to be outspoken on issues that are important to him (DRM, for example) over the years and has taken it upon himself to speak out on issues when he felt the need, so word of what he said during a GDC talk this week is not all that surprising. During The Indie Soapbox panel Harris had some strong language for middleware makers and how - in some ways - the accessibility of game engine software that is cheap or free has been a detriment to the indie game development scene.
Gamasutra has an interesting and fascinating article on how one developer harnessed the power of a captive audience to test a prototype of his mobile game. Waiting in line at your local Department of Motor Vehicles office is a pain in the ass. Chances are you'll be fiddling around with your phone anyway so when the developer of the mobile puzzle game Patchmania needed some help testing his latest creation it made perfect sense to him to ask people to try it out.
One of the biggest tragedies in 2015 (so far) as a writer who has covered video games from various angles over the last 18 years, is seeing a publication like Joystiq and all of its affiliate sites get shut down by its parent company AOL.
One of those affiliate sites, Massively, faithfully served massively-multiplayer online game fans for years (since 2007) and did so with passion and care for the subject matter it covered so well.
You know you are really onto something big when you ask for $10,000 to fund a card game and you get $2,850,507 in one day (and climbing fast). That's what happened when the Kickstarter campaign for the card game Exploding Kittens launched earlier in the week. It met its funding goal in minutes and it managed to rake in over $2 million from 73,000 backers. The card game is being created by former Xbox employees and popular comic strip and web site The Oatmeal.
Ed Zarick is at it again. The self-taught engineer has built a "laptop" device that combines both the Xbox One and the PS4. Custom built for a customer, Zarick calls his little creation the PlayBox. The device is a 22" laptop (case) that combines a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One into a single machine. Zarick's latest device is similar to his Xbook Duo design, a previous combo-unit he built that contained both an Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Finalists for the 17th annual Independent Games Festival awards have been announced today. For the 2015 event, which runs in conjunction with the Game Developers Conference in March (Moscone Center, San Francisco), organizers chose 30 indie games in a variety of categories including Excellence In Visual Art, Excellence In Narrative, Excellence In Design, Excellence In Audio, the Nuovo Award, and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize.
When GSC Gameworld went insolvent and had to close its doors many years ago, a large contingent of its former employees left to form a studio called Vostok Games. You may have seen the name before because representatives from the company have been pretty vocal about people who claim to have worked on the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series in various capacities - specifically West Games, who unsuccessfully tried to crowd-fund (and failed) a spiritual successor called Areal. That company is currently trying to crowd-fund another game called Stalker Apocalypse.
Last week the first event from The Porn Charity took place, with the goal of raising funds for a merit-based STEM scholarship. The event held by the charity organization founded by adult entertainment star Mercedes Carrera - a three hour live adult web cam show featuring Carrera and fellow adult film stars Paisley Parker, Holly Heart, Mia Austin, Selma Sins, and Nadia Styles - had a modest showing, raising $1,550 in tips. That figure was matched by event host webcams.com, bringing the total amount raised to $3,100.
Independent game festival IndieCade, and Museum of the Moving Image announced that they will partner for a third year to present IndieCade East from February 13 - 15, 2015 at Museum of the Moving Image. The Festival program includes a professional conference featuring panels and discussions headlined by prominent game makers, academics, artists, marketers, and journalists.
While a lot of publications are doing the year end awards, we find the stuff the community is making infinitely more interesting. So in that spirit, we want to highlight that the community has voted for Mod DB's Players' Choice Top 100 Mods of 2014. The public voting took 10-days and saw 66,061 people pick their favorite creations.
These mods included Euro Truck 2 Multiplayer, Breaking Point for ARMA III, Enderal for Skyrim and the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Lost Alpha mod.
The popular RPG platformer hybrid Shovel Knight has sold over 300,000 units. The announcement about this major milestone came from developer Yacht Club Games via Twitter.
Shovel Knight launched on 3DS, PC, and Wii U in North America this summer, but the game has only been out in Europe for about a month.
Gamasutra reports that the United States' National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has made gamification software it created available for free on GitHub under an MIT free software license, allowing programmers and the general public tools and assets to tinker with.
The American University School of Communication is using a $250,000 grant from the Knight Foundation for a new program to train journalists in game design, Gamasutra reports.The grant money will be used to fund a "Journalism Leadership Transformation" pilot program with six fellowship positions: three for working journalists, and three for journalism students.
Kill Screen has a fascinating interview with indie developer Nicky Case, who is working on a video game about media bias. His inspiration? The network coverage of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.
On August 9, African American teen Michael Brown was shot multiple times by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson. The death of the teen, who was unarmed at the time he was shot at least five times, sparked riots and protests in Ferguson, and tons of national attention from media outlets.
Prolific indie game developer Anna Anthropy has released her latest game, Gay Cats Go to the Weird Weird Woods as a Freeware download for Windows PCs. Built using Gamemaker, Anthropy's latest game stars her and her partners' cats, who go on a magical adventure in the woods together. The game is described as "a low-pressure, enjoyable, exploratory experience" that will take players about 15 minutes to finish.
Lucas Pope's grim border patrol simulation, Papers, Please is not only coming to the PlayStation 4 but the PS Vita as well. Papers, Please was just one of several indie titles that Sony highlighted yesterday during its Gamescom PlayStation press briefing. The news comes from PlayStation strategic content speaker Shahid Kamal Ahmad, who confirmed the upcoming Vita version on Twitter.
A 16-year-old programmer has developed a browser add-on that makes it very easy to track how money is influencing politics. As detailed by Ars Technica, programmer Nicholas Rubin has created a web browser add-on called "Greenhouse."
Noah Dyer, who calls himself an "anti-privacy" activist, is seeking $300,000 in a Kickstarter campaign to fund a year-long live stream of his life. And when we say his life, we mean _everything_ you could possibly imagine. He calls the project "A Year Without Privacy."
We asked Noah, who also calls himself a political theorist, what he means when he says that he is an anti-privacy activist. He told us that he believes that nothing should be kept private.
Dan Adelman, the guy that used to be in charge of Nintendo's indie program, has been let go by the company. In an interview with Kotaku he also said that Nintendo basically banned him from tweeting after he made comments about region locking and the 3DS port of The Binding of Isaac. Further, Adelman claims that Nintendo's PR department wanted to take his Twitter account over for him.
"We don't need more copyright," says Chapman University law professor Tom Bell in a new video interview with Libertarian publication Reason.com. "Probably we could dial it back and still enjoy this great wealth of culture that's been generated, that's already in our libraries."
Occasional GamePolitics contributor and co-host of Super Podcast Action Committee E. Zachary Knight has launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for his RPG-flavored collectible token game, Demon's Hex. EZK and his brother Willis Knight are developing the game through their tiny indie game studio Divine Knight Gaming.
"The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz" will open in select theaters throughout the United States June 27, and will be released online through iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Comcast and DirecTV. The film will be offered exclusively to own through Vimeo On Demand for the first month of release.
While Sony works on Morpheus for PS4 and Oculus continues to developer Oculus Rift, Google is offering a more mundane approach to the virtual reality space called Google Cardboard. It sounds like an April Fool's Day prank, but Google Cardboard is a DIY VR headset offering developed by a two-man team (in Europe) at Google that uses a simple cardboard headset, and a few household items to offer VR using an Android phone and a Google app.
League of Legends developer Riot Games is offering newly hired staff 10 percent of their salary if they want to quit. The goal of this incentive (dubbed the "Queue Dodge") to walk away from working at Riot is to weed out those new hires who are not happy with their current situation and to retain those who are passionate about developing the popular MOBA title, according to the developer.
The V&A’s first ever Game Designer in Residence, Sophia George, today launches the annual game design competition for students, Dare to be Digital. George started her career on Dare to be Digital, winning in 2011 with her family-friendly puzzle game Tick Tock Toys. The Dare to be Digital competition is an annual affair hosted and run by Abertay University.
The last time we checked games journalist Andrew Groen's Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for his book, A History of the Great Empires of Eve Online, it had more than doubled its initial goal of $12,500. As of this writing the project sits at $34,487. With the project fully funded and earning nearly three-times its original goal, Groen (pictured, left) has been talking about some things he can do to make the project more interesting.
When lawmakers and rights holders were pushing for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian rented protest billboards to strongly voice his opposition to those bills.
The annual Ludum Dare will begin in the wee hours of this evening and in multiple time zone to boot. Founded by Geoff Howland, and running since 2002, Ludum Dare challenges developers of all skill levels to make a game in 72 hours. Since its launch the community has run more than 22 regular events, and has collectively created thousands of games.