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Show Topics Scratchpad (and suggestions)

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If anyone watched our episode this week, you know that we're going to be covering more topics and games every Thursday at 3PM EST. I need a good spot to write down all of my topic ideas, links and suggestions so I'm making this topic to stay organized and invite anyone to contribute ideas along the way...

Layoffs in the Game Industry:
http://kotaku.com/why-game-developers-k ... 1583192249

Indie Bubble Popping:
http://jeff-vogel.blogspot.com/2014/05/ ... pping.html


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Location: Wilmo Delaware! Represent

More ideas...

- Sexism in the Game Industry
- Best Games of each gaming era (Retro series)
- Analog Games
- Why local Co-Op is making a comeback
- AAA Games that let you down / Overhyped


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Location: Utah
Game Engines used for Indie Games.. popular ones and custom
Music in indie games
Indie oversaturation exacerbated by Steam's seemingly auto-greenlight
Future of Steam Greenlight (how much longer before it goes away)
Crowdfunding
Indie game developer motivations for making games (is it for money, fame, challenge or just the love?)


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Location: Wilmo Delaware! Represent

Indie E3 Highlights

Steam Data - it's all about being a Valve game or in the top 20%
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/i ... lar-games/


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Destiny Alpha
Weekly indie Kickstarter pick
VR - cool at shows, but would you buy it for home?


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Location: Ottawa, Canada

I'd be interested to see what you guys think of the whole devaluation of games thing, and the 'games as a commodity' mentality that it has brought about.
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funny you should mention the devaluation of games since I've been writing up a blog for Gamasutra... it's nearly done..


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Why I didn't buy your Indie Game: Episode 1:
http://geekparty.com/why-i-didnt-play-y ... two-words/


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Towerfall / Matt Thorson Interview:
http://www.polygon.com/features/2014/7/ ... tt-thorson

It's time for us to stop calling games indie:
http://killscreendaily.com/articles/its ... mes-indie/


Posts: 1566
Location: Ottawa, Canada

mgnade wrote:
It's time for us to stop calling games indie:
http://killscreendaily.com/articles/its ... mes-indie/

This is kind of a dumb article. In the words of Colin Northway:
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Not saying I agree with it, just found it an interesting read worth discussing.


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Posts: 1566
Location: Ottawa, Canada

mgnade wrote:

These are pretty sweet, thanks.
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mgnade wrote:

I, for one, am a fan of [good] pixel art. I hope it never goes away.

Speaking of pixel art, have you guys seen Moon Hunters? They're going into full-time development now that Shattered Planet is done. Could be a neat upcoming title for you guys to talk about on the show at some point.
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GnomeSlice wrote:
mgnade wrote:

I, for one, am a fan of [good] pixel art. I hope it never goes away.

Speaking of pixel art, have you guys seen Moon Hunters? They're going into full-time development now that Shattered Planet is done. Could be a neat upcoming title for you guys to talk about on the show at some point.


+1 for pixel art love. Thanks for that article, Mike.

Moon Hunters does look sweet. I'm looking forward to it.


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Here's a great one, although a bit inconclusive: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/JoshFair ... Bundle.php


Posts: 966
Location: Utah
mgnade wrote:

If pixel art is the future, then kill me now. Many of these games look like digital vomit and there isn't a technology excuse. In the 80's it made sense, and the retro fad had some novelty when it was revived several years ago. To say it is the future is like forgetting the past few years that we've been plagued by the overwhelming over-saturated ubiquitous pixel art in every non AAA game, or so it would seem.

FDR and others have said 'history repeats itself', which tends to be true. In politics it tends to run in 50 year cycles or so. Lets please give pixel graphics a break for awhile and maybe bring it back when it is novel again. As is, it is just becoming annoying for this gamer.

Lets get back to the days of graphics innovation. I'm kind of curious why there isn't more interest in creating unique game engines with an emphasis on graphics. I know lots of developers don't know how to write that and piggyback on other engines, which is fine, but I have a hankering for that retro feeling of games and graphics getting better, rather than devolving into earlier eras of technology.

Maybe one of the countless new bundle copycat sites can try something novel and original instead of wholesale copying (yes, I'm sad that bundle in a box failed as it was indeed original). How about an indie game store site that only has games that show interest in moving things forward rather than backward? Maybe even a filter for 'custom engine'. Heck, you could call the site non-retro indiegames or something like that. Or, we can keep churning out the same drivel that has been spoonfed to us for the past few years and be stuck in the 80's forever.

Wouldn't it be mildly intriguing if the word 'indie' could be synonymous with 'innovative'? A lot of these indie groups don't even want to take risks any more. Look at the 80's, then see what the companies did... small groups a guy or two would make a game, then they got better and better and better, instead of moving from one identical kickstarter project to the next identical one, all with the same boring pixel graphics. If I had some wealth, I'd be tempted to setup a grant to encourage the industry to reward innovation in graphics and custom engines. Maybe it would help us get out of this slump.

Sadly, my identity is becoming more disassociated with indie games every day, yet AAA doesn't meet my needs either. I probably have 500 games in my collection that are essentially the same game. Bring something new to the table, please. Here's an idea, take your cookie cutter game and instead of just releasing it with lazy graphics, do something special. Otherwise, in my eyes, you're not going to look any different than the other 500 games that release the same day as your game (because, trust me, they released with lazy pixel graphics because the 'demographic' 'wants it'). I guess I'm just not part of the demographic any more. Somebody please wake me up when games are good again, because I'll be excited for the first time in a long time and won't want to go to sleep because I'll be enjoying the moment too much.

I guess if you don't want pigeons to shit on your lot, then you stop feeding them. To that point, I believe it is time for me to stop buying games with retro graphics.


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PlayerReview wrote:
mgnade wrote:

Or, we can keep churning out the same drivel that has been spoonfed to us for the past few years and be stuck in the 80's forever.

Wouldn't it be mildly intriguing if the word 'indie' could be synonymous with 'innovative'?

I guess if you don't want pigeons to shit on your lot, then you stop feeding them. To that point, I believe it is time for me to stop buying games with retro graphics.

Did you even read the article? I mean you're allowed to disagree but it doesn't seem like you actually read it.

What did you think about this particular passage:
But while the term "pixel art" is often used synonymously with "retro," the style doesn’t have to signify nostalgia — or vice versa. Some of the most retro games around eschew pixel art entirely, in fact. Shadow Complex has all the trappings of a AAA title that uses the Unreal Engine and features the voice of Uncharted’s Nathan Drake, but it plays almost exactly like Nintendo’s 1994 classic Super Metroid. Nintendo’s own New Super Mario Bros. games blend detailed 2D graphics with 3D characters, but the postmodernist title says it all — it’s a throwback to the NES and SNES Super Mario titles before the Nintendo 64 changed everything. Now Nintendo saves its 80s pixel art for original titles like Mario Maker and NES Remix, placing the aging sprites in a brand-new context.

Instead, pixel art is best thought of as video gaming’s most characteristic visual style, one that was forged throughout the history of the medium and is inextricably linked to it. "I’m interested in making work that feels visually at home on a computer," says Jason Rohrer, whose experimental indie games like Passage (above) and Gravitation were among the first to bring the question of "games as art" to a wider audience. "I don't want to make things that look like watercolor paintings or crayon drawings, for example. I came to see pixel art as a kind of digitally native cartooning." In Passage, the pixels themselves can be seen to serve a storytelling purpose, with glitchy effects and simple color changes helping to show how the protagonist shuffles through life.

Also, out of curiosity, how do you define 'innovation in graphics'?
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PixelArt can be boring and can look alike in some bad cases, but here's some defense of it in visual form. Also pretty innovative and cool graphics if you ask me:

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