Tag Archives: free

Heed

Heed is odd. From the moment you start the game up, you get the feeling that it’s definitely not your cookie-cutter point ‘n’ click adventure. Maybe it’s the surreal backgrounds and stylized art, or perhaps it’s the bizarre and moody background music (containing remixed samples from late-19th-century folk music). Either way, Heed feels quite surreal, and it only gets more so as you play.

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Use Boxmen

Everything about Use Boxmen says ‘happy.’ The music sparkles in the background, what simple narration exists in the game is silly and smile-inducing and the characters ooze charm out whatever wazoo they might have in their deformed crayoned bodies. It would be such a great setup for a bit of coffee break relaxation. Such a pity then, that it isn’t. What we have here is a deceptive little piece of software designed purely to lure in unsuspecting gamers with its friendly demeanor, and then savagely drop them into some of the most challenging puzzles ever to involve mass stickman slaughter.

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Ben There, Dan That!

Are you sick of hearing the now clichéd ‘Adventures games are dead’ whenever fond memories of LucasArts and Sierra classics are shared? Even worse, are you sick of saying it? Because, like all overused maxims, this one also has that shred of truth that led to its conception, but it also led to a whole bunch of developers striving to prove it false.

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Sonny 2

So zombies, right? They’re pretty much awesome, and games that have them featured usually score quite a few points in their favour simply because of this fact. Make a zombie the protagonist of one of these and things just start looking up from there.

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Desktop Tower Defense Pro

The original version of this game spent some time at the top of Konkregate‘s most popular games list, looking very smugly at all the other games below it who scrabbled for the lower podium positions; it held a similar accolade for even longer under the strategy subcategory. Then the 1.5 update of the game traipsed onto Kongregate and managed to retain and refresh interest in the game, and, in fact, in the flash tower defence genre, for far longer than most people expected, racking up nearly 6 and a halfmillion plays on Kongregate alone, the third highest on the site. This is, of course, the very same site that hosts incredibly well polished games such as Sonny, as well as personal favourites, Fancy Pants Adventures and The Last Stand.

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Let’s look at Audacity effects!

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 26, released in October 2008

Interested in making your own sound effects for videogames? This month we’ll be looking at Audacity and a few of the common effects that can be used to turn your humble blink-blonks into fantastic kaphwooms.

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Mouth and microphone – The viability of home-brewed sound effects

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 24, released in August 2008.

One aspect of game creation that constantly seems to stump the average hobbyist developer is the matter of sound creation. Nowadays, experienced players can go onto the Internet, download a few indie games and easily pick up on what one may call “stock effects” – sounds that appear in a whole host of games because developers frequently resort to the same online libraries to get their beloved game noises. Favourites include Famous Bird Chirp and Ubiquitous Cow Moo.

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Zero Budget Indie Marketing Guide

Today’s game market is, by all accounts, saturated. There’s simply not enough time for people to play everything that’s on offer out there, even if everybody dedicated their lives to hunting out – and playing through – as many titles as humanly possible.

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Mastermind: World Conqueror Review

In the mainstream market there has been a lot of focus on moral dilemmas recently. Bioshock asked its players if they would rather save deformed little girls than bump them off for the ability to set their hands on fire. Fallout 3 wanted to know if greed is enough motivation to sacrifice an entire town. Even GTA 4, the game with a heart so black it makes total eclipses seem just a tad gloomy, had a couple of moments that had its audience asking themselves, “Good lord, what have I just done?” (Although admittedly the poignancy of these moments is dulled slightly by the amount of moments where the players just giggled and said “Did you see his head go under that truck?”)

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Sagrario’s Room Escape

The tone of the Sagrario’s Room Escape is cleverly set upon finding a plain manila folder containing nothing more than a simple page on which is printed – in friendly letters and with an accompanying smiley face – the words ‘good luck’. This cheeky challenge warns you that the game is going to be a struggle. In fact, it’s likely that most players will start it without ever completing it, ever being aware of their goals, or, in fact, ever reaching this point. This is in contrast the apparently simplicity of the setting: a small, spartan room with only a Vitruvian Man hanging on one wall, a small briefcase lying on the floor, and a chair blocking the only obvious exit. The later discovery that the aforementioned, apparently insignificant note is also a very subtle clue for one of the later puzzles is a testament to the game’s devious design: nothing is as simple as it looks.

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Flash for Free

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 28, released in January 2009.

Many of you have experienced it. You go online, log into your instant messenger or e-mail account and receive a link from some excited friend saying, “ARARRRAARARR PLAY THIS GAME ASBFLARGAFAG www.insertrandomlinkhere.com!!!!!” Chances are it’s either an Internet booby trap (if you have thosekind of friends) or an awesome browser-based something brought to you by Adobe Flash. And if you’re a keen game developer, you’ve probably slobbered at the idea of creating some of these cool games yourself.

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