Three Interesting Indie / Early Access Games from February

The shortest month of the year is now gone, but it didn’t leave without a bang, at least not where new games are concerned. Instead of focusing on the popular releases everybody has heard of, I decided to point the spotlight on some Indie games. Simple games can create hours of fun, and every now and then something special comes out that overshadows even the big names. Let’s take a look at some of the ones that were released in February.

3. Mercenary Kings Reloaded

This 2D action game received a huge update in February, making it a whole new game, and a whole new experience. Jump into the shoes of a mercenary (or more of them: multiplayer is included!) and defeat the CLAW organization – all of this while being able to customize your guns and armour.

Although, if you are not a fan of a 90’s looking environment, you might want to look at the next game instead… Click here to go to the Steam page.

2. Freeman: Guerrilla Warfare

The trailers for this game are, frankly, awful. I nearly closed the browser at that point. But what caught my eye was the number of reviews, and how positive they were (2,224 at 91% when writing). So I checked it out.

As a leader in the game, you have to make advancements in both strategy and actual fighting – it’s an all-round conquest game. Making money and building an army may be very interesting to those of you who love traditional strategy games, but personally I was the most excited about the FPS part and how that plays. The Steam forums indicate the devs are active, and this game could be something rather interesting. Click here to go to the Steam page.

1. The Station

The most advanced of the games on this list, this sci-fi space-themed game is being billed as a masterpiece. It was successfully Kickstarted in November 2016, although delivery of the final game was several months late.

Its puzzle elements bring out suspense, and the space station surroundings create a unique atmosphere. Just looking at the trailers and some of the gameplay footage make me want to dive into it.

The Station is a first-person game, so it is great for those of us who like that style of game – just, this time, we’ll have to focus on the puzzles instead of aiming. Looking at the work that has gone into The Station, I’d say this is certainly worth checking out. The back-story to the game is that a research station has been setup to monitor a sentient alien species. But the team go out of contact, and a recon specialist is sent to investigate. Want to know what happens? Play the game 😉 Click here to go to the Steam page.

Let me know if you’ve played any of these games, and what you think of them!

 

Unity Adam Demo

The Adam Demo was previewed a little while ago, and is a short film – rendered in real time – in the Unity 5 engine. Although it’s important to note there is a caveat that it uses a lot of beta and upcoming pieces of Unity tech (click this link to read more).

Despite this there is no doubt it is very interesting tech demo, and an intriguing piece of cinema in its own right. Have a watch:

Many thanks to Chris Murphy for the heads up on Adam’s release.

Cool Dual Gear News

A few weeks ago I posted this article about Dual Gear, an interesting new mech game which is in development.

To coincide with their Indiegogo campaign, which you can view by clicking here:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dual-gear-mecha-turn-based-x-action-game

they have released an alpha demo of the game (thanks to MrFlou for the heads up!). You can download the alpha from IndieDB via this link:

http://www.indiedb.com/downloads/dual-gear-pre-alpha-demo-050

Do be aware though that the download speed seems quite slow right now, and their website appears to be down as well at the time of writing.

Look out for a report on how well the demo runs, and whether or not you should consider backing the Indiegogo campaign, in the near future.

And while you’re waiting, here’s 18 minutes of mech pr0n:

Why I hate “lazy devs”

Like a lot of people, I used to blame “lazy devs” for shoddy games. How hard can it be to create a game that works? Surely if those lazy devs got off their backsides instead of spending all day rolling around in our money they’d at least be able to create something that worked!

When I joined the game industry it started to dawn on me that, by and large, there are no lazy devs. There are a lot of underpaid, over-worked, stressed and extremely passionate devs – but I’ve never met one that I’d characterise as lazy. It’s a cut throat industry, with a lot of people wanting to get into it (building games is cool), so it’s not an industry that lends itself to laziness.

This is why I hate “lazy devs”, because that label is wrong.

The devs are the people that create games, the ones working hard to build features, create levels, animate characters, invent stories that transport you and me into far flung adventures.

But they’re not the ones that make the rules or change things mid-development.

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Twitch or YouTube – Which Do You Prefer?

Time was the main video content delivery site was YouTube. You could see the latest video from your favourite channels, at a time of your choosing, and see some pretty high quality stuff. For many years this was my main way of watching video content.

But over the last couple of years I’ve noticed a huge drop in my personal time on YouTube, and a subsequent increase in time watching Twitch streamers. Even traditional YouTubers, such as TotalBiscuit, can have 10,000+ people watching them when they stream. Right now I follow 144 different channels, and you can see some of my favourites at the bottom of this post.

 

In fact, and don’t hate me for this 😉 as I’m writing this post the CoD world league stream is on in the background with Machine and MoMo casting. It’s not necessarily the game that interests me, I quite like watching LoL for example and genuinely haven’t got a clue what’s going on, but the production quality and casting quality is excellent. Good casters are personalities in themselves, and can bring alive a game between two teams in a way that makes you invested in the game you’re watching. And next time you watch it because you’ve not got a team to cheer for.

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Welcome to the new blog

After some months without a home it’s time to get back into blogging 🙂 I’ve moved to WordPress.com for the convenience more than anything else, self-hosting can be a real PITA – although there are quite a few advantages to it.

One thing I’ll say for WordPress.com, the integration into other services is awesome and very easy. It took quite some time to set everything up self-hosted, on here it’s a few clicks and it’s done.

For now I’ve ditched the content from the old site. Most of it was Battlefield-related, and as I hardly play that any more it didn’t make sense to keep it. Maybe I’ll import it at some point in the future.

I’ve missed creative writing, the exhilaration of writing for the sake of writing. I’m lucky in that at work I get to write a lot of our public stuff, which is a great outlet for those creative urges. But with that comes a certain responsibility – what I write has to be of a certain standard, fit a certain mould, and carry a certain message. It’s great, but it’s not mine, and that’s what this blog is for.

I hope you have the time to provide feedback on anything you read here.

Thank you for reading!