After our interview with him, I thought the time was perfect to have an in-depth look at Coil, McMillen’s entry into this year’s IGF, which has earned it’s place as a finalist in the Innovation category. It was in this same category that Gish won in 2005, so it’ll be the second time should Coil win it this year. I touched a little on what I thought of Coil in the interview, but below is a far more detailed impressions, along with some rather pretty pictures if you get bored.
You might have heard of a little game called Mount and Blade. Phill did a little piece about it here. For those of you who have not, it’s a simulation of what Pippa Funnel’s ancestors must have been like – it’s violent, it’s thinksome, and it features a fair few studs. It’s also due an expansion. Quite whether this extra content will cost us a Valve-update-volume of pfennigs remains beyond this scribbler’s powers of investigation. One thing’s for certain, if the game’s not free, I’ll join the veteran legions of angry internet men – horse at the throat from demanding our due.
The expansion’s main draw is the fact that it adds multiplayer to the game; something that would really make it even more excellent, really. The combat engine works wonderfully, and the thought of 30+ different sentient beings all in it is just a bit of a wonderful thought. There’ll be plenty of exhilarating cavalry charges, that’s for sure. The other big addition is updated diplomacy, allowing the player to have a bit more control over just what he can and can’t do in the world. Adding HDR will be a welcome (if somewhat unneeded) addition, what with the mod already being out in the wild. I’m sure Paradox will do it much better. Lastly, the AI is going to be improved, which means I won’t have to facepalm as my cavalry all dismount to charge at some archers.
Edmund McMillen has become a bit of a poster boy for what it means to be an indie developer. He’s constantly producing games (and I really mean constantly) of a high caliber and a thoughtful content. They’ve been pushed towards the ‘art’ side of the indie scene, but they still remain very fun. In Aether you can launch yourself into the heavens by way of monster tongue, after all.
Ever wanted to see someone make a game over a tight period of time? Ever wanted to watch many people do the same thing over the same period of time in 53 locations in 23 countries? No? Really? Well, you should’ve. And now you can! And if the people sitting around computers bore you, there’s always the adorable, ridiculously cute kittens. No, really.
For those of you that don’t know, Global Game Jam is a worldwide event were loads of people head to their nearest location and make games. They’re usually very simple, but there are usually a few glowing gems around, even if they are usually made by Kyle Gabler. Some people get all the talent. At least he’s helping everyone out this year with some handy tips. Kitten cam below, and you can check out the other’s here, at the Global Game Jam website.
Another gem unearthed on the TIGSource forums. White Butterfly is a vertical shooter that’s a little bit different, although I’m not sure entirely why. It could be the aesthetics, which are lovely in a very soft curves, deadly plasma way, and that, coupled with the sparsity of colour on display certainly help. The weapons have a very unique feel, even if some of them seem rather generic at first. Maybe it’s because it’s so cripplingly hard, despite having such a vast array of weaponry at hand. Maybe it’s the music.
As usual, I’m quite bad at it, and I didn’t even get past the first stage, despite beating one boss. Funny thing was, though, I still really enjoyed it. There different ship types make it interesting quite a few times, as it creates the illusion that you’re not actually that bad, you just haven’t found the ‘right’ ship yet. There’s one which is locked to begin with, and I’m pretty sure that’s the ship that is the perfect one for me. Pity I’ll have to get past stage three to unlock it. Seems we’ve got a bit of a quandary, huh?
Anyway, you can download it here, and here’s a video of someone who’s unfairly good at the game:
After yesterday’s farce (whether by accident or design) over the Gears of War .exe expiry, this comes as a very welcome change. You can now add your Unreal Tournament 3 keys to Steam, in preparation for a major update. I may take every opportunity I can to demonstrate just how shallow the Epic business model is, but I cannot deny that this was a good move, especially in the wake of yesterday’s controversy, so I guess apologies are in order towards Cliffy B and crew if they maintain smart moves like this.
We at The Reticule are unashamed Steamophiles. We love Steam to bits really, and it’s basically thanks to Steam communities that we met and created the site. But what I’d really like to know is, what do you guys think about Steam, and moves like this? Do you find Steam to be as intuitive and useful as we do? Or is it unecessary bloat distracting you from your games? Do you feel annoyed that Epic are perhaps forcing you to use it after you bought it in the knowledge that it wasn’t on Steam?
As a slight aside, incase people are confused, I, Greg Wild, am infact Stalins Ghost. Sorry for any confusion there guys!