Sunday, November 21, 2010

Show Me the Games; An experimental indie commune of hippieocracy

So this is fresh news to me; Cliffski, the guy behind Gratuitous space battles, just posted some very intriguing stuff.

He's got a site, show me the games, up for some odd amount of time where he and other indies have put up their games. Apparently; they're sharing webspace and advertising to try and pool sales via returning customers. In short; it's a shared sales personality that they can advertise as one unit.

Note they've got Defcon in there. Defcon pulls a lot of hits. Mr. Robot, not so much (still a good game, that's for another post.) But since htey're both together, they're essentially advertising for and supporting each other.

Very novel, very neat and very amazing that he actually got it to work out. Indies aren't the best at co-operating, there's a reason they get GOTY awards yet somehow don't work for big studios, and it isn't just for their health, either.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fast Forward

From the many Warped Worlds of the Digital Eel empire, it's... wait, what the bloody hell is this thing, anyway?

By my ascertension you play a cracked out gyroscope knocking around racing cereal boxes and avoiding red UFOs and angry trapezoids of death while eating corn pops strewn about a superhighway through the game tempest.

But that's just me, and I'm weird. If you're weird, too, you'll probably want to play this. I know I will!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gratuitous Space Conquest

Cliffski over at Psotech Games seems to have outdone himself yet again with a superb new offering for his Gratuitous Space Battles game:

I mean, the galactic con quest mechanic has been discussed at length at his blog and, I'll admit, I've always thought it was neat that you'd have an asynchronous Multiplayer element to it (think; Spore, where you pull content form other players into your game passively.) But, just look at this video. Everything is so... shiny!

Highly recommend checking this out, especially if you're not familiar with GSB. To sum it up; it's essentially tower defense as imagined by Admiral Ackbar. You set up a fleet for a given challenge, assign complex orders with differing priorities to effect how the ships behave, then you pull the safety tab and watch everything start blowing itself up. I relented and bought vanilla GSB a while ago, it's definitely unique and worth a try, check out the demo here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Overgrowth: Fighting Like Bunnies

This just in from the overgrowth development log.

This video shows Wolfire demoing their awesome game OVergrowth's new fighting system. Currently; it's a system ported from this game's antecedent Lugaru and partly modified.

Hell if that seems to matter, though! This system is already quite sleek. At about 0:30 you can see a nice combination of a sweeping attack and a roll that just screams emergent move combos (ie: not button presses, but actual combination of actions.)

I for one welcome our new rabbit overlords.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Control Good: Minecraft

Sometimes fantasy games need epic plotlines with heroes, lords, stereotypically self-insufficient damsels in distress, elves, orcs, half-orcs, human-orc-undead-cubolds (and the sick people that love them) and all the other minimum trappings of high fantasy.

And sometimes all you need is a blocky fist, the will to punch trees and lots of space in which to do so. And you get a LOT of space. I am really not joking. You may also need a tangential game reference. Wait... what?

This may not sound like a great deal of promise in an age where games offer hours of brilliant story-driven gameplay, but Minecraft is, in many ways, their opposite. It is underrated by its own appearance, lacking any sort of bulky feature list or any real gameplay direction, but this is what makes it compelling.

Minecraft is a sandbox world that is what you make of it. Want to build a city inside a mountain? Go for it. Want to spend hours exploring caves, each unlike the last due to the game's extensive random generation? Your prerogative to do so. Want to shoot defenseless animals across the map using a bunch of TNT? ...moving on.

Minecraft's draw is in its quiet sophistication and emphasis on inventiveness. Because everything is randomly generated, you're not really guarenteed a specific solution for any area you encounter, but you will at least get your mind blown once or twice, as each landmark or cave you uncover is bound to be unique and thus renders each person's experience of Minecraft very unique.

And that's why, in spite of its very goofy yet charming graphics, Minecraft is completely Control Good!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Control Good: Starscape

What's it like fighting a guerilla war against an enemy with a logistical base of nigh-infinite, self-replicating reinforcements?

This is a pretty tough question, but one Starscape, by sleeper-hit producing studio Moonpod Games, tries its damndest to answer.

This game's been in my virtual library for a while (I would have 'upgraded' to a CD, a very nice feature that I really wish more small publishers offered, but I'm not sure that they do that anymore.) So, to get familiar with the game, I picked the game up once again for another speedy playthrough.

It hasn't aged a bit. (Also; please pry it from my hard drive. I. Cannot. Put it. DOWN!)

Or; if it has aged, it's done so like fine wine. The game relies on a unique mash of Shoot-Em-Up and 4X (ie: Masters of Orion or Sins of a Solar Empire) mechanics to drive a narrative that grows and evolves over time, even pervading the game's justified tutorial quite nicely. These are all elements that can make a great game, and Starscape runs with all of them until each has achieved runner's high.

This game is built solidly on its SHMUP roots, with great, easy to learn gameplay that grows harder with new enemies at a furious pace. You'll be hunting vital enemy mining barges supplying reinforcements even as you're pursued by said reinforcements. So many, in fact, that the game can't handle them all at once and jumps them in as you destroy their vanguard units in full explodalicious fury.

And the addictive features only get piled on from there. In spite of the game's ruthless pacing, more discriminating players (and those who are less hand-eye-thrill-addicted, you know who you are, guys!) can upgrade their ships and their awesome mobile space station that follows them into battle (metal enough yet?) in order to soften the difficulty curve. Moonpod tends to make a policy of this feature in all of their other games, most notably; Mr. Robot.

Even though I had this game before I started College, I still believe it's worthy of anyone's buy. And if you don't believe me, why not follow the link above and go try the demo? It's not hard to do, and you won't regret it. And if you don't trust me, trust my plad suited cousin over here (just don't let him sell you any used cars.)

Anyway; the reasons above make this timeless sleeper hit very worthy of the (currently dubious) status of Control Good.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Water+Floating Stuff = Explosions: Hydrophobia

And now ControlBad's inaugural editorializationorama!


I discovered this via, buried among many other amazing discoveries. However; this has to be the most pleasantly unexpected.

Hydrophobia is set in the future. Unfortunately; this oracular shot in the dark has no food pills, jetpacks or nuclear powered busses (don't lie, they would be awesome BECAUSE they were so dangerous!) Instead; Hydrophobia depicts a dark future of rising sea-levels and expanding deserts that has driven new lines of conflict into the political landscape. The neo-malthusians (He was an actual guy, by the way) follow a doctrine that blames resource strain and the newfound hardship of the era on excessive population pressure. As the game trailer very covertly illustrates via a pirated transmission displayed on a half-broken screen; "Restore hope, kill yourself."

These are the people supplying you with endless expendable guys with goofy masks and guns against which you'll be forced to use everything at your disposal in order to survive their terrorist-style attack on your home (which is a gigantic city-ship, by the way. This future may be dark but it is also very freaking metal.)

The trailer speaks for itself. It's incredibly clear that a great deal of new elements exist in this 3PS, enough so that it seems more of a combat-puzzler like portal. To be fair; even THAT comparison is tenuous -- and that should serve as an A-brand reminder that this game is so bizarrely new. Between the extremely realistic environmental simulation, interactive scenery and your transporter-chronicles-of-riddick-I'm-going-to-kill-you-with-this-teacup-esque usage of both in awesome takedowns, this looks like an incoming heavyweight!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

About Control Bad

Is it good or is it bad? To find out we've got a finger on the control pad!

Now that we've got an official lame pun, I'll get around to explaining my mission in writing this blog;

Control Bad is all about the buzz around games. As an avid follower of many titles, after some meditation I've decided it would be good to have a place to bump a few of my favorites. I plan on doing so whenever something worthy of note by my standards flops into my field of view.

Now, one might say;"But, Aaron! Aren't you just a normal plebian mofo like the rest of us?" To which I would reply; "WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT PLEBIANS DON'T EXIST IN MODERN TIMES!" Then I would go on to note that I'm a hobby game designer myself. Therefore I am God. Now bow to me.

the2bears had a similar idea long before me, where he currently bumps works in progress from across the interwarbs. I've found many an awesome trailer or game courtesy of his lumberjack-like (b)logging tendencies. As such; I wanted to be that guy, but with a much more chaotic assortment of stuff. Hopefully there will be less ripping off than is implied.