…a-lop-bop-bop TUTTI FRUTTI! I can only speculate as to how Little Richard would have changed the hook to his signature tune had he been born in 1990 and read about horrible running sim QWOP in the sixth instalment of Indie-cent Exposure in the last days of 2010. I am sure, however, that these would have been the first two paragraphs of the post he read, appearing as they do, at the beginning:-

I’m not very good at running. I’m one of those weird, lengthy, limb-flailing types, lethal over short distances but a danger only to myself once the lactic acid kicks in. Reason being, I don’t do it much day-to-day as I’m not often chased, and I’m not one of those people who can run to keep fit and find it satisfying enough to make the necessary sweaty slog feel worthwhile.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s no depth to running’s appeal; there’s technique to master, I guess, but not to any particular end, like there is in badminton or foot-to-ball. There’s no system to properly engage with, not enough elements at play to create interesting or fun situations. Not enough game, in short, to distract me from the fact I’m getting fit and my calves are melting. Read the rest of this entry »

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My indie gaming column emerges this week looking wistful and sighing a lot as I take a backwards look at 2005’s side-scrolling physics-’em-up, Gish. Here’s the first bit:-

Hello,

We’re going to talk about Super Meat Boy. Could be you don’t already know about Meat Boy, but hush – you’re going to play along, so that tomorrow when your semi-savvy Xbox-owning friend tries to tell you about it, you can grimace and roll your eyes.

“Christ, Xbox, you’re so patronising,” you’ll say, knowing how much he hates to be referred to by his favoured console. “Do you think I know nothing of the indie smash hit of the year? Super Meat Boy turns precision through repetition into an art form, chipping an amalgam of the best platformers down to its pure genius core before coating the result in a gloopy mess of blood, guts and blood. Now justify your existence and make me a cup of tea, will you?” Read the rest of this entry »

If you’re an aspiring indie developer, a regular reader of this column or a human being who values their continued existence, you’d damn well better read this:-

Welcome, friends.

It is my task to inform you that this week’s edition of Indie-cent Exposure, a whimsical and highly fictionalised look at the state of independent gaming in the 21st Century, has been postponed until further notice.

This is for your own protection.

Four weeks into our shared journey through the world of indie games, it has occurred to me that some of you may already have picked up your tools and set up shop as independent developers. As such I feel duty-bound to prepare you for action in the event that your gentleman’s honour is threatened by a fellow game-maker. Read the rest of this entry »

Hello? Hello! This week I wrote about the marvellous Super Crate Box, the mind-bouncing ROM Check Fail and the deconstructive use of indie games.

I know it’s been a little while so I’ll ease you into it. C’mon, we’ll sing the first part together:

What does the term ‘Super Crate Box’ mean to you, reader? Maybe it’s a setting in Team 17’s new Worms Apocalypse 4 3D Arcade 2D Edition. It might be your affectionate, Neanderthal way of referring to your GameCube. Could be. Or perhaps your thoughts turn to that delicious hamper of sweet fruit and crisp breads that your dear mother sends you each Christmas. Mmm. Read the rest of this entry »

Should the best of our indie developers be considered auteurs? Maybe. I certainly seem to think so, based on my gushing assessment of Derek Yu, the man who thunk Spelunky.

All the gushing happened over at Forgetoday.com, on my weekly blog that I do for ’em, every week. Gush:-

Hello chums! Do you like people? People with personalities and ideas, people who walk about and eat toast and stuff? People with unique sets of experiences to mould into games?

Gamers don’t like people. That’s why we annually petition all of the major publishers, asking that they make tributes to Medal of Honor: Allied Assault from the ground up, removing all traces of new DNA with a fine tooth-comb. In this way we ensure that a game we once quite liked stays fresh in the memory, unspoiled by bright colours that will only mix with the grey and make the memory-paint go all brown and yucky.

Read the rest of this entry »

Indie-cent Exposure #1

October 19, 2010

The first of my weekly indie games blogs has gone live over at forgetoday.com, and it starts something like this:-

Morning all, come on in. I think there are a couple more seats at the back. No? Well you’ll just have to stand up then, won’t you.

ALRIGHT. This is to be the first entry in what will hopefully become a long-running series, written with the aim of welcoming all and sundry into the weird and wonderful world of indie games. Over the coming weeks I’m going to ask you to make room in your minds for high-kicking rabbits, nuclear holocaust, sentient balls of tar, unseen and unseeing horrors, meditations on regret, massive robots and mountain ranges made up entirely of right-angles.

Read the rest of this entry »