There! Up in the sky! Is it a worm?! Is it a dick?! No, it’s Newshogg!
Dark Matter stalls again, moar liek The Successful Parable amirite, Oculus Rift gets closer to a retail release, and plenty more after the jump.
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We’re gonna need a Whiter Whale
First a piece for the indie devs out there – Surprise Attack Games are extending their reach to include a new distribution service of a sort. Steam is the white whale of the indie gaming sphere (to mix metaphors and pop culture references), but there are numerous other digital storefronts out there that are happy to sell indie games without making the developers win a popularity contest. The concern that I’ve seen voiced, however, is that these stores don’t provide a big enough revenue stream to justify the time and effort it requires to use the service. That’s where Bigger Boat comes in. Developers sell their game through Steam and their own websites, but Surprise Attack will take care of all the busywork required to get the game on 15-20 other storefronts.
If it all goes according to plan it should give devs and gamers more options, while helping to provide a little competition to Valve’s juggernaut.
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Dark Matter – a 2.5D survival horror platformer – has been in the news this week for all the wrong reasons. Players were annoyed/outraged/filled-with-biblical-wrath to find that the game ended abruptly with a wall of text and no satisfying resolution. The internet engines generated enough ire to gain the attention of the CEO of the game’s publisher who explained that thanks to a failed Kickstarter campaign earlier in the year, the rest of the game would be released later in a follow-up episode.
This explanation apparently wasn’t good enough, with Dark Matter being pulled from Steam, and GOG offering refunds.
Now we wait and see if that future episode will still materialise despite this latest setback and associated negative press.
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The $tanley Parable
In a post that is of interest to game devs, games writers, and game gamers, Galactic Cafe have released a post-mortem of The Stanley Parable. Perhaps the biggest piece of news is that within a couple of days the game sold over 100k copies. I was hugely impressed by the game, but I’m still (pleasantly) surprised that such a uniquely odd experience managed to move so many copies.
The post-mortem goes into a lot more detail than that, and is well worth the read if you’re interested in The Stanley Parable, or what the release of a successful indie game looks like from the inside.
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John Carmack – former id boffin, current Oculus Rift Chief Technical Officer – told engadget that a new Oculus Rift dev kit is being developed and will be available for developers before the retail units ship next year.
I’m skeptical (I’m expecting debilitating nausea), but every time I read someone’s impressions it seems that the VR device is living up to the hype.
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Acting Out Your Own Death
Nvidia have announced that the new version of its GeForce Experience software will allow gamers to use an on-board encoder in the GeForce GTX 600 and 700 Series graphics cards to directly record gameplay, with support for Twitch streaming coming down the line. Whilst this may negatively impact the Fraps developer’s bottom-line, it should also minimise performance impact whilst playing and recording – something that would be of great interest to competitive players and developers alike.
With everyone but Nintendo getting behind Twitch streams and Let’s Plays, it’s interesting to see the hardware manufacturers taking note as well.
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Grand Theft Retro
I could tell you how GTA V almost single-handedly increased the retail gaming industry’s takings by 27% over last year, or how GTA Online players will receive 250k presumably as an apology for the rough launch, or even how GTA 5 PC torrents were predictably malware and not the actual game, but instead I’ll tell you about the piece of GTA-related news that most piqued my interest – creator of the original Grand Theft Auto, Michael Dailly, has been building a replica of the original city in Game Maker.
Dailly now works for YoYo Games – the studio behind Game Maker – and he undertook the project to show what their little program that could is capable of. You don’t need to tell me that, I already know that both Hotline Miami and Gunpoint were made in it, so I’m convinced.
(Special thanks, again, to James McKibbin for helping roundup the Newshogg.)