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Xbox LIVE Indie Games - The March 2011 Thread



February turned out much slower than I’d expected it to. With not far off 100 games in peer-review at one point, I was expecting a mass of releases. As it turns out, many of those games still await release and it wasn’t really any busier than it would have been anyway. Odd. On the plus side, that means there’s more time to play some of the excellent games that came out this month!

Or spend it reading achievementlocked.co.uk, of course!

You can buy any of these games via xbox.com by clicking the link associated with each game, or on the Games Marketplace on your Xbox 360. Simply enter the marketplace and scroll up to Indie Games, where you can check the top rated titles, the games that have just come out, or “browse” to find the games mentioned in this thread. Indie Game trials last eight minutes, which is often enough to establish what you think about it. Even if you don’t buy any of these games, at least trial them, tell people what you think, get more people trying them.

Go. Play. Enjoy. Tell us what you think! Tell all your friends! Get them to tell all their friends…

(Xbox LIVE Indie Games are available in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States. If you’re outside those countries you can still play these games by setting up a Gamertag for free for one of those countries. It’s worth doing.)



The Gold award, for the absolute best game that came out last month.

Ninja360° is all kinds of amazing. Seriously. Think of a kind of amazing: that’s what kind of amazing it is.



You’re on a small level and have to collect all the coins to finish it. When you’re standing on the level, it rotates with you as you move, Mario Galaxy-style. When you’re jumping, the level is stationary and you can take advantage of this to get better times or mess up and fall off. If you fall off and die, you don’t lose, you just go back to the start or a checkpoint, with your collected coins still collected. You can sometimes exploit this for faster times.

The big addictive hook comes from trying to earn better times, which are rewarded with medals. It’s almost a puzzle trying to get gold medals, because the times are so difficult to achieve that you’ve gotta really think outside the box to achieve them. You can watch videos of a few levels at the start and I guarantee you’ll think: “wow, I’d never have thought to do that.” Also, if you achieve a silver medal it unlocks a video demonstration of how to achieve gold. And some are just so clever, and use the basic mechanics in such awesome ways, that it’s impossible not to love the game for its sneakiness.



It looks great, with humorously animated backgrounds that you can change at will. It also controls really well, for the most part. There are occasions where you’ll want to wall-jump and the ninja will open a parachute to glide, making you slip off the wall. These times aren’t that common, though, and the levels are so small that even if it happens, you’ll rarely lose more than ten seconds of progress.

And how much content is there? 99 levels. 99! And it costs only 80 points. Can’t really argue with value like this.



The Silver award, for games that are incredible, but hey, only one game can be the Gold award winner. In any other month, any of these could have earned it!

In NYAN-TECH you just have to get a key and then get to the exit. There are basic platforming standards, spikes to avoid, double jumps, but then it gets really puzzley.



There are certain blocks that can only be removed by pressing a button, or made solid by pressing a button. There are different types, too, some that go solid/invisible when you hold the relevant button down, and some that switch between solid and invisible like, well, switches. When there's five different button prompts on the screen to be taking care of at once, it gets pretty hectic.

There's a time limit, too, which ticks down as you move, so you'll need to go through the levels efficiently.

Levels are small, they look great, and it controls really well. If you like Ninja Bros., you need this. If you like games, you need this. 80 Microsoft Points.

=================

Battle High: San Bruno is a beat-em-up and to be honest, it’s not a genre I get on with at all. Which makes it pretty obvious that this one’s good, because I enjoyed it.



I was still terrible at it, but I had fun being so.

It looks pretty cool in screenshots, but the animation is lovely and it looks even better in motion. There’s a movelist in game which shows that there are loads of moves for each of the characters. I had trouble pulling some of them off but I put that down to my own ineptitude rather than any issue with the game. Sorry. I wish I could do it more justice but I just don’t know beat-em-ups.

Only 80 Microsoft Points, this.

=================

Rotor is beautiful. The colour schemes, which you can edit in minute detail, look tremendous and mean that even though there’s only one “level,” every game you play feels completely different. You just have to randomise the colours before you begin.



There are three main modes in Rotor, Arcade, 3 minute, and 10 minute. The gameplay in each is similar and while the timed modes just tick down, Arcade is where the Crazy Taxi style gameplay comes in. Each time you accept a new event in Arcade, your time is extended slightly, and so if you’re good you can go on and on, it’s easily the most compelling of the three games and the one where you’ll spend the most time.

There are three types of events in all three modes. One gives you a line to follow and you’re graded on your accuracy. Another is a checkpoint race, and is similar. The final type is an orb hunt, where you’re given a random number and asked to find that many orbs in time. Orb hunting is where your precision flying skills are truly tested, and you’d be advised to avoid those at first if possible!

In a way, there’s not much to do in Rotor, but the more you play it, the more you want to play it. It takes a few goes to get the controls, but as you get better and better the game seems to open up, and suddenly what could be a quite frustrating experience to begin with becomes wonderful as you swerve around at impossible angles destroying your previous high scores.

80 Microsoft Points.

=================

College Lacrosse 2011 is, well, a Lacrosse game. It’s ridiculously ambitious for an Xbox LIVE Indie Game with motion-captured animation and as a sports game, it feels as comprehensive as you’d want it to be.



I don’t know anything about Lacrosse and the chances are that you don’t either, so why should you be interested? Well, because a good sports game’s a good sports game. It plays a lot like a football (soccer) game, and the controls feel natural and largely how you’d expect them too. It’s a lot pacier though, and the pitch really feels a lot smaller and more cramped. Sometimes this is an issue when you have trouble making space but it’s really just essential to work out how to play it rather than (like I was) playing it like it’s FIFA. Once you get to grips with it, it’s a lot of fun.

=================

Avatar Adventurers Online is, well, there was some discussion over whether or not it’s an MMORPG. How massive is massive? Anyway, it’s an online RPG with (not-quite) massive numbers of players.



The screenshots don’t really sell it, but they do tell a story. The game is every bit as sparse and barren as they suggest it is. That doesn’t make it any less compelling though, and it has great combat and loads of spells, levelling up, and miscellaneous items.

A low entry price and no monthly fees must make this worth a try.

=================

Wizard's Keep is the second game from the guys that brought you Miner Dig Deep. Yes, you, because I know you’ve got it.

It’s very different, though, as this one’s an action RPG.



You have a basic attack, a powerful attack, and the ability to block. It’s essential to balance these well because while the combat starts off really simply, hammering the light-attack button won’t get you that far through the game.

Once you’ve completed a few quests you can start gathering materials and making new stuff, which is where it gets a lot more MDD-like and where it starts getting as addictive as that game got. It just takes longer to get going, this one, but you’ll stick with it.

You can’t not.



The Bronze Award, not the best games out this month, but every one of these is still either great, or has a really unique aspect to it that more than makes it worth trying.

Baby Maker Extreme 2 is pretty much the same game as the first, but the pseudo-3D graphics are creepy as hell. As far as new stuff goes, there's loads of new upgrades and stuff. You can have new outfits for your creepy baby. As much as people deride it, I enjoyed the original BMX, and this is more of the same. Just a creepier kind of more that doesn't really offer anything that you'd need if you have the original.

Timeslip should be fantastic, but I just got frustrated. You're a snail and every thirty seconds or so a clone of yourself is created which follows the path you followed previously, so you can use them to wait on switches while the current you runs through doors, etc. If you come into contact with yourself, though, you lose and have to start again. This is a mechanic that's been used a lot recently, and if the game focussed on puzzles instead of killing you at every opportunity it'd be a lot more fun. Still worth trying, though, because it is a lovely mechanic and it’s interesting to see Yaroze games turning up on XBLIGs.

Run! places your avatar on a course that heads into the distance, auto-runs it, and you have to time your jumps and movements to avoid hazards and take advantage of speed boosts. There’s loads of courses and it looks pretty quaint.

Bird Assassin is pretty ace, really. Not so much for the gameplay, which is alright but repetitive. It's really funny though, I lol'd a few times during the trial. Gameplay-wise, you walk from left to right aiming with the right stick and shooting birds, avoiding traps, etc. That's pretty much it, but it works. There's an extensive upgrade system, too.

Super Tank Run is a retro-styled auto-runner, kind of, with a heavy metal soundtrack. Your tank travels along and you can switch into one of four lanes to avoid barricades and collect coins, which is what your final score's based on. It plays pretty well, but definitely needs to be played on the D-Pad. There are a few modes, a timed mode where you just score what you can, a defensive mode where you have three lives and lose one for every barricade you hit, and an offensive mode where you attack oncoming tanks. Pretty good for 80 points, this.

Spermatozoon is not a bad game, but I am baffled that this made it out when Privates was banned. You have to press A at the right time to get to the egg in the middle, avoiding the walls (contraception) that rotate around. If you miss, you'll destroy a bit of wall, so it gets easier as you go. Kind of addictive, and thank the lord that contraception in real life isn't destroyed so easily.

Trivia or Die is easily the best quiz show game on the service, I think, purely down to the speed it goes at. There's questions every few seconds, unlike the Quizcall games where it takes AGES to load between questions. Speed is where it's at. It's quite funny too, getting questions wrong results in abuse.

Googly-Eyed Splitters is a 2D platformer set in small self-contained levels. It starts off ridiculously slow paced and really boring, but then introduces a mechanic where you can split your character in two and fit in smaller gaps, help the other half out with switches, etc. Each thing is controller with a different half of the controller. At that point, the game gets really cool and puzzley. It never controls brilliantly, to be honest, but definitely stick with it until the end of the trial when you give it a go, because it gets better.

Toy Cars is a game that has literally not atmosphere whatsoever, but I haven’t played a decent Micro Machines game in ages and this one is alright.

Escape is a platformer that has deadzone issues so I constantly went left, to my doom. In spite of this, it’s okay. I like the short platforming challenges and there are secrets to discover, which is always a must in platform games.



If Zombies 12 doesn’t sell, MAKE ZOMBIES 13!

Zombie Football Carnage isn’t great, at the moment. It’s too difficult, doesn’t tell you how to play, and generally makes things as awkward as possible.



Soon though, it’s being patched and the patch addresses all of the above problems. The potential is clearly there, even in its current form, so it should be great after the patch.



Some games are bad. Really bad. So bad that they don’t even deserve a functioning link to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. But if you’re in the mood for some punishment, or just want to be reminded how much better the games above are, check these out, last month’s most terrible games.

All Out of Bubblegum! I didn't really get. It starts off pretending to be tower defence, and then becomes a twin-stick. The twin-stick part doesn't work, as you have to kill every enemy in a wave to progress and they keep getting stuck behind scenery so you have to wander around for ages to try and find the last enemy that's stopping the wave ending.

Mummies vs GunnS has some strange punctuation, there. It's the worst kind of FPS, there's no goal, there's no animation, and the enemies take 1,000,000 hits to take down. Yawn.

Avatar Ragdolls is one of few height climbers on Indie Games, which is a surprise with them being so popular on iOS. This one's not spectacular. It's very, very slow and takes a major effort to lose. Also, sometimes you can boost and sometimes you can't, and there's no indication as to how long your boost takes to recharge.

Zombie Concentration is a twin stick. I'm losing the will to write anything at all about these at this point. I swear I've played over 500. This one is slow, cramped, and offers no satisfying feedback when you kill enemies.

Old School Destruction. The loading is just amazing. If I discover that it took less than four minutes between pressing start and the game starting, I would be astounded. Here's a quick outline of the plot: “Oh noes!!!! Invation!!!!” Gameplay is pretty bad. You roam around a 3D environment that looks rubbish, when for the amount of time it took to load you're expecting it to actually be generating a real world or something. Right stick aims, but in a really peculiar way. It controls a cross-hair and when you pass over an enemy it auto targets, you then fire with a trigger to shoot really pissy little bullets. The other trigger fires grenades, when the game feels like letting you. Not great. Or good. Or average. Or passable. I'm not even sure it's as good as "bad."

Try Cuckoo Crack if you want truly annoying sound effects. Gameplay is bad. It's vaguely Helicopter Game like, but with less in the way of obstacles. You just have to avoid trees - well sometimes you do. Sometimes you can fly straight through them and nothing happens, other times you'll crash. Genius design decision. To score points you have to drop eggs into nests but you have to be pretty much on top of the next to do so or falling too far will mean they'll break and you'll score minus points. Sometimes, there'll be a nest at the bottom of the screen and it's impossible to drop an egg in and then gain enough height to avoid crashing into the tree. Rubbish.

Unstoppable Chopper is a Helicopter Game that has the nerve to use a helicopter. With balls like that, it needs to be good. It isn’t. It’s slow, painfully slow.



And to end on an awesome note…

Every month, we’ll revisit a couple of games that you may have missed from months gone by. These games are lost in the depths of the Games Marketplace, pull them out of there! Played a really awesome Indie Game in the past? Let me know and we’ll see about getting it in here in the future.

Leave Home is a side scrolling shmup unlike any other, because in a way, you make the game.



See, the game changes based on how well you play it. If you play really well and don’t die, the game gets harder. If you play badly and die a lot, the game gets easier.

The game’s always a fixed length so you can’t lose, it’s purely for points. It means you have as long to rack up points as does someone who’s rubbish. Like me, for example. The better you’re playing, though, the higher you’ll score and the higher will be your opportunity to score as the game gets more and more difficult until you eventually lose, or it ends.

And look at that screenshot? Isn’t it just the prettiest? And it’s yours for 80 Microsoft Points.

=================

Bloom*Block lets us end the round-up with the same company we started it with. Cute.

Which is what this game is, funnily enough!



It’s a puzzle game where you have to roam around on the faces of cubes, stepping on each one precisely one time. This starts out fairly simple but gets difficult quickly as the cubes are arranged in ever more intricate shapes.

As with a lot of Indie Games, it’s the sheer amount of content that makes this so amazing, though. There are loads and loads of levels, and also loads and loads of achievements to earn. There’s so much to do, I honestly doubt you’ll do it all. So it’s a game that’ll never end!

Recently dropped its price to 80 Microsoft Points, for even better valuage!

===========================

So, what did you think of these games? What do you think of what you’re playing this month?

Enjoy your Indie Games.
 
Previous threads, where all the older stuff lives:

The best Xbox LIVE Indie Games of January 2011 | Bonded Realities
The best Xbox LIVE Indie Games of December 2010 | Score Rush
The best Xbox LIVE Indie Games of November 2010 | The TEMPURA of the DEAD
The best Xbox LIVE Indie Games of October 2010 | radiangames Fluid
The best Xbox LIVE Indie Games of September 2010 | Hypership Out of Control
The best Xbox LIVE Indie Games of August 2010 | Gravitron 360
The best Xbox LIVE Indie Games of July 2010 | PLATFORMANCE: Castle Pain
The best Xbox LIVE Indie Games of June 2010 | Old School Racer
The (old) XNA Indie Games Official Thread

Releases this month by date:

February 1st

Phibian
All Out of Bubblegum!
Gladiators Escapade

February 2nd

Run!

February 3rd

Baby Maker Extreme 2
Timeslip
Voice Changer 360
Vaderz
Mummies vs GunnS
M2AF: Message 2 All Friends

February 4th

Night of Doom 2
Alien Super Mega Blaster
FIREBIES, The New Zombies!
NYAN-TECH

February 5th

Avatar Ragdolls

February 7th

http://marketplace.xbox.com/Product/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d802585507ae
Defy Gravity
Final Rift

February 8th

Bird Assassin
Zombie Concentration
Battle High: San Bruno
Mind's Eye of Jupiter - 03
Super Tank Run

February 9th

Zombie Sausages
Spermatozoon
Hypercube Arcade

February 10th

Project Gert: Moonbreaker
Ninja360°
Frog SPLAT!
Ninja Stole My Bike
Rotor
Fatina *Japan only

February 11th

Trivia or Die

February 12th

A lot of balls
Adventures of Rocaman
College Lacrosse 2011

February 13th

Old School Destruction
Googly-Eyed Splitters
Avatar Adventurers Online

February 14th

IonBall
Drum XPlosion 2

February 16th

Cuckoo Crack

February 17th

Orbital Arena

February 18th

Zombie Football Carnage
Hurdle Turtle - Level Pack # 1

February 20th

FishCraft

February 21st

Toy Cars
Avalis Dungeon

February 23rd

Arcane Brawlers
Darts Arena

February 24th

The Bunny Game

February 25th

Super Sequence 2
Amass and Collapse
Wizard's Keep
Proximity 2
Unstoppable Chopper

February 26th

Escape

February 27th

ZombieGeddon

February 28th

Baby Mammoth's Journey To Mars
 
I'm interested in what is going to happen to that Lacrosse game. Seems like a 400 point game in a sea of really interesting 80 point games could really be in trouble. Plus most of XBLIG falls into the funky 2D platformer, twin stick shooter, ironic 8-bit RPG genres so I'm not sure how an EA emulating sports game would do. I'd like to hope that they would be rewarding for finding a filling a missing niche for lacrosse fans.
 
TheFightingFish said:
I'm interested in what is going to happen to that Lacrosse game. Seems like a 400 point game in a sea of really interesting 80 point games could really be in trouble. Plus most of XBLIG falls into the funky 2D platformer, twin stick shooter, ironic 8-bit RPG genres so I'm not sure how an EA emulating sports game would do. I'd like to hope that they would be rewarding for finding a filling a missing niche for lacrosse fans.
The dev posts here, and will hopefully be along before too long!

Sounds like he's found his audience brilliantly though, and the game does well.
 

Kafel

Banned
Maybe you should calm down pimping your site. I don't want this thread to become like this iWaggle shit one.
 
The Lacrosse game will make good money. The last one that was released dig really big business. I wish more people would make a value distinction when pricing their game. If everything is 80 points, awful and great then how is anyone to tell what has more value if the are priced the same?
 
Kafel said:
Maybe you should calm down pimping your site. I don't want this thread to become like this iWaggle shit one.
As I said before, I'm only going to pimp it when there's something people won't want to miss, like a contest or something.

I'm not going to post here every time I post there, as I haven't been doing.
 

mujun

Member
toythatkills said:
As I said before, I'm only going to pimp it when there's something people won't want to miss, like a contest or something.

I'm not going to post here every time I post there, as I haven't been doing.

I had to look hard to find the "pimping". I say pimp away, you've earned it in my book for the work you do to put these threads together.
 

TripleBGames

Neo Member
toythatkills said:
The dev posts here, and will hopefully be along before too long!

Sounds like he's found his audience brilliantly though, and the game does well.

*waves* Thanks for the award guys, the game's doing fine, 400 pts seems not to put off gamers who are coming from outside XBLIG. So all the lacrosse players that we have to patiently explain how to find the Indie games channel & from there where to find the game don't have an issue with the price point. Whereas trying to do a quality twin stick shooter, price seems to be a big issue, our Zombiez 8 My Cookiez game hasn't sold at all well at 400pts, despite being innovative, and with higher production values than is common on the Indie Games Channel.
 

GhaleonEB

Member
Wizard's Keep really is great. I'm around six hours in, and the dungeons are wonderfully large. Once the combat system clicked, the game got incredibly fun. Crazy steal for just $1.
 

SmallCaveGames

Neo Member
My favs were NYAN-TECH and Wizard's Keep - also thought Bird Assasin was really nicely done.

We're entering DBP this year - June 14th is probably going to sneak up too fast but we're going to put our heads down and give it a go.
 

Feep

Banned
As usual, thanks for the great thread, toy.

I hope to see my game up there on April 1st. = D

(If you screw with me for April Fools Day I will punch you)
 
Feep said:
As usual, thanks for the great thread, toy.

I hope to see my game up there on April 1st. = D

(If you screw with me for April Fools Day I will punch you)
I'm gonna put you in the bad games category, and link it to this :p

So it's pretty close, now? I should get a dance mat in...

But not two
 

OnPoint

Member
Great work on the thread. I'm surprised to see you love Ninja 360 as much as you do, but then I'm not a stickler for getting better times. Especially when I hate a game's controls as much as I did this one's. One time through those 99 levels was enough for me.

Also, I agree with Ghaleon, Wizard's Keep is phenominal. We picked it up last night and played for like 2 hours straight. I didn't even realize the time had passed. The targetting system isn't perfect, but it's still a hell of a lot of fun.
 

Trumpets

Member
To my mind, Leave Home is still the only XBLIG that could cut it as a Live Arcade game. It's the most artistically coherent game on the service by far.
 
Kafel said:
Why bother ? Subscribe to a RSS feed.

Yeah what it has right now isn't anything special, but what it says they plan on doing is what's interesting. Having a unified place you can go to see a review scores in a manner similar to metacritic.

Right now it's just taking the RSS feeds of a few sites and putting them together, which I already do in Google Reader.

What’s next?

We have big plans for the site, and will be rolling out features over the next several months. Our goal, to put it in Hollywood speak, is like "FaceBook meets StackOverflow for Xbox Indie Games!" Some of the things we have planned are:

* Developer Profiles - Website links, blogs, etc all maintained by the developers themselves
* Developer Press Releases - Developers can use XboxIndies.com to market their games
* User Reviews - Give the people a voice
* Metacritic-style Scores - See a game's review scores across XBLIG review sites
* Game Recommendations - Ambitious, but with user review system possible
* XboxIndies.com API - Access the XIDB directly
 

Kafel

Banned
Ok, they want to become a hub.

I wish MS would do that themselves, they already have the metacritic scores and the xbox forums for each game but their App Hub is too much XNA-centric for this.
 

Kafel

Banned
toythatkills said:
NEW SILVER DOLLAR ALERT.

Office Affairs, looks as classy as the rest of their output.

I've seen it this afternoon and decided not to mention it here so they don't get any extra publicity.

On the other hand I want to mention they've had a nice little initiative on the App Hub forums called "Trailer Trade".

To help promote Indie Games we would like to introduce "Trailer Trade". Trailer Trade is about creating a promotional trailer for any game or games other than your own.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5wDOYcSKBU
 
Bird Assassin was a humorous diversion, but it has a pretty big exploit - when you switch weapons you can immediately fire your gun.

So if you constantly switch weapons there's no need to buy those with a higher rate of fire.
 

Kafel

Banned
Mirror and Blow especially were quite good. Buy these ones if you don't have them already and maybe they'll stop making shovelware.
 
Kafel said:
Mirror and Blow especially were quite good. Buy these ones if you don't have them already and maybe they'll stop making shovelware.
Yeah, I liked Mirror. I dunno the story behind Blow, but it wasn't a Silver Dollar Games game at first and it got that branding much later.
 

Kafel

Banned
toythatkills said:
Yeah, I liked Mirror. I dunno the story behind Blow, but it wasn't a Silver Dollar Games game at first and it got that branding much later.

I was surprised to see it on their website a while ago and I don't have a clue. It's still a must-have from the service.
 
Kafel said:
Mirror and Blow especially were quite good. Buy these ones if you don't have them already and maybe they'll stop making shovelware.

Blow was before they decided to give in to making cheap slop.

http://forums.create.msdn.com/forums/p/41641/245579.aspx
Hey everyone, North West, North Squard, Vector2Games and Silver Dollar Games 1 are all part of our company “Silver Dollar Games” www.silverdollargames.com. We’re reviewing and play testing exclusively from Silver Dollar Games 1. I want to make it clear that we love Indie Games and are not here to game the system. We just love to make lots of games. Our company is just two brothers, David Flook and me, Jon Flook.

And now a little bit about us.

Let’s travel back to January 2007.

David was working full time at a grocery store and I was working at a TV station. David had some pretty good programming skills back in high school, but never really explored it past that. When he heard about XNA he started learning it immediately. After a couple test projects he began working on his first big game, Blazing Birds. Working every day at the grocery store and every night on Blazing Birds was wearing him down. He came to me for help. My job at the TV station was extremely stressful but whatever spare time I had I offered up.

After months of work we submitted Blazing Birds into the first Dream Build Play Contest in 2007. To our surprise it was the co-winner that year. We were blessed with a huge opportunity to put Blazing Birds on XBLA.

It’s now November 2007.

David’s working with Microsoft to put Blazing Birds onto XBLA and we’ve started working on another game for next year’s Dream Build Play, a game we called ‘Blow’. It felt like working three jobs, but we kept hoping it would pay off. Dream Build Play 2008 was over, Blow was a finalist, but not a winner. Even though we didn’t win, we were very excited to be one of the first games on Indie Games. And we were, on November 21st 2008 Blow was released, under Vector2Games. For the rest of 2008 we continued to work on Blazing Birds.

It’s now March of 2009.

The sales figures are out for Indie Games. Blow, priced at 400 points brought in a good $4000. For most Indie Games that’s fantastic. Unfortunately we spent $2500 licensing the music and a year of our time working on it. Financially it just didn’t make sense. We’re still very proud of Blow and it’s one of my favourite games, but I guess the gamers just weren’t into blowing bubbles. Can’t blame them.

It’s now May 2009.

At last Blazing Birds was ready for XBLA. It was released on May 20th 2009. Did I mention Blazing Birds is about robot badminton? Unfortunately the Xbox users aren’t too hot on that kind of thing. Badminton is pretty niche after all. Our sales figures were underwhelming, or maybe we just had our goals set too high.

It’s now July 2009

We were kind of stumped. After spending the last two and half years at this we were still struggling. We didn’t give up. So we tried a different approach. Maybe instead of spending 3000 hours on a game, we spend 100. More ideas, more chances to diversify, more chances to reach out to the gaming community. We opened up North West and North Squard and started to release smaller games. It was fun and got us involved in the XNA community more than we’ve ever been in the past. This seemed to work for us. We’re able to try new things and we’d always have one idea that was hot with the Xbox users.

It’s now October 2009.

David and I have quit our day jobs. Seriously, 18 hour days for almost three years was tiring us out. We started up the company “Silver Dollar Games”, which is the account Silver Dollar Games 1 that you see here. We hope to one day have Silver Dollar Games 2, 3 and so on.

There were times when we thought of giving up. But we kept thinking, each new idea, each new game has the potential to be great. If one didn’t pan out, then next one will.

So that’s the story of two brothers who wanted to make video games.

Jon Flook and David Flook
 

wwm0nkey

Member
Me and my friends ended up buying Avatar Adventures Online. After looking past the graphics we sunk a good 8 to 9 hours in just one run of the game. Extremely fun!
 

SmallCaveGames

Neo Member
HadesGigas said:
Blow was before they decided to give in to making cheap slop.

http://forums.create.msdn.com/forums/p/41641/245579.aspx

Sad, but I get it. The good games didn't sell and had long dev cycles. The shitty games sold better and had short dev cycles.

Money is the motivator it seems, not so much "making games." But I do get the attraction of just making up some ridiculous concept, not really investing heavily in it, and then winging it against the wall.

"Hey, how about 'Making Out with Grandmas'?"
"Haha, yep let's make that one tomorrow."
 
It'd be nice if they used their obvious talents to make something with a bit more quality now and then, just so we know they still care.
 
The Take Out Bandit said:
Just some genre terminology gripes, San Bruno is a fighting game (SF2 style), not a beat'em up (Final Fight style).
I honestly thought they were the other way around, sorry :/

I shouldn't get stuff like that wrong, it really irritates me when people dump games in the puzzle genre WHEN THEY'RE NOT PUZZLES.

Can someone play Gyroball and try and work out what the hell's going on?
 

nli10

Member
These threads mean that I will be able to catch up with XBLIG easy once my work block ends.

already have

Zombie Carnage thingy - started off hard, got easy, then got hard again - I love "one Vs thousands" (forget the Japanese term) like this so I'm happy to be humbled at the start. Easier slope will help sales tho.

Wizard's Keep - think I got further in the trial than when I played the actual game, but can't afford to get hooked.

Leave Home - yet to put code in (thanks again!)


Hopefully a quiet month as Torchlight is getting bought too!
 

Rlan

Member
I honestly hope that those guys find the time to port Blow over to iPhone some day. Game is really great, and would fit perfectly with the iPhone and iPad structure of things.
 
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