There's no giveaway this week, my little Jiggernauts, and there won't be until the 10th Casual Gameplay Design Competition comes to an end, but that doesn't mean we've skimped on the content this week. From ponies to plants, slingshots to spaceships, zombies to zombies eating your face while your so-called teammates loot your equipment, we've got you covered.
Additionally, here's a question for you guys... Kickstarter projects! Namely, do you want to hear about them? With the success of Double Fine's funding and the staggering amount of cash generated by the Ouya console, more and more developers are turning to Kickstarter as a potential means to help their gaming creations see the light of day... or sometimes, see the light of day sooner, or just in a more elaborate fashion. Some players see these projects as a great way to help contribute and get in on the ground floor of something wonderful, while others regard them with distaste and distrust. So we want to know if you'd like to see links to new and interesting Kickstarter projects here every week, or if you'd rather we avoided them all together. Well, community... what sayest thou!?
The Galaxy, Profit, And You Having heartbreakingly discovered last night that I probably don't have what it takes to be in Starfleet in any responsible capacity, my hopes for galactic employment turn to the upcoming Starship Corporation by David Murent. Billed as a real-time strategy game, you'll be creating and running a business that specialises in building spaceships from the ground up, in everything from layout to weapons, and then training crews and more to pilot them for you. You'll have clients, and even be able to reach out to other players for trade or to conquer them. While the game is asking for funding to help with certain aspects, players will soon be able to check out an Alpha build to see if its come-hither eyelash fluttering is something that they'd like to get to know. Check out the official site for much more detailed information, and then get ready to practice your best "I have no idea how all those toxic antimatter generator building materials were dumped near that preschool, your honour" businessman face.
The Apocalypse Stands On Its Own Two Shambling Feet The ARMA II: Combined Ops mod DAYZ, is kind of an impressive thing, turning the realistic action-strategy war game into a terrifying open-world multiplayer survival game set after a zombie apocalypse, where you and other players can team up to scavenge supplies and stay alive... or turn on one another. If, like me, you've been intrigued but can't see buying a game you aren't interested in just to mod it into something else, surprise! Bohemian Interactive is teaming up with the incredibly talented DAYZ development squad to turn the title into a standalone game. Details are scant right now, but this is great news for fans and potential fans, as well as a fantastic success story for modders everywhere. I look forward to eventually surviving the apocalypse with you all... especially Raini.
Get Your Fling On Everybody loves Angry Birds! I know this because my mother-in-law keeps telling me about it and I can't go out to Universal Studios for the weekend without wading through a wave of new merchandise. The physics puzzle has been a huge hit, but you know you've made the big time when people start building controllers for you. Two incredibly clever students at the Cophenhagen Institute of Interaction Design have built a working slingshot-style USB controller for Angry Birds that allows you to aim, choose your strength, shoot, and even activate any special powers the bird has... all using a realistic device! It looks great, and you've got to assume that as a developer inspiring that sort of creativity is pretty flattering. Of course, not to be outdone, the folks at Disney Research have developed a way to turn plants into game controllers as well. Sheesh, you guys are smart and fancy!
The Demo Will Claim Productivity If you've been intrigued by Jonas Kyratzes' amazingly engrossing adventure The Sea Will Claim Everything but were leery of making a monetary commitment without trying it first, well, rejoice! A demo has finally been released, allowing you to dip your toes into this particular foray into the Lands of Dream and decide if its for you. For our part, we can't recommend it enough... it's a big, imaginative, surreal journey backed by Kyratzes' usual heart and style that is well worth experiencing.
Short Leather Skirts, Kitty Ears, And Adventure Like dark fantasy RPGs? Sure you do. That's why you're interested in the upcoming indie title Dimiria by Softnetix Entertainment. Expected to hit later this year for both PC and Mac, you play as a hero out to rally a group of companions and decide the fate of the world when the realm of Dimiria is thrown into chaos after rumours that a portal to another world has opened and reignites a war. It's looking great so far, and potentially the sort of thing you could lose a lot of time to... especially if you've always wanted your own cat-girl assassin. Head on over to the official site to gorge yourself on screenshots and details, and keep your eyes peeled for an official release date!
Loving, Tolerating, and Lessons Learned If you've been following the development of the upcoming My Little Pony: Friendship is magic fighting game Fighting is Magic, then you might have gotten excited to hear an Alpha build of the game was leaked last week. Mane 6, the development team behind the game, was understandably upset, and after an initial rather blunt open letter, they've released a more comprehensive statement explaining why. In addition to explaining their feelings on the matter, they talk about where the game stands now, their future plans, and why open development isn't something they plan on entertaining. If you've seen the preview videos, then you know this game is already shaping up to something phenomenally impressive for a fan game, and hopefully you're willing to resist the temptation of the Alpha and wait for the finished product to arrive.
Taking On What You Think You Know About Casual Games Obsidian Entertainment has a lot of talented people working for it, but when Jason Fader and his team were laid off from the company, they decided to do what every newly unemployed creators do... re-create their own indie development company, Iocaine Studios, and tackle the concepts of casual gaming and pay-to-play models by releasing their own titles. In an in-depth interview with Kotaku, Fader talks about how certain types of "casual games" are giving the genre a bad reputation, as well as his own distaste for the "pay-to-play" model popularised on social sites like Facebook by Zynga. The fledgling studio's first three titles will all be very different in terms of gameplay, but unique in that they'll all take place within the same persistent universe so you can interact with players in one game while you're playing another, which sounds very neat indeed. You can read the whole interview over here, and mark this new studio as one to watch.
Do you know an upcoming indie project or some community gaming related news you think deserves some attention? Send me an e-mail with LINK DUMP FRIDAY in the subject line at dora AT casualgameplay DOT com with the info, and we'll judge it with the all-seeing glare of our own self-importance for inclusion in a future Link Dump Friday article!