Link Dump Friday №253
Surprise! This is our 251st Link Dump Friday!... what? No, we did not just not notice last week was the 250th. Geez. Rude. It so happens that in my homeland the number 251 is sacred because of reasons! So celebrate now, consarnit! We've not only got an interview with the lovely folks over at Ironhide Games, we've also got news coming out of your nose and maybe even something cute and playable!
Allez Indie! You know One Mr Bean, right? Of course you do. He's the guy who's been creating some of the most personal and evocative games on the site for a while now, including the big winner of the 9th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, ... But That Was [Yesterday]. Well, surprise, now he's all famous! He's taking part in IGN's new web series The Next Game Boss where he'll be honing his talents and competing (as the only one man team, no less) for a big prize. Each week, more teams will be eliminated, so make sure you're rooting him on every Tuesday! Don't forget about us when you're famous, dude. GO TEAM BEAN!
Mightier than the Sword Can I talk about Spellirium? I want to talk about Speillrium. I'm going to talk about Spellirium. Untold Entertainment, who you may remember from a certain aggressively adorable thing, is working on a new game that I can't wait to throw my money at. Puzzle games are great. Word games are great. Adventure games are also great. Spellrium is a "dark fantasy trashpunk" game where you spell words to solve problems and battle enemies as you travel around a ruined world. The screenshots are beyond gorgeous, and the story sounds gloriously grim and quirky. Doesn't that sound like something you need? Hit up the developer diary to learn more!
Design Unto Others Don't you just love it when people are nice? (Be quiet, yes you do.) Flipflopgames is a one-kid company comprised of Conner Haines, an eleven-year-old who loves gaming and creating games. Conner runs BElieve, a program where he develops iOS games free for any kid 5-12 who has been diagnosed with cancer. Kids download a template, fill it out with their designs and game concepts, and Conner creates the game for them over the course of a few months. The games can be free or paid, and all paid game proceeds go to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Yes, that's right. Conner is both more talented, and a better person, than I am. Check out the site and send some good vibes, then maybe go out there and do a random act of kindness for someone.
CAN YOU SMELL WHAT WADJET IS COOKIN' Hey, Wadjet Eye Games! Those guys are awesome, amirite? So then if you know them, you might also be interested to know that they've just announced their next game; Da New Guys! It's an adventure game set around the professional wrestling scene that follows the escapades of Simon and Defender as they set out to rescue their teammate Brain after he wins the title belt... a match he was supposed to lose! It goes without saying that you can expect this one to be weird and quirky, and if it sounds like your sort of thing (or if, like me, you just like making really old wrestling references in place of actual wit), you'll definitely want to check out the official site for screenshots, video, and more.
Tiny Game Clone You want games? Oh, I'll give you games, she said, in the most sinister fashion possible. Nutcase Nightmare, the creator of the dividingly ghoulish puzzle game Gap Monsters which I loved serves up Pony Wings, a simple arcade clone of iOS hit Tiny Wings, but better, because it has ponies. Well, pony. Singular, for now. It's crafted in HTML5, and the goal is to simply fly (or roll) as far as you can by helping Scootaloo, the little orange pegasus filly, use her rollerblades and momentum to catch some air. It's simple, but it's adorable and exactly the sort of thing you keep playing over and over when you really should be doing something else. Yes, that's right. I'm going to turn you all into bronies. If it happened to me when I couldn't sleep last year and there was a marathon on, then I'm darn well taking all of you with me.
Interview! Continue reading for an interview with Ironhide Games!
If you're a fan of strategic defense games, then chances are you already know Ironhide Games as the masterminds behind the awesome Kingdom Rush, which dominated audience voting to take home our first ever Game of the Year prize in 2011, and also became a smash-hit on iOS. We tracked them down to learn more about their plans for the future, and their thoughts on their unexpected showstopping success!
By now, pretty much everyone knows you as "those awesome guys who made Kingdom Rush". It rode as one of the highest rated games on our site for a long time, and the recent leap to iOS made it jump right back up to the top. You even had to deal with someone stealing your game as their own on the App Store! Did you expect the sort of success you got with Kingdom Rush? How has that success been for you, and has it changed the way you look at your work? Before releasing Kingdom Rush on flash we were confident the game was fun but we weren't sure if the people would love it or hate it since the tower defense genre is well established with many standards and our game didn't follow them all. (for example we have no fastforward button and no wave timeline)
The success the game had was very unexpected, we never thought our game would become the highest rated game on Armorgames and Kongregate nor that it would had such great reception. Having people tell us they don't like TD games but they love Kingdom Rush, and also receiving great comments from people in the industry is awesome for us as startup game developers. I don't think the success of Kingdom Rush changed the way we look at our work, it made us more confident in it of course and taught us a lot of things about the gaming industry, but we look at our work with the same passion as we did before.
Tower defense games are the sort a lot of people either love or hate, and it can be very difficult to find that magic formula that makes everyone fall in love with it. Kingdom Rush didn't seem to have any such problems. What in your opinion is most important in making a successful tower defense? What do you feel, personally, is it about Kingdom Rush that sets it apart from other games in the genre? I think most tower defense games (or all games in general) sets themselves apart one way or another and they all have their own mini magic formula that makes them unique. For Kingdom Rush we wanted to set it apart by making the game play feel more dynamic and the player more involved in the action with a funny atmosphere giving personality to the characters and adding cool fun ways to deal with your enemies that we never seen done before.
For a TD game to be successful, we think it needs to let you create your own strategies, keep you focused and have a smooth learning curve.
You've experimented with other genres in the past in your previous games. What's your favourite type of game to make, and is there any particular type you'd like to try that you haven't yet? We only have 2 other games one of them being a trivia so we don't have much experience in genres and it is too early to have a favourite, but we would like to try several of them, action, platformer, strategy, why not rpg and even adventure :)
It's clear that Ironhide Studios is made up of a lot of talented people because the work you put out is so polished and professional. Tell us a little about yourselves, how you came to work together, and what inspires you to create games? We are 3 friends sharing a passion for games that gave a shot at creating them. We are not game developer professionals, in fact we are more like amateurs learning everyday as we go, but we put a lot of love and effort in whatever we do and i guess that shows. We all love to be part of every step of the development process and we like to discuss everything from coding solutions to user interface and game design.
Pablo is the guy behind the lines of code on our games. He is always learning new technologies and loves the unique challenge of making games. He's been a developer of web and desktop commercial applications for several years and quit all that to start working in games.
Gonzalo is the one doing the art, animation and good looks of our games. He's been drawing stuff since he was a kid, worked as a graphic designer for a while but now he has his dream job (his words).
I'm Alvaro and my role is mostly aimed towards game and level design but i also fill in any gaps between art and coding. I'm a bit of a coder, a bit artist, a bit 3d modeller and animator as well as a web designer and now also a happy game developer that is also my dream job.
2012 has just started, and we're hoping to see even more from you this year! Do you have any plans for the future that you can share? Will we see any more iOS releases from you, perhaps an original game? For 2012 we have several plans: for the first half of the year we plan to make a Kingdom Rush version for iPhone (already working on it) and Steam, release the KR sequel on flash and iOS (iPhone & iPad) which will be a bigger game with new terrains, new enemies, more stages, more funstuff, bosses, etc!
For the other half we plan to work on a new title, we have so many ideas of games we'd love to make but it is now too early to know for sure.