Indie Queue: Hats Off To Fez


“Landing a steady paying job as part of the development team at a major publisher is a dream come true for many budding young game designers. For Phil Fish, the unexpected and unpleasant reality of the situation he found himself in – working for a large studio as an anonymous drone amongst hundreds of others in an impersonal, sweatshop-like environment – made him momentarily question his choice of careers. However, far from crushing his spirit, the hellish personal experience actually fortified his resolve. Fish didn’t give up; he went indie. And much like the red hat-toting protagonist in Fez, he’s discovering there’s another whole other dimension to be found hidden within a seemingly two-dimensional world.”

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Indie Queue: To Hell With Gravity

“One can only imagine how the round-table brainstorming session played out for the folks in charge of coming up with the perfect title for a game where you dive off of mile-high buildings, head-butt poultry in mid-air, flip-off fans for extra points and collect human teeth as currency. After tossing around about 50 different names of varying quality, the team at Dejobaan Games finally settled on a winner for its upcoming extreme (and overtly peculiar) skydiving simulator: AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! – A Reckless Disregard for Gravity. Yes, that’s spelled with 25 letter As and three exclamation points.”

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Indie Queue: A World of Insanely Twisted Shadows

“A decade and a half after launching a highly successful career working as an animator and visual artist in the animation and film industry, Michel Gagné decided to quit his full-time work with the major studios and instead focus on independent projects. As a result, Gagné has spent the last year or so eating, breathing, and sleeping on an Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet. Despite having little prior experience working on videogames, he’s found himself throwing the bulk of his creative time and energy into designing what will arguably be one of the strangest, most visually compelling, independently developed games around.”

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Indie Queue: Cactus at the Speed of Light

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“Making games is traditionally a time-consuming affair. Though independently produced projects can take significantly less time to turn around than games with million dollar budgets and huge teams, they still often require many months to several years of solid work to finish. For Swedish indie developer, Jonatan “Cactus” Söderström that’s simply too damn long. He’s the game development equivalent of a machine gun, firing off large volumes of small games as quickly as he can create them. Not all hit their mark, but their overall effect is surprisingly potent. Cactus enthusiasts can continue to expect a steady barrage of hyper-speed gaming oddities this year, but he also has some heavier ordinance in the pipeline that promises to deliver one hell of a payload when it drops.”

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Indie Queue: Of Blueberries and Gardening

“The garden is peaceful and serene, filled with edible fruits, lush flora and weird little party hat-wearing beasties that reproduce like crazy. Life also seems pretty good for the bird-beaked man in the bowler hat…until the water starts rising. Unlike his strange protagonist, Swedish game developer Erik Svedäng is in a situation that’s far from dire. Last month he took home the Seumus McNally Grand Prize at this year’s Independent Games Festival for Blueberry Garden – a whimsical and beautiful 2D platformer where you explore and interact with a delightful little world and attempt to keep from drowning in it.”

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Indie Queue: Meat Boy Gets Supersized

“Subversive artist and indie game designer Edmund McMillen is known for constantly venturing beyond the traditional boundaries of art, videogames and even good taste with his edgy creations, yielding some incredibly original (and rather twisted) titles in the process. From outrageous games featuring dueling genitalia to stylish and thoughtfully introspective explorations that blur the definition of what some might even consider a game, McMillen is not afraid to push the envelope. Meat Boy, one of his more recent game collaboration successes, is being super-sized for WiiWare, and he’s hopeful this bloody and gruelingly challenging vertical platformer about a boy made of drippy, raw meat will win over the hearts of Wii owners.”

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Indie Queue: Cave Story Lives Again

“Almost a decade ago, budding Japanese developer Daisuke Amaya (aka Pixel) first set to work on creating a platform adventure game about a young cyborg boy who wakes up with amnesia in a vibrant subterranean world populated by charming, rabbit-like creatures. As he toiled away over the course of five years to complete his first gaming project, he never expected it would grow to become one of the most renowned and revered freeware indie PC games in Japan and abroad. With work on updating Cave Story for its WiiWare debut now in the home stretch, Pixel and the small U.S. development team at Nicalis are anxious to introduce scores of new players to the indie classic.”

Check out the full story here.