No Way Out of ‘Depression Quest’ on Simpson’s Paradox Gaming

Posted on Aug 14, 2014 under Reblogs | No Comment

Reposted from Simpson’s Paradox Gaming

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I’ve decided to share a post I wrote for IGM last year about text-based Depression Quest. There’s an ongoing conversation about depression and suicide, and talking about games is also how…

Vía Simpson’s Paradox Gaming http://ift.tt/1vMOM4a

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Free Free Free To Play, Pay Pay Pay To Win | Simpson’s Paradox

Posted on Jul 26, 2014 under Gaming News | No Comment

Indie studio Elevate Fun’s new free-to-play iOS Game, FFFFF2P, is Free Free Free Free Free To Play. Like most free-to-play games, you can, of course, pay to win.

No, seriously. Pay to win this game!

No, seriously. Pay to win this game!

Free Free Free Free Free To Play smartly satirizes the usual free-to-play model by  blatantly bribing with in-game currency for social sharing and return gameplay,  and blatantly offering in-app purchases to unbalance the difficulty. The message is obvious, and the game is still a cute and playable playable casual game.

When the game opens, your girlfriend, Princess Pixel, is kidnapped by an evil monster who throws ads at you, trying to either squash you by dropping an advert on your head (I died a lot that way) or trap you in a cave of flashing adverts (I died a lot that way). Typical free-to-play calls to action, like limited time and bonus and so forth, flash on the falling ads. The message is clear:  our beloved videogames are being held hostage by free-to-play mechanics.

via Free Free Free To Play, Pay Pay Pay To Win | Simpson’s Paradox.

 

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Free Free Free To Play, Pay Pay Pay To Win on Simpson’s Paradox Gaming

Posted on Jul 13, 2014 under Reblogs | No Comment

Reposted from Simpson’s Paradox Gaming

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Indie studio Elevate Fun’s new free-to-play iOS Game, FFFFF2P, is Free Free Free Free Free To Play. Like most free-to-play games, you can, of course, pay to win. Free Free Free Free Free To Play…

Vía Simpson’s Paradox Gaming http://ift.tt/1jFKtm7

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PanemVille: The Hunger Games Adventures on Simpson’s Paradox Gaming

Posted on Jul 06, 2014 under Reblogs | No Comment

Reposted from Simpson’s Paradox Gaming

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The Hunger Games novels suggest so many good games — a minigame hunting prey with Katniss’ arrows (a popular choice for the middle-school girls in my game design classes), a crafting and…

Vía Simpson’s Paradox Gaming http://ift.tt/1lM6KZK

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An Unpleasant Combat Game on Simpson’s Paradox Gaming

Posted on Jul 05, 2014 under Reblogs | No Comment

Reposted from Simpson’s Paradox Gaming

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Quoted from Leigh Alexander’s blog. Posted without comment, because how could I improve this? What’s your favorite video game? Metal Gear Solid 3. It’s a game set in the Cold War that you can…

Vía Simpson’s Paradox Gaming http://ift.tt/1sgasQV

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Is “Cookie Clicker” a Message Game?

Posted on Jul 02, 2014 under Gaming News | No Comment

From Is “Cookie Clicker” a Message Game? on Yahoo:

Like Cow Clicker, Cookie Clicker is a parody of certain casual game mechanics. You start by clicking a cookie to earn a couple points to spend on an upgrade to earn extra points. Eventually, you’re earning millions of points per second, and saving up to buy that billion-point upgrade that will increase cookie production even more. Whether it’s hiring your first cooking-baking Grandma or opening a portal to the cookie dimension, the mechanics don’t change. Points, upgrade, more points.

Everything else is window dressing on that mechanic . That window dressing, though, is kind of amazing. Players start out buying an extra cursor, for extra clicks, or hiring a grandma to bake more cookies. As the game goes on, all semblance of a consistent gameworld is gone. Grow a cookie farm. Mine for cookies. Open a portal to the cookie dimension. Whatever! Just keep clicking to bake cookies.

Actually, you don’t even have to click. Your extra cursors and cookie farms and cookie mines will start producing click-free cookies after a while. And Cookie Clicker rewards you for alt-tabbing over to your work. Finish that email, and you have enough cookies to build a Cookie Farm (Apparently cookies grow from cookie seeds.) Leave it running all night, and you’ll be able to buy a Cookie Lab, or 10, in the morning.

With a casual game like this pared down to its simplest form, the motivators in a lite builder become extra clear. Of course you receive achievements, with funny one-sentence flavortext . Scores are massive, so you can gaze happily on your bajillions of points. There’s no learning curve for new players, either, making it extremely accessible, while the ever-increasing points provide that feeling of improvement, even though the game doesn’t require more skill. Future upgrades are greyed out, and the need to find out what zany improvement comes next is a powerful motivator. (Seriously. I’m not shutting that window until I find out what the top improvement is.)

Cookie Clicker is a genius parody of exactly how casual builders work.

via Is “Cookie Clicker” a Message Game? – Yahoo Voices – voices.yahoo.com.

Popularity: 4% [?]

Mighty Knight on Simpson’s Paradox Gaming

Posted on Jun 22, 2014 under Reblogs | No Comment

Reposted from Simpson’s Paradox Gaming

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Mighty Knight is a cute buttonmasher adventure from FireBeast Studio on CrazyGames. In this browser game, players take on the role of an adorable and tiny, I mean, extremely tough and mighty, knight,…

Vía Simpson’s Paradox Gaming http://ift.tt/1rnedDE

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No Pineapple Left Behind

Posted on May 11, 2014 under Independent Games | No Comment

Seth Alter, developer of serious strategy game Neocolonialism and developer behind indie studio Subaltern Games , has announced his next project. His newest game, No Pineapple Left Behind, is a single-player PC game around education reform.

In this game, pineapples are preferable to students because pineapples take tests and get grades (they are enchanted pineapples) without asking annoying questions, getting bored and restless, or all those other pesky things that children do. The school’s goal is to pass exams, and no one really looks too hard into whether a child or a pineapple took the exam, as long as they get a good grade. So when pineapples do well on their exams, the school and therefore the player, will get more money.

Unfortunately, the pineapple cure is not foolproof, and sometimes an unattended pineapple can turn back into a child. This is an undesirable outcome, because children need things besides exams and children do things besides take tests.

.

via No Pineapple Left Behind – Yahoo Voices – voices.yahoo.com.

Popularity: 2% [?]

“My Tribe For Facebook”

Posted on Mar 20, 2014 under Gaming News | No Comment

Grubby Games’ My Tribe has just been turned into a Facebook social game. I played the original My Tribe about a year ago (yeah, I know, I love desert island survival games). The goal in the new Facebook game, like in the original, is to build a flourishing island tribe, and to solve the mysterious objects on your island.

Island Paradise or the ever-popular FarmVille, require you to have friends help you. FarmVille, and other successful social games, turn guanxi into a game, creating a virtual exchange of mooncakes. In Island Paradise, the “quests” are all necessary items you can’t have unless you ask your social network for clickthrough help until you succeed. Or your friends unfriend you. Either way.

In My Tribe, you can play without help from any Facebook friends. You’ll progress faster with extra shells and stork feathers from friends, of course, and My Tribe is not all that subtle about suggesting you ask more friends to play too.  I’d love to see seed and recipe exchange in future upgrades, that would really make the social side worthwhile.  But you won’t hit a level cap if you don’t want to harass your friends into playing.

Anyway, I wrote up the solutions to the original MyTribe’s mysteries over on Thumb Gods, because the “hints” that your tribespeople give can be pretty annoying (Hmm! I bet this rusty-colored rock could sure be useful!). So, if you’re playing My Tribe, and you want to solve the mysteries on your own, stop reading here. Yes, here. This is your spoiler alert.

via My Tribe For Facebook | Simpson’s Paradox.

Popularity: 6% [?]

The South By Southwest Gaming Expo | Android Gaming News | Hardcore Droid

Posted on Mar 17, 2014 under Gaming News | 1 Comment

South by Southwest is almost a month of interactive, film and music shows, held annually in Austin, Texas. The festival is known for emerging music, launches of innovative tech startups, professional development sessions, and A-list keynotes, as well as for daytime drinking by attendees.  This year, South by Southwest is adding two new conferences SXSW Eco, with a focus on green technology and sustainability, and SXSW Edu, focusing on innovation in learning and educating.

In previous years, SXSW Interactive has included a strong gaming element, both with game-related technology on display and with sessions focused on game development and distribution. In 2011, South by Southwest’s Interactive festival included the first Independent Propeller Awards, for excellence in independent games.

via The South By Southwest Gaming Expo | Android Gaming News | Hardcore Droid.

Popularity: 20% [?]

Indie Games Blog Carnival

Posted on Feb 28, 2014 under Gaming News, Independent Games | 1 Comment

indie games wordleBack in ancient times, cavepeople would make gather around the campfire and share blog carnivals (it was around the end of the Geocities age, just before cave painting really took off as an art form). That makes it retro cool, right?

 

I think this blog carnival format would work well for finding and sharing indie games and game reviewers, so I’m starting an indie games blog carnival. This is going to be a collection of links and little blurbs, I plan to include most (or all) of the submissions I get, but curated lightly to avoid repetition.

 

I would just love it if you’d submit indie game pieces and encourage friends to submit! This includes reviews written for magazines, communities or personal blogs, as well as essays on indie games, thoughtful dev blog pieces, and related creative writing. You can also submit indie games, too. This begs the question of what makes an indie, of course, but any game made for a game jam, developed with friends, or created as a solo project counts as an indie. You’re welcome to submit either your own projects or projects you enjoy.

 

Here is a form to make it easy for you to send cool things my way:

 

 

If for some reason the BC form isn’t working for you, then you can email submissions to me at my first name at my blog domain.

via Indie Games Blog Carnival | Simpson’s Paradox.

(Or leave a comment here)

 

Popularity: 3% [?]

Mining and Crafting with The Blockheads

Posted on Feb 26, 2014 under Gaming News | 1 Comment

blockheadsThe Blockheads is a free-to-play iPad and Android game, in which players explore a sandbox-style, procedurally-generated world, where they can build with with blocks. The game has a strong resemblance to another, very popular game full of, um, mining and crafting, if you know what I’m saying.

Only Blockheads is cuter, and offers a better UI. (In the time it took me to quit walking into things and punching trees in Minecraft, I had a Blockheads house and garden going.) The world is surprisingly pretty, considering almost everything is a cube, and includes distinct biomes to explore. Or just raid for resources, I’m not judging. The world cycles through seasons and times of day, creating lovely sunrises and snowfalls on my blocky domain.

Players can customize and name their Blockhead avatar, allowing for much more personality than Minecraft’s default Steve, without complex modding. Avatars can be female too, to the great excitement of several Minecraft-ing ladies I know. I love mining and exploring even more if I can do it with pretty hair.

Unfortunately, Blockheads also resembles Minecraft with some of the tedious inventory management. Does anyone enjoy this? Does opening trunks and baskets add anything to gameplay at all? (Is it for realism, after I just hit a tree with a shovel until it became cubes of wood?)

via Mining and Crafting with The Blockheads | Simpson’s Paradox.

Popularity: 4% [?]

Iron Game Dev

Posted on Feb 26, 2014 under Independent Games | 1 Comment

Saturday morning at IndieCade was the Iron Game Dev Challenge. I was excited to see so man creative devs together, and I’m kind of fascinated by what goes into a game. No matter how many games I playtest or how many developers are kind enough to talk with me, I always see it as a three-step process.

1: Clever idea
2: ???
3: Game

In the spirit of community-based video game design, the moderators opened the session by taking suggestions from the audience for the game’s theme. I was hoping differential calculus, the Spanish Civil War or ginger ice cream would be chosen from the list of shouted suggestions, but the panel picked a more art-game theme, birth. (I blame Brenda!)

Nine developers formed three teams of three, quickly proclaiming themselves East Coast, California, and People Who Aren’t American. Everyone had access to a table of office supplies and summer-camp art supplies, audience volunteer playtesters and one hour to work on their game.

And then moderator Eric Zimmerman revealed the super-secret ingredient: Band-Aids. Team International would like you to know they’re called “sticking plasters.”

Other IndieCade talks discussed how games are never really finished (I feel like my writing is never finished, I just stop improving it around the time my editor’s requests become death threats), but the three teams had to produce a working prototype in an hour.

via Iron Game Dev | Simpson’s Paradox.

Popularity: 5% [?]

Childhood Naivety and Naked Dolls Collide in Flash Game “How Do You Do It?” | The Absolute

Posted on Feb 06, 2014 under Independent Games | 1 Comment

From The Absolute:

How Do You Do It?, a free web-based independent game, is simultaneously hilarious and sad, capturing the childish confusion about naked dolls and grown-up kissing. The game is short but affecting, blending a coming-of-age narrative with a goofy score metric of how many times you maybe “did the sex.” Definitely check it out but, like we warned about the Twilight Kissing game, maybe lock your door first.

How Do You Do It? was made as part of Global Game Jam 2014 by Emmett Butler, Nina Freeman, Jonathan Kittaka, and Deckman Coss. Global Game Jams typically highlight creative, experimental projects, and How Do You Do It? is no exception. Almost the same team—although with art by Winnie Song this time —-designed and developed LadyLike, a game with similar themes of childhood, coming-of-age, and relationships to mothers; and My House, My Rules, a game about sneaking tasty snacks past a vigilant mother.

via Childhood Naivety and Naked Dolls Collide in Flash Game “How Do You Do It?” | The Absolute.

Popularity: 4% [?]

Black Friday Shopping? Let’s Make It Cashback Tuesday!

Posted on Dec 01, 2013 under Gaming News | 2 Comments

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walmart. All opinions are 100% mine.

Lots of great new games and hardware is coming out this holiday season, and Citi Tuesdays has a good way to save money on your holiday shopping! When you spend over $100 (on one receipt) at a Walmart.com on a Tuesday, using your Citi® credit card, and you'll get a $10 Walmart eGift Card. Keep it for yourself (it's ok, we won't judge!) or use it on more holiday shopping. 

All you need to do is spend $100 on a Tuesday, with your Citi® credit card on Walmart.com, to get a $10 Walmart eGift Card, free! And let's be real, you can easily spend hundreds on games and game consoles this holiday season. Your gift card will be emailed within 10 days after the $100 Walmart.com purchase. Since Walmart has pretty much everything, you can save a lot of money with Citi Tuesdays!

We've talked and written about the games and hardware available at Walmart stores, and shopping online means avoiding the holiday rush, and all the unpleasantness of the mall. (And if you ARE braving the crowds for in-person holiday shopping, remember that employees are people too. Be kind to the associate who rings you up! But isn't it simpler on everyone to just order it all online?)

I particularly like shopping online because we travel for Christmas, and I like to send my Xmas gifts to my mom's house. That way I don't have to deal with schlepping them up to my mom's house, and I cna still be part of the annual Christmas Eve present-wrapping with my family.

What gifts are you getting for your game-loving friends? And what are you hoping to receive? 
 

Terms and conditions:
To qualify for this offer, you must make a single-receipt purchase on Walmart.com of $100 or more (excluding taxes and shipping charges), by 11:59PM PT on Tuesdays, between 11/5/13 and 12/17/13, and pay for your purchase using an eligible Citi® credit card. Purchase may not include gift cards, Pharmacy, tires, Photo, customized or personalized items, Vudu, or Walmart To Go. Not valid on prior purchases or cancelled orders, and offer may not be combined with other offers or promotions. Applies to online purchases only. All Citi Branded consumer credit Cards, excluding business credit and professional cards, are eligible for the promotion; business credit cards and professional cards are not eligible. Limit one gift card per Citi® credit card, per Tuesday, per purchase of $100 or more. If a qualifying purchase is made, a Walmart eGift Card in the amount of $10.00 will be emailed within ten days of the qualifying purchase to the email address provided. A valid email address must be supplied at time of purchase to obtain a Walmart eGift Card. Use of the Walmart eGift Card is subject to the Walmart Gift Card Terms and Conditions, available on Walmart.com (at http://help.walmart.com/app/an…. Offer valid in the 50 United States only. Offer valid until 12/17/13. However, this offer is subject to modification or termination without notice

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

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[Update] Why Charging Indie Game Devs For Reviews Is Bad Practice – Indie Statik

Posted on Dec 01, 2013 under Gaming News | 1 Comment

Wait, while I was making this post, IGM changed hands from Chris Newton to Chris Adkins. But whatever, strange times for Indie Game Mag.

In case you missed it, The Indie Game Magazine (IGM) is now charging indie game developers $50 for reviews of their games. Oh, and if you want to pay another $50 on top of that, you can also have a fifteen-minute Let’s Play/video guide for your game on YouTube. This was brought to my attention by this blog post originally.

I’m probably the person least surprised by this as I used to be the Editor-in-Chief of IGM and had to work with the person responsible for this current practice. His name is Chris Newton. He brought up the idea of charging indie game developers for reviews of their games a few times while I was there, but no one apart from him wanted to do that, so it didn’t happen. What truly stopped him from doing it, though, is the fact that he didn’t own IGM, so it wasn’t up to him to make that kind of change.

However, as recently as a month ago, the original founder and previous owner of IGM, Mike Gnade, who you may know as the founder of Indie Game Stand, decided to give up IGM, and Newton took over. He’s now in charge.

via [Update] Why Charging Indie Game Devs For Reviews Is Bad Practice – Indie Statik.

Popularity: 4% [?]

Conquer a Futuristic World in Galaxy Factions on iOS | GamerHub.TV

Posted on Nov 27, 2013 under Gaming News | 1 Comment

San Francisco startup Faceroll games has recently released battle strategy game Galaxy Factions for iOs. Galaxy Factions blends resource management with real time battle strategy, in a futuristic scifi world. Players start by running a mining outpost on the edge of the civilized universe, and as their home base grows, they’re able to take on larger and larger combat challenges throughout the galaxy.

Players begin by mining essential resources, Crystals and Energus, which they’ll use to build and upgrade their base, and create troops to attack rival bases. Matterium is the premium currency. (This is made clear when the tutorial NPC, a cute girl in the required breast-baring breastplate,  keeps encouraging new players to spend to hurry construction) Successful progress depends on using Crystals, Energus, and Matterium effectively to build the most beneficial improvements, and Galaxy Factions offers clear objectives with multiple strategies for success. It’s typical resource management, but the production and expenditure of resources for growth is well-balanced. The ability to move previously built improvements is a nice feature, and allows players to easily experiment with different defensive configurations without a penalty. And the crystal mining contraptions are pretty, too.

Galaxy Factions offers a wide variety of possible buildings, which allows for visually interesting bases, and a variety of base specialities creates for a variety of successful battle strategies. When looking for new buildings to purchase, items in the in-game shop will sometimes appear “sold out”, which adds to the feeling of being on the outskirts of civilization, and also encourages shopping. I was only going to buy a Gun Turret, but what if my Crystal Depot isn’t in stock later? Better get it now!

via Conquer a Futuristic World in Galaxy Factions on iOS | GamerHub.TV.

Popularity: 4% [?]

NOTCH GIVES UP WORK ON 0X10C FOR (EVEN MORE INDIE) INDIES | Norgy

Posted on Nov 27, 2013 under Gaming News | 1 Comment

Indie game developer Markus Persson, more commonly known as Notch to MineCraft fans, is already known for creating unique projects and going his own way. After handing the indie smash MineCraft over to Mojang in order to pursue other game projects, Notch announced he was working on a new massive game.  0X10C, sometimes pronounced Ten To The C, sometimes Ecstasy, sometimes That New Notch Space Game, was described as an immersive scifi space game, set in the far distant future, in far distant galaxies of a parallel universe.

In 1988, a brand new deep sleep cell was released, compatible with all popular 16 bit computers. Unfortunately, it used big endian, whereas the DCPU-16 specifications called for little endian. This led to a severe bug in the included drivers, causing a requested sleep of 0×0000 0000 0000 0001 years to last for 0×0001 0000 0000 0000 years.

It’s now the year 281 474 976 712 644 AD, and the first lost people are starting to wake up to a universe on the brink of extinction, with all remote galaxies forever lost to red shift, star formation long since ended, and massive black holes dominating the galaxy.

The game’s title, 0x10C (however you decide to pronounce it), refers to the tiny bug that led to such serious consequences. 0x10C will put players in outer space, and allow them  to interact with absolutely everything in the game’s universe. It’s an ambitious premise for any game developer or studio, but after seeing the fully interactive gameworld Persson created in Minecraft, fans are looking forward to seeing Notch pull off a similar project with 0x10C. Persson has frequently told journalists and fans that his goal in Minecraft was to create a gameworld where everything could be modified by players, and nothing was just decor.

via NOTCH GIVES UP WORK ON 0X10C FOR (EVEN MORE INDIE) INDIES | Norgy.

Popularity: 4% [?]

FabZat 3D Printed Game Characters

Posted on Nov 08, 2013 under Gaming News | 1 Comment

FabZat, a French game merchandising agency, is creating toys and collectibles by 3D printing a player’s in-game character. Players can purchase their game hero or other special in-game items, which are then printed on a hi-res 3D printer, finished by hand and shipped anywhere in the world. Check out some of the game toys in their gallery. What a fun use for 3D printing!

via Youth Digital – Youth Digital’s Resource for Parents Whose Kids Love Technology | Youth Digital.

Popularity: 5% [?]

Level Designing

Posted on Oct 28, 2013 under Industry | 3 Comments

A level designer usually works for a game designer. The game designer works on the overall game, but the level designer makes each level a fun puzzle. To use Angry Birds, for example, the game designer would decide on the idea of flinging birds at pigs and the three-star completion system, but the level designer would place pigs and blocks to make interesting and challenging levels.

A good level designer understands giving the player a challenge that’s not too hard and not too easy. Good level design usually starts out with very simple levels. Your player should be able to understand what to do and how to do it, and complete the objective with very little stress. Once he or she knows the basics, you can start giving your player more and more difficult challenges! Players love to be challenged, and they love the success of completing a difficult objective.

Level designers work on creating clear and fun puzzles for players. You might also want to become a game artist, a beta tester or a game designer!

via Youth Digital – Youth Digital’s Resource for Parents Who’s Kids Love Technology | Youth Digital.

Popularity: 5% [?]

IndieCade Winners -

Posted on Oct 24, 2013 under Gaming News | 1 Comment

IndieCade , the annual celebration of independent games held in Culver City, awards several prizes for excellence in indie game development.

 

Past IndieCades have recognized games and game developers for excellence in game narrative, art and animation, audio design, and all-around game design. This year’s IndieCade has added two new awards, which are the Media Choice award, which is given to the game that members of the media have selected as their favorite indie game, and the Trailblazer Award, for an innovative newcomer.

The game and developer award winners this year are:

Grand Jury Award: Quadrilateral Cowboy - Blendo Games

Visuals: Kentucky Route Zero - Cardboard Computer

Audio: Gone Home - The Fullbright Company

Impact: Dog Eat Dog - Liwanag Press

Interaction: Spaceteam - Henry Smith. I’m excited to see this one win, I really enjoyed playing it . I know indie games bloggers throw “innovative!” around, but Spaceteam uses mutliplayer iPad gaming in a unique and unusual way, designed for lots of laughs and some actual cooperation, too!

Game Design: NIDHOGG - MESSHOF

Technology: Spin the Bottle: Bumpie’s Party - KnapNok Games & Redgrim

Story/ World Design: Kentucky Route Zero - Cardboard Computer

Special Recognition: Porpentine’s Twine Compilation - Porpentine

 

The Trailblazers Award: Tracy Fullerton

Game Changer Award: Anna Anthropy

Developers Choice Award: Killer Queen Arcade - Joshua DeBonis & Nikita Mikros I’ve been a Josh Debonis fan since Funky Farm 2 , and I’m glad to see him doing a game not about Lewis & Clark.

Audience Choice Award: Slash Dash - Nevernaut

Media Choice Award: TowerFall - Matt Makes Games


For East Coast fans of indie games, there’s a smaller version of IndieCade happening in New York City.IndieCade East will be this February 14-16th, and IndieCade’s Tumblr , calls IndieCade EAST “IndieCade’s sarcastic, all-black-wearing cousin.” It’s great to have a non-PAX gaming event on the East Coast, and IndieCade East will offer its own lineup of games and announcements.

via IndieCade Winners – Yahoo Voices – voices.yahoo.com.

Popularity: 5% [?]

L.A. students breach school iPads’ security

Posted on Oct 15, 2013 under Gaming News | 6 Comments

It took exactly one week for nearly 300 students at Roosevelt High School to hack through security so they could surf the Web on their new school-issued iPads, raising new concerns about a plan to distribute the devices to all students in the district.

Similar problems emerged at two other high schools as well, although the hacking was not as widespread.

Officials at the Los Angeles Unified School District have immediately halted home use of the Apple tablets until further notice.

via L.A. students breach school iPads’ security – latimes.com.

Popularity: 5% [?]

Youth Digital Students Win National STEM Challenge With Steampunk Platformer ‘Etiquette Anarchy’

Posted on Oct 15, 2013 under Gaming News | 1 Comment

Kevin Kopczynski and Henry Lewis Edwards, two of Youth Digital’s App Design students, designed and developed mobile game Etiquette Anarchy to the win the STEM National Game Design Challenge.

Etiquette Anarchy is a platform-style game set in Victorian England. Players take on the role of a young gentleman, called Jacob, on his way to a society event. Jacob must hurry to get to the party on time, while avoiding all the dirt in  the filthy London streets. Jacob creatively uses his umbrella to avoid dirty rainwater, float over mud puddles, and even avoid rats on the streets, because turning up late or arriving dirty just wouldn’t be proper Victorian etiquette!

The students worked on the app as part of a projects for Youth Digital’s classes in App Design, under the guidance of Youth Digital’s Justin Richards, and then continued the project in order to enter the STEM challenge. Etiquette Anarchy won the middle school team category in the National STEM Video Game Challenge.

“We’ve very proud of what our students have accomplished,” says Youth Digital’s founder and CEO, Justin Richards. “Henry and Kevin combined their App Design knowledge with a unique and well-researched game narrative to create an original game. A Victorian retro platformer, created by middle schoolers, really shows the wide creative potential for game development.” The students needed to research Victorian history and culture, as well as design and develop their unique game.

Youth Digital was founded in 2010, and has since educated and encouraged over two thousand aspiring game designers through app and game design classes for students eight and up.

Etiquette Anarchy is available on the App Store now (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/etiquette-anarchy/id670526407?mt=8), with a Droid version in the works.

Popularity: 5% [?]

Social Game Smackdown

Posted on Aug 17, 2013 under Gaming News | 1 Comment

Complaining about the Daily Bonus in games.

Second, I dislike the whole daily Tribal Bonus as a game mechanic. Adding the daily reward seems makes a casual Facebook game seem less skill-based and more luck-based. Admittedly there’s not a whole lot of skill in keeping your MyTribe people alive and well, but there are lots of individual choices. Adding a daily checkin creates a click-reward sequence that’s less like solving a puzzle or playing pretend, and more like a rat in an experiment.

Via Social Game Smackdown | Simpson’s Paradox.

Popularity: 8% [?]

Specialized Skills | Simpson’s Paradox

Posted on Aug 02, 2013 under China | 1 Comment

When I was in college, I was often asked what I planned to do with my degree in classics. No career counselor had suggested that studying classics is preparation to move to China, and that living China is preparation for game development, so I would have trouble answering this question.

I’ve started to do some work for National Geographic, on the new World of Secrets Facebook game. Part of this job involves reading news about classical archaeology to determine the most awesome ones, and another part involves playing the game lots and lots, and writing. Playing games, writing, and reading interesting nerd things are pretty much my skill set.

Archival records

And now I know that the answer to “What do you do with a degree in Classics?” is “Worry that game characters will damage fictional artifacts with their fictional camera flashes.”

Via Specialized Skills | Simpson’s Paradox.

Popularity: 8% [?]

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