Project Zomboid Review – Dying Is Fun

Written 21/11/2011. First posted here.

The word of the day, boys and girls, is ‘bleak’. Synonyms include: desolate, dismal, disheartening, and dear god let it end.

Today’s colour will be purple; as in prose. Not quite ‘limitless abysses of inexplicably coloured twilight and bafflingly disordered sound’ but with more than a touch of the ultraviolet nonetheless. This is purely because it fits the feel of the game, and isn’t the slightest bit really fun to write.

Project Zomboid is a post-apocalyptic survival game from Indie Stone. It’s in open development, so this review should be absolutely useless by Christmas, but as I type this we’re on version 0.1.5d, it’ll cost you £4.99, and the developers were robbed just over a month ago and could really use the cash.

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Indie Games Can’t Move Forward If They’re Always Looking Back

Written 08/11/2011. First posted here.

Some would say that opening your career by taking a pot-shot at gaming’s darling is unwise, and those people would be right. That said; if something’s worth doing, it’s worth screwing up and there are issues with the indie market that need to be talked about.

Before we can start, ‘indie’ needs to be defined as a genre. Do we count titles that came out as indie but were later picked up by publishers (Mount and Blade, The Ball), or are they disqualified and stripped of their Indie Status? More controversially, where do we put the multitude of wildly popular games which started as mods, only to be picked up and nurtured by Valve: the Patron Saint of Modders? For the purposes of this article, ‘indie’ will be used to refer to games produced entirely by independent developers, and those that were bought up after completion. This is purely for the sake of clear communication and there are indie games which fall outside these rough parameters.

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Will Microsoft Iron Out Twisted Pixel’s Indie Charm?

Written 12/09/2011. First posted here.

Microsoft Studios, one of the current industry giants announced that they had acquired relatively small indie company Twisted Pixel on the 12th of October, adding another well regarded developer to their already strong roster. Although, MS haven’t always been this strong, their earlier attempts at studio acquisition and collaboration haven’t always turned out well. And so the question to be asked is: will the already successful Twisted Pixel remain so under Microsoft’s rule, or will their corporate influence negatively impact their beautifully rustic style?

Developing well known, and well received games including: Comic Jumper, and ‘Splosion Man, Twisted Pixel have always developed exclusively for Xbox 360 and PC, and so Microsoft would’ve been almost stupid not to make sure that continues. All of their titles have also been downloadable, excluding their most recent crusade: ‘The Gunstringer’, a retail Kinect release. Although The Gunstringer was still a budget retail release, a good way for TP to soften the transition. Now with this partnership, their inevitably going to have a larger budget, allowing their creations to be much more expansive. In the words of TP CEO Mike Wilford: “You’re going to see us be able to make bigger games going forward”.

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