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Game Jams

No Wave photo
No Wave

No Wave is a point-and-click game set in NY's music scene

Sonic Youth and Swans on the soundtrack? Win!
May 14
// Alasdair Duncan
Aside from videogames, music is my other big passion in life, whether it's just listening to it, going to gigs or reading about various bands or periods in music history. So when I got a message from the developers of No Wave...
Vertico photo

Ludum Dare 29 entry Vertico dives into an isometric coral reef

Admittedly less insane than previous games by developer Ultimate Walrus
May 07
// Darren Nakamura
The Ludum Dare 29 game jam is currently in the voting phase, with the theme "beneath the surface." Developer Sebastian Janisz of Ultimate Walrus took the theme to a decidedly less mental place than some of his past creations...
Watch this, fo' real photo
Indie Game The French Movie
This is confusing, but cool. Pixel Heart is going to be a documentary that visits a bunch of talented, global folks in videogames -- Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Rez), Robin Hunicke (Sims, Journey), Edmundo Bordeu (Zeno Clash), Mark H...

Alt.Ctrl.GDC photo
These make the Wii balance board look downright boring. Er, more boring.
There was a wonderful spread of strange and interesting indie games at GDC, including a special exhibit called Alt.Ctrl, focusing on projects that made use of unusual controllers. Bill Zoeker screwed around with these for a ...

Documentary photo

I have a good feeling about the documentary series Super Game Jam

It follows five separate 48-hour game jams
Mar 17
// Jordan Devore
Filmmakers Daniel Oliveira Carneiro and Bram Ruiter are teaming up with publisher Devolver Digital for Super Game Jam, a monthly documentary series which pairs up notable independent designers for 48 hours of game making bas...
Procedural Death Jam photo
Procedural Death Jam

Procedural Death Jam cites Spelunky and FTL as influences

'Stop trying to make procedural death labyrinth happen'
Mar 03
// Darren Nakamura
Roguelikes have seen a surge in popularity in the last few years, with some titles reaching the highest levels of indie game success, like FTL: Faster Than Light or Spelunky. However, despite the recent focus on certain game ...
Cyberpunk photo

The Cyberpunk Game Jam is now open to entries

Someone please make a Ramones Vs. Terminator game
Mar 02
// Jonathan Holmes
Up and coming indie darling Devi Ever (Lillian Gish, Call Center Cleveland) is putting on a Cyberpunk Game Jam, and you're all invited. A lot of promising entries are already in the works by the likes of Okinawa Terminal, Bac...
Gods Will Be Watching photo
Gods Will Be Watching

Gods Will Be Watching coming to Steam, GOG in June

I hope none are watching me in the bathroom
Feb 26
// Alasdair Duncan
Last year we heard that Devlover Digital would be publishing the tense, point-and-click game Gods Will Be Watching from Spanish developer Deconstructeam. If you've been waiting for the full release then, it's still a few mon...
Double Fine photo
Double Fine

Fans are bringing an unused Double Fine pitch to life

Feb 24
// Jordan Devore
While it may not have been my favorite concept for a game out of Amnesia Fortnight 2014, the pitch itself for Bad Golf 2 was among the best. It was literally just Double Fine's Patrick Hackett chanting "Bad Golf 2!" four time...

Trainfinity transforms tablets to train tracks

48-hour jam game needs to be in my life
Feb 21
// Conrad Zimmerman
Watch this. It's a teaser for Trainfinity, a game developed in 48 hours during the Nordic Game Jam last week. A local cooperative multiplayer game, tracks run in three lanes from one player's tablet to the next while trains ...
Double Fine photo
Double Fine

These are the four winning games of Amnesia Fortnight

Pitching games isn't easy
Feb 18
// Jordan Devore
Before Double Fine's Amnesia Fortnight, "The only way [other people] would become project lead was if I died, and I didn't want to die. Or be killed," said CEO Tim Schafer. The game jam is back this year and as voted by peop...

Flappy Jam, a collection of almost unplayable games

Indie devs get together in support of one another
Feb 11
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The latest game dev jam is Flappy Jam, which sees indie developers getting together in an effort to show support for each other in the game development community. "Envy and teasing should not belong to our community," the web...
Candy Kill photo
Candy Kill

Ska Studios puts out free game to protest Candy jerks

Trolling the trademark trolls
Feb 07
// Brett Makedonski
After Candy Crush Saga developer King filed a trademark for the word "candy" as it pertains to videogames, indie developers struck back the only way they knew how -- by making indie games. Appropriately and reb...
Double Fine photo
Double Fine

Vote on potential Double Fine games in Amnesia Fortnight

It's back, now with more Pendleton Ward
Feb 06
// Jordan Devore
Double Fine is hosting another Amnesia Fortnight game jam over the next two weeks, giving fans a chance to support the company financially and voice their opinion about which prototypes should move forward into full producti...
Oculus Rift bomb defusal photo
Oculus Rift bomb defusal

Cut the red wire! Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Wait, no, the blue one! Press the dog button! How much time is left?
Jan 28
// Darren Nakamura
Asymmetric cooperative multiplayer is an idea that I always love to see in action. Artemis has done a good job proving that the concept is sound, if not a bit cumbersome to execute. The newest game that falls into the catego...
Candy Jam photo
Candy Jam

Love candy but hate trademark trolling? Here's Candy Jam

Sucrose trademarks? More like suck-gross, right?
Jan 22
// Darren Nakamura
Just the other day we heard that King, developer of the why-are-all-of-my-friends-playing-this behemoth Candy Crush Saga, successfully trademarked the word "candy" as it relates to games. In an effort to fight trademark trol...
PC photo

McPixel developer's new web game is pure chaos

Night Rider Turbo
Nov 27
// Jordan Devore
"Your car is falling apart in the middle of the night in the middle of a highway. Make sure not to die. This is important. Control the car using hand." This is Night Rider Turbo, the chaotic new game from McPixel creator Sos ...
Leaf Me Alone photo
Leaf Me Alone

Need something to do? Play Leaf Me Alone

Ludum Dare 26 game playable in browser
Nov 19
// Darren Nakamura
The Ludum Dare game jam series has been going on for a while now, with its 28th iteration coming up next month. Ludum Dare 26's theme was "minimalism," and one of the titles to come out of that event was Leaf Me Alone, a 2D e...
Max Scoville presents "Sexy Video Game News-Hole"
As you might've heard yesterday, I am back with Destructoid as full-time Video Warlock. And so, I've wasted absolutely no time whatsoever abusing my newfound power, and here's the first episode of my new show: Sexy Video Gam...

Simulation photo

So, I played this 'Golf Ball Picker-Upper Cart' sim

And it was worth the download!
Jul 30
// Jordan Devore
I'm not usually prone to playing straight-faced simulation games. You know the ones. If I ever did, it would be for a laugh rather than an actual desire to get enjoyment out of performing digital recreations of mundane tasks....
Simulator photo

That space-station janitor sim now has multiplayer

Viscera Cleanup Detail still cracks me up
Jul 23
// Jordan Devore
The impressive effort of a game jam, Viscera Cleanup Detail is another one of those inherently funny simulation games that's actually in on the joke. As you've hopefully heard by now, it stars you as a determined janitor who ...
Hatesnake3D photo

Hatesnake3D is a surreal kaleidoscope of snake survival

Unhinge your jaw and eat your heart out, Keita Takahashi
Jun 20
// Darren Nakamura
Indie Buskers is a group of developers who participate in game jams to help pay the bills. Rat King is one of those developers, consisting of a two-person team with a pretty diverse portfolio. In the most recent Indie Buskers...

Give space a good fisting in Dick Hand

Idle hands are the Devil's plaything
Jun 18
// Conrad Zimmerman
Dick Hand is a game in which the player defends themselves from enemy ships and space debris with a "cleaning apparatus" they have limited control over. The apparatus is a lengthy tube, ends in a hand, and is positioned...

Nintendo should lend their big names to small developers

Jun 09 // Jonathan Holmes
Giving Mario and the gang, at least temporarily, to the likes of Phil Fish, Double Fine, Team Meat, Terry Cavanaugh, Vlambeer, and other passionate young(ish) developers would cancel out a large part of Nintendo's image problem. It worked for William Shatner when he teamed up with Henry Rollins and Ben Folds. It worked for Madonna that time she kissed that girl people used to like. It worked for Marvel and DC comics when they put out Strange Tales and Bizarro Comics. When people feel like they've seen all the tricks that an old dog has to offer, the introduction of a fresh puppies to the equation can both highlight the strengths of the elder and bring the feeling of unpredictability and excitement to the process. It would also help cure a perceptual handicap that Nintendo has suffered since the N64 days -- 3rd party developers feel like they have little place on Nintendo consoles. The underlying notion is that Nintendo will always have the staring role on their own systems, but on Sony, PC, Microsoft, Apple, ect, anyone has the potential to grab the spotlight. Sharing their biggest characters, and the spotlight that comes with them, may be the only way for Nintendo to woo some third parties (big or small) back again. That goes for everyone outside of Nintendo. These Game Jams needn't be limited to just indie developers. If Hideo Kojima, Cliffy B, or other big franchise devs want to join in the fun, they'd be welcome to it.  The thing about it is, these Game Jams are essentially already happening, with or without Nintendo's concept. There are already multiple Mario-based games from indies, many of which went on to become hugely popular. Thomas was Alone's platforming was initially based around Mario's physics, and Super Meat Boy has been called a tribute/revamp of the Super Mario formula by its creators. Then there are the more direct "tributes" to The Other Brothers, and Tiny Plumbers. And don't even get me started on the multiple aesthetic and gameplay related grabs from Metroid found in Guacamelee, amazing Zelda reinterpretations like Legend of Princess, and all the amazing Pokemon fan games out there.  The iconography and design sensibility of Nintendo is in the genes of today's modern developers. There is no way for Nintendo to control it or to stop it, so they might as well harness it to their own ends. Scoring an exclusive Mario game from Team Meat or Zelda game from Jonathan Blow may not bring in tens of millions of consumers right away, but it could be the start of a larger change in Nintendo's overall reputation. At first, only the thousands of loyal fans of these small developers would be genuinely excited about their Nintendo team ups, but it wouldn't take long for it to make headline news across all games media. Most importantly, the games would show the world that they haven't seen everything that Nintendo has to offer. The Wii and DS showed us that 5-10 years ago, but they also brought with them the unintended message that Nintendo was growing less interested in the catering to the enthusiast community. I can think of no better way of showing the world that Nintendo means for their "Blue Ocean" strategy to include diehard videogame fans than to give the likes of Alexander Bruce and Dennaton Games access to their most well know franchises. A lot of you are probably thinking that this idea is to impossible to even consider. I'd remind you that if there is one thing that's remained true of Nintendo over the years is that they have the capacity to do the unexpected. They once gave Japanese Essayist and television personality Shigesastu Itoi his own fart joke laden, tragedy filled RPG series about American culture. They gave a girl group producer his own rhythm action series. They allowed Skip to give Birdo a vibrator. They published a Gameboy RPG made by the creators of a fan-made videogame zine when the console was way past its prime. Just a few years back, they helped distribute a series of Warioware micro games by the creators of World of Goo, Super Meat Boy, and the Bit.Trip series. History has shown that Nintendo is willing to reach out to unlikely parties for team ups. Who knows, maybe they'll even get Beyonce back in the mix. In a lot of ways, Nintendo are among the first developers to take the "indie" mentality and use it claim fame in fortune. Despite the fact that their games often sell in the same bracket as the Call of Duty series, they continue to reject many of the conventions that define "AAA" mentality. When Microsoft is finding ways to control your games after you've purchased them, and EA is focused on making sure every game has every marketable feature ever, Nintendo is releasing 3D Classics: Urban Champion. Those are the kinds of games they built their careers on, but they were made by their younger selves, in a time when they were in touch with young people wanted. The sooner they partner with today's young developers who are bound to be the Nintendo's of tomorrow, the sooner they are to replicate the success that helped them rise to the top in the first place.
Nintendo IP photo
Imagine an Animal Crossing game by Anna Anthropy...
Nintendo is in an extremely interesting place right now. They're run by men like Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto, who at one time in their lives were artists and programmers (respectively) on games not much larger than toda...

Indie photo

Indie Fund backs Kachina, a Molyjam game

Title is described as a "physics-based toy"
Apr 17
// Alasdair Duncan
Just days after saying they would welcome a time when their services aren't needed, the folks behind the Indie Fund have announced the fifth game they'll be backing. This time it's Kachina which is being developed by Ben Espo...

QUILTBAG: The queer game jam has begun

Gay Planet 4 Lyfe
Apr 06
// Jonathan Holmes
When Bioware announced that they were going to make Star Wars: The Old Republic more inclusive by having one planet where same sex characters flirt with each other, reactions were split. Some on either side of the homophobia ...
Cat game jam photo
Cat game jam

Upcoming game jam will make games for cats

Cats can play games with their paws
Mar 15
// Joshua Derocher
Stop the presses! People are getting together to create games for cats. Not about cats, or with cats in them, but stuff that cats can actually play. With their paws. Friskies is hosting a weekend-long event to gather develop...
Charity photo

Watch Notch have his beard shaved

Because you're clearly not doing anything important right now
Mar 02
// Conrad Zimmerman
During this past week's Mojam event, designers from Mojang, Vlambeer, Wolfire Games and more participated in a 78-hour game design challenge. All of the games created were offered through Humble Bundle in exchange for a dona...

Humble Bundle Mojam 2 is going on right now

Give to charity, get some game jam games
Feb 20
// Darren Nakamura
This morning, Mojang and the Humble Bundle team kicked off the Humble Bundle Mojam 2, a game jam whose proceeds go entirely to the charities Block by Block and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. As usual for the Humble Bund...
Heart to Get photo
Heart to Get

This is a game you play by literally beating your meat

Give that meat a nice, firm squeeze
Jan 31
// Tony Ponce
"A beating heart" was the theme of this year's Global Game Jam -- an event held in various sites around the world simultaneously where participants have to design a game in 48 hours. And among all the submissions, Heart to G...

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