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Spyn Doctor's blog

4:21 PM on 01.28.2010

Your Doodles Are Bugged!

Hello D'toiders!

My game Your Doodles Are Bugged! is coming to Xbox LIVE Indie Games soonish, so I wanted to give you a sneak preview.

As I already wrote in my totally awesome press release [Click], I was planning to do a twin-stick shooter (side-scrolling, 3rd-person ego-perspective) with vampires (since Zombies are soooo out) and lots of bullets and blood, but had to change the design here and make feature cuts there, so what I ended up with was actually quite - uhm - different (different enough that when I submitted it for XBLIG I had to pick "Other" for the genre). Well, enough of the words and on to the trailer and some pictures (see below) - if you want to do more boring reading about the game, you can do so on the game page.

Hope you like it,



7:25 AM on 10.03.2009

Recent Xbox LIVE Indie Games Highlights

Hello D'toiders!

Here are some of the better play-worthy Xbox LIVE Indie Games which I've seen passing through the XNA Creators Club in the recent weeks and which I can recommend to check out.

Note: This is an entirely subjective list according to my own taste and also with no claims of being complete (there're probably other good games I missed). And: I am not affiliated with any of these games - they are not my games! To see my games, check out my profile on the right...

So here they are (in no particular order):

Arkedo Series - 01 JUMP! A hardcore/retro platformer. Well, for me it's hardcore because there are no continues or saves, so you have to go through all 30 levels with the lives you have - which I am far from able to manage. With very cool graphics which somehow manage to be at the same time retro/pixely but als current-gen-HD.

Xcross The first Xbox picross game. I personally am not into picrosses (is that the plural?), but if you are, then I was told that this is a good specimen of that genre.

Avatar Golf Probably no need to mention this one, as you probably already own it (and if not, then you should!). The sequel to "Easy Golf: Course Architect". Play the links with your own avatar and online against other players. And the course editor is of course also still there.

PixelMan An experiment in minimalistic game design. Very retro/simplistic platformer with 30 levels (of which about 4 or 5 are so simple they can't really be called "levels") and - a boon for me and my poor platformer skills - an unlimited number of retries per level.

Avatar Drop Drop your Xbox Avatar from a great height and bounce it off rubber balls and through rings to score. Especially fun in multi-player mode.

Fishing Girl Yes, that one's already available in various versions as a free Flash game, but the XBLIG version is very good too. A totally relaxing experience. Worth to check out!   read

4:41 PM on 09.07.2009

My Game Kuchibi now available on Xbox Live Indie Games

Hello D'toiders!

I'm proud to be able to tell you that my second game Kuchibi has now been released on Xbox Live Indie Games!

The game is available for just 240 MSP (about 3$ / 3€). Looking forward to seeing all your's gamertags on the online top-score lists!!! Can you beat the creator himself? Look for gamertag "Spyn Doctor" in the online top-scores - but don't be deceived by the current low scores for my gamertag: Just after the game was released, I just played into each mode/difficulty for a short time to generate the first scores to seed the top-score lists. I can do much better scores than that! Honestly! ;-) (and I see that I've already been beaten on Marathon/Easy by someone called "Demeetus" - that was quick, the game is only released since an hour or two ago... :-)

I almost forgot: You can download the free trial to your Xbox right here:

Hope you have fun with the game!!!

Oh, something else I almost forgot: I currently have a little Twitter-based give-away going where I give away three free pre-paid codes for Kuchibi. The give-away ends on Sep. 8th, 2009 at 18:00h/6p.m. (Central European Summer Time - so that's about noon at the US east coast and 9a.m. at the US west coast on Sep. 8th). Check out the Kuchibi game page for more details and how to participate:

Game trailer and screenshots follow:


This screenshot shows the Marathon Mode

This screenshot shows the Timer Mode

This screenshot shows the Survival Mode

This screenshot shows the Scramble Mode   read

5:21 AM on 09.06.2009

Dream Build Play 2009 Winners Announced


The winners of the Dream Build Play 2009 contest have been announced.

The winner is a title which was handled as the favorite by many, so no big surprise there:

First place (and $40,000) went to Dust: An Elysian Tail, developed by Dean Dodrill (U.S.) aka "Noogy". Dean is quite active in the XNA Creators Club community and seems to be a very nice guy. His game is great too (I was able to play a playtest version a few weeks ago) and looks very professional. On the art side, that's no wonder, with Dean being a professional animator. But on the programming side it is quite astonishing, as Dean says he only started with learning how to program back in December 2008! Kudos! You've probably all seen the Dust trailer by now, but still, I included it again below.

Second place (and $20,000) went to Max Blastronaut, developed by Panya Inversin and his team (U.S.). I don't know much about this game, other than that from the trailer it looks like a cool multi-player game (see below).

Third place (and $10,000) went to Rotor'scope, developed by Nivel21 Entertainment, led by Mauricio Garcia (Spain). Again, I don't know much about this game, other than that it's a puzzle game embedded into a story and professional art (judging from the trailer) and that it has a Facebook based high-score list (trailer below).

Fourth place (and $5,000) went to HurricaneX2 Evolution, developed by Hu Ling and his team (China). For this game I don't even have a trailer, but I think that this game has now entered Dream Build Play for the third time. If I remember correctly: In 2007 it entered as "Hurricane", in 2008 as "HurricanX2" and now in 2009 as "HurricaneX2 Evolution" and I assume that it was developed further in each iteration, to now finally be able to claim one of the winning spots. The game itself is an asia-styled figther game (screenshot below).

1st Place: Dust: An Elysian Tail:


2nd Place: Max Blastronaut:


3rd Place: Rotor'scope:


4th Place: HurricaneX2 Evolution (screenshot only):


11:47 AM on 09.04.2009

Giving away free codes for Golden Tangram


my little give-away for free pre-paid codes for Golden Tangram is already underway:

The first code was published yesterday (and has already been redeemed by a lucky finder, I am told). The next code will show up during the coming hours, and another one tomorrow!

Start your hunt for the code here:

If you find and redeem it first, it means a free game for you!

Doc   read

9:42 AM on 08.28.2009

Announcement: Give-Away of 3 Free Pre-Paid Codes for Golden Tangram (my Xbox Indies Game)

Hi D'toiders!

I just wanted to announce that I will be doing a little give-away competition on Thursday, Friday and Saturday next week (that would be Sept. 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2009). On each day, I will give away a FREE pre-paid code for my Xbox Live Indies Game Golden Tangram (so there will be a total of 3 free codes).

You can find more details here:

So check these three days in your calendar, because if you are quick (and a bit lucky) this might net you a free game!   read

2:53 AM on 08.24.2009

Texas Hold'em with Avatars

Look what I found in the playtest area of the XNA Creators Club, bound for release on Xbox Live Indie Games:

Hoyle Texas Hold'em, which, as the name imples, is a Texas Hold'em game. What the name doesn't say is, that this game will use Avatars, so you gonna play with your own Avatar, online against the Avatars of other players (1 player local, or 2-10 players online). What the title also doesn't say is that this game is from TikGames, which are also the creators and publishers of the Texas Hold'em game that is currently available on XBLA. This new version however will apparently come out through XBLIG instead...

The game description currently goes like this:

Hoyle Texas Hold ‘em delivers the very best of Hold ‘em style poker for the Xbox 360. Choose to play with up to 9 friends or against any combination of AI and Live players. Customize your game type by choosing limit, no limit, spread limit and table limit style games. Full support of Microsoft’s Avatars let’s you bring your own style to the game.


7:16 AM on 08.16.2009

My Game Golden Tangram now Available on Xbox Live Indie Games!

And another D'toider with his own game on Xbox Live Indie Games!

I am proud to be able to tell you, that my game Golden Tangram has passed peer review and is now available on Xbox Live Indie Games for a measly 80 MSP (that's just 1$ / 1€ !!!).

If you have an Xbox and dig relaxed and laid back puzzling, then check it out. The trial is entirely FREE to try! You can download the trial on the dashboard (go to Game Marketplace, then Indie Games and look for Golden Tangram), or download it directly to your Xbox from the Xbox Marketplace.

Here's the game trailer, followed by some screenshots:



4:02 PM on 08.11.2009

What's in the dashboard update for Xbox Live Indie Games?

So what's in it for them?

Immediately, there are two things:

Update Detection: If there's an update for an Xbox Live Indie game, you will now be notified automatically when you start up the game, just like with XBLA and disc games. (Previously you had to find out through other channels that there is an update and then go and download it manually.)

Ratings: The same rating feature that exists for other downloadble content (XBLA games, gamerpics, etc.) also exists for XBLIG games, so hopefully now it will be easier to find the good games (yes, they are there!) between all the mediocre stuff (and massagers and screensafers and other ridiculous "games").
On the dashboard, just go to Game Marketplace -> Indie Games -> Top Rated and you'll see what other gamers like best (well, at least in a while you will - with that feature being so young, currently there aren't that many ratings yet, so the list is still a bit jumbled).

And a bit further down the road:

Together with the dashboard update came support for XNA 3.1, which in turn gives us developers new features to use in our games, so in a while, you can expect the first games to appear that make use of them. For example:

Video Playback: Expect to see a few games with cut-scenes and stuff.

Avatars: Yes, XBLIG games can now have avatars. There are several of them already submitted to the Dream Build Play 2009 contest, which could theoreticall all show up on XBLIG. Here are three of them:

Avatar Golf (which is the successor of Easy Golf):


Basketball Three: A 3-on-3 basketball game with avatars:


Kickers: A 3-on-3 soccer game with avatars:

[embed]143770:21355[/embed]   read

8:27 AM on 08.09.2009

Dream Build Play 2009 Contest Entries - Part 3

Installment #3 of my little presentation of entries for this year's dream build play contest.
(See here for part 1, or here for part #2).

Since my last posting, the number of entries shown in the DBP gallery has risen to 255 entries, and there are quite a few quality games there (if you judge from the trailer videos).

Many of these games are not yet on Xbox Live Indie Games and most haven't even shown up in the playtest area of the Creators Club either. My guess is, that many developers who have quality titles in the contest are hoping, that through the contest they will be noticed and offered a XBLA contract. That may even happen for one or two, but that will still leave a number of quality games without such a contract, for whicht the best route of publishing will then be the Xbox Live Indie Games channel. So personally, I'm expecting a small windfall of quality XBLIG games in September - November, when the developers realize that a XBLA contract isn't coming their way after all...

Well, that's speculation of course, so back to some real stuff. Here are three more trailers of entries which I find very interesting:

Grapple Buggy is the second game by Mommy's Best Games and developer Nathan Fouts, who already has his excellent game Weapon of Choice on XBLIG (which in DBP 08 placed third, I think). Grapple Buggy uses the same colorful art style as Weapon of Choice and the trailer gives the impression that this game may be even more fun:


Guru Guru is hard to describe. Is it a 2D platformer in 3D? The evil twin brother of a happy ball bouncing game for Wii? I can't say, but I really would like to get my hands on it for testing. :-)


Sol Survivor is definitely not hard to describe. It's tower defense. But tower defense with really cool and detailed 3D graphics. If the game play and balance holds up to what the visuals promise, then this could be a hit (well, unless you hate tower defense, of course...).

[embed]143423:21289[/embed]   read

3:33 AM on 08.07.2009

Dream Build Play 2009 Contest Entries - Part 2

As promised in my first post about this year's Dream Build Play contest, here comes another batch of contest entries that caught my eye.
(If you don't know what DBP is, read my other post which contains a short intro: Click)

Again: While all these games are written with XNA and therefore could appear on Xbox Live Indie Games at some point in the future, since I am not involved with any of them, I do not know if/when this will ever happen...

So here we go, three more:

Magnetic Mind seems to be a 3D platformer and surely looks like it has a very large and detailed 3D world (as it seems from the video, with physics to boot) that could be fun to play around in. I haven't tested it myself, so I can't say if the game play holds what the trailer seems to promise:


Master of Belial is described by its makers as a "Team Multiplayer Action RPG game", whatever that may be. Release is currently slated for early 2010 on both PC and Xbox 360. According to their FAQ, they are hoping that maybe through the DBP contest they may land an XBLA contract, as they write: "Masters of Belial will appear either on Xbox Live! or Xbox Live! Indie Games based on the results of this years Dream Build Play contest organized by Microsoft.". Have a look for yourself:


Tribes of Mexica is an Action Puzzler that uses a match-3 pattern (although not in the standard way) to let you battle it out with attackers of your mexican tribe (I guess). Looks very professional to me graphics wise and I would like to get my hands on it to test how the game play actually works out:

[embed]143181:21221[/embed]   read

5:04 AM on 08.06.2009

Dream Build Play 2009 Contest Entries - Part 1

August 6th, 2009 is a special date for us XNA / Xbox Indie Games developers, because today is the last submission day for the Dream Build Play 2009 contest.

You probably never heard of DBP, so here's some background: It's a contest for XNA based Xbox games. The DBP 2007 was won by The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, now of XBLA fame. In the same contest, Blazing Birds (now also on XBLA) also placed as a finalist.
DBP 2008 was won by CarneyVale: Showtime, with Weapon of Choice placing third (I think) and Blow (from the same developer as "Blazing Birds") also being among the finalists. All three now available on XBLIG (and very worth titles, me thinks).
None of these titles from 2008 were offered XBLA contracts (although MS always keeps this option open for contest finalists), probably because MS didn't want to steal the good games just before the Xbox Live Community Games service (as it was then called) was going online (or who knows, maybe XBLA was simply "full").

Anyway, with the submission closing soon, most entries have already been made, as you can see in the contest gallery. One of them being my own Kuchibi (although I'm not claiming any hopes for actually winning anything).

Some of the entries are quite amazing, and even though I don't know if any of these will show up on Xbox Live Indie Games (or maybe even XBLA), I wanted to present a few I think are noteworthy (more to come in a later blog post). Disclaimer: I myself have nothing to do with the development or publishing of any of the following games!

And of course, all of these games are written with XNA, so theoretically, all of them could show up on XBLIG.

Stand by for more on this year's DBP entries in a future post...

Really amazing is Dust: An Elysian Tail. I've been able to actually play this in playtest in the XNA Creators Club, and it really is fun. It certainly looks great! See for yourself:


Another game that really looks great in the video (although I haven't played it myself): RC Racing 360


And finally (for this post), there's WhipCrack, which really looks interesting and innovative - sort of "Indiana Jones' whip meets Luke Skywalker's light sabre and the two have a very mean offspring". Again, I haven't played it yet, but I have downloaded the playtest version and will be sure to give it a go:

[embed]143015:21179[/embed]   read

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