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What do indie developers think about the ID@Xbox program? photo
What do indie developers think about the ID@Xbox program?
by Brett Makedonski

There's no two ways about it -- Microsoft had a terrible reputation with independent developers during the last console generation. Not that indie's games didn't sell well on the platform, because many of them certainly did. However, the culture and attitude at Xbox was one that didn't mesh with a lot of small teams and many of them documented their experiences in a negative light.

That's not a good position for Microsoft to be in. With the audience for independent games growing at a tremendous rate, the "triple A" development process makes less and less sense from a business standpoint. After all, an indie game needs to move far fewer units to be considered a "success." Nothing needs to sell at an astronomically high rate to be worthwhile.

Microsoft's attempt at repairing this somewhat burned bridge within the indie community was to launch the ID@Xbox -- a program designed to be more accommodating to independent developers and make it as painless and attractive as possible to publish on the Xbox platform. Microsoft held an event at GDC to showcase 25 studios' games that are part of ID@Xbox and we got a chance to talk to some developers about their feelings about the program thus far.

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Sony's Project Morpheus: An impressive first showing photo
Sony's Project Morpheus: An impressive first showing
by Dale North

Sony choose GDC as its coming out party for its virtual reality platform, Project Morpheus. The goal was to build interest at a show where just about every developer in the industry is in attendance. And from the look of the lines at their GDC floor booth yesterday, every one of those developers had someone in line to try it out. 

We finally got our faces in the headset late last night to try out the new demos that Sony prepared for the show. We were surprised to find that Project Morpheus is already on a level playing field with Oculus Rift, and even shows it up in some places.  

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2:15 PM on 03.20.2014

More alpha footage of Mega Ma--I Mean Mighty No. 9: It's great

I've kept up cold indifference towards Mega Man 9 -- I mean Mighty No. 9 -- since its announcement and Kickstarter success. With the recent alpha footage coming out, though, I'm sold. Look how gorgeous those animations are. Look how smooth. Mega Man is dead. Long live Mighty No. 9. Capcom, you need to get right. The last six years have not been good compared to the six prior.

Steven Hansen

1:45 PM on 03.20.2014

Papo & Yo developer is working on another new game, Cali

The wonderful Papo & Yo was successful enough for Minority Media to start production on a new game, Silent Enemy, which we haven't seen too much about in the year since its vague announcement. It appears Minority is also ...

Steven Hansen

1:15 PM on 03.20.2014

The amazing alternative controllers of the ALT.CTRL.GDC exhibit

A new alternative controller exhibit made its debut at GDC this year. Amazing selections from 14 independent teams were shown at ALT.CTRL.GDC on the GDC show floor yesterday, and every one of them had my imagination running. ...

Dale North



Musclecat Showdown is a game where you strike beefy cat poses photo
Musclecat Showdown is a game where you strike beefy cat poses
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Along with Push Me Pull You, I got to finally see what Musclecat Showdown was all about. And. It. Was. Glorious.

You and another muscle bound cat have to strike your owners requested poses, and the person that's able to do them the best wins. The only controls are with the analog sticks on a controller, with each stick representing your cats glorious arms. That's it, that's the entire concept. Super simple, and super fun. Essentially think Pokemon, but instead of fighting, you're posing.

The main draw here is the lovely visual style, which was created by Adventure Time and Bee and PuppyCat artist Natasha Allegri. Here's some snippets of gameplay for you to get a better sense of what the game is all about.

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Sony's eye tracking technology will be a game changer photo
Sony's eye tracking technology will be a game changer
by Dale North

Imagine never having to use the right analog stick to move a game's camera or reticle. Instead, you'd use your eyeballs to aim or move the camera -- simply look at what you want to shoot at or move to.  

This sounds like some dream for the future of gaming technology, but Sony has a working eye tracking demo at GDC this year. I had my doubts at first, but after having the infrared camera system calibrated to my eyes, I played Infamous: Second Son...

...with my eyes! 

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Push Me Pull You is sumo wrestling meets soccer meets WTF photo
Push Me Pull You is sumo wrestling meets soccer meets WTF
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Last night I got to play a round of Push Me Pull You during the Venus Patrol party here in San Francisco. It was, without a doubt, the weirdest and best time I've had with a videogame in a long time. 

So here's the basic premise. You and a partner each control one end of the "sports-monster," a conjoined humanoid Catdog like person. You're going up against two other players in control of the same thing, and to win you need to keep control of a ball on your side of the court the longest for multiple rounds. You're able to shrink or increase the length of your body as needed, and you'll be adjusting sizes a lot as you vie for control. 

It's such a ridiculous concept, and it's a little bit disturbing too. It's essentially a f*cked up version of the Tron light cycle battles, expect here you're naked man monsters getting entangled as each team tries to wrap up their entire being around a ball. Videogames are just the greatest. 

I wasn't able to capture any video, but there are these animated gifs that can give you some insight to the gameplay over on Push Me Pull You's website

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10:39 PM on 03.19.2014

GDC Awards led by The Last of Us, Papers, Please

The Game Developers Choice Awards, the premiere peer-based awards show in the gaming industry, took place today in San Francisco, and the big winner of the night was The Last of Us with Game of the Year.  Other bigg...

Hamza CTZ Aziz





10:30 PM on 03.19.2014

Division devs brag about Ubisoft's Snowdrop engine

Ubisoft dropped this video today featuring some of the people working at Massive Entertainment, talking about their experience using the Snowdrop engine to develop Tom Clancy's The Division. If you're hoping to see some addi...

Conrad Zimmerman

9:21 PM on 03.19.2014

Papers, Please leads 2014 Independent Game Festival winners

Papers, Please took the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize at this year's IGF awards, joining last year's Cart Life.  The other winners include Gorogoa (Excellence in Visual Art), Papers, Please (Excellence in Narrative...

Steven Hansen



Grave is an ever-changing surrealist nightmare with Oculus Rift photo
Grave is an ever-changing surrealist nightmare with Oculus Rift
by Steven Hansen

The sensory deprivation the Oculus Rift provides is great for immersion. And immersion is great for moody, atmospheric, scary games like Grave. Though there is a non Rift coming, so if you haven't sold your eye souls to virtual reality, don't stop reading yet.  

I'm very glad I've put my face in several strange contraptions, including Rifts, this week and I still have my eyes. Someone is going to get their eyes stolen soon.

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7:33 PM on 03.19.2014

Inafune: Mega Man has indie roots, and those remain with Mighty No. 9

In Keiji Inafune's GDC talk, titled "Meanwhile, In Japan...," he recalled that the feeling around the first Mega Man game was comparable to that of indie game making today.  "Mega Man was the first original total that ca...

Dale North

7:17 PM on 03.19.2014

Does Keiji Inafune still believe that 'Japan is over' now?

Keiji Inafune's GDC talk, titled "Meanwhile, In Japan..." opened by addressing a comment he made a couple of years back during another GDC talk. He was quoted as saying "Japan is over" back then. Today he was asked if he stil...

Dale North



Double Fine's Hack 'N' Slash is like Zelda, but you hack the game photo
Double Fine's Hack 'N' Slash is like Zelda, but you hack the game
by Steven Hansen

Borne out of Double Fine's yearly Amnesia Fortnight game jam, Hack 'N' Slash (as well as Spacebase DF-9) is getting a full release this summer. The top down action adventure game may look like a Legend of Zelda clone, but that's intentional, because the actual mechanics are different. And weird. 

You actually hack the game, rewriting bits of its code and changing values in real time to affect how you interact with these iconic mechanics. I feel a little dumb and intimidated, too, don't worry.

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6:00 PM on 03.19.2014

Crytek to offer royalty-free CryEngine subscription

Well, would you look at that. After hearing Epic Games has plans to roll out a $19.99-per-month subscription plan for Unreal Engine 4, we've know learned Crytek has announced a similar approach for its own CryEngine. But unli...

Jordan Devore