‘Firewatch’ is the latest indie game headed to Nintendo Switch

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The folks at Campo Santo are bringing Firewatch to the Nintendo Switch. The developers have been busy stripping the game "down to the studs" to improve performance. Specifically, optimizing load times for textures and geometry. "We know what a good S…
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It’s time to talk about mental illness in indie development

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This is normal. Heart pounding, hands shaking, head packed with static. The absolute inability to process what anyone is saying, let alone respond to it. Sitting alone at home — lights off because you've been inside all day and the sun set hours ag…
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New indie project could lead to a bunch of Wear OS smartwatch competitors

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Soon, there could be a number of indie operating systems for your smartwatch, sprouting from an open-source code project launched last week. Indie developers making budget smartwatches can now use starting code from Project OpenWatch to craft their Android-based operating systems. The OpenWatch project is live as of last week. It was released by Blocks, the same company behind the forthcoming Blocks modular smartwatch.

Blocks’ head of engineering, Karl Taylor, said that the project is meant to “open up the smartwatch OS space to the open source community in a bid to loosen the stranglehold on the industry by other, essentially proprietary operating system.” He named Google’s Wear OS (formerly Android Wear) and Apple’s watchOS as the two…

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These two indie platforms are partnering to help authors produce audiobooks at affordable prices

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Indie authors who publish through platforms like Amazon or CreateSpace usually don’t have the resources to publish an audiobook, which can be an expensive endeavor with production costs that self-published or first-time authors cannot afford. Now, self-publishing platform and ebook distributor Smashwords has teamed up with production platform and audiobook distributor Findaway Voices to give these indie authors a cheaper way to make audiobooks.

In an announcement, Smashwords CEO Mark Coker said today the deal would give “greater control over pricing and distribution” to authors and publishers, making it more “economically feasible” to get into audiobook production even with short or cheaper books. By using Findaway, Smashwords’ authors…

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‘Hyper Light Drifter’ is another indie game coming to Switch

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Nintendo wasn't done with the indie game announcements after its #Nindies live stream earlier today. At an event and on social media it revealed three more ports coming to the Switch soon: Hyper Light Drifter, Nidhogg 2 and Crashlands. All three are…
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Indie brawler ‘Way of the Passive Fist’ is out now on Steam and PS4

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If you love stylish, '90s-style 2D side-scrolling brawlers like Golden Axe or Aztez, you'll dig the debut release from Household Games, a new studio made up of DrinkBox Studios, Queasy Games and Silicon Knights members. Way of the Passive Fist is ava…
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The Label’s GDC Indie Showdown Closes Entry Submission Tonight – You Can Win Cash and a Championship Belt

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Heads up indie developers! The Label (formerly known as IndiePlus) are closing submissions for their GDC Indie Showdown tonight at 11:59 PM Pacific time. The contest will award $ 12,500 in cash to the winner, $ 5,000 to the first runnerup, and then $ 2,500 to the second runnerup. The contest is only for indie studios, which The Label helpfully defines as “game teams of no more than 30 members who own at least 75% of the showcased game IP.” That actually works out pretty well as a general indie developer definition! Also, for this contest, the games have to be playable on mobile devices, must not be launched worldwide, and must not have a signed publishing contract.

Unlike a lot of other contests, where the prizes include non-cash prizes, all the prizes here are just straight-up cash. Also, you get a sweet-ass championship belt for winning.The panel of judges have included some notable names in the past, and The Label is publishing titles from notable developers like Edmund McMillen of The Binding of Isaac [$ 14.99] fame, and Asher Vollmer of Threes [$ 2.99] fame. Previous winners of the IndiePlus contests are all really good games, too, so entering and winning this is a sign of big things to come.

You don’t have to submit literally everything you’ll need right away to enter The Label’s Indie Showdown, just your name, email, your game, and a description (including a potential sizzle reel) of your game in order to get started. Better nail that down, and I hope your game is notable enough to get past that first section. With cash and prestige available, this is well worth it. And you better plan to be at GDC in a couple of weeks, too. Enter while you still can!

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Why indie ecommerce will keep getting sucked up by the likes of Walmart and IKEA


In the early 1980’s, a Danish drummer placed an ad in a California newspaper looking for jam buddies and face-melting thrash metal was born. Over the course of the decade, Metallica built a genre and the world’s most passionate fan base with raw, gritty rock n’ roll. But suddenly the band’s sound changed. It became harmless and radio-friendly. Metallica’s 1991 “Black Album” was certified 16x platinum, earning the band tens of millions of dollars, sold out arenas around the globe and the coveted headline slot at Dreamforce. But unsurprisingly, The Black Album has become almost synonymous with “selling out.” According…

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The 2018 Google Play Indie Games Contest

Since we picked up our XZ1 at IFA last year, we haven’t been able to stop playing games on it. The super-speedy Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 keeps games running smoothly while Sony display and audio tech keep games looking and sounding great.

Now with a trip to MWC in Barcelona coming up, this feels like the perfect time to load some new games onto our devices for the flight.

Way back in October, when we heard Google announce their second annual Google Play Indie Games Contest in Europe, we were excited. The shortlist of twenty finalists has been chosen ahead of the main event on 13th February; these amazing games vary in cost and genre but are all worth checking out.

So, before some know it all tells you they’ve discovered the new “Flappy Bird”, we’ve written a round up (in no particular order) of six of our favourites to give you the inside scoop.

Old Man’s Journey

Through the eyes of the “Old Man” you explore life’s complexities and live through his heartache, regret, and hope. In this visually distinctive game, you solve puzzles to create the Old Man’s path forward. This is the sort of game that will have people straining over your shoulder to take a look, it’s bold and colourful with a hand drawn graphic style which makes the scenic transitions so worth the effort. Old Man’s Journey has won a few awards already…

“Old Man’s Journey is one of the most beautiful and unique games we’ve ever seen.” Touch Arcade

No More Buttons

Turns out, there were more buttons – just not where you’d expect… No More Buttons is a platform game with hand-drawn graphics where buttons make up part of the environment – they’re part of the furniture. You can move them around, rotate and even stand on them. Don’t understand what we mean? Check the trailer here.

“A quirky platformer with one BIG twist.” Android Central

The Big Journey

There are quite a few puzzle games on Google’s shortlist, but where’s something for the tilt-controlled game fans? Don’t worry, your patience has been rewarded. The Big Journey follows Mr Whiskers, a happy go lucky, well fed cat who sets out across an obstacle filled landscape to find his missing friend Mr Cho. It’s got it all, including an original soundtrack featuring Ukranian folk musicians, the Choconauts.

“It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy when you play it, and there’s something really wonderful about that.” Pocket Gamer

The House of Da Vinci

Liked ‘The Room’? Like 3D mechanical puzzles? Like the feeling of self satisfaction which only comes from solving a riddle? Then you’re in luck. The House of Da Vinci is a beautiful, engaging, 3D puzzle adventure game with an authentic Rennaisance feel. Where’s Da Vinci you ask? It’s your job to find out.

“Atmospheric, highly polished puzzler.” Droid Gamers

The Office Quest

The Office Quest is a very modern point and click adventure game, a prison break adventure for cubicle dwellers. Via puzzles and riddles you must break the shackles of your employment and escape into the wider world. Beautifully drawn, it brings whole new meaning to ‘Boss Battles’.

“The Office Quest is certainly one of the more impressive and polished adventure games on the app store” Android Apps

I Love Hue

For word play and tranquility lovers alike. I Love Hue is as low octane as you can get. The premise revolves around reordering mosaics of coloured tiles into perfectly ordered spectrums. Commuting has never been so relaxing.

“The most soothing smartphone game I’ve ever played.” Business Insider

So there you have it. 6 games to get your teeth into. Want to meet the developers? Well, good news games fans, if you can get yourself to the Saatchi Gallery in London for 13th February, you can still snag a ticket here.

The post The 2018 Google Play Indie Games Contest appeared first on Sony Xperia Blog.

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Developer PSA: Appodeal is Giving Away $6,000 Worth of Prizes in “Indie Blast Off” Contest

While there’s a heck of a lot of different awards and contests out there for mobile games, there’s always room for one more, right? Appodeal is a pretty cool SDK developers can use to increase the monetization of their ad-based games by allowing games to run the ads that pay the most across loads of networks. I’ve heard good things about it, and I sort of like how it pits the ad networks against each other. Anyway, they’re running a contest called the “Indie Game Blast Off Contest.” They’re not giving away actual cash, but instead, a bunch of stuff which could be super valuable if you’re trying to get your game off the ground.

The grand prize winner will get 10,000 installs of their game through mobile ads on the network and one on one mentorship with industry experts. Additionally your game will be featured at Indie Prize and in the Appodeal website/news letter. Oh, you’ll also get free access and accommodations for two at the next Casual Connect.

What sets this particular contest apart from most of the ones we post about is they’re looking for games that are live on the App Store. So many of these contests are specifically looking for unreleased stuff because they’re looking to cut publishing deals with the winners. Here it seems like Appodeal just wants to spread the good word of Appodeal. Anyway, if this sounds even remotely like something you’re interested in check out the rules and then apply here.

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