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Tigranes

Indie Games Library On Obsidian

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You know, there are a lot of exciting games coming out of the indie scene - it looks like the last 3-4 years have really seen it grow and get some mainstream attention. Let's talk about them. Do you play them? Why not? Bad graphics? Lack of polish? Price? Personally, I feel that it's so difficult to actually FINISH a game of some substance, it weeds out the kind of, say, people whose NWN2 mods are filled with Metal Gear Solid references and God Swords +8. Graphics are getting pretty nice, too - sometimes you find stuff with real distinct style. Anyway, come on. I'll start off talking about:

 

Eschalon: Book II

So these guys are essentially about the mid-late 90's "golden age" RPGs and recreating them. They sold a fair bit of the first game, Book I, and now the trilogy continues. Turn-based (simultaneous turns, to be precise), single-character, isometric 2D, quest&explore RPG. There are 'classes' but essentially is classless and skill-based. Fantasy world.

 

I tried the demo to the first one and couldn't get into it because, despite very tidy graphics and good polish, they had a nutty stupid movement system where you couldn't point-and-click to walk around. I'm trying to find out if they've improved it - they have a demo available, then a full price of $25, which isn't bad given it's meant to be fairly long. Anybody tried it?

 

Gamebiz 2

I don't even know how I found this one, but it's good fun. You are a game developer in the 1980's starting your own company. You hire people (including famous ones like Shigeru Miyamoto thrown in); you build an engine for a platform of your choice, keeping an eye on sales charts and age of the platforms; you set people to work on games; you see how it does in reviews and sales, and hopefully keep going. You can expand into building your own platform as well, and it goes up to 2006. Quite addictive.

 

That said, here are the bad points: it was a one-man operation, and the graphics are terrible - basically a series of spreadsheets. It's not difficult to navigate, but it certainly doesn't look anything better than a glorified database. Game names are 'scrambled' to avoid licensing troubles (so you have, say, Final Scrantasy winning the yearly awards). The actual making of a game just comes down to the money, resources & people you put onto it - the focus is more on the business side of things. The third one is in development and promises to be just as ugly, but much better.

 

Democracy 2

I've seen these kinds of games on store shelves sometimes, but I don't know if they've got a lot to do with this one. I know there's a full fledged 3D game about this out, but everything I've seen/read leads me to believe that it's simplistic and bloated. Basically, I really think this one fills a niche, is well made, and if a little simple, enjoyable.

 

Premise is simple: you've just been elected to a fictional country and you have to balance the environment, economy, social welfare, military spending, and other policies - there are heaps of them, and they are ALL interrelated in all sorts of crazy ways - hitting the right balance is very tricky and it really does a godo job of simulating that feeling in real politics that every decision impacts 10 other decisions. You also have ministers with their own agendas, special events, etc. Your job? Keep getting elected.

 

Interface is simple but easy to navigate, easy on the eyes. I'm not too sure about the price of $20 because I found that after 20 or 30 goes (and one game is not that long) you do sort of 'figure out' the game. But there's a demo!

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I've downloaded Eschalon : Book II demo but I still haven't played it.

The character creation page looked mighty good and old-school, but the comments I've read about the combat system aren't the most reassuring.

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Haven't progressed all that far in it, but Book 2 is very similar to Book 1. If no point-and-click movement system bothers you, this hasn't changed. Dialogue is still verbose, combat (as a mage character, at least) is still pretty easy. Unless it happens to be raining. Then my character's primary form of attack happens to get neutered to a fair degree.... fire attacks just aren't as potent in the wet. Not sure if weather has any other effects. Am personally liking the addition of food and water requirements, but I'm not sure how effective they'll be. Right now, I haven't purchase any create food or water spells for my mage, so I've got to scrounge around for food and bring along what water I think I'll need, and that places some nice limits on inventory capacity as well... more food and water for longer excursions, but as a weak little mageling I can't carry too much to begin with, and a pair of full waterskins eats up a good chunk of my weight limit.

 

I suspect that food/water as a limiting factor will simply deprecate itself once I get those spells and devolve into busywork. Will buy the spells for the sake of completeness, but I suspect I'll forgo using them, save as a true last resort feature. I rather like having to make those sorts of decisions in games like this.

 

Thankfully, am not particularly bothered by the lack of point-and-click, nor put off too terribly by the ease of combat. There's no autopilot in this game, so if I want to win, I've got to do something for it, and if I'm not paying attention I can still get my arse handed to me (see the aforementioned comment about fire and rain). The game is mostly about exploration anyway... finding all those neat little nooks and crannies in the forests and caves, discovering a little story element or bit of loot as reward.

 

All in all, I'm having a blast with the game. Well worth the money, IMO. But then, I felt that way about Book 1, too. Some series have "sequels" that really don't bear much resemblance to the original games. Fallout 3 as a sequl to Fallout 2... little resemblance, IMO, at least in game play. Divine Divninty and Divinity 2... again, same deal. Book 2 can't be called anything but a sequel to Book 1. Is quite refreshing, a series that seems to make no apologies for what it is. There are enhancements, but no major changes that I can see. Is good. Me like.

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Since when is Portal an indie game? >_<
It was an indie project before Valve bought the game and hired the staff.

"Bones heal, chicks dig scars, pain is temporary, glory is forever."

What is glass but tortured sand?
Never forget! '12.01.13.

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Since when is Portal an indie game? >_<

It's pretty much a very well polished and published indie game, an indie game at its heart, if you will.

 

Eschalon looks interesting, but I just can't get into a game like that anymore.

 

EDIT: I totally forgot Mount & Blade with its awesome combat system and a billion mods.

Edited by Purkake

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Since when is Portal an indie game? >_<

It's pretty much a very well polished and published indie game, an indie game at its heart, if you will.

 

So it's not an indie game. Good to know.

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It's a game in the style of indie games or should we only list games that are technically indie games and disregard the actual content?

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90% of modern adventures are indie. Most people have never even heard of Darkness within, Book of unwritten tales, The whispered world, etc.


The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.

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It's a game in the style of indie games or should we only list games that are technically indie games and disregard the actual content?

 

Yes, especially considering you have posted a pretty famous game which already has a thread on its own. >_<

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Half the games I posted have threads of their own (created by me, no less).

 

How about we stop quabbling over the details and play some awesome indie games?

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Since the "Free Portal" announcement I've been practically forcing people to get it. It's awesome and free for a short time. They. Just. Don't. Listen! :bat:

 

Other than that, World of Goo is brilliant (must buy, at least try the demo if you haven't, seriously), Machinarium is decent (I only recommend it to adventure addicts), and I just downloaded Gish demo. Will try it out as soon as I can.


"Save often!" -The Inquisitor

 

"Floss regularly!" -also The Inquisitor

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Oh yeah, everyone should play Gravity Bone, it's free, only like 30 minutes long and a very interesting experience.

 

Also it's about spy stuff, which goes pretty well with the whole AP waiting thing you have going here.

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I've been currently playing the Eschalon Book II demo.

The plot sounds generic, and at the first levels battles are painfully boring, but it shows promise, promise indeed.

Nice graphics for an indie (they do look a lot better than Age of Decadence's), nice soundtrack and slick interface. No point and click movement seems.. like a strange choice honestly, but it's easy to accustom to the controls.

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I played Machinarium through with the girlfriend and it's nice for that kind of 'casual-ish' experience. The art style is really really nice, it's a flash game which means it pop ups in a second (no bugs), there are appropriate amounts of hints too puzzles which don't generally get you stuck for more than 10-20 minutes. It is fairly short. The only downside is I'd suggest they had way too many mini-games (space invaders, ping, etc) for the game length, it feels like they took up 20-25%.

 

World of Goo is just obvious undeniable brilliantness.

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Trying out Eschalon Book II demo now. I think the last couple of years I've grown more tolerant of some of the clunkiness indie games might have, after playing through Ultima VII and various dosbox games. Movement is still hold-down-LMB or 'walk mode' (W) but seems alright.

 

The setting seems very bland, which is a pity, but the whole point behind this one just seems to be Hurrah for the Glory Days, which is fine with me. I like the whole powder keg stuff, very IWD2.

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You know, this is why I never make threads. :w00t:

 

I bought Eschalon (25USD) and it's worth it IMO. I think the game's only going to be around ~20 hours with not a huge scope for replay, but for basically half price indie game that's fine with me. I'm playing a ranger now, rushed the bow skill to 10 to get the special shot and that's making life a lot easier. There's really a 'oh god I am going to die' feel when you're out in the wilderness because if you rest you need food / water, healing potions are hard to come by, weather can really screw you over or give you opportunities (you can't see ANYTHING in a thunderstorm), enemies are fairly tenacious at chasing you and encumbrance is also a factor.

 

Game could have done with a better writer, i.e. an attempt at making interesting dialogue rather than bland fantasy splat, but I mean, it's essentially a one-man game.

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Not sure if Avernum VI qualifies, but I've been drooling over it for a while at gamersgate. Anybody played it?


“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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