Tag Archives: Indie

Team17 and Roll7 bringing OlliOlli2 and NOT A HERO to Xbox One

Later this year, Team17 will be publishing Roll7’s hit titles OlliOlli2 and NOT A HERO on Xbox one.

The 2D side-scrolling skating game OlliOlli has already hit the Xbox One and embedded itself in players hearts. OlliOlli2 will launch as OlliOlli2: XL Edition bring even more finger-flippin’ mayhem. you’ll also be able to play the all new and highly requested fan feature – FreeSkate mode. as well enjoy a whole set of new moves, levels and worlds, 50 all new Amateur and Pro Levels and an additional 250 new challenges, as well as the local multiplayer split screen mode, Combo Rush.

OlliOlli has been a staple break time game of choice in the office for a long time, so we’re very much looking forward to joining forces with the talented Roll7. 7 and 17 have always been incredibly lucky numbers for us and so this partnership will definitely be a force to be reckoned with! We can’t wait to help them release the definitive editions of their hit games on Xbox One to bring the titles to the huge Xbox One audience

said Debbie Bestwick, Team17’s CEO

If anthropomorphic purple rabbits are more to your liking then NOT A HERO: SUPER SNAZZY EDITIONwill eb right up your alley. This definitive version includes all new exclusive content titled “Me, Myself and Bunnylord” which features 3 brand new exclusive levels, each with 4 unique, surreal side missions. This new content also allows you to play as the BunnyLord himself for the first time and features a host of new baddies, settings and objectives.

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The death of the parity clause?

ID@Xbox has been bringing indie games to the Xbox One steadily over the last year and a half. Meanwhile, the new preview program will be bringing even more indie titles to the console with a heavier dose of community participation and early adoption. The Xbox One indie scene, then, is looking healthy and vibrant.

However, you may remember back around the launch of the Xbox One in 2013, Don Mattrick and the Xbox team introduced the parity clause, an agreement that indie titles had to be released first on Xbox One or simultaneously with any other platform they were launching on. There was certainly more nuance to the clause, with a stipulation that titles could come to the console later if they were enhanced or included additional content, and the creation of the ID@Xbox team softened this blow even more as they considered titles on a case-by-case basis with dedicated support, but whether due to initial confusion about it or because it was intended to be as limiting as it seemed, initially this appeared to be a killing blow to small indie developers.

Elite Dangerous

The arguments from developers was that creating a game in the first place is hard enough, developing it to launch on multiple platforms simultaneously is insanely difficult and time-consuming. It’s a limitation that threatens the likeliness of projects ever seeing the light of day.

On the Microsoft side, however, was the argument that Xbox One players would feel short-changed to be playing a title X months or years after it first released on another platform. That it wasn’t fair to make Xbox One players wait.

In an interview with The Inner Circle Podcast in October 2014, Phil Spencer said this about the clause:

I don’t want somebody to come in and just think ‘I’m going to go do a special game on one platform and then I’ll get to Xbox whenever I get to it.’ I don’t think that’s right. As Xbox one customers we want good games as they come out on both platforms. But I also get that for some guys they just can’t afford the time to get both done. So we have entered into the conversations with people as they are launching it and I feel pretty good about the plan.

Both indie developers and Xbox had an argument for and against the clause, but the potential barriers this erected for indie developers was clear to see. But while this may be the reason for the slow initial trickle of indie titles hitting the console, the last year or so has certainly seen an increased flow.

The indie titles have been raining from digital clouds and pooling comfortably on the Xbox One more recently, including many that have previously released on other platforms. With so many titles seeing release regardless of previously launching on other platforms, is this parity clause such a bad thing after all? In fact, does it even really exist any more?

OddWorld New-n-Tasty

Yes and no seems to be the answer, but don’t just take my word for it. An interview in the latest Edge Magazine let’s you proverbially hear it from Phil Spencer himself:

Is the parity clause dead now?

Edge ask.

I think so.

Phil Spencer replies.

There’s this idea that’s been named ‘parity clause’, but there is no clause. We’ve come out and been very transparent in the last four or five months about exactly what we want. If there’s a developer who’s building a game and they just can’t get the game done for both platforms – cool. We’ll take a staggered release. We’ve done it before, and we’ll work with them on that. If another platform does a deal with you as a developer to build an exclusive version of your game for them, and you can’t ship on my platform for a year, when the games comes out in a year let’s work together to make it special in some way. People complained about that, but you did a deal with somebody else and you for paid for it and I’m happy – we do those same deals, so I’m not knocking you. It’s going to be better for you, actually, because people don’t want last year’s game, they want something special and new.

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Based on the releases we’ve seen since the console’s launch it’s clear there’s been some wiggle room with the clause, and indeed the idea of having the Xbox One version enhanced in someway if it is delayed on the console has seen a variety of new content and scope of new content hit these titles. Phil Spencer’s latest word on the clause clarify its evolution to a much fairer and beneficial program for all parties. It’s not gone completely but over the last year it’s been evolving to meet the needs of developers, Xbox, and consumers.

Finally the confusion over this parity clause is beginning to clear up, and hats off to Xbox for listening to developers and the community about changes to such policies.

The future for the indie scene is looking brighter than ever!

There Came an Echo: Story Trailer

There Came an Echo Logo
Iridium Studios, developer sof  Sequence, have today unveiled just the barest fraction of the remarkable plot of There Came an Echo in a new, character-focused trailer. Included in the trailer are snippets of action from the AAA voice cast, headed up by Wil Wheaton.

We have the best voice cast in the history of indie games. Well, the guy from Bastion, he was really awesome. But we’re at least second.

said Jason Wishnov, CEO of Iridium Studios.

Joining Mr. Wheaton is Ashly Burch, Laura Bailey, Yuri Lowenthal, Cassandra Lee Morris, Rachel Robinson, and Cindy Robinson. The group braves extreme danger to uncover the mysteries around a seemingly unbreakable cryptographic lock and prevent a devastating secret from changing the very fabric of society.

Iridium Studios ran a successful Kickstarter campaign in March of 2013, and then procured further funding from Intel in a partnership to utilize their advanced Intel  RealSense technology.

Xbox One – New Certification Process, Indie Self Publishing is Back?

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Sources close to GameInformer have leaked that Microsoft will do another U-Turn and allow independent developers to publish via digital distribution without a publishing partner. Additionally, Microsoft is said to be drastically overhauling its certification process. By using a certification model similar to iTunes they will be targeting a 14-day turnaround for all approvals by dropping an extensive code check process (current), and will instead opt for terms of service violations and significant bugs only.

Apparently (not yet confirmed) every retail Xbox One console can be converted to a debug console. Microsoft can authorize a console ID at the flick of a switch to play pre-release code which is great news for reviewers or indie developers who can (we assume if true) sign an NDA and terms of use agreement to allow review code on any old blu-ray disc!

We’ll report more information if and when Microsoft confirm the news.

Source: G.I

Joystick Labs Provides Funds With Benefits for Budding Dev’s

Joystick Labs (www.joysticklabs.com), an innovative accelerator program dedicated to the success of startup video game studios, announced today that their 2012 program will begin on August 20 with an application deadline of May 25. Continue reading Joystick Labs Provides Funds With Benefits for Budding Dev’s