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acidbearboy

Xbox LIVE Indie Games

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Let's have a thread for these then. I get the feeling there are going to be more released than I can be bothered to wade through. I played a few of the first 20 last night and already there are more. Here's two I thought were worth some time

Artoon - A bouncing ball, land on the squares and they change colour, Q*Bert style, change them all and get to the goal. Simple, fun and nicely presented. Music seemed alright too (techno).

http://catalog.xna.com/en-US/GameDetails.a...eb95&type=2

Weapon of Choice - Contra style run n' gun affair with right analog firing and left analog moving. Jumping with the left trigger felt weird at first but I got used to it. Crazy guitar music and wacky graphics. Should be fun.

http://catalog.xna.com/en-US/GameDetails.a...62a1&type=2

Full list of titles can be found here: http://catalog.xna.c...mescatalog.aspx

Feel free to add your own reviews/comments.

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Don't worry, they're all rubbish.

They do look that way from the videos linked in the first post.

With so many decent games around at the moment, I'm surprised anybody would want to spend time downloading and playing this stuff.

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They're way overpriced at the moment. They should punt them out at about 50 points, at the current rate they're in competition with proper XBLA and DLC for full games.

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I think the way they've handled community games is a bit poor.

The lack of online leaderboards (or even if it was just restricted to the friend list) pretty much takes away the point of getting a score attack game. And I imagine many people will hold that view.

Achievements would have been nice, but they're a minor ommision.

To limit the trials so much is the real killing point, though.

I didn't even have enough time during the trial to finish the tutorial on Blow. People aren't going to buy games unless they at least get some idea of what the game plays like proper.

One thing I do like is the 200 point price on some games; you can now buy a game for less than a theme on XBL - what's 200 MS points in real life? About £1.50?

Anyway, impressions:

Weapon of Choice - I suggest fans of Contra-style games check this out. From what I played, it seems pretty fun and there are some nice ideas in there (that I didn't really get to play around with in the trial).

That's all for now.

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They're way overpriced at the moment. They should punt them out at about 50 points, at the current rate they're in competition with proper XBLA and DLC for full games.

Really? 50 points is about 40p or something; that's ridiculous.

I think 200 points is a very bargainous price (obviously depending on whether the game is decent or not) and I don't consider 400 points overpriced; there are some utter shits on XBLA for the same price, and these are original games.

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The trials are too short. Blow looked quite interesting but I couldn't get the hang of it before the trial ended.

Anyway I played 15 of these yesterday and I wouldn't buy any of them. That Biology twin-stick shooter game is a total rip-off at 800 points when you consider you could buy Geometry Wars 2 for that. About the best I played were Artoon, Weapon of Choice and Being (mainly because I like 2-D platformers, even if they are like shareware games from 15 years ago.)

There's some total shit even for 200 points there. Beat It would be fun for about 10 seconds at a party. There's some wanky interactive screensaver which essentially amounts to choosing what colour shape you want and placing it somewhere on the screen. It could only possibly last you for more than 2 minutes if you were stoned. There's some audio game called In The Pit which was the most tedious thing I've played in a long time. There's a shedload of crappy shooters up there. It all reeks of stuff you might play on a flash site for 5 minutes at work, not anything you would actually pay money for.

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Trying to look at the positive side of this though, and it's at least good that the wider community now has a way of getting a game on Live. That's a good thing, right, that we should be applauding? (I realise the implementation hasn't been great though)

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Absolutely. I think it's easy to underestimate the significance of this - 'oh, a load of PD games'. But that's missing the point - now *anyone* can publish virtually *anything* on a console. And that's never happened before.

And although the first crop of games might be slightly lacking, I guarantee there will be some absolute gems on there over time.

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I quite enjoyed Galax-e-mail for half an hour or so. It's a Bosconian clone with a few Geometry Wars elements thrown in. It has an interesting element where when you complete a level, it asks you how hard you found the level, then it adjusts the difficulty of the next one accordingly. Sadly, the frame-rate suffers when there's loads on screen, which is a bit unforgivable given the simplicity of the graphics. The lack of Leaderboards is a huge shame, but at least they seem to have local hi-score tables. Also, I'm sure I spotted a few with Achievements.

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Weapon of Choice - Contra style run n' gun affair with right analog firing and left analog moving. Jumping with the left trigger felt weird at first but I got used to it. Crazy guitar music and wacky graphics. Should be fun.

http://catalog.xna.com/en-US/GameDetails.a...62a1&type=2

Well this is good and it's well presented, plus you get to try out the controls at the controller screen, it's very colourful, and it's great fun actually playing it.

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Weapon of Choice is absolutely barmy. Quite enjoyed Galax-e-mail as well. Many of the others are pretty rotten, or if not, they're dragged under by absolutely hopeless presentation in the menus and the audio.

As an audio guy, In The Pit fascinated me - but it's not seriously something you could expect to charge people money for. It's a neat little experimental... "thing", though. Just a shame the audio (remember, this is an audio-only game) is incredibly poorly recorded and mastered, and the "acting" is just unspeakably bad (not bad in a funny way, just crappy as in a guy in his bedroom on a laptop mic or something). If anyone reading this is working on community games and wants someone to help out with the audio side *for free*, PM me - I run a complex of studios at a university (Pro Tools HD, great mics, big live spaces for sound design and dead booths for dialogue - PROPER studios) and would love to dip my toe into this purely for experience's sake.

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Weapon of Choice is absolutely barmy. Quite enjoyed Galax-e-mail as well. Many of the others are pretty rotten, or if not, they're dragged under by absolutely hopeless presentation in the menus and the audio.

As an audio guy, In The Pit fascinated me - but it's not seriously something you could expect to charge people money for. It's a neat little experimental... "thing", though. Just a shame the audio (remember, this is an audio-only game) is incredibly poorly recorded and mastered, and the "acting" is just unspeakably bad (not bad in a funny way, just crappy as in a guy in his bedroom on a laptop mic or something). If anyone reading this is working on community games and wants someone to help out with the audio side *for free*, PM me - I run a complex of studios at a university (Pro Tools HD, great mics, big live spaces for sound design and dead booths for dialogue - PROPER studios) and would love to dip my toe into this purely for experience's sake.

Grab yourself a copy of the SDK and start playing with XACT. Its amazing, you can do all sorts of dynamic audio with little to no programming, the audio tech sets what variables alter the music and the code hooks into those.

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Grab yourself a copy of the SDK and start playing with XACT. Its amazing, you can do all sorts of dynamic audio with little to no programming, the audio tech sets what variables alter the music and the code hooks into those.

To be totally honest, I looked into it, read some of the XACT tutorials, and it was pretty much gibberish to me. I'm an audio engineer / producer / studio manager of about 15 years experience, and every day I wish I'd pursued programming in some form. The last time I did any kind of programming was probably in BBC BASIC. I've never "coded" a thing in my life. At 36 I feel I'm past it - not least because the day job means I wouldn't have time to learn anyway.

My employer (a university) runs "games development" courses. Last semester, I had to teach a couple of modules to some of these students. Lets just say I don't expect any of them to be working on anything we'll be playing any time soon. I felt sorry for them - I know from talking to our students on the music / audio side of things that they are usually mis-sold the courses appallingly.

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The fact that I can play something as bizarre as In The Pit on my 360 is fantastic. It's a bit shit and totally bizarre but it's a great experiment.

Give it a few months and I reckon there will be a few gems on there. The trouble is going go be sorting out the wheat from the chaff. A bit like the iTunes appstore.

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It says that new games get added daily, so it's going to become very crowed very quickly.

This is rubbish. The community is very small and rushed all their work to get it in the launch window. Don't expect a flood of games for a while.

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How do you know that they aren't sitting on hundreds/thousands of entries already? Some of the stuff on there looks like it was knocked together in a matter of weeks. I can easily imagine this growing at a far faster rate than XBLA.

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How do you know that they aren't sitting on hundreds/thousands of entries already? Some of the stuff on there looks like it was knocked together in a matter of weeks. I can easily imagine this growing at a far faster rate than XBLA.

I'd guess that seeing as he has a game up there, and therefore is part of the community that peer reviews these games before they are released, that he has a pretty good idea how many are available.

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Bloody hell. LOADS of games in the new releases bit today. Some of them look hilariously bad.

Sin(surfing) is the only one I tried, because it looked interesting, and it's alright actually. The trial covers pretty much the entire game.

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Don't expect a flood of games for a while.
Bloody hell. LOADS of games in the new releases bit today. Some of them look hilariously bad.

Yeah, there was a load yesterday too, which is why I guess the announcement said watch for daily updates.

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Weapon Of Choice is definitely the standout so far. I played "Exisled" today, which appears to be a tarted up version of Raid On Bungeling Bay. Not bad... but not a patch on the insanity of WoC.

I'm getting an intermittent problem when I try to start community games. Get an error message saying that one or more of the profiles signed into the console isn't permitted to view user generated content. Anyone else getting this? It usually sorts itself out if I go back to the dash and start again.

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