Humble Indie Bundle 2 adds games from first bundle

Cory mentioned this campaign when it first launched, but the team behind the charity-driven Humble Indie Bundle 2 -- which lets you pay what you like for five top-tier indie games -- have now added all six games from this year's previous Indie Bundle, if you donate more than the overall average amount.

That means that for at least around $7.60 (you choose how much goes to the developers or organizations like EFF and Child's Play), you get eleven games: World of Goo, Aquaria, Gish, Lugaru HD, Penumbra Overture and Samorost 2 from the first bundle, along with newcomers Braid, Cortex Command, Machinarium, Osmos, and the newly released and super-stylized Revenge of the Titans.

Further unlocks like this are also expected -- the Bundlers have also just announced that Titans will go open-source if donations reach $1.75 million in the 2 days remaining in the campaign.

Click here to contribute! (Humble Indie Bundle 2, illustration by the ever-amazing Nikklas Jansson via Amanita)

Humble Indie Bundle 2: pay what you like for 5 great indie games, support EFF and Child's Play! Humble Indie Bundle hits $1m, goes open-source, gets 4 day extension Humble Indie Bundle adds Samorost 2, teases source code release Read the rest

Brandon named Independent Games Festival chairman

I'm not the greatest at this whole self-promotion gig, but a quick update to note that it's just been announced that I'll be joining the 2011 Independent Games Festival as its new chairman, taking over for Simon Carless, who's done a fantastic job of making the festival the premiere place to showcase the home-grown talent that's changing the way we think about games, year after year.

I've been doing my best over the past couple years (primarily thanks to Boing Boing and their help getting Offworld off the ground) to shine as strong a light as possible on the people struggling to make beautiful things every day, and needless to say I'm thrilled that I get to be a part of the organization that made World of Goo, Crayon Physics, Fez, Braid and -- via Student Showcase winner Narbacular Drop -- even Valve's Portal the notable names and successes they are today.

All my usual writing work will continue, as will a few other upcoming tricks I've got up my sleeve for bringing amazing new games to light! Anyway, OK!

Previously: The Boing Boing Guide to the 2010 Indie Games Festival The Boing Boing Guide to the 2010 Indie Games Student Showcase ... Read the rest

Rock Band opens track creation/sales to home musicians, indie bands

A surprise announcement and massive game-changing news for musicians: developers Harmonix have just announced The Rock Band Network, a new initiative to let home users and indie bands create and sell their own Rock Band tracks through the game itself, in partnership with Microsoft's XNA Creators Club.

We've got all the first details on the program, which is due to launch in closed beta by the end of the month, over at Offworld.

I'm with the Band: Harmonix opens Rock Band track creation, sales to Xbox 360 home users Read the rest

Video: Portal, re-made in ASCII

Over at Offworld, we've just dug up what'll probably be the most mind-bending video of the week: the first look at Joe Larson's 'demake' of Valve's PC/Xbox 360 hit Portal, rendered entirely in ASCII.

Its best trick that puts it a leg up on the 2D Flash version: a 'through the portal' view that recaptures everything that made the original game so awe inspiring to experience for the first time (also: its simple 1-character companion cube, and the Donkey Kong tribute toward the end of the video).

Watch the video on Offworld. Read the rest

Today on Offworld: killing zombies softly, LucasArts Steamed, Devo meets Space Invaders

In her latest One More Go column, Margaret Robertson argues that Sega's long-underappreciated and entirely absurd Typing of the Dead (above) -- the game which sees players destroying zombies by typing words rather than firing bullets -- is especially brilliant because it lets us do something increasingly rare and magical in the games industry today: press buttons with our fingers.

Elsewhere on Offworld there was a lot of good news for old games, as classic LucasArts adventure games are returning to Steam with full XP/Vista compatibility, Atari Museum releases the source code for more than a dozen classic Atari 7800 games, and Nintendo is re-releasing Toshio Iwai's brilliant art/music DS crossover Electroplankton in downloadable form.

We also saw Ghostbusters coming to LittleBigPlanet, preorders open for Machinarium, the game soon to be likely the best non-LucasArts adventure of the year, and the first look at Positech's Gratuitous Space Battles, his self-described "tower defense with space fleets", which is every bit as gloriously gratuitous and perfectly scaled (with scores of tiny gnat-like fighters protecting motherships) as the title promises.

Finally, our 'one shot's for the day: a hexquisite pixel-art exquisite corpse, the many faces of space invaders, Scott C's Devo meets Space Invaders print goes on sale, and Eliss, Steph Thirion's brilliantly abstract iPhone game, goes on sale for $0.99 for a few more days. Read the rest

Today on Offworld: war-driving for treasure, cloud gaming, Dylan in The Sims

Today on Offworld we took an extensive look at Treasure World (above), the just-released DS game that turns the ubiquitous cloud of Wi-Fi signals around you into collectible treasures -- it's easily one of the most magical game experiences we've had in a while, and expands into an equally amazing array of synced up social-site achievements, and, of all things, a mini-music tracker that lets you compose by arranging your scalped booty.

Elsewhere we looked at the first live demo of cloud-gaming service Gaikai, which shows Spore, World of Warcraft and Mario Kart being played, in-browser, from a server 400 miles away, and Microsoft's just-launched Kodu, the 21st century LOGO-like Xbox 360 game that teaches principles of programming logic with simple sentence-structure syntax and lets you build and share up to 4-player minigames.

We also stumbled across Crazy Planets, a new Worms-like Facebook game that makes a fighting unit out of you and your friends, and watched the first tech demo video of Robotology from N+ developers Metanet, which, eventually, will be a parkour/grappling hook mashup of Mario Galaxy, Shadow of the Colossus, and Umihara Kawase (!), and, finally saw Bob Dylan's hard-livin' invade The Sims. Read the rest

Today on Offworld: glum busting, retro Soviet arcades, domestic violence

As seems to be the case time and time again, indie devs have given us some of the best in surrealist/dreamscape gaming, and the latest -- featured today on Offworld -- is Justin 'CosMind' Leingang's Glum Buster, an intricately constructed PC pixel platformer that is as traditional as it is relentlessly alien -- think Eric Chahi's Another World/Out of this World -- and is being sold via an altruistic charity-ware setup. It'll certainly go down as one of the finest indie developments this year.

Elsewhere we took a fantastic look inside Moscow's Soviet Arcade Games Museum via their new Art Lebedev (he of the Optimus Maximus OLED keyboard) designed website that not only gives us near-pornographically beautiful shots of previously unseen 70s era Soviet arcade design, but also recreates a number of the games in Flash to play directly on the site.

We also played Noonat's Queens -- a game built for a competition dealing with the theme of 'domestic violence' that manages to cleverly skate the thin ice there, and fell in love with Puit Wars, a micro/massive pixel wargame that proves hiphop emcee Aesop Rock should be making music for games, followed Nintendo DS cult puzzler star Professor Layton on Twitter, and took a new look at the mysteries of SUPERBROTHERS' rustic pixels in his Kurosawa-inspired Alpinist. Read the rest

Where Tetris blocks come from

On Offworld, our Brandon's found out where Tetris blocks come from:

You didn't think they just popped up on screen themselves, did you? Commercial animation by South Korea's WooDUS, who are also behind this vaguely Bubble Bobble-esque title animation.

Behind the scenes: How Tetris blocks are made

Discuss this on Offworld Read the rest

Today on Offworld: the 15 games you need for your new iPhone

As any new or vet iPhone owner will know, trying to wade through the App Store's overwhelming selection of games and apps is a daunting process, so we've whipped together this guide to the first 15 games you should seek out, with another 30 to consider (from a wider variety of genres [shooting, word games]) thrown in for good measure, which should hopefully better ease you into what the device has to offer.

Elsewhere we looked at more iPhone games about to make their way to the store -- Hand Circus's trip into the savage/Indy Jones-ish wild in their Rolando sequel, and a revival of EA's classic board/strategy game Archon (which is indeed now live).

We also saw Rockstar's formerly DS-exclusive Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars making the leap to the new PSP Go, new stickers from Offworld-favorite illustrator Jon Burgerman coming to LittleBigPlanet, hand-crafted drink coasters to commemorate the worst day of your gaming life, and beautiful new King of Games T-shirts celebrating Q-games' PS3 PixelJunk franchise.

Finally, we listened to the chiptune remixes coming to the PS3 revival of Katamari Damacy, and our 'one shot's for the day: Fez, paused, and accidentally gorgeous long-exposure phone-cam photos of Galaga. Read the rest

Katamari music remix -- Offworld

Over on Offworld, our Brandon's got exciting news about a remix of the music from the Katamari games, some of the coolest, most infectious video-game music ever recorded.

Kicking off a series of official posts for Sony's PlayStation blog on Namco's upcoming PS3 'tribute' release Katamari Forever, producer Kazuhito Udetsu relays a message from longtime series (and Noby Noby Boy) sound designer Yuu Miyake, who explains the process of collaborating with various Japanese acts to remix classic Katamari tracks.

Saying he wanted a split between 'organic' and 'electric' sounds, Miyake highlights oft-blogged NES-samplers YMCK and the chiptune swing of their "A Crimson Rose and a Gin Tonic" remix. Unfortunately, we don't get the whole track, but we do get enough to hear that it's going to be another must-buy collection.

Listen: YMCK remix classic Katamari for PS3's Katamari Forever

Discuss this on Boing Boing Offworld

Previously: Rockin' cover of Katamari Damacy music - Boing Boing BB Video: GDC Out-take - Radiohead Fan-Dance-Off with Giant ... Katamari Damacy cakes - Boing Boing Katamari Damacy multiplayer game coming to Korea -- Boing Boing ... Katamari Damacy 2 player collections 10^6 roses with oscillating ... Read the rest

Mario retirement tee -- Offworld

Over on Offworld, our Brandon's spotted this splendid "Mushroom Kingdom Retirement Village" tee.

T-shirt: the Mushroom Kingdom Retirement Village

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Left 4 Dead 2 screenshots -- Offworld

Over on Offworld, our Brandon's got an exciting gallery of high-rez screenshots from the for the forthcoming Left 4 Dead 2, the sequel to one of the most compelling, cinematic, frightening games ever made.

Southern discomfort: new screenshots of Valve's Left 4 Dead 2

Discuss this on Offworld

Previously: <em>Left 4 Dead</em>: Savage beyond belief Why <em>Left 4 Dead</em> has the best tutorial ever... and why you ... Left 4 Love: Alexandria Neonakis' latest valentines - Offworld Left 4 Dead SDK/mod tools go into open beta Ragdoll Metaphysics: Left 4 Dead, The Thinking Man's Braindead ... E309: First look at Valve's Left 4 Dead 2 Would You Like To Play A Game? Left 4 Dead Edition - Offworld Wandering witches: new details on Valve's Left 4 Dead 2 Read the rest

Everything you need to know about Sony's E3 press conference

Over at Offworld, after Sony's marathon two hour E3 press conference, I've summed up the most important highlights which -- surprisingly, after recent rampant leaks -- did have some secrets in store, including:

* a new PlayStation 3 motion control setup to rival Microsoft's Natal and Nintendo's enhanced MotionPlus Wii controller

* a fresh lineup of third party PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable exclusives from GTA creators Rockstar, Square Enix with a new online Final Fantasy, and Konami's Hideo Kojima with a new PSP exclusive Metal Gear Solid sequel

* more PSP as music/video media center integration

* and new additions to its overarching socially-enabled 'play, create, share' lineup

See E309: the 5 things you need to know about Sony's press conference for the full details. Read the rest

Indie game dev quits mainstream job via Super Mario

Over at Offworld we've got news that'd make any office lackey proud: ready to dump his mainstream programming job and take the indie game dev world by storm, Rom Check Fail creator Farbs turned in his resignation in fitting fashion, by creating a playable take on Super Mario Bros that said everything he needed to say.

See the post at Offworld to play the game for yourself and find links to his other collected creative output.

Take this ROM and...: indie dev quits mainstream job via Super Mario - Offworld Read the rest

Offworld gets an exclusive peek at Henry Hatsworth concept art

Brandon has scored a major coup: Electronic Arts has presented Offworld with access to the concept art for Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure, one of the most interesting games to come out this year, both in play and in art direction. Brandon's put together a galley showing the environments, characters, and enemies. It's an awesome peek into the creative act that happens before pixel is ever put to sprite.

We hope this will just be the first of many "Concept Albums" on Offworld. Read the rest

Today on Offworld

Most excitingly today on Offworld, area/code's iPhone puzzler Drop7 -- still one of the platform's absolute best, and one of the very few that (four months later) I'm still playing on a daily basis -- got a social update with worldwide leaderboard and Facebook Connect support that finally legitimizes its 'sequence' mode, and saw the release of a short EP of its fantastic Steve Reich-ian soundtrack. If you haven't played the game yet, do so as soon as possible.

Elsewhere we found a fantastic "brief history" of chiptunes (that actually is considerably more exhaustive than they give themselves credit for) in an academic journal, saw vinyl toy/comic star Whaleboy get a trademark for games, and watched the best machinima of the week with Seakitten Collective's LittleBigRevenge.

We also played Cosmic Nitro, the latest iPhone game from Galcon creator that's best summed up as "survival mode Missile Command x insanity", downloaded a number of songs from the soundtrack of our highly anticipated Stalin Vs. Martians, scratched our heads over the curiously un-tetramino shapes of Diego Silvério's Tetris furniture, and saw the former real-life Mario Kart prankster do Pac Man in real life. Read the rest

Today on Offworld

Today on Offworld, we played Scarygirl, the just-released new platformer game based on illustrator and designer toy maker Nathan J's exquisitely designed world and characters, which, pleasantly enough, turned out to be one of the richest web-game experiences in recent memory.

We also learned that Through the Looking Glass -- the first and only game ever first-party Apple developed and published for the Mac -- had been brought to the iPhone as AliceX by its original developer, Steve Capps (who would go on to help develop the first version of the Finder).

Elsewhere we saw Sony taking on a new strategy of selling digital-download-only PSP games at retail by providing little more than a box and a download code, read how game developers and porn stars are alike, saw the 13 oddest developments in the history of the Game Boy, and found out that the new PC release of Xbox Live Arcade favorite Braid comes with a full level editor.

We also learned more about the "feverish bad crazy" at the heart of EVE Online, took a longer look at iPhone space combat game Galaxy on Fire, listened to our favorite loopy lonely computer song, wondered if a game based on the attack in Fallujah was "too soon," started reading a new blog dedicated to the art of the pixel, and, wonderfully, found an 8-bit heart meter T-shirt that only refills when it's close to its mate. Read the rest

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