As autumn approaches, we’re getting ready for the change in leaves and cooler weather…well, except for us in LA where we’re still at 90-degrees on a daily basis. But hey, can’t win them all. As I bear through this heat, we’re excited to bring you our first fall edition of PLAYED. This month, we take a look at how indie games are utilizing social networks in a different way to find great traction and interaction with their fan base; how can brands learn how to create this dialogue and trust in the same manner? We also explore the overlap between game development and user generated content and its impact not only on the games, but on the connections with the communities of players themselves, as well as future revenue streams.
After five years in development, a slew of industry indie awards, and even some polarizing controversy surrounding its creator, Phil Fish, Fez finally launched on Xbox Live Arcade a couple of weeks ago. And despite a growing list of game-breaking bugs, an atypical Friday launch (most new titles release on Tuesday), and Xbox Live’s less-than-friendly-to-indie-titles UI, Polytron’s retro-themed puzzle-platformer managed over 20,000 day-one downloads and a 90 Metacritic score, putting it on par with Limbo, another critically-acclaimed indie darling. Regardless of its faults or praise, however, if you’re taking Fez on its initial appearance, playing it only as the aforementioned puzzle-platformer, then you’re not really playing Fez, and your “Get to the end” achievement actually means you’re only halfway through.
As spring hits into high gear, we look forward to brining you all of the bloomin’ gaming news (get it? Because flowers are blooming and so are our artic…ah, forget it!)
This month’s feature story hits on two things the masses are loving the most – casual games and social media; a convergence that’s creating a super power toolset in the world of social influence. We also took some time to jump into the Kickstarter rabbit hole for promising new games we’d put our money behind, and got sucked back into a little-known title called Angry Birds thanks to its evolving gameplay mechanics and marketing mix.
Today is Thursday and tomorrow is Friday. For Denuo Chicago, this statement is more than just an exercise in keeping your days of the week straight. Friday = Roll Day, where each week one pair of Denuologists is responsible for bringing in breakfast. We are treated to wonderful meals ranging from bacon cupcakes, bagels, breakfast burritos, donuts, shrimp 'n grits - you get the idea. I would say that savory breakfasts are bigger hits than sweet ones, not because they aren't as delicious but simply because sugar crashes are not fun.
While most of us were asleep last night, Tim Schafer and his Double Fine crew were making hundreds of thousands of dollars, fifteen and thirty dollars at a time. Instead of pitching their next game to publisher after publisher in hopes of getting funded, Double Fine used Kickstarter to pitch their classic adventure title to those masses who would eventually want to play the release. Less than eight hours after launching their page they had already met their $400,000 goal, and had broken Kickstarter records for most funds raised in the first twenty-four hours and most backers of all time. Just under a day later and they’ve crossed the $1,000,000 mark with more than a month to go in the campaign. Needless to say, the experiment into collaborative development has been a success for Double Fine and their latest passion project.