Archive for August, 2012


Just a few days ago I posted about how I would like to live in Broken Sword’s depiction of Paris and now it turns out I get to visit Paris again in a new Broken Sword game, assuming that $400,000 in backing can be found through a Kickstarter campaign.

Kickstarter is a great way for projects to get funding for creative outlets (such as games). I love kickstarter primarily because it allows people to generate money without relying on a lot of fat cats who make decisions based upon what will make them even more money (the reason why there are so many big budget generic low risk FPS games), and focusses more on making stuff that is innovative and cool. I was first tempted to invest in a Kickstarter project when I heard about hackable android based console the Ouya, but after some consideration I decided not to invest in that one. I would like to see the Ouya flourish and they certainly have enough backers, but to date my experience with the Android marketplace makes me think that the completely open model is somewhat flawed. I hope I’m wrong though. Anyway, I’m being distracted. That’s not what this post is about!

Backing Broken Sword is a different story to backing the Ouya. The company behind Broken Sword – Revolution – is very well established. They made games that I can remember playing on my first Windows PC all those years ago. I’ve always found the Broken Sword games very rewarding and extremely charming, and they give a nice change of pace from a lot of my other console based games. I’ve never really thought that point and click games have very much replayability, but it turns out they do. Especially if you wait ten or so years between play throughs, then the nostalgia factor gives a lot of added value. I feel like Revolution are a safe bet for my money.

Broken Sword – the Serpent’s Curse needs your help!

Anyway, judging from the video on the kickstarter site the new game seems to use some cell shading-esque techniques to give a 3D feel whilst still keeping true to the established and successful 2D style (either that or the animation is simply amazing!). I think it looks really great in the wide shots. However, I’m not 100% convinced that the close up face shots. For me the small movements or the flat eyes push George (our hero) over the edge into Miro’s uncanny valley – but that’s certainly not going to put me, or the rest of Broken Sword’s dedicated fan base off what I am hoping will be an exciting and sentimental experience. I’m also really looking forward to seeing design documents for this, and previous games that I’ll get with the silver package!

If you want to join me in backing this project the you should follow this link to the serpent’s curse kickstarter site. They are sure to make their $400,000 target as one quarter of the way in to the month long campaign they’ve already attracted three quarters of the cash.

Aside from its astonishing longevity I have another interest in Revolution, which is that it was founded in Hull and has a lot of connections to the city, the University and the surrounding area. Unfortunately the studio moved to York some time ago but it’s still fairly local, and co-founder Charles Cecil MBE gave a talk at Hull’s Platform Expo earlier this year. If anyone from revolution ever feels like getting involved with some of our bright young programming students by coming to give a presentation or judging a competition then please, please get in touch. The department, and me especially, would love for you guys to be involved.

Indie Bundles Galore

This week you can get your hands on not one – but two indie game bundles. I really like these little bundles of indie games because for a fantastic price I get to try out a few games that I wouldn’t have played otherwise.

Anyway, IndieGala 8 is available from www.indiegala.com.

9 games if you pay more than the average!

I haven’t played any of these games yet, but I’m especially looking forward to trying out Dark Fall, and Space Empires V (although it seems pretty complex and I doubt I’ll find the time to fully appreciate it). Sacred and Ghost Master also look like a lot of fun. Not only can you get all these games at a great price, but Indie Gala purchases also send a proportion of their income, that you can allocate, to charity. This time money goes to help two charities. The first is the Italian Red Cross who need financial aid as they deal with the aftermath of a recent earthquake. The second is a regular Indie Gala charity called AbleGamers, that helps adapt controllers and games for anyone who can’t use more traditional gaming interfaces. I became more aware of this charity when I saw Ian Livingstone OBE give the charity a shining endorsement at GDC. Ablegamers is definitely a worthy cause.

At www.indieroyale.com you can get six games as part of the Getaway Bundle.

I love Super Amazing Wagon Adventure which uses a chunky, no frills graphical style and a frantic set of minigames (loosely) themed around travelling west across American on the wagon trail. Analogue:A Hate Story seems to be a twist on text based adventures, but takes inspiration from Alien and Space Odyssey, and Waves looks to have gratuitous amounts of particles, which is never a bad thing!

Grab your self a bargain (or fifteen!)

This one was a difficult one too, mainly because a lot of games are quite “fighty” and so their settings are not the most pleasant of places. Thinking a little harder I did come up with a couple of options.

Fable 2 – offering a quiet life

The first is Fable 2. Fable 2 is set for the most part in tranquil countryside and adventure only finds you if you go out looking, so I’d quite like to live in that setting assuming that they still have electricity and a broadband connection.

The second is a bit of an odd one; Paris from the Broken Sword games. It’s an odd one because I’ve never really fancied living in Paris. I don’t speak French, so I would feel ignorant, and I get the impression that a lot of Paris has been spoilt by tourism. The picture of Paris painted by the Broken Sword franchise is different though. Everyone speaks English even to other French people, so there would be no need for me to feel awkward. The locations are very romantic and traditional. They remind me of the picture that John Grisham paints of Parma in “Playing for Pizza”. That and in the Broken Sword version of Paris there only appears to be one tourist!

Beautiful Paris in Broken Sword

Broken sword is another one of those games from my childhood, but I recently got the updated versions for a great price from steam. I’m working my way through them when I can, but I’m ashamed to say that there are parts that I’m sure I didn’t struggle as much with when I was younger.

The creators of Broken Sword seem to have gone to a great deal of effort to creating this believable, picturesque and charming setting, and it’s far more likely to have a much more reliable internet connection than you would find in Albion.