Just read a post on AltDevBlogADay by Alex Norton. He is the indie creator behind Malevolence, Sword of Ahkranox. Yeah. That's a mouthful. This is his first commercial game. Or at least is will be when it releases. Check out the nice trailer on the main game page.

Alex tells of how it is hard to break into the gaming business. And if you do, you might be saddled in some mind numbing testing job. Or at best you might be writing some scripts for a game. Instead you can try the indie development way. But there will be some naysayers along the way.

I have not seen the actual Malevolence game yet. It is plannedf for release next month. However the trailer looks cool. There is some nice artwork involved. The game claims to have infinite non-random georgraphy. That sounds a bit suspect. But that is the angle there.

I did take a peek at the credits page. There were are a lot of people involved with the development and testing of the game. However one thing seemed a bit off. Alex listed himself like 20 times in the credits. Yeah I get that this is his game. But that's a bit ridiculous. Just put your name down once as the King Poo-Bah. People will get the message.

Clash of Clans

Have you heard of the Clash of Clans app? Me neither. That is, I had not heard of it until today. Apparrently this game is from a 60-person development company in Finland that is making a whole lot of money. They claimed to be making $500k a day a month ago. Now the estimate is up to about $750k a day. Whew.

Supercell is the company behind the Clash of Clans game. The game is an app that has caught on like wildfire around the world. Supercell has about 60 employees. Many founders seem to have worked at another company called Digital Chocolate. Never heard of them either. But I bet we are going to be hearing a lot more about Supercell in the future.

The apps business is a volatile one. You could be making millions one day. And then app users move on and you might get left in the dust. I think Supercell has another app that is gaining traction. Let's hope they can keep it up. I am not too concerned. They are quickly getting rich by the minute.


There is an app out for the iPhone called Curiosity. The full name of the game has been changed to "Curiosity - What's Inside the Cube?" This app is being called an experiment by its creator, Peter Molyneux. The game consists of a huge cube made up of smaller cubes. There are a lot of those smaller cubes. You tap the cubes to remove them from the big cube. It is a multiplayer game. The goal is to be the person who removes the final smaller cube.

I tried the game out. There is nothing earth shattering about it. In fact, the user interface was not intuitive. After a while I figured that the little arrow head on the screen was pointing me in the direction of new cubes to remove from the surface. You can buy tools with gold. But you got to click a lot of small cubes before you can afford even the cheapest of cubes. I also found it strange that I would click maybe 50 to 60 percent of the cubes in a region, and then the whole region would disappear.

Other developers seem to have harsh words for this app. They thought the implementation of this massive multiplayer game was lacking. I thought the idea itself was pretty interesting. I wonder what secret message is in the last cube, and whether the player who unleashes the message will share it with the rest of the world.

Warcraft 1

I just stubled upon a treat - a three part story about the development of the Warcraft 1 game. I recommend you go to the source and read parts one, two, and three. This story was written by Patrick Wyatt. He is the original developer on the project. Back then the company was called Silicon & Synapse. Later Davison and Associates acquired the company, and it was renamed Blizzard.

The game work started with just one develper in September 1993. Gameplay was inspired by Dune 2, a real time strategy game which pitted you against the computer. The goal was to produce a multiplayer game. The developer banged out a rough single player version in a few weeks.

Warcraft 1 was a DOS protected mode game. It was developed in DOS real mode. Initially they tried using EMS paged memory. Later they adofpted Watcom's DOS memory extender. Here is a funny bit of trivia. The company did not have a LAN intially, even though they were targeting a network game.

In 1994, they put together some of the first design docs. The goal was to release the game by Christmas 1994. The company only had 20 people total. Many eventually worked on this game. The game was unusual in that it had a bright color palette. The graphics were 320x200 resolution.

The company was self funded. They got an infusion of cash when they were acquired. Their AI program did some cheating. The game properties behaved different for the computer than for other players. The computer also had views that were obscured for players.

When the network code came around, they implemented passing of player commands to all computers in the network. They each computer could implement the commands for all players involved. Initially there were a lot of sync bugs in the code. These got fixed. And the rest is history.


I just checked out an ad for the latest Humble Bundle. It was targeted to Android users. Most of the games seemed like nothing special. However there was one games whose graphics seemed unusual. This game was Machinarium. You had to pay at least $5.95 for the whole bundle of games to qualify for the Machinarium bonus game.

Machinarium was released back in 2009. I looked it up. The thing costs $10 if you want the game as released on multiple platforms. If you just need the iPad version (which requires the iPad 2), it costs $4.99 in the app store. Note that this game also runs on the Playstation 3. Apparently they initially wanted to release it on the XBox360. But Microsoft halted that effort.

This game was made using Adobe Flash. The credits only list one or two developers for the whole game. Guess that is all you need when there are 30 screens total of puzzles. However there were a whopping 16 testers listed in the credits. This game was produced by Amanita design. They have a few other games out there including Samorost and Botanicula.

Macinarium has a free demo for Windows that I played. The intro shows a bunch of trash being dumped. The main character is apparently one that appeared previously in games such as Super Meat Boy. While playing, I was a robot with just a head. I retrieved my body, but had to trade another animal a mouse so it would retrieve my legs. Then I got stuck.

I could not get off the first screen. There is allegedly a built in hint system. The thing that struck me about this game was the weird but beautiful graphics. It was strange also that there was little to no text on the screen. This is a graphic adventure that reminds me of Myst. I might just have to buy this darn thing (and use the hints to get by). I wish this would work on new iPhone 5.