Monthly archive for August2013

Indie Gamers & Developers : Do You Really Need a Well Rounded Game?

Indie Gamers & Developers : Do You Really Need a Well Rounded Game?

As a fledgling two person indie studio, SYNTH7 is always thinking about how to make our games appealing, and one of the early questions we struggled with is how to shape our game for the audience it will appeal to most. We don’t have all the answers, but below are some of the directions we’re moving in right now – we welcome feedback and healthy discussion!

Mingling with our need to build a game that delights a specific audience is a creative direction that’s inspired by something we’re passionate about. So while we’re trying to hold true to that vision, there are numerous smaller decisions that will change the resulting gameplay in notable ways. Even in these early stages, we’ve noticed that it’s tempting to appeal to everyone as a well rounded game, and do so poorly versus delivering a really powerful experience to a specific segment. If that’s something…

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Latest Couch Vaporizer, the $499 Virtuix Omni Treadmill = Exercise + Gaming

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, playing video games mainly consisted of sitting on a couch, controllers in hand, and the only things moving were fingers on buttons. There are tons of great games that take advantage of that interaction, but recently we’ve been seeing an outpouring of new input devices and the Virtuix Omni Treadmill is another example.

The difference? This is more of a whole body & mind experience than finger motion detection like on the Leap Motion, or body scanning like with the Xbox Kinect. In this case the player is actually running forward, backward, to the side and so on and the game world is mimicking those same motions. That could open a world of possibilities in terms of fine-tuned control, exercising, and bringing a game world closer to even more of our sense of place and center of being.

So detecting body motion is…

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Microsoft Fumbling for Identity & Stepping on Gamers

Microsoft Fumbling for Identity & Stepping on Gamers

Microsoft is beginning to question its identity but along the way it’s, inadvertently or not, stepped on gamers several times. For a long time, the company has been able to corner large swaths of the market. That’s been evident with ecosystems like its Windows operating system, its Office suite of applications, and to a lesser extent with the Xbox.

When Microsoft first announced the Xbox One and indicated that gamers may need to connect at least once every 24 hours  to Xbox Live in order to play games they’d purchased, it looked like consumers were almost ready to bite the bullet and accept that requirement, though certainly with some grumbling. Only after Sony followed up with an announcement that they would follow existing precedent and allow players to use games as long as they had the disc did Microsoft succumb to pressure and change course.

Now more details are arriving…

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Should Indie Developers Always Jump at the Latest Input Device?

Should Indie Developers Always Jump at the Latest Input Device?

Motion Input - DancingLately we’ve seen several new input methods arriving, all vying for a piece of the consumer’s wallet. They all promise new and more intuitive ways of communicating with machines, but sometimes the real world experience falls short or lacks enough obvious uses to pull consumer interest. That’s where indie game developers play an important role, and can make or break a new device or ecosystem.

Devices and ecosystems are inseparably intertwined, just look at Ouya’s Free the Games Fund, or  Apple’s App Store, or the Google Play Store, Xbox LIVE, Playstation Store . . . you get the idea. All of them connected to (a) device(s)  and all of them are working to make their ecosystems easier to use or more accessible for indie developers. Why? Because consumers are thirsty for novel content that  pokes at their curiosity and…

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Just Another Indie Game Studio, Learn with Us

Just Another Indie Game Studio, Learn with Us

Just Another Indie Game Studio Learn with UsIt starts with two guys with a passion for gaming. Toss in a background in building and marketing on the web, and some ideas on how to help other people have fun, and you have SYNTH7 –  an indie gaming studio working on its first idea.

While we aren’t ready to talk about our first idea yet, we’ll be sharing information with you about the process we’re going through to build the game and start our new business. Our hope is that other indie developers just starting out can benefit from what we learn. We’ll also post news we find interesting with some of our perspective on how it impacts us (and likely other indie developers) or new opportunities we see in the marketplace.

Right now we’re spending a lot of time reading about…

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