Tag Archives: Neocolonialism

#415 Getting Psyched for Boston FIG

As I check my email I realize that Boston FIG, Festival of Indie Games, is just about a month away. If you could not guess from the title of the event, Boston FIG is an event where independent game developers, of both video and card & board game variety comes together and showcase what games they are currently working on   I attended the expo last year and during the Spring time I did remember to go out and buy two tickets for my younger brother and I and I am quite excited to attend this event to come by. Why? Everyone knows that I am a fan of the Indie game scene, as one of the few places where the game developer’s vision of game that they always wanted to make could be realized without the compromises and pressure from stockholders or the market. It was because of the Indie games being the reason why I got into the platforming gerne with pixel perfect truly pushing platforming games like Super Meat Boy and They Bleed Pixels.

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Part of being one of the two videogame related events in Boston and the excitement from attending last year was seeing the fruits of labor from these game devs all on display , in 2013 I was able to see a demo of Tiny Brains, a game I am currently playing through now for this month of ‘Games from my Backlog’, but it was at Boston FIG I stumbled upon one of my favorite politically inspired turn base strategy indie games of all time, Neocolonialism (Be MOP #295). I can only imagine what games will be presented on the game floor this year. This is my chance to see what new East Coast games to look forward to next, whether it will be a new game to download on my phone, or computer, or like we saw with some indie games get picked up by major videogame console companies. All I hope is not to see the demo floor flooded with nothing but simulation games, like what we are currently seeing with the likes of Steam’s Indie page.

it is like a mini E3 for indies games

it is like a mini E3 just for indies games 

 

Also gives me an excuse to travel down to Boston, my favorite city, travel around the city, allows me to travel on the T, explore the city blocks, allows me to shop in some of the local cafes and Boston FIG gives me a reason to go to bars hang out and collect some of those sweet, sweet Nintendo 3DS street passes. As I get older with a full-time job with other adult commitments in my life, a weekend day trip down to Boston is a sacred treat.

Boston FIG is going to be held at MIT’s Johnson Athletic Center on September 13th and tickets are priced at $10 per person or if you are going with a group the tickets are $7.50 each

 

 


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#379 Boston FIG 2014

Consider this Monday blog post a PSA to the East Coast gamers that are interested in attending and supporting another growing videogame event in Boston. This past week tickets for Boston Festival of Indie Games just went on sales and now I using that bit of news as an excuse to talk about this event.  Come this September The Boston Festival of Indie Games, or Boston FIG for short, will mark the third year of showcasing new and still in progress video and board games of up and coming independent game developers.

 because there is no way of isolating your entire readership than by limiting the blog post to a geographical location

because there is no way of isolating your entire readership than by limiting the blog post to one specific geographical location

 

Last year I decided to attend Boston FIG on a whim not expecting much from it but an impromptu field trip turned into an amazing day in Boston. While I was at the event  I sat in on some interesting panels and talks for East Coast game developers, the convention was the first place I discovered the Extra Life charity drive, and in videogame expo hall I got to meet the creator of one of my favorite indie games that came out that year, Neocolonialism, and to wrap things up the whole festival was followed by a small -but still rocking- videogame concert by the Dubstep artist DJ Cutman and  musician behind The Bastion’s soundtrack, Darren Korb  at a local club.

it was an odd paring to have "Mother I'm Here (Zulfs Theme) follow a dubstep performance but it worked out through the magic of videogames

it was an odd pairing to have “Mother I’m Here (Zulf’s Theme) follow a dubstep performance but it worked out through the magic of videogames

 

I would not be doing my own self appointed duty as a New England blogger if I did not try to promote every start-up East Coast /Boston videogame event that I stumble upon. As I mentioned before this year’s tickets are currently on sale at ten dollars per person or $7.50 if you buy two or more tickets. My brother and I have already bought our tickets and have already started the countdown and I hope that you attend as well.

If you are interested be warned from my experience last year is that this is a gaming convention with a very niche demographic, so if you are not an aspiring video game developers that wants to rub elbows and network with fellow game developers in the area or if you not are a videogame player that loves indie games and what to see the newest indie games that are currently in the works, you might not have as much to gain from attending this conventions as say…someone who have already wrote dozens and dozens of blog posts professing his love of the indie gaming scene.

Even after all of that if you are still interested I hope you can find time and a way over to Boston for this event because the East Coast desperately needs more of a presence in the videogame industry. One of the best way to do that is by attending these events, boasting the numbers of attendees, and showing the videogame companies on the West Coast and around the States that it is financially viable to host more videogame events in Boston.

 


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#343 Taking Indie Games on the go

If you have been living under a rock for the past few days, let me be the first to tell you that the eleventh Humble Indie Bundle is now live. I have talked plenty about this website and service before so I am not going to waste any more words on WHY it is awesome all you need to know is that you should buy it.

It's all these games plus more on its way

It’s all these games plus more on its way do yourself a favor and just buy it now

With all the previous bundles that I have bought over the years I have always gone with the Steam Keys option for retrieving the games I bought but after very recently rediscovering my old flash drive. Since I am no longer using it to store drafts of college papers I thought to use the DRM-free feature of the Indie games I bought to fill it up with the essential games that I have would want to have on me at all time. Imagine this as the list of games I would want if I ever get deserted on an island with a desktop with little to no internet connection.

I mentioned before that both Binding of Isaac and Neocolonialism have already earned their place on this flash drive but after cleaning up the contents I figured out a bit more games that could be added to the drive.

For the first game on this list is the amazing title, The Bastion, one of the first indie game that provoked an emotional response out of me and it was the game that made me excited to explore the interesting world of indie games.

For the laid back game I also added a copy of Poker Night at the Inventory and even though I won all the TF2 items in this game I constantly go back to the first game rather than the squeal because the original characters are just more appealing to me.

Dear Strongbad how can you play Poker with Boxer Gloves? Still waiting for your reply Snozell, NH.

Dear Strong bad, how can you play Poker with Boxer Gloves? Still waiting for your reply Snozell, NH.

And to round out the list the last game is Edmund Mcmillen’s first blockbuster success, Super Meat Boy just a perfect pair to have it along with the other tough as nails platformer game VVVVVV.

I would like to thank past me for inspiring current me when I had the same thought of carrying my three published WoW insider posts with me at all times.

I would like to thank past me for inspiring current me when I had the same thought of carrying my three published WoW insider posts with me at all times.

But I want to throw this question back to you. Do you carry any copies of games on your person? and If not which games would you want to have with you at all time regardless of memory size?


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#295 Neocolonialism

As a Political Science science graduate, my academic skills are quite limited in the workforce but one place where politics can always be applied is on the internet politics may not be applied correctly but if you check any major news stories or popular forums politics always tends to crop up- but today I would like to take this time to talk about a new indie game that is all about the current state of politics, globalism, and the manipulation of nations but the super rich for personal greed.

 

This game helped me reach my one political game post per month quota.

This game helped me reach my one political game post per month quota.

 

Neocolonialism by Subaltern Games lets you play as a billionaire, with no morals or respect for other government’s integrity or their political system, that competes with fellow billionaires to buy votes in various countries, building mines and factories and opening trade routes with other nations you are in control you bought. The goal is to try to get the most money in your private bank account then anyone else at the end of the game.

It all takes place on an upside down world map because SYMBOLISM!

It all takes place on an upside down world map because SYMBOLISM!

 

As you might have guessed from the plot of the game the message is not as politically neutral as some other games (Bioshock I) but it is leagues ahead of the self referencing humor found in other indie games. If I was to guess, this game is  a reaction to the 2008 banking crisis and the recent spotlight shown on the amount of money funneled into politics, but that’s just my interpretation.

The game is a turn based strategy with twelve turns and each turn is divided into two phases. The first phase lets you buy or sell seats in the Legislative Branch in each region of the world  and the other phase is where you elect players to the position of Prime Minister, propose the construction of a new mine, factory, or creating a new trade route.

Either by design or by indie-game limitation the game has a really harsh and technical UI but navigating through the information and lines on the screen is simple enough once you know the key legend.

a quick trip through the tutorial levels gives you all the information you need

a quick trip through the tutorial levels gives you all the information you need to get started

 

I am not a big player of Turn-based Strategy outside of Pokemon so I have no authority to say how well the AI and board are built, but I can say that the few games I did play I lost all of them. So take that as you will.

I guess this is an indication that I'll never make it big as a Super Pac manager or as a ruthless lobbyist.

I guess this is an indication that I’ll never make it big as a Super Pac manager or as a ruthless lobbyist….dang

 

I believe that this game has a very niche demographic, mostly the turn based strategy crowd and the gamers who finds politics interesting but if you are in those two groups and you are currently looking for a new game, Neocolonialism was made for you.

As I said before the game is launching this week for $10.00 and can be bought through Subaltern Game’s website, through Amazon, and it is currently on Steam’s Green Light program right now.

Funny enough this was the perfect week to launch a game about politics because not only is Guy Fawkes day celebrated this Tuesday but there are some local elections being held all around the U.S on the same day.

I could not imagine a more perfect time to fight against an unwanted direction of your government than right now. Happy election day everyone

I could not imagine a more perfect time to fight against the unwanted direction that your government taking than right now. 

 

To those participating in elections tomorrow, I hope you have a wonderful Election Day

 


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#294 Games from my Backlog for the month of November

Halloween night has come and gone and the incredibly discounted Halloween candy at the grocery store marks the beginning of new month and that means it is time to tackle another handful of games from my backlog. Last month I set my sights on three Halloween-themed games with amazing success.

They Bleed Pixels is a perplexing g pixel perfect precision platformer that has it’s setting ripped right out of the mind of H.P Lovecraft and it is pure evil. If you want to know how evil this game is, after you spend the first few stages getting the hang of the jumping and combat controls, the game throws a curve ball by dropping you into an ice stage level that renders most of your attacks useless and you can never come to a full stop most of the stage. Still a great game for those, like me, who finds fun in raising their blood pressure a few notches during their recreational times.

This level was so difficult that it made the next zone a breeze....by comparison

Im not surpsing anyone when I say that I did not finish this game

 

Hey Fun Fact: Did you know that HP Lovecraft created the location Arkham for one of his short stories and that was the inspiration for naming Gotham’s penitentiary for the criminally insane?

That bit of trivia segways us nicely into another game I played for October, Batman: Arkham City. I talked about it in previous post that while the game was as good as I remembered, the entire experience was ruined a bit by some GFWL mix up that stopped me from downloading the downloadable content I paid for.

A few days after I published my post I learned that when both Arkham games moved away from the GFWL service all the save files were deleted in the transition, leaving everyone with empty game slots. Then someone at either Microsoft or Valve decided to send everyone who bought Arkham City a free upgrade to Game of the Year edition that includes every DLC for the game on the Steam servers (they also did it for anyone who bought the basic version of Arkham Asylum. Even with a guarantee of the DLC packs in the game, I am still not motivated enough to replay Arkham City for a third time, I would only play it again if the GOTY edition had….

...damn

…damn

 

My last game was the indie game, Mark of the Ninja. A great 2D stealth game that has you try to sneak past armed security guards without being detected or caught. I am going to talk more about this later in the month but one of the cool thing about I want to point out in this game was that it had a unique twist of tying the moral choice game mechanic back into the plot.

Although when I played I tend to go more towards the stabbing and killing ninja play style rather than the good no-kill option.

Although when I played I tend to go more towards the stabbing and killing ninja play style rather than the good no-kill option.

 

But now it’s time to focus on my next three games this month, after finding so much entertainment from the previous two stealth games first on the chopping block is the AAA game, Dishonored, by Bethesda.

Expect a big long post about moral choice in gaming soon.

Expect a big long post about moral choice in Dishonored and in gaming soon.

The game is the Sam & Max The Devil’s Playhouse  game from Telltale games. With all the talk about their latest Werewolf game and the trailer of the second season of The Walking Dead game I have been itching to play another point and click adventure by Telltale.

because I have grown fond of the comedy from Sam and Max from telltales two Poker Nights games

because why pay for a new game when I have this one raring to go

My last game for November is an indie game that I discovered when I attended this year’s Boston FIG event. The game is simply called Neocolonialism, it is set to launch next week and it is one of the few games I instantly preordered after reading the quick summary of the game on its website:

Neocolonialism is a Marxist strategy game for 1-6 players. Your goal is to extract as much wealth from the world as possible in 12 turns. You will buy government votes, make free trade agreements, manipulate the IMF, extract wealth, and ruin everything. Also, the map is upside-down.

Oh I am so on board with this game

Oh I am so on board with this game it is not even funny

 


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#274 Witnessing the Fruits of Labor from Indie Developers at Boston Fig

Last Saturday I made my way to Boston for the 2nd annual Boston Festival of Indie Games, Boston FIG for short. During my time down there I was able to sit in on people from the gaming industry as they gave their talks about the problems they faces in their quest on making  and it made me glad that I have absolutely no desires or plans to produce my own game.

I would write and act as a member of their PR team for those games, but my skills are nonexistent when it comes to computer coding and making art for the game. and all the power to those who can and are doing so

I would write and act as a member of their PR team for those games, but my skills are nonexistent when it comes to computer coding and making art for the game. and all the power to those who can and are doing so

 

I also, and finally, got to attend my first videogame concert, the Boston Plays Indies event, and jam out to the works of Deadbeatblast, Control Group, DJ Cutman, and Video Game Orchestra live.

That's right I got a signed copy of DJ Cutman's album, it big deal.

That’s right I got a signed copy of DJ Cutman’s album, it may or may not have made my night.

Even with all of that, the best thing about the entire Boston Fig event was the expo hall where indie game developers showcased their prized games, and it is events like this that reminds me why I follow the indie gaming scene.

Did you want an in-browser PvP game where you get build custom spaceships and fight against other players across the world by using the same wonky controls as the original Asteroid game?

co.llide_logo_b480

Co.llide is for you

 

Are you interested in an on-the-go mobile jigsaw game with point and click adventure elements that takes place in a fantasy world where you have to stop your evil brother from destroying the kingdom? 

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then keep an eye out for Puzzle Axe coming to iOS and Android soon

Or are you more angry about the idea that stateless companies and a select few billionaires are competing against each other by spending an incredible amount of money to influence members of government to persuade them to open up mines and factories in their name and rigging the free market so that those mines owned by those billionaires makes the right deals with factories in other nations (which are also owned by the same companies) in an ever-growing race to see who can manipulate the free market the most and walk away with the biggest pot of money at the expense of other?  – Oh I’m sorry, it seems one of my old college papers got mixed in with the notes I took for today’s post.

….what, I was mistaken and there is in fact a game that is exactly that and it’s called Neocolonialism?

 AH HA, YES! POLITICAL SCIENCE!

AH HA, YES! POLITICAL SCIENCE!

This is why I love indie games because most of those games that I just mentioned( and the many more that I didn’t mention) would not have been greenlit by most companies but that didn’t stop these developers from going out there and making the exact game that they wanted to make and delivering it into the world either by themselves or with a very small team.

 


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