Thursday, 27 September 2018

Changelog... Chrome Addons, Malay, Chromecast & Bugfix!

Hi indiexpors!
Recently we improved the website with several little features and fixes!
To improve the experience of developers and players!

Let's start!

  • Now you can see, in the User Page, the latest Games with Score System Played!
  • Added the Adult Filter, that you can switch (on/off) in your Settings
  • Improved the Game News Area, with buttons to follow or download the game, easily and fastly 
  • bugfix, bugfix, bugfix
  • Added Malay Language!
  • Improved the Recommended Algorithm in the HomePage also for no-logged users!
  • Are you playing an online game and received a notification? Now you can move the mouse on the top and open the Notification Area, no exit from your game! 

Other nice info!
Over 800 Users are using our Chrome Extension, to play online game from your browser!
Adding the Chromecast Support to our indiepad app, to use your TV like a free virtual game console!

Sunday, 9 September 2018

User Stories: Bookend Team - Why do a VR Game?

The whole Bookend team has never worked on a VR project nor have ever been avid VR connoisseurs up until the creation of Bookend

"a pop-up book" in VR
What we did know, however, was that we wanted to create a unique, well-designed project meant to wow everybody within the University of California: Santa Cruz’s capstone series.

Our first thought was to develop a VR title. 
This idea was two-fold: first, it was supported by the fact that many of us believe that virtual reality as a concept is only budding. We have yet to see the huge mainstream appeal of virtual reality and the technology is only going to improve. We, as the Bookend team, want to be there for the ride (and get a portfolio boost). Second of which, virtual reality was a means for us to truly create an immersive experience allowing the designers within the group to truly flex their design muscles, and the developers to experience developing with virtual reality in mind.

In an attempt to explore this idea, we began iterating on Beloved, an atmospheric horror game set within a virtual reality space. We iterated ideas over the course of a couple months such as the player having ghost hands and using telekinesis to guide another individual around puzzle situations akin to a second person exploration game. Although the game was only supposed to take place within a household, the project quickly got out of scope within its narrative, art direction, and programming months into our development cycle.

Winning the the Peer Choice Award
We persevered through months of dead-end conceptualization, eventually leading us to create a narrative-centric puzzle game meant to subvert the expected conventions (grab objects and throw stuff) within a virtual reality space. Although started by a core team of ten students for Beloved, we quickly ballooned our team into twenty (ten core members and ten auxiliary members that helped with art, sound/music, and programming) for Bookend’s rise.

We definitely wanted the gameplay to be reminiscent of reading through a pop-up book so heavy design iteration went into honing in on that particular feeling. As such, many of our mechanics are analogous to the features of a physical pop-up book. The music and narrative direction, in particular, serve to enhance the whimsical and enchanting nature of Bookend’s aesthetic.

Creating Bookend was not without its problems, however, as developing through the affordances of VR. We ran through multiple problems that the affordances of a mouse and keyboard avoided. Namely, controls were our number one issue. We changed our controls scheme multiple times due to player confusion with the Oculus controls. At first, we had it so that the player navigated the game space with their headset, looking at objects they wanted to interact with. We quickly realized that this idea was more trouble than what it was worth. Players quickly grew frustrated at the fact that they had to pinpoint their headset at a small object in order to select it. 
We then changed the controls to focus on the Oculus Touch. 

Bookend Team
Our first iteration of this was too focused on the Oculus face buttons (A, B, X, Y). We had players press the grip button on the controller and confirm their selection with either A or X. This caused the issue of the player not knowing which button was A or X causing them to become increasingly confused and frustrated. Through a lengthy design discussion, we finally decided to change the controls to what we have now: Point in VR by closing the grip button and confirm the selection with the trigger button. This was due to the fact that the grip and trigger buttons are the largest buttons on an Oculus Touch controller. This changed proved beneficial as when players would get confused about the controls, they would first attempt to press the trigger and grip buttons. 

Wanting to create a project that mattered to us, the team decided to make a VR project that doubled down on immersion and unique gameplay features. Developing through VR is difficult, especially in the controls department. (Try getting someone to press the A button while they can’t see!) Nonetheless, through multiple months of hard, dedicated work, Bookend slowly yet steadily transitioned from a concept born from the fall of Beloved into a concept that carried its own weight. The last-minute scrapping of our original idea left our team scrambling, but we’re extremely proud with our work thus far. 

We hope that you enjoy playing through Bookend as much as we enjoyed making it.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Is there a website with free games for kids?

A lot of parents are looking for free games for their kids on internet.

On TV or newspapers a lot of time we read about "violence in video games" or "games with sex and blood". And we know that the PEGI was born to create safe categories for kids.

So we introduced, few days ago, the Adult Contents filter.

Now the developers, uploading their games, can check this box and the games will be visible only to +18 years users.

If you are not logged or you didn't change your age in your settings page, you will not see those games.

Enjoy and discover new games every day!

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Saying NO

It's hard to imagine certain situation until meeting those.
Designers who create might encounter different request - which won’t fit with their values.

What if you’ll be asked to design an anonymous ad against a figure.
If you’ll be asked to work at the expense of your family time.
If you’ll be ordered to sabotage files before sending them to the customer.

What if someone will try to use your access to a database with personal details of subscribers from a minisite.
What if someone will use you to know how to take advantage of a young designer starting out.

When working with people we encounter bizarre realities.
Sometimes it’s hard to stick to principles
Becuase it might cause us out job or hurt it.
We need to know how to say no.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

What the hell is going on?

It's going very good!
Recently great free cool games, the new score system on games with a old fashioned Retro Style, new features, monetisation for devs, changing and so many other things!

So... What are the latest news?

  • LIVE Notifications!
  • AMP pages for the Users
  • improved AMP game pages also with the suggested games
  • Monetisation [BETA] for indie devs (it needs a separate post, no worry)
  • bugfix! bugfix! bugfix! bugfix!
  • now the Charts show only the games uploaded/updated in the last 6 months
  • Language problem on the website? Now you can select your language on Settings Area!
  • Improved Mobile View!

Social Goals?

And now?
Now we're focusing our energies on two elements: Bugfix & Players
Yes, we want to fix aaaaaall the bugs reported recently and gather new players!

Thursday, 5 July 2018

3 indie games that look like 3 famous Movies

Did you never play a game thinking... "Oh, it looks like that movie!"

In the last period we saw so many video games in the theaters. Like Warcraft (amazing!), or Assassin's Creed or Tomb Raider. Who loves this kind of games, loves also this kind of movie.
But sometimes happens also something of different... You're playing an indie game and it looks like one of your favourite movies.
It happens to me, playing those games:

Dex/Ghost in the Shell

In Dex, exploring with a girl the streets of a cyberpunk city as you run for your life from the mercs of The Complex hunting you down, I said "oh! It's Ghost in the Shell!" It is an American science fiction action film directed by Rupert Sandersand, based on the Japanesemanga of the same name by Masamune Shirow. It stars Scarlett Johansson, and set in a near future when the line between humans and robots is blurring, the plot follows the Major(Johansson), a cyborg supersoldier who investigates her past.

The Ledge/Man on a Ledge

In the Ledge you are a man... on a ledge. But, why are you here? And where did I see it? Oh, yes! Man on a Ledge is a 2012 American thriller film directed by Asger Leth, starring Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks! 

Noiz/Death Race

Not a simple race. Traps, weapons, explosions. Did you never see Death Race?  In the movie "Death Race", the racers, along with their navigators, compete in a three-part race over three days on a closed track. The track is littered with pressure plates that activate either the cars' offensive weapons, defensive equipment or deadly traps. Any racer winning five races will be granted freedom. Yes, a little bit as Carmageddon. But with...the aliens?

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

So many updates! New Languages, new Console, Score System and so on!

Hey indiexpors!
Here we are with other news about the website that it's growing up day by day!
When it was born, it was just another website with free games, not so sure to see a new day. But now it's smashing and there are over 2,000 games, so many feedbacks and a great community of crazy players and devs!

So the latest news/features/adds:
- website translated in Finnish (thanks to Virva) and Ukrainian (thanks to quizcanners)
- improved the Suggestion Algorithm
- improved the Notification System
- improved the Badge System for Devs and Gamers
- added Comments Area in the User Page (to show the latest games commented by the User)

- New subareas in the Indieconsole! How many players are in your room?
- added the link to the User Page in the Notification Area
- Score System Completed (now with Notifications and the author can delete the Fake Scores)
- added the Date in the Comments

- 30 Games that support the Score System!
- Over 2,000 Free Games!
- added new filters in the Advanced Search (Online Games and Games with Scores)

And now?
Now we're finally working on an original support system for the developers and the "Daily Challenge" for the best players!
Stay tuned!
We're planning to complete it in June/July!