Recently, Kyttaro Games ran a new indie game bundle project, this time focusing on space-themed games. Kyttaro had ran an adventure-themed bundle earlier, so I was interested in understanding the process of putting together these bundles. Indie games are notoriously different in their styles and amount of polish, so building a bundle with a theme seems like an extremely difficult prospect to me. I took this as an opportunity to ask Gnome of The Gnome’s Lair about the Deep Space Bundle.
[Gnome] Ah, right. Kyttaro Games. Well, one of my closest friends had already decided on doing something with games with a former co-worker of his and he, happily, thought of me and asked me to join. I obviously jumped at the chance, what with the non-existent possibility for an academic career at the demolished Greek universities, and we set up the company. You know, to make games. Per chance to survive.As for the Droidscape: Basilica book, the aptly titled “Into The Basilica” pdf, it’s something I put together to introduce people to our forthcoming mobile game, that’s bound to come out sometime before Christmas. The book shows off some concept art, explains the setting of the TAL universe, introduces the artists working on the game and, well, shows off bits of Droidscape: Basilica itself. Yes, including one of the early models we’ll be using for the stop-motion animated bits of the game.
[Chris] Space Giraffe: Many retro fans will recognize the name Jeff Minter, but it is less likely that today’s generation of gamer would. Minter is a pretty household name for those of us who grew up in the 1980s, and enjoyed some of his classic Llamasoft creations like Tempest 2000 and Attack of the Mutant Camels. How did Space Giraffe become involved with the BIAB promotion, and what did it mean for you to get his support?
[Gnome] I was trying to think of something unique and deep space themed to get into the bundle. Something legendary perhaps and was going through tons of games and such sites as IndieDB or MobyGames when I took a break to play a remake of Tempest 2000. Space Giraffe simply seemed the obvious choice after a dozen levels, so I dropped Mr. Minter a line and he promptly agreed to having more people play Space Giraffe. It is a game he really (rightly too) loves.Also a game that has taken countless hours of my life.As for getting the great Jeff Minter to join Bundle In A Box… well, I was elated. The man is a legend; a ridiculously talented legend and I distinctly remember doing a little dance the moment I got his email saying ‘yes’.
[Gnome] First and foremost, Rob brought DRM to an otherwise DRM-free bundle. And a stunning exclusive game, that has already been loved by Joystiq and Rock Paper Shotgun, and grabbed itself an impressive 8/10 over at its EDGE review. An honour usually reserved for the likes of such classics as VVVVVV, Mass Effect 3 and System Shock 2.What’s more, Death Ray Manta is a brilliant arena shooter, with a silly sense of humour and some really pretty colours. Also, I do love the fact that it was created exclusively for Bundle In A Box. I had contacted Rob ages ago and he had been on it for months. Happily, the result is even better than I expected and Rob remains the kind and giving person we all know him to be.
[Gnome] Favourite part of the game, eh? Guess it will have to be those weird cell-shaded graphics and the fact that inertia plays a huge part in its space dogfights. The Wreckless plays a lot like a cross between Elite and TIE Fighter which is a very good thing indeed in my book.Discovered it via its Rock Paper Shotgun review too, mind, and immediately thought it would make for a great Deep Space addition. Happily Duct Tape Games were up to it.
[Gnome] You know me. I always love my adventure games and RPGs and Dark Scavenger was one of the oddest I had ever run into. It simply had to make it to the bundle, if only for the amazing hand-drawn graphics and its demented sense of humour. Also, firmly believed we needed something more text-heavy to balance all the action games on offer, so, uhm, no, not an accident really.Besides, Psydra had been kind enough to debut their Dark Scavenger Soundtrack exclusively through us, which was a lovely touch. And they are fantastic to work with too!
[Gnome] The fact that it’s a proper and properly remade Commodore 64 classic of course! Don’t think a retro remake had ever made it into a bundle before, and I do enjoy firsts. Remember that text-adventure in our first bundle?
[Gnome] Seems like every bundle needs a retro-esque platformer, a game that has just been released and a stunning 3D shooter. The fact that all three were such excellent games was quite the bonus
[Gnome] A toughie… Can’t say for sure, but I do know the Indie Dev Grant is something I (we, actually) want to strengthen and evolve. The bigger certain indies get, the greater the need to support struggling artists apparently. There are some ideas flying around, but no concrete plans have been made just yet.As for indie developers, it seems they are such a hugely varied bunch one can’t easily address them all. Some indies have grown big and powerful, others live in conditions of complete poverty and the overall economic crisis is making it tough for anyone who isn’t rich already.