Gridrunner Revolution is out.

Jeff Minter’s new game, Gridrunner Revolution, is now available on the PC.

It’s an interesting game with a lot of subtlety that I have yet to absorb. Subtlety aside, though, this game has nailed the kind of pure, insane quantity Galaga Legions wanted to provide but didn’t know how.

If you’re following this blog because you’re interested in art games, be aware that this is a game about shooting things in outer space — bursting with its author’s trademark style.

Here’s a link to the demo. And here are some videos to illustrate:





Now Hiring a Programmer.

I’m hiring a programmer to work on the next game, The Witness.

Work for a well-funded small team and have a large impact on the quality and feel of the final game. A good candidate will be very strong in one or more of the following areas:

  • 3D engine design and shader programming
  • Dealing with various console platforms (for example, the Xbox 360, PS3 or Wii)
  • Tools programming (whether in-game tools, plugins for 3D modeling programs, or what have you).

The game is in C++. Please be qualified. Prior game development experience is a must. (That experience could be on your own project, but if so it ought to be an impressive project).

If you’re interested in the job, drop me a line at: jon at number-none.com.

Game Recommendation: Osmos

Those who follow this blog know that I don’t recommend games very often. So you know that when I do, I really mean it.

So if you haven’t played Osmos (by Hemisphere Games), do yourself a favor and go try it out. There’s a free demo; the game is available on Steam as well as the developer’s own site.


Osmos Trailer on Vimeo.

Relatively speaking, a lot of independent game designers are trying to be experimental these days, and the problem I see with most of these games is that they don’t understand their own ideas — after playing, one feels that there was a lot of potential in the ideas that went unexplored, that the game never saw in the first place.

Osmos isn’t like that. It starts with an idea that several games have done before: you’re a cell and you eat guys that are smaller than you in order to get bigger. To this it adds the idea that makes the game stand out: This game is going to generally adhere to the nature and feel of physics in space; for example, momentum is conserved, so you need to eject your own mass in order to move. The game then explores the consequences of these ideas and ventures through a rich territory of additions that are all naturally suggested by the game’s premise.

The result, by the time you’ve finished, is not merely a satisfying game. It rings with that faint and distant sound of truth: because the game is based around laws of physics, it immerses you in these and you learn something about them. Perhaps not anything you didn’t already know in an abstract intellectual way, if you took physics classes in school; but here, you get a feel for them, so they become more real, more tangible. This game can change your perspective.

There’s a big indie game sale on Steam.





The Steam page says it all with nice big pictures.

Ron Carmel (of World of Goo) and I picked the games for these bundles. We wanted the bundles to contain only games that exemplify the indie spirit and that feel unique to play — all these games have a certain je ne sais quoi.

Here are the two bundles:

For $19.95: Braid, World of Goo, The Path, Everyday Shooter, Blueberry Garden (full value of these games is $60).

For $29.95: Braid, World of Goo, The Path, Everyday Shooter, Blueberry Garden, Gish, AudioSurf, Darwinia, Mr. Robot, Crayon Physics Deluxe (full value of these games is $120.)

So, there you have it. You can get $120 worth of independent games for $29.95 — that’s 75% off. If you want to introduce a friend to independent gaming on the PC, these are the games to refer them to. If you are interested in independent games but don’t know where to start, this is the pack to buy.

And again… here’s the Steam page where you can see more details, buy the games, and know that you are supporting all these independent developers, helping them to make more games in the future.

Hiring: Lead Artist (3D)

Work with a small team on a puzzle-exploration game that is philosophical, and quiet, and is being made for reasons other than crass profit motive. Run by the designer/programmer of the critically-acclaimed game Braid, the team is fully-funded and pay is high.

This game places a heavy emphasis on the way things look, and will be a refreshing project for those who value nuance.

Candidates who can work full-time in San Francisco are strongly preferred, but if your personal style is the right thing for the game, exceptions can be made.

Duties:

  • During pre-production, design and model model prototype versions of environments and objects so we can try them in-game and put together a well-functioning game world full of unique locations.
  • During production, interview to hire 2 additional highly-skilled 3D artists who you will lead to design and build the final version of the game world.
  • Iterate on environment designs, modifying them to improve gameplay and thematic effectiveness.
  • Job duration: An estimated 2-year development cycle; possibility of a permanent position.

    The ideal candidate understands the subtleties of storytelling via environmental cues and has a good feel for the use of color and lighting.

    Please have a good portfolio. The ideal portfolio would include both indoor and outdoor 3D environments as well as everyday objects. Please no monsters or weapon models. Thanks.

    To apply, send email to jon [at] number-none.com.

    Hiring: 3D Environment Concept Artist

    Work with a small team on a puzzle-exploration game that is philosophical, and quiet, and is being made for reasons other than crass profit motive. Because the team is small, your work will be a large influence on the look of the final game. The team is run by the designer/programmer of the critically-acclaimed game Braid; the team is fully-funded and pay is high.

    Remote work is a possibility, but the ability to meet regularly in San Francisco is preferred.

    Duties:

    • Help determine the visual style and tone of the game.
    • Sketch locations to help determine spatial relationships among objects in a scene.
    • For each major location in the game, working with the designer, iterate from the sketches through full-color concepts, so that at the end we have a clear picture of how color and shape will interplay in each scene.

    Job duration: An estimated 6 months of full-time work, with light work available afterward through the conclusion of the project.

    The ideal candidate understands the nuances of storytelling via environmental cues and has a good feel for the use of color and lighting.

    Please have a convincing portfolio, good traditional art skills and the ability to self-direct, working without micromanagement.

    The majority of the portfolio should consist of things absent from the following list: Girls With Big Tits; Barbarians Wielding Axes, Covered in Blood; Aliens; Space Ships; Gangsters Getting Shot in the Face; Orcs; Giant Robots; and, of course, Postapocalyptic Wastelands.

    To apply, send email to jon [at] number-none.com.