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A conclusion to a series of posts on Driver: San Francisco waxing poetic on the firm foundation of play feel the game's deeper elements are built upon.

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dlc quest.jpg[Written by Mike Rose on Gamasutra.]

A couple of Xbox Live Indie Games developers have seen notable increases in sales of their games, due to two separate forms of cross-platform and cross-game advertising.

Going Loud Studios founder Ben Kane revealed that, since being a part of Gamasutra sister website Indie Royale over the weekend, with a PC version of his games DLC Quest and Lair of the Evildoer available via the latest bundle, sales of the Xbox version of DLC Quest have quadrupled.

DLC Quest had sold 134 copies on XBLIG the weekend before the Indie Royale bundle -- however, during the bundle this past weekend, the XBLIG version saw 506 sales in total. The game has been available via XBLIG for around four months.

"To move over 500 copies this past weekend on Xbox is nuts," he said. "It also has a pretty big implication -- you can do cross-platform advertising or word of mouth and have an effect on 360 sales."

He continued, "There's sort of been this age old wisdom that you can't really successfully advertise for XBLIG on PC or mobile, because there's just too much of a gap between looking at something on your PC, and then going and playing it on your Xbox."

However, he says that this past weekend has shown him that "at least to a certain extent, it can be done."

Elsewhere, the developer behind Minecraft-inspired XBLIG hit FortressCraft revealed via Twitter that another of its XBLIG games, Steam Heroes, has sold more than 10 times as many copies as it had previously, simply by offering an unlockable item for FortressCraft when you buy it.

Back in October, the company added a special in-game item for FortressCraft, that is unlocked by purchasing Steam Heroes. Sales of the game immediately rocketed following the inclusion, with 10 times as many people buying the game over the next couple of months than had purchased it over the 12 months prior to that.

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Between all the scheduled panels, meetings, and game demonstrations, covering a gathering like the Game Developers Conference can sometimes feel a bit too predictable. Thank God, then, for scenes like the one above, in which two "protesters" threw a bit of unpredictability into the proceedings by noisily decrying a focus on marketing and monetization that they say is holding the game industry back.

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A week or so ago I shared a couple of trailers for my friend Niko‘s upcoming TOKYO X CREATIVES video series, and here’s a third trailer, this time for the episode that will feature the gaming/clothing shop Meteor, located in Kichijoji. Niko did a presentation on the project at last week’s PechaKucha Night Vol. 89, and it should be up on the PK site within a week or two.

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Futurlab's PlayStation Mini Velocity wants to add some teleportation to the shmup genre, and the trailer suggests it makes for an exciting experience. With so much of the thrill of modern shmups being dodging, fitting teleportation into the typical shmup design seems challenging.

Futurlab's James Marsden tells IndieGames that it was tough to balance the gameplay around the teleport mechanic. "I don't think it's hype to say we've had to redesign what a shootemup is. We've changed the emphasis from being able to get through a level at all, to being able to perfect a level, and the inclusion of the scroll-speed control acts like a Flow-State pedal."

The game becomes more challenging when moving faster, so players can learn a level without using much of their scroll boost, and then the better they get at it, and the closer they get to the perfect medal, the more they use the scroll boost. "The game at its most impressive sees a player masterfully pumping the gas at the right times to fling bombs at targets at just the right moment, teleporting into the middle of alien waves to get the best bullet coverage and bomb fling accuracy," Marsden shares.

He adds that he finds dodging in a typical shooter to be dull. He says Velocity is a much richer gameplay experience "because a player has to keep their attention on more interesting gameplay challenges - like how fast they managed to take the last corner and how accurately they teleported /into/ a group of enemies to take them out with well aimed bomb flings in each direction." Once players can rescue all survivors and kill everything in a level, and do it quickly, they get a perfect gold medal.

Velocity is developed as a PSP-mini and runs on PS3 and PS Vita in an emulator. "In the case of the Vita, it is a perfect 1 to 4 pixel ratio, so Velocity looks great on Vita, and not quite so great on PS3," describes Marsden.

The release date is up to Sony, says Marsden. "We do know that it's likely to be in middle of March in EU, and most likely May 1st in US. We tried very hard to syncronise the release dates across territories but it has been difficult to manage with just the two of us!"

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Rockstar San Diego is the developer of the multi-million selling blockbuster Red Dead Redemption as well as other highly acclaimed hits such as the Midnight Club series, Red Dead Revolver, & Table Tennis. We're seeking a tools programmer responsible for developing art and design content creation pipelines.

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Rockstar San Diego is looking for a talented gameplay programmer to join our award winning team of developers. Prospective candidates need to the ready for the challenges posed by large scale open worlds with complex AI and physics. General programming skills are a must, and knowledge of animation, camera, AI and physics problems and solutions gain bonus points. Attention to detail and an innate feeling for what makes good gameplay are essential to fulfill our requirements here!

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