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Edmund McMillen

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Something is happening. I’ve noticed it, you may have noticed it, and it’s probably no surprise to anyone who’s ever bought an “indie” record. The corporations with a finger in this delicious pie we call the games industry have been watching what’s happened, too. They’ve been watching the achievements of the likes of Jonathan Blow, 2Dboy, Notch/Mojang and other countless successful indie developers. Now, they’re changing the way the operate. And that is in turn changing how indies operate. Indie gaming will never be the same again. Is this a bad thing?

We talked to Double Fine, Positech, Klei and others to find out. (more…)

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Super Meat Boy The Game.pngTommy Refenes and Edmund McMillen took to their Super Meat Boy blog to share more details about their upcoming mobile version of Super Meat Boy. The team admits on its blog there's no good way to port Super Meat Boy as it exists as a twitchy platformer to mobile devices "without the game becoming a pile of garbage." So, they decided to remake the whole game from the ground up.

The blog states this will be a "touch-controlled platformer specifically designed for Touch devices," while avoiding cluttering the screen with virtual controls. On Refenes' Twitter account, he states the team is considering iOS and Android builds for touch phones and pads.

Sure, all this news posted on April 1. But this is not the first time the team shared news on this hallowed day. On April Fools' Day in 2010, Team Meat legitimately announced including Ogmo from Matt Thornson's Jumper series in Super Meat Boy.

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Before the showing started, the screening room was a bustle of activity, with attendees shaking hands and hugging colleagues they might not have seen since the last Game Developers Conference. Looking around, it was easy to spot developers handing around laptops, mobile phones, and tablets to show off the latest build of some pet project, or simply burying their heads in their own computers and using the preshow time to tweak some code. Sitting in the audience, you could overhear snippets of conversations on everything from implementing Web sockets in online games to the frustrations of finding every last Figment in Psychonauts.

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People have differing ideas on the subject of piracy, but most would never step over the line and support it. Someone who advocates piracy is labelled devil spawn, promptly whipped and then lemon juice squeezed into the sores. In short, it's the internet's most heathen of crimes. If you were to tune into the chatter in the indie game scene right now though, what you may hear is a radically different viewpoint. Pirate radio, if you will.

It's more than hot air, too; actions are being made in an attempt to tap into the benefits of piracy. You will more than likely know the two highest profile contributors to the argument: Edmund McMillen and Markus 'Notch' Persson, both of whom have stood against the grain for years now but more recently told followers on Twitter to pirate their games when they could not or would not pay the asking price for them.

Predictably, there has been a backlash to this carefree outlook on piracy, with a few heated debates erupting between developers. The question is whether there is actually any worth in encouraging piracy for a small profit-driven developer. Instinct tells us not, but there is evidence that suggests otherwise.

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Edmund McMillen is one of the most popular indie game designers of the past 5 years from his early award-winning work on Gish, through the mega-popular Super Meat Boy. In this article he explores game design and provides insight for new and aspiring devs.

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igtm.jpgAmid the Sundance Festival thrills and sensations, rumors surfaced today that Indie Game: The Movie (IGTM) was going to be made into a half-hour comedy series on HBO. There's a bit of truth to that, shares Blinkworks Media's James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot on IGTM's Facebook page: "HBO has optioned IGTM for the basis of a (fictional) series."

However, they reassure everyone that it will not be a comedy, nor will it be a sitcom. "The information came out and someone filled in a blank, and this is why: The (potential) show is being developed within the 1/2 hour department within HBO. We are told that 1/2 hr department is often shorthanded 'comedy department'. Full hour dept = 'drama department'. That is the basis of the 'Comedy' label."

The IGTM show is being produced by Scott Rudin, who has produced 'The Social Network', 'True Grit', 'Moneyball', and 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'. I imagine these talks were in the works prior to Sundance. To give a taste of the recent buzz IGTM has been getting, Entertainment Weekly ranked it #9 in the top 12 must-see movies at Sundance 2012.

Man, these two filmmakers are truly indie superstars! For fun, anyone well versed in Hollywood and TV trivia, let me hear in the comments who'd play a good Phil Fish, Edmund McMillen, Tommy Refenes, and Jonathan Blow.

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Protekor is a score-based arcade game that is best played with a trackball, although both trackpad and traditional mouse input are also supported. You control the line that races around a transparent globe, tasked with crashing into invading enemy crystals to destroy them before they drain away all of the energy from the planet's core. The core also gains a bit of energy back whenever you smash an enemy crystal into pieces.

Linking same-coloured crystals increase your attack power and energy gain bonus, while connecting crystals of different colours generate a seeking attack to help you fend off the invaders. The game will only end if the core loses all of its energy.

Protekor is available to play at this page.

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Today's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, and the usual round-up of interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source).

Ludum Dare: Donations and Finances
"Ludum Dare is run and supported by the community. If you'd like to help out, you can make a Paypal donation here. It's important to us that Ludum Dare stay free for all. If you'd like to help us out though, it would be much appreciated."

Gamasutra: Is XBLA Past Its Prime?
"In this opinion piece,2D Boy's Ron Carmel examines the health of Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade marketplace, and what can be done to make it more useful for developers and players."

Giant Bomb: PAX Prime 2011, The PAX 10 (video)
"The PAX 10 is a showcase of independent games held annually at the Penny Arcade Expo. The ten are selected by Penny Arcade staff and a panel of industry professionals. Did you miss this year's PAX Prime? We gather all of this year's greatest indie hits in one video."

Joystiq: Indievania doesn't want your dirty, stinkin' money
"Indie-game developer Lee Vermeulen began Indievania with a dream and a 9 percent rate for hosting indie games -- now his dream is coming true, the 9 percent rate has transformed to 0 percent. Indievania doesn't keep any of the money developers charge for their games, which is exactly how Vermeulen wanted his site to operate."

DIYgamer: Eufloria PSN, Incredipede, Reflow at SOWN 2011
"These three games featured today all celebrate life in a special way. DIYGamer has covered them all in some form, however, it's intriguing to see the games in motion and hear the developers' thoughts behind them."

DIYgamer: Colin Northway Talks Incredipede, Part 2
"Not only does Colin Northway make wow-worthy games such as Fantastic Contraption, he lives a life most of us only dare to dream. He's presently travelling the world with his wife Sarah, gathering inspiration for the current life-like physics puzzler Incredipede."

Just Press Start: Edmund McMillen Interview (audio)
"We are joined by Edmund McMillen, on the eve of the release of his new game, The Binding of Isaac. Jeff and I ask many questions about his new game. We end up getting a wealth of knowledge about how emotionally draining it can be before one of these developers launches a game."

PlayStation Blog: Sideway New York
"At last week's Fantastic Fest in Austin, I caught up with Scott Simpson, director of Canadian developing studio Playbrains. While he's answered most of the questions out there, Sideway still holds few more details yet to be revealed. I recorded our conversation as we played through some of the game's early levels."

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Today's collection of independent game links includes more indie game previews, a couple of development updates, and the usual round-up of interviews with developers from around the 'net. (image source).

Edge Magazine: Jonathan Blow interview
"We like the 360 and PS3, but their specifications are over five years old now, and that's a lot in computer years. The budget of The Witness we would hope to make back through Steam and iOS, plus I would like to make a profit. But breaking even is most important as it allows me to keep making games, and I can do that without consoles."

Zachtronics Industries: Coming soon... SpaceChem on the iPad
"It's taken more work than I anticipated, but I'm happy to announce that SpaceChem Mobile will be available on the Apple App Store for the iPad on October 1st."

MacLife: Vlambeer Details Game Cloning Saga in Fantastic Arcade Panel
"Rami Ismail and Jan Willem Nijman took the stage for nearly an hour at Fantastic Arcade to discuss the heartbreak that followed when Gamenauts used the core game design from Radical Fishing to create App Store hit Ninja Fishing."

Indie Games Channel: Davey Wreden on The Stanley Parable and the remake
"I recently had a chance to ask Wreden some questions about his gaming influences, developing The Stanley Parable (and the upcoming remake), the experience of becoming an overnight internet sensation among hardcore gamers, and what's in store for the future."

DualShockers: Edmund McMillen Talks The Binding of Isaac
"The Binding of Isaac certainly looks fantastic, but is it really going to make any money or appeal to the public, especially considering its severely niche appeal? I asked Edmund McMillen to find out."

GameSplash: Edmund McMillen Interview (audio)
"In this episode of the SplashCast, we welcome special guest and one half of Team Meat, Edmund McMillen. Edmund discusses everything from the future of Meat Boy, to his journey from artist to indie game developer, to his new roguelike The Binding of Isaac."

TruePCGaming: Really Big Sky Interview
"James and Alex from Boss Baddie had a few moments to spare with us and agreed to do an e-mail interview about their indie hit, Really Big Sky. They speak on many topics including DRM, piracy, life an indie dev and how Really Big Sky came to be."

DIYgamer: Alan Hazelden Interview
"At Eurogamer Expo 2011, I borrowed developer Alan Hazelden, creator of These Robotic Hearts Of Mine, away from the Indie Arcade, so I could prod his brain about what's going on in his delightful, strange, abstract puzzle game."

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