Xbox Live Indie Games Archive


Microsoft takes more flak from indie community

Yet another indie developer has berated the design of the new Xbox Dashboard. Comments from Kris Steele, developer of Hypership Out of Control, echo those from a long line of indie developers who have expressed concern over the new dashboard, most of whom claim Microsoft has effectively "buried" Xbox Live Indie Games.

In a heated blog-post, Steele analysed sales data from two of his games available on XBLIG; Hypership Out of Control – released in 2010 – and its sequel, Hypership Still Out of Control – released January of this year with Microsoft's new dashboard in effect.

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XBLIG gets an upgrade

Hot on the heels of our report on the Indie Games marketplace, Microsoft has decided that it's high time to throw those guys a bone. In a post titled "Happy New Year, Xbox LIVE Indie Games!", the XNA Game Studio Team Blog has outlined some exciting changes have been made to the App Hub and Market. First of all, game package size is being bumped up from 150MB to 500MB, which is a massive increase. In addition, up until now games over 50MB had to cost at least 240 MSP. Now any game up to 150MB will be able to be priced at the low, low cost of 80 MSP. Finally, the number of titles that a single developer can put on the market has now jumped from 10 to 20.

The response on the forums from developers seems to be mixed. While some are excited by the increase in games allowed from a developer, others argue that this will just result in more shovelware. The general consensus seems to be that while these are positive changes, they are not the things that matter most to developers, such as online leaderboards. It'll be interesting to see what else changes in the coming year as more and more people discover the Indie Games Marketplace.

Source: XNA Game Studio Team Blog


The new Xbox dashboard and the indie games market

It's that time of the year again. The Fall 2011 Xbox Dashboard update has arrived and brought with it a slew of changes. Fans and detractors alike have turned out in force, clamoring to make their side of the argument the loudest, and therefore the best. No one is wrong. The Kinect integration is miles better than it was before but brought with it a somewhat clunky interface where unwelcome things are given the prized center panel, and the game you were hoping to play is a small box in the top left. Roaming profiles and cloud saving are so ridiculously awesome that you almost don't notice the weird lag that sometimes crops up when browsing through the menus. Almost. We could argue the pros and cons of the new dashboard all day, but eventually everyone will get used to the new way of doing things and forget about it.

One question, though, will continue to ring out long after all others have disappeared on the gently wafting winds of time. One question that's been around since the service launched: Why no love for the indie game market? Have the issues finally been answered in this update? Let's take a look and see for ourselves.

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XBLAFancast – Elfsquad7 Special

I recently had the chance to talk to Derek Paxton and Scott Tykoski from Stardock Entertainment. They joined me to talk about their recent and surprising Xbox Live Indie Game release, Elfsquad7. We talk a little about the unique situation of a well known PC developer like Stardock putting out an indie game as well as the process around Elfsquad7's creation and release.

Elfsquad7 is a Christmas themed co-op platformer, you can grab it on the Xbox Live Marketplace right now for 80 points.

Please subscribe, comment, review the podcast on iTunes and tell your friends! We appreciate it! Check us out on twitter (@XBLAFans) where you can win codes for games, give us feedback or just ask a question.

Big thanks again to Chris Green for the awesome theme music, be sure to check out his site BlurredEdge and why not follow him on twitter too@BlurredEdge.


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Hosted, produced & edited by:

Ross Adams (@randomlyrossy)

Special guests:

Derek Paxton

Scott Tykoski


T.E.C. 3001 review (XBLIG)

T.E.C. 3001 was developed and published by Phoenix Games. It was released on August 24, 2011 and retails for 240 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.

T.E.C. (Telsa Energy Collector) 3001 is a fast paced platformer, but unlike most T.E.C. 3001 is not a side-scroller of any sort. It is actually a fast paced, third-person running game where you must traverse different obstacle courses by dodging, sliding, or jumping. With the camera locked in the air behind you as you travel forward into the distance, T.E.C.3001 immediately sets itself up to look and feel different then everything else in its genre. Will this be enough to set it apart and stand out in one of the most crowded genres on any console?

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Interview with Alejandro Gonzalez of Milkstone Studios

Tell us a little bit about yourself/company/team?
We are an indie game development company created in Asturias, Spain, and have released many successful titles on Xbox Live Indie Games. Our games feature polished gameplay and high production values.

What made you decide to use the XBLIG platform for your game?
Our first game, Little Racers, was a hobby project that we did on our free time. We chose XBLIG because there were very few options to market an independent game on a non-mobile device and it was easier to develop on a closed platform as the Xbox 360. After the unexpected success of the game, we just kept releasing games on that platform. We've tried other platforms in the past, but there's no magical platform yet.

What was the biggest hurdle in getting this game finished?
Usually our biggest hurdle is to cut somewhere and polish everything. The only exception has been Raventhorne, were we had a tight deadline so we ended up cutting before we intended.

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Interview with James Petruzzi of Discord Games

Tell us a little bit about yourself/company/team?
Discord was formed in 2009 by life-long friends James Petruzzi and Tim Dodd. Our original intention was to kill time, and have fun creating stuff. At some point we realized we had a shot at doing something really cool and unique, so we put our heads down and started working on what was to become Take Arms.

What made you decide to use the XBLIG platform for your game?
I think both of us have always wanted a game on a console, and XBLIG is the easiest path to that. No publishing deals, devkits, etc. are needed. It’s an awesome platform, just a shame it isn’t a little better managed.

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Indie Games Summer Uprising

Indie Games Summer Uprising (IGSU) is here and in full swing. These are the eight games chosen out of 70 that entered, 2 of which you the fans selected. IGSU is a annual promotion to show you the abilities of Indie developers and how diverse the games can be. We here at XBLA Fans have always stood by the XBLIG games and believe that some of the best gems for the Xbox 360 can be found here.

It is because of this belief in the Indie developers that we have put together this piece showcasing all the stars of the IGSU so that you can see them for yourself. We have brought everything to you in just one simple article so nothing is more then a click away. You will find game descriptions, developer website links, download links (once released), review links (once completed), trailers and screenshots.

Make sure to check back with us every so often as we update the article with the rest of the download links (saving you the search) and so you can get our final verdicts on each game.
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Shield the *price dropped* Beat

Shield the Beat developer MBrio tipped us with exciting news: the game now rings in at a modest 240 MSP. It's a permanent drop from 400 MSP and a heckuva deal–the music alone is worth the price, but the gameplay is solid as well. Be sure to check out our review for a better look at the game, then download the trial for yourself.


XBLIG dev releases games on Steam, sales higher in one week than a year on XBLIG

Cthulhu Saves the World and Breath of Death VII developer Zeboyd Games seems fed up with Xbox Live Indie Games. They've been pushed around by the College Lacrosse 11 fans and just generally were unimpressed with their sales. In their frustration they decided to bring their titles to PC via Steam. A post on their official site revealed all. "We are pleased to announce that Zeboyd Games has already made more revenue in less than a week on Steam than we have in over a year and a half on the XBox Live Indie Games service."

So have they jumped ship? Could they possibly be enjoying success on Steam due to all the media coverage they've been getting? Who knows for sure. All we know is that we hope they don't forget us console gamers. Still, no matter what happens we wish them the best.

Source: Zeboyd Games – Revenue, Zeboyd Games – Success via Joystiq

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