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About GameSetWatch

GameSetWatch.com is the alt.video game weblog and sister site of Gamasutra.com. It is dedicated to collecting curious links and media for offbeat and oft-ignored games from consoles old and new, as well as from the digital download, iOS, and indie spaces.

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Archive For May, 2010

Nine Minutes Of Easy Listening With Chill SQ Trailer

May 27, 2010 10:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Square Enix posted this lengthy promotional video for Chill SQ, its upcoming seven-track album of Easy Listening-style arrangements for songs from the publisher's popular series like Final Fantasy, Front Mission, Seiken Densetsu/Mana, Live A Live, and SaGa.

The mellow remix CD is a follow-up to last November's Love SQ CD and will include contributions from composers like Hidefumi Kenmochi, Hiroto Uyama, Mitsuto Suzuki, okadada, RE:NDZ, Q;indivi and Akira Kosemura, according to a report from GSW contributor Jeriaska.

Chill SQ released in Japan yesterday, and its already available on iTunes' U.S. shop for just $6.93 (or $0.99 per track)!

Spectre Remake Hits iPhone With Online Play, 3D

May 27, 2010 8:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Brilliant Bytes Software has put out an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad revamp of early '90s, multiplayer tank-battling game Spectre, adding a bevy of new features and enhancements. The release, which now supports a 3D anaglyph option (3D glasses sold separately, of course), includes levels from both Spectre Classic and Spectre VR Mac/Windows games.

Along with its local multiplayer battles via Bluetooth, this edition of Spectre lets you play against up to 16 friends online in team-based and free-for-all matches. You can configure and customize your online games (e.g. setting time or match point limits per round), and also assign AI Cyberbots as allies/opponents.

You can purchase the Spectre remake from the App Store right now for $4.99. Check past the post break for more screenshots of the 3D virtual tank game.

GDC Online Awards To Honor Best Social Games, F2P, MMO Titles

May 27, 2010 7:00 AM | Simon Carless

[We're announcing a new awards ceremony - a sister one to the big San Francisco Game Developers Choice Awards - which is entirely focused on the social games, F2P, and MMO space, and will be awarded at GDC Online this October - info below.]

Organizers of this October's GDC Online conference (formerly known as GDC Austin) have announced that they will host the first annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards, to recognize the rich history, technical excellence, and continued innovation in the arena of online games.

The new awards ceremony will honor the accomplishments of the sometimes overlooked creators and operators of persistent online video games – from large-scale MMOs through free-to-play titles to social network games. The awards span excellence in live services, technology, game updates, online game design, and more.

In addition, two special awards will honor outstanding individuals and games in the space, with the Online Game Legend Award being given to a person who’s changed the world of online games forever, and one particular all-time classic online game being inducted into the GDC Online Awards’ Hall Of Fame.

After award finalists are announced, the worldwide community of online game players will also have the opportunity to designate their favorite online game in the Audience Award category.

Nominations are now open, and game professionals with free Gamasutra.com user accounts can put forward their favorite online games for the awards. The GDC Online Awards are a sister event to the Game Developers Choice Awards which take place at GDC San Francisco every year.

The award categories and this year’s Special Award winners will be determined by the GDC Online Advisory Board. This group includes notables like BioWare Austin’s Gordon Walton, Metaplace’s Raph Koster, Playfish’s Sebastien De Halleux, and Nexon’s Min Kim.

Winners for the Game Developers Choice Online Awards will be selected by a specially selected subset of the International Choice Awards Network (ICAN). This is the same group of over 500 handpicked leading industry creators that pick the Game Developers Choice Awards winners at GDC in San Francisco every year.

The full list of categories for the first annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards (part of the UBM Techweb Game Network, as is this website) include:

Hello Games Demonstrate An 'Evil Level' With Joe Danger's Sandbox

May 27, 2010 6:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Indie developer Hello Games posted two new gameplay videos from 2010 IGF Finalist and PSN exclusive Joe Danger, showing the team experimenting with the stunt racing game. Here, you can see the studio's Sean Murray creating an "evil level" with the game's Sandbox mode, then passing the controller to co-worker Dave Ream to complete the challenge without blowing up/impaling himself on spikes.

After the break, I've embedded another Joe Danger video of Sean trying to complete a hectic "Coin Dash" stage, dodging obstacles, ducking under barriers, and zooming off ramps. I've also included a time-lapse clip Hello Games recently posted of its four-man team working a 22-hour shift to meet an approaching deadline, just so you can see that they're actually working on the game and not just playing it all day.

Best Of Indie Games: Swept Off Your Feet

May 27, 2010 12:00 AM | Tim W.

[Every week, IndieGames.com: The Weblog co-editor Tim W. will be summing up some of the top free-to-download and commercial indie games from the last seven days on his sister 'state of indie' weblog.]

This week on 'Best Of Indie Games', we take a look at some of the top independent PC Flash/downloadable titles released over this last week.

The goodies in this edition include a unique Minesweeper remake with RPG elements, a pair of 2D platformers, a space trading game, a new release from IGF award winner Erik Svedäng, and a stealth game created by a group of Digipen students.

Here's the highlights from the last seven days:

Game Pick: 'Mamono Sweeper' (Hojamaka Games, browser)
"Mamono Sweeper is a unique take on the classic Minesweeper game, where mines are replaced with monsters and you have RPG-like character stats to keep track of. You gain experience points by defeating monsters, although players will start to receive damage if they take on an enemy that is of a higher level than them."

Game Pick: 'Orton and the Princess' (Chman, browser)
"Orton and the Princess is a Flixel-based 2D platformer that features eighteen levels in total, where players are in control of a square-shaped hero on a quest to rescue the princess referenced by the title. The game was designed to be challenging and frustrating, although the difficulty doesn't quite reach the heights of Jumper and Meat Boy."

Game Pick: 'Kometen' (Erik Svedäng and Niklas Åkerblad, commercial indie)
"Kometen is a gorgeous exploration experience developed by Erik Svedäng, developer of the IGF-winning Blueberry Garden. Filled with beautiful watercolour art by Niklas Åkerblad, there is no real goal as such - the idea is to shoot around the universe discovering planets and seeing the sights."

Game Pick: 'Subsonic' (Team Height Advantage, freeware)
"Subsonic is a 2D stealth game in which you play as a test subject for Subsonic Inc., an organization that deals with the research of high-tech equipment and top secret technology. Each level is populated by guards who will attempt to apprehend you on sight, although they tend to give up the chase easily when you quickly find cover behind a wall or crawl into an air duct for safety."

Game Pick: 'Voyager' (Big Block Games, browser)
"Voyager is a space trading game in which you play as the pilot of a spacecraft, transporting goods for a quick profit and earning the experience needed to access other planets around the system you're in. At each port you're usually given the options of trading at the commodities market, installing new weapons or ship parts, and even talk to patrons at the local watering hole if you so desire."

Game Pick: 'FiNCK' (Nifflas, freeware)
"In Nifflas' 2D platformer FiNCK (short for Fire Nuclear Crocodile Killer), you play an unnamed protagonist who has the ability to pick up blocks and enemies to use for solving puzzles. There are five areas to explore in total, with additional challenges presented in the form of coins that you can choose to collect or ignore."

Kometen iPhone Backgrounds, Contest

May 26, 2010 6:00 PM | Eric Caoili

If it pains you to look at anything else on your iPhone other the beautiful artwork from Erik Svedäng and Niklas Åkerblad's universe-exploring game Kometen, you can decorate your mobile device with these two new backgrounds showing off its logo and one-eyed comet hero.

Svedäng, who took home the 2009 Independent Games Festival grand prize award for Blueberry Garden, has also teased an upcoming update for the game. While he hasn't revealed any details for that release, he announced a contest inviting artists to contribute to Kometen.

All you need to do is sketch an object that you think would be interesting for a wandering comet to find while shooting through space. Svedäng and Åkerblad will review all the submitted images and pick five objects to turn into watercolor space debris and add to the next version of Kometen.

The competition ends at midnight tonight, though, so get drawing!

Moon Taxi Flies You To The Moon With A Story

May 26, 2010 4:00 PM | Eric Caoili

Moon Taxi's game mechanics are simple, but the concept is fantastic: You're piloting a space taxi ferrying passengers to the moon while dodging asteroids. With each trip, you're rider tells you a story, and words from that story appear on the screen. You can drive into those words to earn points and unlock more short stories.

Developer Popcannibal admits, "The focus is on the stories, and the game is just accompaniment. It sets the mood." Moon Taxi is really meant to showcase short science fiction stories. Most of the taled featured in the first volume of Moon Taxi, which released on Xbox Live Indie Games earlier this month, are supplied by the game's community.

The Moon Taxi site encourages gamers to submit all kinds of stories told by passengers during their trip: "This leaves a lot open: Noir monologues. Musical duets. Beatnik poetry. What year is it? What's on the moon? How much is the fare? Is this the future? What do people put on their sandwiches in the future? Where did the taxi pick up? Space mustaches!"

You can download a free Moon Taxi trial or buy the game for 240 Microsoft Points here.

Sound Current: 'The One-Two Follow-Through: A Super Street Fighter IV Audio Interview'

May 26, 2010 2:00 PM | jeriaska

[Continuing his 'Sound Current' series for GameSetWatch, writer Jeriaska catches up with the duo behind Capcom's just-debuted Super Street Fighter IV, discussing the creation of the stylish updated fighting game's soundtrack.]

Sound director and designer Masayuki Endou and in-house Capcom composer Hideyuki Fukasawa joined us in 2009 for a discussion of their ongoing collaborations on video game audio, titled "The One-Two Punch of Street Fighter IV's Audio."

The conversation centered on approaches to pairing sound effects with compositions, writing original tracks that complement the imaginative international locales of the popular fighting game, and arranging classic themes written by Yoko Shimomura and other artists.

In this follow-up interview, the two audio designers offer insights into the making of Capcom's Super Street Fighter IV. From generating the noises of Hakan's slippery special moves, to the identity of the uncredited guest vocalist on the Tokyo Overpass stage, the sound team reveals that numerous secrets underlie the Street Fighter audio recipe.

Analysis: Why Alan Wake Is Too Well-Made To Work

May 26, 2010 12:00 PM | Simon Carless

[Could Remedy actually have harmed Alan Wake's fear factor by... developing it too correctly? Gamasutra's Leigh Alexander looks at why it's not that scary, and where design best practices fail the horror genre.]

What truly scares us? Uncertainty, desperation, feeling lost in the darkness, a sense of lurking threat, or a sudden moment of immediate danger. And these are elements that can't feel deliberate or engineered -- they should be organic, personal and spontaneous.

It's because of all of this that Remedy's Alan Wake isn't all that scary. Sure, it has its moments -- the fluid, shadowy enemy bodies are completely creeptastic, and when one suddenly hits Alan with a projectile, making his vision go red, it can be arresting.

Alan Wake is a game whose overall sum is actually harmed by how well-made are its parts. It sounds counterintuitive, but bear with me.

Hudson Unveils Fishing Master For Rehab Patients

May 26, 2010 10:00 AM | Eric Caoili

Hudson Entertainment and Sapporo Medical University are showing off a version of the Japanese game developer's Fishing Master adapted specifically for patients with cerebrovascular disorders and/or those seeking rehabilitation after a hemiplegic stroke.

The developer has rigged the game to work with Kinestage, a device that features a special joystick controller (you can use the controller with even your feet) and hooks into a laptop playing/displaying the game. SMU's associate professor of Physical Therapy Kaneko Wencheng helped create the equipment based on research findings and studies on rehabilitation haptic devices.

The university and Hudson believe that with guidance from physical therapists, the device can be incorporated into typically monotonous rehabilitation programs to offer a more fun experience. If you'd like to try out the game yourself, you can play the Wii version of Fishing Master, which released in the States in 2007 and uses the Wii Remote/Nunchuk for catching different types of fish.

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