Double Fine has made a name for itself on Xbox Live Arcade through popular titles Costume Quest, Stacking, Iron Brigade and, most recently, Happy Action Theater, but in the midst of crowd-sourcing nearly $2 million dollars, Double Fine man Tim Schafer has opined over Microsoft’s burgeoning (or is it?) digital platform.
“Ever since I played Geometry Wars I thought, what a great new portal,” the developer said in an interview with Hookshot Inc., “But it seems that this year, the idea didn’t explode like it should have. Back when Castle Crashers came out, it seemed it was going to grow and grow. I just wish there was more support, more marketing, more placement on the dashboard. It could have been our own little Sundance Film festival, a great sandbox for indie development.”
A theme within the gaming industry this generation has been the expansion of who plays video games. Console makers have been looking to draw in a new audience by making games easier to approach and simpler to play. Motion sensors and touch screens are just two of the things we’ve seen this generation that are making it easier for your mom, dad, and little sister to pick up and play video games. But look a bit deeper and you’ll see a trend when it comes to the games themselves as well, and Xbox Live Arcade has something to do with it.
First off, I would like to say that I do play an occasional retail game. It’s very rare, but I do buy retail discs. Usually it is a budget title though. In 2010, I bought three retail games and only one game (UFC Undisputed 2010) was $60. The other two titles I picked up were Deathsmiles and 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa both at $20. My other gaming purchases totaled anywhere from 30-40 Xbox Live Indie Games titles, 40-50 Xbox Live Arcade titles and 30-40 Steam titles. The downloadable platform is clearly my venue of choice for many reasons.
Indie games often get a bad reputation; they’re viewed as poorly designed, as clones of existing games, or both. The Indie Games section of the Xbox 360 dashboard has plenty of twin stick shooters and role playing games. What they don’t have a lot of are 2.5D motorcycle games, and that’s where Toy Stunt Bike excels.
Most XBLA enthusiasts have heard about the game ilomilo. It’s puzzle game that looks very promising. But what if I told you that you could stop looking and actually play it right now? You would probably jump at the opportunity, right? I know I did, and here is the scoop on this secret launch.
Since the Xbox 360’s launch in November 2005, the Xbox Live Arcade has been a driving force in the console’s success. With a library of hundreds of games ranging from casual puzzle games to ports and remastered classics, and from unheard of indie gems to groundbreaking milestones in gaming, the XBLA has become an important place for any type of game to succeed and find an audience.