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Indie Music Devs Band Together with Deals on Synths, Effects, Tools, through 5/23

Game makers and (particularly Mac) utility developers have joined forces to do various bundles of their software. I have to say, I generally like the model – particularly the fantastic Humble Bundle of indie games. That collection not only encouraged people to try adventurous (often experimental) independent game titles, but gives some of the proceeds to relevant charities. Linux users have been buying up the bundles disproportionately, contrary to the idea that they won’t spend money on software, and some of the developers even set a goal to earn enough money to open source their tools. (The open source software …

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Inside Handheld Game Art: The Art Style and Making of Swords & Sworcery, Superbrothers Pixel Cinema

Visualist? VJ? Live cinema? Here’s a new one for you: Input Output Cinema. And while IO Cinema has already found a niche in the indie Toronto scene as “an ambiguously pluralized and irritatingly cryptic audiovisual art and design organization,” it now has its first blockbuster game. Superbrothers: Swords & Sworcery EP on the iPad is big – Angry Birds big, only with, erm, a very different visual sense. That’s before an imminent release for the iPod touch and iPhone has even come to fruition, sure to open it up to even more casual gamers. (I can’t wait to see it …

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Inside Handheld Game Art: The Art Style and Making of Swords & Sworcery, Superbrothers Pixel Cinema

Visualist? VJ? Live cinema? Here’s a new one for you: Input Output Cinema. And while IO Cinema has already found a niche in the indie Toronto scene as “an ambiguously pluralized and irritatingly cryptic audiovisual art and design organization,” it now has its first blockbuster game. Superbrothers: Swords & Sworcery EP on the iPad is big – Angry Birds big, only with, erm, a very different visual sense. That’s before an imminent release for the iPod touch and iPhone has even come to fruition, sure to open it up to even more casual gamers. (I can’t wait to see it …

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Hawken, Upcoming Indie Mech Game, Stuns Eyeballs; Learns Lessons from Model Kit Building and Kitbash

The craft of photorealistic gaming has risen to astounding heights, but look-alike art direction can overshadow its technical achievement. Not so with an extraordinary-looking indie title called Hawken. The mech combat first-person shooter, built in the Unreal Engine, is crafted in a way that speaks to the possibilities of digital technique to spin imaginary worlds, and to build integrated aesthetics. As Technical Lead Jon Kreuzer told PC Gamer, the nine-person LA studio reused components to construct the world of the game: “Many parts of the levels are created by combining re-usable building blocks into unique structures, which can allow new …

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An Alphabet of Abstract Animation: 26 Short Films by Mirai Mizue

For the past 26 days, an animation a day has appeared in my inbox, as animator Mirai Mizue has uploaded a short animation every day through the path of the alphabet. The works are musical animated poems of sorts, brilliant expressions of the connection between motion and sound, music and movement. A brief bio: Mirai Mizue is a representative figure of the new generation of abstract animation in Japan. His films have been shown in more than 100 festivals in about 20 countries. His strong obsession towards cells forces him to draw every frame with surprising density. His rhythmical animation …

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Inventive Wit of Spy Films, Proof Commercial Work Can Aid Art

Nuit Blanche from Spy Films on Vimeo. Making Of Nuit Blanche from Spy Films on Vimeo. Surrealist René Magritte had the best academic training, but his early works are viewed by scholars as being derivative – and you probably haven’t ever seen them. It seems that his work after the academy, as a commercial sign painter, designer, and even wallpaper creator (really), were part of what made Magritte the artist we know now. What painting signs gave Magritte was a concise wit, a compactness of message – and the rest is history. At a time when digital visuals are deeply …

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Video Game Artist Mark Essen, Drawing on Retro, Minimal Game Visuals

Paraphrasing Mark Essen in the interview above: “it’s not nostalgia. I just like it.” Video game aesthetics have become a kind of naive, outside art for the digital age. Little wonder: the explosion of consumer digital products in the 80s left the children of that decade and decades after with piles of media. Someone was going to work out how to channel those into art. My sense is what’s likely to happen less is, as the novelty of such art wears off, these styles will simply re-integrate with other cultural content. Just don’t call it 8-bit. For one thing, a …

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Cubic Game Visualism: Awesomely-Inspiring Game Trailer from Gamma

4fourths – Game Trailer from Mikengreg on Vimeo. It’s been a long time coming, but there’s real hope that convergence of lovers of independent, creative game design with audiovisualist aficionados could bring us to a new, game-inspired visual age. Of course, a good way to start would be for some game designers to start to kick ass with their games. And that means lame trailers simply aren’t an option. For a demonstration of how it’s done, check out the trailer for 4fourths. This winning entrant to the one-button game challenge help by the Kokoromi Collective could pass for a music …

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Music Game Revolution, Now Indie Friendly, as Rock Band Network Goes Live

They are the robots: Flight of the Conchords. Now, you are the robots, too, as Rock Band Network opens the indie floodgates to the music-distribution-as-game model. (And yes, you’ll get to sing along with the Conchords, too.) Photo (CC-BY-SA) kris krüg. Music games Rock Band and Guitar Hero are simple enough in terms of gameplay, but testifying to the power of people’s passion for music, their impact has been staggering. At a time when purchasing recorded music has waned from a 90s peak, downloads for games are proving surprising growth, despite pundits predicting the segment would cool off. The talents …

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