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The super talented blokes over at Big Block Games have released their latest game, Goblin War Machine! The side scrolling action game features a whole lot of insane vehicular destruction, with a customisable vehicle which you can fit for even more destruction. There's a whole lot happening in the game with many things to shoot or avoid, as well as achievements, bonuses and score multipliers to be had. Collect as many human kills as you can for 'skulls' credits which can be used to purchase items from the shops along the way.

It's got an awesome art style and it's available now for free on the iPad with an iphone version coming soon! If you don't have an iPad handy, you can try the game out via the Big Block Games website here.

A whole lot of additional levels, vehicle parts, new enemies, obstacles and features are available for Goblin War Machine with the expansion pack which can be purchased in-game. Grab Goblin War Machine at the App Store here!

News

Big congratulations to the two-man-team at Adelaide independent games development studio, Manic Game Studios, for completing their first title, Critical Mass! Critical Mass puts an interesting 3D spin on the match 3 type of game style with plenty of interesting modes available. Do yourselves a favour and grab it for your PC from Steam, Impulse Driven or via their website on the 20th (next week!!).

(Press Release)

Manic Game Studios, an independent team of two is announcing the release of their first title Critical Mass. The game will be available for purchase through Steam, Impulse Driven and CriticalMassGame.com on June 20th with a special offer for Steam users of 10% off the regular price during the first week of availability.

Critical Mass is an action puzzle game that takes the traditional match 3 game style and brings it into the world of 3D. The game combines fast addictive gameplay with strategy to create a new and innovative play experience. With 3 levels of difficulty and 4 distinct game modes, Critical Mass aims to entertain everyone from new gamers to hardened veterans.

The game is available for PC only on release with plans to expand to Mac and iOS in the near future.

Website: http://criticalmassgame.com
Video Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QikguKClRpA

About Manic Game Studios

Manic Game Studios is an Australian independent game developer. The team consists of two members, James Barrie is the Creative Lead and Matthew Edmondson is the Technical Lead. They both have a strong background in the Arts and Computer Science, originally working in the areas of Web Development and Systems Analysis in the Telecommunication industry before founding Manic Game Studios.

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We only managed a tiny glimpse of Rugby Challenge late last year during a Stuff.co.nz article on Sidhe's current generation Rugby Union game, and while the article photo revealed some impressive game character headshots, the New Zealand games developers were promising a whole lot more in terms of graphic fidelity and features since their last venture in Rugby with Rugby League 3 for the Nintendo Wii.

This week, Sidhe have shown a bit more of the game they've been working on since late 2009 by showcasing eight new ingame screenshots of Rugby Challenge. The game looks to be an incredible leap forward from the Rugby games that Sidhe have done in the past, the new shots showcasing the results of the new technology they've had to build to make the most out of current gen consoles.

Sidhe also recently revealed how that same tech will be specifically tackling in-game stadiums:

  • Every crowd member rendered in realtime from a full 3D animated model
  • Crowd members dressed in home, away, or neutral apparel and colours
  • Home, away, and neutral fans animated independently depending on game events
  • Team flags and banners, camera flashes, and stadium pyrotechnics supported
  • Lighting model includes stadium structure shadows and ambient occlusion for natural results
  • Variable crowd density that flood fills the stadium in a natural way
  • Crowd sounds linked to game events and cutscenes to reinforce the action emotionally
  • Game officials, team support staff, media and cameramen, and stadium security also shown

Rugby Challenge is coming out later this year for PS3, 360, and PC.

Check out all the new screenshots over at the Rugby Challenge website!

News

Brisbane's Defiant Development are bringing their first title, Rocket Bunnies, to the iPhone. After a successful release for Android handsets in December, last year, and with an install count of between 500,000 to 1,000,000, it's finally making its appearance on the App Store. It's an extremely polished looking and fun title, and you wouldn't expect anything less from the pedigree of talent at Defiant.

So if you have an iPhone and just over a dollar to spare (or a few bucks for the HD version), you'll be nuts to miss out on this locally developed title. Grab it here, folks!

(press release)

Chillingo today announced that its new arcade, action game Rocket Bunnies, is now available on the App Store.

Race through space as a hungry bunny on a rocket to collect all the carrots you can find! This hilariously fun and entertaining game allows players to use gravity to circle and sling their helmet-clad bunny around galaxies while avoiding dangerous mines and exterminating space spiders. The colorful graphics, high-res 3D visuals are a treat for gamers of all ages and its lighthearted humor brings smiles even when the action gets intense.

"We are proud to partner with Defiant Development to bring this insanely addictive and fun game to the Apple App Store," explains Joe Wee, Co-General Manager of Chillingo. "Rocket Bunnies is one of the most polished titles available and we are confident that gamers will easily see what makes this game so special."

"Our goal was to create an amazing title that can be enjoyed by players of all ages," states Morgan Jaffit, Creative Director of Defiant Development. "Rocket Bunnies is the culmination of our careful game design plans and dedicated efforts to motivate players so much that they don’t want put their iOS device down until they complete each level!"

GAME FEATURES

* More than 61 levels that will keep you planet-hopping for hours
* Amazing, high-res 3D graphics that maximize the capability of the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
* Feed all the rabbits as quickly as possible to earn better ratings, and challenge your friends times online

Rocket Bunnies is available for iPhone/iPod touch $.99 and for iPad $2.99 from the App Store or at http://www.itunes.com/appstore

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Brisbane indie developers, Bane Games, have completed their second games title called Scoop Groups. Scoop Groups is an ice-cream themed action / puzzle game that was commissioned by design agency, Tin Factory Creative and developed by Bane Games for ice-cream and dessert chain, Baskin-Robbins.

The best part of this all? It's being released free by the restaurant chain as a way of "thanking Australia for the continued support in making Baskin-Robbins® the number one choice for indulgent ice cream, desserts and beverages". Aren't they nice? Grab your free copy now from the itunes store here.

(press release as follows)

Baskin-Robbins® in Australia presents Scoop Groups, a completely free application brought to you from the makers of the World’s Favourite Ice Cream. Whether you want to compete for the best score on an addictively fun action/puzzle game or need to find your way to the delicious range of beverages, desserts and treats on offer from every Baskin-Robbins® restaurant, Scoop Groups is for you!

This all in one game and store-locator will keep you informed of the latest offers, news and the current Flavour of the Month. Regular updates will add the latest and tastiest products available from Baskin-Robbins® directly into the game.

• Compete against the clock in the Scoop Groups single player game; casual fun for the whole family
• Earn bonuses and develop tactics to attain the highest score and become a Scoop Groups master!
• Use the store locator to find your local Baskin-Robbins® restaurant
• Updates add the latest Baskin-Robbins® treats into the Scoop Groups game
• Completely free application (Including free updates)

News
Submitted by Simon Unity (not verified) on Thu, 09/06/11 - 8:09 PM Permalink

Hey, as I'm a unity developer I though I'd give it a go and see what other people are doing.

I did like you said and had heaps of fun trying this today @ a LAN.

It seemed like there where internet servers coming up, that we couldnt join or no servers at all . . Will this game become internet supported in future?

Submitted by Terry (not verified) on Thu, 09/06/11 - 8:27 PM Permalink

Wow this is really cool! Such good graphics! I checked out the IndieDB site too..looks like its growing..Go Australia for Indie!

Submitted by Brendan (dev) (not verified) on Thu, 09/06/11 - 9:01 PM Permalink

Thanks for the interest and comments everyone.

Simon, we're still working on further internet-play features, with many more on the whiteboard. Hopefully in the future we can have proper server support, friend lists, and other goodies, and that will drive a much larger push for the game (meaning more games you can join). For now it's primarily a game that works it's absolute best in a LAN setup.

If you're interested in how we're using Unity, send an email to Dev@slipstreamgame.com and perhaps we could write something up.

SlipStream Studios from Brisbane comprise of five university students attending Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and their final project is a multiplayer Mario Kart-esque racing game called SlipStream...

SlipStream is a strategic racing game where cars leave elemental trails which can be driven on to gain speed boosts depending on the elements.

The team has informed us that the game is currently at an open beta stage of development, but they plan to continue as indie developers working on SlipStream after they graduate. Because SlipStream was developed with the Unity game engine, they've made available a web version so you can have a go yourself in your browser, provided you have the Unity web plugin.

Alternatively, you can also download the installer and install it on your computer.

It comes highly recommended that you play with between three to six friends, so why not give it a go and give these guys some feedback either here or at the indiedb forum!!

Try out SlipStream at www.slipstreamgame.com

News

It's always great to hear of new local indie developers accomplishing their first title, so it's an absolute pleasure letting you all know that Brisbane indie dev, Screwtape Studios, have completed their first title are have simultaneously released it onto the App Store and Android marketplace. The game is a puzzle game call Conduction, and you can check out the trailer just below. So what's Conduction all about? From the promo...

Conduction is the ADDICTIVE puzzle game that's easy to pick up and play but impossible to put down. Tap groups of conductors to clear the screen and you better do it FAST because once the screen is full, it's game over!Features two unique game modes!

In arcade mode, keep destroying the conductors until they fill the board, you'll need some quick fingers to keep up, or it'll be game over before you know it!

In puzzle mode, scratch your head and solve the puzzle, conduct the colors wrong an you'll have to start again! An ELECTRIFYING mix of puzzle and action, Conduction is the puzzle game you've been waiting for!

It's only $1.19, so why not grab yourself a copy now?

iTunes: http://itunes.com/app/Conduction
Android: http://market.android.com/details?id=com.screwtapestudios.conduction

News

SEGA Studios Australia, previously known as the Australian arm of The Creative Assembly until a studio rebranding in late 2009, is working on the official video game of the next Olympic Games. Sega has announced that London 2012 - The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games is under production at the Brisbane studio and will feature over 30 Olympic events as well as online leaderboards with a multi-platform release in 2012 on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

As the Australian arm of The Creative Assembly, the Brisbane based studio was well known for the well received strategy game, Medieval II: Total War, and its expansion, Medieval II: Total War Kingdoms. The studio then produced and released the real-time console strategy game, Stormrise, in early 2009 which unfortunately failed to meet any critical or commercial success.

During a recent interview with StrategyInformer.com, SEGA's Vice President of Production, Gary Dunn, revealed the radical leadership changes that occurred at the studio after Stormrise...

Gary Dunn: I suppose I can jump in there. We divested the Brisbane studio from the Creative Assembly stewardship, and we'll be making an announcement within the next few weeks about what they're working on next. Suffice to say since Stormrise's completion, the studio down under has been heavily invested in, entirely new leadership team from the likes of EA, Ubisoft... the people who made Stormrise aren't the people who populate, at least the leadership, that studio. There's a new set of standards in place, they're doing a very different game.

The investment that Mr. Dunn is referring is likely to include the motion capture facility which is described as the largest in the Southern hemisphere.

(press release as follows)

London 2012– The Official Video Game of the Olympic Games will allow gamers to create their own moments of sporting history and fame by experiencing the thrill and adrenaline rush of the events and disciplines that will be a part of the London 2012 Olympic Games. With over 30 events in which to claim gold, players will enjoy more gameplay variety than ever before, even taking the race for medals online by competing for personal and national glory with online leaderboards.

“The London 2012 Olympic Games is sure to be a once in a lifetime experience for many people” said Gary Knight, Senior Vice President of Marketing at SEGA Europe and SEGA of America. “The official video game will give people all over the world the chance to participate in the greatest sporting event on earth from their homes, even if they are thousands of miles away!”

“London 2012 looks set to be our best ever release in the Olympic Games simulation franchise in terms of both sales and number and quality of events” commented Raymond Goldsmith, Chairman and CEO of ISM. “We are delighted to be working once again with SEGA to ensure we will achieve this historic milestone.”

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Melbourne independent games developer, Brawsome, are following up their award winning "Best Australian Game" (Freeplay 2010) Jolly Rover title with a very promising new project, MacGuffin's Curse, and they're blogging a whole lot of stuff about it! Want pictures and behind the scenes development stuff? You've got it.

MacGuffin's Curse is a puzzle adventure which shares similarities to Sokoban but contains an added mix of character switching mechanisms and a healthy does of story and adventure. It's coming out for PC, Mac, iPhone and iPad. The team have shared their thoughts on Vertical Slices and expressed how important they were for their previous title. They've been working diligently away on a very polished vertical slice of MacGuffin's Curse as they've explained "it could mean the difference between getting successful distribution and disappearing into obscurity".

Their latest update is about quality feedback. Andrew Goulding, founder and Brawsome programmer, describes the difference between quality feedback and bad feedback, which is not to be confused between positive and negative feedback. From the blog...

(Andrew) Quality feedback comes from someone who has genuinely taken the time to play and understand your game. It is well thought out and useful. Empty feedback is quick and dirty and doesn't require much thought or time.

If you're an indie developer, be sure to follow their progress via the Brawsome website and keep up to date with all the Brawsome news via their twitter at @brawsome !

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It's been a long journey, but after seven years of development of incredible ups and downs, L.A Noire is finally here.

L.A Noire, developed by Sydney-based games developer, Team Bondi, is by far the most ambitious and most expensive game ever produced in Australia. Some $50 million was sunk into making the ground-breaking 40's era detective thriller game, placing it in the 8th position of the top ten most expensive games ever produced from a 2010 list compiled by Digitalbattle.com. It surpassed the huge production values of Killzone 2 ($45 million) and Final Fantasy XII ($48 million), and was listed just behind Halo3 ($55 million) and Metal Gear Solid 4 ($55 million).

The seeds of doubt on L.A Noire were planted when it began to suffer numerous delays. It slipped from an expected release in 2008 to 2009, and while Team Bondi had revealed very little in the way of media or any information about L.A Noire, popular gaming website, Destructoid, went so far as to claim the title as "the new Duke Nukem", suggesting it was nothing more than vapourware. From Destructoid...

There are a few great signs that something is actually vaporware. The most prominent sign is usually a game never actually having a release date, but always being hinted at as being released sometime within the next year. That's one check for L.A. Noire...

It isn't proof that a game exists and thus, and I know this is a bold move, I declare L.A. Noire the new Duke Nukem.

L.A Noire was then pushed back again from a 2010 release to 2011, and it sparked some heated discussions where many expressed doubt and concern in our own news section including those from ex Team Bondi developers on various aspects of L.A Noire's development. It marked a frustrating discussion low point on tsumea, and it was enough to push local games developer, Morgan Jaffit, to post a response on his own blog to some of the negativity around L.A Noire...

(Jaffit) What I don't understand is why everyone in Australia seems to be wishing for their failure, when with the limited knowledge we have to hand we could as easily anticipate success.

Jaffit will undoubtedly feel vindicated this week as the review embargo on L.A Noire has finally been lifted today, and game critics who were supplied a review copy of the game last week are now able to publish their thoughts on what has been the most highly anticipated game of the last few months. While the game does have some minor faults, it's been enjoying an overwhelmingly positive response from games critics everywhere. Of the 23 reviews that has been accumulated so far on Metacritic, it is averaging a score of 91 out of a hundred, ranging from 80 to the maxiumum of 100.

First to break the review embargo was the Guardian, giving L.A Noire a score of 5 out of 5 stars last Friday...

(Steve Boxer) Ambitious, daring and utterly compelling, LA Noire blurs the line between gaming and cinematic entertainment

5/5 - Giantbomb

L.A. Noire is a bold release, because it defies the expectations not just for the type of game Rockstar usually releases, but also for the type of game that receives this degree of care and proficiency in its execution. The world already has enough open-world action games, but a game which marries that open world to such a methodical style of gameplay, with a budget this big, is a rare thing indeed.

10/10 - Total Video Games

A defining moment in video games on this generation, and more than just because of its use of MotionScan technology. The free-roaming genre has become a little stale in recent years, yet LA Noire manages to inject a renewed sense of vigour to the scene and capably demonstrates that video games don't have to be just about your trigger skills.

Rated A - 1up

Team Bondi has gone to great lengths to wrap you up in the game's story, and from my experience they've succeeded. I investigated these crimes. I apprehended the suspects. I pieced together all the clues. L.A. Noire had me more involved in its first thirty minutes than some other games do in their entirety, and that makes this a game you may regret passing on. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon -- and for the rest of your gaming life.

10/10 - Videogamer.com

There's something entrancing about the way this game plunges you into the violence, the corruption, and the sadness of post-war Los Angeles. Each of the four major desks has a remarkably different tone, and while the slow reveal of Phelps himself is the major narrative thread, it's equally true to say the dark heart of the city itself is an equally important protagonist. As you stoop to inspect the naked body of a mutilated young woman, as you shakedown a gambling racket in a dusky backroom, as you pick through the skeletal cinders of a burnt-out building… as you do these things, you'll silently admit the truth: you don't want to stop the bleakness, you want to revel in it.

And what about Desctructoid which had claimed L.A Noire as vapourware? Well, they gave it a score of 9.0 (Superb)...

L.A. Noire is a testament to the possibility of bringing dark, adult, mature games to the mainstream market. When I say mature, I don't just mean that it throws in sex and violence under the pretense of being for grown-ups. It is truly mature, with the kind of narrative you'd only expect to see in a major TV drama series or crime movie. No game released this generation has tackled the subject matter found in L.A. Noire with the same degree of intelligence and respect, and no game has blended gameplay from various genres so seamlessly, in a way that delivers something far more unique in experience than the sum of its parts.

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