The original STRACO, “STRACO Episode 1″ to be specific, was an interesting mash-up between action shooting and tower defence. It was much improved after a 2.0 update was released for it (that, thanks to plumbing the indie channel for hidden gems, I got right off the bat).

It’s finally got a well deserved sequel, and one that compromises the promised volumes 2 and 3 of a trilogy, all in a single $1 release: “STRACO : Purge and Conquest”.

From v1.0, to 2.0, to a two-part sequel, the STRACO games have done nothing but get better. Haven’t tried the dual-stick shooting/strategy hybrid original? Go download it now. Liked the original? Go give this developer another dollar. As action/strategy hybrids go, it doesn’t get much better.

Here’s what the publisher (Not Very Original) has to say about the game:

“Both STRACO Episode 2 and 3 in one package! Fight the evil Filth plague and defeat Boss Noss! 2 hour single player campaign — Mini-games — P2P high scores — And other such nonsense!!!! Be the hero that your mother always wanted you to be!”

Not directly game related, but I wanted to add my thoughts on the film “X-Men: Days of Future Past”.

Firstly, game players may find a familiar theme in [spoilers ahead!] Read the rest of this entry »

If you’re like me, and you like dry/dark humour, then I strongly recommend you watch this video, and jump right to the 25:05 mark:

Read the rest of this entry »

…this is now.

Posted: 2014/06/16 in Indie Games

Here we have an updated list. Instead of hundreds of views for the top country, we have tens of thousands. Keep in mind too, that this does not include those who read WMD over RSS, which is how the majority of the site’s viewers do it. Being an English language site, English-speaking countries understandably top the list, but I’m pleased to see how many views I’ve had from non-English speaking countries over the years.

Country Views
United States 24,708
United Kingdom 9,972
Canada 2,532
Germany 1,951
Sweden 837
France 783
Italy 646
Australia 556
Spain 476
Netherlands 386
Brazil 297
Ireland 295
Japan 232
Poland 228
Singapore 155
India 147
Russian Federation 132
Read the rest of this entry »

That was then….

Posted: 2014/06/15 in Indie Games

Back in Mar. 11th 2012, I saved a list of all the visitors to the site to date. The slight number of views reflects how early in the site’s history it was. It’s an interesting time capsule. Tomorrow, I’ll update it with a current list.

All Time
Country Views
United States 661
United Kingdom 275
Sweden 157
Canada 88
Germany 86
Australia 50
France 26
Switzerland 13
Spain 10
Read the rest of this entry »

“Rock Bottom”. It comes to us from the publisher of “Get Rich or Die Gaming” and “The Rise of Gaddafish”, and it’s equally zany.

You don’t play “Rock Bottom” for a cohesive story, you play it for Read the rest of this entry »

This is more a “be aware this thing exists” post, be cause if you played the original “The Impossible Game” and enjoyed it, then why wouldn’t you want a whole new long and incredibly difficult level to try (and repeatedly fail) to beat? And that’s exactly what “The Impossible Game Level Pack” would have offered, except it offers something else: *two* new levels, rather than just one.

What amazes me about these two games is Read the rest of this entry »

I’m almost finished going through the archives of old articles I had once authored, and then not posted for whatever reason. This one is from December 14th, 2010, and it’s largely complete.

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Further proof that people who say that PC gaming is dying simply don’t get it.

What’s happening is that PC gaming is growing, but changing as it does. There are hundreds of millions playing Bejeweled, FarmVille, and other downloadable and/or browser games. This is far and away the bulk of the PC gaming market now. Far and away. Dedicated Windows gamers with fancy gaming rigs are now the distinct minority. That’s possibly more to do with the growth of casual gaming than it is the death of traditional PC gaming, however; the shift from PC gaming being retail-centric to digital distribution-centric makes it hard to quantify the relative size of the traditional hardcore Windows gaming market.

There’s long been a casual PC gaming scene, as far back as Solitaire and Minesweeper being included with Windows at least. What’s changed however, from what I see, is that it has evolved from casual gamers who played occasionally during downtime, to a new form of what you could (oxymoronically) call dedicated casual gamers. I know people who plan their day around when they have to be available to harvest their crops in FarmVille. I certainly have never heard of someone doing that for Minesweeper.

CityVille gaining 22 million users in the first 11 days is further proof of that. Has a hardcore PC title ever reached 22 million in sales, let alone 22 million concurrent users? And don’t discount the power of those 22 million eyeballs, these people are spending money. Zynga’s making a veritable mint off of microtransactions for their games.

The lesson for Indie Game developers is that Facebook games have grown on the strength of the low barrier to entry, and then made money on microtransactions.

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This may be the last time I comment on the Halo Master Chief Collection for a while (though I remain excited about it). A few observations:

- all of the maps from the console Halo games have been included here, but none of the Read the rest of this entry »

Used games

Posted: 2014/06/10 in Indie Games

Here’s an article I wrote in 2010, in the very early days of the site. Apparently I was authoring up a storm, but not posting them. No, I don’t know why.

I am frequently surprised when video game publishers complain about used game sales. I worked on the front line of used game sales at “EB Games” from 2002 to 2006, and what I saw strongly suggests that the game publishers benefit from it more than they realise. Here are my unaltered throughs on the subject from November 2010 (complete with no real introduction, to speak of):

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The margin (percentage of the shelf price that is not your cost of goods sold) on game consoles has been essentially non-existant since the days of the NES.

The margin on new games is also incredibly small, something like 15-20% (in retail, it’s not usually even worth getting out of bed for margins like that, because you haven’t paid your rent, power, staff, insurance, etc. yet and you’re already making virtually nothing prior to those expenses).

The only thing that’s even halfway decent margins are accessories, and even then it’s usually on the third-party accessories (Mad Catz, etc.) where the margin is even close to something that you could theoretically cover all your expenses and still possibly have a small profit at the end of the day.

The only reason department stores sell games is because of the traffic it brings in. To them it’s akin to a loss leader, something they have to have, but they hope to sell you game accessories and also things unrelated to gaming. Dedicated game stores don’t have that second luxury (high margin stuff in all the departments surrounding the video games area). If you’ve ever bought toothpaste (or whatever) when you bought a game at a department store, then you know why they have to have a gaming department even if they make very little on the games.

Every single store I’ve seen that focuses on games, and games alone, has survived on one (or both) of two things: used game sales and/or Read the rest of this entry »