App Store finally gives indie games the spotlight they deserve

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Mac App Store
Competing with big-name developers won't be so tough for indies.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

After a big indie game promotion over the past week, Apple has given titles from independent developers their very own spot in the App Store. And it’s about time, too!

The new section will make it easier for shoppers to find new titles from smaller studios, while developers will benefit from greater coverage. It won’t be quite as easy for the latest releases to be drowned out by bigger titles from gaming giants.

Friendly indie dev wants to teach kids to think like a programmer

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Daryl Hornsby is a friendly guy  with a mission: to design puzzles that help kids think like a programmer. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Daryl Hornsby is a friendly guy with a mission. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Indie developer Daryl Hornsby has a novel approach for getting kids engaged with educational games: Don’t dumb things down.

That’s the key to Machineers, the clever puzzle-adventure game his company crafted to to lead kids through various programming logic concepts.

“When you say you want to target 10 to 15 year-olds, you’re told you have to make it overly colorful and bubbly, and that no kids read text,” Hornsby told Cult of Mac. “We’ve been able to prove that this is not quite the case. We’ve found that kids want to be treated like adults, but it still has to be approachable.”

Indie dev parodies internet life for fun and profit

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Nathalie Lawhead makes art that you can buy (and play for free). Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Nathalie Lawhead makes art that you can buy (and play for free). Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Nathalie Lawhead speaks swiftly, a gentle European lilt in her accent. On the screen behind her is a random-seeming collection of internet memes rendered in outsider art chic. At first glance, her games look absolutely absurd, random, and ridiculous.

“If Monty Python made games, the Orange County-based developer told Cult of Mac at the Game Developers conference last month, “this is what they would look like.”

These are the best app deals of the year by far

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App Santa

App Santa is back for the holidays with a very impressive collection of over 40 discounted iOS and Mac apps. You can score up to 80% off on some real gems, including Clear, Tweetbot, Day One, and Deliveries.

Organized by Realmac Software, App Santa represents an extremely high caliber of indie app developers. And if you’ve been holding out on buying any of their apps, now is the time to pounce. The promotion lasts today through December 26th.

Support Sentris, An Indie, Puzzle-Based, Music Creation Game For All Of Us

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sentris

Yes, Kickstarter projects are still a dime a dozen, but this game is worth your attention.

It’s Sentris, a music-creation tool that masquerades as a puzzle game. Want to play a music or rhythm game without having to figure out how to hold a plastic guitar? Sentris is the game for you.

We saw Sentris last month at the 2013 Seattle Indies eXpo (SIX3), which was co-located with the Penny Arcade Expo in downtown Seattle.

Developer Samantha Kalman hopes to release a full game–she’s only put together a stunning prototype at this point–and she’s taken time to explain why in the video below.

Spiderweb Software Celebrates 20 Years Of Indie RPG Gaming With 21st Release

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Avadon 2 The Corruption

Spiderweb Software is an independent game developer based in Seattle. It’s been in operation since 1993, when it released its first game, Exile: Escape from the Pit, an old school RPG with tons of plot, dialogue, and fantasy storytelling.

Now in its twentieth year, Spiderweb continues the indie role playing game genre it’s been developing for the past two decades by releasing its twenty-first game, Avadon 2: The Corruption.

iTunes Producer Is Now Available Through Software Update, Is iTunes Going Indie?

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iTunes Producer is usually reserved for big shot label moguls, but right now, you can play with it too.
iTunes Producer is usually reserved for big shot label moguls, but right now, you can play with it too.

Indie musicians have long had a difficult time getting accepted into iTunes, but it’s possible that’s coming to an end. Apple has just released it’s iTunes Producer 2.6.0 software update to a number of users, despite the fact that it has historically only been available to musicians, record labels and other partners of Apple’s iTunes Connect portal.