31 Great Independent Developers in one month.

Indie Strong

IndieMonth | 508d ago
User blog

By Cat

He was wearing a bright red plastic fireman’s hat and soliciting the Indie Alley traffic like their very gaming salvation depended on it. As I approached the booth for my scheduled interview I surreptitiously surveyed their reactions and those of the people already playing, confirming that it wasn’t just me - Fire Hose Games Fire Chief Eitan Glinert has infectious enthusiasm. It isn’t limited to Eitan - high spirits are a matter of company culture at Fire Hose, so much so that I’ve often wondered if their games run on an engine of good cheer, no distillation required.

That first impression was made over Slam Bolt Scrappers, the debut title from the happenstance biotech guy turned developer. Part brawler, part builder, layered with multiplayer and a dash of Smash Bros. and Tetris it was like playing a gamified version of the Eitan’s mind - you’re never quite sure you’re keeping up with his train of thought. I liked it, Adam liked it, and during a subsequent GDC we could be found kicking back in the PlayStation room playing SBS rounds while Eitan hopped up and down, alternately joining in and chatting.

The game launched on PS3…and the PS Store was hacked, taken offline for two precious months while Fire Hose watched their heavily buzzed title languish, inaccessible to so many. There were layoffs, and it was hard to see the visible hurt this caused the Fire Chief. So much passion, so much work. This is indie, and this was heartbreak.

I felt tangible relief when I heard about their next title - a Tower Defense game, to boot! Then at PAX again, the Fire Hose staff was there in all their Gatorade-fueled fervor, watching keenly as adults and children alike queued to try the most ambitious of BBQ defense sims available, Go Home Dinosaurs. Available on iOS (and Steam), this became one of the first titles I was able to play as a new mom, when my iPad became my gaming lifeline. Fire Hose and Go Home Dinosaurs were there for me at my most gaming vulnerable, cheerily filling a void with T-Rexes marching mercilessly toward my steaks.

Where do you go from the cookout? Let’s Quip! is a title spawned from that strange dark place that the best ideas - the best comedy - is forged, tempered and quenched. Fire Hose PR guy, Sean Baptiste, exudes the same wild exuberance I’ve long associated with the company. He’s a man that had multiple brain surgeries and seized them as the opportunity to pursue a life-long fascination, and so explored the world of stand-up comedy as a means to test and train his mind. His passion for comedy writing and stand-up comedy grew, and Let’s Quip! has gone from nascent idea to a development build that Baptiste has seen actually make people better, funnier writers. If that isn’t making the world a better place through games, I quit.

I used to think I was kind of funny. Maybe I still do, but now that I’ve played Let’s Quip!, I know a little better than to ever venture onstage during an improvisational comedy session as anything other than the object of ridicule. At least not until I’ve played more Let’s Quip! A bite-sized “debate simulator”, it pits witty writers, comedians and the best of our new world of 140 characters or less against one another in matches - matches that people vote on. With thousands of words in the bank, random ones are selected - of my matches the one that sticks is Madmen vs. TARDIS - and you design your winningest, brief, argument in favor of your word. Magical crowdsourcing happens with players voting for you or your opponent and I experience the not unfamiliar sensation of defeat. Public defeat. My favorite kind.

Fortunately indies like Fire Hose have, by nature or necessity, a supernatural immunity to real defeat, to the crippling fear of failure. Undeterred by obstacles, from hacks that stymy profits to brain surgery that frustrates recall, their spirit couples with a voracious appetite for their work: games. There have been consoles and frustration, PC and iOS, but now Fire Hose’s gaming proselytism can no longer be confined to one studio. While developing their own title, Let’s Quip!, they launched their Accelerator Program and began working with Chris Chung on his first-person destructive cat sim - Catlateral Damage (now with a successfully funded Kickstarter https://www.kickstarter.com... ). Unlike the standard publishing model, with the incubator FHG is designed to help developers make their games a reality while still keeping the budget realistic - while safeguarding against the same heartbreak they experienced with Slam Bolt Scrappers. Because for Fire Hose Games, you don’t just develop and learn, you improve - and you bring everybody with you.

Day 6 | Fire Hose Games

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Carib  +   508d ago
Hoping for a game release on PS4
randomass171  +   508d ago
It's indie. Indies that don't come out on PS4 and Vita are becoming pretty rare. :)
HonestDragon  +   508d ago
Hopefully in the future there will be.
rambi80  +   508d ago
Its a cold heart that steals from an indie developer. I've heard stories of guys mortgaging houses and risking everything to get their games launched.
Disagree  +   508d ago
support indies!
XtraTrstrL  +   508d ago
When they are quality, sure. The only way to keep things in check is to only support the good indies, so quality remains a standard for indie devs. If not, they'll just all rush out with random crap and copycat games just like the wastelands of crapware on iOS and android.

So, support GOOD indies!
randomass171  +   507d ago
Hear, hear! Support quality indies! There should be a trending # for that or something.
Robochobo  +   508d ago
I played Slam Bolt Scrappers on Steam a while back. The aspect of it was pretty fun and unique. Hoping for a sequel with online multiplayer instead of just local co-op next time.
sllshrm  +   508d ago
Yeah the local co-op was damn fun, me and my neighbour had a blast playing it.
Mokastro  +   508d ago
:S , Let’s quip sounds alot like Facebook or Reddit comment likes and voting.
SpeedDemon  +   508d ago
I can't get enough of tower defense games, definitely will check out Go Home Dinosaurs, Let's Quip looks interesting too.
majiebeast  +   508d ago
good luck to these devs.
Derekvinyard13  +   508d ago
Cool concept on the quip game here
dictionary  +   508d ago
PS4 release too please?
randomass171  +   507d ago
Yes! I think we'll see a PS4 release. It's hard to find new indie games that aren't on PS4 these days.
shadowvisa  +   508d ago
Budobear  +   508d ago
Liking the sound of go home dinosaurs a lot, I've not played a tower defence game in a while.
beepbopadoobop  +   508d ago
Getting time to play all these interesting game is so tough! But very worthwhile!
Abdoma3rouf  +   508d ago
Indie games are becoming widely famous!
Crazyglues  +   508d ago
Yes good luck to these devs... there seems to be a lot of indie games out there that we have never even heard of...
Juliussmith12  +   508d ago
Hope this comes to ps4.( when I get one)
F4sterTh4nFTL  +   508d ago
Keep making great games, wishing you all the best of luck and a very bright future.
BiggCMan  +   508d ago
Indies are where the creativity is lately.
gaffyh  +   508d ago
The PlayStation outage really screwed some people over, that is always sad to here about lay-offs.
herobyclicking  +   508d ago
Let's Quip has a great daily twitch.tv/firehosegames, some fantastic "quips" there. Sean is a great host, very charismatic.
MrxDeath  +   508d ago
hope it come to Ps4
nunley33  +   508d ago
very creative and unique, i hope it does well
gobluesamg  +   508d ago
yeah wondering if it will be on PS4.
Virtua_Awesome  +   508d ago
Thanks for the write-up, it was a good read! And it's great that they're helping with Catlateral Damage (Two very cool devs!)
RexDD  +   508d ago
I don't really like iOS and android games that much, but let's quip seems interesting. Console release?
dota2champion  +   508d ago
I have Go Home Dinosaurs on steam and never gotten to try it out. It was gifted to me, I just never gotten try it out because I invest all my gaming time into Dota 2.
LukeFair  +   508d ago
The one I'm looking forward most right now is Catlateral Damage. Go indies!
coolbeans  +   508d ago
Slam Bolt Scrappers honestly look very, very interesting. Strange I never noticed it before on PSN.
MasterofMagnetism  +   508d ago
I would have tried Slam Bolt Scrappers had I known about it.
ichizon  +   508d ago
I wonder what the terms are on the accelerator program. It seems a bit predatory to me as it has been presented in these articles. They provide a little bit of support in exchange for royalties on developed software, in contrast to paying actual liveable salaries and marketing the software for them. It seems like they pick and choose on similar terms to regular publishers. The developers retain control over their project, but it seems like they are risking a lot more than Fire Hose here, while Fire Hose is just "getting in on the action" without any inconvenience.
Nexfero  +   508d ago
Not enough time to play all these indies.
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