Tiny & Big: the game with the laser that slices everything into pieces

Tiny & Big: Laser Cuts Pillars

Now this looks like irresistable fun: Tiny & Big gives you a laser that slices everything in two. Everything! Laser slices rock, rock splits in two. Laser slices pillars, pillars come tumbling down ….

Tiny & Big: Pillars Come Tumbling Down!

A clever idea — very simple, very elegant — with lots of potential.

And be honest: who among us hasn’t thought: I wish I had a laser that could cut down skyscrapers!

I love the “Zot” and “Crack” and “Smash” messages that appear in response to your actions — I’m reminded of the old-school Batman “Pow!” and “Biff!” schtick from the 1960’s.

In addition to the laser, you get a gripping device. This shoots out a cable that latches onto things so you can pull on those things.

The screenshots above don’t do justice to the excellent game physics. You really need to see these in-game videos to appreciate the full effect:

Via Alec Meer @ RockPaperShotgun.

Shadow Physics

This is very, very cool — a platform game in three-dee space using shadows to represent player and platforms …

Shadow Physics

The above screenshot demonstrates a scenario with two light sources. Note the two shadows for the player character: these two shadows move in tandem, are blocked in tandem, and solve puzzles in tandem. The shadows in the screenshot are jumping; the shadow on the left is blocked.

A remarkable accomplishment by developers Steve Swink and Scott Anderson — bravo!

Via YouTube:

Steve Swink and Scott Anderson demo their shadow platforming game, Shadow Physics, at Sense of Wonder Night 2009 (Tokyo Game Show).

While Steve does do game design at Blurst/Flashbang, Shadow Physics is an entirely independent side project. More information will soon be available at shadowphysics.com.

Colin Northway on Game Design

Fantastic Contraption

At the Austin Indie Summit, game designer Colin Northway — author of the remarkable Fantastic Contraption — outlined several key principles for aspiring designers:

1. Make your game in Flash

Northway draws a fine distinction between ‘Flash games’ (games where you “launch kitties into a spiky thing”) and ‘games written in Flash’, but he’s an evangelist for the platform more than anything because “the content discovery problem has been solved” compared to consoles, the iPhone, etc. Forums, emails, all pre-existing internet communities will do the work of keeping your game’s name in front of other people, whereas, say, with the iPhone, “making money is hard to do if Apple doesn’t spray the money hose on you.”

2. Make your game “live online”

3. Leverage “pride based marketing”

4. Make a free game that gives players ‘a tote bag’ if they pay

Via Offworld.