By Jeriaska . September 6, 2008 . 3:30pm
Fifty judges comprised of industry experts were asked by the organizers of the Penny Arcade Expo to select ten outstanding independent games for this year’s PAX 10 showcase. The finalists ranged from ambitious takes on familiar genres like 3D action adventure and RTS to off-the-wall story and gameplay ideas.
Dylan Fitterer created a rhythm action racer that generates custom courses depending on the attributes of the song files on the player’s PC. The active community page for Audiosurf invites you to “ride your music.” Casey Muratori designed Sushi Bar Samurai, from the coding to the visuals and audio, challenging players to prepare and serve meals to roaming spirits adrift in the afterlife. Joe Rheaume made a flash game called Chronotron that enables players to cooperate with past versions of themselves by traveling back in time. It can be played online by clicking on the above link.
The making of Project Aftermath, by contrast, involved a team of collaborators. Northampton, England-based programmer Lee Hickey recalled that at one point in the expo an attendee casually strolled by the booth and took a look at the game, asking, “How many people made this?” “Three,” Hickey replied. The attendee took another look at the screen, turned to the programmer and said, “Like I believe that,” then walked off. The game designer says he counts it as one of the high points of the show.
Polarity was created by an group of students at Carnegie Mellon. The team behind Impulse turned in the game as their final project for a course at Rochester Institute of Technology. The makers of Strange Attractors 2 followed up a game that could be played with only one button with a two-input sequel. All three of these titles share an in depth exploration into the concept of magnetism-based gameplay.
The Maw by Twisted Pixel and Schizoid by Torpex Games are Xbox Live Arcade titles whose concepts attracted the attention of experienced music composers. The Amazing Brain Train attempts to flesh out the underdeveloped visual and story elements of the brain training genre. The following video segments feature designers from each of these games sharing information about the making of their titles, the experience of being selected to appear at the expo, and the sounds of the games of the PAX 10.