LATEST NEWS from DIGITAL EEL
Download .bmp format wallpaper here. (1.7MB)
Updating the update! The Weird Worlds upgrade patch has been updated to version 1.21. It fixes a problem with the rare Primordius quest. Grab it here!
Online audio goodness: iGame Radio interviews Tim Brooks of Shrapnel Games!
On November 27, iGame Radio's Omaha Sternberg chatted with Tim Brooks, president of Shrapnel Games and publisher of Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. From his secret orbital control headquarters, Tim spoke about strategy and war games, Weird Worlds, Dominions 3, Salvo, Shrapnel Games history, what Shrapnel offers the Mac gaming community and lots more. Cool stuff if you're really interested in what Shrapnel Games is up to and about.
Gotta say that it's a fun program too, with Mac gaming news, editorials, reviews, contests, cool music and the one and only Omaha --so click here, note the "NOW PLAYING!" section at the top of the page, use the handy audio player next to it and czech out the November 27 show.
Also, if you scroll down the page to the archives section to August 28, you can listen to Omaha's favorable review of Weird Worlds!
Nebular News from the Purple Void!
Weird Worlds Update Released
What's the buzz? Another strange invasion as Shrapnel Games and Digital Eel are pleased to announce the release of the latest and greatest Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space upgrade!
This robust patch upgrades the retail PC version of Weird Worlds to version 1.2. (Note: this patch has been updated to v1.21. See the 12/4/06 entry above. - Mac version 1.21 patch coming very soon!) Download it here, then simply run the executable and enter the location of any previous Weird Worlds installation to decompress the new files. Voila! Infinite Space just got more...um...infinite!
Besides dozens of new things, tweaks and fixes --including many new features and commands for modders-- the Weird Worlds v1.2 upgrade adds another rare "main quest" (there are three main quests possible now) featuring a new disgusting alien race with challenging (and cool) new ship types. It also adds a powerful new Urluquai capital ship to the game.
Note: The new ships are available for use in the combat simulator so you can set up battles with them right away! (And no pesky "unlocking" them either.)
Click here to view a complete list of v1.2 changes and additions. Read the official press release here. Also, special thanks from Digital Eel to the Fearless Testers and the Shrapnel Games Forums community for your formidable powers of observation and valuable input. You guys are the best!
*Of special note to modders: For information about modding Weird Worlds, including the v1.2 changes and new commands, visit The Modmaker's Guide to the Galaxy website. It's just been updated and all of the Weird Worlds modmaking goodness is there, including complete tutorials, example downloads and forum links.
Phosphorous At The Kulture Lab
Robot & some guy | A Day at the Beach by Phos | Jim Price
The band | Two Scoops on the Theremin | Iikka on the Theremin
Scoops paper art | Amy & Two Scoops | More Scoops paper art
There's a cool little gallery in Tacoma called the Kulture Lab. It's operated by Eel aid-de-camp Jim Price and a few dedicated artist friends. The gallery features the works of a number of talented folks, including Digital Eel artist, Phosphorous, who just opened a gallery show there last Saturday night. Congrats Phos!
Friends and supporters were on hand for the show; the Phosphorous family, musician Two Scoops & Amy, Digital Eel, and well over a hundred others. The band was hot. The Tiberian moonshine did flow. The art was top notch. It was a heck of a party!
If you live in Tacoma or you plan to visit there, be sure to stop by the Kulture Lab. It's located at 608 S. Fawcett almost right downtown. There's a theater and a cozy coffee shop next door, and other galleries nearby. (Phosphorous' art will be on display for a month --then there may be other surprises. Jim's Wolvertonesque "head art" is there and Scoops' awesome sculptures too.) It's a pleasant location in which to spend a evening, and a splendid time is guaranteed for all!
Cool news! The GameShadow Innovation in Games Festival just announced that Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space has been nominated for an "imaginative audio" category award. Neato! Ah, but then you read the details...yikes! Weird Worlds is up against some pretty heavy hitters. Scary? Nah, we're grateful to be included in such a cool line-up of games. --Here's more from the GameShadow Festival website:
These awards highlight and reward titles that push the boundaries to deliver fun innovative gameplay, regardless of their size, budget or commercial success.
You can get involved by participating in the People's Choice poll (click here - registration required). We don't want to tell you what to do but you better vote for Weird Worlds or we're likely to become grumpy and we probably won't make any more games...
Creativity and innovation are all important, and we hope that by visiting this site and playing some of the nominated titles, you’ll find some superb games you hadn’t known about before.
We’ve got more than 50 different games spread over 10 categories, and each one has something unique to offer. Many of them are even completely free so you can play them right now.
And don’t forget our most important category: the People’s Choice award. Select any game from any category and vote to award it the highest accolade, and have a chance to win an Ultimate Gaming CrossFire Kit.
Heehee, just kidding.
Check out all of the award categories here.
Thanks from Digital Eel and Shrapnel Games to all at the GameShadow Festival for the nomination, and thanks to one and all for playing Weird Worlds!
Hot news off the hyperwire! Kit Pierce of MacGamer just posted a warm and fuzzy review of Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. He says Weird Worlds is the space cat's meow. --Okay, you got me. Kit didn't actually say that but he implies as much and says lots more! As usual, Kit provides an excellent overview of the game and this time a very favorable critique. Be sure to check it out. Thanks to Kit and all at MacGamer for playing Weird Worlds!
Gamers of the world, unite! Manifesto Games has officially opened its online doors. Founder Greg Costikyan and his loyal comrades, and Digital Eel, invite you all to stop by and browse the unique and eclectic selection of dynamite downloadable games they have there. And prices? As cheap as $5-$10. No kidding and the games are great too. In fact, Manifesto Games offers four Digital Eel games as well (at their normal ridiculously low prices) which only speaks to their gamish wisdom and good taste!
Congratulations and best of luck to Greg and all at Manifesto! Let the games begin. To everyone else, head on over to the Manifesto site and give them your support. Check out the game demos and help them get off to a grand start. Be part of the revolution!
Cool indie game news: Game Tunnel, a longtime and respected online supporter of all games indie, has just gone live with a new quarterly e-zine that you can download and enjoy for the low low price of FREE! Issue #1 is raring to go, positive, informative, colorful and loaded with content, so be sure to czech it out!
Get Worm Free From Manifesto Games!
To celebrate their upcoming and highly anticipated launch, Manifesto Games is offering Plasmaworm for free! Yep, you heard right, and not the demo but the whole darn Digital Eel FULL VERSION!
How can they/we do this, you ask? Because Manifesto Games is dangerous and Digital Eel is insane. Only dangerously insane people would make such an insanely dangerous game available to unsuspecting gamers in this way!
Note that this offer only lasts until September 15th, so be sure to head on over to Manifesto and check out the pre-launch shenanigans, ASAP.
Plasmaworm has been called the disturbingly addictive worm game. Disturbing in a kind of pulsing undulating psychedelic way. Wormy in a familiar snake game way. Cool! Addictive in the "just one more level" way. Curiouser and curiouser...
Plasmaworm has a plethora (meaning LOTS) of cool features, many not usually associated with this type of game, like boss levels and two player cooperative and deathmatch play. Yep, two worms can duke it out or combine their efforts versus the dreaded Plasmangler!
You have to see this game to believe it. And all you have to do to love it is press a key, steer the plasmaworm and gobble. Digital Eel, that's us, takes care of the rest with trancy original music, surprising sound effects, glob guns and yes, even cosmic ducks. --And not to be outdone, Plasmaworm also includes a plasma editor, a music editor and a level editor so you can create and save your own weirdly cool levels. This puppy, excuse me, worm, is loaded!
M O R E F U N T H A N H U M A N S
Happiness is a warm particle vortex cannon.
Boldly blow up stuff where no one has blown up stuff before!
S H O U L D B E A L L O W E D T O H A V E
From the Purple Void
To Your Card Table
Did you know that you can play Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space and Strange Adventures in Infinite Space starship combat on a card table? It's true! Cheapass Games presents for your gaming pleasure Diceland: Space! Two sets of giant dice, dozens of them, featuring starships, wacky powers and weaponry from the Infinite Space games.
Play the Muktians, the Garthans, the good guy Terrans or the evil and stealthy Urluquai! Also included are a number of unique ship types not available in the computer game versions (and a couple of BIG surprises!).
The sets, Terrans vs. Urluquai and Garthans vs. Muktians, can be combined or even mixed with dice from the other Diceland games (Deep White Sea, Cyburg, Dragons, etc.) for tabletop encounters of the craziest kind!
Diceland is a Cheapass Games "color game," and when that's the case, you can count on seeing some of the grooviest game art in the biz, and because it's Cheapass Games, you can also count on the most important thing: tons of fun!
Hot off the hypernet: Family-oriented game review site GamerDad recently posted a very positive critique of Weird Worlds: Return To Infinite Space. Review author Dr. Matt J. Carlson recommends the game for ages 10 and up, and we very much agree. Weird Worlds is perfect for young gamers just getting into science at school and science fiction for fun. Makes Ripcord wish he was ten again! Thanks from Digital Eel to Dr. Matt and all at GamerDad for a thoughtful review and rating!
Digital Eel's Big Box of Blox
Now available for tiny devices!
Digital Eel and Astraware are pleased as punch (Oof!) to announce that Big Box of Blox, the weirdest match-three game in the whole weird world, is now available for Palm OS, Pocket PC and Windows Mobile Smartphone!
Big Box of Blox is a blox stacking game taken to outrageous extremes. Using stylus or button controls, arrange the three-blox-high stax as they fall. Match blox in groups of three or more, vertically or horizontally, to eliminate them -but that's not all!
Don't just stack the blox. Smash 'em, blast 'em, mutate 'em or explode 'em in a shower of flames! Kerblammo! Use special blox including jokers, bombs, frogs (Frogs?), mushrooms, fireballs and slot machines (Yes, slot machines!) to wipe out the board before it reaches the top!
Big Box of Blox also features five different games in one, cool music and yummy art by the ever-shining Phosphorous, of course!
For more info, the free demo and little buttons to press to get your very own copy, check out the Astraware Big Box of Blox page here!
To get the original PC or Mac OS X versions of Big Box of Blox (and demos), CD (brought to you by Cheapass Games) or downloadable, click here.
Is your wallpaper too...earthbound?
Put a Zorg on your desktop!
"Zorg Ambassador" from Weird Worlds
Download (832k .bmp)
Image by Phosphorous
Semi-hot off the hyperwire: Peter Cohen, writing for Macworld, posted a glowy review of Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space last week. (We would have put this up sooner but for some some minor site troubles.) Peter likes the game a lot, citing brisk gameplay, high replayability and variety of encounters, and mod-friendliness as his favorite elements. This is a thorough and fun to read overview, especially if you have never played Weird Worlds before (so read it and get playing!). Go here to see. Thanks to Peter and all at Macworld for the kind words, and for playing Weird Worlds!
Bet you didn't know it was Digital Eel Music Day today. Not surprising. We didn't either until Lextor Mucron stopped by with certain interstellar bootleg recordings of Digital Eel game music, smuggled in from Epsilon 9.
Imagine our surprise (and consternation I might add) to learn that one of the tracks (legally we can't say which one) was a hit throughout five star systems -yet we get no royalties! Dang it, we really should have listened to that purple four-eyed lawyer with the flailing tentacles...
Anyway, now the toothpaste is out of the bag, the cat's out of the bottle and the genii is out of the tube. It's a mess. The only thing to do is release the real music tracks just to...to show those pesky alien bootleggers a thing or two! (I'm not sure which things exactly but, well, it's the principle of the thing.)
So, we'll make a deal with you, gentle readers and Digital Eelsters. Two tunes for the price of free. Yep. You heard right. Free music. No strings attached. All you have to do is promise to buy lots and lots of Digital Eel games, and preferably many more than you ordinarily would. -But that's it. That's all we ask!
So, presented here for the first time are I Was A Teenage Haircut, the menu groove from Dr. Blob's Organism, and a special dub of Blok Atak, level music from Digital Eel's Big Box of Blox (both in .mp3 format). Please note that these music tracks are child-proven, eco-friendly (except for the electricity used to run your computer) and rated N2: Not Normal. Enjoy!
Good News for Mac Gamers
Weird Worlds for Mac OS X is Here!
Digital Eel (that's us) and publisher Shrapnel Games are very excited to announce the release of Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space for Mac OS X. Now, Mac gamers can discover strange new worlds, seek out new technologies, artifacts and lifeforms, and boldly blow up stuff where no one has blown up stuff before!
Weird Worlds for Mac, or MacWeird as we like to call it, is currently available for purchase and download via the Shrapnel Games and Gamers Front websites. The CD version (a hybrid Mac/Win CD) will be available very soon, so watch the skies!
Be sure to play the free Weird Worlds Mac DEMO. It's a full-featured version of Weird Worlds playable on the smallest starmap size. It will give you a goodly romp around Sector Prime and it is a great way to learn the game!
Btw, if you enjoy Weird Worlds, and we're sure you will, check out Strange Adventures in Infinite Space, for Mac & PC, the game that started it all!
We've all heard of "fan fiction" and "fan art," stories and imagery created by gamers inspired by a particular game. But how about "fan music?" That's something you don't see, er, hear every day!
"Fan music" is usually created by manipulating existing music and sound effects included in a game. However, the coolest (and most rare) kind is created by a composer from scratch.
And that's exactly what we have here, courtesy of Arren Frank who recently composed and arranged The Mantle of Babulon, a moody and mysterious music track inspired by (or perhaps dedicated to) one of the legendary artifacts found in Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. Add this to your soundtrack music playlist and it will fit right in. Nice stuff, Arren.
Check out The Mantle of Babulon here in .mp3 format.
Arren is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, writer, game development QA tester and, of course, gamer from Zubenelgenubi-III who aspires to a) create games one day and to b) raise blue mutants for show purposes, whatever they are.
You can visit Arren's websites here and here.
A double dose of "weird" news. First up, Daniel Buck posted a rave review of Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space on Gamezilla. We almost missed this one because it appeared online while we were attending the IGF, which is sort of a lost week in terms of what's going on in the real world. Anyway, you can read Daniel's critique
here (and be sure to follow his advice). Thanks to Dan and all at Gamezilla for the kind words and support!
Second (but not least!), the mighty Wydraz has posted v1.0 of The Mizendar Galaxy, a partial conversion mod for Weird Worlds that changes the game and adds all kinds of cool things, including three new ships -one of them looks suspiciously like a certain ship from a certain TV show called something like Flyfire. Hmm...
Point is, if you want to achieve total serenity, play this mod. Thanks to Wydraz, the universe of Infinite Space has become even more infinite! Visit Wydraz's Weird Worlds mod page for shots, more info and download links, or just grab The Mizendar Galaxy here.
Roll up for the
Digital Eel GDC MYSTERY TOUR 2006
Step right this way...
Crazy Brave New Venture
Easy on the emails folks. I'm here to confirm that the rumors are true. Digital Eel is bravely (or insanely) foraying into the realm of holographic entertainment!
We're not sure how this leaked out (possibly loose lips at the GDC) but we figured that we might as well confirm it --have it be said officially-- and maybe even try to tantalize folks a little bit while we're at it.
Are you tantalized yet? Okay, here's the scoop.
We can tell you that what we're working on right now is exciting. Unprecedented. Really fantastic in the truest sense of the word. However, it may take a while to come to fruition. We're trying to look ahead, way ahead, and imagine the entertainment of the future into existence now. After all, Picasso said "Everything you can imagine is real." Easier said than done, of course, but we think we have an angle that will allow us to avoid most of the technical problems altogether.
Want to know more? Click here for a sample of things to come.
(Update: Did we April Fool you? No? Come on, admit it. No? Really? Oh fine. Next time, pal. Next time...)
Big nooz! Last week at the Independent Games Festival hosted by the Game Developers Conference in sunny San Jose, Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space won the coveted Innovation in Audio award!
You can check out the Independent Games Festival 2006 results -and find download links to all of the 2006 finalists' demos- here.
This is where the action is. This is what "indie" is all about: Some of the coolest handmade games released this year that are unlike anything you've seen on store shelves. Games created outside of the game industry system by folks who follow the Rules of Fun rather than the advice of marketers. Seriously, what in the world could be better? So, check out the IGF and join the indie re-evolution -which is already in progress!
Hot off the hyperwire: Global Gaming League's Richard Elliott posted a new review of Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. Richard takes an interesting approach providing a "play by play" account of his first few sessions playing the game. In doing so, he describes Weird Worlds very well, including lots of tantalizing tidbits for you to ponder (until you play the demo!). Hats off from the Digital Eel gang to Richard and all at GGL for a novel critique and a fun read!
These gamers are hooked...on Weird Worlds! Thanks to Headrock and all at Hooked Gamers for posting such a positive and thorough review of Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space. Folks, if any of you are wondering if you should get the full version of Weird Worlds, read Headrock's review. It will give you an excellent idea of what the game is about. He nabbed some good screenshots too.
Check out the Hooked Gamers review here.
T H E U N I V E R S E H A S E X P A N D E D
S T R A N G E A D V E N T U R E S < W E I R D W O R L D S
Update: Since Paizo is now handling sales for Cheapass Games, links to the Dr. Blob's Organism, Big Box of Blox, Boiler Plate Special, Plasmaworm and Strange Adventures in Infinite Space CD purchase pages have been inactive. Well, no more! Everything has been fixed and the sites are back to normal, or, at least as normal as a Digital Eel site can be. Sorry about any confusion caused by this. Our bad.
The Weird Worlds Modmaker's Guide to the Galaxy has been updated! The latest tutorial, The Quest System, promises to be "a wellspring of arcane wisdom" for Weird Worlds modders. The Quest System itself is a text-based file format that allows you to make simple scripts to display text and images, as well as affect the gameplay in a variety of ways. If this sounds like your cup of space tea, be sure to check out the Modmaker's Guide to the Galaxy for all of the latest updates.
VOTE WEIRD WORLDS!
It's official! Voting has begun for the 2006 Independent Games Festival Audience Award, hosted online by the fine folks at GameSpot. Since everyone is encouraged to vote (and that means you), we encourage you to cast your vote for Weird Worlds. --In fact, tell all of your friends to vote for Weird Worlds too, and after that, tell family, co-workers, complete strangers and even pets!
Oh, I note that you must be registered at GameSpot to be able to vote (registration is free)... I guess that leaves out pets, unless your cat is as smart as mine. (He plays the sax...and Weird Worlds!)
Hot off the hyperwire: There's a brand new press page up just in case you want to know what people are saying about Weird Worlds. Quotes, quotes and more quotes from all of the Weird Worlds reviews we've seen so far. Stop by and catch the buzz. This page will be updated from time to time.
Three new Weird Worlds reviews have appeared (thanks to Annette and Jay for the heads up) on Gamers With Jobs, Videolamer and The Diamond Games.com. You can check them out here, here and here. Everyone seems to like the game just fine and that's always great to hear. Thanks to all. Some cool websites too, so be sure to go see. I bet you'll bookmark a couple of them.
Many thanks to James "Prophet" Fudge and all at GameShark for posting a cool new review of Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space yesterday! In his critique, Prophet says, right off the top, "Digital Eel's spaced out adventure sequel continues the magical formula of the first game and adds some excellent new features." Then, a rather glowing review takes off from there. Wow, we're glad you like it, James, and we're flattered and we're not worthy and we should probably send you an Urluquai piñata stuffed with Muktian money! (Oh geez, now everyone will want one...)
Just in, hot off the space griddle: Gamasutra writer Ernest Adams uses Weird Worlds as an example in an interesting article called Multi-level Gameplay in which he explores a certain venerable game design archetype that has withstood the test of time.
Here's the teaser:
“Level” has to be the most overloaded word in the game development lexicon. We've got character levels, difficulty levels, level design, tech-tree levels, recursion levels in programming, and so on. Computer games are full of numbers, so almost anything with a quantitative value can be said to have a “level” of some kind or another.
Intrigued? Click here to read Adams' article!
I'm going to further complicate matters in this column by talking about multi-level gameplay - that is, games with different gameplay modes, one of which is conceptually inside another...
A View From Bandur, the Muktian Home World
Download .bmp format wallpaper here. (1.75MB)
Are you curious about the Weird Worlds of the Purple Void? Are they actually as weird as people say? Tiber Institute professor and celebrated cyborg, Hurd Merkle, recently filed this report from Bandur, the home world of the Muktian Underdwellers (excerpt follows):
"The Grand Procession of the Faithful on their annual pilgrimage to the Great Slime Temple... The high priest of the Golden Ooze passes among the devout, leaving behind a trail of viscous sacred pulp (from which larval Muktians will soon emerge, fresh from their breeding vats) even as interstellar tourist creatures snatch globs for themselves to market offworld..."
'Nuff said. Ripcord out.
T W O T I M E S T H E I N F I N I T E
Happiness is a warm particle vortex cannon.
Boldly blow up stuff where no one has blown up stuff before!
T W O T I M E S T H E S P A C E
Just in: Edward Pollard posted a very positive critique of Weird Worlds on eToychest. He's got lots of things to say about the game but if this one doesn't get you nothing will:
"Very little in all of gaming is as satisfying as cloaking your pirate corsair to sneak behind an enemy battle cruiser you are distracting with a nimble fighter to unleash an unexpected and devastating salvo."
Nuff said! You can read the review here. Thanks to Edward and all at eToychest for playing Weird Worlds!