Graham Russell

Brjann SigurgeirssonWhat does an indie team do after its first big hit? We talked to Brjánn Sigurgeirsson, CEO of SteamWorld Dig developer Image & Form, about its new project: SteamWorld Heist, a turn-based strategy game set in the world of the breakout mining title. In the game, you’ll assemble a team of robots and take them into spaceship shootouts in a fight for resources and survival.

Snackbar Games: What is it like making a game after making a successful one?

Brjánn Sigurgeirsson: It’s hard. It’s not automatically easy. When we were done with the development of SteamWorld Dig, that was June, like exactly two years ago. It came out in August on the 3DS first. And we didn’t know. I mean, we’d been so engrossed in making the game, so we didn’t know if it was flawed, or decent, or good, or bad, or great? But we knew that we were very tired at that point. So it’s like “okay, everybody, let’s go for vacation,” so everyone went for vacation in July, and we’ll just pick it up in August and see what we do. So the first few days, we were talking about what kind of PR and marketing we were going to make for Dig. It’s coming out in seven days, and we didn’t have a plan for it. READ MORE

Are you ready to Smash? No, not that Smash. Graham and Jeremy face off in Japan-only SNES title Sanrio World Smash Ball, a competitive game reminiscent of Windjammers and Bang Bead featuring characters from the Hello Kitty universe. Who will triumph? Watch and find out!

New episodes of Gaijin Guide are posted every other Wednesday.

Lost Dimension

“Trust no one.”

It’s a phrase that’s often uttered, but no game has really delivered on the promise that lies within it. After all, you may find a traitor in your midst in a game, but it’s usually an isolated incident and always something you can know ahead of time with a little research. Lost Dimension‘s very premise takes on the challenge: anyone around you could turn on you at any moment. In fact, the game’s main adversary, a fellow appropriately named The End, comes across as the most trustworthy of them all: you can trust that he’s up to no good and messing with you at every turn.

Or can you? This is a game that revels in challenging your assumptions, and pays off just often enough to keep your suspicions high. READ MORE

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5

Tony Hawk is back, and it has halfpipes! Manuals! Rails! Reverts! Projectiles!

“Yeah, that really shouldn’t have been included in the announcement.”

Activision and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 developer Robomodo know what they’re trying to do is a difficult dance: update Pro Skater for modern players while still feeling like the old days. A slip-up like the “projectiles” line in the initial release frustrates the team as much as it instills doubt in the fan base, because it really does seem like the franchise could finally be on the right track after years of experimentation and failure. READ MORE

Transformers Devastation

Developer PlatinumGames is taking on a lot of work lately. The team’s adding to the already-announced Scalebound with the new Nier, a chunk of Star Fox Zero and, of course, Transformers: Devastation. We had a chance to check out the latter at E3, as well as speak to the two leads behind the project.

Transformers: Devastation is meant to pay tribute to the history of the Transformers brand, staying away from the movie universe but immersing itself in many of its other incarnation. In particular, PlatinumGames took inspiration from the IDW reboot comic series, the Generations toy line and, of course, the original cartoon. Some familiar voices are making a return, like Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime and Frank Welker as Megatron, and the story’s penned by Andy Schmidt, who was behind much of the IDW series. READ MORE