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Tiny Build Confirms Party Hard Sequel Using New Engine

Posted on February 8, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Party Hard 2

Indie publisher Tiny Build has announced that their 2015 stealth action title Party Hard will be receiving a sequel in the form of Party Hard 2.  Not only have they announced that the game will utilize a new engine but Party Hard 2 will be playable by the public very soon with a series of sign-up only alphas and a playable build on display at PAX East next month.

The premise of Party Hard 2 is pretty simplistic – set ten years after the original the player, as a corporate employee, is denied their holiday bonus and decides to celebrate the season by filling the halls with gallons of blood. All valid criticisms of late capitalism aside, players going on a massacre as a within action games has been happening for decades at this point and from the look of things Party Hard 2 embraces this destructive gaming practice.

Party Hard 2 utilizes a brand new, unnamed, engine that will allow the devs to provide players with 3D real-time environments complete with physics simulations. Two dimensional characters will blend seamlessly into these new 3D environments as you can see in the animated GIF below:

Party Hard 2

Party Hard 2 will have a series of public alpha builds which potential players can sign-up for on the game’s official website. It will also be playable at the PAX East Expo in Boston at the Tiny Build booth.


Party Hard delivers slow methodical action | Review

Posted on July 20, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

Do your neighbors annoy you? Do you like killing? If you answered yes to either of these, you might like Party Hard. Ill set the stage for you. You’re a masked serial killer just trying to get some sleep. Its 3am and your neighbors are really, really, loud. So you kill them, all of them, while they party.

That’s basically the whole game. But its all wrapped up in a really great package of pixely carnage action. It also has a ton of environmental things to play with. So Enviroment + killing + stupid neighbors = a fun action game. It all seems pretty simple I’ll admit but what it adds up to is more than the sum or its parts.

The game doesn’t have so much of a story as it does a singular purpose. Stop the noise. But this isint madness interactive (vaunted flash game of the 00s), no your not going to be blowing people away with a vast array of weapons and explosives. Instead its all about the planning, patience and carefully laid traps.

Look at all these loud people. Better kill them all

Look at all these loud people. Better kill them all


Each level starts off with you outside a house full of excited partying people. These people are all busy with their own stuff, they are drinking, getting lewd, smoking drugs. Whatever you do at parties.  Your job is to kill them all. But this isn’t hit man, you don’t even have a gun. You’re going to need to kill them with smarts, and well laid traps. Rather than brute force.

So how do you kill them then? Well there are a lot of options. You can set up traps, you can stab people, you can lead them to poison themselves. There are dozens of ways. Levels get more difficult as you go, primarily by having more people around you, and less traps. A good example of one of these traps is setting a stove to blow up, or poisoning the keg.

Each level also has random events that trigger when you are on the level. So you might get a dark coated man who gives you an item, or there might a drug deal in the back that provides chemicals or weapons.  The cool thing is that these seem to be random, and so you can end up having almost anything happen in almost any level.  You can expose the drug deals as well, and this also casuses chaos, with the police showing up and shooting everyone.

The police are as much of a problem as a help in this game, when you start killing people. So once you kill people with your knife, the most basic of tools, you will be able to expand out to more exciting things. Like setting down a stun bomb you got from that strange in the overcoat, or poisoning the keg.

The game features a great soundtrack of intense EDM music. Exactly what you would expect at a party I suppose. The game really feels methodical. You cant just run in and start stabbing everyone. Careful planning and attention to available environmental traps is important.

The game is played from the top down, similar to that other slaughter fest that is Hot line Miami. If Hotline Miami is a game of speed, this is a game of chess. Its slow and methodical. It has some hectic moments sure, I misplaced kill can result in you running after someone trying to stop them setting up the alarm. But those are rare moments. Most of the time your going to need to carefully plan out where and when you kill people.

Hitman penalizes you for killing, this game rewards you. In each party there will be a large number of people, your job is to kill them. You can set rooms on fire, blow things up, use poison whatever, doesn’t matter. As long as they end up dead. I found myself mostly stabbing people because that was easiest. I also used a lot of poison and one or two explosive traps, since those tend to get a larger number of people at once.

a good start

Just about halfway through now

Is there any story?

The games story plays out in between each part, where a hard boiled detective will try to track you down. Each of these little vignettes is a refreshing breather from the intensity of the part with its nonstop EDM music. Both the cut scenes and the game are in a pixel style.  I like the pixel style because it plays down the gore a bit. Partiers can still explode in to pools of red blood and bits of things, but since they are pixelated its less offensive.

This is a punishingly difficult game, several times I ended up getting caught and losing the level. This results in a total start over, no check points. On a level where you might have to kill 40 or 50 people it can take 20 minutes to carefully lay everything up.

Each level is well designed, with a lot of rooms with doors that close, exit points, and traps for the party goers. Sadly this is where we start to end up with a problem. Levels are different in layout, but all of the goals are the same. The game has one one goal, and you are the lone agent of that goal.

The Games first level tell you the controls, there are three you can see them all on screen here.

The Games first level tell you the controls, there are three you can see them all on screen here.

The verdict

I do have to say at least one bad thing about every game, so for this one I am picking its length and lack of diversity. Though the levels change, most players will quickly fatigue with having to kill two or three dozen people without being caught. Killing so many works well in games like Hot Line Miami because of the frantic pacing, but this game features a much slower methodical approach. Much time is spent simply waiting. Waiting for one person to walk away from the group to kill them. Waiting for a planted bomb to be in just the right place to go off. Waiting for the police to arrive, search, and then leave. It is for sure a waiting game.

There are also some great moments as well. When you plant the bomb in the right place, and it kills half a dozen partiers, when a cop car screams up and kills 4 or 5 with no care at all. Some moments feel fun and unplanned. One level featured a meth lab in the back, and totally with out my prompting a fight broke out there. This fight caused a fire, which killed many people. Through it all the DJ partied on.

There is even some room for humor, subtle jokes abound. My favorite is the ability to make the protagonist dance to the frantic techo that’s going on all around him as he kills his way through the game.  I found myself often just sort of standing and listening to music. Sadly the game has a few bugs that make it more difficult to play. Invisible phones  have got to be the worst of all of these, as party patrons use phones to summon police. So, if you don’t know when they are coming, you will lose every time. Over all for the price point I think this game is well done and would recommend it.

Other than the eternally slow pace, I have very little bad to say about this game. Glitches can (and presumably will) be patched later on. Many people will no doubt take the timing of my review to be poor in light of recent events. However, I do not believe that this is a game of the type that promotes violence.  Its cartoony aesthetic and lack of any realistic violence make it much less a murder simulator and much more just a fun game. Over all I give this game a buy it rating, it is out now on IOS Android, PC, PS4 and Xbox One.


Brokenjoysticks was provided a copy of the PC version for review.


Key Resellers a Huge Threat to Indies

Posted on June 24, 2016 by Renee Gittins

Key resellers have a reputation for being sketchy and potentially harmful to the game industry. Recently, the magnitude of their negative impact was shown.

Earlier this week, tinyBuild, an indie game development studio and publisher, revealed that the key reselling site, G2A.COM, sold thousands of keys of their games without tinyBuild ever seeing a dime. Almost $200k was pulled in by G2A, though tinyBuild has noted that the keys sold at retail value would have been worth $450k.

tinyBuild's calculations of sales and lost sales based on sales information from G2A.

tinyBuild’s calculations of sales and lost sales based on sales information from G2A.

G2A’s response to this reveal was not an apology, but demands that tinyBuild produce a list of the keys that are fraudulent (a rather difficult and absurd request), and a criticism of tinyBuild’s loss estimate, clearly not understanding what “retail value” means.

G2A.COM calls for tinyBuild to provide their list of suspicious keys within three days from the date of this transmission.

The CEO of tinyBuild, Alex Nichiporchik responded that:

The way our business works is we work with a ton of partners, and tracking down individual key batches is an insane amount of work. Even if we did that and deactivated certain batches, each one of them will have a bunch of ‘legitimate’ redemptions… I [also] believe [G2A would] just resell those keys and make more money off of it.

Alex’s distrust of key resellers is understandable, especially considering the response from G2A. Instead of taking down tinyBuild keys or providing compensation of the sales to the studio, G2A is still happily making money off of assisting scammers.

One of tinyBuild's games, Punch Club.

One of tinyBuild’s games, Punch Club.

Key resellers seem to have a pretty reasonable business model at first glance: a person gets a key for a game they don’t want or already have, and sells it on a key reselling website to make a few bucks and put the key in the pocket of someone who will use it.

The internet is not a kind place, though, and key resellers provide an opportunity for fraudsters to easily cash out. They use stolen credit cards to purchase keys, like from Humble Bundle and even key resellers, then turn around and resell them on the key reselling sites that are more lenient in their security. The key is resold and gone on to more legitimate hands long before the first seller is hit with the charge-back from the stolen card. Publishers and developers lose, while scammers and sketchy key resellers win.

“They’re basically helping people launder money” noted Mike Gnade, from IndieGameStand. “This scam really pisses me off – mainly because these people aren’t stealing from large rich corporations but taking advantage of smaller companies and indie developers.”

While stolen credit cards are a large part of the problem, there are other places that these key reselling merchants are finding keys: bots and scammers.

Bots happily search streams, Facebook and other channels for posted codes to snatch up and resell, and the losing side is always the developers. Not even the smallest game studios are free from these risks.

My inbox often gets emails like the following:


My name is Anas, nice to meet you.
I found in the Steam list your game Potions: A Curious Tale and would like to submit it on my channel.
I plan to try your game on one of the my closest twitch-streams, and if I liked it – make a full review on YouTube channel.
I will be very grateful, if you send me few extra keys as a small thanks for advertising (I want give them to my friends, who are just beginning to engage a streaming).
Thank you for your time. I hope to hear your answer, even if it is negative.
Sounds pretty cool, right? Someone wants to stream Potions: A Curious Tale, and, wow, they have 1.6 million subscribers on YouTube. An amazing opportunity, right?
Probably not. It’s like that this person is just phishing for keys. They’ve made a gmail account with an address that seems similar to what this streamer would use and are probably using a bot to write emails like this. Notice how the only detail about my game is the name of the game itself, and, of course, they want multiple keys, not just one.

With an unreleased game, I am particularly sensitive to requests like this, because the game is not intended to be released to the general public yet. Reselling of my keys would be extremely harmful to Potions: A Curious Tale, not just due to lost revenue, but because the game is unfinished and may be received poorly.

Luckily, there are services like Distribute(), created by Vlambeer to help indie developers sort legitimate requests from illegitimate ones. They offer tracking of “Verified press contacts [to] help you ensure press requests come from a trusted source. Verified press contacts help you avoid fake requests from video content creators or people pretending to be from larger websites or YouTube personalities.”
Still, the night is dark and full of scammers.


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