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Fast Paced Indie Games

Grappling Hook crashes on Linux with Java 7 or higher, because of an old bug in the LWJGL library.
A hotfix for can be downloaded here.
Have fun!
Christian

Grappling Hook costs only $6,95 + VAT, now.
Have fun! :)
Christian

speeddemosarchive.com, an awesome community for speedrunners, picked Grappling Hook to do a speedrun of the entire game. In this thread they track their current progress.
Here are some videos of the amazing runs or you can watch the entire playlist of the fastest runs.





The “Every 10th Order is FREE!”-weeks are over.
Thanks to everyone who bought the game. I hope you enjoy it! :)
The winning digit is “3″. Every winner will receive an email with the 50 % OFF coupon and get his money back.

Every 10th Order is FREE! Take your chance and get your copy of Grappling Hook for FREE  PLUS a 50 % OFF COUPON for a friend!    If you buy Grappling Hook between 15th and 28th February 2010 on the games website, you automatically have the opportunity to win. You win if the last digit of your order-number is the winning digit, which will be announced on 1st March 2010.  Every winner will automatically get his money back and receive the 50 % OFF coupon via email.

The Adrenaline Vault has released a list of the 12 top casual PC games of 2009 and Grappling Hook is on this list!
You can read the article here.

There is a special Grappling Hook Christmas offer!
Buy Grappling Hook and save 25 % by using this coupon code at checkout: BMWS000H3
The code is valid until 23:59 EST on 27. December 2009.
Grappling Hook is available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux.

Merry Christmas, everyone! :)

In the current issue of Thirteen1, an awesome online games magazine, is a 3 pages long review of Grappling Hook! Overall rating is 92%!
Some quotes from the review:

Grappling Hook is a triumph of design, requiring you to zip around at ultra-fast speeds through levels of steadily increasing difficulty.
It’s challenging, exhilarating and, quite simply, a joyous dose of reflex gameplay!
Grappling Hook is a must-play for all ‘Portal’ fans out there.
[...] once you try Grappling Hook, you will understand the sheer awesomeness it holds under it’s many blocks and turrets.

Grappling Hook is also part of the Thirteen1 – Massive Christmas Giveaway“!
You can win Grappling Hook, Aion, CitesXL, Trine, Fallout 3, We Sing, Section 8, Tropico Reloaded, Sins of Solar Empire, Ceville, F1 2009, a bunch of gaming hardware and even more. Just answer a few questions and hope that the luck is on your side.

The Swedish gaming blog blogemup.se interviewed me. You can read the interview in Swedish here. Here is a translation:

Blog’em up: Tell me about SpeedRunGames. Is it a one man show?
Christian: Yes, I’m the only person behind SpeedRunGames.

Blog’em up: What’s your history? What have you done prior to Grappling Hook?
Christian: Right now I’m still a student for Computational Visualistics. Last year I’ve worked as an intern and employee for Replay Studio on Velvet Assassin.
I wanted to be a game developer since 2001, so I’ve created a couple of small projects in the past, that prepared me to do Grappling Hook.
There is for example a game for mobile phones called Gladiator. I used some code of this old project for the level-animation-system in Grappling Hook.

Blog’em up: How long have you been working on Grappling Hook?
Christian: I’ve started working full-time on Grappling Hook in march 2009, after I left Replay Studios.

Blog’em up: How did you come up with the idea?
Christian: The Half Life mod Cold Ice was the main inspiration. I loved the feeling of acceleration and velocity in this mod. Grappling Hook is my try to create this feeling and enhance it. I think the spatial puzzles are perfect to encourage the player to explore how the grappling hook can be used.

Blog’em up: Grappling hooks in general seem to have a revival as a video game feature with games such as Bionic Commando, Hook Champ, Grapple Buggy, Just Cause 2. What’s your opinion on these games?
Christian: The grappling hook is a great feature, because it is mighty, fun, and extends the ability of the player to explore a game world in a very fundamental way. It also encourages players and designers to be more creative than with regular weapons.
It is great to see how different a grappling hook can be used in games. The movement in Bionic Commando with the hook feels limited, but you can use the hook in the fights as well. Just Cause 2 extends these possibilities. And hopefully the hook allows more freedom in movement, too.
Hook champ looks like real fun: high speed grappling hook and Indy hats! In Grapple Buggy the hook is more rubber-like.

Blog’em up: On your website you’ve published a “mission”. Can you tell us about that? Why did you publish it and what reactions did you want to spur?
Christian: The mission statement is a collection of the most important things I’ve learned about game development. It helps me to avoid doing the same errors twice and stay on track.
Everyone makes his very own experience developing games, but I hope that my statement helps a few developers out there to understand their experiences a bit better.

Blog’em up: In the mission/manifest you write “Always focus on the feature that is most important to your game” and “Drop all ideas which do not fit into and support the vision of the game.” Is this a reaction to the industry’s feature hysteria or is it just a friendly advice to your fellow indie developer?
Christian: In 2007 I’ve developed an edutainment game with a fellow student. We started with an extensive game design, but at one day we decided to reduce the entire game to one of the mini-games, because this was the most fun part. This was the best decision we made during the entire development. It improved the gameplay experience a lot and even reduced the remaining work to do. In another project I saw way too many features implemented and that weakened the core-features.
So I don’t say, that all games should have only very few core-features. I just know that it works best for me, because I want to finish my games and only have a limited budget and time. I’m pretty sure that a game designer at say Ubisoft with a lot more developers available thinks different.

Blog’em up: Both the mission and Grappling Hook seem to address that games should focus on doing one thing great rather than several things poorly. Has this something to do with SpeedRunGames being a one man show and therefore making it difficult for you to take on several different roles (programmer, designer, artist, musician etc)?
Christian: Yes, I try to keep the amount of work low, so I can finish the games in a reasonable time. Staying focused is one way to achieve this. Other ways are to work within the limits, looking out for loopholes, dropping bad ideas early and investing at least the same time in thinking than in working.

Blog’em up: Germany is known for being “anti gaming”. How is it to work as a game developer in such a climate?
Nintendo, browser- and casual-games have broadened the audience for games in the last years and this has a positive effect on the climate.
Christian: When non-gamers talk about games, they talk about violence in games most of the time. Personally I don’t like it when games feature violence that exceeds the amount that is really required for the game to be great. On the other side struggling and fighting is part of the human nature and there is no point, why games shouldn’t reflect human nature just as much as other forms of media do. I’m sure that time will solve this issue, so that games will be treated like movies.
Another discussion is about addictive games. I think this is a problem, because there are games that are designed to be addictive and keep the player playing for as long as possible. Most of these games achieve this by giving the player an illusion of success. This means the player achieves nothing, but he gets rewards for just playing. I don’t think real joy can be born out of this. The player is just occupied and wasting his life-time. However, such games are probably not worse than some shows on TV.
In general I appreciate critical discussions about games, because they will help games to evolve in future, even though some statements seem ridiculous sometimes.

New Review
The new review is in German and for the Linux version.

Grappling Hook is available for Linux!
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