Paragon Infinite developer Mike Lasch Internet Sit-down

Paragon Infinite developer Mike Lasch Internet Sit-down

I recently sat down with Mike Lasch, creator of Paragon and Paragon Infinite, to get a good idea of the solo-Indie development landscape and see where his individual path has taken him. Warm and jovial, he is easy going and deeply dedicated to making gamers happy through his creations. It is somewhat difficult to find genuine concern for the player and the love of creating, but Mike has this quality.

His story is not an unusual one but that does not depreciate its importance: a man setting out into the world to program and code as his whims take him. He has participated in game jams such as Ludum Dare, fundraising events such as A Bundle of Love for Brandon, and works diligently to integrate into the wide community of game dev.

Let's see where our conversation takes us.

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Paragon or: How to Not Forget Our Roots and Play the Original.

Previously, we played Paragon Infinite, the arcade reimagining of the original game Paragon. Our eyes fall to this progressive puzzler and equally timing-reliant game experience.

Paragon (from now on referred to as Paragon: Prime because it sounds cool) "enjoyed" an extended, 3-year-long development cycle at the hands of Mike Lasch. I imagine this is due to the difficulty in crafting a challenging game that forces you to learn the layout of each level and failing multiple times before being successful.

Let me explain. If you happened to watch how Paragon Infinite plays, then you should be loosely familiar. For those who haven't (go watch!), I described it thusly, "collect gems and guide a ball through barriers as it bounces up and down a filament-like strand before being released forward as it is chased by an ever approaching kill barrier." Even in the context of Infinite, that doesn't make much sense. Prime still has gem collecting and the filament action where the ball follows a rail and . Infinite measures progress simply as a numerically-based score with no end goal. Prime uses gem collection sort of like a checkpoint where they all need to be collected in order to complete a level. Score is determined, golf-style, by the number of times a ball reaches the end of a rail and bounces back. Fewer bounces means a better rating and score.

Paragon Infinite: For Honest Enjoyment

Today we will take a quick look at Paragon Infinite by Mike Lasch. This little beauty is the mobile-y, arcade-y version of Paragon (which we will be taking a look at come Thursday.

Hard to describe, game play is as such: collect gems and guide a ball through barriers as it bounces up and down a filament-like strand before being released forward as it is chased by an ever approaching kill barrier. Like I said, game play is hard to describe. Suffice it to say, patience and quick reflexes are requirements in order to go far. Below, you can check out my video as those moving images... and my voice, speak louder than words.

Despite my reflexes consistently let me down, this game is a lot of fun.  Although I played on PC, I can absolutely see the appeal of getting a few games in on a phone while taking a break or waiting for an appointment. Following the likes of Tetris, Paragon Infinite will continue indefinitely, giving you a more challenging time so that you have to earn those points. Mike has hit upon the magical formula that marries simplicity with difficulty for honest enjoyment.

Available on PC and Android via Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

Show him some support and check out some of his videos.

Press Jump to Jump in Electronic Super Joy Episode 2

A recent development in most block buster video games is that they are pretty easy. Easy in the sense that they give you the option of choosing how hard of a time you wish to have. Moreover, most games these days let you change difficulty on the fly.

You thought you were going to go whole-hog-hardcore-hard-challenge mode this play through. What? That impossible boss that smashes you in a single hit isn't your idea of a thrilling time? Drop down to crazy easy mode till the battle is over.

What's that you say? You've died on the same tooth-gnashing jumping puzzle a good twenty times? "Hit 'X' to skip!"

Electronic Super Joy offers none of that. With the exception of infinite lives (so far as I can tell and boy have I tested that), you really do have to complete each leg of the game. Even though the original Super Mario Bros. had a system to skip grand swaths of the game, you had to play and discover those paths or read a magazine to find out where they were. SMB is substantially removed from the instantaneous knowledge base known as the Internet, so you had to be damn lucky or have friends who were in order to jump forward in the game. Otherwise, you had to play the game to beat it.

Thanks ESJ for giving me a reason to laugh and swear while making me nauseous! It was a blast.

Internet Sit-down with The Men Who Wear Many Hats

Internet Sit-down with The Men Who Wear Many Hats

For those new to the issue, the social game company King recently filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the common words "candy" and "saga". Aside from that being a legal minefield as common words are, well, common, King then proceeded to file legal disputes with other game studios who used either word in the title of their games... even if they weren't remotely related to King's property.

The breaking news side of this issue is that King has just now settled and/or stepped down from some, if not all, of their claims. The troubling part of that last sentence is the "settled" part which suggests that they still intend or have some way of enforcing a level of ownership over common word usage.

I sat down over the Internet with The Men Who Wear Many Hats to discuss, among other things, their opinions on the whole King trademark debacleTMWWMH participated in the Candy Jam to show their support of indies and to point out the King's folly in attempting to trademark common words.

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