As a child our imagination is free to run wild, allowing us to dream of becoming anything we desire, escape our current environment, and unite with a cast of characters unlike any in our physical world. That is precisely the underlying theme in Daedalic’s upcoming point-and-click adventure game, Night of the Rabbit, which stars a 12-year-old boy seeking solace in his dreams, where he wishes to become a wizard.
The rich and engrossing stories of The Chronicles of Narnia and Alice in Wonderland are borrowed from heavily, as the environments and many of the anthropomorphic characters illustrate immediately. Traveling alongside the boy is a clever and charming rabbit who whisked him into this wondrous world, although his true intentions are never made explicitly clear, leading the player to believe he may yet have a trick or two up his cotton-tailed sleeve. Read more
The PAX East show floor is filled with all kind of games and projects each year, and like anything trying to gain attention, location is key. Dinosaur Games learned this firsthand in the best way possible while showing off a pre-alpha build of their upcoming MechKnight Chronicles directly next to the ever-popular Fangamer booth. While a spot like this might help generate initial attention, it became clear that people were waiting in line to play less because of proximity and more because the preview build shows a lot of promise. Fans of Treasure’s Guardian Heroes or The Behemoth’s Castle Crashers might want to pay attention — this one stood out among the crowd.
“PAX East was INTENSE,” said Dinosaur’s Jesse Sosa. “The response we got was overwhelmingly positive. We all missed out on seeing anything else at the show because we could not leave our booth. There were just too many people there to try out MechKnight. Although, that’s a problem I was perfectly OK with having.”
Nobody actually understands the nuts and bolts behind Steam’s Project Greenlight, but we do know that when enough people click the “yes” button, an awesome -looking game gets exposed to about 6 million people. So if you think this game looks as cool as we do, click the “yes” button. Go ahead. It will make you feel good, man.
You remember Fallout, right? That isometric RPG that Bethesda went ahead and turned into some kinda first-person shooter (okay, low blow. Fallout 3 is amazing). Anyways, it’s safe to say Styg’s Workshop remembers Fallout, because their upcoming isometric RPG looks to be heavily inspired by that classic in all the right ways. You know the drill: the Earth is a wasteland, people live underground, and humanity’s on the brink of devastation. Judging from the trailer, UnderRail isn’t doing too much to stray from the tracks, but let’s be honest: There aren’t a hell of a lot of isometric post-apocalyptic, isometric RPGs being made nowadays, so UnderRail could satisfy that itch nicely.
Mercenary Kings is essentially 4-player Metal Slug with customizable weapons.
It’s rarely appropriate to boil a game down to such a simple statement, but it’s safe to say that if you’re sitting here thinking “4-player Metal Slug with weapon crafting! Fuck yes!”, then you’re going to gobble this game up like Gobstoppers (which actually aren’t very gobble-able). If that idea makes you yawn, then just move along.
Mercenary Kings is being developed by Tribute Games, the team responsible for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Wizorb, so they definitely have the chops to pull off such a project. Read more
There were several retro-styled projects on the PAX East 2013 show floor. A.N.N.E. and Mercenary Kings are just two examples. But one stood above the rest, the setting sun at its back with its arm outstretched, shovel to the sky. Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight was playable and I’m going to be honest with you: I think I’m in love.
Yacht Club was founded when a small group at Wayforward decided it was time to strike out and make their own way in the world. Their goal is to craft the kinds of games they want to play, or as they put it on their website, “original games that fuse modern and retro sensibilities.” These guys have worked on Contra 4 and Double Dragon Neon, so one might imagine they’ve got an idea or two about how to hit the mark they’ve set. One look at Shovel Knight confirms it.
If the phrase “Would be right at home on the original Nintendo” doesn’t fill you with glee then turn away — Shovel Knight is not for you. Everything about Yacht Club’s first project screams 8-bit, from the pixel graphics, limited color palette and chiptune soundtrack by Jake “Virt” Kaufman. Even the control scheme is tied to just two buttons and the D-pad. There’s a jump, an attack and the ability to move. Of course, the Shovel Blade is a little bit more versatile than this basic setup would first imply. Read more
In a filled-to-capacity room full of developers and journalists, Matthew Davis and Justin Ma of Subset Games, creators of the Indie-darling FTL, gave a postmortem which covered their trials and tribulations during an 18-month development cycle. Designing Without a Pitch: FTL Postmortem proved to be one of the most inspiring tracks during the Indie Games Summit yet.
Originally planned as a 3-month long project, FTL quickly became so much more, largely due to the wild success of their Kickstarter, which began only one week after the Double Fine’s foray into the same space. Subset’s initial goal was a measly $10,000, yet received 20 times that, for a sum of $200,000. Read more
Studio transparency and workspace ideologies are often unique from studio to studio, and are affected by prior experiences, cultural norms, and shifting industry patterns.
Jeff Agala and Jamie Cheng discussed Klei Entertainment’s methodology for crafting not only an enjoyable title in the form of Mark of the Ninja, but also a sustainable workplace that allows for creativity to flourish. With a few key points to touch on, the duo discussed a plethora of useful tips for a room full of developers during the Indie Games Summit at GDC.
The first point they considered was “What are the biggest wastes of time during development?” and found the answer to be “Building the wrong thing.” To quote the team, “Imagine walking in a forest. It would be a waste to leave this forest and start in a new one when we’ve already spent so much time in here!” That can be self-destructive, because you spend so much time working on something that will never result in a quality and worthwhile experience.
Gaming these days is no stranger to genre mashing, with everything under the sun being locked on top of shooters and platformers like they were Lego blocks. Surprisingly enough, over the past couple of years there have only been a small spattering of puzzle-RPG combinations, with the only big standouts that come to mind being Puzzle Quest and Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes. Even if you were at PAX East, you may have missed out on this little gem of an almost-match-three-puzzler hidden off to the side behind some of the larger booths, but at the same time seeking to show off that it has the chops to be the next strong contender.
Residing on both an iPad and a laptop, Dungeon Hearts begins showing off a layout that wouldn’t be out of place in an older RPG, with your characters to the left facing off versus an impending opponent to the right. As you would normally be in position to select your characters’ movements via dialogue box, in comes a scrolling grid that developer Cube Roots calls the Fatestream, which contains the systems that control their actions and make it a unique and enjoyable experience. Read more