Tag Archives: Indie

Flub Fighter Heads to Phoenix Comicon

Local multiplayer games hold a special place in the heart of many. Past generations grew up on games like Goldeneye, Mario Party and Super Smash Bros.

But splitscreen and party games have fallen out of favor recently in favor of online multiplayer.

Flub Fighter hopes to recapture the magic of local multiplayer. It’s one of the games that will be featured at the Arizona Video Games Showcase at Phoenix Comicon May 28-30.

Developers Todd Enyeart and Andrew Rabbe have spent eight months working on the game with the rest of their team. They called Flub Fighter a “mash up” of Super Smash Bros. and Gang Beasts.

“We needed some kind of twist,” Enyeart said. “We decided to have it so you can only be injured or killed by the environment.”

That made level design an important and challenging part of the game. Five levels have already been completed, and five more are in the works.

“A lot of it’s about flow,” Rabbe said. “We needed to have something everywhere that you can punch an enemy into.”

That includes a map with a giant disco ball of death that descends midway through the game and shoots lasers in every direction.

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Sketchcross aims to fill void in PS Vita market

When Sudoku and crosswords collide, the result is Sketchcross.

The logic puzzle game for the PlayStation Vita from Tempe-based Spiky Fish Games, led by Kendal Cormany. He’s hoping to fill a void in the Vita market for a nonogram-based puzzle game with multiple game modes and a wide array of puzzles.

He said he was encouraged to make the game in part due to the success of a similar title, Picross 3D, for the Nintendo 3DS. That game sold more than 140,000 units in 2010, its first year of release, according to VGChartz.

“There’s a market for this type of game, and there wasn’t a type of game like this for the Vita,” he said.

Sketchcross uses nonogram puzzles, which feature cells in a grid that must be colored or left blank according to numbers at the side of the grid. When complete, it reveals a hidden picture.

ingame

The numbers are ordered to correspond with number of unbroken lines of filled-in squares in any given row or column. So a clue of “3 5 2” would mean there are sets of three, five and two filled squares, in that order, with at least one black square between each group.

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Reflections: Bringing choice to story adventure games

Update: Reflections has been Greenlit!

In Reflections, story mirrors your decisions.

The real-world adventure game from Broken Window Studios is rocketing to the top of Steam Greenlight, having already cracked the top 100 after going live last week. It’s targeting an April release on PC, with a PS4 and Xbox One version confirmed to be in the works.

Reflections‘ similarity to titles like Gone Home and Dear Esther is clear, which developer Tristan Moore acknowledges.

However, Reflections separates itself by giving you more impact on the story, a dimension past titles have lacked, Moore said.

“It’s almost like a personality quiz,” he said. “Your choices say something about where your priorities are.”

The game puts you in the shoes of a young adult getting ready to leave home and start life as an adult. You have until the end of the day to pack your things, say your goodbyes or simply go exploring. The choices you make on how to spend your time will shape the rest of the game through Reflections‘ unique Storyteller engine.

Reflections3“We’re focusing on actual interactions with the space rather than a dialogue tree or something like that,” Moore said. “It’s an abstract game because it’s not about traditional gameplay mechanics.”

The game allows you a set time to interact with the environment, meaning you can’t do everything in one playthrough. Much like life, you’ll have to make sacrifices, and those choices will define you.

“It’s not the kind of game that waits for you to finish,” Moore said. “There’s a timetable for each act… and the game moves on whether you’re ready for it to or not.”

Reflections uses color to highlight interactions you make with the environment. A black and white scene will fill with life as the story progresses, with a basketball turning orange after being shot through a hoop or a family photo gaining vibrancy once it’s placed back on the shelf.

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In Deathly, you can’t escape mortality

The main character of Deathly,  AbstrAKT Games‘s work-in-progress, thinks he can escape death by living in a remote mountain cottage with his loved one.

Alex Uithoven, who runs AbstrAKT with his brother Kyle, says he’s wrong.

“He’s just so scared of all the things that he can’t control in the world, so he puts himself in a situation where he thinks he can control everything in the world.”

Deathly is a 2D platformer with an emphasis on exploration. Although visually similar to Terraria, Uithoven said it’s inspired by a game from his childhood.

“It’s not Terraria in the sense that you can dig up the ground and build,” he said. “It’s more along the lines of classic Metroid.”

DeathlyHouse

He’s designing the game to focus on exploration because that kind of depth something other platformers struggle with.  He thinks too many 2D games follow the prototype of Super Mario Bros., only traveling “from point A to point B.”

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Sandbox MMORPG Dwell hits Steam Greenlight

Gather resources, craft tools, find shelter and survive the night – that’s the typical experience in most creative sandbox games like Minecraft and Terraria. But the sense of danger on that first night is soon forgotten as strongholds grow more and more impenetrable over time.

Dwell: The Drifting Worldfrom Tempe-based developer Brady Welch, adds a new variable to the sandbox equation to keep things exciting: organized player-versus-player combat. The game hit Steam Greenlight on Oct. 25 and, if approved, should be released in early access by early 2015.

Welch, a student at Arizona State University, calls Dwell a creative sandbox MMORPG. While the game is clearly influenced by Terraria and Minecraft, Welch knew the game would need something new to avoid being just another clone.

The X-factor for Dwell, Welch said, is a PvP system that pits entire villages of players against each other in a fight for supremacy.

After surviving long enough to build shelter, players can invite others to build near them and eventually create a village. Players can then build defenses and use the “claim” system to help protect the village further.

“The level of complexity is pretty high in terms of village creation,” Welch said. “You can create your own walls, allow different permissions for players and you can basically have any style of government you want.”

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Steampunk goes western in Age of Grit

“Firefly” meets steampunk – and Final Fantasy meets the Wild West  – in a local developer’s turn-based RPG seeking funding online.

Arizona-based indie studio iqSoup has launched a Kickstarter campaign for western steampunk RPG Age of Grit. Andy Morrison, president of iqSoup, hopes to raise $12,000 by Sept. 25 to support the development of the PC strategy game – specifically, to hire artists, a composer and more programmers.

Age of Grit follows the adventures of the captain and crew of a steam-powered airship as it explores a western world in search of whatever jobs will pay the bills – transporting passengers or cargo, bounty hunting, working as guns-for-hire, engaging in piracy and more.

Morrison said he drew inspiration from Age of Grit from multiple sources, including Firefly, Final Fantasy, steampunk and the Wild West.

Andy Morrison

“There’s so much potential that has never been realized,” Morrison said. “What I like about ‘Firefly’ isn’t so much the setting… but the adventures they have.”

Unlike Firefly, Age of Grit will take place on one planet, on a single continent, because Morrison feels futuristic games set in outer space have been “kind of overdone.”

Instead, the game will focus on smaller scale adventures that highlight character interaction.

“When it’s on a more epic scale, a lot of that stuff can get pushed to the side,” Morrison said.

Combat in Age of Grit takes place between airships, is turn-based and revolves around a steam power mechanic. Airships generate a set amount of steam power each turn that can be used to power weapons, engines and other systems – but not all of them at once.

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Arizona game devs design indie esports title

A team of Arizona game developers is hoping to bring esports back to its roots with an indie title aimed at local tournaments and modding communities.

The game is RMF, a movement-based 3D arena title for PC developed in the Unreal Engine and aiming for a fall release. Project manager Austin Shamp said it plays similar to a competitive game of tag.

“The players will be playing high-stakes tag, where one player will be chasing everybody else,” he said.

RMF‘s main game mode has no weapons, which Shamp said emphasizes precision in movement. While team game modes are planned, the primary game type is free-for-all.

“Focusing on movement makes it a lot easier to balance,” Shamp said.

Shamp is working on the game with Alex Reiss – Shamp designs the levels while Reiss handles the programming. The team is looking for at least one artist to handle textures, models and animations, as the game is still using default Unreal assets.

RMF is still in development, Shamp said, and the movement mechanics are taking the most time to perfect. Because there is such an emphasis on movement as a “strong base mechanic.”

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