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Play The HyperParasite Prototype on Itch.io

HyperParasite, News, Press Releases, Van Reeves

The preliminary build of Troglobytes Games’ upcoming frantic, rogue-lite SHMUP is now available for free.

Letting players operate as a body-snatching organism in a dystopian rendition of the 1980s, the action-packed prototype offers access to –

  • Downtown, a fully-playable level that randomly differs in layout with every play-through.
  • Eight Playable Characters to Body-Snatch. Wield bats, bottles, rifles and explosives as you wage all-out war against martial law.
  • Unlockable Levels, Secrets & Future Add-ons. Currently inclusive of one hidden level and multiple items to discover.
  • Hi-Res Cover Artwork & an Original Synth-wave Soundtrack. Featuring Guerilla and Space Marine by Mr. Reeves.

Despite not being representative of the complete HyperParasite experience, the prototype’s purpose is that of encouraging player involvement in the game’s ongoing production process.

‘The prototype will progressively be updated with playable characters, collectibles and an assortment of game-play features that we as a team will be mulling over henceforth,’ states Lead Developer Luciano Iurino, addressing retro-SHMUP enthusiasts and game developers alike.

‘We’ll naturally need your feedback more than ever during this period; being avid users of the platform ourselves, itch.io is the perfect means to provide you with early access.’ 

Not ruling out the possibility of Steam Early Access preceding the game’s full release next year, the team prefers to consider the same only once HyperParasite’s more advanced game-play features are implemented in their entirety.

Following multiple event appearances through the course of this year, the game’s core mechanics continue to be worked upon as focus shifts towards implementing local co-operative game-play support.

‘We intend for HyperParasite as a SHMUP to be played with friends, and trust that co-op will only enhance the current prototype experience,’ affirms Iurino.

Graphical assets are also being reworked, with major character design updates expected over the forthcoming weeks.

Those wishing to download the HyperParasite prototype and partake in its going development, are encouraged to leave the development team with regular feedback and/or queries on its itch.io, Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram pages.

For a complete kit of images/GIF’s from HyperParasite, social media profile links and other media, visit the game’s profile here on Higher Eclectic Ground. For any additional press/media enquiries, or to request addition to the game’s mailing list, please e-mail sean.b@highereg.com

About HyperParasite

A top-down, rogue-lite shoot ‘em up at its core, HyperParasite pays homage to an era that developer Troglobytes Games considers itself heavily influenced by.

With players picking up the titular role of a parasitic organism bent on world domination –

  • Being able to dynamically snatch and switch between the bodies of nearly every weapon-wielding Homo sapien they encounter, ensures bullet hell almost never ceases.
  • Persistent wit and dexterity is demanded with multiple character classes to consume, host-specific abilities to exploit and a skill-based progression system to overcome.
  • HyperParasite takes its rogue-lite mechanics very seriously. Procedurally generated levels, multiple game-play objectives, gruelling waves of enemies, deranged bosses and perma-death make it nigh-impossible to beat in a single run.
  • All while Troglobytes’ in-house dungeon-generation technology, Vania, ensures the seamless randomisation of visuals, sub-levels & secrets.

HyperParasite will also feature local co-operative multiplayer, letting players cherish its characters, urban legends, items and pop-culture references with a mullet-wielding friend. In development for a late 2018 release on PC and Consoles.

Website | Facebook | BrightLocker | Indie DB

About Troglobytes Games

Troglobytes is a small independent video-game development studio based in sunny Southern Italy, founded by both veterans and young talents.

As every developer should, it loves both playing and making video games, going so far as to maintain an original arcade gaming cabinet at its HQ to return to for repeated inspiration.

Its mission is to create innovative, high-quality games across a variety of platforms using the latest in technology, while focusing on storytelling and aesthetics.

Additionally, the team’s members are known to frequently take on freelance contracts and outsourced projects within the industry; from game design to 2D/3D artwork & animation, a complete roster of the titles they’ve contributed to so far can be seen on the studio’s website.

HyperParasite is being worked upon by Troglobytes Games’ core members in association with select external collaborators. Besides being a certified Playstation® developer, the studio is also a part of Microsoft’s ID@Xbox Program.

Twitter | WebsiteInstagram | Facebook | IndieDB | YouTube | Steam

Sniper Rust VR Demo Now Available on Steam, Oculus Store

News, Press Releases, Sniper Rust

A demo of Zatun Games Studio’s virtual reality sharpshooting experience, Sniper Rust VR, is now playable via the Steam and Oculus digital marketplaces for free.

Functioning as an elite marksman employed by a covert Agency, players are called to embark on a first-person campaign against an armed militia uprising across international borders. The complete, 18-level Sniper Rust VR adventure features –

  • An Immersive Virtual Reality Experience, with up to four uniquely designed, photorealistic environments to explore.
  • Realistic Weaponry. Each mission begins with one of four real-world guns, locked and loaded with special features.
  • Adaptive Enemy AI. Diverse enemy classes, well-concealed snipers, air/group assaults and traps behind enemy lines make every level a challenge.
  • An Easy Learning Curve. A Sniper Training Area keeps Sniper Rust VR fun to play, minus the nausea and dizziness associated with VR games.
  • An Action-packed Soundtrack of intense orchestral sounds for thrilling, edge-of-your-seat action sequences.

Sniper Rust VR is due for an 8th December 2017 release compatible with the Oculus Rift virtual reality system. Serving to gather user feedback as finishing touches to the full game are implemented, the demo meanwhile includes a singular game-play level with the rest of its features unlocked.

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‘Zatun began work on Sniper Rust VR in the month of January this year when we first got out hands on the Oculus device.’ states CEO Abhinav Chokhavatia.

‘We were already working on a mobile version of Sniper Rust at the time.  With no sharpshooting VR games available and Oculus tech. being relatively new, we believed creating a virtual reality version would be a good idea.’

Also in active development, the mobile version of Sniper Rust will differ largely from its VR counterpart in terms of offered level design, game-play modes, enemy AI and player arsenal. An official announcement of its upcoming release is due soon.

As a freelance content writer, Sean Braganza assisted in the creation of multiple game descriptions of varying character lengths for Sniper Rust VR’s Steam and Oculus store pages in the month of August, 2017.

For images, videos and additional information, please visit Sniper Rust VR’s profile here on Higher Eclectic Ground. Press inquiries meanwhile may be forwarded to biz[at]zatun[dot]com.

About Zatun

Based out of Gujarat, India, Zatun is an award-winning mobile, VR, and cross-platform game development/art studio.

It offers external art production and game development services across multiple genres and platforms, including but not limited to PC, mobile and Virtual Reality devices.

In addition, its own stylized, innovative and award-winning IP’s are enjoyed by millions of players worldwide. Visit the company’s profile for an illustrative overview of projects, clientele, and game releases.

Play Despot Dungeons, a 1-Bit Roguelike Puzzler For Free

JMD, News, Press Releases

Despite challenging himself to a round of Christer Kaitila’s One Game a Month (#1GAM) in the month of August, this year, and subsequently missing his deadline by a large margin, independent games developer Hjalte Tagmose has launched a completed build of his pixelated, roguelite project of Despot Dungeons on itch.io and the Google Play Store.

Featuring an original chip-tune soundtrack composed by Higher Eclectic Ground’s Simone Bernacchia alias Jovanotti Must Die (J.M.D)

  • Despot Dungeons follows a disenfranchised, humiliated little frog’s campaign to dethrone tyranny.
  • To this end, players must conquer up to three distinct levels of enemies, puzzles and bosses in the monochrome sewers they’ve been subjected to.
  • While each area abounds in turn-based movements, varying interactive objects and mechanics.

Available at a base price of free, the game came can be downloaded for either of Windows or Mac and financially contributed towards via itch.io, or for Android via the Play Store.

While Tagmose would certainly like to expand Despot Dungeons with additional content in the future, his plans for the same remain indefinite for the moment.

‘Maybe I’ll pair up with someone who’s a little more competent in level design in the future,’ he adds. ‘If I want to sell the game, I’ll definitely want to work on a lot more content but I’m not really looking to do that as of right now.’

Created by Christer Kaitila alias McFunkypants, himself a freelance game developer, author and musician, the #1GAM challenge is notorious for inviting game development enthusiasts from all walks of life to complete production of a game within a single month.

Running virtually all-year round, offered to participants is plenty of publicity, XP and bragging rights that adds up with every successful release amid a constantly growing community.

Rules are relatively none and there exists no entrance fee, with participants allowed to form teams, use existing code frameworks, create sequels to prior projects, build freeware or even sell their games.

‘If you are having fun, then you qualify. If at least one person in the entire world would call what you just made “a game” then it qualifies. ‘ 

For Tagmose, a 19-year old programmer, artist, writer and storyteller, #1GAM seemed to provide incentive enough to actually finish a game project by himself, having created numerous smaller ones for game jams under the moniker of Real Fast.

Salvaging old rogue-like (turn-based on a grid) game prototypes from his hard drive in the month of August, he proceeded to chronicle Despot’s evolution therefrom by means of a three-part developer-log on his website.

It was around this time that he was put in touch with JMD via myself, the retro game music composer’s representative and manager, who naturally sought direction from the game’s graphical look, The Legend of Zelda, classic telefilms and cartoons in the composition of its OST.

‘With the music almost exclusively making use of micro samples that allow for a chiptune vibe, while being spread over eight channels, I’ve hoped to have it sound like playing a Game Boy on steroids,’ states JMD, a chip-rock, electronic and ambient artist that has been creating music for Amiga homebrew games, modern ‘retro’ games, commercials and animations since 1989.

‘The fact that Despot is a retro game being developed on a modern engine such as that of Unity, allowed me to use a more fitting platform – the fast-tracker format, fully handled by Milkytracker – than my usual MOD files.’ A complete playlist of the game’s soundtrack can be heard on musician’s YouTube, created especially for the purpose.

Those wishing to hear more from his portfolio of work over the years, learn of his expertise, hobbies and references, or reach out with feedback/requests to collaborate, can do so by visiting his profile on Higher Eclectic Ground or by mailing sean.b[at]highereg[dot]com.

Will you be playing Despot Dungeons? Did you enjoy the game’s original soundtrack? Let me know why/why not in the comments below.

 

Retro-Modern Platformer Run Die Retry Debuts Oct. 9, 2017 on App Store, Sam Oz Adds Synthwave

News, Press Releases, Sam Oz

IT consultant Nikola Lajic makes his debut in the independent games space this month with Run Die Retry, a free-to-play platformer for iOS 9.3+. Tasking players with surviving a linear, continually flowing pathway haunted by obstacles and enemies for as long as they can, the game’s endless-running style of play will be accompanied by a looping, synthwave composition by Higher Eclectic Ground’s Sam Oz.

Both game-play and the background music track can be previewed in the game’s launch trailer. With in-game obstacles taking the form of ghosts, boulders and vaporising laser beams —

  • Each play-through of Run Die Retry promises to differ from the previous, thanks to randomisation of levels.
  • Visuals come in retro-modern, pixel art graphics, accentuated by the use of real-time shadows.
  • Future updates are slated to bring a greater variety of traps, enemies and environments.

Although seemingly rudimentary in concept and design, Run Die Retry’s value lies in the fact that it represents Lajic’s first, complete attempt at game development since being introduced to the realm in 2005.

A Novi Sad, Serbia resident, Lajic’s day job has involved the development of various iOS applications since 2009.

Starting with task manager TapDo before progressing to independent lifestyle app releases such as that of For The Next, his occasional experimentation with game design resulted in his first foray into Unity3D circa 2015.

Despite wanting to keep things simple however, Lajic found himself stressing too much over the details to sustain the newfound hobby and eventually burned out. In his own words — ‘“Perfect is the enemy of done”, this has been a problem for me most of my life. Starting something and then never finishing because I was never 100% satisfied with the result.’

By September, 2016, he returned with renewed intention to finish development of a game, however small, and has been documenting progress across a blog and social media ever since.

Via Higher Eclectic Ground in the month May, this year, the developer was put in touch with Winterthur, Switzerland based multi-genre, freelancing music composer for games, Sam Oz .

Oz had first experimented with the Synthwave genre at the time with his two-part composition, In The Stars, that instantly appealed to Lajic’s vision of a retro-sounding background music track for the game.

‘The melody for Run Die Retry’s game-play loop came to me quite quickly,’ Oz recounts. ‘It was one of those times; for usually, in cases such as these, it can take me a while to come up with something appropriate.’

To mark the upcoming launch, Lajic has now established a dedicated website for Run Die Retry that contains links to its App Store page, social media channels, various media and the developer’s blog should one wish to follow-up on his history.

Developers and Synthwave enthusiasts wishing to learn more of Sam Oz’s music services meanwhile, collaborate with the artist or connect with him on grounds of original music requests, may do so via his profile on Higher Eclectic Ground. Also present therein is a complete overview of his work history, software expertise, references and bio-data. Feel free to direct any queries you might have to myself, representative and manager of Oz’s freelance music services for games, via sean.b[at]highereg[dot]com.

Will you be adding Run Die Retry to your casual gaming collection? Did you enjoy Sam Oz’s work? Why/Why not? I’d like to hear from you in the comments below.

CyberThreat® Story Teaser Out Now, Features Music by Van Reeves

News, Press Releases, Van Reeves

Debuted over the weekend, CyberThreat®’s new Story Teaser offers players their first-glimpse at the progress made by the upcoming RPG’s development of narrative, level and soundtrack design. Created by independent developer Conor McKenna in association with numerous freelance contributors, the game’s Teaser also features the Cyberpunk-themed composition of No Chill by Higher Eclectic Ground musician Van Reeves.

CyberThreat® deems to explore the consequences an evolved, highly intricate cyberspace has on  fictional Edendale.

As an adolescent in their final year of High School study, players are confronted with a string of mysterious disappearances that plague the city with Cyber-bullying functioning as the common link.

This ideal year of juggling courses, social lives and a colorful cast of characters is soon turned on its head however, when players discover themselves to be the next victim of technological harassment. With cases to solve and more than their grades to protect, one must —

  • Set out on a story-driven epic as a character with customizable  stats, hacks and costumes.
  • Put all-of-the-above to use in exploring a beautifully hand-crafted 3D world, enlivened by dynamic calendar system, a huge cast to befriend and a host of mini-games/chores/activities to engage in.
  • Accommodate strategic thinking in their case-solving, thanks to a classic turn-based style RPG combat system that pits them against sinister, virtual-reality enemies.
  • All while an over-arching, re-playable storyline expounds itself over multiple episodes and scenarios playable from the perspective of a male or female protagonist.

Powered by the Unity3D game engine, CyberThreat® is being developed for an intended PC release period of 2018-’19. PS Vita and other console ports are planned, although this will ultimately depend on public interest, support and funding.

Additionally, CyberThreat® will feature in-game art, music and audio assets developed by an eclectic ensemble of freelance talent.

The Teaser’s theme of No Chill was originally developed as a Creative Commons, background music track by Synthwave/Cinematic/Metal/Ambient freelance music composer, Van Reeves for use in game projects.

McKenna’s interest in the three-minute, synth/cyberpunk-injected composition saw the developer not only commission Reeves for an exclusive render of No Chill earlier this year, but also for a remix of CyberThreat®’s title theme that has been written by McKenna himself.

Similar remixes by other contributing music artists will feature on the complete soundtrack.

Besides introducing Byte, a shrewd businessman and prominent in-game character voiced by Thomas ‘TommyNom’ Evans that will prove fundamental to CyberThreat®’s narrative, the Teaser also marks the unveiling of other in-game media in the form of screenshots, character bio’s and more reflective of McKenna’s vision thus far.

The bulk of these are best enjoyed on CyberThreat®’s website, that doubles as a portal to the game’s constantly active social media channels.

Developers wishing to learn more of Van Reeves’ music services meanwhile, collaborate with the artist or connect with him on grounds of original music requests, may do so via the latter’s profile on Higher Eclectic Ground.

Also present therein is a complete overview of his work history, software expertise, references and bio-data. Feel free to direct any queries you might have to myself, representative and manager of Reeves’ freelance music services for games, via sean.b[at]highereg[dot]com.

Will you be following CyberThreat®? Did you enjoy No Chill? Why/Why not? I’d like to hear from you in the comments below.

HyperParasite Arrives at Milan Games Week, 2017

HyperParasite, News, Press Releases

Adding to its official reveal of the game from last week, Troglobytes Games announces that HyperParasite will be making an appearance at this year’s iteration of the Milan Games Week.

A three-day, consumer show held from the 29th of September to the 1st of October, 2017, Milan Games Week holds the laurel of being Italy’s premier gaming event, bar none.

Promising 35,000 square meters of previews, tournaments, retro-gaming, cosplay, indie and junior showcases, this year is proving to be no different as up to 50 independent games prepare to debut at the event’s Indie Area.

While HyperParasite’s inclusion within this roster of titles is a milestone in and of itself, it will also mark the first time players and followers will be able to get their hands on a proper, near-vertical slice of the complete frenetic, twin-stick experience that developer Troglobytes has in mind.

This won’t be the first of HyperParasite’s public appearances however.

In the month of June, this year, a prototype of the game made its debut at the 2017 edition of the Bari Geek Fest with its core mechanics of body-snatching between characters, three macro-classes of playable characters (Melee, Ranged & Bomber) and other basics roughly implemented.

Feedback attained at the event proved to be highly instrumental in improving what the team had already started work on.

In contrast, the build Troglobytes Games now intends to showcase at MGW will feature one, fully playable level, an intense boss fight, eight characters derived from the macro-classes that players can body-snatch, special items, a secret sub-level and a lot more.

To commemorate the same and over eight months of development, a September 2017 Update video has been compiled and attached to this press release, serving as a retrospective of HyperParasite’s progress thus far.

The core mechanics may have stayed the same, but the dramatic evolution of its intensity gives testimony to the numerous visual iterations that the game has undergone in such a short span.

 

‘The fact that we’ll be sharing space with 50-odd independent titles is reassuring; a clear indication that Italy’s independent gaming culture continues to grow,’ writes Lead Developer, Luciano Iurino.

‘And yet we’re also anxious to see if visitors will enjoy HyperParasite as much as we have been; seeing strangers pick up the controller to your project is always an enlightening experience, while there’s no denying how beneficial the presence of media and other industry professionals is to networking.’

Following the event, HyperParasite’s production will proceed in full-steam en route to a late 2018 release. A closed beta testing session is also planned for the end of this year, although details pertinent to the same remain to be explored.

If you’ll be in the vicinity of the Fiera Milano Rho exhibition and convention center of Milan, Italy between the 29th of September and 1st of October then, nothing would encourage the team more than having you stop by and play HyperParasite at MGW’s Indie Area.

3D Artist Luca Eberhart and Game Designer Saverio Caporusso of Troglobytes Games will be present with on all three days, so please be sure to leave them with your complete and utterly honest feedback.

For those who cannot make the event, no matter. You can still be of support and influence to HyperParasite’s development by signing up to the official mailing list via the game’s homepage.

For a complete kit of images/GIF’s from HyperParasite, social media profile links and other media, visit the game’s profile here on Higher Eclectic Ground. For any additional press/media enquiries, or to request addition to the game’s mailing list, please e-mail sean.b@highereg.com

About HyperParasite

A top-down, rogue-lite shoot ‘em up at its core, HyperParasite pays homage to an era that developer Troglobytes Games considers itself heavily influenced by.

With players picking up the titular role of a parasitic organism bent on world domination –

  • Being able to dynamically snatch and switch between the bodies of nearly every weapon-wielding Homo sapien they encounter, ensures bullet hell almost never ceases.
  • Persistent wit and dexterity is demanded with multiple character classes to consume, host-specific abilities to exploit and a skill-based progression system to overcome.
  • HyperParasite takes its rogue-lite mechanics very seriously. Procedurally generated levels, multiple game-play objectives, gruelling waves of enemies, deranged bosses and perma-death make it nigh-impossible to beat in a single run.
  • All while Troglobytes’ in-house dungeon-generation technology, Vania, ensures the seamless randomisation of visuals, sub-levels & secrets.

HyperParasite will also feature local co-operative multiplayer, letting players cherish its characters, urban legends, items and pop-culture references with a mullet-wielding friend. In development for a late 2018 release on PC and Consoles.

Website | Facebook | BrightLocker | Indie DB

About Troglobytes Games

Troglobytes is a small independent video-game development studio based in sunny Southern Italy, founded by both veterans and young talents.

As every developer should, it loves both playing and making video games, going so far as to maintain an original arcade gaming cabinet at its HQ to return to for repeated inspiration.

Its mission is to create innovative, high-quality games across a variety of platforms using the latest in technology, while focusing on storytelling and aesthetics.

Additionally, the team’s members are known to frequently take on freelance contracts and outsourced projects within the industry; from game design to 2D/3D artwork & animation, a complete roster of the titles they’ve contributed to so far can be seen on the studio’s website.

HyperParasite is being worked upon by Troglobytes Games’ core members in association with select external collaborators. Besides being a certified Playstation® developer, the studio is also a part of Microsoft’s ID@Xbox Program.

Twitter | WebsiteInstagram | Facebook | IndieDB | YouTube | Steam

HyperParasite, Rogue-lite SHMUP in Development by Troglobytes Games

HyperParasite, News, Press Releases

A top-down, rogue-lite shoot ‘em up at its core, HyperParasite is now in active development by Bari, Italy based independent games studio Troglobytes Games.

Set in an alternate-history, post-World War III model of the 1980s, the game follows an invisible, body-snatching organism’s quest for global domination in an era of obnoxious pop culture. Herein alliances are formed between battle-hardened law enforcers and the most degenerate of criminals to make way for a global hunt, all while martial laws add to the paranoia of mentally ravaged society.

With players picking up the titular role of humanity’s deadliest adversary-to-date –

  • Being able to dynamically snatch and switch between the bodies of nearly every weapon-wielding Homo sapien they encounter, ensures bullet hell almost never ceases.
  • Persistent wit and dexterity is demanded with multiple character classes to consume, host-specific abilities to exploit and a skill-based progression system to overcome.
  • HyperParasite takes its rogue-lite mechanics very seriously. Procedurally generated levels, multiple game-play objectives, grueling waves of enemies, deranged bosses and perma-death make it nigh-impossible to beat in a single run.
  • All while Troglobytes’ in-house dungeon-generation technology, Vania, ensures the seamless randomisation of visuals, sub-levels & secrets.

HyperParasite will also feature local co-operative multiplayer, letting players cherish its characters, urban legends, items and pop-culture references with a mullet-wielding friend.

The title is Troglobytes Games second IP in-development, the first being its multi-console, Metroidvania ARPG, Tenebrae: Twilight of The Gods. Having concluded Tenebrae’s prototype phase in December, 2016 after more than a year of development, the team decided to alter its production focus due to a lack of sufficient funds.

‘Our vision for Tenebrae is too large to sustain on the limited amount of resources we have been thriving on,’ states Luciano Iurino, Lead Developer at Troglobytes. ‘Despite our best efforts and numerous prospects, we found ourselves unable to secure for the game a suitable financial partner/investor/publisher.’ 

‘As such then, we’ve had to direct Troglobytes’ focus towards much smaller, more feasible projects in an attempt to independently fund Tenebrae’s production. This is where HyperParasite comes in.’ 

Admittedly, HyperParasite pays homage to an era that Troglobytes Games considers itself heavily influenced by; the absurd, pop-culture ridden decade of the 1980s.

The game’s structure and core mechanics is such that it allows for expansion and iteration on existing content (procedurally generated levels, dozens of unlockable character classes, items, powers, skills, etc.), which in turn provides for plenty of publishing options. 

‘Although, we’re yet to decide what’s best for the game yet.’ adds Iurino. HyperParasite is being prepared for a 2018 launch on Steam by Troglobytes’ core team and a selection of external collaborators. Console releases will follow.

Those interested in following its development can do so via the official Website and/or Facebook pages, which continue to showcase progress from monthly builds. The game can also be found listed on BrightLocker, where the team is offering plenty of benefits to those willing to contribute towards the game’s development.

A few closed testing sessions are planned, while a playable build is being primed for an appearance at the Milan Games Week later this month. Tenebrae: Twilight of The Gods meanwhile will continue production, albeit at a much slower pace. Any significant updates with regards to the same will be issued across the game’s dedicated website, indieDB and/or Troglobytes’ social media channels.

 

For ac complete kit of images/GIF’s from HyperParasite, social media profile links and other media, visit the game’s profile here on Higher Eclectic Ground. For any additional press/media enquiries, or to request addition to the game’s mailing list, please e-mail sean.b@highereg.com

About Troglobytes Games

Troglobytes is a small independent video-game development studio based in sunny Southern Italy, founded by both veterans and young talents.

As every developer should, it loves both playing and making video games, going so far as to maintain an original arcade gaming cabinet at its HQ to return to for repeated inspiration.

Its mission is to create innovative, high-quality games across a variety of platforms using the latest in technology, while focusing on storytelling and aesthetics.

Additionally, the team’s members are known to frequently take on freelance contracts and outsourced projects within the industry; from game design to 2D/3D artwork & animation, a complete roster of the titles they’ve contributed to so far can be seen on the studio’s website.

HyperParasite is being worked upon by Troglobytes Games’ core members in association with select external collaborators. Besides being a certified Playstation® developer, the studio is also a part of Microsoft’s ID@Xbox Program.

State of Wonder Alpha Now Available As Print & Play Decks, Tabletop Simulator Mod

Brandon Crampton, News, Press Releases

Following its 28th May, 2017 launch on itch.iothe publicly playable pre-alpha of skill-based card game, State of Wonder, went on to debut at this year’s Gotland Game Conference for a round of play-testing. Bugs aside, the majority of player feedback stood against the game’s lack of UI Design and Feedback Systems despite being generally well-received.

Production issues encountered in the following months however led now-sole developer of the game, Emelie Rodin, to indefinitely push back the game’s digital release that was originally estimated for 2018.

‘Right now the game has no planned digital alpha again, but there are things being worked upon that will be disclosed in due time,’ she writes.

Consequently all focus has shifted towards development of a physical, tabletop version of State of Wonder, that can now be experienced for free by means of two print and play decks alongside a mod of Berserk Games’ 2015 Tabletop Simulator.

‘Currently we are in an alpha environment, trying to get as much testing done on the elements planned for the launch of the game’s physical version, simply called State of Wonder, as well as planning ahead for the expansions to come.’ continue Rodin.

The Mechanics and game-play components have fallen into place, mostly with card design and art being the biggest problems as of now. ‘

 

Rodin’s goals currently involve fostering a community of players willing to download and try the print & play decks with friends/family, engage in tournaments over the Tabletop Simulator mod, discuss the game’s existing rules designs and shaping development of physical/digital versions via one-on-one feedback therefrom.

Originally a student project helmed by a team of five at Sweden’s Uppsala University circa August, 2016, State of Wonder is a turn-based card game that tasks two-or-more players with competitively expanding their empires through the war-ravaged Kingdom of Scathia.

Following the Queen’s demise, alliances are formed and otherworldly powers are sought between the Kingdom’s various feudal regions in a desperate push for power.

Players choose from one of three such alliances to align with — The Crux Militem, Frifolk and Ritualists —  whose weaknesses and strengths they must then exploit to establish dominance over the land.

This may be achieved via simple military might, training powerful Unit and Hero cards, establishing Fortification and Building cards, strategically working towards constructing a Majestic Wonder.

State of Wonder further does away with all traditionally randomized elements such as that of drawing cards, granting players full control of their decks to rely on decisions, bluffs and planning instead as means for victory.

Each game begins with the entire deck in hand, that players take turns producing and training over Start, Main, War, Battle, Retrieval and End phases. The player that wins is usually the last one standing, or one that reaches a set value on the progression counter before the other; as such then, all that’s required to play State of Wonder’s current tabletop build is a bunch of dice, 7 counters to track progression with (paperclips, beads, etc.), at least one other person and two card decks.

Readers might recall that as current manager and representative of South African freelance multimedia artist, Brandon Crampton‘s services, I’d connected him with Rodin and her team-mate at the time, Simon Lundgren, preceding the game’s pre-alpha launch.

Crampton went on to create various graphic assets for State of Wonder’s play area, user interface, card faces and backgrounds before taking a brief break through the months of June and July.

‘The art style I’ve implemented has personally been influenced by Blizzard’s Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering; as both have amazing top-notch artwork, I figured it would be something to aim for.’  stated the artist then, who has yearned to expand his digital art talent into card-based game design ever since commencing his freelance career.

Since August, this year, production resumed with Crampton at the helm of State of Wonder’s graphic design, who continues to develop various card illustrations and relevant visual necessities ever since.

While a few of these designs are seen through the course of this article, perhaps a more comprehensive look at the game and its imagery can be obtained via State of Wonder’s re-designed website.

In keeping with her renewed focus on community development, the website sees developer Emelie Rodin now maintain a regular developer log, a comprehensive breakdown of State of Wonder’s universe, alongside a detailed downloadable rulebook for those exploring the card game for the first time.

Once familiar with the rules, either jump in to the physical alpha with a friend by printing the Crux Militem and Ritualist decks from the website for free, or by downloading the Tabletop Simulator Mod from Steam.

To interact with the developer, discover other play-testers, provide feedback and get involved in State of Wonder, a dedicated Discord Channel is also in effect.

With Brandon Crampton continuing to work on State of Wonder, expect to hear a lot more from the card game’s development progress and milestones.

Alternatively, you may also sign-up for e-mail updates on Crampton’s profile here on Higher Eclectic Ground, that also houses a detailed breakdown of his portfolio of work, professional history, experience, references and a contact form to connect.

Will you be trying State of Wonder? Let me know why/why not in the comments below.

Daath Origins, Sci-Fi Space Opera Out Now on Steam Early Access

Daath Origins, News, Press Releases

Developed by Black Lodge Games LLC. and set over a millennium in the future, Daath Origins is an open world, space RPG that places humanity under the clutches of a totalitarian alien rule.

Players find themselves as the captain of an Earth-life sustaining star-ship, with over a million souls that have escaped to forge a path of their own among the stars.

With a massive 36-sector galaxy, 500 handcrafted planets, over 75 playable quests and seemingly infinite strange encounters with spatial anomalies, black holes, criminals and perhaps, enforcers of the Draconian rule themselves to explore –

  • Daath Origins’ game-play uniquely combines turn-based elements of the SNES-era with RPG mechanics and enhancements of its own,
  • Leaves decision-making to the player, letting them choose between incurring the wrath of the crew or the secret rewards of the multiverse.
  • Requires you to be an actual Captain; choose to promote crew members, foster Away Teams to send on missions, align the remnants to intergalactic factions, mine resources, collect items or recharge at space stations when away from battle.
  • Will also arrive in a special physical Collector’s Edition handcrafted by the developer, including a DVD-ROM of the game, Box, Map, Manual, a 31-track, 2 CD OST and a figurine of the player’s star-ship.

With sole developer Jeff Quindlen, a 33-year old science-fiction loving father/programmer at its helm, Daath Origins is in fact feature-complete and was originally set for a full-release via Steam Direct.

‘However this is a huge open-world RPG, created by one person, and beta tested with only a limited number of users. There are stability and ease-of-life issues that I need players’ help and feedback to properly solve. ’ explains Black Lodge Games LLC.’s founder and developer Quindlen.

‘I am open to feedback during Early Access, which may resulting in adding, tweaking, or otherwise altering features or gameplay.  It would be irresponsible to release this game in this state without a fully implemented beta period, and so Early Access seems like the perfect way to allow players to experience the content early, while allowing me to collect the necessary feedback I need to refine the release candidate.’

Consequently each of the space opera’s 100 Collector’s Edition discs will go on sale only once stability is no longer an issue, and all actionable feedback has been duly implemented.

Daath Origins is available now on Steam Early Access at a discounted price of $8.99 USD, playable on operating systems running Windows XP or higher. To follow the game, avail of a complete overview of its features and system requirements, please visit its Steam page.

To request a review copy, schedule an interview with Black Lodge Games LLC. or any other media/PR enquiries, please contact Sean Braganza at sean.b@highereg.com. Images, game-play videos, the complete soundtrack and social media profiles relevant to Daath Origins can be found here on Higher Eclectic Ground.

About Black Lodge Games LLC.

Formed July 3rd, 2015, and based out of Spokane, WA, USA, Black Lodge Games LLC. is owned, managed and operated by J. Allen Quindlen, a lifelong computer programmer and game developer.

With a vision to inspire game players across the world through immersion in fun, diverse, artistic, and philosophically driven role playing game franchises, Daath Origins is Black Lodge’s flagship title.

Quindlen’s goals also involve expanding into other areas of interactive entertainment, with his second project, an open world RPG by the name of Arcana Kira, Greenlit on Steam as of 2015 and currently in development.

Introducing TinyWars’ Tower Builder & Inventory System

Press Releases, TinyWars

The month of June, 2017, witnessed the successful implementation of TinyWars’ Tower Builder and Inventory systems.

Both were previewed in the form of screenshots earlier last month, with Lead Developer Andrew Taraba illustrating how their interfaces were demonstrative of various ongoing improvements to the game’s HUD.

In the short video above, the player is first seen presented with the Tower Builder screen that provides a brief overview  of the tower defense level that lies ahead while allowing time for mission-prep.

The function of the Builder is to have players develop and customise a tower. As Taraba explains —

‘Objectives of TinyWars’ tower defense levels may involve preventing enemy units from travelling beyond a certain point, attacking a village and so forth. The tower players erect will serve as a road-block.’

Each tower is made of three aspects — the Main Body, the Accessory and Bottom. Clicking on any of the three item slot boxes next to the tower preview will bring up the Item Selection menu.

‘This Inventory screen displays all the current items the player has unlocked. Selecting the items will bring up their name and description.’ continues Taraba.

‘Each item has a shield icon next to it which displays its Shield Count: this adds to the total HP that the player will have with their tower configuration. As expected, higher HP items might not have as many perks as items with lower HP levels. Pick your strategy wisely!’

Once deployed via the ‘Fight’ button, the customised tower then plays into the ‘tower defense’ aspect of TinyWars by tasking players with strategically placing units to defend it from incoming enemy attack.

Furthermore the Inventory System is not just for tower accessories; items acquired by the player during the RPG/Quests portion of TinyWars can be brought onto the battlefield and deployed in various ways, from having more spots to place your units to dropping bombs on enemies.

Of course as announced in June, part of TinyWars’ ongoing development involves redefining the in-game graphics and visuals to have it stand apart from the existing prototype.

The team is now close to finalising an art style for the game and expects to do so by the end of July, with various samples of the first level’s design seen below.

T-shirt designs featuring Ayasal’s official artwork for the game are also being considered, with Bizurk currently inviting sign-ups from interested followers of the game here.

TinyWars’ Story Demo is due for a release later this year, and will be a vertical slice of the full TinyWars experience consisting of three of the main game’s levels.

Those wishing to get their hands on a free tech-prototype of the game’s tower defence element meanwhile, can download the same for Windows PC and Android via the Downloads section of the game’s website.


To ensure you’re up to date with the latest progress  updates, subscribe to E-mail updates via the sidebar on TinyWars’ Higher Eclectic Space or to the game’s Sub-Forum.

Feedback, queries and interactions with the development team may also take place within the latter. This Press Release was brought to you by Higher Eclectic Ground, network for independent game talent to which TinyWars and the Bizurk Software team is currently affiliated.

One can follow-up on the game’s progress thus far and learn of player reception around its game-play prototype via its Space. To get in touch with the team for any queries, schedule an interview or the like, please E-mail the game’s Higher Eclectic representative Sean Braganza at sean.b@highereg.com


About TinyWars

Developed by Bizurk Software, TinyWars is an upcoming game of the Tower Defence genre for PC, Android & iOS devices.

A journey of growth — both of characters involved and players themselves — its narrative encompasses the kingdom of Tiny and its inhabitants, as they journey through a world of constant conflict and learn of things far greater than themselves. Following the tale of one such inhabitant, a young girl named Mary, said narrative will illustrate her pursuit of justice from those that belittle her as she journeys to save her Kingdom for good.

Players will be tasked with strategic thinking, dynamic unit management and a plethora of boss fights across varying degrees of challenge. All the aspects of this Tower Defence element, although not ground breaking, will ingeniously parallel the aspects of the story and the concept of growing as an individual. A prototype of these mechanics is now available for download. 

Although not representational of the main game, the purpose of the prototype lies in providing fans, followers and tower defense enthusiasts with a snippet of the TinyWars game-play experience, while also assisting the development process with user-related feedback.

The months that ensued after the game’s bare-bones prototype from 2015 were graphic & artwork intensive, with the team designing original assets, primary characters, animations and even recording a live orchestra for the main game in order to provide it with its own flair.

A large portion of 2016 meanwhile had been devoted to the development of TinyWars’ game-play prototype. Prior to its release, a closed beta test of the same transpired between the months of October-November, the same year, with all gathered user feedback being used towards the development of the main game.

Despite the prototype being devoid of any narrative elements and fleshed out visuals, the team is currently working towards releasing a more representational vertical slice of TinyWars’ primary experience by the end of 2017. Comprising of a portion of TinyWars’ soundtrack and early concept art meanwhile, a pre-gameplay demo is now also available for download.

Twitter | Website |  Soundcloud | Facebook | Wiki | YouTube | PR Contact – Andrew Taraba – tinywarsgame@gmail.com

About Bizurk Software

A privately owned subsidiary of Taracore Enterprises LLC, Bizurk functions primarily as a service provider for clients ranging from Hyundai Motors’ Official Website to popular video games like Yandere Simulator.

TinyWars is its first independent venture into the gaming industry. While CEO Andrew Taraba himself has extensive experience in the world of website & app development, the team itself comprises of both experienced artists, musicians and programmers along with novices alike.

Website

About Higher Eclectic Ground

Founded in August, 2015 and operated ever since by Sean Braganza, Higher Eclectic Ground is a curated network of independent developers and artists involved in the creation of Video Games and Video Game related media.

Its services towards affiliated games and their developers primarily involves the provision of highly personalised Public Relations(PR), Quality Assurance(QA) and general Press-centric services with the goal of functioning and operating as the PR department of their development teams.

In addition, it also plays agent to various other freelance creators and artists of gaming media – helping them build a web-presence around their respective crafts and working to garner them freelance employment opportunities within the gaming industry.

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