Games Galore; Summing Up Last Weekend’s Shout-Outs

Games Galore; Summing Up Last Weekend’s Shout-Outs

Notes From The Editor

ShoutoutEver since February dawned on us this year, I admit we’ve been a tad bit hyperactive on social media. Breaking away from the usual stream of daily content from our members, you’d find us discussing in-game lighting with the odd developer on Twitter, sharing correct link-sharing practice with rookie Twitch streamers on Instagram, sending out cheers to artists jump starting their new Facebook pages and more importantly setting daily themes for the Community over the past couple of months.

These themes have been anything from the overused Throwback Thursday to a week spent discussing Pokémon — whatever mood we found ourselves waking up to, really — inviting Community members and followers to pitch in, share snippets from their own/favorite games and garner themselves and their work a social media wide shout-out, all for fun.

This weekend past though, we considered making the daily themes function a bit differently; rather than have them talk of their own games or favorite ones, members & followers were invited across social media to call-out their favorite, most fancied independent game talent from across the internet.

This meant Indie Game Developers, Writers, YouTubers, Cosplayers and nearly anyone else rooted in the realm of Gaming in need of the spotlight, who would then earn a short written feature on their ongoing projects in the name of a little exposure for their craft.

Now while we had nearly 20 recommendations made by the Community and its members, a large majority of these were of games released, fairly popular independent studios and equally renowned YouTubers. This then, is us filtering through the submissions in an attempt to highlight only the most curious, newest and most popularly challenged gaming projects from the lot.

 

Goddess 37 836x1080Goddess


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Set to be a third-person, browser based RPG tale of a Princess’ search for her lost lover and the trials & tribulations she’s exposed to in the process, none of that information on the Game came to us easily. A gander at the game’s website revealed that a playable demo was available, along with a vast collection of other artwork that served to illustrate the game’s vivid world and what we assumed to be the game’s protagonist throwing off a rather interesting demeanor to say the least.

And jump in to the demo via our browsers we did, resulting is us running through a luscious green backdrop as the Princess against a mix of peppy & dark  music, throwing coins into a well to calm the harsh weather than had seeped in, being offered the choice of running an errand for a couple of NPC’s, which in turn resulted in the protagonist stumbling upon a black-suited male who we presumed was the Lover in question — given her reaction to seeing him and the end-demo screen that showed up soon after.

With the demo obviously intending to show off the game’s browser based mechanics, quite impressively, against a fairly odd setting, investigations led us to learn that Goddess is being developed by one José Calderón. Starting out as a story called Carisma in Calderón’s 14 year old imagination in 2001, the developer returned to flesh Goddess out only in 2010 as a free-to-play browser game. While he claims to possess all the necessary funds to lead the Princess’ curious tale to fruition, Calderón set up a Patreon page earlier this year to allow for him to devote more time to the game as a full-time task in addition to providing for a Game Server in the future.

Despite there being zero contributors, interactions with Calderón reveal that development on the game is in fact ongoing, albeit slowly. Either way do jump in to Goddess’ website (preferably not at work), experience the mysterious little demo for yourselves and let Calderón know of your thoughts soon after.


Forgotten Sanctuary


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CottageDespite boasting a sizable following on Twitter, there isn’t much to be found on Forgotten Sanctuary on the world wide web; a puzzle laid bare by the game’s only other social presence on indieDB.

It seems that this episodic return to the true ‘World of Survival Horror’ was, up until the 7th of March this year, a project being developed in secrecy as per the team’s announcement on the platform for independent games.

The team itself seems to bear no name, with the only fact stated about themselves being their immense love for Survival Horror classics such as Clock Tower, Hunting Ground and the original Resident Evil trilogy.

Building on that passion while also hoping to bring about elements unique to itself, Forgotten Sanctuary is set to release on the PC, PlayStation 4 and PS Vita in May later this year.

Fully acknowledging the fact that it is part of the recent resurgence of indie horror titles aiming to return to the genre’s roots, the game promises puzzle solving, inventory management and backtracking amid horror created by hand-drawn, 3D modelled and photographic elements. Interactions of the team with its following meanwhile, hint that a gameplay trailer arrives soon.

 


 

 


iconRunaway Toad


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In what has to be one of the more amusing rewrites of The Frog Prince, made all the more entertaining by the lighthearted description of its premise via the website that seems to want to reestablish Toad’s existence as a Toad after every two sentences, Runaway Toad is an upcoming iOS game featuring pretty much what its title implies.

Post being kidnapped by a Princess fixated on finding her young prince charming among a neighboring swamp’s population of toads, players are put into the webbed feet of the titular protagonist in an attempt to escape from the young lady’s Castle as far as they possibly can.

They must do this under dynamic weather, procedurally generated environments, adaptive gameplay that hurls at them periodic challenges to complete and a vividly illustrative art style the team seems particularly proud of.

The team in question being that of Illustrator Nina Limarev, Game developers Niv Fisher and Alan Shama in collaboration with Texas based developers/publishers Finji. Interestingly, Runaway Toad began as a Flappy Bird inspired mobile outing in the hands of Fisher & Shama, that quickly changed track after Limarev’s illustrative art style had them reconsider their position.

Set to release over the next couple of months as a Premium game on iTunes, Runaway Toad apparently made an appearance at the Game Developers Conference last week — as per this quick showcase of gameplay by Toucharcade.

 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krun4RZ9be4&feature=youtu.be

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GONE


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We’ll admit this is not out first encounter with GONE, having interacted with the young development team behind it in quick commendation of their work on one of our midnight Twitter strolls.

There’s something about perfectly minimal backdrops, glaring sunsets and their resultant silhouettes that never fails to reel us in and hey, after the spectacular teaser that lies below, can you really blame us?

Besides more such fascinating art, not much has been revealed about the game besides its being an endless runner set against a settings of lush forests and mountainous topology, as players take control of a lost deer.

Also stated to feature ‘real-life physics’ and a custom soundtrack, GONE is announced by the team at Tacikuloma to arrive on mobile devices earlier this year. It’s worth noting that the game will be the studio’s first major gaming project and boy, what a debut it looks to be. Feel free to subscribe to updates via their equally minimalistic website here.

 

CdvbqSgW0AAVWkTNikuman Games


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Perhaps the most interesting tale to tell in this here article stems from Nikuman Games; a small start-up driven to make games inspired by those its founders have grown up on, that came into fruition in only January this year.

What pray then, could a two month old company have achieved in so short a span that makes its so fascinating? It’s foray into the unknown.

Apparently Nikuman was founded after one David Saben’s recent binge of modern sprite based games led the co-founder, with basic coding & zero game development experience, to get in touch with friend and 2D artist Nathan Smith with the idea of starting their own company and making games.

This quickly led to Matt W., a third partner joining the fray, with the team deciding to make their first game a mobile based one. They are doing so with minimal experience or knowledge of the gaming industry however, learning coding/designing/marketing skills along the way to bring their first game to fruition.

Not much has been revealed about the game yet, with only progressive art snippets, layers of code and one short display of gameplay being put forth so far via the team’s blog — which also features the team’s trio constantly documenting their progress, work adventures, explaining why they’ve decided to keep their start up a secret from their mothers and imparting other new found advice.

There’s just been something curiously interesting seeing the trio wake up daily, put up a snippet of progress before heading towards their day’s chores and getting back to learning once real life’s out of the way.

Yes, we had indeed interacted with the team once before on another one of our midnight Twitter strolls when they’re blog was launched earlier this year, with us making a few suggestions towards he visual appeal of the same as well. We dropped them a note a few hours prior to this article to tease this little short feature and co-founder David seemed more than enthusiastic to delve into what the team were really working on.

In elaboration of the company’s vision his words were – To Educate people on both how they make games & run their business, to focus on small victories and build on them, to make the process of all of that as transparent as possible for the Community. Sounds good? Jump in to the Nikuman Games hub.

 

Adele: Following The Signs


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12647449_480000535520257_7340847322494464356_nA 2.5D puzzle platformer that demands strategy and has no connection whatsoever with the popular English singer/songwriter, Adele: Following The Signs is developers Unosquare’s two year attempt at conjuring a post-apocalyptic, zombie infested tale.

Set in the year of 2029, when young Adele and her father Mike’s attempt at escaping the horde of zombies out for their blood results in him tripping, losing consciousness and waking up to find her gone — players are hurled into the desperate father’s shoes as he pushes through 19 levels of following the clues left behind by his daughter.

Contrary to one’s expectations though, there’s no all-out zombie slaughter, killing sprees or even hand-to-hand combat to be delved into here — for Adele: FTS’s focus lies solely in having players run, crouch and hide to effectively stay away from all of the above by solving puzzles and manipulating the environment to their advantage.

This does make for an incredible amount of challenge, as my play through of the game’s 2 level public demo took up to an hour & a half of figuring out my next move in avoidance of zombies & other obstacles obstructing my progress, failing to do so and then failing to carry out those moves when I did figure them out for the utter onslaught of environmental complexity in certain portions of the game. It was tough, but I enjoyed it.

While I might also have qualms with certain aspects of the gameplay mechanics that I’ll be detailing via a Demo feedback form, know that Adele: FTS’ Steam Greenlight page means every bit of their pitch that reads ‘beautiful graphics, original art and music’; for in between rage quits, its the sharp, dark and grim visuals coupled with the dread inducing reverberations of its OST that keep you pushing for more.

Adele: Following The Signs is currently sitting on Steam awaiting its Greenlight since the 4th of March this year, with public response looking, not surprisingly, rather positive. As soon as land there though, make sure you’re giving the demo a whirl before anything.

Were you one of the indie game development teams featured? Either way, let us know your thoughts on the Weekend Shout-Outs, if you’d like for us to do this on a regular basis or else. Also, be sure you’re constantly tuned in to our social media pages; that way you don’t miss out on any of our moody themes and stand a chance of being featured along with your projects from time to time.

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Creator, writer & sole employee, Braganza is practically a full-time resident of Higher Eclectic Ground.

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