Hack 'n' Slash Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Hack 'n' Slash RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Kickstarter has no plans to compete with Fig using "equity" crowdfunding https://www.gameskinny.com/kxuq6/kickstarter-has-no-plans-to-compete-with-fig-using-equity-crowdfunding https://www.gameskinny.com/kxuq6/kickstarter-has-no-plans-to-compete-with-fig-using-equity-crowdfunding Wed, 19 Aug 2015 12:25:26 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Since the launch of the new crowdfunding company Fig (August 18th, 2015), many eyebrows have been raised in the direction of Kickstarter, asking them if they plan on competing with Fig on their level of equity crowdfunding.

If you're unfamiliar with what equity crowdfunding is: when a crowd of people invest money into a company, they receive shares of said company. It could be considered a more beneficial form of investment for the investors; should the company or product become popular, investors can cash out big by selling shares. 

While Fig is just a newcomer in the crowdfunding industry, they're implementation of equity funding as an option to their backers is very radical.

Reaching out to Kickstarter

Polygon already approached Kickstarter on their stance when dealing with their new competitor, Fig, and Kickstarter gave the very dominant answer that they have no plans to add equity as an option, and instead prefer to focus on the developer's options when getting funded for their projects.

Equity investment could become a major controversy since it offers the option to 'own' a piece of a game, and backers could even receive a cut of game's profits upon release. 

"Kickstarter has no plans to offer equity crowdfunding,"

"Kickstarter's mission is to help bring creative projects to life, and we welcome more options for creators."

- Kickstarter Representative

When looking at the business prospects of Kickstarter, it becomes difficult to read exactly what the future will hold for the company that has had such a strong reputation. Three successful game developers who have been heavily involved in Kickstarter's fundraising and creation process are on the advisory board for Fig, adding just a bit more drama to the pot.

This could cause a large profit and popularity loss on Kickstarter since the three companies, Obsidian Entertainment, inXile Entertainment, and Double Fine Productions accumulated over $13 million dollars in funding through Kickstarter since 2012.

Diversity Could be the Key

When thinking of Kickstarter many people associate the company with the huge diverse set of campaigns and projects that they advertise. That one association itself could uphold Kickstarter's reign on video game creation and funding. Their new competitor Fig will only host two campaigns at a time on their site, which is limiting the popularity at one front where developer's can't just submit their projects to be backed by the funders.

"We’re constantly amazed at the ingenuity and diversity of games on Kickstarter — thousands of them, from quirky side projects to ambitious blockbusters, and from creators of all stripes,"

"It’s a place where people make and support games because they love gaming. Kickstarter creators retain full ownership and creative control of their work. And our strong backer community makes Kickstarter the best place in the world for game makers to find an audience — one that extends beyond the core gaming crowd."

-Kickstarter Representative

I'll personally be paying attention to the fluctuating popularity that I expect will move from Kickstarter to Fig, and back and forth. Like with toys, when a new one shows up everyone wants to play with it; but true value will reign in the end onto which company has the best benefits. 

What do you think of the equity option that Fig is offering to backers? Will it work or flop? 

IndieCade 2014: News, Trends, & Titles https://www.gameskinny.com/fvv20/indiecade-2014-news-trends-titles https://www.gameskinny.com/fvv20/indiecade-2014-news-trends-titles Fri, 19 Sep 2014 18:00:57 -0400 Auverin Morrow

IndieCade, the largest independent game festival in the US, is gearing up for its fifth year. October 9-12, industry figures and general consumers alike will gather in Culver City, CA to attend professional conferences, business networking and social events, tournaments, and meet-and-greets with game creators. Most importantly, they'll get the opportunity to test play more than 150 games, spanning all genres and platforms. (This even includes tabletops and LARPing games.)

This year, IndieCade boasts 151 independent titles. Of these games, there are 35 official nominees that were previously selected as the best and most exciting titles of the year. Let's take a look at the prevalent trends among the competitors, along with some notable games to look out for. 

Nominee Trends

1. Puzzle Games

Just under half of this year's nominees have incorporated puzzles into their games. These puzzles come in all forms, from mini-puzzles that unlock new areas to complex puzzle that help further the storyline.

In Fract OSC, for example, the player must solve musical puzzles in order to rebuild machines. But Ice-Bound requires the player to piece together fragments scattered throughout the game in order to create or reveal the storyline. 

Fract OSC boasts graphics as stunning as its music.

2. Multiplayer Games/Features

Like puzzle games, multiplayer games (and games with multiplayer options) are dominating the nominee pool this year. This includes cooperative (team) and competitive (PvP) formats. From MMOs and MOBAs to multiplayer mobile, handheld, and tabletop titles, gaming seems to be becoming an increasingly more social activity. The sheer number of multiplayer titles both in the nominee arena and the general pool reflect a high demand for games that offer social features.

These features, however, are taking really unique forms in this year's competitors. Choice Chamber, a dungeon crawler, allows multiple players to give constant feedback (via a chat fuction) that changes how the game plays out. It was designed specifically to be played live on a stream service like Twitch, so that all participants can choose to either help the main player along, or create a challenge to slow them down. 

Another interesting take on the multiplayer function comes from Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. In this virtual reality game, one player straps on an Oculus headset to find him/herself trapped alone in a room with a bomb. Other players in the real world have instructions to diffuse the bomb, but are unable to see it. All players have to cooperate in order to neutralize the threat. 

Choice Chamber takes live-stream audience interaction to a whole new level.

3. Choice/Exploration/Narrative

Several of this year's nominees opted for adventure games over action ones. With the advent of titles like The Walking Dead, which focus heavily on storytelling, it's no suprise that we're seeing a considerable number of games that mimic this style: lots of story, choice, and exploration with few to no combat/action sequences. 

Example: Ether One.

In this title, you assume the role of someone who struggles with dementia. You must rebuild your memories by exploring the world around you and solving puzzles. There are no enemies to fight. No missions. No levels. Only the search for answers and the story that unfolds. The game even offers a second mode that removes all the puzzles, making it a full-fledged exploration experience. 

Some games, like first-person explorer Private Eye, are using the Oculus Rift's virtual technology to further immerse the player in an exploratory, interactive, story-driven experience. 

4. Intellectual/Philosophical Games

With the wild success of games like The Stanley Parable, we've seen an influx of games that make you ponder ideas or simulate relationships, storylines, etc. for the purpose of intellectual observation. 

Coffee: A Misunderstanding is a short, interactive role-playing experience meant to simulate the awkwardness of online friendships when they're moved into a real social context. 

On the opposite end of the "thinky-game" spectrum is How Do You Do It?, where players step into the mind of an 11-year-old girl who attempts to understand the mechanics of sex with the help of her two plastic dolls. The game is meant to be a simulation of how one of the developers actually explored sexuality as a child.

Guided by their phones, audience volunteers act out Coffee: A Misunderstanding

5. Virtual Reality & Experiential Games

The final notable trend among competitors this year is use of both virtual reality technology and real-life installments/exhibits to create a holistic player experience. Developers are pushing to immerse players as much as possible in their games in order to get the most out of them. Sometimes, this is just to enhance the playing experience. Other times, it can actually give players a new understanding of certain issues/environments, as well as challenge them to act in ways they normally wouldn't. 

Several of the virtual experience nominees went with the latter goal - like Soulfill, the "mobile-assisted live action role-playing game" that uses audio/touch gestures and text instructions to encourage the user to make eye contact with strangers on public transportation. 

Use of Force went for a similar immersion experience, but as a virtual reality documentary. Using virtual reality goggles and a full-body motion tracking system, players are transformed into eyewitnesses of police brutality committed by the US border patrol in a recreation of real events. 

Use of Force allows players to witness a recreation of actual events. 

General Submissions - Trends & Notable Titles

Trends in this pool overlapped with those in the nominee category. Lots of multiplayer and competitive games, as well as interactive experiences. However, the general pool had a surprising number of LARP submissions (about 1 in 10), as well as several lighthearted comedy games. 

Games to Look Out For:
  • Anamnesisa first-person explorer. The player is a FEMA agent visiting a temporary shelter to learn why some of the tenants have lost contact. The Oculus Rift serves as a second display that players may use to examine objects in the world. In the game, the specially designed goggles allow you to see the "psychological imprints" left by the tenants. Using them, you explore multiple narratives in the process of your investigation. 
  • Elegy for a Dead Worldanother explorer. You are a poet who must write about three different worlds, each inspired by a British romantic poet (Shelley, Keats, and Byron). Then you share your experiences with the universe. Other players read what you write and assess it. The more the real world appreciates your writing, the brighter the stars will shine in the sky above your homeworld. 
  • Hyper Light Driftera multi-platform 2D action RPG. This title uses 8-and 16-bit graphic schemes, but with a much larger world and more modern mechanics. You are charged with exploring a vast, ruined world that holds both lost technology and unfathomable danger. 
  • Sundera 2D co-op platformer. Players wear color-filtering glasses, so they can each look at the same screen, but see a different world. Players must cooperate and communicate verbally to solve puzzles and tear down enemies. 

In Sunder, color-filtering glasses make this distorted image look like two distinct worlds. 

Don't miss out on the festivities!

If you're in the Culver City area or are willing to travel, tickets to IndieCade are on sale now. Although you'll be too late to get the earlybird deals, you can still snag a pass at standard rates or student rates (if you qualify). All-Access passes start at just $495, while festival-only passes run $30-40 per day, or $90 for all weekend. 

If you can't be there in person, you can stay updated on all the happenings via the official IndieCade Twitter and Facebook pages. 

What IndieCade titles are you excited for? Tell us in the comments!

Break the Game: Hack 'n' Slash Now Available Through Steam Early Access https://www.gameskinny.com/kd22s/break-the-game-hack-n-slash-now-available-through-steam-early-access https://www.gameskinny.com/kd22s/break-the-game-hack-n-slash-now-available-through-steam-early-access Wed, 07 May 2014 16:18:45 -0400 zoLo567

Ever get to a point in a game where you wish that you could hack your way through? That is exactly what you can do in Double Fine's new puzzle-adventure title Hack 'n' Slash.

Hack 'n' Slash is a game entirely about hacking, and rewriting the game's code.

Is an enemy giving you trouble? Hack into it and bring its health down to zero for an instant kill. Need health? Program that same monster to drop plenty of hearts to keep yourself going. According to the game description: "The only way to win is not to play...by the rules!"

Hack 'n' Slash stars a hero and sprite who look very similar to another hero we know and love, and gives players the ability to literally break the game. Players solve puzzles by hacking the game code, and Double Fine claims that there are multiple ways to solve a dungeon, including some that they did not anticipate. When you hack, you are hacking the actual game code, and you are even able to break the game if you wish. 


As you progress through Hack 'n' Slash, you gain items that allow you break the game further. These let you twist the game code even more, and find hidden elements in levels such as invisible platforms, or see the vision cones of enemies. This helps the player find more ways to hack and navigate through the game.

Early Access

Hack 'n' Slash is available on Steam through Early Access, and runs at $20, or $25 with the game's soundtrack. As the game is not entirely complete, Double Fine has released this statement:

“We’re releasing on Early Access so that players can influence the tuning of the mechanics, provide ideas for puzzles, help guide our Steam Workshop integration, and support the final game. Hack 'n' Slash is still in development and there will be bugs, but players who get in now will help us improve a game that can expose people to a whole new way of playing and thinking about games. Check out our development roadmap below for more details on our Early Access plan!”

Hack 'n' Slash looks like an intriguing game.

The ability to actually hack the game sounds like an interesting idea. I just wonder how puzzles are actually formed when the idea is that the puzzles are hacked. The game has obvious nods to the Legend of Zelda series, and looks great. As this is an early build, there will likely be problems with the game, especially a game a complicated as Hack 'n' Slash. Hopefully Double Fine will keep the game as promising as it looks. This is a game that I will be looking forward to when Double Fine completes it.


50 Grey Shades of Game, Obsidian and Double Helix's Upcoming Titles. https://www.gameskinny.com/uwnnv/50-grey-shades-of-game-obsidian-and-double-helixs-upcoming-titles https://www.gameskinny.com/uwnnv/50-grey-shades-of-game-obsidian-and-double-helixs-upcoming-titles Wed, 11 Dec 2013 08:39:59 -0500 Ryan Kerns

Remember how a lot of games looked around the time of Gears of War and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare? Just like how Pablo Picasso went through a blue period from 1901 to 1904, video games were going through a grey/brown period.

Thankfully this was only a phase the industry was going through and it eventually turned off that Bauhaus album and came out of its bedroom. Not every future has to be post apocalyptic, and who is to say nuclear fallout wouldn't result in multiple rainbows across the sky and neon green clouds.  


That is what I thought at least, until new images started to pop up of what Obsidian and Double Helix have been working on. Double Helix is no stranger to grey/brown games, having developed Silent Hill: Homecoming... but in recent years with Killer Instinct and a bevy of bright particle effects, and the upcoming Strider reboot with a flowy neon ninja scarf; it comes as a bit of a surprise that concept art from their next game is so incredibly drab. 

I suppose it is a little unfair for me to pass judgement so quickly, after all this is just concept art from an unannounced new IP. Still, when I first saw these images I swear I was looking at Killzone: Shadow Fall. 

Even Bungie's Destiny seems to have a much more muted color palette compared to their previous Halo games.

Dark and drab works when that is the overall tone of a game like the upcoming Thief reboot from Eidos or the supernatural London (an already foggy environment) of The Order 1886. Being in shadow is actually a gameplay element to Thief so the colors make total sense. 

I was surprised from Obsidian as well... again Fallout: New Vegas was a very grey/brown game, while Southpark: Stick of Truth looks like you could be watching an episode of the show. After setting a Kickstarter record of close to 4 million dollars for the now renamed Pillars of Eternity, expectations for the game are high in every department. I think using the classic RPG isometric view was a wonderful choice for the game, but these screenshots just feel so lifeless.

My worries about Pillars of Eternity at least seem to be for nothing. Once you watch the embedded trailer at the bottom of this article; you will see this game does have some beautiful and colorful environments. I don't doubt Double Helix's game will have more colorful portions as well.

 Are hardcore gamers so adverse to sunlight that even a visual representation of it makes them hiss like a vampire? 

I still find myself left with the question on why so many games are at least represented to us with screenshots like these. Is a game more realistic or gritty when there's no color? Are hardcore gamers so adverse to sunlight that even a visual representation of it makes them hiss like a vampire? 

In a new generation of games where the graphical limitations are lower than ever, I would just hate to see that all go to waste under a layer of fog and depressing color schemes. 

On the other hand... I might just be totally full of shit. Double Fine's upcoming Broken Age and just announced Zelda inspired Hack 'n' Slash ditch 3D graphics altogether and look like beautiful illustrations in motion. Arc System Works are rebooting Guilty Gear with Guilty Gear Xrd, a fighting game running in 3D on the Unreal Engine, but with cel shading so convincing it could be easily mistaken for a 2D anime.

We live in a wonderful era of gaming where you the gamer have many choices. Do you want to play a desaturated futuristic cyberpunk game? Go right ahead. Do you want to play a colorful Japanese fighting game with a narcoleptic character nailed to a bed named Bed Man? That is covered as well (pictured). 

You definitely have the choice to play Pillars of Eternity next year, as it is shaping up to be quite an awesome looking game: