PHOGS! Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com PHOGS! RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Into the Phoggyverse: Bit Loom Games on PHOGS! Inspiration, Co Op, and More https://www.gameskinny.com/havfg/into-the-phoggyverse-bit-loom-games-on-phogs-inspiration-co-op-and-more https://www.gameskinny.com/havfg/into-the-phoggyverse-bit-loom-games-on-phogs-inspiration-co-op-and-more Mon, 30 Nov 2020 15:32:50 -0500 Henry Stockdale

There’s genuinely nothing quite like PHOGS! out there at the moment. While most co-op games have you playing as separate characters or entities, PHOGS! revolves around playing as two heads of a conjoined dog, Red and Blue, in a manner reminiscent of the Nickelodeon animated series CatDog.

Developed by Bit Loom Games, PHOGS! was first conceived back in 2017. Having made the rounds at conventions for the last two years, publisher and co-developer Coatsink has confirmed that PHOGS! is now finally ready to launch on December 3, releasing on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and Google Stadia, with backwards compatibility for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.

Spanning 24 levels between three separate worlds in a realm known as the “Phoggyverse,” you’ll need to overcome obstacles by working together, completing puzzles along the way in a game that promises a unique brand of challenge.

In preparation for the game's launch, we had the opportunity to speak with Bit Loom Games, who were kind enough to tell us more about this adorable new experience.



Henry Stockdale, GameSkinny: First, thank you for joining me. I actually played the demo back at EGX last year. For any readers unaware of PHOGS!, though, could you please introduce yourselves?

Bit Loom: We’re Douglas, Henry, and James, and we make up Bit Loom, a small studio based in Scotland, who are making PHOGS!

GameSkinny: As your studio’s debut game, it must be quite thrilling to finally launch it, but as a small team, have there been any specific development challenges you’ve faced?

Bit Loom: We’re incredibly excited to have the game out. It’s felt like such a long journey to get here. Most of the challenges we’ve had throughout development have been due to us learning how to build the game. We’ve also been ridiculously lucky throughout development to have the support of our co-developers Coatsink, who jumped in to help with art, animation, sound design, porting, and multiplayer implementation. This definitely helped ease the load for some part of the game that wouldn’t have been possible with just the three of us.

GameSkinny: We know PHOGS! revolves around an adorable two-headed doggo, each head called Red and Blue, and it's often been compared to CatDog. Did that show influence yourselves or were there other inspirations?

Bit Loom: While we all grew up around that particular era of cartoons, it definitely wasn’t something at the forefront of our minds while developing the game. We knew that we wanted a silly creature with two ends controlled by two players, and we wanted it to be something simple and friendly.

The dog element mostly came about because we thought that adding arms would look really strange, and it made sense as a creature that interacts with things primarily with its mouth.

GameSkinny: How did this idea turn into a playable concept at first, and what convinced you to take this further?

Bit Loom: We just started off getting the PHOG working and stuck them in a blank room with some boxes to push around, and we knew as soon as we started playing around with the character that we had something interesting.

It just immediately felt like we’d managed to find something fun and exciting that we wanted to explore further, and it was hard to stop coming up with ideas.

GameSkinny: Most co-op games involve you playing as separate entities, making PHOGS! rather unique in that respect. Was it a challenge to create an experience where the players are conjoined?

Bit Loom: If anything, I think it maybe made it easier to make, purely because the characteristic of being joined together generated so many ideas in itself. As well as the fact that it meant we never really had to worry about things like the players getting too far away from each other or setting off things in completely the wrong order since we had more control over where both players would be at any one time.

While it occasionally did bring its own challenges, such as trying to ensure both players had some part to play in each interaction. But we attempted to solve this by having lots of interactions [that] require both heads, such as turning a tap to activate something instead of just pushing a button.

GameSkinny: While co-op play seems to be the focus, we know that single-player options have been included too. Was it difficult designing a solo mode for it?

Bit Loom: Luckily, it felt kind of natural to play the game either way pretty much from the start. As we wanted the controls to be very simple and easy to pick up, we designed them around the idea of using a shared controller. This means the game can always be played on a single controller and while it requires a bit more mental gymnastics to coordinate with yourself, it’s definitely something you get more used to over time.

GameSkinny: Puzzle-solving will factor into gameplay, so how does this work in practice?

Bit Loom: We’ve tried to design puzzles that focus most on working together and using both of your heads. Some puzzles will be a case of using several objects or creatures you’ve been introduced to together in interesting ways, others may be more of a case of experimenting with something new to find surprising ways to solve problems.

From hosing water through your wobbly body to swinging across monkey bars in sync with each other, there are lots of ways to put the phogs’ unique anatomy to the test.

GameSkinny: Can you tell us more about the worlds we’ll visit and what differences they bring to gameplay?

Bit Loom: The worlds of Food, Sleep, and Play each have their own vibe and mechanics.

Food is bright and bouncy and has the phogs hosing water through their body in order to grow food for creatures to eat to overcome environmental obstacles.

Sleep is super cosy and all about putting creatures to bed and using light and shadow to solve more traditional puzzles.

Play is a manic mix of minigames with a bit of magic thrown in for good measure, where one minute you are playing golf, and the next minute you are inside a giant golf ball.

Every level introduces something new, and we hope people fall in love with the wonderful and weird characters along the way!

GameSkinny: Would you say it’s a particularly long campaign?

Bit Loom: Our focus with PHOGS! was to make every puzzle and level feel fresh and surprising for the player, with no mechanic outstaying its welcome. Being a puzzler, it can vary from player to player, On average, though, the story lasts around eight hours for new players. With all the bones to find and characters to meet, you can make it take quite a while longer if you don’t want to rush. When I play the game, I spend half the time choosing what hat my end of the phog wears!

GameSkinny: Have there been any considerations for DLC expansions or a sequel, or are you looking towards brand new projects once PHOGS! is out?

Bit Loom: Currently, we are taking it slow and focusing on PHOGS!. We have plenty of ideas but no solid plans for what the next big project is for Bit Loom. If people really love PHOGS! and want to see more, we might go back to the drawing board. We’ll have to see what happens!

GameSkinny: Last of all, would you like to share any messages with the fans?

Bit Loom: We cannot wait for everyone to play the game and meet the characters throughout the phoggyverse! I also have a question for the real fans out there: what other animal would you like to see become stretchy bellied and double-ended?

]]>
10 Most Anticipated Indie Games of 2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/i9021/10-most-anticipated-indie-games-of-2019 https://www.gameskinny.com/i9021/10-most-anticipated-indie-games-of-2019 Wed, 05 Dec 2018 16:38:28 -0500 ESpalding

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/n/d/end-slide-6f59d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/n/d/end-slide-6f59d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"191721","description":"

So then, there you have it! Ten great indie games which are going to be heading our way in 2019. Of course, we've only scratched the surface as there are so many amazing indie games in development at the moment and many we will see in the coming year.

\n

Are you looking forward to any of these ones? Maybe you are excited about something else?

\n

Let us know which games you are most looking forward to seeing and we will try to keep you informed about them as well as many other titles arriving next year and beyond!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/r/i/trine-45c96.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/t/r/i/trine-45c96.jpg","type":"slide","id":"191545","description":"

Trine 4

\n

Developer: Frozenbyte
Release date: TBA 2019

\n

Not much is known about what Frozenbyte will be bringing us with Trine 4; there isn't even an official trailer for it, but given that Trine 3 gained quite a lot of negativity, fans are hoping that they have learned what wasn't done well last time and have built on that. 

\n

This time around they have partnered with Modus Games and Trine 4 will eventually be available on PS4, XBox One, PC and Nintendo Switch.

\n

As the news of a new Trine game was announced by accident by someone that wasn't the developer, we still don't know all that much about it. But we'll be sure to let you know when we do. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e16a8fe84e4d89a3763fca0d525e4fee.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e16a8fe84e4d89a3763fca0d525e4fee.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12508","description":"

Spelunky 2

\n

Developer: Mossmouth
Release date: TBA 2019

\n

There is currently a frenzy of excited Spelunky fans eager to find out when the next installment is coming to our screens. Those who went to PAX West this year have already had a look at it and, judging by the chatter, it is looking like a worthy successor! 

\n

In Spelunky 2, you play as the daughter of the spelunker from the first game, who is trying to make her own way in the underground world. She has taken to the skies and is now exploring the tunnels on the moon. There are plenty of new dynamics, critters, and mobs to fight against.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a0099d04bd2d60eae3b0b3c2d8bc9ada.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a0099d04bd2d60eae3b0b3c2d8bc9ada.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12507","description":"

Phoenix Point

\n

Developer: Snapshot Games
Release date: June 2019

\n

It is always exciting when a founding father of a genre returns to their roots. That is what Phoenix Point is.

\n

It is being made by the creator of the original X-COM series, Julian Gollop. It is a squad-based game using turn-based tactics and strategy and is said to be the true spiritual successor of the original series. It has already got a massive fanbase, which is evident from its hugely successful Fig campaign, launched in 2017, where it raised $765,948.

\n

In the future, Earth is decimated by a deadly outbreak called the Pandoravirus. It has the ability to mutate a being almost instantly by combining human, animals and alien DNA. This gives the game an ever-evolving menace to deal with. The aliens themselves are procedurally generated so players will constantly be having to evolve their own tactics in order to defeat them.

\n

Upon release, Phoenix Point will be available on PC, Mac and Xbox One.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/a/l/valley-gods-game-0b84f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/a/l/valley-gods-game-0b84f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"192080","description":"

In the Valley of the Gods

\n

Developer: Campo Santo
Release date: TBA 2019

\n

The last time developers Campo Santo were on the scene was back in 2016 with their sensational mystery game Firewatch. Their latest game, In the Valley of the Gods, aims to take you on a journey through 1920s Egypt while out to discover new archaeological discoveries.

\n

You play as an explorer named Rashida who has one more shot to make it to the big time as a filmmaker. She has been sent out to Egypt to try and uncover new ancient relics and to document the whole thing. Unfortunately for you, the only other person on this adventure is your former partner who you have absolutely no desire to work with again.

\n

In the Valley of the Gods does not have an exact release date just yet, but we do know that when it becomes available it will be on PC, Linux and Mac.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7690dfd1c98ce588b7cb6a8cdeea742e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7690dfd1c98ce588b7cb6a8cdeea742e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12505","description":"

Sable

\n

Developer: Shedworks
Release date: TBA 2019

\n

Undoubtedly, the first thing that grabs you about Sable, by UK-based developer Shedworks, is its unique comic book art style. It went down a storm at E3 2018 and gained a lot of interest from fans and press alike.

\n

The story starts when the titular character sets out into the desert for her tribes "right of passage". To become an adult, Sable must explore her surroundings, unlocking ancient histories and learning about the world around her. This is very much an exploration game with some platforming and puzzle elements thrown in for good measure. There is absolutely no combat in the game at all. Everything is focussed on exploration.

\n

There is no definite date for Sable's release but, until we know, here is the E3 announcement trailer for you to watch.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/82fac97c2ac7fddd7743d6f0bb2e3759.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/82fac97c2ac7fddd7743d6f0bb2e3759.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12504","description":"

Session

\n

Developer: crea-ture Studios
Release date: Q2 2019

\n

Fans of the skateboard subgenre have been hoping for a follow up on the vastly successful Skate 3 but, as it has already been confirmed by EA that there isn't going to be a Skate 4, there was a big hole in the market which needed to be filled.

\n

Enter crea-ture Studios and their game Session. Back in 2017, the studio launched a Kickstarter campaign to try and raise some money to make and release their own skateboard game. They were initially looking to raise CA$80,000 but managed to get a massive CA$163,700 in funding.

\n

Session promises to reignite your passion for skateboarding and wants you to explore what it means to be a street skater. The only limit to the tricks you can do is your creativity and your dedication. Some of the game's features include a video editor which will allow you to film, edit and create your own montage to then show to the game's community.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/39c70a3458d0fe6701b05c8e5dd5456d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/39c70a3458d0fe6701b05c8e5dd5456d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12503","description":"

PHOGS!

\n

Developer: Bit Loom Games
Release date: TBA 2019

\n

If you love bright colors, puzzles, and physics-based games, then, my friend, PHOGS! is going to be the game for you. Developed by Bit Loom Games and published by Coatsink, both in the UK, the game has been doing the round on the expo circuit this year and has been a roaring success.

\n

In PHOGS!, you play as a creature which resembles two dogs who are connected to each other via the mid-section. The aim is to travel through the "Phoggyverse" completing puzzles and overcoming various obstacles. Sounds pretty straightforward but with two characters for the price of one to control, things could get interesting!

\n

It is going to be released across multiple platforms but, as of yet, we don't know which ones that will be.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/0a9d0283c9ee3fcbfd43bdb313b1744b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/0a9d0283c9ee3fcbfd43bdb313b1744b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12502","description":"

Creaks

\n

Developer: Amanita Design
Release date: TBA 2019

\n

You might think that this is an obscure choice, but the folks at Amanita Design have a pretty good cult following thanks to their smash hit point-and-click Machinarium. The artwork of their games is unmistakable!

\n

There isn't a whole lot known about this game. In fact, on the game's Steam store page, all it says is "meet your new neighbors".

\n

In the teaser trailer for Creaks, you get the impression that this is going to be another point-and-click adventure which is heavy on puzzles and problem-solving. The setting looks dark and eerie with great attention to the smallest details.

\n

Once we know any more details about Creaks, we will let you know. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a1d6331974bfc8e00c991e5d044212f7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a1d6331974bfc8e00c991e5d044212f7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12501","description":"

Sunless Skies

\n

Developer: Failbetter Games
Release date: January 31, 2019

\n

Even though Sunless Skies has been in Early Access on Steam for quite some time, it is finally getting a full release at the beginning of next year. Since hitting Steam back in 2017, it has been getting positive reviews all the way through its development, so this is looking like it is going to be a great addition to your indie collection. 

\n

In the second of their Sunless games, Failbetter Games wants you to take command of a flying locomotive and explore the reaches of space in this Victorian Gothic adventure RPG set among the stars.

\n

Sunless Skies is being developed for Windows, Linux and Mac.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/cc17c6737aadf9c747c20fd22f3428f7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/cc17c6737aadf9c747c20fd22f3428f7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12500","description":"

Sea of Solitude

\n

Developer: Jo-Mei Games
Release Date: Early 2019

\n

Sea of Solitude was announced last year as one of EA Originals' next indie titles, but it was at E3 this year that we got to see more of this stunning indie game.

\n

The game follows a young woman called Kay as she battles loneliness while trying to survive in an abandoned, submerged city. Her feelings and fears have turned her into her own personal enemy and the only hope she has of getting back to normal is to get help from the monsters lurking around the city. 

\n

Sea of Solitude will be available on Windows, PS4, and Xbox One.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019-1aa0f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/1/2019-1aa0f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"191722","description":"

This year has been a fantastic year for gaming. Both indie and AAA developers have pushed out some amazing games and, if conferences like E3 are anything to go by, 2019 is going to be another amazing year for gaming.

\n

Most of you will already know which AAA games you are most excited for in the coming year, but there are also some great indie games coming up, too!

\n

Join us as we take a look at 10 of the most anticipated games heading our way in 2019.

"}]]]>