Steam Greenlight Tagged Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Steam Greenlight RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Steam: Too Much Content, Too Little Curation https://www.gameskinny.com/bkcwd/steam-too-much-content-too-little-curation https://www.gameskinny.com/bkcwd/steam-too-much-content-too-little-curation Mon, 09 Apr 2018 11:43:19 -0400 Lewis Parsons

As of this writing, in the middle of the afternoon on March 26th, 2018, there have been over 40 games released on the Steam platform today. Just today. This is a Monday, not a day for new releases (those are usually Tuesdays), and not a particularly busy time of year. How many of those 40 games are worth purchasing? What are they like? What are they about? Are there any hidden gems in there? Unfortunately, answering any of these questions, let alone all of them, would be quite a task, as again, this is just a Monday. That is not to say Steam gives you no information -- they do. A hover of the mouse over the title gives you broad “genre” information, an overall review score, and whatever screenshots or videos the publisher decides to include. Is this enough? Is this enough to give the consumer confidence in parting with their hard-earned money? Yes, there are refunds available, of course -- a welcome change and, in this author’s opinion, a needed one.

Many have written or made videos on this, pointing out some of the absurd content that gets put up on Steam by those either hoping for unwary shoppers, money laundering perhaps, or maybe content by a creator that truly does believe that their work is worthy of distribution. Steam Direct has democratized game creation, allowing some fantastic content to be distributed that might otherwise never have been seen. The influx of high-quality indie games that have come out in the past decade may never have made it to market before, and that is something truly special that we as gamers and in the gaming community should celebrate and encourage. But will the next great title get buried? Has it? Does the cream always rise to the top? Or does it get overwhelmed in the sludge and never see the light of day?

An average day of releases on the Steam Store ...Browsing screen on Steam 

Unfortunately, the answer may not be positive to these questions. There are currently over 22,000 games on Steam; in contrast, there were roughly 700 games released for the NES in North America, and roughly 1,700 games were released on Playstation 4. Good, right? Or not? This is where curation and discovery come into play. 

Discovery

First, let's start with discovery. Discovery is just what it sounds like, and we are probably all familiar with it. It is about finding something new. We do this in our lives in a wide variety of ways: trial and error, browsing, advertising, appearance, title, genre -- we all have our own magic mix we look for when making choices from a vast catalog. We are used to doing this in libraries, stores, and when car shopping. All of these institutions have various ways of curating their collection of products or services to encourage you towards certain selections. Perhaps a manufacturer has paid to have their item have prime store placement (there is an entire industry built around customer behavior in retail environments and on websites). Perhaps the staff at a local library (like myself) have built a display of lesser-used items we want to see circulate out of the building and get read. The possibilities are endless.

How does Steam do this? Well, it relies on pushing content at you. Pushed content is content you don’t search for yourself, and in the era of ad impressions and the deluge of information the internet has created, pushing content is often the only way to get someone to see content; our time is limited, after all. Valve uses secretive algorithms to give you games it thinks you want. This can have mixed results. With dozens of games released a day, the ability to search by, say, genre, or to have that be a limiter to what you want to see is basically useless, as is looking simply at new content.

Instead of the careful curation that exists in physical storefronts or a library, Valve has decided to take a quasi-laissez faire approach, letting the community take the reins in discovery. On paper, and sometimes in practice, this sounds great. It’s a further democratization of art. In reality, this can often lead to very real problems.

Video games set up in a libraryOrder, not chaos 

Greenlight and Direct

Valve first tried this with the now-shuttered “Greenlight” system. Greenlight had users vote on games in development (some closer to a “pitch” than anything) that would appear on the platform. Enough votes and you were in. This led to some gems emerging, but also to some drek or broken promises, angering gamers. Steam shut down Greenlight in 2017 and is now relying on community curation and “Steam Direct.” Steam Direct essentially opens the floodgates to content and relies on the curators (publications, groups, and personalities) to sift through and make lists and recommendations. This is great for Valve as it can only cut costs and leaves the hard work to essentially unpaid volunteers. While Valve claims to verify that games going through Direct are vetted by them (vaguely promising the title is “configured correctly, matches the description provided on the store page, and doesn’t contain malicious content”), they offer no explanation of what “malicious” means in regard to content.

While relying on these curators, the way you search for these curators is frankly a hot mess. Steam will “recommend” curators (again, no explanations as to why these curators are being pushed at you), give you a list of “top” curators, which is a solid option, or allow you to search. Much like the game searching, there is just way, way too much here. You have to click through dozens of profiles of avatars to find quality curators whose tastes, values, and standards might align with yours, or at least complement them. Many of these don’t seem to be active to boot, and even more seem inconsistent, which is understandable given the lack of reimbursement.

Steam’s lack of oversight has also led to it being full of hate groups and bile. This is a potential nightmare for Valve, as brigading, mass voting, and trolling are inevitable based on any reading of recent internet history.

Nintendo Switch with neon red and blue Joy Cons

Steam killer?

Where this does succeed, however, is in making Valve massive amounts of money. It is doing better than ever. As long as this is happening and Gabe Newell can strive to be a niche version of Jeff Bezos, it is not going to change. What is the cost? A platform that is safe and welcoming for new players, those turned off by the cesspool that seeps throughout the internet wherever gaming meets Slack moderation, and an increasing number of developers who are increasingly looking at other platforms for their games, platforms like GOG and the Nintendo Switch. Valve’s gatekeeping is failing at making them a “no rules” platform for small, honest developers, while at the same time, their tolerance for poor behavior is causing them to fail at being a safe, comfortable place for all as well.

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Steam Direct Will Unleash a Flood of Unplayable Drek https://www.gameskinny.com/frh10/steam-direct-will-unleash-a-flood-of-unplayable-drek https://www.gameskinny.com/frh10/steam-direct-will-unleash-a-flood-of-unplayable-drek Thu, 08 Jun 2017 16:53:00 -0400 Ty Arthur

When it comes to PC gaming, there's no question that Steam is the go-to platform. As much as I love GOG and those handfuls of other smaller platforms trying to get their piece of the pie, there's no arguing that at this particular point in time, PC gaming = Steam. When the physical editions of huge games like Fallout 4 literally just have a Steam code in the box, it's clear who wears the crown.

That dominance is a double-edged sword, however. Having the biggest selection of titles means you also have the most games that aren't worth playing. Steam Greenlight acted as a sort of gate to that, ensuring only games that people really wanted to play managed to make it onto our hallowed PC platform.

Greenlight: The Snoozing Guard

Some really unique entries in the gaming world arrived on our PCs because of Greenlight, from the dystopian Papers, Please to the unique slow-motion shooter Super Hot to the genre-bending RPG Evoland and even the occasional novelty game with questionable replay value like Who's Your Daddy.

Greenlight was started with an admirable goal -- letting the community decide what it wanted on the Steam platform, rather than a handful of Valve employees whose tastes may not match yours or mine.

Of course, it wasn't always a vigilant gatekeeper. There's already a multitude of unplayable nonsense on Steam:

  • Half-baked RPG Maker titles that are unfinished or stopped working halfway through
  • "Early Access" games that will never see full release and are just a source of continual income from the gullible who lay down $50 for an unfinished demo
  • A horde of visual novels that are barely games at all and range in quality from pretty good to "are you actually kidding me right now?"

That problem is about to get a lot, lot worse. In a surprise move, Steam Greenlight has now officially been disbanded.

No new games can be added to the program and voting is suspended. The couple of thousand games that were in the program will be decided on by Valve directly in the coming months.

In its place, we'll get the new Steam Direct program, launching on June 13. The goal with Direct is to make it more transparent as to how games get on the platform and to address problems like developers releasing bare-bones games in order to farm trading cards for profit. 

 What a weird world we live in where THESE create financial incentives

Steam Direct Opens The Floodgates

Unfortunately, it seems like this "solution" is going to create an issue that's even worse. While Greenlight at least kept some bad games from getting through, the new program will ensure nearly anyone can release nearly anything via Steam.

Here's how the statement from Valve describes the new program:

The goal with Steam Direct is to provide an understandable and predictable path for developers from anywhere in the world to bring their games to Steam. With that in mind, we're making the process as easy and streamlined as possible.

A new developer will simply need to fill out some digital paperwork, including entering bank and tax information, and going [sic] through a quick identity verification process.

After completing the paperwork, the developer will be asked to pay a $100 recoupable fee for each game they wish to release on Steam. This fee is returned in the payment period after the game has sold $1,000.

In other words, anybody with a Benjamin can now release a game via Steam. No more community gateway. No more having to get votes through the strength of your game's concept. Want to release Super Slow Motion Grapefruit Simulator? Cool, just hand over that hundo.

 Yes, this is the face you should be making about Steam Direct

So long as it launches and doesn't install malware, any game at all is now in. We are about to see a storm of low quality, buggy, unfinished games from both unscrupulous developers looking to make a quick buck and kids who just picked up a book on programming.

Now, there is a slight catch there -- developers who have never released anything through Steam before will have to wait 30 days while their game and history is checked out, which means at the very least, there will be a delay before every RPG Maker project in history is suddenly available for purchase.

During that 30 days, Steam will "review the developer's information and confirm that we know who we're doing business with." Based on the description in the full press release here, it's unclear under what circumstances, if any, that a game would be denied during that review process, however.

Why Is This A Bad Thing?

"Well, so what?" you may ask -- why shouldn't every budding indie dev get to have their games on Steam? Two immediate problems come to mind.

First, there's the Steam sales issue. The Steam summer and winter sales are huge events where thousands of games have their prices slashed. Do you really want Stick Shift taking up one of those sales slots that could go to an actual game that you'll enjoy playing?

Next, we've got to think of signal to noise ratio. How many buggy games not worth a single dollar are already clogging up your recommendations or have to be scrolled through when browsing by genre? 

The problem here with game oversaturation is discoverability: there are already more games on Steam than one person could ever possibly beat in their entire natural lifespan.

 Good luck finding something worth playing in there!

Further muddying the waters doesn't help gamers find what they want, and it doesn't help developers make money when there are fewer and fewer ways to get noticed in an unending sea of games.

Completely removing any sort of quality gate is a phenomenally bad idea all around -- it's bad for Steam since it will undoubtedly increase refunds, bad for gamers who want to find games worth playing, and bad for developers who actually put work into their games and don't get noticed.

What do you think of Steam Greenlight getting replaced with Steam Direct? Are you looking forward to checking out more indie titles, or do you think it will result in more low-quality titles not worth playing mucking up your searches?

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Intro Indie: Band Together to Survive in the World of Pantropy https://www.gameskinny.com/fm96r/intro-indie-band-together-to-survive-in-the-world-of-pantropy https://www.gameskinny.com/fm96r/intro-indie-band-together-to-survive-in-the-world-of-pantropy Fri, 02 Jun 2017 11:31:29 -0400 ESpalding

Competition in the realm of MMO games is strong, but a new indie game is aiming to make a name for itself with its unique take on multiplayer games.

Pantropy is the brainchild of Brain Stone, an indie studio from Germany, and is currently looking for your votes on Steam Greenlight. It's a sci-fi MMO that combines FPS with elements of RPG to create a game that will no doubt have you locked in at your PC for a very long time.

Teamwork is key to survival

Players start on the outskirts of an island on the alien world of Pantropy alone, and with only a few resources to build a shelter to provide some protection. As you venture further into the island to gather more resources, the creatures and landscape become harsher -- but that's where the best loot and higher quality materials are, so you need to figure out a way of getting to them. This is where the multiplayer kicks in. There are a number of factions on the island who would gladly have you join their ranks to face the world together.

Other than the creatures already inhabiting the planet, your main enemy is a biomechanical faction whose sole aim is to conquer the map. Working with your faction, your main aim will be to take them down by destroying their main base and taking down their command center.

The game includes lots of interesting features, such as:

  • An in-depth crafting and building system
  • Automated farming so you don't have worry about your crops
  • An "anti-raid" system that prevents your base from being raided by other players while you're offline
  • 20 weapons to craft
  • 5 mechs
  • Multiple biomes with all manner of unique flora and fauna
  • In-depth XP system and tier rewards

You might be forgiven for missing this Pantropy giant

The game's developers are aiming to have Pantropy released on Early Access late in 2017, with a general release tentatively planned for 2018. There is currently no news on when alpha testing begins -- but once the game has been through Greenlight, followers will be able to find out more.

If you want to give your vote to Pantropy, you can head to the game's Greenlight page where there are lots more stills and gameplay video to whet your appetite. One you're done checking it out, make sure you come back to GameSkinny to find out more information on this game and other awesome indie games!

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Intro Indie: Embark for an Exploration on the Red Planet in Lacuna Passage https://www.gameskinny.com/xvhla/intro-indie-embark-for-an-exploration-on-the-red-planet-in-lacuna-passage https://www.gameskinny.com/xvhla/intro-indie-embark-for-an-exploration-on-the-red-planet-in-lacuna-passage Mon, 15 May 2017 17:46:19 -0400 ESpalding

It has been a long road for Lacuna Passage. Iowa-based indie studio Random Seed Games' third title, an open-world exploration and survival game, will finally make its way to Early Access on May 17. Set on Mars, the game gives players a pretty in-depth look at Martian exploration and the difficulties that come from just having to survive in such a remote location, let alone explore it. 

Development of the game was inspired by the Curiosity Rover's Mars landing in 2012. After a period of only a few months, the game caught the attention of gamers and space enthusiasts alike, so the developers took the early build to Kickstarter. The original target was to raise $40,000, but over 1,000 backers took the final figure over $54,000. During the same period, the game was approved through Steam Greenlight.

Lacuna Passage sees the player waking up on Mars and taking control of the exploration of the planet, gathering supplies and samples -- and, of course, surviving. You won't find any Martians to fight, though. Surviving means making sure maintaining your life-support systems, making sure you are taking on enough calories, and getting enough exercise.

 

Lacuna Passage is due to arrive on Steam Early Access on May 17 and is available for PC and Mac for $14.99 (€14.99, £10.99).

If this doesn't whet your appetite, then check out the Lacuna Passage prologue and let us know what you think! Don't forget to come back to GameSkinny for more news on the game once it has been released!

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Intro Indie: Conquer Fast-Paced Puzzles With ORB https://www.gameskinny.com/7skzs/intro-indie-conquer-fast-paced-puzzles-with-orb https://www.gameskinny.com/7skzs/intro-indie-conquer-fast-paced-puzzles-with-orb Thu, 11 May 2017 16:02:50 -0400 ESpalding

If you take a look at Steam Greenlight at any given time, you will see loads of indie games that all want your upvote. One such game is a top-down 2D puzzler called ORB. It is being developed by Devil's Peek Game, which is a one-man indie studio from Cape Town, South Africa. The Greenlight campaign has already been running for a month and the comments on it seem very promising.

Players take control of the titular Orb, who has fled his home after it was destroyed. Rather than finding somewhere safe to call home, he finds himself trapped in an alternate dimension called the Puzzleverse. Spanning over 12 "constellations," there are more than 140 puzzles and challenges to solve, each one unique and progressively harder than the one before it.

Another one of the unique aspects of the game is that the abilities that Orb can find increases the difficulty of some of the puzzles. This, in turn, changes how you go about solving the puzzle the second time around. So even though there are 140 puzzles, you are forced to do some again and change the way you approach them.

ORB is slated for a fourth quarter 2018 release. While it isn't clear which platforms the game will eventually land on, there is a free-to-download demo available via the game's website. The demo currently features puzzles from the Aries constellation.

Check out the trailer below and then hop over and tell the developer what you think and, if so inclined, give it a thumbs up!

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Indie Old-School FPS Project Warlock Gets Greenlit https://www.gameskinny.com/uaz8f/indie-old-school-fps-project-warlock-gets-greenlit https://www.gameskinny.com/uaz8f/indie-old-school-fps-project-warlock-gets-greenlit Tue, 09 May 2017 09:40:53 -0400 Damien Smith

For indie developer Jakub Cislo, the journey to getting his title Greenlit has been a long and gruelling one. His initial Steam Greenlight campaign was met with heavy criticism by the steam community, resulting in its withdrawal. After months of hard work, a brand new name and a major overhaul in its visuals, Project Warlock (formally known as Cataclysm 3D and Exitium 3D) has finally been Greenlit.

An Interdimensional Ass Kicking Mage

Project Warlock is an old-school FPS title similar to those of the early to mid 1990s, such as Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM. Players take on the role of a nameless mage who is travelling through varying dimensions and universes on a quest to rid all evil from existence.

To help him on his quest, he has an array of weapons and magic at his disposal, including a handgun, double barrel shotgun, dual SMGs, and magical staves. The player will be able to obtain upgrades to their weapons, along with increasing their character's level and stats as they progress.

The game will also feature five episodes with varying environments, tons of secrets to find throughout each levels, and multiple game modes. All in all, Project Warlock is a game made by a fan for fans.

A Bumpy Road of Criticism

Cislo created a Greenlight page for the game at the beginning of 2017. At that point, the game was called Cataclysm 3D and the gameplay was almost entirely the same as it is now, but the visuals were created solely by Cislo himself and were far more basic. Due to this, the game was hit with harsh, and at times outright insulting, criticism.

Shortly after, the Greenlight page was removed and Cislo went back to the drawing board. His first goal was to hire a professional artist to design the game's visuals. While this was happening, a few other new additions to the game were in the works, including giving the protagonist a personality.

After several months of hard work, a new name, and a massive face-lift, Cislo returned to Steam with a new Greenlight page. In just over a week, Project Warlock was greenlit, having received praise for its new art style and fast-paced gameplay.

Get Down and Dirty This October 

In the protagonist's words, players will be able to "get down and dirty" with Project Warlock this October. 

At its heart, Project Warlock is a classic FPS and is looking to incorporate everything that made old FPS titles so great, while also adding in a few new twists along the way. If you enjoy old-school FPS titles, then Project Warlock may be a title to keep on your radar.

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Don't Miss 2D Melee Roguelite Ruin of the Reckless https://www.gameskinny.com/itglx/dont-miss-2d-melee-roguelite-ruin-of-the-reckless https://www.gameskinny.com/itglx/dont-miss-2d-melee-roguelite-ruin-of-the-reckless Mon, 08 May 2017 10:00:01 -0400 Erroll Maas

Ruin of the Reckless was created by Faux-Operative Games and was originally kickstarted on August 17, 2016, with a beta version later released on Steam Greenlight. After less than a year and exceeding its original goal of $10,000 on August 28 of last year, the game was released on Steam on April 26.

Ruin of the Reckless is one of the most interesting games of the roguelite genre because of its mystical and mysterious story, as well as its unique gameplay. Here's the full breakdown of why you should give this new indie roguelite a try.

Unknown Origins

In Ruin of the Reckless, a mysterious tower appears after main character Stargrove meets some adventurers that come to his village -- but are not as they appear to be. The arrival of the adventurers alongside the tower causes Stargrove to seek revenge for the people of his village. It had been said that anyone strong enough to reach the top of the tower would be granted one wish, so Stargrove decides to go on his grand adventure and travel up the tower himself.

A Beneficial Art Style

The art style of Ruin of the Reckless is a bit different from what you might expect of a roguelite. Enemies are highlighted due to the pastel colors used, which can be very beneficial in later levels when fighting against large hordes can become frenetic.

This is in contrast to other roguelike games where having too many enemies on screen can be chaotic and confusing, which can make it difficult to move around and know just how many enemies you're up against. The later levels of Ruin of the Reckless may still be chaotic, but the pastel colors help make it much easier to tell where everything is -- and who you're fighting against.

Unique Gameplay

The game's features, which are listed on its website, include: difficult and fast-paced gameplay focused on exploration and melee combat, randomly generated challenges that change with every attempt, cooperative play, and an action-packed world filled with weapons, traps, secret passageways, powerful artifacts, formidable enemies, and more. 

Weapons and Spells

Ruin of the Reckless starts you out with a rather weak primary weapon, but you can easily find stronger weapons as you make your way through the tower. There are also secondary weapons, which are obtained and upgraded by using special ability orbs found throughout the tower.

Physical weapons aren't your only attack, however, as you can find ancient spellbooks that allow you to cast different spells. These spells can be charged up as well, but once the magic energy of a spellbook runs out, you will have to find another one to be able to use spells again.

Equippable Items

In addition to weapons, there are also different types of boots you can equip to change and modify your dashing ability. These boots can help you dash longer and further, chain multiple dashes at a time, and help you avoid deadly hazards, in addition to many other different perks.

The game also features equipable cards, which are obtained by completing special challenges. Equipping cards is completely optional, but they can be a major help. There's a Baby Mode card for those having trouble with the game's difficulty and a Death's Door card that makes all enemies die in just one hit. Different cards can be combined before starting your run to create a unique experience, although combining the two cards above may make the game a bit too easy.

Enemies

Enemies in Ruin of the Reckless are a bit craftier than what you might expect and can organize their patterns into different dangerous combinations as you fight your way toward the top of the tower. Certain enemies even have the ability to command weaker ones into coordinated formations.

Ruin of the Reckless also features a Gift Shop inside of the tower where you can buy additional items to better dispatch your foes. 

Co-Op

One of the most interesting features in Ruin of the Reckless is the option to play cooperatively with another player. Roguelikes are primarily single player experiences, but it's not a feature we haven't seen in the genre before. Games like Nuclear Throne and Dungeon of the Endless also feature optional co-op play, although unlike Ruin of the Reckless, those games feature gameplay elements of other genres -- such as shoot'em ups (Nuclear Throne) and tower defense (Dungeon of the Endless) games. Ruin of the Reckless is a bit closer to The Binding of Isaac in terms of how it plays, with some similar Legend of Zelda inspired mechanics.

---

The developers of Ruin of the Reckless, Faux-Operative Games, previously stated:

"We want to capture the feel of 16-bit classics like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past while providing a major graphical update, upping the pace, adding challenge and randomness, and letting you play with your friends."

Another similarity to The Binding of Isaac, the quality of Ruin of the Reckless is top notch. Featuring stylish graphics, a  brilliant soundtrack that sounds like it could have been in the Scott Pilgrim vs. the World video game, and rewarding gameplay, Ruin of the Reckless is sure to please any fan of the genre. It's only available on Steam at the moment but hopefully, will make its way to other consoles in the future.

Buy Ruin of the Reckless on Steam for $14.99.

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The Path to Die Carving and Cutting Its Way to Kickstarter This May https://www.gameskinny.com/n0paa/the-path-to-die-carving-and-cutting-its-way-to-kickstarter-this-may https://www.gameskinny.com/n0paa/the-path-to-die-carving-and-cutting-its-way-to-kickstarter-this-may Fri, 31 Mar 2017 17:37:00 -0400 Dan Roemer

The Path To Die is coming this May to Kickstarter from Cat Logic Games, a small indie studio based out of Barcelona, Spain, and founded in 2015. Development of Path To Die is already in its advanced stages, according to A recent press release. However, the small studio is looking to gain additional funding through Kickstarter to add to the game's final touches.

On top of that, the developer is hoping to use the extra money to add more translations and (possibly) release the game on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch sometime in the future. 

Set in feudal Japan, The Path To Die features a birds eye camera view and gameplay very much reminiscent of Hotline Miami. The press release claims the game will feature original gameplay as you wield a sword with your right analog stick or mouse.

You'll also need to explore the environment to find items to maintain your health, and the game will be brutally hard, taking notes from Demon's Soul, The Legend of Zelda, and Resident Evil.

Will you be supporting The Path To Die this May on Kickstarter?

Let us know in the comments below. You can also follow the developers on Twitter @CatLogicGames. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news on The Path to Die

Note: Cat Logic Games requested we highlight their upcoming Kickstarter via Twitter. 

 

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Legend of Dungeon Review - a Kickstarter Success, a Greenlight Failure https://www.gameskinny.com/9d405/legend-of-dungeon-review-a-kickstarter-success-a-greenlight-failure https://www.gameskinny.com/9d405/legend-of-dungeon-review-a-kickstarter-success-a-greenlight-failure Fri, 24 Mar 2017 08:00:01 -0400 matthew_gigante

For such a successful Kickstarter campaign (earning over $30,000 leading up to it’s Greenlight release on September 13th, 2013), Robot Loves Kitty’s Legend of Dungeon is an average roguelike. The game is a side scrolling dungeon crawler that boasts (almost) randomly generated everything, whether that is a strength or a weakness of this game is debatable. You get through each level by finding your way to the stairs which lead you down to the next level. It’s strengths in visual design double as a weakness.

The game features a simple goal, simple combat system, and lots of random generation. Adding two dimensional enemies to a three dimensional landscape, makes for particularly tricky combat. The grabs of this game are its simple (barely existent) story, charming graphics, and simple controls, but with no skills to practice and one frustrating task, its no wonder the game tends to lose your attention quickly.

Legend of Dungeon

A Simple Game

The keyword here is simple, the reason being this word can be used to describe many aspects of Legend of Dungeon. Weighing in with 3 repetitive tracks, the game’s music begins to put you to sleep within hours of picking up and playing. Besides the simple soundtrack, you’ll observe a simple scoring system that focuses exclusively on how many coins you have upon your death. The only way to beat the game is to delve to the bottom 26th floor. After your mangled body tumbles down it’s steps, you are rewarded with the task of climbing back all the way up to the starting point of the game.

Legend of Dungeon, highscore table

Replayability

“Alright,” you tell yourself “I made it to the 8th floor! With a little practice, I can get better and make it to the bottom!” and you would be wrong. There is no practice in this game, the skills and weapons you find on your journeys below are different every time; the axe that shot fire you found the last run now does nothing but slow you to a crawl; that hat that gave you good armor stats now increases your speed by a ludicrous amount, sending you flying into the lava pit next to you. The only way you can practice this game is by clicking the mouse, hitting the spacebar, or using whichever button it is that you have binded to the attack/use action.

Underwhelming feedback system

Legend of Dungeon, tavern

The game also offers a poor feedback system for damage. When you are hit by an enemy, a small red number appears above your head, letting you know how much health you have lost. There is no distinctive sound or screen shake to indicate damage, and in the heat of battling dozens of bats spawning from a vampire, skeletons jumping out of hidden passages, etc., you won’t know how much damage you are taking. You won’t even know if you are near death since there isn’t so much as a red glow around the screen. This is an example of a simple missing feature that highly impacts the game.

Conclusion

For what it’s worth ($9.99 on Steam), Legend of Dungeon is a fun game. With its unique graphics and incredibly ambient music, the game can tend to the needs of both casual and hardcore players. If a pick-up-and-play time-killer with no frills is what you are looking for, then this might just be the game for you. I did enjoy my time playing it, although I never made it close to the fabled 26th floor (or the rumored 27th). I do feel I got my money’s worth, and the game was a fun play, however I was certainly expecting more.

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GameSkinny Talks To Devotion's Writer Caio Sampaio https://www.gameskinny.com/np15y/gameskinny-talks-to-devotions-writer-caio-sampaio https://www.gameskinny.com/np15y/gameskinny-talks-to-devotions-writer-caio-sampaio Sun, 26 Feb 2017 22:43:58 -0500 Michael Llewellyn

Deadbyte Studios' upcoming game, Devotionis a survival horror game that's currently on Steam Greenlight, and despite being in Alpha, it is already showing a lot of promise. It's got an excellent atmosphere and early signs of an intriguing plot, which revolves around the lead protagonist, Amanda, investigating the mysterious disappearance of her father.

With its mid-seventies to early eighties decor, mysterious serpentine paganistic symbols, and long, creepy hotel hallways, I'm instantly reminded of some of the best classic horrors of that era, such as The Wicker Man, The Shining and The Changeling -- arguably the three most terrifying films ever made.

Being a huge horror fan, I recognize that good writing is needed to set up the correct atmosphere. So I got to sit and down and speak to Devotions' writer -- and GameSkinny's own -- Caio Sampaio

GameSkinny (Michael Llewellyn): As a horror fan, I'm really liking what I'm seeing in Devotion. What are the media inspirations (film or other games) you're looking to for Devotion in terms of atmosphere and its script?

Caio Sampaio: This is a very interesting question, because the game that introduced me to the notion of video games as a form of art was a horror one. F.E.A.R. was my first experience with a narratively driven form of interactive storytelling, and my mind was blown.

Needless to say, this game still gives me a lot of inspiration to this day. I always enjoyed how the game presented players with a compelling narrative by allowing the player to be contacted through the radio by his squadmates, but the lines of dialogue were often short, in order to not break the tension delivered by the ambiance. I tried to replicate this in Devotion, by allowing characters to speak through the phone to move the plot forward, but ensuring that these interactions did not drag for too long, in order to maintain the tension from the gameplay -- The major inspirations for the gameplay mechanics were Outlast and Amnesia.

However, there was an unfortunate incident when it comes to the actual script of the game. Resident Evil 7 was released which contains a plot device that starts very similarly to Devotion (a character heads to an abandoned house after receiving a message from a supposedly dead loved one).

I must say this was an accident. I did not follow the development of Resident Evil 7, and I was unaware of its narrative until it came out and I watched the first five minutes on YouTube. My first thought was "Oh, this is a problem," but it was too late to change the script for Devotion, as the lines of dialogue had already been recorded and implemented in the game.

This is my first project and my lack of experience was evident in this situation. I should have checked other horror games under development to ensure I was not working on a narrative that was similar to someone else's. Well, lesson learned. The bright side, however, is that I have watched the entire gameplay of Resident Evil 7 and both stories turned out to be entirely different.

GameSkinny: In fairness, a lot of horror stories start with similar plot devices -- it's as you say, how the story moves forward in its own unique way that's important. With Outlast being an inspiration, will Devotion be linear in its approach like that game? Or are there any plans for procedurally generated rooms like Layers of Fear?

Sampaio: While I am a big fan of procedural art, I am afraid that our team does not have the resources to implement this technology in our project, so we needed to follow a linear approach, as seen in Outlast.

GameSkinny: Linearity definitely worked for Outlast. Do you have a certain playtime in mind to complete the game? 

Sampaio: Players will take approximately four hours to beat the game, but as they need to overcome some puzzles to get to the end, this figure may change from player to player, depending on how quickly they solve the puzzles.

GameSkinny: That's a fair number, as some horror games have been known to overdo the length of play, and the scares become less effective as a result. Is the game being written with any plans to expand the story further, or are you just focusing on this game?

Sampaio: I am a daydreamer, so I have already brainstormed some ideas for a sequel. But these ideas haven't been discussed with the lead developer yet, so there are no guarantees that we will ever make a second Devotion game. I suppose it all comes down to the feedback from the community. If the response from players is mostly positive, I see ourselves working on a sequel, but as of now our focus lies with this current game

GameSkinny: Virtual Reality is gaining a lot of momentum and seems to be tailor-made for horror games, and Devotion looks like it would work very well in VR. Are there any plans for this in the future?

Sampaio: This is indeed a possibility, but as [with] the previous answer, it will depend on the feedback from the community. We need to make sure players enjoy our game before investing in applying new technologies, such as VR.

GameSkinny: The game's plot and script is really intriguing so far. Is there a lot of dialogue planned for the finished game?

Sampaio: Before the release of the demo, I already had a clear picture of what I wanted to do, in terms of the story. But after seeing the feedback from some people in the comments section of YouTube, I detected a problem. Some people had already guessed what the major plot twist of the story was, and this, of course, was a huge red flag to me.

Keeping the element of surprise is paramount in any form of storytelling and I had lost it, so I decided to change the direction of the story. As a result, it shifted drastically -- and for the better. The first thirty minutes (what the player experiences in the demo) will remain the same, but what happens afterwards has changed. I saw wisdom in the comments and feedback and I realized I could learn from them to help improve my work.

With this said, while the story for the full game had to be almost entirely reworked, most of dialogue has already been planned to reflect these changes.

What I aim to do with this game is provide a more emotional tone that keeps an emphasis on the characters, their emotions, and how they interact with each other. I decided to take this direction, because I have played many horror games with stellar stories, but no emphasis on building a strong bond between player and the other characters.

This always left me with the feeling that this was a missed opportunity with unexplored potential in many horror games, hence the reason why I decided to head towards character development in the story of Devotion. There are two major challenges, however: 

1. Create a compelling character in a short amount of time.

2. Move towards an emotional tone, without sacrificing the horror. Will it work? Perhaps it will. However, I must acknowledge the possibility of the narrative not working as intended, but it does not hurt to try.

GameSkinny: That's a good approach to take for the game's plot. It allows you to think more creatively as a writer and throw in a 'red herring' and a few twists that fans won't see coming. Finally, with consoles being more open than ever to indie developers, do you guys have any plans to release your game on PSN or Xbox Live in the future?

Sampaio: Unfortunately, this is not in our plans. But no one knows what the future holds, so while we are not thinking about it, we do not discard the possibility.

GameSkinny: Thank you very much for your time and detailed answers, and we wish you the best of luck with Devotion.

        

Once again a huge thank you to Caio Sampaio for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer these questions. Don't forget to check out Deadbyte Studio's  Steam page and try the demo for yourselves

Devotion is showing a lot of promise as a survival horror game, and I would like to wish the developers the very best of luck for the future.

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Devotion Alpha Gameplay Preview/Steam Greenlight Spotlight https://www.gameskinny.com/pw13q/devotion-alpha-gameplay-previewsteam-greenlight-spotlight https://www.gameskinny.com/pw13q/devotion-alpha-gameplay-previewsteam-greenlight-spotlight Fri, 17 Feb 2017 08:00:01 -0500 Bryant Pereira

Through its creaking floorboards and hair-raising corridors, the Devotion demo lures us into the mysterious Hotel Marshall where our protagonist Amanda is searching for her long-lost father. With direction from an ominous note from him, Amanda is lead to their old family hotel against the guidance of her boyfriend Jeff. What she finds inside is an abandoned edifice rife with cryptic symbols from a religious cult.

Considering the game is currently on Steam Greenlight, Deadbyte Studios nails the ambiance of survival horror right off the bat. Each footstep and grating door hinge bring about a sense of unease and potential danger. Scattered throughout the rooms are notes, these tell a story of hopeless individuals who find enlightenment through an enigmatic religious leader, while the staticky monochrome-like visuals highlight the feeling of restlessness. The art direction of the game fits the theme excellently, however, there is a large number of repeated assets in the hotel like chairs, fire extinguishers, and paintings.

Though the voice acting is lacking in enthusiasm, the writing is clean and enticing. Amanda's character could be fleshed out a little more, as she exhibits no response to the obscure letters or blood on the walls. Perhaps more characterizing thoughts could be narrated, or she could scribble down her thoughts similar to how it's done in Outlast.

The 30-minute demo showcases the atmosphere and story rather than the actual gameplay. The majority of the demo is spent wandering through different rooms and hallways searching for keys or codes in order to progress through the story. With no sign of anyone around, eerie music plays or sometimes paintings will fall off the wall with messages on the back.

Amanda can interact with different objects, like drawers, to find hidden items, and she can also move obstacles, like boards, to clear a path for herself. Because the game is still in its early stages, some of the hitboxes for interactive objects can be a little off, while clicking to move obstacles button can also be a bit unresponsive. However, these are minor gripes that can easily be ironed out in development.

Towards the end of the demo, you encounter a fearsome demon-like creature with similar monster patterns to those in Amnesia and Outlast. Sticking true to the survival horror roots, there is no real way to defeat it. Amanda must run and hide to avoid the monster at all costs in order to survive. These tasks are accomplished by hiding in various wardrobes or other pieces of furniture to stay out of the monsters sight.

Because the game is still in alpha, it is lacking in a few areas when it comes to gameplay. There is no animation for going into hiding, which can lead to confusing or awkward camera angles, and keeping your flashlight on while hidden doesn’t give the monster any indication to where you are. Regardless, after falling prey to the monster's grasp once, as well as dashing past it frantically with its faint screech in the background kept me on the edge of my seat until the final cutscene.

The game doesn’t necessarily bring anything new to the table, but it captures the essence of a horror game superbly.

By the end of the demo, I was impressed at how much was done with the small group of developers and left with a thirst for more. The gameplay could be a little more interactive and the hotel could be more diverse, but overall the demo did an excellent job of putting the game on my radar. With plenty of time to work out its minor kinks and flaws, the future looks promising for this early indie survival horror title.

Note: GameSkinny writer Caio Sampaio is working on the game as a writer.

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Interview With Developer of Retro-Style FPS Cataclysm 3D Jakub Cislo https://www.gameskinny.com/0tfk4/interview-with-developer-of-retro-style-fps-cataclysm-3d-jakub-cislo https://www.gameskinny.com/0tfk4/interview-with-developer-of-retro-style-fps-cataclysm-3d-jakub-cislo Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:00:01 -0500 Damien Smith

This week we got the opportunity to interview 18-year-old sole developer Jakub Cislo about his upcoming retro-style FPS title Cataclysm 3D under the name Buckshot Studios. During the Kickstarter campaign to get funding for the cost of a Steam Greenlight submission, the game was originally called Exitium 3D.

We discuss the changes made from the Kickstarter campaign and Steam Greenlight, the game's enemies, features, inspiration and more.

In Cataclysm 3D you take on the role of a powerful mage who is attempting to rid the existence of evil by travelling through various dimensions and universes.

To help him in his quest, the mage uses all forms of weapons including a pistol, shotgun, SMG, akimbo SMGs, magical weapons and spells. Cataclysm 3D, like games of the era it is inspired by, will consist of 30 levels across three episodes in the full version. There will also be a free shareware version consisting of the entire first episode for players to try before buying.

GameSkinny: What led to the name of the game being changed from Exitium 3D and Cataclysm 3D?

Jakub Cislo: I really wanted to leave name "Exitium 3D," but I received a lot of feedback that there is a game already called like that. To make the game stand out a bit more, I changed it to "Cataclysm 3D." I really want the player to feel the struggle the player is going to face even before he starts the game.

GS: Between the launch of the Kickstarter campaign and the Steam Greenlight page, there has been quite a change in the UI and the general colour of it. Is there any particular reason for this design?

JC: Yes, that is correct. Before, the graphics were not cohesive. I know it looked bad, but people still supported me. I wanted to improve graphics, but stay in that retro/old-school graphics style, so I decided to use a 16-bit color palette on every texture and sprite there is.

UI was also not the best one, so it also received an overhaul. I can guarantee even better graphics, because I just hired an Artist! Hooray!

GS: What is the plot of Cataclysm 3D?

JC: This game is not really about a plot, but here you go: The Player is a mysterious, powerful mage, travelling through dimensions and different universes to remove the whole evil that exists.

GS: Currently, there is only one environment showcased on the Steam Greenlight page for Cataclysm 3D. Will there be other environments presented throughout the game and if so what kind of environments can players expect?

JC: Maybe it was not a good idea to hide other environments from the players, but that's what I did. I didn't want to show everything off. As I announced earlier, the game is going to feature 3 episodes, each with 10 levels.

Each episode is going to have its own graphic style. Each Episode is going to contain 2 different environments + special boss environment. Stay tuned for surprises.

GS: What kind of enemies will the player be facing against throughout the game?

JC: Currently, the game features bats, imps, spiders, zombies, ghosts, skeletons, elementals... what can I say -- typical dungeon monsters. I don't want to mention everything, just to leave you some surprises.

GS: With a scoring system in place, will there be an online leaderboard for players to compete against each other?

JC: This is definitely a go, would make the game much more interesting.

GS: Upon levelling up, how do increasing your stats affect your character?

JC: Player has currently 4 stats to improve -- Strength, Vitality, Wisdom and Capacity. Strength increases damage dealt by weapons. Vitality increases player's health. 

Wisdom -- this one is a bit more complicated. It increases maximum mana that player can have, and also decreases mana drain from spells and magical weapons. Capacity -- increases player's carrying possibilities. More capacity = more ammo.

GS: Cataclysm 3D certainly has a number of influences such as DOOM, Wolfenstein 3D and Heretic. What other titles have influenced the development of the game?

JC: Catacomb 3D for sure. I would also mention Ultima Underworld.

GS: Making the game a roguelike is an interesting decision, that adds in a unique gameplay mechanic for such an old-school game. What made you decide on adding such a mechanic to the game?

JC: I love roguelikes, I love FPS games, I love RPG's, I love old games. Boom. I always wanted to play everything at the same time, yet no game achieved this. So here you have it -- Cataclysm 3D!

GS: Magic is a newer addition to the game that wasn't showcased during the Kickstarter campaign. How many spells will there be in total?

JC: As for now there are four spells, each unique and adds some tactical gameplay to the game. I plan to add more in the future. I don't want to spoil much, but here are the names of the spells -- "Storm Rage," "Fireball," "Frost," "Void Shift."

There is no mistaking that Cataclysm 3D is a love letter to the FPS games of yore. It is awesome to see such a young developer creating a game influenced by those that brought us to where we are today. In an industry where most have the idea it is mandatory for your game to use the latest graphical technology, it is wonderful to see a developer pay respect to the graphical style of an era now long gone.

GameSkinny wishes Jakub the best of luck with Steam Greenlight and the game's development.

Cataclysm 3D is a game that is bound to excite those interested in retro gaming and is looking to be a promising old-school FPS experience. The game is scheduled to release sometime in mid-2017.

If you would like to know more about Cataclysm 3D or would like to support the game on Greenlight, you can check out the Steam Greenlight page for more info.

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Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King Breaks Out onto Kickstarter https://www.gameskinny.com/6mgxj/shattered-tale-of-the-forgotten-king-breaks-out-onto-kickstarter https://www.gameskinny.com/6mgxj/shattered-tale-of-the-forgotten-king-breaks-out-onto-kickstarter Tue, 15 Nov 2016 04:47:16 -0500 ESpalding

France-based indie developers, Redlock Studios, this week launched their Kickstarter campaign to help fund its debut RPG platformer Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King.

The game has already been well received by the Square Enix Collective community, earning itself 95% positive feedback from their forum. So the developers are taking to Kickstarter to get the game well and truly off the ground. With 20 days still to go, the game is already halfway to achieving its €80,000 goal.

Shattered: Tale of the Forgotten King sees a character called The Wanderer journey through the realm of Hypnos as he tries to rediscover his lost memories and piece together what has happened to the shattered lands.

All beings in the World are born silent and are equipped with masks that denote their personality. There are no names, apart from ones granted by King -- so your actions define what you are called. The Whisperers are the only beings that are able to talk, and it is one of these Whisperers that guides you through the world and speaks on your behalf.

The game aims to release in 2018 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. It is currently going through the Steam Greenlight system as well, so if you like what you read here, consider heading over and giving it a thumbs up too!

There is still a while to go until the game releases, so make sure you check back with GameSkinny to keep yourself informed all the game's latest news!

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Dream Car Racing 3D Preview https://www.gameskinny.com/0yavf/dream-car-racing-3d-preview https://www.gameskinny.com/0yavf/dream-car-racing-3d-preview Sat, 05 Nov 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Caio Sampaio

The world of motorsports is full of innovative ideas. Engineers are always developing new technologies to go faster. If you are a racing fan, it is time to take the role of a mechanic, in order to push engineering to its limits.

Dream Car Racing 3D will allow you to do that.

Developed by Roman Konyukhov, the game is in Steam Early Access and presents to players the same challenges designers must face when building a car in real life, including weight distribution, suspension geometry, ideal ride height and more.

Designing your car; however, is only the tip of the iceberg, as the experience consists of many elements to hook a racing aficionado, including:

An intuitive user interface:

The idea of a playing a realistic simulator to design a car may seem intimidating at first, but the developer made a good job to ensure that the process is understandable.

With a user-friendly interface, it is easy to comprehend how the game works as you start toying with its alternatives, which creates a compelling experience.

The only negative aspect of the user experience is its tutorial. With a lot of reading, it can demotivate players. Perhaps the developer could introduce the mechanics of the game in a less intrusive manner, but exactly how this could be done is complicated -- making a car isn't easy.

The user-friendly interface; however, compensates for this, as complicated concepts from engineering are made much simpler, and this allows for the next feature in the game.

Innovation:

The game presents players with a seemingly endless universe of possibilities. Who says a car needs to have four wheels? You can replicate the 6-wheel Tyrrel P34 from 1976 (left) and innovate in the design of your car, if you want.

Players can also design parts for the specific purpose of what they imagined in their minds, and they can develop nearly any concept they want.

This leads to a process of trial and error, in which the car may not always work as expected, but every time players discover something new that makes the car better, is a rewarding experience. An element of experimentation weighs heavily in this game.

The innovation that drives this game is made possible by the next topic.

Physics:

In order to do justice to the idea of simulating the development of a car, this is the most important element. The game features realistic physics that accurately shows to players how each decision they make, during the development of the car, influence its handling.

Most importantly, the game simulates with mastery the “chain effect” you get when developing a system as complex as a car. Each one of the thousands parts that compose the vehicle work in conjunction; therefore, if the mechanic alters one piece, this change reflects on many others -- a change affects other parts as they are all linked in the chain.

With this said, as players progress in Dream Car Racing 3D and start to design more complex cars, the challenge increases, because more parts mean a greater chance of one of them not functioning in the way the player intended. Players must think carefully, for each decision matters.

The element of the physics that stands out the most is the contortion of the chassis, and the lateral movement on the body of the car, while applying lateral load when cornering. This means that, due to the centrifugal force exerted upon the car, its weight is being transferred. This is a difficult element to simulate in a virtual environment. The Gran Turismo franchise, for instance, only implemented this feature in its fifth installment.

Once players master the physics, and finish developing their creations, it will be time test them on the track:

On track car tests:

Why test a car on a flat surface when you can take it for a ride on a bumpy landscape? This is the premise behind the tracks in this game -- driving as fast as possible on bumpy roads and climbing mountains with your car. Dream Car Racing 3D allows to test the design of your vehicle to its limits.

It is not solely about the car; however. The driver must be up to the task as well, because the game features a detailed damage system -- if players make a mistake, the test drive will come to an abrupt end.

Once players finish developing and testing their concepts, they can try something different and attempt to use the creations of other users.

A call to action:

The game plans to engage its community by allowing players to share designs. If you are proud of what you have accomplished, be sure to upload your car, so other players may enjoy your design and learn from it.

It is always entertaining to see the different concepts players developed, ranging from a Baja Buggy to a Lamborghini, but above all, this has potential to create a community. It is true that this game aims at a very specific niche, but it has potential to gather a following that, while it may not be numerous, will be very passionate about their creations.

Conclusion:

While still in its Early Access stage, Dream Car Racing 3D offers a solid product for racing enthusiasts. The only negative aspect of the experience is that, in order to fully enjoy it, the player must have, at least, a basic understanding of engineering to master the mechanics presented therein.

Dream Car Racing 3D will continue on Steam Early Access for the next months, and it needs the feedback of a community in order to develop to its fullest potential.

Gear up and climb aboard, to build the ride of your life.

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Behind the Scenes with Clockwork Giant Games, the developers of Vulpine https://www.gameskinny.com/mmc3f/behind-the-scenes-with-clockwork-giant-games-the-developers-of-vulpine https://www.gameskinny.com/mmc3f/behind-the-scenes-with-clockwork-giant-games-the-developers-of-vulpine Tue, 06 Sep 2016 06:00:01 -0400 ESpalding

A while ago, I wrote a piece about a pretty cool indie game which had just arrived on Kickstarter. The heading for the game "Be a Fox with a Sword" instantly caught my attention. This is when I discovered a game, which is still in development, called Vulpine and is an open world exploration game.

The whole premise of the game is that you play as a woodland beast that has the ability to wield a sword (or an axe). You are able to openly explore the area, gather resources, and own your own territory. As multiplayer, you can form your own hunting packs to take down some of the region's big mobs or just form alliances and create your own kind of animal civilization, I suppose.

The game is being developed by a small studio called Clockwork Giant Games and I was keen to learn more about how this game's unique concept came about so I got in touch with the studio for an interview.

ESpalding: Hey there guys! Thanks for giving GameSkinny this interview. We've seen a lot about Vulpine and are keen to know more from behind the scenes. Could you start by telling the readers a little about yourselves, please?

Clockwork Giant Games: We're Clockwork Giant Games, two brothers (Isaac Goodin and Josiah Goodin) making games out of Madison, Wisconsin. Isaac does all the programming, Josiah does all the art.

ES: Readers of GameSkinny may have already seen our article introducing the World to Vulpine and your Kickstarter campaign. It is an interesting concept. Where it the initial idea for Vulpine come from?

CGG: The original concept for Vulpine evolved from one of our Game jam games, Vulpine 101. Made for the 7 Day FPS game jam, where the point was to make an innovative FPS game. We wanted to make an FPS where the main character wasn't human, so we opted for the player to be a fox. The game was arcade-survival themed since we were on a Tokyo Jungle kick at the time. The concept of playing as animals ended up staying with us, so we decided to expand that into a full game.

ES: So, what is the reason behind your choice in setting and natural characters?

CGG: The reasoning behind the setting and characters in Vulpine is simple. We like animals, and we like interesting environments. So we made it a focus that the world of Vulpine should be a place you want to explore.

ES: But how the did decision to equip animals with weapons come from? Using wild animals as characters is a pretty novel idea but giving them the chance to wield swords etc. is a pretty unique idea.

CGG: At some point, we were trying to figure out how animals attack. One of us jokingly said "Why don't they just use a sword?" So we put it in the game. It seemed oddly fitting, so we kept it.

ES: That's one of the aspects of the game I really like. It is such a novel idea.

So, about the design of the game itself. Many indie games go for full on detailed or 8-bit graphics these days but Vulpine using geometrical designs and plain colors. Why did you choose this kind of game design?

CGG: Vulpine's flat shaded low-poly aesthetic was chosen for two reasons. Firstly, it's a style we're fond of; we think it's interesting and easy on the eyes. Second, with an art team of one, it's important to us to keep our workload down. Since all of the art is more simple, it allows assets to be made at a much faster rate.

ES: As you've already mentioned, you are a two-man developer team so being a small indie studio, what has been the main issues with the development of Vulpine and how did you overcome them?

CGG: Originally, just finding the time to work on Vulpine was an issue. About seven months ago, we began working full time on the game. We haven't hit any major issues with development on Vulpine, likely due to us being able to easily communicate back and forth on any snags we hit.

ES: To me, Vulpine is a breath of fresh air and, personally, I am looking forward to seeing the game come to fruition but what has been the general reception to the game?

CGG: We think that the community has responded pretty well to Vulpine. People seem pretty enthusiastic for something so quirky. We’ve received a lot of supportive comments, and fanart. In general, it seems you’re either totally on board with the idea of animals with weapons, or you’re not.

ES: Well, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. Lastly, for a bit of fun, if you could be an animal equipped with a piece of weaponry (which isn't already included in the game), what would you choose? For me, it would have to be a Badger (my favorite animal) with a crossbow. 

CGG: If they could be any weaponized animal, Josiah would be a Mountain Goat with a flail. Isaac would be an owl with a switchblade.

I would like to once again thank Josiah, and Isaac for the interview.

The Vulpine Kickstarter still has a few days left so, if you like what you've read here, head on over to the campaign to read more and maybe drop these guys a few dollars while you are at it! It has already been given the Steam Greenlight.

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Not Your Average Sausage Party https://www.gameskinny.com/b52yn/not-your-average-sausage-party https://www.gameskinny.com/b52yn/not-your-average-sausage-party Tue, 16 Aug 2016 05:43:54 -0400 Joshua Harris

With only 22 days left and roughly $10,000 away from their Kickstarter campaign goal, Luckshot Games is hoping to get Sausage Sports Club funded. It's a "sausage-themed physics game about adorable, long-necked animals competing on a reality sports TV show", and boasts multiplayer mayhem with weebles mechanics.

Focusing directly on multiplayer, the game is centered on team-based games such as soccer, capture the flag, and sumo. Initially, Sausage Sports Club will launch with 15 or so characters, each one having 2-4 differing skins with a hopeful number of 50 hats in the final product. 

The primary game mechanic, head swinging, will be crucial in games like soccer, where a player will have to knock around the ball, shoving players, or for being outrageous for the sake of it. Should players want to run it solo, the Sausage Sports Club offer a single player game mode coupled with a co-op should they want to "test their skills" against the AI. 

The developer also offers a "playable trailer" every day on Twitch from 7-9 CST, meaning that they will stream Sausage Sports Club and will let the chat decide what will happen. Give it a watch over here

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Foxes with Swords? Must be the Vulpine Kickstarter Campaign https://www.gameskinny.com/5ghdi/foxes-with-swords-must-be-the-vulpine-kickstarter-campaign https://www.gameskinny.com/5ghdi/foxes-with-swords-must-be-the-vulpine-kickstarter-campaign Sun, 14 Aug 2016 05:19:08 -0400 ESpalding

On August 10th, Clockwork Giant Games, a two-man indie studio from Madison, WI, launched a Kickstarter campaign for their unique open-world survival game Vulpine. At first glance, it looks like players just have to take on the role of an animal trying to survive in the wild but then you notice something -- you are an animal equipped with weaponry.

Vulpine is an open-world survival game where you will be exploring the vast world around you, hunting for food, and gathering resources while looking for signs of a lost civilization. Players can play solo or join up with other players and take on giant enemies or battle through dungeons. The game will cater to 32+ people teaming up in private sessions so you can form big hunting packs and get into the co-op side of the game.

Players will have to choose the kind of animal they want to play, whether it be something small and agile like a rabbit, something balanced and medium sized like a fox, or something large and slow yet powerful like a bear. Not all animals have been confirmed, but community goals on the Kickstarter page show that rhinos will be a playable character, and they are a few tweets away from unlocking a wolf as a playable character as well. There are 3 types of weaponry available to arm yourself with: swords, hammers, and spears. Any animal can use any weapon but the size of the animal has a direct affect on how much damage the weapon does.

The game has been a long time coming. The concept where players assume the role of an animal had been in the minds of the developers, brothers Isaac and Josiah Goodin, for many years -- since the studio was founded in 2013. But due to other commitments, such as developing and releasing other games, the idea was shelved. It wasn't until 2015 when Clockwork Giant Games decided to start working full-time on Vulpine, and the result is the game you see before you.

"We loved the concept of creating an RPG with normal animals that have extraordinary skills. Taking inspiration from one of our all-time favourite games, Tokyo Jungle, we developed Vulpine 101 at our very first game jam. Since then, we've developed several games but we just couldn't shake the idea of where you play as an animal. That's why we decided, about six months ago, to revisit the idea and dedicated ourselves to developing this new version of Vulpine full-time. We've gotten a lot of positive feedback so far, for example it was Greenlit on Steam in less than two weeks"

Isaac Goodin, co-founder of Clockwork Giant Games

There is still a while to go until the game is fully funded but you can head on over to the Kickstarter campaign page to find out a lot more information about the game. But before you do, check out the trailer for Vulpine here first!

 

 

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Create and Manage a Mall in Another Brick In The Mall https://www.gameskinny.com/5n69d/create-and-manage-a-mall-in-another-brick-in-the-mall https://www.gameskinny.com/5n69d/create-and-manage-a-mall-in-another-brick-in-the-mall Tue, 09 Aug 2016 07:54:31 -0400 Dustin Frisch

You will be able create and manage your own very mall in Another Brick In The Mall! The game is being developed by The Quadsphere, who submitted this title to Steam's Greenlight to seek the community's approval.

This isn't The Quadsphere's first title -- it also has a bullet hell game titled Icarus-X: Tides of Fire that is already on Steam for $4.99. But unlike their fully released title, your goal in Another Brick In The Mall is to keep guests happy and spending a lot of in-game money.

There is a sandbox mode where you can just fiddle around and build without goals and objectives. You can hire staff from a panel of applicants, being sure they fit with your needs and wants in your mall.  But some traits for employees may not appear until they worked for your mall for a while, and you may have to let go the bad apples who make the mall look bad.

Whatever you do, do not underpay your best quality staff! It can result in them quitting your mall and stop being as productive. In Another Brick In The Mall, you must also be sure to money manage wisely as well.  You may have to adjust your profit margin to attract more customers, turn a profit, take out some loans, and expand the mall progressively.  Make sure your shelves are stocked up often, as to not make customers mad and leave empty handed. Your staff can also clean your floors and make sure the building is not dirty as well. 

With so many simulation type games like this out there already, it may prove a challenge to be number one. But the graphics for this game are very simple, so I expect any kind of low-end PC to be able to run and play it -- so that accessibility could factor into its success.

If you’ve always wanted to build a mall of your dreams, Another Brick in the Mall could be worth a look. Check out the trailer above and look for it on Steam Greenlight! You can also find the official website here.

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Indie Old-School Game Greenlit For Next Week https://www.gameskinny.com/z2iqk/indie-old-school-game-greenlit-for-next-week https://www.gameskinny.com/z2iqk/indie-old-school-game-greenlit-for-next-week Thu, 04 Aug 2016 08:39:03 -0400 Janiece Sebris

Too Angry To Space, an indie, old-school inspired game, will be released to the public from Steam Greenlight next week.

From indie developer AK84C, Too Angry To Space boasts on its Steam page an addictive game with clear, simple controls that allows players to play the game with one hand and "in the second one you can hold a beer (or soda if you are a minor)." 

The game places the player in the shoes of a space marine after aliens attacked the space station where he was stationed. Players must destroy any and all aliens and robots they come in contact with in the 160 rooms, using four different weapons with two different modes of fire. The game also has 14 levels of 90s inspired graphics.

Steam Greenlight is a system to get the PC gaming community the up-and-coming games it wants most. The system allows users to vote on which games they would like to be released on Steam. For a fee, developers can promote their games with screenshots and videos to show the public what they have to offer. The system is especially helpful to indie developers who promote their games themselves.

Too Angry To Space will be released to the public on Steam August 8.

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Legend of Miro trailer has arrived! https://www.gameskinny.com/5293n/legend-of-miro-trailer-has-arrived https://www.gameskinny.com/5293n/legend-of-miro-trailer-has-arrived Tue, 26 Jul 2016 05:59:19 -0400 ESpalding

Yesterday Romanian-based indie developer VisualPath released the trailer for their up and coming 2D storyteller role-playing game called Legend of Miro. The game itself was Greenlit on Steam within eight days of release back in March 2016, and has since gained much support and a huge fan-base.

The game follows an everyday guy named James Sullivan. He is a programmer for a company called Red Zone 44 Security Inc. and is in charge of writing firewall algorithms. One day he stumbles upon a piece of information which was heavily embedded in some script. It is clear that it had been hidden there by someone. His curiosity overcomes him, and he reads the document, but he does not know that it is tracked and reports when someone opens it.

Realizing that he has made a mistake, he heads home worried about what will happen and what he should do next. However, he wakes up the next morning in strange surroundings. Now he needs to complete puzzles to figure out what happened to him and find out how to get back.

Legend of Miro is on Steam and is due to release in August 2016. It will be available on Windows only.

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