Category Archives: General

There’s one E3 conference you don’t want to miss this year

Excuse me, I have to go. Somewhere there is a conference happening.

Over the last few years, Devolver Digital’s E3 press conference parody has become a staple of the painfully polished marketing catwalk we’ve all grown so tired of. Hosting from outside the venue like some contrarian protest against the mainstream industry, Devolver’s crazy antics have never failed to deliver a few anxious laughs – and this year they’re back at it again.

The announcement came on Twitter alongside a short gif image featuring the Robocop homage they finished the show with last year following the violent execution of Nina Struthers. Nina, who is Devolver’s ‘fictional’ chief synergy officer has been shouting marketing buzzwords at us for the last two years and this hints that a cybernetically enhanced version of her may be returning this time around.

In a strange way, Devolver’s E3 parody has become a bizzaro narrative experience of its own, not much different to the video games it publishes. Dare I say, one day we might see NinaCop star in a video game of her own. A parody game, based on a parody character, paying homage to an 80s sci-fi robot cop. Sounds suitably Devolver.

Either way, this should serve as a great opportunity to see some of Devolvers upcoming games, well, maybe. Their shows have been notoriously devoid of games and full of gore for the last two years so who knows, they might just break the trend this time around.

Delver Digital’s show is set to kick off Sunday, 9th June at 7 PM PST and will be streaming on their Twitch channel as well as many other places I’m sure. Buckle up though, as things tend to get messy.

Editor

Jon loves the experimental nature of indie games, and has written about them for the likes of Eurogamer, PCGamer and GameReactor. As editor of The Indie Game Website, Jon is responsible for the overall content direction of the website, and enjoys moving things around in our Google Calendar.

Swords and Sandals Classic Collection Released!

“Gladiator … gladiator … gladiator … Swords and Sandals, Gladiatorrrrr!”

If this refrain means anything to you, then you grew up playing the legendary Swords and Sandals turn based combat game series. Millions of kids grew up playing S&S in their schools, late at night on the family computer’s browsers or in their bedroom on a rainy Saturday morning. These games have been played over half a billion times, and for good reason. Swords and Sandals is nostalgia, Swords and Sandals is life.

Now, the world’s favourite gladiator game series has arrived on Steam for the very first time ever.

The Swords and Sandals Classic Collection comes with five of the greatest S&S games ever made:

  • Swords and Sandals I : Gladiator 
  • Swords and Sandals II : Emperor’s Reign
  • Swords and Sandals III : Gladiae Ultratus
  • Swords and Sandals IV : Tavern Quests
  • Swords and Sandals Crusader

OK/NORMAL

How about that Petscop, huh? Well, if you love the aesthetic of PS1-horror games with the masquerade of a cutesy collectathon, do I have a game for you!

OK/NORMAL is a game by 98demake, a developer that is also known for making concept videos of how modern video games would look like if released far earlier. The video creator has since decided to jump to making actual, fully-fledged low-poly video games, starting with this game.

You play as a statue that is constantly tailed by a cloud companion, your charming tutorial character friend. Your goal is to gobble up all the food and medicine strewn about the level until you’re “OK” to head down to the next level.

If it weren’t for the repetitive subdued loop, the unsettling pause screen of the ticking clock and the dark look given by the filters, OK/NORMAL could probably pass as a normal old 3D platformer. It’s got the surreal platforms floating in nothingness, it’s got basic collectathon stuff. Like if the game leaned more toward bright abstract elements, it’d probably be some vaporwave game.

But of course, things start going haywire as OK/NORMAL plunges into becoming a true horror game. The atmosphere grows darker and darker until you’re thrown into a new situation. The food and pills are forgotten as their displays are glitched away. The simple platformer levels expand out into large and disorienting mazes, the vast spaces giving a sense of loneliness and dread.

Movement is done solely with the keys and you can switch to a first-person mode that makes the game feel a bit more like LSD: Dream Emulator than a platformer. I prefer playing in this mode because it lets you get a good look at the ambiguous models and textures that gradually morph. It feels good and makes the most out of being a PSX horror.

There is a sense of mystery in the game with the narrative it starts building up, but as the game can be finished in under an hour, I don’t want to outwardly say it. I will however add my interpretation of what’s going on, translated through ROT13:

Nf gur tnzr cebterffrf lbhe pybhq sevraq fgnegf tyvgpuvat bhg naq lbhe cynlre punenpgre tnvaf gur novyvgl gb fcrnx, erirnyvat n qvfqnva sbe gur zhaqnar. Gurl’er gverq bs gur ercrgvgvir gnfxf, gurl’er gverq bs gur qnl-ol-qnl. Gurer’f vzcyvpngvbaf gung gur punenpgre vf va gur ubfcvgny naq gur pybhq znl or gur ercerfragngvba bs n jvyy gb xrrc ba yvivat, rapbhentvat gurz gb fgnl urnygul, gb or cbfvgvir. Ohg ertneqyrff bs jurgure gurl’er va gur ubfcvgny be abg, gur znva punenpgre jnagf gb qvr.

Gur jnl V frr vg, gur tnzr jbeyq zbecuvat gur jnl vg vf vf obgu orpnhfr bs gur punenpgre’f erwrpgvba bs yvsr naq nf n qrsrafr zrpunavfz. Gur jbeyq ercerfragf gurve cflpur, ohg vg nyfb orpbzrf vagragvbanyyl znmr-yvxr naq sehfgengvat gb cebybat gur znva punenpgre’f yvsr, sbe ng gur irel raq bs gur ynfg znmr, n tnzr bire unccraf naq gur fgnghr pehzoyrf, jvgu gur pybhq nggrzcgvat bar ynfg qvgpu nggrzcg gb erivir gurz sebz gurve fhvpvqr.

I think OK/NORMAL is an enjoyable time. It has an excellent visual style and a great sense of atmosphere that I really got into. Unless you’re one of those gamers that gets fidgety about price-to-playtime ratios, OK/NORMAL is excellent.

Daymare brings back the best of 90s survival horror

It has “1998” in the title, so it’s safe to say it will be good.

Our inbox was greeted today with what looks like eye candy for anyone who enjoyed the pinnacle of survival horror games during the 90s. Daymare: 1998, developed by Invader Studios and published by Destructive Creations, will surely interest you if you’ve been a fan of the glory days of this genre.

First off, I want to say that this is the first time I’ve seen a game with a reference to the 90s in its name. It makes me feel very, very old. But I’ll take it with pride, because that era gave us so much regarding survival horror experiences, especially through Sony’s Playstation. Secondly, I’ll say it now: I will play this game.

Daymare: 1998 is a third-person survival horror game set in a quiet town turned into a deadly zone thanks to an outbreak originated in a research facility. Sound familiar? We’ll play as three different characters: a member of H.A.D.E.S. task force (Hexacore Advanced Division for Extraction and Search), a helicopter pilot and a forest ranger as they try to understand what’s happened in this little town. There seems to be a deep lore behind the facts and we’ll be able to study it as soon as we get rid of the murderous “zombies” roaming the place.

I insist: sounds familiar? I honestly don’t think it’s a coincidence that 1998 is the same year in which Resident Evil 2 was released, and just one year prior to Silent Hill’s debut. 1996? Original Resident Evil. 1999? Dino Crisis. I could go on, but you get the point.

The horror genre has a niche fan base that won’t ever fade away because they -we- just crave for the chills, especially with fixed camera angles on the side. For what we can see in today’s story trailer, this will be a faithful recreation of those feelings these titles provided us with. Tension, resource management, limited ammo, dark narratives and a closed environment are some of the elements evidenced in Daymare: 1998.

Let’s see where this takes us, shall we? Daymare: 1998 has been in development for nearly three years and is scheduled to be released during this summer for PC.

Associate Editor

Our boy from Buenos Aires, Juan has been a gamer for as long as he can remember (and possibly even longer than that). He loves a good story, and believes every indie game has a compelling one to tell.

Beyond Blue is the perfect game for nature documentary lovers

First impressions from EGX Rezzed.

For me, nature documentaries are a fantastic way to chill out. Taking you out of the rush of modern life, they serve as a reminder that there is something else at work in the world, some other system beavering away that’s beyond making and spending money. Beyond Blue is an educational exploration game that plonks the player directly into one of these unfathomably large systems, that of the ocean. I had the pleasure of playing the demo while at EGX Rezzed, and boy did it chill me the hell out.

In Beyond Blue you are cast as the research scientist Mirai, who is leading a team of scientists using exciting new technologies to discover more about the deep blue sea. In full release the game will likely have three of ocean environments to explore, but for the demo, I played through a world of coral reef, whales and dolphins. And, yes, it really is as breathtaking as it looks in the screenshots.

Swimming around whilst in communication with my team on the surface, I directed Mirai’s graceful movement as she made excited observations on the species she encountered. Using buoys dotted around the map, players lock onto the noises of various animals to find their location, and then swim off to scan them. This simple mechanic is more engaging than it may initially sound, as each haunting vibration of a possible whale or dolphin sent me flippering off in a rush to see where the noise might have come from.

Made by E-line Media, the team behind the similarly detailed and educational-in-skew Never Alone, partnered with the team behind BBC’s Blue Planet for this venture, and the level of detail and knowledge is apparent in even just the demo playthrough. In full release the team intends to use snippets from interviews with researchers from Blue Planet and marine scientists to further enrich the gameplay. I honestly can’t wait.

While the topic of the environment is likely to bring more doom than hope these days, Beyond Blue is a joyful experience, highlighting the beauty we can still experience, if we’re passionate enough to go out, find it, and look after it.

To find out more about Beyond Blue, visit their Steam page. The title is due for release sometime in 2019.

Associate Editor

Kate has been gaming since she could control a mouse. In addition to having a penchant for indie games, Kate had a World of Warcraft account when she was far too young, and has a weakness for any game with ‘RPG’ in the description.

Floating on the Lotus Pond – Go Forth And Game reviews

We have reviews of four games this time – three from Concrete Canoe Games F.L.O.A.T. series and Adam’s Apple Games Thrive. Concrete Canoe Games sent us each copies of their newest 18 card, hook-box games – Ludus Senatus, Sengoku, and Istanbul or Constantinople?. F.L.O.A.T. stands for Fun, Lively, Original, Approachable, Tiny and the goal of the series is to create games that embody those qualities. Then I take a look at  Thrive, a new game from Adam’s Apple Games. All these games are currently on Kickstarter. Concrete Canoe Games is here. Sengoku, Ludus Senatus, Istanbul or Constantinople? Kickstarter Adam’s Apple Games is here. Thrive Kickstarter http://traffic.libsyn.com/goforthandgame/2019_03_07_19_reviews_Thrive_and_Concrete_Canoe_Wave2_final.mp3   We hope you will give each of these games a look. If you enjoyed the reviews consider leaving us an honest review on either iTunes or Spotify. You can leave us a comment at [email protected] or on Twitter (@tomgurg or @inquiry_meeple). You can find lots more interesting gaming content at The Inquisitive Meeple, our brother site.
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E.V.A.L Developer preview

Hello Indie Gamers! My name is Ali Husain, and I’m the founder of stoptoplay, a small indie studio based out of Austin, TX. stoptoplay started back in 2016 when a friend and I decided to pursue our passion for making games. We could probably have picked a better time, since we both worked at a fast growing start-up. Time was a very scarce resource. 

Many lunches, and crumbled pieces of (digital) paper later, we had an idea for a game that would be called E.V.A.L – The Existence vs. Annihilation Logic. E.V.A.L would be the name of the artificial intelligence, the antagonist. The game itself would be based on the following premise.

With the ever accelerating pace of life, the existence of mankind is exceedingly dependent on how fast we push buttons. Corporate, a gigantic company, has created the future fitness test, to evaluate the future fitness of human specimens that take this test. E.V.A.L was created to monitor and evaluate the specimens’ performance.

The introduction: 

The story we had decided on helped us figure out some key gameplay elements. The game would be fast paced. There would be buttons that would need pressing, frequently! An action runner would be the perfect genre.

An action runner wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for the first game I would be making. I’ve always been more of an RPG/RTS person myself. This was a welcome challenge. How would I take a genre, that was clearly not my favorite, and turn it into something fun? 

The core gameplay would be based around having a creature that could change shape and color getting through obstacles with different shapes and colors! To add some flavor to the game we started coming up with ideas for power ups and hazards that would change some game mechanics for a short time, keeping the game from getting monotonous. 

There was still something missing, and that’s when we got the idea for a new control scheme. Instead of having just the button based controls, we could have an alternate way for players to play the game. This was going to become the key differentiator. 

Since the character could take only one of three shapes, a circle, square, or triangle, and one of three colors, red, blue or yellow. We decided to split the screen in three equal parts. The players would be able to draw the shape they wanted on the part of the screen corresponding to the color they needed. 

This control scheme worked quite well and made it so that playing the game with buttons vs. drawing felt like a completely different experience! Here’s a short video that shows the control schemes.

We ended up having three game modes. Story mode, a short campaign where you learn about the game mechanics and play through the story. Evaluation mode, 20 uniquely designed levels to challenge players. Lastly, the endless mode, where players can play E.V.A.L as an infinite runner, competing with others around the world for the highest score in the future fitness test!

E.V.A.L is free to play and is exclusively for iOS . It releases on 12.20! Preorder and give it a try!

 

 

 

 


About E.V.A.L: 
https://www.stoptoplay.com/eval

How we made E.V.A.L: https://www.stoptoplay.com/blog

Follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/stop2play

Why Indie Games?

This article might start off a little bit… differently, but please! Bare with me here!

Do you remember the last time you felt awe playing a game? Campaigns that make you feel alive and refreshed are far and few these days. Half the time I play games I can predict exactly what’s going to happen. For the life of me, I can’t remember the last time I played a Call of Duty game that stimulated my narrative needs. Back in 2015, my gaming life consisted of multiplayer first-person shooters on an endless loop. From COD to Battlefield to Halo, over and over and over again. My whole gaming diet was lacking that sustenance. The slice of cake rich with plot twists, character designs, and emotional attachments. And then I found what I was looking for (which I’m going to assume you know from the title): Indie games.

Games that weren’t there to pander to massive demographics and had more to show than cleaner graphics compared to the previous year’s edition. Indie games envelop you. The titles, although sometimes unheard of, are unique and crafted by small teams, many times starting from nothing. I’ve just been going on and on about how indie games give a whole new life to gaming, but let me give you a more personal example.

For those who’ve played OneShot by Little Cat Feet, you know exactly where this is going. For those who haven’t enjoyed the game themselves, I implore you to go check out our review, here, and possibly pick up a copy, then continue reading. There will be spoilers ahead!

product_oneshot_poster_designview_1024x1024.png

OneShot gave me something I haven’t felt from a game in a very long time. It gave me a connection. From the moment I entered the dimly lit, pixelated world, I knew something was going to be different about this game. The soundtrack from the moment I entered this game made my chest swell with excitement. If that wasn’t good enough, something refreshing happened that I was definitely not expecting. We were NOT the main character. In OneShot, the beautiful minds behind the game decided to have you play “God”. You were the influencer. While you did walk around and control Niko, all your interactions with him were between you and Niko. Two completely different entities.

We went the whole game watching and bonding with Niko. We explored the world with Niko. We met every individual we could spot with Niko. Helped countless people with Niko. And in the end, what does the game do? It presents you with a choice of two wrong answers. You can sacrifice Niko to save the world or you could sacrifice the world to save Niko. Reading this without playing the game might not do you much good, being that you didn’t grow that connection that felt eternal with Niko. Me myself, I didn’t know what to do. I won’t lie, it brought tears to my eyes. This poor innocent boy who’s done no wrong is faced with an ethical dilemma and turns to you, his God, for help. I couldn’t take it. I shut off the game then and there.

Too many thoughts clouded my mind, I returned the next day, ready to make a decision. The only choice that would be right was saving the world at Niko’s expense. But, when I finally hit clarity, the game threw a curve-ball that hit me in the gut as hard as a truck. I opened the game and saw this:

1498828463793.png

Indie games are your favorite stories mixed with your best friends. So, why indie games? Because they’re the closest thing to true, real games.

The Adventures of Sullivan – Developer Preview

Hi, we are Bumper Car Studios; the two man team of brothers behind The Adventures of Sullivan.
We grew up playing some of the world’s most iconic 2D games ever made. Some of our best memories are in front of a screen, endlessly playing Nintendo, Game Boy and several other consoles, often to the great despair of our parents who would have preferred we spent more time outside.

Ever since those days, weeks, months, and years of staring awe-struck into a world of pixels, we have wanted to create our own video games, and evoke the same feelings in others who share our love and respect for the experiences video games give us. The Adventures of Sullivan is our first project, and we hope there will be many more to come.

In development since September 2017, The Adventures of Sullivan is an arcade styled, 2D run and gun side-scroller, set in a science fiction world with pixel graphics. We will be releasing The Adventures of Sullivan on Steam in 2019, with plans to release on three other digital platforms.

To help this project come to life as organically as possible, everything in Sullivan has been created from scratch. All of our code, artwork, levels and music are being created and designed from the ground up, to create a nostalgic experience, mixed with modern gaming elements, to deliver fluid and entertaining game play. We aren’t borrowing code, or flipping another game’s design to crank out a cheap, shallow indie title.

The Adventures of Sullivan

Beyond profits and paychecks, we believe games should be fun. We also believe games should be accessible, and affordable; You won’t need high-end hardware to run Sullivan, or any of our other future games. We will never include micro-transactions in our projects, and we also aim to price our games at a very modest rate. We will be selling The Adventures of Sullivan for $5.

The Adventures of Sullivan

When we set out to make a game, we were inspired by the classic shoot ’em ups and side-scrollers of the 80s and 90s. Games kids would play right after getting home from school. Games that made car rides infinitely shorter. Games that defined the 2D genre and will never be forgotten. That meant making a simplistic, straightforward shooter with tight mechanics and fast, fun gameplay. We also wanted it to feel like an arcade experience, putting a quarter into a machine, and seeing how long you could survive, what level you could make it to, and how many enemies you could defeat along the way. This is also shown in our art style, which is an intentionally chosen, smaller resolution. Instead of hyper detailed, fine pixels, we prefer the larger, blocky pixels that really throw you back in time.

The Adventures of Sullivan

The Adventures of Sullivan will consist of 7 levels, with over 60 different and unique enemies, 18 usable weapons, environmental hazards, dodging mechanics and epic boss battles all surrounding a heart felt story with an original sound track. There’s no procedural generation in The Adventures of Sullivan, there’s no inventory system, there’s no crafting, and there’s no loot! It’s an indie title truly inspired by the arcade style classics, brought to you in 2019.

The Adventures of Sullivan

Consider supporting us on Kickstarter and helping to bring this passion project to life!

Find us at: https://www.bumpercarstudios.io

 

Surgeon Simulator Switch release date and trailer announced

Perform alien autopsys and other bizarre operations on the go.

Surgeon Simulator is the critically-acclaimed and infamously difficult operation sim by Bossa Studios. Starting life as one of Bossa’s well-renowned game jams, it was originally launched on PC in 2013, and due to popular demand, has since been successfully released on PS4, PSVR, iOS and now on the Nintendo Switch. It has generated over 2 million fanmade Youtube videos and has remained a popular favourite amid influencers including PewDiePie and Fernanfloo since launch.

Fully revived and feeling better-than-ever, the upcoming Nintendo Switch version takes advantage of the console’s much-lauded functionalities to create the most immersive surgeon experience yet. You can watch that on your tv-box. By snapping out a Joy-Con controller, players will be able to swap to motion controls at any time for nail-biting precision, while HD Rumble will help bring the full roster of tools – from hammers to hatchets, buzzsaws to laser pens – to life like never before.

Also taking advantage of Nintendo’s split Joy-Con support, players will be able to tag a second surgeon in at any time, whether it’s at home or on the go, to immediately launch local co-op play! Because sometimes you need a second opinion…

Containing all the original heart-in-your-mouth (or wherever else you decide to put it!) operations, including the additional teeth and eye transplants from the A&E Edition, Surgeon Simulator CPR also includes the highly-classified Alien Autopsy mode, too! Coupled with the console’s effortless portability and multitude of play options, it’s safe to say operating on the go’s never been easier.

Surgeon Simulator will be available on the Switch from the 13th of September, priced at £9.99. you can also pre-order now and get a 10% discount. If you’d rather not wait, you can pick up Surgeon Simulator on Steam Surgeon now, where it’s received very positive reviews.