If you like tactical games and free PvP, then you might get as addicted to the Banner Saga: Factions as I have (Factions’ Steam page). It’s much like playing a timed chess game with a greater depth of variety in terms of strategy, which is provided the fantasy elements of the game and its unique battle mechanics.
IGF 2013 Excellence in Design nominee Starseed Pilgrim was released on Steam today (Steam releases were offered to all the nominees this year). This unassuming and enigmatic puzzle platformer has become a hit with a number of indie game developers, including Bennett Foddy (QWOP) and Braid creator Jonathan Blow, who called it his game of the year for 2012. Since so much of the enjoyment from Starseed comes from figuring out how the game works, it’s hard to describe even the basic goals without spoiling it. If that sounds fun to you in and of itself, you should probably give it a go.
Ghost of a Tale is an upcoming game by Lionel Gallat, who was, among other things, the animation director for Despicable Me and The Lorax (which explains the gorgeous graphics and animation!). Ghost of a Tale takes place in a medieval animal world reminiscent of the popular young adult novel series Redwall. The player controls a small mouse and progresses through the game in the fashion of a classic action adventure game.
Ghost of a Tale is being made in Unity and is slated for a 2014 release.
Steam Greenlight: Ghost of a Tale
This is a guest post by offal.
After years of releasing engaging short-form games, prolific digital artist Aliceffekt is nearing completion of his first independent commercial project, Hiversaires, for iOS. Committing himself to full time development at the beginning of February, Aliceffekt has worked solo on the game, handling design, code, art, and music.
However, for your enlightenment:
I hope you enjoy it. It’s quite difficult, but quite beatable, and there’s a proper ending movie and everything.
Banished is an upcoming city-building simulation where you manage the lives of exiled colonists in a remote wilderness. According to the game’s website: “The townspeople of Banished are your primary resource. They are born, grow older, work, have children of their own, and eventually die. Keeping them healthy, happy, and well-fed are essential to making your town grow. Building new homes is not enough—there must be enough people to move in and have families of their own.” Townspeople can have a variety of occupations, from hunting to blacksmithing, and sustainable practices will be necessary to survive the harsh environment.
Amazingly enough, Banished is being developed by a single person. The game is due on PC in the latter half of 2013.
Mode 7 Games have announced that they’re currently working on Frozen Endzone, a spiritual sequel to their innovative tactics game Frozen Synapse. Endzone applies the “simultaneous turn-based” tactics that were developed for Synapse to a futuristic sports game. Players will square off against one another in a randomly-generated arena and attempt to score points by bringing the ball into their opponent’s endzone.
The game is slated for a 2014 release on PC.
Steam Greenlight: Frozen Endzone
The three-person indie studio, Acid Wizard, has released a gameplay teaser for their current survival-horror project, Darkwood.
Billed as a “top-down, oldschool survival horror set in a procedurally generated open world, with RPG and roguelike elements,” where players must explore the dark forest surrounding their cabin and defend against the terrors of the night, Darkwood sounds like a project to follow. As the trailer shows, Acid Wizard certainly knows how to do atmosphere, and the gameplay itself strikes me as a top-down mix between Project Zomboid and Alan Wake. A great first impression, to be sure, and I’ll certainly be keeping tabs on this project as it goes forward.
This is an great video by Brian Provinciano explaining how he developed the NES prototype that eventually became Retro City Rampage (available now on XBLA, PSN, WiiWare, and Steam). In the video, Brian shares tons of insights into the constraints of NES hardware and the heroic effort to make a complex game for it. It’s a must-watch for fans of homebrew.
Here’s a link to NESHLA, the NES assembler that he wrote for the prototype.
After 7 years of development, Ville and Anne Mönkkönen have released Driftmoon, an adventure/role-playing game set in a charming and colorful fantasy world. The game comes with development tools that you can use to create and share mods. Also, a large demo is available to try out and includes the full editor.
You might remember Ville as the creator of the survival game Notrium from 2003.