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 the first official trailer for The Witness, a first-person puzzle game by Jonathan Blow and his new team. It was shown today at a Sony press event where they unveiled the PS4, the only console that the game will launch on. The other two launch platforms for The Witness are PC and iOS.
The Longest Journey creator Ragnar Tørnquist is kickstarting Dreamfall Chapters, the third game in the popular adventure series and the conclusion to the story of Zoë Castillo. Six years after the release of Dreamfall, Tørnquist is bringing back that game’s core team to develop this third chapter independently through his new studio, Red Thread Games. The Kickstarter has already reached its goal of $850,000, but fans may want to earn the project’s rewards or support its stretch goals.
Since hitting its $900,000 stretch goal, Dreamfall Chapters will be released on Mac and Linux, as well as PC. The currently-slated release date is in November, 2014.
Robit Studios and Chucklefish are collaborating on Treasure Adventure World: a commercial, HD remake of Treasure Adventure Game (a wonderful, freeware Metroidvania from 2011). Their press release shares some of the main changes to expect from the new version:
- New engine, smoother gameplay, HD widescreen mode
- High-res, hand-drawn art by Christine Crossley
- New music and sound by Robert Ellis
- More treasures and collectibles, remixed puzzles and new equipment
- Improvements to enemy AI, more intense boss fights
- More tightly-focused story, intriguing cutscenes, charming NPCs and new multiple endings
There is also some info in the Indie Statik post on TAW, which helps to expand upon the press release.
Additionally, those curious about experiencing the game’s earlier incarnations can download Karma as an exclusive bonus from the GOG.com release of TAG. The games in Karma aren’t as fully polished as TAG was, but they are great samples of how drastic development can be from one iteration to the next.
I’m guessing most of you learned what dysentery was at a young age, and I’d also bet that your teacher wasn’t the reason why. MECC found a way to incorporate real history and fun gameplay into a groundbreaking educational game to teach players not just what happened, but what it was like to be there. What The Oregon Trail did for the Oregon Trail, Sortasoft’s Meriwether aims to do for the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to travel across the United States to the West Coast. They were to catalog and study the plants, animals, natural resources, and geography along the way. They were also charged with establishing trade and U.S. sovereignty over the Native Americans along the Missouri River. Helping them in these endeavors was a small group of volunteers known as the Corps of Discovery.
Gameplay in Meriwether consists of two types of levels. In Lewis levels, the player will be navigating handcrafted levels focused on storytelling and dealing with situations that faced the actual expedition. In the travel mode, players will control the entirety of Meriwether’s Corps of Discovery through procedural wilderness as you gather resources, discover wildlife and ration whiskey. In both modes, Sortasoft seems committed to delivering a historically plausible account of the expedition. They have even gone so far as to have a Lewis and Clark historian involved in the project. However, Meriwether isn’t meant to be just a fun experience for history buffs, but for anyone looking for an entertaining survival/exploration game.
I actually had a chance to play this game about a year ago and found it extremely involving, even at such an early state. From the looks of their Kickstarter page, the game has improved by leaps and bounds since then. Check it out for tons more information on the project and the expedition itself. Who knows, you might even learn something!
Even with the genre showing that it is still alive and kicking with the recent return of two industry names, Chris Roberts (Star Citizen) and David Braben (Elite: Dangerous), it is especially exciting to see new, indie blood enter the space-sim scene.
Limit Theory is the newest space sim to launch a Kickstarter and, though it launches amid a wave of similar games, it has really caught my eye. Having been in development for only three months so far, the footage and screenshots that sole developer Josh Parnell is showing off on Kickstarter are already gorgeous. I don’t know if Mr. Parnell knew when he began this project just how much of a sucker I am for both open exploration in procedural worlds and spaceflight, but I feel like this game is fueled by my fever dreams.
A sandbox RPG/RTS in a procedurally-generated universe filled with procedurally-generated planets and traversed by procedurally-generated ships all fighting and trading across infinity. Limit Theory promises a lot, but also has substance to show and definite passion to drive it into the future. Go check out the project’s webpage for more information, and be sure to drop any questions in the Kickstarter’s comments section, where Mr. Parnell seems quite active in responding to the community.
Sui Generis is the name of a new RPG from Bare Mettle Entertainment. Well, it’s really just a tech demo at this point, but the engine and toolset behind it are extremely promising, offering powerful physics simulation and impressive procedurally-generated terrain at the click of a button. Combat is also physics-based and while it currently looks quite wobbly (drunken is perhaps more accurate), it seems like great fun, too.
RPG players have a lot to look forward to these days from the indie game development community, with lots of small developers bunkering down for the long-term to develop their dream games. Dwarf Fortress, Age of Decadence, Grim Dawn, Kenshi, Starfarer, and the candy-coated Cube World all show a lot of potential. Hopefully Sui Generis will join them in seeing a successful release some day.
Also, this is probably as good a time as any to announce that Kickstarter has finally opened its doors to the UK.
[This is a guest post by Shinji16.]
The team behind Nitronic Rush has grown up, with three of them forming their own indie group called Refract Studios. Their first project is a game called Distance, which has been called a spiritual successor. As stated by Kyle Holdwick, the Creative Director of Refract, Distance is a chance to do things they wanted to do with Nitronic Rush but weren’t able to.
One noteworthy difference is for Nitronic Rush they built their own engine, but are using Unity for Distance. They’re also putting heavy focus on a powerful but easy-to-use editor, modding support, and live multiplayer. Nitronic’s multiplayer was ghost racing.
Right now they’re using Kickstarter to fundraise and also because they want fan feedback for direction in various parts of the project. With endorsements from Aaron Hightower, lead programmer of San Francisco Rush 2049 (a major inspiration for Nitronic), and industry veteran Cliff Bleszinski, along with proven experience as an award winning dev team, they deserve support. You can find their Kickstarter here and their Steam Greenlight here.