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 look 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 looks 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.
Here’s a new trailer of Joakim Sandberg’s Iconoclasts to whet your appetite. Although nowhere near finished, it does look as though the game is progressing nicely.
Even though the following three Kickstarters have been fully funded, I thought you might still be interested in hearing about the projects or getting in at the last moment to obtain prizes and help the developers reach their “stretch goals”.
The first game is Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, a first-person action title centered around medieval melee combat. Developer Torn Banner Studios, who previously created the Half-Life 2 mod Age of Chivalry, says the final release will have a deep melee system and over 60 weapons and siege weapons to play with, as well as a “dynamic objective system” to provide some higher-level strategy to the team-based battles. But unfortunately the single-player portion of the game sounds like it will be limited to practice for online multiplayer.
Chivalry is slated for a Fall release as a PC exclusive.
This is a new trailer for Colin and Sarah Northway’s Incredipede, which features artwork by Thomas Shahan. Slated for a late October release, Incredipede is a physics-based platformer where you control Quozzle, a little creature that can be built and rebuilt using jointed limbs and muscles. According to the game’s website, it will come with 60 levels and a level editor.
This is a trailer for an upcoming horizontal shoot ‘em up called Heaven Variant, by the three-man team at Zanrai Interactive. Zanrai has made it clear on their FAQ that the game will not be bullet hell, but nonetheless aims to appease both hardcore and casual players. It currently has no release date.
Note: this video was released in February, and since then the developers have made some changes to the basic game mechanics, including dropping mouse control for precise 360-degree aiming. In the latest trailer you can see that weapons now lock to a few set angles:
This is a video that mashes up quite a few trailers for doujin games that will be available at this year’s Comiket (Comic Market), a Japanese self-published comic book festival (and the largest in the world, with half a million attendees last year). The video was put together by Edelweiss, a doujin game developer that created Ether Vapor and is attending Comiket 82 with a new shoot ‘em up called Astebreed. The festival is taking place this weekend on August 10-12.
Links to each of the games featured in the video are available here on Edelweiss’s website.
My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic is a fighting fan game that’s currently under development. Created using 2d Fighter Maker 2002, MLP:FIM will eventually feature 17 ponies from the popular animated show. Each character has its own unique movelist that includes launchers and special magic attacks. The developers have said the game, which uses four buttons, most closely resembles Marvel vs. Capcom in design.
No release date for the game has been set, nor is any demo currently available. However, you can watch a two-hour stream after the cut (taken from this year’s Evolution fighting game tournament):
StarForge is an ambitious 3d action game that’s currently in development. According to the game’s wiki, it’s inspired by “Halo, Warcraft 3, Borderlands, Terraria, and Minecraft”, and features a number of modes that let players build bases and wage war across randomly-generated alien worlds. Player movement is entirely physics-based and body parts react (somewhat) realistically to every impact.
The first public alpha was released earlier this month and is free-to-play, although you can purchase “Hatch Points” to spend on player models and other assets to use within the game. The developers have warned that this alpha is unoptimized, may have performance issues, and does not include every feature shown in the trailer.
Punch the possum for a fan-made video which explores the alpha in more depth: