Lucas Pope has released a very early development build of his latest project, Return of the Obra Dinn. While the website warns that there’s “not much content”, the build does a great job of conveying the game’s wonderful atmosphere and introducing a few of the key concepts behind the title. Obra Dinn is the name of the merchant ship on which your adventure takes place. Lost on route to the Orient in 1802, the ship has returned to port four years later, and you’ve been sent to investigate as an insurance adjustor for the East India Company’s London Office. Figuring out what happened aboard the Obra Dinn appears to be the central premise for the game, but how you accomplish that task is anything but ordinary.
Pope was the creator of the surprise hit Papers, Please, which made the seemingly mundane job of immigration inspector feel exciting and personal. It’s great to see him take that unique outlook into his next game, but with such wildly different themes, mechanics, and audiovisuals (which he describes in great detail in his fantastic TIGForums DevLog). Can’t wait for more.
Band Saga is a musical roguelike—basically it generates action roguelike dungeons based on its own Genesis-like FM sequencer, which can then be played through. You can generate levels based on importing your own MIDI music, or by composing music within the game (which can be shared with a text string online with other players). Also interesting is that you can change a song while playing through the dungeon based on that song, which would then affect the dungeon you are in. And as you can see from the trailer, the animation is also very nice.
I interviewed Rekcahdam to get a more in-depth look into how it all works, read it under the jump!
The 0.22 update for Kerbal Space Program is scheduled to launch tomorrow, and will bring with it a new research-and-development system.
This update will be the first version to allow players access to the structured “Campaign” mode, which attempts to provide more structured gameplay than the current “Sandbox” mode. Players will now be able to collect scientific data on their various missions, which can then be used to progress along a branched tech tree and unlock new, more advanced parts. The game’s development studio, Squad, has plans to add even more of a “tycoon-like” structure to the game in future updates, with a part-cost system and procedurally-generated missions.
The 0.21 update to Kerbal Space Program has arrived, bringing with it a slew of new parts for building rockets and planes.
Also added in this update are a terrain overhaul, a revamped Kerbal Space Center, and the ability to “hire” specific Kerbals and assign them to missions. While this hiring feature currently doesn’t offer much beyond more control over who’s on what mission, it lays some of the groundwork for KSP developer, Squad, to begin working on the eagerly awaited “Career Mode” for the game – which is planned to add mission contracts and funding rewards for players based on their progress, providing a more Kerbal Space “Tycoon” gameplay experience.
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
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.
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!
Rocket-construction and space-exploration game Kerbal Space Program celebrated its two-year anniversary tonight, and version 0.18 has just launched.
The jump to 0.18 is the largest update KSP has seen and brings with it many new additions, including new resource and flight-planning systems, new parts like solar panels and unmanned probes, the ability to dock ships together, two new celestial bodies to explore, and more.
On a two-year anniversary stream, the team behind KSP also unveiled Kerbal SpacePort a new community hub for the sharing of user-created content. Future development plans were discussed as well, including aspects like weather, resource-mining, and rover creation.
[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.