Indie Game Watch: March 2014

Indie Game Watch: March 2014

Indie Game Watch (IGW) is a look at a few great games from a few great indie developers who are actively seeking funding. Think we missed a great project? Are you working on a game you think deserves a spot on the list? Email Cat (cat [at] qwerty cafe [dot] com)!

Choice Chamber, by OneMrBean

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Choice Chamber is “[a] real-time, crowdsourced, procedurally generated game where your fate is in everyone else’s hands.”

According to their Kickstarter Page:

Choice Chamber is a game that allows an audience of any size to play along with someone through an endless series of dangerous chambers. Players constantly give feedback that changes how the game evolves in real time, from power ups and enemies to obstacles and rule changes.

Choice Chamber is designed to be played while being streamed live to Twitch.tv. As you stream the game on your channel, anyone watching can participate in the game simply by typing in the chat box. A series of polls  ask viewers to vote on certain aspects that alter the game’s progression in real time, or viewers can trigger special events, friendly helpers, and even attack the boss themselves. Chatters can band together to help out the main player in getting far in the game, or they can work against the player and create a devilish challenge.

The game can also be played without using Twitch. “Offline Mode” keeps the game the same as before, except the choices are made by the game. In addition, you can also play privately with friends, as the chat functionality still works if you aren’t broadcasting.

Check out the video for Choice Chamber here:

Back Choice Chamber by or before April 20, 2014.

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Alpaca Party! by MeowPuff Games

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Alpaca Party is just that – an adorabubble assortment of cute alpacas!

From Alpaca Party’s Kickstarter Page:

Alpaca Party is a cute mobile game where players discover new alpaca, collect party essentials, and upgrade party jamz!

  • Alpaca Party will be available on Android and iOS as a FREE downloadable game! 😀 [With in-app purchases available]
  • Available in English and Japanese! [英語と日本語も!]
  • Over 52 unique alpaca to discover and befriend for your party!

Check out the video for Alpaca Party here:

Back Alpaca Party by or before April 8, 2014.

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Grave: Open World Survival Horror by Tristan Parish Moore

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Grave started out as a Game Jam submission, but got a lot more attention than originally intended.

From Grave’s Kickstarter Page:

Grave is an open-world, surrealist survival horror experience where light is your only weapon in a constantly changing reality.

Our goal is to provide a much needed update to the survival horror formula, injecting it with the tension and fear of modern horror games while still retaining the strategy and survival elements of classic genre staples. The game is being Developed in the Unity game engine, and we are hoping to push the graphical fidelity to its limit.

Check out the video for Grave here:

Back Grave by or before April 27, 2014.

Indie Game Watch: February 2014

Indie Game Watch: February 2014

Indie Game Watch (IGW) is a look at a few great games from a few great indie developers who are actively seeking funding. Think we missed a great project? Are you working on a game you think deserves a spot on the list? Email Cat (cat [at] qwerty cafe [dot] com)!

GaymerX2 #EveryoneGames

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Another one of my “tangential to games” choices, GaaymerX2 is actually a conference. A FANTASTIC, wonderful, very excellent conference where “people can feel welcome regardless of their gender or sexuality.” See? Awesome! The Kickstarter funds are put toward reserving the space to host the conference in San Francisco, CA.

From the campaign page:

Just like our first year, we are working to bring you games and fun with fellow queers and awesome people. However, your help here will let us make this event even bigger and better.

….

Zach Weiner SMBC-Comics *creator | SMBC Theater | BAHfest

John Scalzi Internet Troll Slayer *Sci-Fi author

And a very special guest we’re announcing on Kickstarter, the openly gay Fred Rosser aka WWE Superstar: Darren Young!!

We also have some amazing musicians lined up for our Saturday night concert includingVirtAethernaut, and 2 Mello!

Outside of Boss of Honor speeches, there will be panels from game devs as well as LGBTQ leaders, including folks from Geeks Out, MidBoss Games, and GayGamer.net.

And here’s their promotional video:

To help fund GaymerX2’s 2nd conference, donate here by March 24th.

 

Questlandia by Hannah Shaffer

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Questlandia is a “roleplaying game set in a player-generated fantasy kingdom on the brink of collapse!”

From their campaign page:

In Questlandia, you’ll gather with friends to build a unique kingdom, then try to save it from collapse! Questlandia is a game about personal shortcomings, the cost of courage, and the challenge of enacting meaningful change.

THE SETTING: Questlandia kingdoms are designed by YOU, the player. Games feature nontraditional and inventive fantasy. Your game may take place in an underground city, in a treetop kingdom, or a castle in the clouds.

THE CHARACTERS: In the game, players take on the role of characters trying to achieve their own goals amidst the chaos of a failing society. Characters come from many different backgrounds. You may play the role of nobility or peasantry. You may be a shopkeeper, mercenary, wizard, librarian, an artisan, or a thief. Whatever your differences, as the game plays out, you’ll discover the ways in which your fates are intertwined.

Characters in Questlandia have TraitsRelationships, a Weakness and a Goal.  Your actions in the game will decide the Fortunes and Misfortunes your character encounters in their epilogue.

GAMEPLAY: Questlandia can support 3-5 players. The game is designed to use readily available game pieces: 6-sided dice, a deck of standard playing cards, and tokens in two different colors. The full game can be played in about 6 hours, which can be played over a number of sessions.

Players take turns in the spotlight, trying to achieve their personal goals while other players throw obstacles in the way. In Questlandia, you’re battling against bitter enemies, the expectations of your society, and your own character’s weakness.

And here’s the promotional video:

To fund Questlandia, back it here by March Friday, March 21.

 

Shrug Island by Amazu Media

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Shrug Island is a magical-looking game based on a student film project. It was so well-received by children who encountered it, the creator was inspired to design a more interactive experience.

From the campaign page:

Shrug Island – a 2D puzzle adventure for desktops (PC/Mac) and tablets (iOS/Android). In this game, you play as 2 separated friends reconnecting with a living home they’ve been away from for a season, and trying to meet. You switch between the 2 characters, use their different abilities to solve puzzles, sing to their surroundings, dialogue and collect parts of the world, as you explore and bring together animated pieces of an unusual story.

And here’s the promotional video:

To support Shrug Island, back it here before Sunday, March 23rd.

Indie Game Watch: January 2014

Indie Game Watch: January 2014

Indie Game Watch (IGW) is a look at a few great games from a few great indie developers who are actively seeking funding. Think we missed a great project? Are you working on a game you think deserves a spot on the list? Email Cat (cat [at] qwerty cafe [dot] com)!

Horse World Online

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Eight year-old me begged my parents for horseback riding lessons, gobbled up The Saddle Club series, and obsessively collected Breyer horses. Horse World Online, a project by Larissa Rintjema, looks like it would have been right up my alley.

Breed horses, compete against friends and expand your virtual stable in this browser-based game with hundreds of dynamic horse breeds!

Horse World Online is a browser-based game where players create their own horse breeding stable and work with other players to create new horse breeds, improve popular breeds or compete for top honors in over 20 different types of competition.

Check out the promo video here:

Back Horse World Online by Thursday, February 27 if you want to see it made.

Nutcracker Card Game

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Seeing the Nutcracker ballet (or at least reading on of the many beautifully illustrated book versions out there) is an annual tradition for some families – and now that a card game is in the works, maybe it can be added to the rotation. Created by Ars Felix in San Francisco, the Nutcracker card game features lovely artwork in 23 different designs.

From it’s Kickstarter description:

Nutcracker is a fun and fast-paced party game for friends and family.  Players are dealt one card from the deck and trade to have the highest scoring card at the end of the hand.  The game is suitable for ages 4+ and 3-20 players, but plays best with 4-6….

The Nutcracker card game is inspired by the short story “Nußknacker und Mausekönig” by the author E.T.A. Hoffmann and the ballet that followed it, “The Nutcracker” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.  Many of the characters and props from the story are depicted on the card faces.  The card back design shows the Nutcracker in a field of snowflakes, Christmas tree decorations and automaton clockworks.  The artwork for the game was hand drawn and painted in watercolor.  The original artwork for the game is also available as a backer reward.

If you’re interested in backing the Nutcracker Card Game, you need to do so by or before Saturday, February 15th.

Hello Ruby

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Whoops! Another feature that’s not actually a game. It’s kind of tangentially related, however. To create many kinds of games, you need programming know how. What better way to learn than as a youngster with a beautifully illustrated, lovingly crafted children’s book? Hello Ruby, by Linda Liukas, is a children’s book that teaches programming fundamentals through stories and kid-friendly activities.

From its Kickstarter page:

 We all have treasured childhood stories that have affected the way we see reality. Instead of only focusing on how applications are built or code is constructed, I want to tell about the architects, principles and personalities behind software. And I believe the best way to tell this story is through a book that will be read with children and parents at night, and live in the bookshelf for years to come.

Hello Ruby will be a classic journey of discovery that teaches the readers about different people working together, how problems can be solved in small sequences and how remixing and sharing helps everyone.

Illustrations are as important as the story. My book will be full of detail and whimsy, with cutaways and magical moments, a world where everything is not apparent at once.

Check out the promo video below:


To back Hello Ruby, visit this link by or before Friday, February 21st.

Indie Game Watch: December 2013

Indie Game Watch: December 2013

Indie Game Watch (IGW) is a look at a few great games from a few great indie developers who are actively seeking funding. Think we missed a great project? Are you working on a game you think deserves a spot on the list? Email Cat (cat [at] qwerty cafe [dot] com)!

GripMat

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Once again we’re featuring a game peripheral – essentially a piece of gaming related equipment. I’m specifically excited about GripMat because of the experiences I’ve seen my boyfriend have with his too-tiny, not very durable Magic: The Gathering play mats. GripMat has grip on BOTH sides of the playmats – helping to keep your game pieces (cards, etc.) in place.

It’s brought to you from Break From Reality Games, based out of Seattle, WA.

From their Kickstarter page:

Made in the USA – GripMats are introducing a patented material that is ideal for use with board games and miniatures. In development for the last 2 years, this approximately 1/8″ thick mat has a specialized surface with more frictional or “grip force” than cloth, velvet, or any other material currently offered in the game accessory market. In addition to this, it can be printed in full color vivid images, and will survive common abuse that vinyl mats, and paper mats would not be able to withstand.  We need you, our backer, to help spread the word that a solution exists to table bumps, spilled sodas, and clumsy meeples.”

And check out the promo video:

If it suits your fancy, back GripMat by January 8, 2014.

 

Collusion

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Collusion bills itself as a mobile-enhanced board game, essentially using both a phone and board game style play together to try and create a more unique experience. It comes to us from Tinker, Tailor Games in Seattle, WA and is about “lying to your friends, stealing from your allies, and cheating your way to victory.”

From their Kickstarter page:

Collusion mandates lying, stealing, cheating, and murdering in order to win. Players must work together while simultaneously plotting against each other in order to gain influence over the region. Selling out an ally to an enemy, blackmailing an opponent, or paying another agent to carry out an assassination on your behalf is all in a day’s work.

YOUR OBJECTIVE
At the outset of the game, each player is given two possible ways to win. Any player can win by maximizing their own influence within the game. Alternatively, each player is given a secret opponent and is able to win by totally depleting their opponent’s influence.

During the game, you are able to monitor what your agency believes to be the current influence of each player via your phone.

MISSIONS
Throughout the game, your HQ assigns you missions via your phone. And completing those missions determines your influence. But it isn’t always black and white. HQ doesn’t always know best, and sometimes the outcome of a mission isn’t always desirable. You decide in the field how to handle what comes down the chain, who to help, and who to antagonize. Just be careful not to get burned

CHEAT, JUST DON’T GET CAUGHT 
For spies, cheating is part of the job description. In fact, it’s basically the entire job. So we’ve embraced it. In Collusion, you’re encouraged to cheat. Illegally trade cards. Take turns while someone is in the bathroom. Do whatever it takes to win… Unless you get caught. If you’re noticed or called out, players use their in-game influence to democratically determine your guilt. And your punishment…

And check out the promo video:

Back Collusion by January 16, 2014.

 

New Orbit

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Brought to us by Blackish Games in Graz, Austria, New Orbit is a game set in space and features “realistic gravitation, custom ship building and a fully voiced story.”

From the Kickstarter page:

Earth is gone.
Only some survived.
Everyone who could, fled the planet and settled in the asteroid belt.
Years passed, factions formed, WAR ensued over scarce resources and precious knowledge.
You are a young engineer of the Node Collective, lost deep inside enemy territory. Your mothership was on an important mission, but you weren’t senior enough to know its goal and purpose. Now here you are – in a tiny, badly damaged shuttle – alone amidst the burning debris of your mothership, with nothing but the cold voice of your computer to keep you company.

 Heavy stuff! Now check out the promo video:

Back New Orbit by or before January 24, 2014.

Indie Game Watch: November 2013

Indie Game Watch: November 2013

Indie Game Watch (IGW) is a look at a few great games from a few great indie developers who are actively seeking funding. Think we missed a great project? Are you working on a game you think deserves a spot on the list? Email Cat (cat [at] qwerty cafe [dot] com)!

A quick follow-up from last month: EverJane is still seeking funding (just six days left!) and has about $35,000 to go. If you feel so inclined, please head over to its Kickstarter campaign and check out what all the buzz is about. 🙂 Now on to some new games!

DYSCOURSE

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From Owlchemy Labs in Boston, MA, DYSCOURSE  is a survival PC game. The premise is that Rita, an art major turned coffee barista, has been stranded with a bunch of other survivors after a plane crash. Now you need to survive and, hopefully, be rescued. Your choices change the story: there are tough decisions, bonds of friendship to explore, betrayals to navigate  and more. “What’s a greater threat to the survivors: the dangers of the unforgiving island they’ve been cast upon, or the threat of their fellow man?”

From their Kickstarter campaign page:

You are Rita and she is you.

Two years out of college with a supposedly prestigious art degree and you’ve been putting it to good use as a full time coffee barista. Your luck may not be the best, but hey — at least your latte foam art is exceptional!

Speaking of luck… oh, right. Your plane crashed, you didn’t watch the boring safety video, and now you’re stranded on this wretched island with a bunch of mouth-breathing tourists. It was bad enough having them kicking your seat on the flight — now they’re your only key to survival.

Is Rita compassionate towards her fellow castaways? Does she work with everyone towards the greater good? Is she a harsh survivalist, out for her own interests?

Remember, you are Rita and she is you. What kind of person are you today?

And check out the promotional video here:

Back DYSCOURSE by December 6th.

 

The Girl and the Robot

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Featuring a lovely art style reminiscent of  Studio Ghibili, The Girl and the Robot comes to us from Flying Carpets Games, an international team with creators from Canada, Japan, and England.

From their Kickstarter campaign page:

The Girl and the Robot is a third person action/adventure game for PC, Mac and Linux set in a fairy tale world.

The game brings the thrills of classic games such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Ico, and pairs them with the sense of wonder and adventure found in animated movies such as those from Studio Ghibli.

  • Engaging gameplay mechanics that enable you to switch between two characters in order to solve puzzles, defeat enemies and navigate in the world.

  • Mysterious backstory that has left its mark on the environment.

  • Unique hand-painted art style reminiscent of fairy tales.

  • Rich level design and enemy behaviour.

And here’s the promotional video:

Back The Girl and the Robot by November 28th if you’d like to see it made.

 

Elliot Quest

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Elliot Quest, brought to us by Asimuz Games, feels really familiar – not surprising, as it draws from classics from the early days of gaming.

From their Kickstarter campaign page:

Elliot Quest is an adventure/RPG inspired by Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, one of my favorite games. In Elliot Quest, players explore the mysterious Urele Island in search of an ancient demon, navigating through 8 dungeons, defeating over 16 bosses, and discovering countless treasures.

 

Here’s the promotional video:

Back Elliot Quest by December 6th.

Indie Game Watch: October 2013

Indie Game Watch: October 2013

Indie Game Watch (IGW) is a look at a few great games from a few great indie developers who are actively seeking funding. Think we missed a great project? Are you working on a game you think deserves a spot on the list? Email Cat (cat [at] qwerty cafe [dot] com)!

Full disclosure – this first game was created by one of my former steering committee members who worked with me on the Women in Games Special Interest group (part of the International Game Developers Association). I’ve had the pleasure of watching it grow from just a concept to an actual, playable demo and I am so excited that she has finally launched its associated crowd funding campaign. Check it out:

Ever, Jane

 

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So, this game is a role-playing game. Like, one that involves actual role-playing. The point here is to play as a character who exists in the world of Jane Austen. There are no zombies, pirates, or orcs – you gossip, charm, and lie your way to the top of the social strata. There’s already an early prototype available for you to play RIGHTNOW.

3-Turn Productions is headed by the talented Judy Tyrer, who formerly worked at Ubisoft and Sony Online Entertainment. They’re looking for funding to not only accelerate the official release of the game (ETA two years from now), but also to upgrade production values and expand the world.

Here’s how 3-Turn Productions describes the concept:

Ever, Jane is a virtual world that allows people to role-play in Regency Period England. Similar to traditional role playing games, we advance our character through experience, but that is where the similarities end. Ever, Jane is about playing the actual character in the game, building stories.  Our quests are derived from player’s actions and stories. And  we gossip rather than swords and magic to demolish our enemies and aid our friends.

Try to win the sympathy of Lizzie Bennet by telling lies about your rival, as Mr. Wickham does, but be careful.  The system will notify someone if they are being talked about too often and a good sleuth may find the player who is spreading such rumors.  If you are caught in your lies, the consequences you intended for your target will hit you two-fold.

And here’s the promotional video:

Back Ever, Jane HERE before December 1, 2o13.

 

The MetaGame

 

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The MetaGame isn’t new – I’ve seen it played at multiple GDCs and it has been incredibly well-received.  The basic idea is that you get to pit one “meta” concept against another to answer questions like “which will save the world?” There are several styles of playing that adjust the rules to be fun and playable for different kinds of players and different kinds of situations. It’s truly a big hit: The Metagame was an official selection at 2013’s IndieCade and earned a Major Fun! award.  They’re Kickstarting now to generate funds for printing the newest, expanded concept edition.

Here are some more details for ya:

The Metagame is a card game about everything: comics and literature, fine art and tv, architecture and videogames. It’s a way to show off your cultural smarts and get into ridiculous arguments with your friends. Arguments like:

  • Which feels like first love: Pride and Prejudice or Hungry Hungry Hippos? 
  • Which is responsible for the fraying of our moral fabric: Tupperware or Das Kapital?
  • Which should be required in schools: Dungeons and Dragons or the Bible?

And here’s their promotional video:


(Go directly to their Kickstarter page for an additional video with gameplay footage of their “Debate Club” concept.)

Fund The Metagame HERE before December 4, 2013. 

Indie Game Watch: September 2013

Indie Game Watch: September 2013

IGW is a look at a few great games from a few great indie developers who are actively seeking funding. Think we missed a great project? Are you working on a game you think deserves a spot on the list? Email Cat (cat [at] qwerty cafe [dot] com)!

All three project videos this month feature cats in one form or another. Two living, breathing adorable kitties, one conceptual. You’ll have to see for yourselves where they show up. 🙂

CO-OP

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Control two different co-operative robots in this side-scrolling puzzler developed by Pixelz Studio. From the developer:

Co-Op is a single player adventure that takes place in an industrial and mechanical environment. Although it is a platform game, the scenery is constructed using only 3D objects. It combines cooperative and simultaneous puzzle solving, which is achieved through the main implemented mechanic: the swap.

The main focus of Co-Op resides in the many levels of interaction. Players will be facing puzzles that require cooperative work between the characters, within their environment and a combination of both.

Check out their impressive graphics (and fun concept) in their Kickstarter video:

Help fund CO-OP HERE before Friday, October 18th.

Beyond Eyes

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This beautiful experiential game features a young blind girl named Rae. The player assists Rae in navigating the world on her journey to find where a stray kitty has gone. Build trust with Rae, and she’ll let you lead the way. Make her feel unsafe, and she’ll rebel. The art is whimsical and lovely – which is unusual for a single developer game. A few words from the developer, Tiger & Squid:

By exploring the world through touch  the world starts showing its shapes and secrets. To progress in the world and find your way it’s also important to focus on sound and scents…

Beyond Eyes will be my first published game and it’s truly a labor of love. I’ve been working it on and off for the last 1,5/ 2  years or so and will need another year to finish it to completion.

And here’s the promotional video:


Help fund Beyond Eyes HERE before Wednesday, October 23rd.

Luna’s Wandering Stars

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I’m a sucker for a game that also aims to educate. This planetary puzzler serves up fun and physics knowledge while you play as Luna, a space probe. A word from the developer, Serenity Forge:

Gravity, orbits, black holes, wormholes, meteors… lasers?! With gameplay that’s easy to learn, but hard to master, we challenge you to become masters of gravity and planetary physics. Luna’s Wandering Stars lets the player control moons to absorb and collect asteroids throughout the solar system.

Check out their promotional video here:

Help fund Luna’s Wandering Stars HERE before Tuesday, October 8th.