Indie Game

Pyre…My first cross-genre crush

Since its release in July 2017, Pyre has been a massive success and received critical acclaim from all of the major review platforms. Being the 3rd game to come from Supergiant Games, the fans expectations were high, and rightly so, both Bastian and Transistor have been huge successes and been a driving force in bringing indie games to the console platform. Pyre was no exception. Set in a rich high fantasy world, Pyre sets a new bar when it comes to cross genres as it combines fantasy RPG with sports, sports! The mash up of hefty RPG storylines with sports like gameplay brings back fond memories of playing blitzball in Final Fantasy 10.

As a member of ‘Triumvirate’ The Nightwings, you play as ‘the reader”, whose purpose is to guide your team to compete in rites in order to gain each of your companions liberation and freedom from the ‘Downside’ so that they may return to the fantasy homeland of ‘The Commonwealth’. The game introduces a variety of characters that have been as beautifully and lovingly crafted as the game itself. The villains as particularly brutal, making kicking their arse in the rites all that more satisfying.

When given the opportunity to liberate my first companion I felt both excited by the idea that I was freeing a soul from the dammed downside , but also heartache in the fact that I was losing a character that, despite the short play time, I had become somewhat attached too. My first choice was the demon Jodariel, a giant horned warrior. Now, when you consider the fact that she had the biggest aura when conducting a rite, as well as her unique techniques, this was tactically probably the worst choice that I could have made. But I didn’t care about that, she had been in the downside the longest, despite her tough exterior the game made me see through that to the character that longed to be free. Now when a game successfully influences a tactical decision with emotion, you know then, that you are well and truly hooked.

Visually the game is nothing short of beautiful. Your surroundings in the ‘Downside’ change and shift as you continue on your journey, with each area being as rich in fantasy as the next, making you want to continue on your journey all that much more.

I don’t want to spoil the game so if you haven’t already and want to check out Pyre, it is available on PS4, PC and Mac for around £15. Well worth it considering its limitless play time. This flawless cross genre gem is well and truly my first cross genre crush, I feel only a hardcore-dating-casual-racing-city building simulator could maybe top it.  

JB

Industry

Huddersfield, the Indie Game Hub of the UK?

Famous for being the birthplace of rugby league, John Smiths Bitter, Sir Patrick Stewart and the industrial revolution. Alongside its socialist views and anti establishment attitudes, Huddersfield has always been known as a city of innovation. But could these be the reasons why it has now turned into a thriving hub of indie game developers? We think It definitely has something to do with it.

Now, with studio’s dotted around the city employing some of the UK’s youngest and brightest industry talent. Studio’s such as RedKite Games, the developers of Transgalactic Tournament,  Sumo Digital, famous for their work on Hitman Episode 5 and Crackdown 3, Hypersloth, the small indie game studio that developed Dream and Canalside Studios, the developers of numerous mobile games. Fallen Idol Games are another small indie game studio based in Huddersfield that are currently working on an exciting new project TyperDrive.  These amazing studios are what make Huddersfield a force to be reckoned with within the indie gaming community.

Alongside this, The University of Huddersfield’s internationally recognised Computer Game Design and ‘Computer Games Programming‘ courses, has meant that the city is getting first dibs on all the fresh young talent looking at joining the industry.

Speaking of awesome talent, I have to mention GAMAYO. GAMAYO is a ‘free and informal network of people that make videogames in Yorkshire and the North of England’ run by Game Republic. They host awesome events twice yearly to help developers showcase, play test and just as important, network. If you haven’t already been to a GAMAYO event we highly recommend checking one out soon!

Huddersfield is sticking it to the man and giving the AAA gaming industry a run for its money. Now if I’m looking for an opportunity to get into the industry,  I would get my arse down to Huddersfield so fast that the three peaks will be nothing but a blur.

JB

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The Upcoming Mona Lisa’s of Indie Games!

Now, as we all know, independently produced video games, in their own right, are works of art. But ever so often you get the Mona Lisa’s of video games. These are a couple of our favourite upcoming indie games that, to us, are true works of art.

Selling Sunlight (CoseBelle)

Selling Sunlight is a beautifully hand drawn narrative RPG currently in development by Italian developers CoseBelle. The game sets you as a wandering merchant whose face has been stolen (yes, your face has been stolen) by the sun. You must travel across the elegantly hand drawn environments to explore, meet new characters and haggle with fellow merchants. My first impressions are that the game is visually elegant, helping to create it’s rich and inviting fantasy world, enhanced again by its original soundtrack. We can’t wait to delve elbow deep into Selling Sunlight upon it’s release in 2019.

If you’re interested in supporting the development of Selling Sunlight, you can check out their Kickstarter campaign here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cosebelle/selling-sunlight-a-wandering-merchant-rpg

Cuphead (Studio MDHR)

Run and gun games are usually not my ‘cup of tea’ but this has the exception. Due for release later this week, Cuphead is a run and gun side scrolling platformer developed by Studio MDHR. The first thing to be said about Cuphead, is that it’s stylish as hell. The 1930’s cartoon style graphics makes the game look almost nothing like a game.

With the tagline, ‘Don’t Deal With The Devil’, the game sees players take the role of Cuphead as he tries to repay the bet he made with the devil, fighting hilarious and inventive bosses, through a number of colorful and diverse backdrops. The game is going to be a huge hit when it releases on PC and Xbox later this week and we can’t wait to get our hands on it. 

Gorogoa (Jason Roberts)

Gorogoa is a hand draw puzzler developed by Jason Roberts and is due for release on iOS, Android and PC in 2017. The game has been in development since 2011 and is a combination of Robert’s love for both art and video games. The game has the player move Robert’s beautiful illustrations and animations around a grid in order to complete the puzzle. The players is then taken through the then 3D completed scene to move through the story and onwards to the next puzzle.

The gameplay creates a completely unique and captivating experience for the player. We think it’s going to be a huge hit for both casual and hardcore puzzlers alike. This is a true labour of love and we look forward to playing it.  

JB

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King Under the Mountain

Manchester based Rocket Jump Technologies ‘King under the Mountain’ is a quirky settlement-building strategy and management game set in a rich fantasy world. Players  can build and manage their settlement as well as indulge in turn based combat and asynchronous multiplayer, all within a procedurally-generated world.

We got our hands on ‘King under the Mountain’ earlier this years at EGX Rezzed 2017. The game looked and felt promising, its quirky art style made sending the odd looking towns folk to mine some rock, quite satisfying. The bold colours of the surroundings (tree’s especially) help to add a feeling of joy to the game, as your townsfolk scurry away like ants to do your bidding.  Despite still being its its early stages of development, the build showed great promise, attracting a lot of attention from the public.

Despite the Kickstarter campaign being cancelled in April, the project is back on track and is due to launch a second campaign in the near future, so watch this space, the project is well worth a pledge!

You can find more info about the project on their website at :http://kingunderthemounta.in/about/

JB

Dwarves-half-size

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Jump! Indie games on tap!

This week we saw the launch of the on demand indie game service Jump!

As we all know, paid subscriptions services are the way things are going in terms of entertainment content. With the massive success of Netflix, Now TV, PlayStation Now and the Xbox Game Pass, for the PC gamer, it seems like a no brainer.

You get a free 14 day trial (no card required) and after that it’s $9.99 (£7.40) a month to continue your subscription. Now, with a decent selection of games to begin with to get your teeth into, this is not bad value for money, providing that they stick to their guns and continue to add more games.

This could also be a great way to get more gamer’s enjoying indie games and involved in the community who would have been previously been put off by the ‘odd’ pricing of some indie games.  With the average indie game costing around $9.00, $9.99 for as much as you can play seems like a pretty good deal.

As with most subscription services only time will tell,  in the meantime however, we are making the most out of our free trail!!!

JB

 

 

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Our Top 5 Comics and Graphic Novels on Kickstarter! (August/September)

Afternoon everyone! These are the 5 most promising graphic novels and comics currently available to back on kickstarter that we think are worth a punt!

Stormcaller

First on the list is Stormcaller, a 96 page graphic novel from Liverpool based artist Claire Thompson. It takes place in a small unidentifiable town whose citizens are subjected to a series of curious and terrifying events. It reveals how unsustainable the ties of common humanity and civilised society can be when things don’t quite go to plan’. Now I have to admit, this is the type of novel that grabs my attention every time, I love the suspense and intrigue that comes with premises that explore the human psyche. We have backed this project and cannot wait to get our hands on a copy.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/clare-thompson/stormcaller-graphic-novel?ref=profile_starred

Digby is a Wizard

Digby is a Wizard is a charming 44 page graphic novel from Bristol based artist Joe Latham. The panel style novel is for all ages and the storytelling ranges from sensitive to the downright silly as you follow the story of Digby and his seemingly hillariuous  journey to a job interview. The art style appears both playful and sincere and for just £4 for the digital copy, we can’t wait to read it.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/414188273/digby-is-a-wizard?ref=profile_starred

Hamfam

Hamfam is a digital only 25 page comic from the talented Adam Hammour. The story sees Hamfam, a pig with eyes in his nose, on a quest to party in a dangerous and dark post apocalyptic world. Just like the artwork, the story appear crazy and full of strange and original characters. The artwork is bold and slightly surreal, complementing the story perfectly. Again, for only £5 for the digital edition, alought short, it will leave us excited for part 2!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/royaloinker/hamfam-25-page-digital-comic?ref=profile_starred

The Last Arrival Part 1

Sci-fi is our jam, that’s why I’m most excited about number 4, The Last Arrival Part 1. Brought to you by the well established Free Fantasy Comics, The Last Arrival a team of 5 aliens, desperately fleeing their planet in search of a new home. The artwork perfectly lends itself to the genre and provides the perfect mix of awe and suspense. The characters look awesome and we are so excited to get our hands on this one and for just £7 for the physical copy, you simply cannot go wrong!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/492541389/the-last-arrival-part-1?ref=profile_starred

Nottingham Comic Con Anthology – Outlaws Wanted

Last on the list is a collection of comics rather than a graphic novel. Brought to you by Kev Brett, the organiser of the ever brilliant Nottingham Comic Con. The Nottingham Comic Con Anthology is a one print limited collection of the best short comic strips and stories from professional comic creators from across the UK. The comic shows of 17 creators across 40 pages and is for all ages. This is a must have for any Comic Con comic book fans and for only £2 for the digital edition, it’s a steal.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1478064521/nottingham-comic-con-anthology-outlaws-wanted?ref=category

 

   

 

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A Warm Welcome to Indieventure :)

Hi everyone! This is just a quick introductory post to kind of tell you what we are about and what we hope to achieve from our very own indie adventure.

The idea is simple, share and discuss the work of indie creators such as yourselves in the hope of spreading the word of your amazing creations. We hope to be able to help in creating and forming new relationships between creators in order to help advance there work and find the help they need to drive their project forward.

The scope of what we will blog about will be very broad and hope to post at least once a week. So far this is a passion project from our one man team, but we hope this will change very soon to bring in a number of different specialties and areas of interest into the mix. Everyone involved in the project works and/or studies full time, so everything that goes on the site will be a labour of love.

The first official post will be coming very soon in the form of a snip-it of a screen play from a very young and talented writer.

Thank you for taking the time to check out Indieventure and we hope to bring you some exciting new content very soon.

Best Wishes

James