Our topic today is dungeons, and the keeping thereof, from creature management to the ongoing nuisance of “heroic” dungeoneers. Evil is good — we learned that in 1997, with Bullfrog’s seminal Dungeon Keeper; again in 1999 with Dungeon Keeper 2. Recreating that wicked goofballery has proven an elusive brass ring. Subterranean Games is grasping for it with War for the Overworld, which promised to be Dungeon Keeper 3 in all but name. Did they succeed? Or is evil thwarted again? Gregg and Steerpike cackle their way to the answers you need.
I met Connor Hart at Philly Dev Night, where he was showing off his game PUSH, a PC-targeted Sokoban-style puzzle game. Now that PUSH is released, I checked back in with Connor to ask some questions about his process, the game, and the trials and tribulations of being a part-time game developer! Hit the jump for another edition of Local Flavor!
Let’s talk about a little thing called Homestuck.
You’ve heard of it, maybe? If not, a little background: Homestuck is the fourth and longest chapter of an online comic series titled MS Paint Adventures. Homestuck began as a riff on adventure games, starring a basic character in an adventure game world… but slowly morphed into an internet epic, spawning its own fanworks, full animations, music albums, cosplay, and more.
Among the “more” was an extremely successful Kickstarter, to bring everything full circle and fund an adventure game based on this comic based on adventure games. The Kickstarter for the game gathered almost 2.5 million dollars, just one example of how extremely motivated the Homestuck fandom is.
At GDC, I got a chance to talk to Jess Haskins from What Pumpkin Studios, the game development team that is working on the Homestuck Adventure Game project. Later I followed up with her on Skype to ask some questions about the New York-based What Pumpkin, and what we can expect from this game, called Hiveswap.
Sometimes you go all the way to the other side of the country, then get a chance to chat with developers who work right in your backyard. That’s what happened to me when I met up with the development team PHL Collective while they were at the ID@Xbox booth at GDC. They were there showing off their game, ClusterPuck 99, available now on PC, and coming soon to XBox One.
GDC was busy times, so sorry for the relative radio silence during the conference proper. If you are interested to know how my own talk at the Narrative Summit went, Polygon has a really nice writeup! Thank you to Colin Campbell and everyone else who was there, and I hope that you enjoyed it! From my experience, it seemed to go well and it was a lot of fun to be part of the summit.
In addition to my own speech, and meeting up with some great developers at GDC, I also attended a few panels when time permitted. Here, I’d like to talk about the GDC Microtalks, and the 1ReasonToBe panel.
Hi everyone! I’m just posting a quick notice to let you know that this year, I will not be writing up the GDC Narrative Summit. That’s because I’m actually speaking at the Narrative Summit, so I’m going to be kind of busy. Plus, that would be kind of weird and braggy, wouldn’t it? I think I just bragged anyway. Oops.
That isn’t the weirdest thing, though. What’s weird is that I’m onstage following Christy Marx. She wrote the Transmutate episode. Look, I’m having a moment here; you surely understand. Let’s just say I’m hoping GDC is truly, truly outrageous.
After the summits I’ll be at the regular expo until Friday afternoon, so come seek me out if you want to say Hi! I hope to report a dispatch or two throughout the week, talking about games or talks or whatever strikes my fancy, as I do. I’ll probably be spending a lot of time at the Microsoft booths.
EarthNight started out as a simple idea: a runner game with just two buttons, but a little bit of depth. This basic idea lead Philadelphia-based game developer Rich Siegel of CleaverSoft to a project that would take a lot longer than expected, but yield beautiful results. Now, EarthNight has been announced for the PlayStation 4, as well as targeting PC, PS Vita, iOS, Mac, and Android platforms. I got to see it at IndieCade East and try it out on PS4, as well as ask Siegel some questions about its development.
The Order is a difficult game (I don’t mean in the difficulty sense): it’s flawed, it’s unusually paced, and the constant shifting between relinquishing control and having it sometimes arrested the flow of seamless events that developer Ready at Dawn aimed for this experience to have. But when it hits the mark it does so in an impressive, often thrilling fashion.
Critics and reviewers have so far been mixed across the board; and so here I come to tell you why I think The Order | 1886 is a good game, and how I don’t think it’s all that dissimilar from another AAA Sony exclusive.
This is going to sound weird probably but evidence suggests that I’m a pretty good teenage girl. My exuberant performance as Gaige in Borderlands 2 is legendary – ask anybody – and before that I managed a highly effective troupe of Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble. Put me in a tartan skirt and I’ll change the world, or at least the school’s immediate environs. So it probably comes as little surprise that I enjoyed the first part of Dontnod’s odd, sweet, beautiful Life is Strange, an episodic consequenture from the creators of Remember Me.
Do you love learning about upcoming games and their developers? Well… you know the drill by now! I talk to developers on the East Coast who make neat things, and ask them stuff about their neat things. I caught up with several developers at the IndieCade East event in New York City last weekend, so for the next few weeks, I’ll be discussing projects out of New York City, Baltimore, and of course my home town Philadelphia.
I’m going to start off covering my IndieCade East finds with Extreme Exorcism, a game by Golden Ruby Games. I sat down with game producer Mike Christatos in the IndieCade East Esports arena to ask him a few questions. And I got to try out the demo right there on his laptop, pure indie developer style.