Tag Archives: indie

The Underwater Indie-cade: Risk of Rain

The Underwater Indie-cade: Risk of Rain  

I was stumbling along Kickstarter looking at games when I should be picking up games like FTL or The Bridge to play and I saw a nice little picture of a game called Risk of Rain, which had JUST started its funding campaign. Curious, I jumped in and looked at what they had to offer. “An action platformer, huh? Haven’t played one of those in quite a bit…”. I was attracted by the 8-bit cover art, the interesting title, and one of the pictures on the Kickstarter campaign webpage that had about 700 enemies or bosses or whatever. Being the gaming masochist that I am, I assumed this game to be challenging. Next thing that caught my attention– free demo. “Why not? Can’t hurt, right?”

When I started up the demo, I instantly went into controls, as I normally do with any game. To see controller support on a demo of a game that just started its Kickstarter was a good sign. It definitely brought the impression that these guys really want this game to be as accessible and fun as possible. I don’t necessarily like using the arrows on the keyboard, as I’ve gotten so used to the WASD controls from all the Counter Strike: Source and Team Fortress 2 that I’ve played that any alternative sounded barbaric to me. I hooked up my Xbox controller and started mapping. It took a bit of fussing, but I think I found the best solution. If you would like my layout or if you are having problem finding a suitable layout yourself, just leave a comment or tweet me and I’ll find a way to distribute it, as I do believe I found the best solution for an Xbox-style controller. The reason I bring up the controls first is because I instantly felt the tightness of the controls in this game. I almost couldn’t believe that this was a demo build. The game does exactly what you want and is very easy to get use to, as this is a different-ish feeling game. With four abilities and a jump, there wasn’t much to learn or keep track of, and that helped getting into the fun.

Taken a few steps back, when you hit the start game button, there is a choice of two different playing characters for the demo and three difficulties to play with. There is a nice little summary of the character’s four abilities, as each character has different moves to have different play styles. There is also a hint on how to play each character, giving you a baseline if you have no clue on what to do. Honestly, I have only played the first of the two, commando, because I wanted to get a strong feel for the game and learn how to play the game before I started the other character. Understanding how the commando played, I assume that the same will go for the miner — you need to develop a play style for the character in order to progress. I rather enjoyed this with the commando, as it can be seen that the character can be played a few different ways.  The best part is that the character select screen has about eight empty seats, which hopefully hints at the ability to play this game a substantial amount of ways.

Enough dawdling, on to the gameplay! The game gives each character four different abilities that all have different effects on the enemy. One of the abilities is a basic attack, basically your go-to move which has no cooldown. Other moves, like the Full Metal Jacket or Suppressive Fire have different properties but require a cooldown and therefore should be used sparingly or in certain situations. To top it off, there is a dodge move that will help you get out of bad situations or help you in the platforming aspect. The idea of the game– find the teleporter. Simple enough, right? However, the levels that are produced are a fair size, both vertically and horizontally. Enemies are randomly spawned throughout the level in a certain radius from where you are, ensuring there are always baddies for you to fight. The mass array for mobs is also surprising, another thing that really made this game feel complete. Everything from fat, strong hitting mobs to quick, nimble mobs are included in the game, along with mobs that are a different tier level than most of the others that increase the difficulty of the game instantly. The difference of mobs is very enjoyable, which is a great addition to the uniqueness they deliver. Also added to the list of baddies is the main level boss, which is randomly selected when the teleporter is triggered for use. Unfortunately, after the teleporter is activated, you have about ninety seconds of a mass amount of mobs of all different levels spawning around you and making your life hell as you wait for the teleporter to power up. Thankfully, once the ninety seconds is over, the spawning stops, and you must commence exterminating the stage of mobs, including the boss mob. You will spend a great amount of time trying to deal with getting rid of the mobs, but the boss will just make your life hell. Amazing fun for a game masochist such as myself.

Where the game really elevates its gameplay is the power-ups. No 8-bit action game is getting away without power-ups, and Risk of Rain have a ton of them. I have played this game for about a total of six hours now and I am fairly certain that I haven’t seen all of them. Simple power-ups such as a speed boost or increased health regeneration to crazy ideas such as making attacks explode or lighting the ground on fire as you walk by exist in the game and with fair balancing on the game, it makes the game centered around acquiring these power-ups in order to compete with the increasing strength of the mobs. This is done by either leveling up, which gives you a boost in max health and increased damage, or currency, which is acquired through killing mobs. Both currency and experience are dropped through killing mobs or opening canisters, which are randomly spawned in when the level is loaded. The money is spent on opening chests or interacting with relics(or what I assume to be relics) to acquire power-ups. These are also randomly spawned on the level template, making sure that looking for these chests are a priority in order to survive. This also adds a variance of different play styles, as the only goal given to use is to find the teleporter. Whether you decide to power up first or find the teleporter first is up to you, but both come with benefits  or consequences.  Why is this important? Because mobs get stronger as the time progresses. Even when you get to the next level, which include different mobs from the previous, they keep that same strength, making your play style also a race against the clock. Also, the beginning level is randomized, which is another way to keep you on edge.  There are other things that also add to the gameplay, such as reusable items, but I don’t believe they have been fully explored in the current build I am playing.

A small article, I wrote this thing for a few reason, with the first being to get my writing juices going. The second reason is to attract attention to this title. I do believe that this game is worth being made, and I would love if the indie community would get behind it as well. Personally, I backed this game enough to get into the closed beta after the Kickstarter is finished I am interested on where this game is headed.  I was a massive fan of Minecraft because of Mojang allowing people in on the early builds of the game to watch the game being built from the ground up. It made me feel like I directly contributed with the game, and it was an interesting experience even if it really didn’t. Nonetheless,  I would pay for an opportunity of similar proportions, and I look forward to doing the same with this game. Lastly, as a massive fan of independent games because of the unique design and strong ideas, I feel like it is my duty to be a part of the community in some sort of way, whether it be a direct line to the people on which games to check out or to merely extend my thoughts on the game and to share it with the internet or people looking for fantastic indie games like myself.

Currently, Risk of Rain is doing their Kickstarter campaign now. On the Kickstarter, I suggest reading the summary of the game, watching the video, and downloading and playing the FREE DEMO that the Hopoo guys have provided.  Make a decision on the game, and tell a friend or colleague to do the same if you enjoyed the game. If you don’t have the means to back it, the word of mouth go farther than you would expect and it doesn’t cost a dime.

Link to Kickstarter “Here

To sum up in a few words, this is a fun, exciting game that seems to be complete, minus the few bugs. I cannot wait to see the final product.

Written By Samifish. Follow him on Twitter @1KSamifish

 

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1K Crew Episode 52: Tangent Hopping

1K Crew Episode 52: Tangent Hopping

In this cast, we learn why moderators are useful.

Topics:

Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor and Kinect

Illumiroom

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Future predictions of the industry

Why we got the Xbox

Did achievements help or hinder?

Unlocks or no Unlocks

Darksiders 2

Indie > AAA titles

Sportsmanship and Competitiveness

Pitched Star Wars RPG from Obsidian

New Assassin’s Creed game

Gabe Newell + J.J. Abrams

Intro- Final Fantasy IX OST -Battle 1 – http://youtu.be/r50bTK49Gzc

Samifish

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1K Crew Episode 23: Strapped

1K Crew Episode 23: Strapped

With some of us strapped for cash and others just basking in the glories of working for a major video game chain, we talk about as much as we can in this one.

Topics:

Max Payne 3

Black Ops 2

Prototype 2

Borderlands 2

Sci-Fi Storylines and why they are great

Asura’s Wrath

Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League Win!

Intro- Freestyle 1 by Koshr

Samifish

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1K Crew Episode 22: Together Again!

1K Crew Episode 22: Together Again!

With us reunited once again, we begin the hate trains.

Topics:

The Witcher 2

Alotta boring news

Halo 4

Marvel vs Capcom 2 Intro Music – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOPFgyhz7-M

 

Samifish

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1K Crew Episode 10: 2/3rds United

1K Crew Episode 10: 2/3rds United

Short episode, you’ll understand once you listen to the cast.

As for the link dump it’ll happen tomorrow. I had a problem with editing and was late on putting it up, so I’m tired. Plus school is starting up for the editor so I can’t stay way up.

Like I said, edits and all will happen tomorrow thanks for the patience. Remember to “Like” on Facebook, “Follow” on Twitter, “Email” on our… email, and 5-Star here and/or on iTunes.

Thanks for the support!

The Skype Link Dump

http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/394882_10151186567390092_438375240091_22653087_2146215722_n.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0vmdU5q908&feature=related

If you wanna contact us, look below to “Contact Us” Page for all possible ways.

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1K Crew Episode 6: The VGA’s

1K Crew Episode 6: The VGA’s

Although not time relevant, still is a very good podcast. I hope you enjoy.

Samifish

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Koshr’s Long Road To Game Development – Pt 1

      Like many video game aficionados, I’ve wanted to make video games for a very long time. One thing I’ve learned from working in a video games retailer for many years is that everyone has opinions on the games they play. More so, most have their own ideas clinking around their minds for their own games (Most of which… well, they aren’t too good). Likewise I’ve had many of my own ideas tumbling around my easily distracted brainspace. I am constantly pulling out one of my many notebooks to revise or continue ideas for level up systems, fantasy/sci-fi settings, or whatever else comes to mind; sometimes even poetry (Go ahead: Call me a sap!). At any rate, this compulsion leads me to take advantage of my employee privilege to be able to take a game from the store home to play from an academic standpoint. I’ll play a game just to see how they do certain things (i.e. level up system, camera, combos et cetera). I’m writing this because there was one such game that I’ve been wanting to play for some time now and just played the first half-hour or so.

     This game would be: (wait for it) … Venetica! Okay, so I know your’e wondering: “What the hell is Venetica? I’ve never heard of that!” Well, to answer your inquisitive mind, Venetica is an RPG set in “a fantastical Venice.” You play as Scarlett who, within the amount of the game I’ve played so far, has lost her would-be husband to assassins who’ve attacked her village. She dreams of Death telling her to find the infamous ‘Moonblade’ which you learn later is fabled to be able to kill the undead. You learn that her parents mysteriously dropped her off with the woman she was raised by, and that she somehow doesn’t quite die so easily as being stabbed in the back. Now, all this sounds great and all which was part of the reason I picked it up. The main reason I picked it up was for the fact that I had never heard of any of the companies listed on its covers. These include: Rombax Games (which seems to be a subsidiary of ZOO Games), Deck 13 Interactive, and dtp entertainment AG. I continued then to peruse my way through its instruction manual, which held my first clue (originally overlooked, of course) that this games production value was very low. On page 12 of Venetica’s instruction manual you’ll notice that there’s a screenshot to show the layout of the game’s HUD that has a whole section on the right cut off.

      The meat and the potatoes (POH-TAY-TOES!). Earlier tonight I finally get home from work and am able to load up the game to try it. The game quickly introduces the story and basic gameplay mechanics. Now I had already gone into the menu to up the sensitivity, my usual minhag, but the camera was unbelievably disorienting. So I quickly drop it down to 35 percent, which seemed most comfortable. This game has you starting the combat using a fire poker which does little damage, and I’m still not sure if there’s a ‘Block’ button (I probably wouldn’t use it anyway). After getting used to the annoying camera and clunky combat, I make it through the intro to a somewhat open part of the village that was attacked the night previous. Everyone is telling me how I should leave since the assassins were all looking for moi. I’m still walking around in a night gown btdubs. So I get some clothes that I basically stole from the blacksmith’s daughter, and begin my adventure through the surrounding area. I quickly find someone who was mentioned in the town that I have to help out of a fight. Next, I come across a house that two relative are squabbling over to get the will from the house. I talk to them and they warn me that their uncle was a trickster and that there would probably be a puzzle to figure out. Under their feet are blatantly protruding square step-stones (we’re in the middle of the forest btdubs) that I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to interact with. I quickly give up on that venture. I walk around the woods a little longer when I come across a couple assassins that I imagine will be an easy encounter. They weren’t, despite my having found a better sword. I die. The ‘You Died’ screen showed up making me think: “Oh, well I’m sure the game automatically saved at some point.” Next, the ‘Load Game or Quit’ screen shows up and guess what: NO SAVE! Not even an autosave after the opening cinematic or even the tutorial section. And to think: I was really excited to see how the level up system was laid out, and I really wanted to see where her dad and Death were going to come into the story. Oh well, too bad.

      I guess my whole point in sharing this experience is in hopes that I will never forget it for the future when my skills are more ‘leveled up’ and I can make a game. To the indie game developers out there: No matter how awesome your level up system is or your super awesome Do-Hickey Do-Dad of super Phantasmagorical Elephantiasis is: DON’T FORGET THE BASICS! If your controls suck, or your camera fidgety, or your story bland and boring, I won’t want to play it. And even more so, this game truly makes me feel that once I gain those previously mentioned skills that I lack,; That I WILL make some interactive experiences of Badassery that you (people of the interwebs) will LOVE…. hopefully.

      So with that, I shall bid you a fond adieu… Now to get back to refreshing my gmail inbox hoping for some hate mail…….

       – Koshr: Signing Out. . .

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