Friday, April 18, 2014

Uncut Gemstones

With the rise of indie development studios there are far more games in the works than can be realistically kept track of.  Even database websites dedicated to maintaining exact records are usually only able to accurately list titles already released.  So, in the interests of finding diamonds in the rough I did a bit of digging and came up with three intriguing games that have been announced, but lack much in the way of details.

At the conclusion of the science fiction novel Ender's Game, the protagonist retires from a life of military service to become what is called "A Speaker for the Dead."  While the concept is fleshed out in later books in the series, the short version is these oddly named individuals are people who learn about and then tell tales of nations, cultures and races that have perished so that their legacies will not be completely forgotten.  The idea of making a game built around this theme is fascinating to me...I just hope it isn't a generic puzzle platform.

Supposedly based on extensive research, Riot allows players to take the role of police or protesters in what looks to be a beautifully presented pixel art strategy game.  Although not widely known, there's a huge array of methods and tactics employed by both sides during large scale real life outbreaks of civil unrest.  Just to give a quick rundown of what I'm talking about check out the link here.  Needless to say proper application of these concepts in a game could make for an uniquely educationally, as well as fun, experience.

On paper Below doesn't seem particularly special; yet another rogue-like dungeon crawl, wherein the player must slay and explore...*Yawn*  On closer inspection though the style of this project really stands out.  The player's onscreen avatar is tiny compared to the stark vistas he inhabits, conveying an overwhelming feeling of intimidation and dread.  It's like Legend of Zelda, but with more mature sensibilities. Given Capybara Games' reputation for innovation, I look forward to hearing more about this delve into the depths.   

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