Retro Indie Roundup 2016

arcadeattackAA Articles, Indie Features0 Comments

In the past year or so it’s been a privilege to feature some of the best retro indie games we’ve ever seen. I caught up with the developers to see how their precious projects are coming along…

 

A Hole New World

 

 

When I first heard about this game I was blown away. It looks exactly like a NES game. And you can play upside down… Lead game designer Miguel Murat gives us the lowdown:

 

The game excited us from the minute we saw it – what has the journey been like in 2016 to get it finished?

We’ve been told that finishing a game was a really hard task to do but it came along nicely. So we are pretty happy!

 

 

Are you pleased with the response the game has had?

People who have had the chance to play the game at the events we’ve been to like the game a lot. Some play for hours trying to beat the whole game and some write to us on Twitter afterwards saying they want the game released!

Unfortunately we haven’t been able to grab that much attention from game publishers or big publications. (we’re doing our best for you Miguel!! – Ed)

 

 

When can we expect the full game?

While finishing the game we’re trying to make partnerships to release the game on as many platforms as possible and in a way that those players who may like our game know of its existence. Once we’ve got this sorted out and the game done we’ll release it. I hope sooner than later…

 

 

Thanks for the update Miguel! Readers, keep an eye on the A Hole New World page for more details!

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Hyper Bounce Blast

 

HBB was the new project from our favourite shoot em up experts Flump Studios. Needless to say, the game and its creator Paul Marrable have been on quite the journey:

 

 

Since we previewed HBB way back in April – what have you been up to?

Been pretty busy, not making games unfortunately. Now have a proper grown up job and my wife’s working on our second son. Due in a couple of days actually!!! (erm, we’re a bit late to the press with this so congratulations Paul and the family!! – Ed) Flump is on a bit of a hiatus at the moment.

I’m sure I’ll be back one day (we’ve got our fingers crossed – Ed).

 

 

Did the Steam launch go as you expected and are you pleased with the reception the game has gotten?

Yeah, really happy with it. It just about outsold Horizon Shift at launch and the reviews have been amazing! I really expected this one to be a little more mixed. It’s a little weird and there’s a lot going on but most people really seem to like it.

Even got a little article in RPS which was a personal highlight and things have slowed down a lot now but that’s to be expected. If it does end up as my last game I’m happy with to go out with HBB as a finale.

 

 

What’s next in the pipeline and what are your plans for 2017?

Get to know my new son and try not to get fired from my new job. Hopefully when everything settles down a bit I’ll have time to start a new game.

Hoping to start making a few small phone games here and there to keep my eye in but don’t think that will be for a while yet…

 

 

Great to catch up with you Paul. We hope to feature you again one day! Readers, both HBB and the excellent Horizon Shift are available on Steam for next to nothing – enjoy!

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MegaWars

 

 

Now this game is an extremely ambitious continuation of the 70s/80s classic of the same name. Taken on by Crimson Leaf whose CEO Matt Parisi was kind enough to give me a few updates:

 

What has the journey been like in 2016 to get the game published?

2016 has been quite a busy year for us!  We have added so many cool, neat, new graphics and play-ability features.  We have brought two additional team members on board to help us promote this highly anticipated third person strategy game! We have truly ramped up the planet management features to make this a game where skill will make you victorious.  We will never be ‘pay to win’ (hooray!! – Ed).

 

 

What were the biggest obstacles you’ve faced in the last year?

Our calendar!  We’re constantly looking at the right time to submit the game to Steam/Greenlight and Kickstarter, all while balancing our development of new features and bug fixing.  We are working hard to achieve critical mass to ensure that the game has the following it needs to top the charts on these various game play websites.

 

 

Are you pleased with the response the game has had?

Very pleased!  We have had great traction and constant new signups.  Pre-sales went very well and more and more people are supporting us each week.

 

 

That’s great to hear Matt – please keep us updated on Greenlight/Kickstarter developments! Readers, bookmark the MegaWars official page here.

 

Shadows of Adam

 

 

We love a retro RPG here at Arcade Attack and the eagerly anticipated Shadows of Adam is on our hitlist for 2017. Something Classic’s Tyler Deren stopped by to answer some of our pressing questions…

 

How has 2016 been for you guys and what are you currently working on?

2016 has been an adventure! We launched our Kickstarter in late January in conjunction with a playable demo. We ended up raising 20k and getting completely funded (hooray! – Ed). The rest of the year was spent organizing the business, turning Something Classic into an LLC, hiring out the remaining graphics, sounds, and trailers. We sent an alpha demo to our Kickstarter backers in July, which got us a lot of great feedback.

 

 

If you could have done anything differently with the game in 2016, what would it have been?

I think the way it came out was exactly the way it needed to. Throughout the last three years in development of SoA we’ve learned a heck of lot. Life is too short for regret and through the compromises and strides we’ve made, I think SoA has turned out to be a hell of a game!

 

When can we expect the game to be finished and ready to go on Steam?

We are aiming for a late 2016 release *fingers crossed*. Right now the game is in beta and testers are furiously trying to break the game as we speak. We’re hoping to get our Kickstarter backers early access and launch in November or December this year.

 

 

Any ideas what your next project will be?

I think we all take a nice long break before starting any new projects. But we have been floating a spin off game called “Shadows of Adam-Karts” (Kidding… or am I?).

If you’d like to reach us please contact us in the following ways:

www.somethingclassic.net

Forums: https://forums.shadowsofadam.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/SomethingClassicGames/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SomethingClassc

Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/506510/

 

Superb! Keep up the great work guys and we look forward to the launch!

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SnarfQuest Tales

 

 

From one of our favourite genres to another. I’ve been smitten ever since playing the demo for this point-and-click adventure based on the Larry Elmore character. James Simpson of Cellbloc Studios, as busy as he is, gave me a few insights on how his 2016 has gone…

 

So it’s been a year since we featured SnarfQuest Tales on Arcade Attack – needless to say you guys have been busy!

Yes, been very busy, but a very good busy.

 

 

What has the journey been like in 2016 to get the first few chapters done and what’s the progress so far?

We are basically a one man show. I do all of the programming, some of the modelling, texturing, rigging and animation. My buddy Walter does the writing, and helps with Game Design. I contract out for items that I need, such as Voice Over, Music composition, Level Design, other modelling.

 

You seem to be at a lot of gaming/dragon conventions, are you pleased with the response the game has had when you’ve been on the road?

I do visit quite a few conventions. They always supercharge me to do a better job than what I have been doing already. Hearing straight from the fans that I’m on the right track is always a plus.

 

 

If you could have done anything differently with the game in 2016, what would it have been?

Refining the framework of the game before jumping head first into it. I did the demo so quickly that I didn’t bother to check things such as collision and character movement. There has been a learning curve in rigging, animation and lighting, but now I feel much better working in those parts. Now that those are set, I can move much faster.

 

When can we expect the game to be finished in its entirety?

The story has been written for a while now. I did not see it taking so long to get the first episode out, but now I have my formula and I like it. My goal always has been one episode per 3-4 months but I want a quality product so it will take as long as needed.

 

 

What’s it been like working with the legendary Larry Elmore and what are his pet peeves?

I giggle each time I get to call him, or work at his booth at conventions. It’s a fan boy’s dream. And what’s more is when I’m at a convention and he says to a fan “We got a SnarfQuest video game now,” and that fan walks away from Larry and comes to talk to me. Puts a tear in my eye. Larry is all about quality and making the best of something. Doesn’t like half-assed stuff. He always gives 110% on everything he does and I make sure I deliver the same with SnarfQuest Tales.

 

Cheers James – looking forward to playing those episodes! Readers, get your copy of SnarfQuest on Steam now!

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Tango Fiesta

 

Seems fitting to end the article, and our indie game year, on an explosive note. Tango Fiesta is not one for the faint-hearted. Fully replicating the adrenaline rush of all our favourite 80s action films wasn’t easy but Spilt Milk have (thankfully) delivered it (purchase it on Steam here). The studio’s very own Andrew Smith gives us the latest…

 

So it’s been a year since we featured Tango Fiesta on Arcade Attack – what’s been the reception like in 2016?

We’ve had a great time seeing people all over the world playing our little shooter and we’ve been doing all kinds of things behind the scenes to improve it. Most obviously it’s coming to PS4 and Xbox One soon (thanks to Merge Games for helping us out with that) so we’ve taken the opportunity to fix a bunch of issues, improve the game in some sensible ways, and we’ll be rolling those changes back into the PC version for a free update soon too! It’s lovely to be able to support games in the long term and know that people will enjoy it for a long time to come.

 

 

What were the biggest obstacles you’ve faced in the last year?

Probably finding enough time to get everything done that we want to do! More seriously, nothing in particular has stood out to us and we’ve been very fortunate that our work on Tango Fiesta has led to some really exciting opportunities. We received a grant to fund the prototype of Waterways earlier this year (you can see how we made an FPS game in 11 weeks with our dev diaries here) which we pitched to a ton of publishers out at GDC in San Francisco (including Nintendo, a HUGE life goal!). And we were honoured to be asked to take part in Help: The Game, a charity bundle of game jam games to help Warchild raise money – utterly amazing stuff, and we had a lot of fun making our atmospheric farming sim “A Verdant Hue” for that.

 

If you could have done anything differently with the game, what would it have been?

With Tango Fiesta, we really (and still do) believe that co-op fun is paramount, and we implemented a pretty robust online mode to help with that. After the game launched, and we were able to see the uptake of that mode, we feel we’d have made a better game if we’d concentrated that time and effort on the singleplayer and local co-op. It was a gamble that didn’t pay off for Tango Fiesta, but we learned a lot of really invaluable stuff from that work and are applying it to our next project – which we’re really really excited about…

 

 

Speaking of your next project, what’s next in the pipeline for Spilt Milk?

We’re hard at work on Lazarus which is a ‘sci-fi MMO-roguelike shooter’, where thousands of players compete and cooperate in a huge persistent world. We’re working on it using SpatialOS which is an utterly awesome platform developed by Improbable in London.Tthat combined with our experience on Tango Fiesta means we’re building something really, genuinely exciting! It’s almost, dare I say it, a new genre… and the tiny team here at Spilt Milk we can’t believe how lucky we are to be making something so ambitious! We cannot wait to let people play it en masse.

 

 

We’ve been running closed alpha tests every fortnight for a while to test the tech (the community around the game’s been really active and excited over on the subreddit – heck even the banner is fan art!), and as we get closer to launching a bit more publicly, we’re introducing some really interesting features and gameplay. I don’t want to over promise at this stage, but anyone who signs up at www.playlazarus.com will get a Steam key and be able to join in on the next alpha! And for anyone who’s intrigued, we were lucky enough to be asked to do a short talk on the game and its development so far at EGX last month, and that video’s online for all. Eagle-eyed watchers should be able to find some codes for the beta hidden in the slides too 😀 (nice easter egg! – Ed)

 

Thanks for stopping by Andrew – looks like 2017 will be a busy one for you!  Keep us updated, we’ve already signed up for the Lazarus alpha testing…

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So there you have it readers, hopefully that’s given you some ideas on how to treat yourself at Christmas and in the new year. Stay tuned for more retro indie features in 2017!

Dylan

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