While I have a soft spot for indie titles, I have an even greater appreciation of indie titles with a distinct local flavour. Chris de Castro’s The Wizards of Trinity Bellwoods is a neat little gem that is currently in development that makes a statement about the way of things in our society. It focuses both on the problem and the solution in such a simple and honest way that I think it deserves a look.
Well, folks? This year is Gamercamp’s final year (you can check out our coverage of previous years here. For those not in the know, Gamercamp is a celebration of videogame culture. For three days, Gamercamp hosts talks, presentations, gaming sessions and much more, all in the name of showcasing the talent of the North American games community.If you have never been to a Gamercamp before, you need to go check it out; if you have gone to at least one of these, then you know how special it is – and you need to go check it out.
Jamie Tucker and Matt Hammill from Asteroid Base.
There were a lot of AAA games on the floor at X14 (Microsoft’s holiday preview event); however, there were also a lot of indie games on display as well. ID@Xbox allows developers of all sizes to self-publish their games digitally, opening up a world of awesome on the Xbox platforms. One of the developers at X14 was Asteroid Base, a cool little Toronto-based outfit that is working on a really great couch-coop game called Lovers In a Dangerous Spacetime. Evan and I had a brief discussion about our experience this week. We figured that you might want to take a gander at what we said in our brief conversation.
I met Quentin Preik at the 2013 Fan Expo in Toronto, where he was manning a booth for his game called Steel Archers. Since that time, I have run into him at various events, and chatted him up. In talking with Quentin, it’s easy to see how much he loves making games, and his love of simplicity in game-play coupled with good ol’ fashioned fun makes him a neat person to chat with. These qualities permeate the games that he makes – one of which is a little-known local multi-player PC gem that he sent our way. The game is called Battletank: L.O.B.A. (Local Offline Battle Arena), and it’s a party game with a simple hook: blow the crap out of your friends.
Recently, local devs were given the challenge to create games (in a short amount of time) based on the ROM’s Ancient Culture collection for the Rom Game Jam. I was disappointed that I missed out on that Jam. Luckily, Gamercamp had some of these games available to play on the second floor of Hotel Ocho. The Rom Game Jam games saw a fair bit of traffic, which is really impressive considering that people of all ages were stopping by to play them. And why not? They are accessible and fun!
As stated before, I loves me some indies! Tucked away in the midst of the giant displays of the triple-A studios was a great booth featuring some of the work done at Bento Miso; particularly the works of Dames Making Games. Dames Making Games is a not-for-profit, educational feminist organization that supports ladies interested in creating games. Now, before you get all up in arms about the word “feminist”, I’ll assure you that this organization is pretty cool; empowering and enabling dames to leverage a supportive community to create their own games in a comfortable atmosphere.
One of the games that was created thanks to this effort was a little gem called Death Is Not the End (by Erica Gregory), which I had the pleasure of trying out.
Last month, we had a chat with our pal Alfe Clemencio from Sakura River Interactive, who was kind enough to grant us this interview about this game that he made. Sakura River is currently working on crowdfunding a project called Don’t Save the World: An RPG. The hook? It apparently allows true choice in the game-play!