The indie game publisher behind many beloved titles in the indie genre such as Hotline Miami, Enter the Gungeon, Shadow Warrior, and Broforce, will be making their way back to E3 this year. Devolver Digital announced that the company would host another press briefing at E3 2018 and it sounds about as crazy as most of the games that they produce.
Indie Game Publisher Devolver Digital Returns to E3 2018
Devolver’s “Big Fancy Press Conference” as they have taken to calling it, will be broadcast live on Twitch, Sunday, June 10th at 8 PM PT / 11 PM ET. The company claims that the conference will be held in the Dave Lang Memorial Convention Center, which is not an actual venue. The event’s description is very strange, but it befits Devolver’s love of the weird.
“This year’s Big Fancy Press Conference will feature real, actual game reveals and technological innovations from Developer Labs, the research and development arm of Devolver Digital responsible for last year’s Earliest Access program and making ‘throwing money at the screen’ a valid form of payment. There will almost certainly be blood, possibly loss of life.” (https://bit.ly/2kcWcMi)
Devolver Digital said to expect this year’s briefing to be a complete “Dumpster Fire.” The company added that fans may want to re-watch their insane briefing from last year so that they’re completely up to date on what Devolver has called “Devolver Digital Press Conference Universe (DDPCCU) through the blatant reuse of jokes and vague callbacks to the original. Pray for us.” (https://bit.ly/2rWA519)
E3 2018 Is Almost Here!
E3 2018 is set to take place between June 12th-14th in Los Angeles, California. Although, the first briefing of the conference will take place on June 9th, with a show from Electronic Arts. The conferences will continue through Tuesday with shows from big names like Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, and Ubisoft. For a full list of special events and conferences check out the E3 2018 website.
Indie games are rising in popularity but the market is becoming saturated with AAA titles, other indie games, and now even video games in-between these two categories. These indie developers are left scratching their heads, wondering how they can make any kind of impact in an industry that’s overwhelmed by all these games releasing at such an impressive pace.
In the wake of Cliff Bleszinski’s studio, Boss Key Productions closing their doors after three years, the video game industry is paying close attention to this massive misstep. Boss Key Productions’ independently released, “Radical Heights”, failed to make up for the financial void their previous release, Lawbreakers left behind. When a studio led by such a prominent name in the video game industry can close after three short years because of one major failure, indie developers worry if there is any room left in the market for them.
Both a Blessing and a Curse
Indie developers may face shoestring budgets but this is both a blessing and a curse. Development might take longer and the resources they have are limited but one failed game might not sink an indie studio. Boss Key Productions had 65 employees as of September 2017, whereas Studio MDHR, the developers of the indie hit, Cuphead has 15. These smaller developers have much more room to experiment with ideas, fail and bounce back, and remain agile when compared to larger studios.
Even with the benefits of being an indie studio, the indie market isn’t immune to over saturation. A recent report from SteamSpy’s Sergey Galyonkin showed there were an incredible 7,696 games released on Steam in 2017, up from 4,207 in 2016. This is making it challenging for indie developers to find a spot for their games and get the recognition some of them deserve. Still, time and time again, an indie game will pop up and make waves worldwide just like Cuphead mentioned above or even Illfonic’s Friday The 13th: The Game. Yet, as the video game industry continues to mature, the fear remains that these independent developers might be pushed out of the market by not only AAA developers, but the massive increase of indie games making their way to both consoles and PC.
The Double-Edged Sword
In a previous article on Gigamax Games titled, “The Best Time For Indie Developers” it took a different view on the current state of the industry. Focused on the technologies available and range of marketing methods at indie developers disposal, on one hand, things are looking up for these creators. Now with a studio like Boss Key Production closing their doors, it’s a stark reminder that even having the resources, technologies, big names, and capabilities to create a game like Lawbreakers or their independently publish Radical Heights at the height of Battle Royales popularity isn’t enough to turn a small studio into a major player within the video game industry.
One thing is certain, the video game industry in its current form is still relatively new and figuring itself out. The popularity of indie games is growing exponentially but all this uncertainty surrounding the market may steer would-be amazing indie creators away from releasing their games to the world. However, when quality content is released to the world, people will notice. Indie games aren’t going anywhere any time soon as they continue to find their place, but Gigamax Games will be keeping a close eye on the market to see how this sector continues to progress.
Are You an Indie Developer?
Are you an indie developer? Let us know your impression of the current indie game scene and if you have a game, post it in the comments below so the Gigamax Games crew can give it a try!
If you’re an indie developer struggling to break into the market, Woodstock Productions might be able to help!
This endearing title was suggested by a Gigs-Knight and the crew was excited to give it a try. A Hat In Time is straight out of the Nintendo 64 era, except with much better graphics. The simple platforming nature of this game and the interesting environments make it an indie game to remember. Bringing in a 10/10 on Steam, Gigs, and Mack were both excited to jump in blind.
With no idea of what to expect, Gigs and Mack gave an undoctored view of what people will get when they first buy A Hat In Time. From the opening cutscene to every learning curve along the way, see what this unique indie game is really made of.
A Hat In Time – Indie Game – PlayStation 4 on YouTube
The graphics and art truly stood out. This on its own is enough to give the game some well-deserved recognition. The 2D art told a story by itself and all the animations were seamless and spectacular. The gameplay was enjoyable but a bit clunky at the beginning. That quickly clears up once the player starts to progress. New hats, weapons, and powers begin to pop up and it becomes clear why A Hat In Time is so popular on Steam. If you’re wondering if this game is worth the money, be sure to check out some gameplay first. A Hat In Time won’t be for everybody.
Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to watch. This will be the place to find any new videos or content surrounding this interesting little indie game. Let Gigs and Mack know if you want to see more of A Hat In Time in the comments at the bottom of this page!
Don’t forget to Like, Comment, and Subscribe on YouTube to keep up with all the videos from Gigamax Games!
Game: The Invisible Hours
Developer: Tequila Works Publisher: GameTrust/Tequila Works Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR Genre: Spherical Narrative Players: Single-player
Tequila Works was absolutely successful in delivering a unique experience with The Invisible Hours. Now available for non-VR, the flat-screen version of the game is still able to remain immersive and unbelievably exciting. The second Tesla’s body was discovered, the intricate story begins to unfold in a spectacular way. This noir is truly an experience to remember.
Watch the Review Preview on YouTube!
Following this game since its release on VR, the only thing to hold me back from actually picking up The Invisible Hours was the thought of getting sucked into a game and needing to play it on PlayStation VR all the way through. This piece of tech is awesome but it can get a bit cumbersome when gaming for hours with this hunk of plastic on your head.
Now that Tequila Works was releasing their flat-screen version, I was extremely excited to get my hands on a copy. I’m not a big noir fan, and honestly, a conversation heavy game with little to no action or incredible cinematics doesn’t often catch my attention. However, there was something a bit different about The Invisible Hours.
The Cinematic Experience Begins
Following the footsteps of Nikola Tesla and getting to the bottom of his gruesome murder felt like the right combination to catch my interest. Tequila Works sent over a review copy and I couldn’t wait to get started. They marketed The Invisible Hours as a “Spherical Narrative” something that just seemed to be clever marketing language to catch gamers attention. But it actually turned out to be so much more than that.
The spherical nature became clear in the first hour of the game. It is built, unlike anything I’ve ever played before. A story unfolding and the player doesn’t have any direct impact on the events taking place. Instead, the main character isn’t really the main character. Gamers control what seems to be a “fly on the wall” kind of entity that has the ability to fast-forward, rewind, and stop time. This primary mechanic is the gem that truly makes this game shine, taking the gamer on a circular journey back and forth to get to the bottom of this mystery.
It All Starts Coming Together
Taking place on Nikola Tesla’s private island, the playable character appears without much backstory. The only option is to start walking up the winding steps in front of you. With a large body of water behind you and a sheer cliff face to your right, the steps guide you up to a large gate bearing the letters, “NT”.
A crying woman that pays no attention to your presence and a gigantic mansion are the only things of immediate interest after reaching the top of the steps. Leaving the crying woman alone, feeling slightly offended she didn’t pay any attention to me, it was time to explore the mansion. This is when the body of the famous inventor is first discovered and things start to heat up.
As the drama unfolds, tensions flare and conversations start breaking out. From the moment Tesla’s body is discovered, the game truly comes alive. What seemed like an empty mansion soon started filling with characters from all walks of life. Famous historical inventors, actors, along with people that history would have never mentioned all begin to appear from seemingly nowhere. Each of the characters plays a vital role in the stories development. All have a unique perspective on the situation that’s unfolding all around them as well as develop intricate back stories that only become clear as time goes on.
The Invisible Hours Stands Out
The feature that makes The Invisible Hours stand out and what created such a unique experience is the time control feature. Being able to rewind, fast-forward, and stop time along with the fact that your playable character is completely invisible allows Tequila Works to create that cinematic feel while still allowing gamers to have some kind of control.
As characters appear, you can follow them with the rewind function to see where they came from in the mansion and what they were up to. You can even rewind to the point before everyone was notified of the murder and fast forward to after the large group breaks up and see what they are doing in their room when they think they’re alone. It gets a bit creepy, but all throughout the game, it feels like a playable movie so it’s really not as weird as it sounds.
Each character had an unbelievably in-depth backstory, their complex emotions that The Invisible Hours is able to portray while they were alone with their thoughts is enthralling. Hanging on every word while also anxiously waiting for their monologues to end so I could go back and follow someone else around.
Less than 30 minutes in game time went by and I already put hours into the game. Every minute that passed in game felt like it caused a chain reaction, sending me off on a wild hunt for clues, collectibles, bits of conversation, and story. It is strangely exhilarating, especially being someone who usually finds themselves losing interest in dialog heavy games.
Overview and Wrapup
The only real complaint about the game is the fact that you had to wait for the rewind and fast-forward mechanic to wind up in order for it to go faster. It would start off slow and gradually increase in speed. This is a bit annoying since it played such an important role throughout the game. It would have been nice to have the option to have control of how fast time rewound or moved forward, instantly.
Overall the game is an interesting introduction to the Spherical Narrative genre. Tequila Works did a great job bringing this VR game to flat-screen as well. The story is fascinating and kept my attention every second I was playing. I didn’t want to miss a word and at one point I advanced to chapter 2 but didn’t want to move forward because I didn’t have a chance to follow someone back to their room and see what they were up to. It was nice that Tequila Works included a quicker way to time travel through the start menu so I was able to jump right back to the beginning of the game.
There are a lot of secrets hiding in Nikola Tesla’s mysterious mansion and the journey to uncover the truth about his death is filled with mind-blowing realizations and tense interactions. Tequila Works did a fantastic job putting this story together. I’m excited to go back and see what other secrets The Invisible Hours has in store.
Valve purchased the indie studio Campo Santo, the critically acclaimed developer of the game Firewatch. This news comes from a blog post on Campo Santo’s website, where the studio said it would be continuing work on its current project, In the Valley of the Gods. However, now the small studio has all the power of Valve behind them.
“In Valve we found a group of folks who, to their core, feel the same way about the work that they do (this, you may be surprised to learn, doesn’t happen every day. In us, they found a group with unique experience and valuable, diverse perspectives. It quickly became an obvious match,” explained the blog post.
“We had a series of long conversations with the people at Valve and everyone shared the satisfaction we take in working with people whose talents dwarf our own to make things we never thought possible. Both sides spoke about our values and how, when you get right down to it, we, as human beings, are hard-limited by the time we have left when it comes to making the things we care about and believe in. They asked us if we’d all be interested in coming up to Bellevue and doing that there and we said yes.” https://bit.ly/2F70YDd
All Eyes on Valve
This move caught the attention of many in the industry due to Valve having recently taken on a reduced presence in game development and production. Instead, the company has been focusing on refining Steam as a video game delivery platform and maintaining DoTA 2. Recently, they expressed interest in returning to game development and publishing, with Gabe Newell saying that his company will start shipping games again soon. The first new game to be released by the developer is the upcoming DoTA card game, Artifact, with more titles coming soon according to Newell.
There’s no telling what could come of their purchase of Campo Santo. Rumors have been circulating that Microsoft showed interest in purchasing Valve but their recent activity would suggest the Gabe Newell might have other plans.
Be sure to keep checking back on GigamaxGames.com for more of the latest gaming news. The crew will be keeping a close eye on Campo Santo and their upcoming project as well as any more breaking Valve news.
Indie games have continued to generate an incredible amount of interest from the gaming community. They took their first steps out of obscurity in the early 2000’s. Since then, this subsection of the video game industry has only grown in popularity. Indie developers are working with the latest technology to bring the world their creations without input or direction from corporate publishers. By nature, indie developers create some of the rawest forms of artistic expression found throughout the industry. Today is very well the best time to be an independent game developer.
Now indie games are found on every console and available at an affordable price. These two factors created a boom throughout the gaming world. People continue to flock to the nearly limitless indie games available no matter what platform they own. Coming in every genre and a variety of art styles, there’s an indie game out there for even the pickiest gamers. This opens up an opportunity for passionate game developers to create, market, and sell their creations to the world.
Gamers are raving about the latest indie hits. Some of these games are even incredibly successful when looking at revenue. One of the most successful indie games of 2017, CupHead sold over 2 million copies. At around $19.99 per copy and another $9.99 in downloadable content available, that’s a lot of money. These numbers may seem impressive but of course, they don’t come close to the revenue Minecraft generated. The next massively successful indie game could be created by a passionate developer alone in their basement.
The Golden Age of Indie Games
There have been so many break out hits over the past few years. Undertale, Friday the 13th: The Game, Journey, Owlboy, Binding of Isaac, and these are just to name a few. Simply listing the indie games that have had a global impact would warrant an entire series of articles. An indie games ability to strike a chord with the community is unparalleled. The freedom these developers exercise and with no creative limits besides budget allow indie games to deliver the artists vision in its purest form.
Independent video game developers have so many more options to promote their games and share their art with the world than ever before in the past. The internet offers these creators nearly unlimited access to millions of interested individuals. Social media and amazing organizations are all available to help get these spectacular artists creations to the gamers who love them. As more and more gamers discover what indie games have to offer, there’s no end for these independent creations in sight. Now is the perfect time to act on that dream and start working on the next revolutionary indie game.
Everything Announced on Thursday’s Nintendo Direct
Nintendo just dropped a huge Direct on both 3DS and Switch owners. Packed to the brim with content, it has Nintendo heads excited. Fans of almost every genre and series will be pleasantly surprised by all of Thursday’s (3/8/2018) announcements. If you don’t have time to watch the lengthy 34 minute video, here’s all the information Nintendo revealed!
WarioWare Gold (August 3rd)
The party game series is getting the same 3DS treatment that Mario Party received late last year! All of the most popular mini games from WarioWare are making their way to Nintendo’s 3DS family of systems.
Dillon’s Dead Heat Breakers (May 24th)
Dillon, Nintendo’s favorite armadillo, is racing to defend the frontier! Action meets tower defense is the theme of this upcoming title heading to the 3DS.
The classic Mario+Luigi title is getting a 3DS makeover! Join the brothers as they try to escape the inside of Bowser’s stomach by controlling not only the duo but the giant angry turtle antagonist as well.
Detective Pikachu (March 23rd)
Pokemon fans won’t have to wait long to play the wacky Detective Pikachu adventure. Not only did Nintendo reveal a March release date, but they showed off an Amiibo of the hero, Detective Pikachu.
Luigi’s Mansion Remake (2018)
If you’re over 20 years old and owned a GameCube, you were probably a big fan of Luigi’s Mansion. If you fall into that category, you’ll be excited to hear that a full remake of the game is heading to the 3DS! The game will even include a brand new Boss Rush mode, perfect for fans and newcomers alike.
Kirby Star Allies: Dream Friends
Nintendo revealed that the Kirby game releasing out next week will include a Dream Friends mode. The round pink protagonist will be able to take friends from across the series on his journey to save Dreamland!
Also revealed was that free expansions are coming to Dream Friends. These will include characters that long time fans will remember like the animal buddies from Kirby’s Dream Land 2.
Okami HD (Summer 2018)
Okami the Wolf has been awakened from her slumber and is headed to the Nintendo Switch! The recent remake of the cult classic is a perfect fit for the portable system and gamers everyone can’t wait to get their hands on it.
Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushito (June 8th)
Conveyor belt sushi action is headed to the Nintendo Switch. The goal is to eat sushi and throw plates at your enemies to defeat them (there’s probably a better way to handle bad guys). This unique adventure is sure to drive up the sale of sushi around the world.
Octopath Traveler (July 18th)
Not only were two new travelers revealed for the upcoming JRPG but a release date that’s only a couple months away was shown off as well. This classic take on adventuring is sure to be a time eating delight!
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes (2018)
An arcade like version of No More Heroes is making its way to the Switch and it looks like a blast. Travis certainly has a lot of problems but being in good games is not one.
Dark Souls Remastered + Amiibo (May 25th)
A portable version of Dark Souls?! We were already sold. Now Nintendo is making things even more exciting with the reveal of a brand new Praise the Sun Amiibo.
Mario Tennis Aces (June 22nd)
Nintendo spent a good amount of time speaking about the ins and outs of the soon to be released Mario Tennis title, but the most important takeaway… CHAIN CHOMP IS A PLAYABLE CHARACTER! Cool courses, crazy characters, and fancy trick shots. This is exciting!
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker (July 13th)
Everyone’s favorite Toad is exploring the Nintendo Switch! Captain Toad was a hit on the Wii U and he’s sure to make an impression on every owner of Nintendo’s latest console. There will even be a whole host of levels based on Super Mario Odyssey.
Undertale was probably one of the best emotional journeys of 2017 and now Switch owners will all get the chance to play this amazing adventure. Unfortunately, Sans said that the game is coming “eventually” so the world will have to wait a bit longer for an actual release date.
Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy (July 10th)
This announcement was so wacky Nintendo had to keep assuring people it was real. Believe it or not, Crash Bandicoot is heading to the Switch with his N’ Sane Trilogy. Nintendo fans that haven’t gotten to play the until recently Playstation exclusive finally have their chance!
Little Nightmares: Complete Edition (May 18th)
The recently released horror indie game finally gets a Switch release date. Fans will be able to play two different adventures in this complete edition of Little Nightmares.
South Park The Fractured But Whole (April 24th)
Their raunchy, rude, and hysterical! The boys from South Park are going portable in the Switch version of the recently released Fractured But Whole. Fans of the game can also purchase the expansion pass and get all the DLC as well.
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (May 18th)
Hyrule Warriors finally has a hard release date and its only a couple of months away! If you love Zelda and enjoy Dynasty Warriors, definitely don’t miss this Switch exclusive.
Splatoon 2 Version 3.0 and Octo Expansion (Summer 2018)
The director of Splatoon announced that version 3.0 of the game will be out soon. New maps, weapons, and outfits are all inbound, but the most exciting announcement was the upcoming Octo Expansion that will set fans back $19.99 USD. The expansion will include an entirely new campaign that revolves around an Octoling known as Agent 8. At the end of the adventure, players will be able to play as an Octoling in online battles (FINALLY!).
Super Smash Bros. Switch (2018)
Last but certainly not least, Nintendo revealed a small teaser trailer for the next Super Smash game. Fighters confirmed so far included Squid Boy and Squid Girl as well as Mario and Link. If you’d like to take our challenge, zoom in on the above picture and let us know what other character silhouettes you can spot in the background. There might be an ARMS character in there! Do you see it?
6 Tips on How Game Developers Can Market Their Game!
One of the amazing things about the modern video game industry is the fact that indie game developers have the chance to reach a global audience like never before in history. Our new friends over at Woodstock Productions sent us the infographic below that offers tips to help these amazing creators achieve their goals. Let us know what you think about the infographic and if you want to see more from Woodstock Productions.
So you’ve come up with a great game idea and design. Now what?
Woodstock Productions devises strategies for launching new games in a fast-paced environment. Here are the 6 tips for taking your indie game to the next level.
For even more tips on how game developers can market their games for profitability, check out Woodstock Production.
Special thanks to Woodstock Productions for stopping by GigamaxGames.com and contributing to our cause!
RIME is one of those mysterious abstract puzzles from the first second the game begins. Waking up, alone on a desert island with nothing but the clothes on your back and the crabs at your feet, the story has yet to come into focus. Developed by Tequila Works and released in 2017, RIME faced mixed reviews from the critics and fans. Always preferring a first-hand look at a game, the Gigamax crew decided it was time to see for themselves.
The game is beautiful but the sea is absolutely the superior environment. The land seemed a bit stiff but the water physics and graphics really were in a league of their own when compared to the land. Even so, the cell shading was enjoyable and easy on the eyes when walking around the interesting world of RIME.
RIME on YouTube with Gigamax Games
Gigs and Mack plan on working their way through RIME in between big game releases. This will be another playlist added to the Indie Spotlight Section! Don’t forget to let the Gigamax crew know what indie games you want to see! Comment your favorite indie game at the bottom of the page so Gigs and Mack know what to play next.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to stop by! If you’re a fan of indie games, stop by the Indie Spotlight Section on YouTube for even more videos! Also, please help the Gigamax crew out by throwing them a Like, Comment, and Subscribe if you enjoyed.
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The developers of the indie classic, Journey, are back at it with the spectacular cinematic indie game, ABZU. Creating an exquisite water world, ABZU lets the player live out their underwater fantasies. Swimming with the sea creatures and exploring lost environments deep beneath the waves, the story becomes clear. However the game isn’t so cut and dry, it’s an extremely abstract adventure so imaginations will run wild.
Even though the entire game is relatively short, there is so much to discover. From the different sea creatures to all the incredible rock formations and underwater environments, ABZU is amazing. It’s the perfect game to watch or play when wanting to unwind. Stunning and relaxed are the best words to describe the overall theme of the indie game.
ABZU – Let’s Play on YouTube with Gigamax Games
Find the latest episodes of ABZU from the Gigamax crew right here. Let Gigs and Mack know what you think about the playthrough and what other games you want to watch them play. Put in a request in the comments on the video’s or at the bottom of this page.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to watch. ABZU has been on the Gigamax crew’s radar for quite some time. With all the big games coming out it made it hard to start the playlist. Now, as Gigs and Mack wait for the big releases of 2018 it’s the perfect time to begin. Be sure to check back here or on YouTube for the latest episodes whenever there’s a break from all the new releases.
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