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Found 424 results

  1. Take a nostalgia trip back to the heyday of the 8-bit era with Odallus: The Dark Call, an action-platformer coming to Nintendo Switch. Odallus: The Dark Call tells the story of Haggis, an aged hero who embarks on a quest to save his son and avenge the destruction of his village. Battling demons, cultists, and eldritch beings, Haggis presses onward to spare his son from becoming a dark sacrifice. Brazilian developer JoyMasher masterminded both Odallus: The Dark Call and Oniken, which will also be receiving a Switch port. The company specializes in retro game development, with Odallus covering the Metroidvania action subgenre and Oniken representing JoyMasher's take on the old-school Ninja Gaiden. They also have a game currently in development called Blazing Chrome, a 16-bit run-and-gun action-shooter in the vein of Super Contra or Metal Slug. Odallus: The Dark Call initially released in 2015 for PC, receiving mostly positive reviews for its heartfelt send up of the Castlevania of old. It includes classic 8-bit cutscenes, a large world full of secrets, and clever gameplay twists that might trick even the most veteran of players. Now, the adventures of Haggis are coming to Nintendo Switch in February as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this spring. Odallus: The Dark Call features eight levels that can be explored for more secrets when players have acquired more abilities. Levels are populated by over fifty different enemy types and offer chances to face off against colossal bosses. Players who stick through to the end will spend, at a minimum, eight hours completing the game, only to find a veteran difficulty awaiting them for added replayability. When it launches, Odallus: The Dark Call will be available digitally. However, Eastasiasoft will be offering a limited run physical edition of the game. These physical copies will work on all systems worldwide, but may have some limitations on their online features. The following will be offered physically: Odallus: The Dark Call (PS4) Oniken + Odallus Collection (PS4/Switch) Oniken + Odallus Collection: Limited Edition (Switch) Odallus: The Dark Call releases for Nintendo Switch on February 8 and will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sometime during spring of this year. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. Take a nostalgia trip back to the heyday of the 8-bit era with Odallus: The Dark Call, an action-platformer coming to Nintendo Switch. Odallus: The Dark Call tells the story of Haggis, an aged hero who embarks on a quest to save his son and avenge the destruction of his village. Battling demons, cultists, and eldritch beings, Haggis presses onward to spare his son from becoming a dark sacrifice. Brazilian developer JoyMasher masterminded both Odallus: The Dark Call and Oniken, which will also be receiving a Switch port. The company specializes in retro game development, with Odallus covering the Metroidvania action subgenre and Oniken representing JoyMasher's take on the old-school Ninja Gaiden. They also have a game currently in development called Blazing Chrome, a 16-bit run-and-gun action-shooter in the vein of Super Contra or Metal Slug. Odallus: The Dark Call initially released in 2015 for PC, receiving mostly positive reviews for its heartfelt send up of the Castlevania of old. It includes classic 8-bit cutscenes, a large world full of secrets, and clever gameplay twists that might trick even the most veteran of players. Now, the adventures of Haggis are coming to Nintendo Switch in February as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this spring. Odallus: The Dark Call features eight levels that can be explored for more secrets when players have acquired more abilities. Levels are populated by over fifty different enemy types and offer chances to face off against colossal bosses. Players who stick through to the end will spend, at a minimum, eight hours completing the game, only to find a veteran difficulty awaiting them for added replayability. When it launches, Odallus: The Dark Call will be available digitally. However, Eastasiasoft will be offering a limited run physical edition of the game. These physical copies will work on all systems worldwide, but may have some limitations on their online features. The following will be offered physically: Odallus: The Dark Call (PS4) Oniken + Odallus Collection (PS4/Switch) Oniken + Odallus Collection: Limited Edition (Switch) Odallus: The Dark Call releases for Nintendo Switch on February 8 and will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sometime during spring of this year. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  3. Kingdom Hearts III game director Tetsuya Nomura has released a statement to the Kingdom Hearts community asking fans who might come across leaked videos of the latest installment in the series not to share them on social media. This comes after a number of copies of the game, set to release next month, made their way into the hands of a select few players who have been putting out videos of their progress. Nomura has long been one of the most talented people working in game design. He worked as the graphic director, character designer, and wrote the story for Final Fantasy VI. He went on to design the characters for Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and X. Following that, Kingdom Hearts became his baby, as he shaped the story, crafted the 2D art, and directed just about every single entry in the series. The leak of the game he's spent over a decade creating was bound to provoke a response. Nomura's message comes just as Kingdom Hearts III's latest trailer drops. Titled "Final Battle", the teaser gives a brief overview of what's going on in the series (though you're still able to feel a bit lost even if you've played one or two games in the series). It was originally slated for release tomorrow, but it may have been moved up in an effort to drown out the leaked videos appearing online. You can read the full message below to all the Kingdom Hearts fans out there from Tetsuya Nomura, relayed via Twitter. We're aware that a small portion of Kingdom Hearts III has been circulating online before its official release. We are also aware as to how this has happened. We're sorry to see this caused concern amongst our fans who are excited for the release. The whole team has been working together since yesterday night (Japan time) to investigate what we can do to better this situation, but first we would like to ask that you do not share these videos. The game's epilogue and secret movie, which are the biggest spoilers in this game, are planned to be released at a later date just in case, so they will not be shown before the game's release. We want everyone to be able to equally experience the full game after its release, so we ask for your continued support on this matter. We're also very grateful that our fans have been warning each other already about the spoilers. Thank you very much. We're one month our from the release. Let's enjoy the game together when it releases on January 29, 2019. There's conflicting opinions out in the wild regarding leaked footage that intensifies around popular releases. On the one hand, streamers and video creators tend to view time as a particularly valuable resource. Being able to get a piece of valuable media like Kingdom Hearts III out into the wild before everyone else is guaranteed eyeballs on their work that could mean a huge influx of subscribers or a nice cash bonus. On the other hand, it can be a pretty disappointing occurrence for both the studio and fans with a big investment in the series. The studio wants to be able to coordinate its marketing efforts as much as possible in the lead up to release. Fans want to anticipate together as a community and then enjoy the release together. Putting out content of unreleased media before its officially ready can disrupt all of those goals. All of that being said, let's listen to the game director - don't share spoilers of a game that isn't even out yet. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  4. Kingdom Hearts III game director Tetsuya Nomura has released a statement to the Kingdom Hearts community asking fans who might come across leaked videos of the latest installment in the series not to share them on social media. This comes after a number of copies of the game, set to release next month, made their way into the hands of a select few players who have been putting out videos of their progress. Nomura has long been one of the most talented people working in game design. He worked as the graphic director, character designer, and wrote the story for Final Fantasy VI. He went on to design the characters for Final Fantasy VII, VIII, and X. Following that, Kingdom Hearts became his baby, as he shaped the story, crafted the 2D art, and directed just about every single entry in the series. The leak of the game he's spent over a decade creating was bound to provoke a response. Nomura's message comes just as Kingdom Hearts III's latest trailer drops. Titled "Final Battle", the teaser gives a brief overview of what's going on in the series (though you're still able to feel a bit lost even if you've played one or two games in the series). It was originally slated for release tomorrow, but it may have been moved up in an effort to drown out the leaked videos appearing online. You can read the full message below to all the Kingdom Hearts fans out there from Tetsuya Nomura, relayed via Twitter. We're aware that a small portion of Kingdom Hearts III has been circulating online before its official release. We are also aware as to how this has happened. We're sorry to see this caused concern amongst our fans who are excited for the release. The whole team has been working together since yesterday night (Japan time) to investigate what we can do to better this situation, but first we would like to ask that you do not share these videos. The game's epilogue and secret movie, which are the biggest spoilers in this game, are planned to be released at a later date just in case, so they will not be shown before the game's release. We want everyone to be able to equally experience the full game after its release, so we ask for your continued support on this matter. We're also very grateful that our fans have been warning each other already about the spoilers. Thank you very much. We're one month our from the release. Let's enjoy the game together when it releases on January 29, 2019. There's conflicting opinions out in the wild regarding leaked footage that intensifies around popular releases. On the one hand, streamers and video creators tend to view time as a particularly valuable resource. Being able to get a piece of valuable media like Kingdom Hearts III out into the wild before everyone else is guaranteed eyeballs on their work that could mean a huge influx of subscribers or a nice cash bonus. On the other hand, it can be a pretty disappointing occurrence for both the studio and fans with a big investment in the series. The studio wants to be able to coordinate its marketing efforts as much as possible in the lead up to release. Fans want to anticipate together as a community and then enjoy the release together. Putting out content of unreleased media before its officially ready can disrupt all of those goals. All of that being said, let's listen to the game director - don't share spoilers of a game that isn't even out yet. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  5. Vane, an upcoming indie game courtesy of developers who previously worked on The Last Guardian, thrusts players into the skin of a bird who can take the form of a young child to explore the ruins of a decrepit civilization. Created by the folks at Friend & Foe Games, players will have to delve deeper and deeper into the mystical ruins of a culture long gone (or is it?). The trailer seems to intentionally remind the viewer of minimalist titles like Ico and Journey. Vane comes to us courtesy of Friend & Foe Games, a studio founded in 2014 by several developers who have worked on titles like the previously mentioned The Last Guardian, but their pedigree also includes action-oriented games like Battlefield 3 and Killzone. Despite the impressive credentials, the studio isn't a large one. Their website only lists a team of eight who have worked on Vane. They also seem to have another project in the works; an arcade brawler titled Dangerous Men, though not much is known about it at this time. As far as the story goes, all we know is that a pile of mysterious, golden dust transforms a curious crow into a young child. Armed with curiosity and the ability to transform back into a bird form, the kid begins to explore a vast world filled with wonder, excitement, danger, and dread. Mysterious technology begins to churn to life at the child's approach, reshaping the world as they continue their journey to who-knows-where. As the journey continues, who knows what shape the barren desert might take as it awakens. If you ever wondered what Ico would be like if you could turn into a bird and were exposed to existential terror, Vane might be right up your alley. in many ways it reminds me of Rime, last year's indie game about a child exploring a strange world from Tequila Works. That's some high praise given that Rime was flippin' great. Also, the synth music buoying the action in the above trailer is just excellent. Vane will release on January 15 for the PlayStation 4. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  6. Vane, an upcoming indie game courtesy of developers who previously worked on The Last Guardian, thrusts players into the skin of a bird who can take the form of a young child to explore the ruins of a decrepit civilization. Created by the folks at Friend & Foe Games, players will have to delve deeper and deeper into the mystical ruins of a culture long gone (or is it?). The trailer seems to intentionally remind the viewer of minimalist titles like Ico and Journey. Vane comes to us courtesy of Friend & Foe Games, a studio founded in 2014 by several developers who have worked on titles like the previously mentioned The Last Guardian, but their pedigree also includes action-oriented games like Battlefield 3 and Killzone. Despite the impressive credentials, the studio isn't a large one. Their website only lists a team of eight who have worked on Vane. They also seem to have another project in the works; an arcade brawler titled Dangerous Men, though not much is known about it at this time. As far as the story goes, all we know is that a pile of mysterious, golden dust transforms a curious crow into a young child. Armed with curiosity and the ability to transform back into a bird form, the kid begins to explore a vast world filled with wonder, excitement, danger, and dread. Mysterious technology begins to churn to life at the child's approach, reshaping the world as they continue their journey to who-knows-where. As the journey continues, who knows what shape the barren desert might take as it awakens. If you ever wondered what Ico would be like if you could turn into a bird and were exposed to existential terror, Vane might be right up your alley. in many ways it reminds me of Rime, last year's indie game about a child exploring a strange world from Tequila Works. That's some high praise given that Rime was flippin' great. Also, the synth music buoying the action in the above trailer is just excellent. Vane will release on January 15 for the PlayStation 4. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  7. You know the massive boss ships that float down from the top of the screen in classic bullet hell games? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play as one of those for a change? Now you can thanks to Spacewave Software's Rival Megagun! Rival Megagun has two players competing against one another as they battle through SHMUP (Shoot 'Em Up) levels while trying to take one another out. When hitting certain power levels, players can cross the vertical divide to attack their opponent as a colossal boss ship - a Mega Gunship, if you will. Players can tackle the game solo against the AI, play against friends in local couch co-op, or take on all comers online. The game features a number of different playable characters each with their own strengths and weaknesses and unique Mega Gunship forms. There's also a solo play arcade mode for those who want to immerse themselves in the classic roots of the genre. As players progress through the Rival Megagun, they'll unlock new components and weapons for their various ships, enabling customizations and opening up devious tactics to spring on unsuspecting rivals. Rival Megagun is available today for PC and PlayStation 4, November 30 for Xbox One, and December 12 for the Nintendo Switch. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  8. You know the massive boss ships that float down from the top of the screen in classic bullet hell games? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play as one of those for a change? Now you can thanks to Spacewave Software's Rival Megagun! Rival Megagun has two players competing against one another as they battle through SHMUP (Shoot 'Em Up) levels while trying to take one another out. When hitting certain power levels, players can cross the vertical divide to attack their opponent as a colossal boss ship - a Mega Gunship, if you will. Players can tackle the game solo against the AI, play against friends in local couch co-op, or take on all comers online. The game features a number of different playable characters each with their own strengths and weaknesses and unique Mega Gunship forms. There's also a solo play arcade mode for those who want to immerse themselves in the classic roots of the genre. As players progress through the Rival Megagun, they'll unlock new components and weapons for their various ships, enabling customizations and opening up devious tactics to spring on unsuspecting rivals. Rival Megagun is available today for PC and PlayStation 4, November 30 for Xbox One, and December 12 for the Nintendo Switch. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  9. Sunset Overdrive was one of the hottest games on the Xbox One shortly after its launch. Several years later, it has now found its way onto PC courtesy of THQ Nordic. Heck, it is even receiving a physical PC release, a rarity in 2018, that should be arriving at physical retailers next week. Both the physical and digital editions of Sunset Overdrive's PC release will include all of the DLC from the Xbox One version. Both versions will also retail for $19.99. Sunset Overdrive presents the player with a bouncy romp through the far-flung, post-apocalyptic future of 2027 when a contaminated energy drink turns tens of thousands into horrific mutants. Equal parts Tony Hawk and Ratchet & Clank, Insomniac's malleable adventure will keep players entertained from start to finish (I found it immensely fun at the very least). The main campaign is supplemented by two additional DLC adventures: Mystery of Mooil Rig and Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines. Sunset Overdrive is now available for Xbox One and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  10. Sunset Overdrive was one of the hottest games on the Xbox One shortly after its launch. Several years later, it has now found its way onto PC courtesy of THQ Nordic. Heck, it is even receiving a physical PC release, a rarity in 2018, that should be arriving at physical retailers next week. Both the physical and digital editions of Sunset Overdrive's PC release will include all of the DLC from the Xbox One version. Both versions will also retail for $19.99. Sunset Overdrive presents the player with a bouncy romp through the far-flung, post-apocalyptic future of 2027 when a contaminated energy drink turns tens of thousands into horrific mutants. Equal parts Tony Hawk and Ratchet & Clank, Insomniac's malleable adventure will keep players entertained from start to finish (I found it immensely fun at the very least). The main campaign is supplemented by two additional DLC adventures: Mystery of Mooil Rig and Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines. Sunset Overdrive is now available for Xbox One and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  11. Jack Gardner

    Conversing about Collidalot with Grunka Munka

    It can be easy to lose sight of the smaller indie titles with all of the high-profile games releasing as we near the holiday season, but one in particular stands out following its release last Friday: Collidalot. Collidalot is a fast-paced hover car combat game with a heavy emphasis on local multiplayer for up to four people. Players attempt to ram one another off the map or into hazards like spike traps. These vehicles receive a speed boost by riding rails with even higher speeds gained by riding rails painted their particular color. Each vehicle comes with its own special move to help give it the edge needed to pull out a victory. Also, it has a jammin' techno soundtrack that you can listen to for free on the company's SoundCloud page. The story of Seattle-based Grunka Munka Games begins with most of the team still in college where they worked together on a project called "The Enragement Ring." Even in an unpolished state, it gained attention from professors and it wound up making a circuit around the Seattle game dev scene where it won the Audience Choice award at both Seattle Indie Game Competition and Intel Game Developer Showcase among several other nominations and distinctions. All of that buzz landed the team at Grunka Munka on Nintendo's radar and after years of work, Collidalot has finally released! I had the opportunity to ask Andrew Ward, the CEO of Grunka Munka Games, some questions about Collidalot and he was gracious enough to provide some insightful looks into the world of scrappy game dev and shipping a studio's first game. --- What were some of the ideas for games that got bounced around before landing on what would become Collidalot? Originally, the game was intended to be giant spaceships slamming into other ships and knocking them out of the “sumo ring” arena to destroy them. We also wanted the game to be a local multiplayer game. Beyond that, everything we implemented was in an effort to achieve those intentions. We found that it is really boring to fly giant, slow spaceships at each other, especially if there are no projectile weapons, which we didn’t want. We thought that might be better if the ships were small and fast, so we tried it. It was better, but it was so easy to fly out of the map into the emptiness of space. Then we thought about how to add a better sense of control, so we ended up adding energy rails to grind on. This essentially created the first iteration of Collidalot. At what moment did you feel like Collidalot had enough potential to build a gaming studio around it? People seemed to love the first version of the game even though the controls were terrible and the game was slapped together so loosely that it would be a stretch to even call it a demo. It also had a terrible name, “The Enragement Ring”. It was fun though, and definitely unique. That gave us a lot of initial momentum. Most of us were still in school at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, Seattle, but the excitement around early versions of the game during class got the attention of the staff. The most notable staff member to take note was Peter Huff. He handled most of the event coordination for the school and invited us to join iFEST 2017. Things moved quickly from there. People were asking us if the game was out because they enjoyed it so much at iFEST, even though we didn’t have any menus in the game yet. Someone responsible for helping run another local gaming event, Power of Play, approached us at iFEST and asked us to show the game off there the very next weekend. We went to Power of Play because it was a great opportunity, but we had no idea what to expect. While there, a representative from Nintendo approached us asking if we would be interested in bringing the game to the Wii U. Remember, the game had no menus, little content, and was barely a working prototype. We were still students with more than a year left until graduation. This was the turning point for us. We took this positive momentum and ran with it. No matter how hard it got, we pushed through because we knew this game and this team was on the right track for success and we didn’t want to squander such an opportunity. There aren’t any guns in the game – how did that decision get made and what does that absence of guns bring to Collidalot? The game was supposed to be all about slamming spaceships into each other originally, although that eventually changed to slamming jet-powered hover cars into each other. If you give players guns, that opens up the option to avoid other players and to shoot at them from a distance instead, bypassing our original vision. For this reason, you could say it was initially a design choice to get people to play the game [as it was intended]. We wanted people to be in each other’s face in game and out of game since it was a local multiplayer game, and you don’t really feel that intense connection if you can play without ever going near each other. Later, we realized that having no guns is kind of a big deal for many kids and families - a large portion of our target audience. We want everyone to experience our games and that design decision makes it easier for many families to feel comfortable with Collidalot. What were some of the inspirations for the mechanics behind Collidalot? Inspirations for Collidalot come from every corner of the universe. Warhammer 40K was the biggest one in terms of the concept for the game. Towerfall Ascension is one of our favorite local multiplayer games, so we tried to sneak many of their brilliant design choices into Collidalot in subtle ways. Smash Bros, Splatoon, Mad Max, Tony Hawk, Extreme-G, Kinetica, Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer, and a ton of other sources outside of video games served as inspiration to us. Collidalot seems to have racked up a large number of awards since it began making the indie game circuit – which one has meant the most to the team? The Seattle Indie Game Competition’s People Choice Award 2017 (received at Power of Play 2017), is the award that means the most to us. It was our first major award. It was also the first award we worked towards months before receiving, and it felt incredible to earn it. Receiving that award was not just about us, either. It was about showing the people who have given us so much amazing support that we were not going to let them down; we were going to push ourselves to succeed. Collidalot is Grunka Munka’s first project, what are the biggest learning experiences you’ve had trying to ship this game? There have been so many and they are unique to each person on the team. We had to learn everything from scratch, like how to use the Unity game engine and how to make a game in general. Things that seem simple, like making a player select UI, were difficult because we hadn’t done it before. Most things took research and several iterations, so they took a while. We also had to learn how to form and run a company on top of it all, which added even more chaos into the mix. Then there were things like attending conferences to demo the game, joining competitions, and figuring out how to market the game so people would simply know it exists. Being a game developer is a learning experience that never ends. The Grunka Munka team participates in Extra Life – how did that begin? Why is it important to you all? One of our team members previously interned, and later worked, in the medical field before, during, and after undergrad. He’s always had a tremendous level of respect for the entire industry. That’s where it began. Since we work within a few blocks of Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH), he quickly started reaching out to SCH and Extra Life about how we can get involved and help. After he joined the team, we started chatting about what we can do to help out and contribute. We all have been gamers since we were young and remember specific games that we loved both then and now. We know that hospitalized kids and their families could always use more reasons to smile and we simply couldn’t stop thinking about how to help. This drove us to get more involved with the Extra Life Seattle Guild, who immediately amplified our ability to spread some gaming happiness with SCH and beyond. We are proud to be a part of the Extra Life Seattle Guild and are incredibly excited for the work we are doing with them right now and will continue to do. What message did you want to send with Collidalot? What do you want people walking away from a session with it to be thinking about? I think everyone on the team has something different they want to say through the games we make. We all agree that moments in life are more special when you can share them with others. Collidalot aims to bring people together so that they can make and share those moments. We also want to show that there are still many amazing, unique things games can do that have never been done and that they are worth making. What sorts of projects is Grunka Munka interested in making in the future? Our goal is to create original ideas and new types of gameplay. Having just launched Collidalot, we are prototyping new ideas and deciding on our next project now. We are definitely interested in expanding concepts from Collidalot beyond its 2d/3d layout. We also have a number of completely different ideas for games we would like to work on. Our main focus will be to create something new and push ourselves creatively. Why do you believe Collidalot should succeed? What’s your best elevator pitch to someone who’s undecided? Because Collidalot is a unique take on the 4-player brawler. There are a lot of games available nowadays and it’s always exciting when there is something new and different to experience. We appreciate when people are a bit confused, yet excited by novel, unique games. Games should incite this and we feel we have captured that feeling. We pitch the game as “Collidalot is Jet-powered destruction derby crossed with high-speed rail grinding”. Basically, think Smash Bros. in jet cars. Collidalot is available now on Nintendo Switch. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  12. It can be easy to lose sight of the smaller indie titles with all of the high-profile games releasing as we near the holiday season, but one in particular stands out following its release last Friday: Collidalot. Collidalot is a fast-paced hover car combat game with a heavy emphasis on local multiplayer for up to four people. Players attempt to ram one another off the map or into hazards like spike traps. These vehicles receive a speed boost by riding rails with even higher speeds gained by riding rails painted their particular color. Each vehicle comes with its own special move to help give it the edge needed to pull out a victory. Also, it has a jammin' techno soundtrack that you can listen to for free on the company's SoundCloud page. The story of Seattle-based Grunka Munka Games begins with most of the team still in college where they worked together on a project called "The Enragement Ring." Even in an unpolished state, it gained attention from professors and it wound up making a circuit around the Seattle game dev scene where it won the Audience Choice award at both Seattle Indie Game Competition and Intel Game Developer Showcase among several other nominations and distinctions. All of that buzz landed the team at Grunka Munka on Nintendo's radar and after years of work, Collidalot has finally released! I had the opportunity to ask Andrew Ward, the CEO of Grunka Munka Games, some questions about Collidalot and he was gracious enough to provide some insightful looks into the world of scrappy game dev and shipping a studio's first game. --- What were some of the ideas for games that got bounced around before landing on what would become Collidalot? Originally, the game was intended to be giant spaceships slamming into other ships and knocking them out of the “sumo ring” arena to destroy them. We also wanted the game to be a local multiplayer game. Beyond that, everything we implemented was in an effort to achieve those intentions. We found that it is really boring to fly giant, slow spaceships at each other, especially if there are no projectile weapons, which we didn’t want. We thought that might be better if the ships were small and fast, so we tried it. It was better, but it was so easy to fly out of the map into the emptiness of space. Then we thought about how to add a better sense of control, so we ended up adding energy rails to grind on. This essentially created the first iteration of Collidalot. At what moment did you feel like Collidalot had enough potential to build a gaming studio around it? People seemed to love the first version of the game even though the controls were terrible and the game was slapped together so loosely that it would be a stretch to even call it a demo. It also had a terrible name, “The Enragement Ring”. It was fun though, and definitely unique. That gave us a lot of initial momentum. Most of us were still in school at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, Seattle, but the excitement around early versions of the game during class got the attention of the staff. The most notable staff member to take note was Peter Huff. He handled most of the event coordination for the school and invited us to join iFEST 2017. Things moved quickly from there. People were asking us if the game was out because they enjoyed it so much at iFEST, even though we didn’t have any menus in the game yet. Someone responsible for helping run another local gaming event, Power of Play, approached us at iFEST and asked us to show the game off there the very next weekend. We went to Power of Play because it was a great opportunity, but we had no idea what to expect. While there, a representative from Nintendo approached us asking if we would be interested in bringing the game to the Wii U. Remember, the game had no menus, little content, and was barely a working prototype. We were still students with more than a year left until graduation. This was the turning point for us. We took this positive momentum and ran with it. No matter how hard it got, we pushed through because we knew this game and this team was on the right track for success and we didn’t want to squander such an opportunity. There aren’t any guns in the game – how did that decision get made and what does that absence of guns bring to Collidalot? The game was supposed to be all about slamming spaceships into each other originally, although that eventually changed to slamming jet-powered hover cars into each other. If you give players guns, that opens up the option to avoid other players and to shoot at them from a distance instead, bypassing our original vision. For this reason, you could say it was initially a design choice to get people to play the game [as it was intended]. We wanted people to be in each other’s face in game and out of game since it was a local multiplayer game, and you don’t really feel that intense connection if you can play without ever going near each other. Later, we realized that having no guns is kind of a big deal for many kids and families - a large portion of our target audience. We want everyone to experience our games and that design decision makes it easier for many families to feel comfortable with Collidalot. What were some of the inspirations for the mechanics behind Collidalot? Inspirations for Collidalot come from every corner of the universe. Warhammer 40K was the biggest one in terms of the concept for the game. Towerfall Ascension is one of our favorite local multiplayer games, so we tried to sneak many of their brilliant design choices into Collidalot in subtle ways. Smash Bros, Splatoon, Mad Max, Tony Hawk, Extreme-G, Kinetica, Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer, and a ton of other sources outside of video games served as inspiration to us. Collidalot seems to have racked up a large number of awards since it began making the indie game circuit – which one has meant the most to the team? The Seattle Indie Game Competition’s People Choice Award 2017 (received at Power of Play 2017), is the award that means the most to us. It was our first major award. It was also the first award we worked towards months before receiving, and it felt incredible to earn it. Receiving that award was not just about us, either. It was about showing the people who have given us so much amazing support that we were not going to let them down; we were going to push ourselves to succeed. Collidalot is Grunka Munka’s first project, what are the biggest learning experiences you’ve had trying to ship this game? There have been so many and they are unique to each person on the team. We had to learn everything from scratch, like how to use the Unity game engine and how to make a game in general. Things that seem simple, like making a player select UI, were difficult because we hadn’t done it before. Most things took research and several iterations, so they took a while. We also had to learn how to form and run a company on top of it all, which added even more chaos into the mix. Then there were things like attending conferences to demo the game, joining competitions, and figuring out how to market the game so people would simply know it exists. Being a game developer is a learning experience that never ends. The Grunka Munka team participates in Extra Life – how did that begin? Why is it important to you all? One of our team members previously interned, and later worked, in the medical field before, during, and after undergrad. He’s always had a tremendous level of respect for the entire industry. That’s where it began. Since we work within a few blocks of Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH), he quickly started reaching out to SCH and Extra Life about how we can get involved and help. After he joined the team, we started chatting about what we can do to help out and contribute. We all have been gamers since we were young and remember specific games that we loved both then and now. We know that hospitalized kids and their families could always use more reasons to smile and we simply couldn’t stop thinking about how to help. This drove us to get more involved with the Extra Life Seattle Guild, who immediately amplified our ability to spread some gaming happiness with SCH and beyond. We are proud to be a part of the Extra Life Seattle Guild and are incredibly excited for the work we are doing with them right now and will continue to do. What message did you want to send with Collidalot? What do you want people walking away from a session with it to be thinking about? I think everyone on the team has something different they want to say through the games we make. We all agree that moments in life are more special when you can share them with others. Collidalot aims to bring people together so that they can make and share those moments. We also want to show that there are still many amazing, unique things games can do that have never been done and that they are worth making. What sorts of projects is Grunka Munka interested in making in the future? Our goal is to create original ideas and new types of gameplay. Having just launched Collidalot, we are prototyping new ideas and deciding on our next project now. We are definitely interested in expanding concepts from Collidalot beyond its 2d/3d layout. We also have a number of completely different ideas for games we would like to work on. Our main focus will be to create something new and push ourselves creatively. Why do you believe Collidalot should succeed? What’s your best elevator pitch to someone who’s undecided? Because Collidalot is a unique take on the 4-player brawler. There are a lot of games available nowadays and it’s always exciting when there is something new and different to experience. We appreciate when people are a bit confused, yet excited by novel, unique games. Games should incite this and we feel we have captured that feeling. We pitch the game as “Collidalot is Jet-powered destruction derby crossed with high-speed rail grinding”. Basically, think Smash Bros. in jet cars. Collidalot is available now on Nintendo Switch. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  13. Ingress, Niantic's previous real-world mobile game, laid the foundation for the phenomenon that became Pokémon Go. Armed with a warchest filled with the success of Nintendo's foray into bringing Pokémon to life on Earth, their next stab at Ingress seems to be going all-out. The game has an anime series, live-action teasers, and seems to be doing everything it can to create a self-sustaining player base. Ingress Prime brings players into a secret war between the Enlightened and the Resistance, two groups with opposing views on how to use the mysterious resource known as XM. Coming from portals all across the world, XM seems to hold massive power and the potential to reshape humanity on a massive scale. Players travel to these real-world locations to gather the resources for their particular faction and complete mission. In the past, some of these missions could mobilize hundreds of people - Niantic seems to be hoping Ingress Prime will reach even larger numbers of players. Ingress Prime is currently available for mobile devices. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  14. Ingress, Niantic's previous real-world mobile game, laid the foundation for the phenomenon that became Pokémon Go. Armed with a warchest filled with the success of Nintendo's foray into bringing Pokémon to life on Earth, their next stab at Ingress seems to be going all-out. The game has an anime series, live-action teasers, and seems to be doing everything it can to create a self-sustaining player base. Ingress Prime brings players into a secret war between the Enlightened and the Resistance, two groups with opposing views on how to use the mysterious resource known as XM. Coming from portals all across the world, XM seems to hold massive power and the potential to reshape humanity on a massive scale. Players travel to these real-world locations to gather the resources for their particular faction and complete mission. In the past, some of these missions could mobilize hundreds of people - Niantic seems to be hoping Ingress Prime will reach even larger numbers of players. Ingress Prime is currently available for mobile devices. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  15. The city of Nivalis stands at a tipping point, though to the outside observer it appears to be ticking along much the same as it always has. That is, until one fateful night Rania makes a deliver for Cloudpunk, a delivery company with a special disregard for the law. Nivalis changed forever over the course of that night. Ion Lands has announced a new kind of cyberpunk game: Cloudpunk. It's a story-driven game featuring a colorful cast of characters both organic and synthetic. Players will have the towering city of Nivalis to explore either on foot or by hover car as they make delivers that touch the lives of people from every part of society. Decisions players make can change the course of the story and have long-term impact on residents of the city. Those who explore carefully and pay attention to the stories around them will be rewarded with access to hidden locations and additional or expanded narrative opportunities. Your name is Rania. This is your first night working for Cloudpunk, the semi-legal delivery company based in the sprawling city of Nivalis. You go everywhere, from the Marrow below to the spires that pierce the grey clouds high above before scraping the edge of the troposphere. No delivery job is too dangerous, and no one is faster than a Cloudpunk driver. Ion Lands Cloudpunk has an open-ended release window of sometime in 2019. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  16. The city of Nivalis stands at a tipping point, though to the outside observer it appears to be ticking along much the same as it always has. That is, until one fateful night Rania makes a deliver for Cloudpunk, a delivery company with a special disregard for the law. Nivalis changed forever over the course of that night. Ion Lands has announced a new kind of cyberpunk game: Cloudpunk. It's a story-driven game featuring a colorful cast of characters both organic and synthetic. Players will have the towering city of Nivalis to explore either on foot or by hover car as they make delivers that touch the lives of people from every part of society. Decisions players make can change the course of the story and have long-term impact on residents of the city. Those who explore carefully and pay attention to the stories around them will be rewarded with access to hidden locations and additional or expanded narrative opportunities. Your name is Rania. This is your first night working for Cloudpunk, the semi-legal delivery company based in the sprawling city of Nivalis. You go everywhere, from the Marrow below to the spires that pierce the grey clouds high above before scraping the edge of the troposphere. No delivery job is too dangerous, and no one is faster than a Cloudpunk driver. Ion Lands Cloudpunk has an open-ended release window of sometime in 2019. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  17. With a new Western-themed animated short, Blizzard introduced the world to Ashe, McCree's former flame and lawless renegade. Ashe runs Deadlock, a band of outlaws that McCree interrupts in the middle of the train heist players have seen the aftermath of on the map Route 66. Blizzard also released a trailer teasing Ashe's gameplay abilities. She appears to have the ability to launch herself in a given direction with a well placed shotgun blast and possesses a mid-range rifle that can be used in a more aggressive sniping style. The trailer shows her able to throw a bundle of dynamite and shoot it to detonate the explosives and take out enemies. Her ultimate move has her summon her trusty robot sidekick Bob to knock up enemies in a line and act as a kind of turret, blasting the people he knocked up while Ashe continues to rain havoc on her foes. Ashe is cool and a great addition to the OverWatch cast. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  18. With a new Western-themed animated short, Blizzard introduced the world to Ashe, McCree's former flame and lawless renegade. Ashe runs Deadlock, a band of outlaws that McCree interrupts in the middle of the train heist players have seen the aftermath of on the map Route 66. Blizzard also released a trailer teasing Ashe's gameplay abilities. She appears to have the ability to launch herself in a given direction with a well placed shotgun blast and possesses a mid-range rifle that can be used in a more aggressive sniping style. The trailer shows her able to throw a bundle of dynamite and shoot it to detonate the explosives and take out enemies. Her ultimate move has her summon her trusty robot sidekick Bob to knock up enemies in a line and act as a kind of turret, blasting the people he knocked up while Ashe continues to rain havoc on her foes. Ashe is cool and a great addition to the OverWatch cast. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  19. Lucas Pope, the dev behind the highly acclaimed indie title Papers, Please, brings us Return of the Obra Dinn. Enter a high seas murder mystery set in the 1807 when everything was black and white and made of pixels. As an insurance inspector armed with a mystical assessment tool, players are dispatched to investigate the Obra Dinn, a ship believed to have been lost at sea for five years. What has the ship been doing in its years at sea? What happened to the ship's company? Why has the vessel just sailed back into the port at Falmouth, seemingly under its own power without any crew? To answer all of these questions and solve the mysteries of the Obra Dinn, players have a watch-like device that has the ability to replay the scenarios surrounding an individual's death. Players will have to make clever use of the device's abilities to access new areas of the ship and, as befits an insurance investigator, identify the remains of each member of the crew, how they died, and who, if anyone, killed them. Almost four years ago, I gave my thoughts on a preview build of Return of the Obra Dinn. It wasn't a long build, but it left a lasting impression. The haunting visuals and beckoning mystery don't leave you easily. And now, Return of the Obra Dinn has silently sailed into the harbor of digital PC storefronts - check it out if you're looking for a gameplay experience like you've never had before. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  20. Lucas Pope, the dev behind the highly acclaimed indie title Papers, Please, brings us Return of the Obra Dinn. Enter a high seas murder mystery set in the 1807 when everything was black and white and made of pixels. As an insurance inspector armed with a mystical assessment tool, players are dispatched to investigate the Obra Dinn, a ship believed to have been lost at sea for five years. What has the ship been doing in its years at sea? What happened to the ship's company? Why has the vessel just sailed back into the port at Falmouth, seemingly under its own power without any crew? To answer all of these questions and solve the mysteries of the Obra Dinn, players have a watch-like device that has the ability to replay the scenarios surrounding an individual's death. Players will have to make clever use of the device's abilities to access new areas of the ship and, as befits an insurance investigator, identify the remains of each member of the crew, how they died, and who, if anyone, killed them. Almost four years ago, I gave my thoughts on a preview build of Return of the Obra Dinn. It wasn't a long build, but it left a lasting impression. The haunting visuals and beckoning mystery don't leave you easily. And now, Return of the Obra Dinn has silently sailed into the harbor of digital PC storefronts - check it out if you're looking for a gameplay experience like you've never had before. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  21. Star Citizen has been in development for the past six years following a phenomenally successful Kickstarter campaign. The game has been envisioned and pitched as a spiritual successor to the Wing Commander series with modern sensibilities and a massively multiplayer galaxy. Though Star Citizen has received most of the media attention, the original Kickstarter was also for a single-player campaign set within the Star Citizen universe. That single player campaign was originally slated for release in 2014. However, one thing that neither Cloud Imperium Games nor the fans who backed Star Citizen could have planned on was the massive and ongoing crowdfunding that has gone on since the initial success of the Kickstarter. To date, the company has raised well over $150 million from players who have fallen in love with the dream of what Star Citizen could be. With all of that extra money, the scope of both Star Citizen and Squadron 42 has expanded. The new single-player game will have considerable star power, like Mark Hamill, Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson, John Rhys-Davies, Mark Strong, Andy Serkis, and more high profile actors and actresses. The acting chops going into Squadron 42 is pretty astounding, even by blockbuster gaming standards. We get to see snippets of that throughout the trailer as Cloud Imperium also shows off their impressive game tech, interesting sci-fi universe, and proves that Squadron 42 still exists and will eventually release. So it is that four years after the projected release date of Squadron 42 we are just now seeing an extended trailer full of gameplay and story (but still no release date). Overall, the trailer is incredibly impressive and looks to be the next hard sci-fi experience on the horizon with a chip on its shoulder to tell a compelling narrative. Add on deep and engaging space combat, and you have a great recipe for something really special. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  22. Star Citizen has been in development for the past six years following a phenomenally successful Kickstarter campaign. The game has been envisioned and pitched as a spiritual successor to the Wing Commander series with modern sensibilities and a massively multiplayer galaxy. Though Star Citizen has received most of the media attention, the original Kickstarter was also for a single-player campaign set within the Star Citizen universe. That single player campaign was originally slated for release in 2014. However, one thing that neither Cloud Imperium Games nor the fans who backed Star Citizen could have planned on was the massive and ongoing crowdfunding that has gone on since the initial success of the Kickstarter. To date, the company has raised well over $150 million from players who have fallen in love with the dream of what Star Citizen could be. With all of that extra money, the scope of both Star Citizen and Squadron 42 has expanded. The new single-player game will have considerable star power, like Mark Hamill, Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson, John Rhys-Davies, Mark Strong, Andy Serkis, and more high profile actors and actresses. The acting chops going into Squadron 42 is pretty astounding, even by blockbuster gaming standards. We get to see snippets of that throughout the trailer as Cloud Imperium also shows off their impressive game tech, interesting sci-fi universe, and proves that Squadron 42 still exists and will eventually release. So it is that four years after the projected release date of Squadron 42 we are just now seeing an extended trailer full of gameplay and story (but still no release date). Overall, the trailer is incredibly impressive and looks to be the next hard sci-fi experience on the horizon with a chip on its shoulder to tell a compelling narrative. Add on deep and engaging space combat, and you have a great recipe for something really special. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  23. Being a buster of ghosts without a proton pack takes a lot of work. HellSign tosses players into a dark and spooky world filled with hauntings and supernatural beings out to make the world a living nightmare. Each new case will have players tackling a new kind of monster; it'll take some sleuthing and preparation to correctly identify the spirit take it down successfully. As a paranormal investigator, players will create their own characters from scratch. Initially armed with nothing but some rust-covered hunting gear, players will work their way up the ranks of ghastly entities. Each case will help further open up the non-linear narrative, making each journey through HellSign unique to that investigator. HellSign takes place in Australia where players earn a living by fighting ghosts n' ghoulies. The game was created with the intention of mimicking monster-of-the-week television shows like Supernatural or The X-Files. Not gonna lie, the idea of becoming an Australian ghost hunter with an RPG framework and intriguing mysteries to solve is an easy sell for me. Players will explore locations like abandoned houses, barns, warehouses, etc. as they try to figure out what happened to draw a supernatural creature to that area. While exploring these spooky locales, various clues can be discovered, like blood spatters, tracks, or mysterious relics, that will help point toward what kind of apparition might be present. Everything a player discovers and identifies will be recorded in the Cryptonomicon for future reference. Once players have figured out, or believe they have figured out what sort of being haunts the area, it's time to gear up for battle. Players can only hold so many items at a time, so there's an element of inventory management and survival gameplay going on. Do you take the silver bullets or do you need a specialized scanner to see the creature? How you answer questions like that will mean the difference between victory and defeat. HellSign manifests on November 7 via Steam Early Access. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  24. Being a buster of ghosts without a proton pack takes a lot of work. HellSign tosses players into a dark and spooky world filled with hauntings and supernatural beings out to make the world a living nightmare. Each new case will have players tackling a new kind of monster; it'll take some sleuthing and preparation to correctly identify the spirit take it down successfully. As a paranormal investigator, players will create their own characters from scratch. Initially armed with nothing but some rust-covered hunting gear, players will work their way up the ranks of ghastly entities. Each case will help further open up the non-linear narrative, making each journey through HellSign unique to that investigator. HellSign takes place in Australia where players earn a living by fighting ghosts n' ghoulies. The game was created with the intention of mimicking monster-of-the-week television shows like Supernatural or The X-Files. Not gonna lie, the idea of becoming an Australian ghost hunter with an RPG framework and intriguing mysteries to solve is an easy sell for me. Players will explore locations like abandoned houses, barns, warehouses, etc. as they try to figure out what happened to draw a supernatural creature to that area. While exploring these spooky locales, various clues can be discovered, like blood spatters, tracks, or mysterious relics, that will help point toward what kind of apparition might be present. Everything a player discovers and identifies will be recorded in the Cryptonomicon for future reference. Once players have figured out, or believe they have figured out what sort of being haunts the area, it's time to gear up for battle. Players can only hold so many items at a time, so there's an element of inventory management and survival gameplay going on. Do you take the silver bullets or do you need a specialized scanner to see the creature? How you answer questions like that will mean the difference between victory and defeat. HellSign manifests on November 7 via Steam Early Access. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  25. The sequel to the Russian cult classic has donned its plague mask and begun its final march toward release. Pathologic 2 gives players twelve days to explore its mysterious and creepy open world, a land stricken with a deadly disease. While the people who reside there have become ever more paranoid and prone to extreme reactions to newcomers, something about the outbreak seems to have attracted the attention of otherworldly entities. The society presented in-game will almost certainly collapse, leaving players to navigate its ruins. Do you look out for everyone you meet or blaze your own violent trail? Either way, one of the core tenants of Pathologic 2 is a simple phrase: You can't save everyone. There will be unwinnable challenges to face where every choice brings with it a bitter downside. A variety of mysteries invite players to investigate. Uncover why your father, the town's chief doctor, was murdered and who killed him. There's also someone who might possibly be your twin who seems to be mixed up in the outbreak somehow. And as the adults join gangs and begin spreading death in their own ways, the town's children seem to be acting strangely.... Developer Ice-Pick Lodge will be showing the alpha version of Pathologic 2 at PAX West at the end of the month to those who attend the show. If you're interested in trying the game for yourself, you can sign up for alpha participation on the game's website. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
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