Category Archives: Indie Spotlight

IndieSpotlight: Fall 2018’s ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove (PS4, Xbox, Switch, PC)

One of the underground classics of masterpiece quality and bizarrely unique trappings has been reborn. ToeJam and Earl originally brought hip hop space aliens to the Sega Genesis on a quest to repair their ships after crash-landing on the craziest, most dangerous planet in the universe… Earth! Half of a million dollars was pledged by fans for the rebirth of this retro game franchise in a brand new installment coming to modern formats.

Continue reading IndieSpotlight: Fall 2018’s ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove (PS4, Xbox, Switch, PC)

Graveyard Keeper Alpha v0.678 Hands-On Impressions

Graveyard Keeper is the in-progress graveyard management sim by Lazy Bear, the genius team behind the hit boxing club management simulator Punch Club. After spending the last few weeks checking out the alpha build, I’ve since fallen in love with the game and here’s some reasons why.

Continue reading Graveyard Keeper Alpha v0.678 Hands-On Impressions

Totally Accurate Battlegrounds Hands-On Impressions

From Landfall Games, the team behind physics platformer Clustertruck, local multiplayer fighter / party game Square Brawl, and their currently in development combat simulation title Totally Accurate Battle Simulator comes their extremely comical take on the ever saturated battle royale genre, Totally Accurate Battlegrounds. This is a title the team at Landfall developed as a late April Fool’s joke to help bridge the gap during the development of Totally Accurate Battle Simulator and allow them some time to take a break from active development on TABS.

Continue reading Totally Accurate Battlegrounds Hands-On Impressions

IndieSpotlight: Graveyard Keeper Alpha (Farming Meets Necromancy)

Graveyard Keeper is the newest upcoming game developed by Lazy Bear Games, the development team behind the hit 2016 indie boxing management sim Punch Club and is being published by tinyBuild Games, known for a variety of titles spanning multiple genres and platforms such as stealth horror Hello Neighbor, action adventure Mr. Shifty, physics platformer Clustertruck and survival adventure The Final Station just to mention a few of my favorites. Similar to Punch Club, Graveyard Keeper is also a management sim but switches the gloves you wear from boxing gloves to the gloves of a grave keeper’s while maintaining the undeniable charm we saw in Punch Club.

Continue reading IndieSpotlight: Graveyard Keeper Alpha (Farming Meets Necromancy)

IndieSpotlight: Songbringer arrives for Nintendo Switch (Sci-Fi Action RPG)

Songbringer is an ARPG made by Nathanael Weiss’ one-man development team Wizard Fu Games which was crowd funded in 2015 through the use of Kickstarter. The game is celebrating its third console release on Nintendo Switch which released on May 31st, 2018, with the original releases being in September of 2017. Songbringer is also available on PC through GOG Galaxy and Steam as well as XBOX One and PS4.

Continue reading IndieSpotlight: Songbringer arrives for Nintendo Switch (Sci-Fi Action RPG)

Slay the Spire v5.28.18 Beta Hands-On Impressions

Slay the Spire is an indie rogue-like that combines procedurally generated dungeon crawling with card game mechanics in the vein of Hearthstone or The Elder Scrolls: Legends. Whilst the title is still in Early Access on Steam it has an incredible amount of work put into it already and is being updated on a weekly basis. This is an evaluation of the hands-on experience from many hours spent in the 5.28.18 version of the game.

Continue reading Slay the Spire v5.28.18 Beta Hands-On Impressions

New Must-Play PC Indie Games on Steam – Mid-April 2017 Roundup

PC Gaming RealGamerNewZ - Steam Valve

Steam is an ever-giving platform full of vibrancy, new ideas, and this list may not have scratched the surface as much as our fine-toothed comb of gaming taste normally would – but these are just a handful of the games zipping by that are truly worthy of our time – and we don’t want to miss them. If you know anybody new to PC Gaming who hasn’t experienced the match of indie art styles and creative gameplay design, direct them here and feel free to give shout-outs to other titles new and old in the comments section which other Steam gamers might find enjoyable!

Domina Steam PC Gaming Indie Gaming RealGamerNewZ

Domina

Genre: Violent, Action, Simulation, Strategy
Noteworthy Features: Roman Gladiator Management Sim with the ability to control units directly.
Development Studio: DolphinBarn
Release Date: April 3, 2017

More Info / Buy Now – Steam

Beat Cop Steam Indie Gaming PC Gaming RealGamerNewZ

Beat Cop

Genre: Violent, Indie, Adventure
Noteworthy Features: 80’s police simulator with retro-inspired pixel art and gameplay design focused around fun factor.
Development Studio: Pixel Crow / Publisher: 11bit Studios
Release Date: March 30, 2017

More Info / Buy Now – Steam

Playerunknowns Battlegrounds PC Gaming Battle Royale RealGamerNewZ

PLAYERUNKNOWN’S Battlegrounds

Genre: Battle Royale
Noteworthy Features: The new kid on the block for competitive multiplayer online survival shooter games with over a million copies sold already has been taking the industry by storm as of late. Many enter, only one will leave alive. From the creator of the Battle Royale modes which spanned across ARMA & DayZ mods, an official H1Z1 mode now known as “King of the Kill”, and more.

The latest edition of this concept has been put together by the visionary behind all previous development attempts and this time has teamed up with Bluehole Inc. made up of veteran game devs. The title already has a lot of content planned for it, an extreme amount of positive buzz, and an active player-base with new optimism for a complete title coming to fruition in a reasonable time frame.
Development Studio: Bluehole Inc.
Release Date: March 23, 2017

Buy Now – Steam Early Access

Comic Star Heroine RealGamerNewZ JRPG Steam PC Gaming Indie RPG

Comic Star Heroine

Genre: RPG
Noteworthy Features: Inspired by Phantasy Star retro-JRPG series, creative and unique take on the genre with retro-inspired pixel art.
Development Studio: Zeboyd Games
Release Date: April 11, 2017

More Info / Buy Now – Steam

Mr Shifty RealGamerNewZ PC Gaming April 2017 - tinyBuild

Mr. Shifty

Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
Noteworthy Features: Pixel Art Graphics meets fast-paced top-down shooter, compared to Hotline Miami – praised by many gamers.
Development Studio: Team Shifty / Publisher: tinyBuild
Release Date: April 13, 2017

More Info / Buy Now – Steam

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20170417 and was last modified on 20170417 .

Killzown Invades: Pixel Pop Festival 2015 – Part 1

Killzown Invades Pixel Pop Festival logo

 

Killzown makes his triumphant return to Saint Louis’ Premiere Indie Game Festival, Pixel Pop 2015. This year featured over twenty independent game devs in both Video and Table-Top/Card Game format on the show floor as well as panels, contest, and game tournaments during the show’s two day stretch. This years event was hosted Dynamic Midwest Events and Happy Badger Studio at Webster University’s East Academic Building. Check out the video below and for more info on Pixel Pop be sure to visit  www.pixelpopfestival.com/ today.  If you want to keep with Killzown check him out on www.djkillzownjones.com, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and subscribe to his channel on Youtube then as always keep it locked to RGN for all of your event coverage.

Source – DJKillzownJones.com

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by DJ Killzown Jones on 20151005 and was last modified on 20151005 .

IndieSpotlight: Eternal Jupiter

Eternal Jupiter Gameplay Screenshot

Welcome to the full reboot of our IndieSpotlight Series. In the following post we will be speaking with Dave AKA Bit Journal of Bit-Journal Games as we discuss his upcoming video game Eternal Jupiter which is a complete remake of an earlier title by the same name. Eternal Jupiter has been completely revamped and is Dave’s first professional endeavor since achieving a full understanding of game development through institutional education as well as learning on his own. I had the opportunity to be the first in the world to try out his demo which is to be released to the public soon and has many features including native support for the PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 controller on PC as well as Xbox 360 / Xbox ONE and other traditional PC controllers on the platform. Two players can even play at the same time with co-op.

Eternal Jupiter is a shoot em up action game featuring bullet hell moments of intense action. While still in development, keep in mind that the IndieSpotlight feature for RealGamerNewz primarily features titles that have yet to be released in any form (although we may began to branch out to some Early Access titles that are under the radar as well). The whole point of this series is to find those underground gems that fans of a particular genre might give a good home to. I am also fortunate enough to have a chat with every development studio who gets featured in the IndieSpotlight – so these are a chance for us to see the detailed vision a developer has behind their game. As always, feel free to reply with questions of your own for the developer in the comments section of this post. Here are some quotes from the developer taken during our Interview in the game is described in great detail. Thank you in advance for reading and we look forward to providing more information about Eternal Jupiter as it approaches release.

RGN: When did you first start making games?

Bit-Journal Games: I started developing games in 2011. I downloaded a trial copy of Game Maker 8 and attempted to teach myself the basics of game development. That is when I started developing Eternal Jupiter in its rawest form. I did this to see just how far I could take it. A month and a half down the road, while it was certainly not perfect, I created my first playable demo. It was at that moment that I decided to enroll with Brookdale Community College’s Digital and 3D Animation Program under the Game Programming Option of the degree. That was the beginning of my journey into Game Development.

RGN: When did the first Eternal Jupiter release and how was the public reaction?

Bit-Journal Games: While there is a demo for Eternal Jupiter, it isn’t technically released yet since I am still in the process of building it. When I first presented it at The Hudson Arcade in Hoboken NJ, people seemed to enjoy the challenge it presented to them. The press copy that you played was a result of suggestions given to me from various other people who played the game both at the event and others outside of the event as well. While the reception was positive, I wanted feedback from the players and got the feedback I needed. These suggestions led to better collision detection, more bullets and quite a few fixes for bugs that I found through testing the game both on my own and watching others play it as well. To all of those individuals who played my game, made suggestions and helped me hunt down and squash bugs (both directly and indirectly), I thank you all sincerely for that. 🙂

Eternal Jupiter Gameplay Screenshot 2

RGN: What is the vision behind the game?

Bit-Journal Games: Eternal Jupiter is a Top Down Shooter / Hack and Slash Hybrid inspired by a combination of Top Down and Side Scrolling Shooters, my love for Mecha & Super Robot style Anime, and Hack and Slash Action games. Its why I refer to the game as a Bullet Hell Hack and SHMUP. In it, you pilot a Jet that can transform into a Mech. In Jet Mode, you can fire your Lasers and Missiles depending on what button you press. Your movement is also a little faster in Jet Mode since the ship is more compact and aerodynamic. However, in Mech Mode, you move a little slower but your Lasers are replaced with a more powerful Arm Cannon and your Missiles are replaced with a Beam Katana that can reflect enemy bullets back at the ships that fired them. I wanted to create a shooter where I give the player the freedom to transform between Jet and Mech whenever they feel like doing so. In order to balance out the amount of power I give to the player, I give them a stock of three lives, no continues and no power-ups. Growing up in the 80s (like many others who may be reading have), old school arcade games have had a major influence on my life.

Before I learned how to develop video games, I always asked myself what I liked from this classic era. Then I asked myself what I would do differently to this style of game. That is part of the reason why gave the player the capability to transform on the fly and use a Beam Katana in battle. The other reason really just has to do with my love for Iai-do (The Japanese Art of Drawing the Sword) and my love for Anime.

Overall, Eternal Jupiter is a culmination of all of these things. Its a game about fast paced, arcade action and your pure willingness to survive.

RGN: What are some of the features the Remake offers above the original?

Bit-Journal Games: The original Eternal Jupiter was very bare bones compared to the Remake. After going to college, I took what I learned and applied it to the Remake. Before I get down to the features, on a coding level, I re-coded the entire game when compared to its original. I also built totally new animations and much better parallax vertical scrolling backgrounds and foregrounds. Presentation wise, I added in a new opening menu that resembles a boot up sequence screen that you would see if you were the pilot inside the Mech.

Game play wise, I was able give the player more functionality using less buttons. That way, their hands are not scattered all over the controller. Compared to the original, Eternal Jupiter Remake features:

– Xbox 360 and X-mode Controller Support
– PlayStation 4 Dual Shock 4 and Direct Mode Controller Support
– 2 Player Local Co-Op Mode and Two Players on One Keyboard
– More Bullets
– Better Timed Enemy Patterns and Generators
– Vastly Improved Controls
– More Varied Enemies
– A Better Boss Fight

Eternal Jupiter Gameplay Screenshot 3

RGN: How was the game made in terms of what you’re willing to reveal about the engine and tools used etc.?

Bit-Journal Games: Animation wise, I like to build my sprite sheets in Photoshop and import them in Game Maker Studio. This gives me the tools I need to help visualize where I want to place certain objects, backgrounds and animations on the screen. There are also occasions where I do some art in Game Maker Studio as well, but it’s mostly in Photoshop.

Using a combination of what I learned in my Game and Object Oriented Programming Classes (Note: Since GML and C++ are quite similar in execution, what I learned in my classes greatly enhances what I can do in the engine) and the power of Game Maker Studio, I approach development one step at a time. I don’t ask myself “What is the right answer?”. Instead, I ask myself “What are the questions I must ask to arrive at the result I am looking for?” I don’t look at development as a need to know all of the answers. Instead, I look at it as a learning experience. While the project evolves with the developer, the developer learns from the project. Every answer creates a question. Every question begs for an answer. Developing the logic behind the code is the most important step to arriving at these answers. If the logic is flawed, you most likely will not get the results you want. If this all sounds very philosophical, its because as a developer, simply put, I do a lot of thinking before I put my hands down to the keyboard. Then I do some writing to organize my thoughts. After the animations are finished and the assets are ready, I ask myself “What do I want this to do?”. Then I look at my notes, start coding what I need and test it. At the end of the day, it’s thinking, writing, testing and repetition that helps me get Eternal Jupiter closer to completion.

RGN: Does the final build of Eternal Jupiter Remake currently have a release date planned?

Bit-Journal Games: Given that I am about to start a new job, I do not have a specific release date planned at this time. However, once I figure out what services I want to use to sell the game (ex: Steam, GOG, Desura, Humble Bundle etc…), I will give you an updated ETA. The good thing is that I will release a few more demos over the course of development so people who want to try Eternal Jupiter and see its progression will have the opportunity to do so.

RGN: Where can gamers keep up with your work and possibly try out a Demo of the game?

Gamers can go to eternaljupiter.wordpress.com to read all of the updates related to the game and to download the demo once they become available (which I promise all of you, will be very, very soon. Perhaps tomorrow ;-). Once its up, I’ll definitely make an announcement. 🙂

– Thanks for the interview and previewing my game. Its much appreciated 🙂

[Update: The Eternal Jupiter Work-In-Progress Game has received a Public Demo downloadable HERE]

Eternal Jupiter RealGamerNewZ

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20150420 and was last modified on 20150423 .

Extract 237 Preview

Extract237_Logo-black

It’s Halloween and RealGamerNewz has some interesting things lined up for the night. We got a chance to play a rather interesting game late last night called Extract 237, a game where you are inside the body of an alien. Crowdfunding was all the rage a few years ago, but it has died down like any other fad. With ridiculous things hitting Kickstarter like Potato Salad, it isn’t hard to see why some may have turned their back on it. It has actually become somewhat rare to hear about a great game on Kickstarter, but they still exist.

Extract 237 is one of these games. With two developers, 16 days to go, and 2% of their project funded, it does not look like they will make it this time around. We had a chance to see a basic build of Extract 237 and it is one game that I do not believe should be looked over. We couldn’t interact with objects and we couldn’t do much of anything come to think of it.

We got a very early build of the game that let us explore some of the areas of the game and get a feel for it’s atmosphere. From what we saw though, it’s definitely something to look forward to though. The areas we went through were very atmospheric and interestingly unique. It may be because I don’t play horror games often, but this feels very unique as a whole and I don’t believe anything like this has been done before.

extract237_ganglion-environment

Extract 237 may not have a giant company behind it, but it is not without talent. The 2 developers are hard at work and it really shows. We have Matt McCorkell behind Character/Environment art and animation,  then we have the designer, Robert Nelms, who designs the creatures and the environment. They both do a fantastic job as the levels we got to explore were extremely beautiful. It doesn’t seem very uncommon for indie games to come out with pixelated games, but Extract 237 doesn’t do that. Instead they use the Unreal Engine 4 to the best of their abilities and it really shows.

The environment of the game gives off such an interesting vibe and it’s really hard to explain. It’s also somewhat challenging to explain the feeling of being inside of an alien, but if I had to guess, I would say Extract 237 hits the nail on the head. It’s really hard to imagine, but even harder for me to truthfully describe. It’s done really well and it looks as beautiful as it does unique, I don’t know what it feels or looks like to be inside of an alien, but I would wager it’s something like I experienced on here, It would be interesting to see first person and it would be awesome to see Oculus support. Right now though, Extract 237 is a game with a lot of potential. It would be a real shame if that’s all it will ever be.

I think the game would do a lot better in first person, but it seems like they set it 3rd so you can see what’s going on around you. I’m not entirely sure what I saw, but there was definitely signs of a functioning body. It’s actually really crazy to see that though, as they don’t only focus on an interesting design, they also have put effort in to making it feel like you are in a living being. It’s was truthfully a great experience, except the movements need to be fixed up a bit. Again though, we have an early build.

extract237_stomach-environment

While I love exploring the game, it’s not without issues. We got a very early build, of course it isn’t without issues. The sad thing is that Extract 237 may take longer to come out though as their funding doesn’t seem to be happening. It’s definitely a game to look forward to though and I hope it gets it’s funding as I rather enjoyed my experience in the build. The demo should be out on November 3rd for everyone to try. While I don’t think Extract 237 will reach it’s goal this time around, it is definitely still a game worth looking forward to. It’s a rather small team with some real talent and it’s sad that they are being looked over with ease.

There are other projects like this not reaching their goal on Kickstarter as the funding on the site has dropped drastically since the craze began to die down. It’s a shame really, as these people are on to something. I think the craze should come back, but it’s hard to gamble your money when Kickstarter does it’s best to take little to no responsibility. Still though, it’s a really good thing to help fund these companies, but you should be careful. Extract 237 is a project I would deem as fund worthy, as it has some real talent behind it and it is really interesting from what we got to see.

You can check them out on Kickstarter ,which only has 15 days left. You can also check out their Twitter and Facebook for updates about the game as well and you can up vote them on Steam’s Greenlight.

Editor’s Note: To get your games featured on RealGamerNewz.com IndieSpotlight email us here and we will consider your request. 🙂

 

Disclaimer:

After writing and submitting this preview, I began talking to the developers at Project Extract. I really enjoyed the game and we began to speak about a position. I really believed and enjoyed the project I saw and upon further discussion I decided to help them out. I am currently the Community Manager at Project Extract, this position was talked about after the preview and the developers are actually unaware of the preview. It will be something they read after this disclaimer is posted as I did not want it to give me an unfair advantage, I wanted to be hired because of what I have to offer them.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Christopher Stahler on 20141101 and was last modified on 20141103 .