Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Desktop Dungeons

Desktop Dungeons, by QCF Design

Desktop Dungeons was finally released on Steam a month ago, after a long beta period. The roguelike-inspired puzzler was first introduced as a freeware game in 2010, when its popularity led South African studio QCF Design to turn it into a larger scope commercial title with numerous improvements, including a fully-realized town and, of course, more dungeons, monsters, character classes, and all that good stuff. The visuals and audio are completely new, as well.

If you never played the original, don’t be thrown off by its name and inspirations: aside from the fantasy theme and randomized levels, Desktop Dungeons bears very little resemblance to a traditional roguelike. The tightly-packed, single-screen levels, static monsters (who only attack when attacked), and transparent rules make the game feel more like a puzzle game than a dungeon crawl. But that’s not a bad thing – the freeware version was so fun that I made my own tileset for it, and this one is better in all respects.

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Teaser: No Man’s Sky

Boldly making its presence known last night during the Spike VGX Awards, No Man’s Sky is the latest project by indie studio Hello Games (Joe Danger), and the latest title to emerge in the apparent Space-Sim Revival of 2013. Alongside the gorgeous combat of Enemy Starfighter and the trade-and-fleet management of Limit Theory, No Man’s Sky looks to focus primarily on planetary discovery and exploration, offering the player endless solar systems of procedurally-generated planets that they can seamlessly land on and explore by foot.

I’m getting strong Noctis vibes from the concept and trailer, and I’m pleased to see yet another amazing-looking space sim coming from the indie community. It’s a good time to game.

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Kickstart This: Catacomb Kids

FourbitFriday’s game Catacomb Kids has just under 5 days left for it’s Kickstarter campaign. The game is a platformer roguelike with a heavy emphasis on the roguelike elements when compared to similar games, with random enchantments on equipment, the ability to chop limbs off of your opponents (or have your own cut off), and deep interactions between objects in the game.

Though its reached its goal already, Catacomb Kids is worth checking out if just for the depth shown in the short video above.

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Sui Generis: Pre-Alpha Gameplay

Bare Mettle Entertainment has released the first public footage of Sui Generis since its Kickstarter began a year ago. This video was announced to backers with the following message:

Somewhat later than promised, here finally is a new public video!

During development it’s easy to dismiss many glitches and other issues due to things being unfinished and as you know we are developing all technology in house. As we endeavoured to make this video we became determined to solve every issue we encountered rather than avoiding them or using temporary workarounds. We are after all making a game, not just videos. The game is now very stable, the performance is solid and we removed every glitch we could find.

While the game still deserves many tweaks and improvements, and we want to continue improving it almost indefinitely, we feel we’ve reached a good level of quality and functionality. We’ve avoided showing some aspects of the game that we don’t feel are complete enough yet but we tried to convey the spirit of the game in the video’s narrative. Hope you enjoy it!

The physics-based combat (which looks a little more stable now) has rightly drawn a lot of attention, but Bare Mettle has promised a lot of things for Sui Generis: a detailed and highly-interactive open world, non-linear storytelling, and deep customization. Time will tell whether the game lives up to those ambitions, but even if the team quit now, at least we’d still have the best “medieval tripping on furniture” simulation out there. But in all seriousness, good luck to them – I’m really looking forward to this one.

(Source)

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868-HACK / 86856527

868-HACK, by Michael Brough

868-HACK is a hacking-themed roguelike on iOS that eschews exploration for focused, single-screen tactics. In the game, the player must traverse 8 levels, called “sectors”, filled with data – either points, which are used for scoring, or progs, which are used for defense against the enemies that are summoned to stop your intrusion. Enemies come in four types and move in simple patterns that are easy to exploit in small numbers but quickly become deadly in diverse mobs.

There’s a lot to like about 868-HACK, like the fun theme, the obvious risk/reward mechanisms, and the innovative zapping attack that hurts and stuns enemies. Figuring out how to use zapper and prog to clear out large groups of enemies is extremely satisfying. In many ways, 868-HACK distills the roguelike experience down to the parts where you’ve been dropped into a room full of monsters you’re not fully prepared for and each move is potentially life-threatening.

The free, Windows version that was made for 7DRL is called 86856527 and is still available for download, but the changes for iOS are well worth the $ 5 price tag, in my opinion.

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Teaser: Clockwork Empires

Development studio Gaslamp Games (Dungeons of Dredmor) has released a gameplay teaser trailer of their next project, Clockwork Empires.

Currently slated for a release in the spring of 2014, Clockwork Empires aims to provide players with a Dwarf Fortress-like experience with a Victorian-steampunk flavor. As citizens of “The Empire,” your colonists will each have unique personal histories, leading them to interact with one another, form social class structures, and work various jobs within the colony. Thrown into the mix for good measure will be elements of Lovecraftian cosmic horror as fishmen may attack from the sea or your citizens may become cultists under the spell of eldritch gods. Gaslamp Games plans to incorporate native support for “successive multiplayer” and save-game sharing, hopefully offering plenty of opportunities for Boatmurdered-like stories to emerge.

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Path of Exile 1.0

Path of Exile, by Grinding Gear Games

After nearly a year of open beta, Path of Exile has finally reached version 1.0. The release will conclude this chapter’s story and bring with it a slew of new features, including a prestige class, the Scion, which is unlockable by beating the game in Normal Difficulty. It’s also available on Steam for the first time.

Path of Exile’s itemization and passive skill tree impressed me when the open beta first began, and since then it seems like Grinding Gear Games has made good on their promise to continue making improvements and expanding their ambitious multiplayer modes. And it’s free-to-play still, so if you’re a fan of ARPGs, there’s no reason not to try it out – PoE is supported entirely by the purchase of cosmetic effects and account improvements (extra character slots and stash tabs).

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Kickstart This: Night in the Woods

Night in the Woods is an upcoming game from Alec Holowka (Aquaria, Towerfall) and animator Scott Benson. From the Kickstarter page:

Night In The Woods is a 2D story-focused adventure/exploration game with many extracurricular activities to enjoy, characters to meet, and secrets to discover. Run, jump and use astral projection to explore the many sides of town of Possum Springs and the surrounding environs. Waste time around town with your crew of loser friends. Gain abilities that grant passage to new areas. Discover the secrets of a large cast of characters and the town itself. Experience a big crazy world and the remarkable events unfolding there. Play bass. Break stuff.

Lovely audiovisuals and I’m intrigued by the story and characters. Really looking forward to this one!

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Kerbal Space Program 0.22

The 0.22 update for Kerbal Space Program is scheduled to launch tomorrow, and will bring with it a new research-and-development system.

This update will be the first version to allow players access to the structured “Campaign” mode, which attempts to provide more structured gameplay than the current “Sandbox” mode. Players will now be able to collect scientific data on their various missions, which can then be used to progress along a branched tech tree and unlock new, more advanced parts. The game’s development studio, Squad, has plans to add even more of a “tycoon-like” structure to the game in future updates, with a part-cost system and procedurally-generated missions.

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PuzzleScript

Heroes of Sokoban

Heroes of Sokoban, by Jonah Ostroff.

PuzzleScript is a simple, open-source game engine by Stephen “increpare” Lavelle that allows you to easily create turn-based puzzle games using a unique scripting language. The engine is HTML5-based and games can be built and shared (along with their source code) straight from your browser. The graphics, which are composed of 5×5 tiles, are also designed within the editor, in the same manner that levels are defined.

There are already quite a few clever games in the burgeoning PuzzleScript gallery, showing off the flexibility of the engine, as well as its ease-of-use – although some of the developers are seasoned indies (like Terry Cavanagh, Joseph White, and Stephen himself), quite a few of them are from first-time creators (like Jonah Ostroff, who made Heroes of Sokoban, shown above).

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