Indie News Roundup March 13 2016 Feature

Mar. 7 to 13 Indie News Roundup

Witch & Hero II

Circle Entertainment recently posted on Twitter that Witch & Hero II is targeting a March 17 release on the 3DS eShop.

An english version of the first trailer introducing the story can be found below:

Infinity Runner

Infinity Runner from Wales Interactive now has a specified release date in Europe. According to an Italian eShop listing, it will be available on March 24, with pricing set at €6,49.

Pentapuzzle

CdGu8fDW0AEsr3P.jpg largePentapuzzle has now passed Nintendo of Europe’s lot check, and has a release date for PAL regions. RCMadiax said it’s releasing in both Europe and Australia on May 5 for the Wii U. The game previously released during last March for North America.

Paranautical Activity

Code Avarice’s first-person shooter Paranautical Activity is now coming to the Wii U, featuring procedurally-generated levels with enemies and bosses in each one. The game should be a good challenge, as it includes permadeath. Paranautical Activity also has upgrades to help you progress further, hidden items, and much more.

You can find a trailer for it below:

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth

Nicalis’ Tyrone Rodriguez recently shared on Twitter that The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth is wrapping up on consoles, and the goal is to have it released by next month in both North America and Europe. The subsequent message listed Wii U as one of the included platforms. That said, it looks like an expansion for the New 3DS version isn’t happening.

You can find the release trailer for the game below:

Super Meat Boy

ss_2482dad154fa38c32195a5301891ec7d9cefa7da.1920x1080Super Meat Boy was finally confirmed for Wii U during the latest Nintendo Direct, more specifically during the European presentation’s 3rd party and indie games section. Creator Tommy Refenes has followed up with a brief message on Twitter.

Refenes stated that Super Meat Boy will be on Wii U “very soon”, and that he expects that it will be launching on the eShop “in a couple of months”.

Hive Jump

d37103c54ea4db49d849383d71951aa6_originalAlthough it was last scheduled for launch in Q1 of this year, Hive Jump has been delayed, with Graphite Lab now only committing to a vague 2016 release window.

In its latest Kickstarter update, the studio explained that Hive Jump’s delay originated “simply because the game isn’t as far along as we had hoped when we announced that date”. The team has also continued to invest in this game well beyond our Kickstarter budget”, but has taken on other client work at the same time, which is slowing down development. Even then, Hive Jump’s actual creation process is going smoothly.

Here’s Graphite Lab’s full Kickstarter update regarding the delay:

Delays suck. We hate to hear of them and hate being the bearer of them even more. Unfortunately, Hive Jump’s release is delayed past Quarter 1 of this year. The cause of the delay is simply because the game isn’t as far along as we had hoped when we announced that date.

We knew the large scope of the game would be challenging to execute on and that is why we listed that up front in our risks and challenges section of the Kickstarter page. We’ve continued to invest in this game well beyond our Kickstarter budget because we believe in the game and we want to deliver the best possible version of this game to you our beloved backers. But developing a game after the budget is exceeded slows things down considerably.

We’ve explored other options – publishers, 3rd party funding, and other options to move this game forward more quickly, but the current situation is that we need to continue to self-fund. This means continuing our balance of client work alongside Hive Jump development. (That’s what allows us to keep going beyond the initial Kickstarter funds.)

The good news is, based on our assessment of how much work there is left to do in the game, and how much work we’ve put in on average over the last two years, Hive Jump will launch in 2016! We hope to provide you with a more solid release window in the next update or two tops.

Thank you for bearing with us through the ups and downs of this development lifecycle. As far as Kickstarter communities go, you jumpers are the best! You’ve been very patient and understanding with us so far, and we appreciate it deeply.

RIVE

Two Tribes is still finishing RIVE’s development, and with the end of development in sight, it sports a September release window.

A new trailer has also been made available:

Like you probably noticed if you watched the trailer, Two Tribes also shared some surprising news in that RIVE will be the studio’s final game. The company will continue to support partners and gamers, but the team won’t be making any new, original projects.

Two Tribes explained the situation in a recent blog post:

RIVE and beyond
An elaborate explanation on why we won’t be making any more games will follow below, but first you should know that we are going to go out with a bang! It might be a cliche, but we’ve saved the best for last: RIVE will be the best game Two Tribes ever!

For the last two years, we have been working feverishly to finish RIVE, the shooter/platformer hybrid that we always wanted to make. We have delayed it several times to make it the best experience possible and now that we are nearing the finish line, we can confidently say that RIVE will come out in September 2016!

We also want to make clear that Two Tribes will remain operational. We will continue to support our partners and all gamers out there, we just won’t be making any new games after RIVE.

So what happened?
The industry changed a lot since we started in 2000. Back then, there were maybe a dozen game developers here in The Netherlands. It was extremely difficult to enter the global games industry, as you needed to have a track record and experience. Even if you took a shot, you still had to secure backing from a publisher, since the only way to reach gamers was through physical distribution.

The technological bar was also set very high, as there were no middleware engines available. There were severe hardware limitations and most of today’s sophisticated design tools were non-existent. You basically had to make everything yourself. We felt comfortable working in such an environment, and we actually still cling to this DIY mentality.

The big change happened around 2008, when new technologies and tools allowed developers to make games way more easily and faster. Suddenly, because of digital distribution, small developers were able to create and publish their own games without the help of big publishers. Initially this was great for us, as we were one of the first developers to enter the Steam, WiiWare and iOS markets. Business was good. We were on the shortlists of companies like Nintendo and Valve.

But the situation didn’t last. While we were working on Toki Tori 2+ for two years, the industry was changing without us realizing it. The market was flooded with games by developers from all around the world. Game development schools were erected, and every year thousands of students tried their luck under increasingly difficult conditions. With game changers such as the Humble Bundle, the ever-continuing race to the bottom and a growing focus on free-to-play games, it became tough for a game to even hit the break-even point.

The industry had moved on and we were still stuck in the past. We learned this the hard way, when most of our employees needed to be laid off in 2013. But it would be too easy to solely blame the industry. Perhaps it would be better to blame it on dinosaurs!

Dinosaurs
As said, we’ve been working in the games industry since early 2000, making us dinosaurs, old farts, grandfathers or whatever you want to call us. This is great, because we’ve got a lot experience, but it also means that we act like a typical grandfather: slow and totally unaware of what is hot and what is not. Don’t get us wrong: we absolutely love making games, and we strongly feel that we’re good at making them. However, ask us anything about new industry developments, and often a big question mark will appear above our heads.

For example, we are used to working with our own proprietary engine. It’s technology that works great for us, but is by no means competitive with tools like Unity or the Unreal Engine. And then there are monetization strategies like free-to-play. We only know, and feel comfortable working with, the traditional model of full-priced games. The same goes for marketing: we know how to make a decent trailer and send out a press release… but have no clue how to get traction on YouTube and Twitch.

Wrapping up
Long story short (grandfathers like to digress!): when running a company, you need to be on top of your game, not just in terms of the product you’re making, but business-wise too. And we just aren’t on top of the games business anymore. Therefore, it makes sense to focus our attention elsewhere, perhaps even outside the games industry. We simply don’t know yet; but we do know that RIVE is going to be our parting gift to you and we’re making damn sure it’s going to be an awesome one!

Stay tuned for the release in September 2016!

Martijn, Collin and Meinte!

AfterZoom

largeAbylight recently released Musicverse: Electronic Keyboard, but it already has its next 3DS eShop title in the pipeline. The studio is bringing back AfterZoom, a 2011 DSiWare game which features a mix of real-world biology and fantasy elements. No release date has been announced yet, though.

Here’s the announcement from Abylight:

“Here in Abylight Studios we want to turn 2016 into one of the best years since the creation of the team, and not only because of our released games, but also for the beautiful collaborations we are working on. After the ‘Musicverse: Electronic Keyboard’ success on the Nintendo eShop, and almost with no time for us to recover from the celebration, we want to share more good news!

Because of the interest and love that you showed us about bringing ‘AfterZoom’ to Nintendo 3DS™, it is finally heading to the portable console. However, as you may imagine already, we can’t reveal further details, but we hope to start releasing more information in the coming weeks.

Prepare your Nintendo 3DS™ system because we will turn it into a lab from another planet! On this new installment of the franchise, ‘AfterZoom’ unveils the origins of such a weird microorganism collection, which consists of more than 150 species. These organisms are feisty and there will be lots of training to calm them down…”

Olympia Rising

PlayEveryWare’s Thomas O’Connor has revealed to Nintendo Everything that it has partnered itself with creator Paleozoic Games to port and publish Olympia Rising on the Wii U eShop. It should be available “in all regions” sometime in April.

Originally released last year, Olympia Rising is a 2D action-platformer featuring the young warrior Iola that, after meeting an untimely end, has found herself in the Underworld. Iola can use a jumping and attack mechanic to take down enemies and help climb the Underworld with great maneuverability.

You can find a trailer for the game below:

Jewel Quest

Besides Olympia Rising, PlayEveryWare has said that the match-3 puzzle title Jewel Quest is coming to Wii U. While PlayEveryWare worked on the port, iWin will be publishing it on its own. O’Connor anticipates that a release date will be shared “very soon”.

Here’s a trailer from the game’s mobile version:

Go Go Electric Samurai

Michael Todd, the creator of Electronic Super Joy, has revealed his next project. Go Go Electric Samurai is currently in development and will launch on several platforms, including Nintendo’s Wii U, sometime in Q2 for $9.99

Go Go Electric Samurai is an online-multiplayer team sport experience. Here’s a rundown of the various features:

– Hard, fast & brutal, set to electronic music
– As if ESJ & Rocket League had an ill-advised one-night stand in a scummy motel
– Yomi gameplay, designed by hockey fans
– Balanced for 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4
– Perk out your skill set, modify your base attacks & super-moves
– Highly mobile dog-fighting style movement, with fast, brutal, combat

You can find a trailer for the game below:

AcroStorm

AcroStorm has been in the works, and Blue Comet Games has been rather silent about it, but recently shared some new screenshots to show off its latest efforts. There’s still no word about a release date, but at least you have the images below to give you an idea of what is going on.

Tadpole Treble

BitFinity recently published another Tadpole Treble video showing off the Composition Mode with some fan compositions. You can watch it below:

SteamWorld Heist

Image & Form released another entry in its video series known as “The Engine Room”. This video, which is included below, showcases various concept art from SteamWorld Heist.

Assault Android Cactus

Witch Beam has been sharing a few developer diaries for Assault Android Cactus. You can find several of these below:

3Souls

Red Column has uploaded a new video for 3Souls, the indie developer’s upcoming puzzle-platformer for Wii U.

The video highlights Nelesa, the first character players will meet in the cells of Moon Prison. It also shows one of the portals hidden inside the cameras of Moon Prison, allowing you to see from your world with the Wii U GamePad, what Nelesa cannot see from hers.

Check it out below:

Mutant Mudds Super Challenge

Mutant Mudds Super Challenge will finally debut on the eShop this week. For an extensive look at the game, check out the preview video below by GameXplain.

Star Ghost

Star Ghost recently released on the Wii U eShop, so Nintendo Life has a new second trailer for the game, that you can watch below:

NintenDaan also recorded some footage from the game, in case you are interested in taking a look at the gameplay.

Grumpy Reaper

EnjoyUp’s Grumpy Reaper is now out both in Europe and North America. Below you can find a look at some gameplay footage coutesy of NintenDaan.

Dreamals

Dreamals is now out on the European Wii U eShop. Check out some gameplay footage below:

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