Nov. 9 to 15 Indie News Roundup

FAST Racing Neo

The latest Nintendo Direct confirmed that Shin’en’s FAST Racing Neo will be released in early December for the Wii U and showcased a new trailer for the game that you can find below, followed by some new screenshots.

SteamWorld Heist

Also confirmed during the same direct was the release of SteamWorld Heist, also in December but for the 3DS. You can take a look at the footage shown during the Direct below:

Typoman

Yet another game that was covered during the Direct was Typoman by Headup Games, which is now out in the Wii U eShop after releasing on November 19. You can find the official launch trailer and some footage of the game below:

Tiny Thief

The final game covered in the Nintendo Direct, albeit only in the Japanese one, was 5Ants and Rovio’s Tiny Thief. Nintendo is helping to bring the game to the Japanese Wii U eShop for 800 yen. You can find a trailer for the game below:

Affordable Space Adventures

KnapNok Games’ acclaimed Wii U exclusive Affordable Space Adventures recently got a free update that introduces five new levels in Origin Story while also implementing fixes and improvements. The game’s price has also been reduced by 20% in Europe since Thursday. You can find an overview of the game and it’s update in the press release below, followed by some screenshots of the update’s content.

Copenhagen, Denmark – June 10th 2015

KnapNok Games and Nifflas’ Games, the developers of the critically acclaimed Affordable Space Adventures for Wii U, are announcing the release of the free Origin Story content update and a temporary discount to celebrate the launch on November 12th 2015.

Origin Story is a set of 5 brand-new levels of Affordable Space Adventures that take players through the hardest areas of the game so far. These unique stages have been designed not only to put players’ skills to the test, but also to get them to think outside the box and make use of all the Small Craft systems in new ways.

This new chapter, available at any moment from the difficulty select screen, is recommended only for those that have already completed the main story and are looking for a new series of puzzling challenges. “We had lots of level ideas that were too difficult to implement as part of the main story”, explains Affordable Space Adventures’ game director Nicklas Nygren. “Origin Story is our way of introducing some of these concepts to those who have already finished the game.”

To celebrate the release of the new update, the developers will be launching a special sale of Affordable Space Adventures on the Nintendo eShop. The sale will drop the price of the game by 20% for 2 weeks starting November 12th 2015 in Europe and Australia, the same day the Origin Story update launches for Wii U™ consoles. America will get both the update and the sale soon after.

The update, which is a remaster of the game rather than a patch, also brings with it several fixes and improvements based upon players’ feedback via social media and the Affordable Space Adventures Miiverse™ community.

“We’d like to reward fans of Affordable Space Adventures with additional content for free”, states KnapNok Games’ CEO Dajana Dimovska. “We heard a lot of people asking for more levels, so our hope is that this update will keep the game alive for them. Likewise, we expect new players to pick up the game after this update and enjoy taking it for a spin.”

Since its release in April 9th, Affordable Space Adventures has been receiving great reviews and recommendations from both the media and customers alike. The highest praised feature is the game’s use of the Wii U GamePad, transforming it into the cockpit of a spaceship and giving players absolute control over the ship’s systems. This allows for the game to be played not only in single player mode, but also as a co-op experience, with players taking over different roles as Pilot, Engineer and Science Officer of the spaceship and requiring good communication between them.

The game has players taking control over the Small Craft, a cheap but functional spaceship provided by the Uexplore corporation, as they crash-land on an alien planet. As the game progresses, the spaceship gains new functions, progressively introducing players to new ways of solving the puzzles they encounter as they find their way out of the planet.

The game currently holds a score of 81 in Metacritic.

Yooka-Laylee

The Yooka-Laylee team released some interesting new information this week.

First, we have a newly introduced character, the Rextro Sixtyfouros. Rextro is a dinosaur character, inspired by the old-school look of the N64 era, who acts as guardian of the arcade machines hidden on each level. Players will find at least one secret arcade game in each world, which provides a Pagie when completed.

Mark Stevenson, who previously worked on the Donkey Kong Country series, Donkey Kong 64 and Kameo, is responsible for Rextro Sixtyfourus’ design. Here’s what he had to say about the character:

“We decided on using a dinosaur pretty early on as this is a creature that naturally associates with a past era. Then I think mostly my inspiration came from work I’d done previously on characters for the Donkey Kong 64 game. From this work I knew the kind of forms we had to create due to low polygon counts, so this inspired the shapes used to create Rextro’s blocky feet and hands that are virtually cubes. All the polygons in Rextro have hard edges as well: this affects how the light shines on him meaning you can basically see all the polygon faces as individual facets.

“I wanted Rex to to feel like he captured the era of games from my early career which also included work on the Donkey Kong games on the Super Nintendo. Finally just to reinforce the retro aspect some more, I created a custom shader that creates a scanline effect on Rextro to make him look like he’s being viewed on an old school CRT TV.”

“He evolved quite naturally really, the only part of him that we really took some time to settle on was his accessory around his neck which started out as a red tie very much like Donkey Kong before we settled on a medallion made from one of the game’s Play Tokens to reference his crucially important task.”

The character was revealed during the IGN feature you can find below:

A few days later, IGN posted a music sample from Yooka-Laylee’s World 1, which you can listen to below:

Here’s what Grant Kirkhope, the composer of Yooka-Laylee, had to say about the music creation process:

“Erm…it’s only the first bit that sounds that way maybe, the rest of the music is skewed towards each area that it fades to like in the original Banjo-Kazooie, and I think that Caribbean feel that you’re hearing might be because I’m using the marimba for the main melody at the start. I used the marimba because it features so heavily in both the BK games.”

“Honestly I don’t mind what people hear when they listen as long as they like it! I think once people know what the different variations of the music were written for it’ll all fall into place (at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!).”

“I asked Gavin (Price) for a brief description of the different areas that I needed to write the variations for, but that was about it. Obviously Steve Mayles complains most of the time when it comes to the music – some things never change even after 17 years, I’m used to it by now.”

“I think any composer worth their salt can get a pretty good idea in their head before they even start writing music when they get a description of the thing they’re writing for. For example if someone says it’s a frozen ice mountain I’d be thinking about pizzicato strings, celeste and glockenspiel before I’d even written a note. Or if it was a lush green forest I’d be thinking about using nice warm winds like bassoons and clarinets. Writing music is all about using your imagination, the images tell the story but it’s the music that lets you know how to feel.”

Finally, later in the week, IGN continued its coverage of Yooka-Laylee with another video, where Playtonic’s Gav Murphy talks about voice acting. Check it out below:

HullBreach Studios 2016 Tease

HullBreach Studios recently released a new video showcasing their game lineup for 2016. The lineup includes:

  • SDK Paint v4 (Q1) – Online sharing, more brushes, more galleries;
  • SDK Spriter (Demo Q4 2015, Full Q1/Q2) – Game development tool, online sharing, level building;
  • Tomeling: Darkness Falls (Demo Q1, Full TBA) – toon-shaded, turn-based RPG;
  • HullBreach: Uncloaked (TBA) – Space exploration sandbox;

You can find the video tease below:

Aqua Moto Racing Utopia

Zordix has recently published a preview trailer for Aqua Moto Racing Utopia and you can watch it below:

https://youtu.be/ZTxN9YamEOY

Zordix also said that Aqua Moto Racing Utopia is going multiplatform, with the game being on the PlayStation in addition to Wii U. The studio also experienced “an expansion of office space, employees and dreams”.

Space Dave!

Choice Provisions recently released some screenshots from Space Dave!. You can view them in the gallery below:

Totem Topple

Totem Topple recently released on the Wii U eShop for 2.99€/$2.99. You can find an overview and some footage of the title below:

Build your totem pole up into the sky and stars beyond in a fresh twist on the tower defence genre! Wolves, Bears, Deer and more – Stack different totem heads on your tower, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Add protective wings and arrow firing bird beaks to fend off the demon spirits trying to knock your totem pole down! Featuring two challenging and unique game modes: Carefully craft an impregnable tower in Classic mode, or feel the fast paced arcade-style action of Frantic mode.

– Advanced upgrade system allows for complex strategic play
– Dynamic AI adjusts the ferocity of its attacks based on your progress
– Unique, vibrant art style inspired by Native American culture

Girls Like Robots

Girls Like Robots recently launched on the North American Wii U eShop. You can watch the official trailer below:

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