Things are looking up for the Downfall team of Mark Lovegrove (Screen 7), Rem Michalski, and Stefano Collavini
Back in May 2009, Rem Michalski released his first game ever, Downfall, which was met with a satisfactory, though not spectacular, reception. Rem kept his paying job while he worked on his next project, which turned out to be The Cat Lady. Released in collaboration with Screen 7, the game achieved widespread critical acclaim, and even now, over a year after it was first released, Michalski finds it hard to believe how positively the game was received.
So now he has been inspired to update Downfall. Both this game and The Cat Lady are set in the same world (the main protagonist, Joe from Downfall, even made an appearance in the next game), and the plan is to strengthen the link between the two to build a larger world. The overall intention is to make more of an updated and improved version of the original rather than an out-and-out remake. The main change will be in the interface and graphics. Gone is the point-and-click control scheme of the original, replaced with an improved version of The Cat Lady’s keyboard controls. Michalski was also never happy with the original look of Downfall, and has finally come to accept that animation is not his strong suit. He has therefore brought animator Stefano Collavini (known for his own game Nefasto’s (Mis)adventure: Meeting Noeroze to handle that side of the project.
The game has already been Greenlit on Steam, and Michalski hopes to release it on multiple platforms in 2015. Further information, including a link to download the now free original version, can be found on the game’s website.
The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1 – A Dreadly Business
The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle's Seb Burnett and Alexander Birke
Bertram Fiddle is the leading Victorian Explorator of his age. Assisted by his constant companion, Gavin the Cyclops, he is always ready for a bit of derring-do. Taking an interest in the activities of the appositely named Geoff the Murderer, Bertram sets out in pursuit of the dastardly villain. Perhaps if he can bring this cad and bounder to justice, he will finally get the respect he desires from his peers at the Esteemed Adventurers Club. Maybe they will even let him into the glorious Gold Members’ area where all the really esteemed adventurers are allowed to hang out.
Developed by Rumpus Animation, this surreal comic tale of a gentleman hero looks like an enjoyable romp. The project had its inspiration in an animation originally created as part of a master’s thesis. A bright cartoon style has been used, with a degree of caricature given to the characters. The game is fully voiced, with over-the-top accents used to gently mock the upper-class characters depicted. Full “seasons” of 2-3 episodes each are planned, though each episode is intended to include a self-contained storyline that wraps up before the end.
The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1 – A Dreadly Business has just been released for iOS on the App Store, with Windows, Mac, and Android versions coming soon. More information can be found on the game’s official website.
The Legend of Hand
On an island in an unnamed area of sea, a young martial artist is summoned by his master, who tasks him to go in search of a mysterious missing man, known only as Hand. His journey will take him many years, as he travels across five mysterious islands. Each island is governed by an individual who claims to be a descendant of Hand. By querying these alleged family members, the young martial artist hopes to pick up Hand’s trail, and ultimately fulfil the quest his master has set before him.
The Legend of Hand's John, Shaun, and Laurie
Having previously released the impressive Mudlarks and more recently A Date in the Park, The Legend of Hand is set to be Cloak and Dagger Games’ biggest production yet. The graphics are hand-drawn, with a look that fits the intended Asian style. Presented in third-person perspective, the artwork is reminiscent of Japanese scroll drawings, and it is layered in to create a parallax effect. The individual characters are nicely animated, with most, including the player character, having idle movements.
The demo on display included an extensive opening cutscene, followed by the first island to explore. Using a standard point-and-click interface, I moved across the opening scene’s scrolling landscape. Here I found an overly friendly dog and a variety of locals, not all of whom were pleased to see me. Each island of the game will be a separate chapter, though there are no current plans to release the game episodically. Some roleplaying elements will be included, with combat taking place from time to time. These are to be turn-based battles, however, with success dependent on learning new skills and putting them to good use, not quick fingers.
The aim is to release the finished game in late 2015. In the meantime, more information on this and previous games from the same team can be found on the developers’ website.
Exgenesis's Michele Sasso
The story of Genesis, in one form or another, appears across many cultures. In Exgenesis, set in a place where a third world war has brought much to ruin, society has fallen apart. No longer does mankind seek solace in spiritual things, as all have adopted a solely materialist approach to life. For two entities who oversee the world, the Older Brother and the Order, this is an unsatisfactory state of affairs. The Older Brother wants a new beginning, and has sought out a Chosen One (you) to be tested for your worth. The choices you make and the path you take through this test will determine humanity’s fate.
Presented in first-person slideshow format, with a standard point-and-click interface, this project from 48h Studio brings an unearthly quality. The graphics are realistic in appearance, though often with fantastical elements. In part this realism has been achieved by incorporating pictures of actual objects, such as a huge stone monument on the title screen, into the artwork. From what I saw at the convention, these elements have been seamlessly blended into the backgrounds, producing a stunning overall effect. The music in the demo also had an otherworldly quality, with an ethereal-sounding piano and strings backing the action. The intention is to offer multiple ways for the player to progress, with no decision being considered right or wrong. The resulting gameplay should lead to an ending that suits each player individually.
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More information about Exgenesis can be found on the developer’s website.