If you missed the first part of our gamescom 2015 coverage, courtesy of our German colleagues at Adventure-Treff, there's still time to get caught up. For everyone else, let's forge ahead with the rest of another very busy games convention in Cologne.
The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle
We discussed the current state of The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle with Seb Burnett from Rumpus Animation. Episode 1 - A Dreadly Business has been available for iPad for some time and recently came out for PC. We saw some art from the second part, which will have more difficult puzzles than a first installment that was criticized for being too easy. A Kickstarter campaign for the second and last part will be started as early as September, for which the funding target has not yet been decided. The playtime is again set to be two to three hours.
The Italian Booth - The Town of Light, Loading Human
Two interesting exploration-driven adventure games are coming out of Italy in the near future. The first is the horror-adventure The Town of Light. For this game the developers recreated one of the largest abandoned sanatoriums in Europe in great detail, then filled it with objects and stories of their own. When it was in use, the clinic harbored up to 6,000 patients, the same as the number of citizens in the nearby city. As a result, almost all local inhabitants were somehow connected to the facility.
The story behind The Town of Light is itself fictional, but based on true events and months of research. Part of the story is set in the year 1942, when no medication was available and people had to rely on mechanical therapies. The other part is set in the current day, with the building already abandoned. The story is about a girl who was 16 years old when she was a patient there. How to interpret these experiences is left to the player. The game can be played from four points of view, which will lead to distinctly different experiences. The ending is always the same; the replay value is in how the game progresses.
There will be a regular screen mode, an Oculus Rift mode, and a Hybrid mode where the VR goggles are used only in specific places. The version we looked at was already working fairly well both on the screen and with the VR goggles, and we were very impressed with the graphics. The controls using the Oculus worked great as well. The sound effects also hit the right grim tone. The game works on subtle horror rather than jumpscares, and created a gripping atmosphere right from the start when we tested it.
The Town of Light should come out for PC by the end of the year, though this is not entirely certain yet. A console version is also being planned. Initially the Oculus Rift will be the only VR set the game supports. If the game is a success, further episodes and add-ons are possible.
Another game that works with VR goggles is Loading Human, a first-person game that will have many classic adventure game puzzles. There was sadly nothing to see yet, but we did get to discuss the essential information. The game is about a young man named Prometheus, who is being trained by his father for an important space mission. His father, a scientist, managed to develop a machine that can bestow immortality. This machine, however, requires an increasing amount of energy to function, for which a new, inexhaustible source is needed. This is where Prometheus comes in. Naturally his journey is not without incident.
The game is being developed entirely for VR goggles, and will support all major models. There will also be six different control schemes to choose from. Currently the release schedule is no more specific than sometime in 2016.
The Interactive Adventures of Dog Mendonça & Pizzaboy
The Argentinian developer OKAM Studio gave us the latest updates on comic book adaptation The Interactive Adventures of Dog Mendonça and Pizzaboy. The most important news was that publisher Deep Silver has taken the game under its wing and wants to release it for PC and Mac. Ports for iOS and Android will follow later. We saw many new screenshots, which looked very detailed. The characters, including Kickstarter backers put into the game, are all done in 2D. The game length is estimated at about six hours.
Her Majesty's SPIFFING
Billy Goat Entertainment first showed us the 3D comedy adventure Her Majesty's SPIFFING last year. The latest version, which we were able to see today, showed sure signs of progress. The game runs smoothly, looks very good visually and has a great deal of jokes that hit home. The humor is deeply rooted in British culture.
The game should last about six hours and be able to stand alone, with further parts coming out if it’s successful enough. The developers compare this with the classic Star Wars trilogy. (A successful start, a bombastic second part and a not-quite-as-good finale that wraps up the story?) The game should be done by January 2016 and offer English speech and both mouse and gamepad controls. Billy Goat is still looking for a publisher to put the game on store shelves.
The Mulbury Project
Just like yesterday, a title from Belfast came out of nowhere to surprise us. Greg Maguire from inlifesize has been a Technical Supervisor at Disney for years, working on projects like Avatar, Robots and Spider-Man. On returning to Belfast, he and a team of six started working on an episodic game, advised by Martin Brennan (Hitman Absolution) and Kevin Beimers (Hector: Badge of Carnage). The game can be described both in gameplay and in theme as The Walking Dead mixed with a real inventory, puzzles and somewhat smoother, more rounded graphics.
The first three episodes should be done in October. In the meantime, further funding arrangements are being looked into. The last three episodes should arrive on a monthly basis once they start being produced. We were shown a video on an iPad that included some in-game scenes, and it looks like The Mulbury Project could end up being very interesting for people who like episodic games.
We met with Marco Dyziek from Bluebox Interactive (previously EdVenture Studios) to take a look at an almost finished Jerry McPartlin. Unfortunately that didn't work out due to technical difficulties, but we did get to know a few things about the game, including that it will be done by the end of the month.
On returning to his home town after being away for a while, titular hero Jerry McPartlin discovers that a string of mysterious murders are being committed. Wik Vaya, the Indian father of his old love interest and diner owner Luna, is convinced a ghost is involved and urges Jerry to intervene. The game should last 6-8 hours, and is the prologue of what was originally an episodic game, now self-contained but with plenty of hooks for potential sequels.
The game is made completely in 3D in the Unity engine, with a fixed camera that makes it play like a 2D adventure. The developer says the gameplay will consist of classic combination and inventory puzzles. The game will initially appear for PC, Mac and Linux, with versions for mobile devices and Xbox One and PlayStation 4 still being considered.Continued on the next page...