Genius & Evil
Ten-year-old Genius is a boy with plans for becoming a supervillain. As luck would have it, his house has been built on top of an old military bunker, home to the flying brain know as Evil. Together they create a time machine that they hope will enable them to see their evil plans to fruition. For their first test, they take a short hop back to try to prevent Genius's mother setting up a new website. With each change opening up new paths of history, the results may prove unpredictable.
Experimental Game's Nico Nowarra
With indie developer Experimental Game describing Genius & Evi as "the world's first interactive sitcom" with hopes for a TV and web series, they are definitely not lacking ambition. Add to that the plan to include 20% current news content and they definitely face a challenge. The presentation uses a third-person 3D view, with mostly fixed cameras, though there is the occasional follow-camera use in some areas. The graphics have the look of a modern cartoon series, featuring detailed 3D models depicting a sun-lit suburban American home. The bunker, containing Evil flying around in a military helmet, is in stark contrast to this cheery setting. Time travel is done via a grid map, with available nodes changing as a player's choices affect the direction of events. Within the grid nodes themselves, you play out that part of history with traditional dialogue and inventory puzzles. Some puzzles require you to solve other nodes to progress, whilst others offer multiple solutions that change the shape of the map.
There is currently no firm release target for the series’ debut 13-episode season, but more information can be found on the developer’s website under the “Projects” heading.
Dialogue: A Writer’s Story
Lucille is a writer in her mid-to-late 20s who has lived in her block of flats for some time. When a new resident named Adrian moves in, Lucille is one of the first to befriend him. Through their conversations, Lucille and Adrian find out more about each other, and over the course of the following year the two have a profound influence on each other’s lives.
Tea Powered Games' Florencia Minuzze and Dustin Connor
Many developers give dialogue only a minor role serving as exposition or a brief puzzle. For Tea-Powered Games, it is the sole purpose of the aptly-named Dialogue. The graphics feature bright stylised art, with fixed backgrounds and paper cut-out characters. This does not prevent characters from being expressive though, with the models changing to reflect a person’s mood. The gameplay is also pleasantly varied given the narrow focus. An opening scene played out like a standard dialogue, with an ongoing conversation occasionally interrupted by a list of choices for the player. A subsequent scene played out entirely differently. In this the conversation was represented as a grid-based map. You could pick out subjects from dialogue to pursue further and backtrack to earlier statements to explore different avenues of interaction. You could even open up new avenues of conversation by applying Lucille’s thoughts to the things being said. The whole experience is enhanced by good quality voice acting for all involved.
Antioch: Scarlet Bay
In the dark and isolated city of Antioch, another murder has taken place. For police detective Benedict, it was to be his last case before retirement. For detective Martin, it was to be his first day on the job. When the body was found at the sleazy Church View Hotel, it looked like it would be a standard case. But before the night is over, both will have delved deeply into a case unlike anything either of them had ever seen before.
Mi-Clos Studio's Antioch: Scarlet Bay
On the surface, Mi-Clos Studios’ game plays like a standard text adventure. The player is presented with text in a series of blocks, with stylised art presented for transitions between scenes. Most of the decisions that need to be made involve interacting with your partner on the case. The thing that sets Antioch apart from more traditional text-based adventures is that, whilst there is a single player option, that partner is intended to be another human being. This can either be a friend you have agreed to play with, or a stranger chosen at random from the player base. Co-operating or being antagonistic will produce different results, altering the course of investigation.
More information can be found on the official website. The game is currently on track for release in March 2017.
It was Immanuel Kant who first posited the concept of a thing-in-itself. The assertion was that we view objects based on both our past experiences and our current mood. The thing in itself remains unchanged but our perception of it alters as we ourselves change. Having had the idea explained to him by his girlfriend, one young man will soon get an object lesson in its application. A series of events seem to alter the world around him.
Party for Introverts' Arseniy Klishin and Laura Grey
While the room where Party for Introverts’ game takes place is rendered in 3D, objects within it are entirely flat. This creates a surreal feel to proceedings that fits in with the idea of reality seeming to change with a person's mental state. The game is fully voiced to a good standard, with internal dialogue from the young man and conversations with his girlfriend. The altered perception comes through in both the room's lighting and object labels. For example, an ordinary TV becomes a "Waste of Time" when your mood sours. The game is presented in first-person view, with keyboard movement and mouse to look around and interact. In the opening scene that I played, interaction was limited to tidying up by picking items up (using left-click) and depositing them in appropriate places.
More information can be found on the developer’s website. Having been Greenlit on Steam, they aim to release the final version in January 2017.