Adventure News
 


February 2013

27

Feb

Indie developer The Fullbright Company plans to disprove the notion that you can't go home again, though you won't find it anything like you left it in the upcoming Gone Home.

A finalist in the 2013 Independent Games Festival for Excellence in Narrative, Gone Home is a first-person adventure "entirely about exploration, mystery and discovery". As the eldest daughter of the Greenbriar family, you are returning home in early summer in 1995 after being away for a year. Expecting a happy reunion with her parents and sister, instead she "finds only a deserted house, filled with secrets. Where is everyone? And what’s happened here?"

As shown in the game's trailer, Gone Home emphasizes exploration over puzzle-solving in a real-time, free-roaming 3D mystery that lets you "open any drawer or door to investigate what’s inside. Piece together the mysteries from notes and clues woven into the house itself. Discover the story of a year in the life of the Greenbriar family. Dig deeper. Go home again."

Currently in development for Windows, Mac, and Linux, there is no firm release date scheduled yet for Gone Home, but the game is on track for release sometime later this year.



27

Feb

It's rare for adventures to adopt an isometric viewpoint, but VisionTrick Media's upcoming Pavilion looks set to challenge all sorts of perspectives when it's released later this year.

Dubbed by its two-man Swedish team as a "fourth person exploratory experience about guidance, influence and subliminal control", Pavilion casts players in a somewhat godlike role overseeing the main character, who finds himself alone and disoriented in a "surreal, dream-like place where reality clashes with fantasy". Players must guide him through this unusual locale by "either manipulating physical objects in the world or by interacting with sound, light and other subliminal elements that will affect the perception of the character and his behavior within the environment.

As seen in the game's introductory teaser, the isometric Pavilion promises to feature "beautiful hand-painted 2D graphics and dreamy ambient music" as your environmental manipulations "both physically and mentally unlock the pathway between the starting point of the main character and his final destination."

VisionTrick is currently hoping to release Pavilion for download on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android platforms as early as this fall. In the meantime, to learn more about the game and watch some live footage of a demo in action, visit the developer's blog.



26

Feb

A trip to the rural Greece may seem like an ideal vacation, but you'll find no sanctuary in Eleusis, a new real-time 3D indie adventure now available for download.

In the debut title from Nocturnal Works, players visit a seemingly abandoned village in Greece. As you begin to explore, however, you'll find out that not only aren't you alone, you've landed in the "nest of a cult which plans to revive a dark force through an ancient ritual and harness its power."  It's now up to you to rise to the challenge of "unlocking the forgotten knowledge of the ancient mysteries in order to stop the cult from accomplishing their goal."

As seen in the game's darkly atmospheric launch trailer, Eleusis features realistic first-person graphics using Unreal engine technology. As you explore the "open environment with realistic physics in the Greek countryside", you will be called upon to "solve the mystery by finding clues and reading texts based on actual history, mythology and technology of ancient Greece."

Unlike most games, if you like what you see of Eleusis so far, you don't have to wait at all to experience more, as the game is already available for download on Desura on PC. If you're still not quite sold, a playable demo can be found at the game's official website. You can also vote for the game on Steam Greenlight.



26

Feb

Usually deaths are taboo in adventure games, but it's imperative that you die in XING: The Land Beyond, an independent first-person "contemplative journey through the afterlife" that's currently seeking crowdfunding through Kickstarter.

In XING, it's clearly true that death is just the beginning. You may not be in heaven (though for adventure gamers, maybe this IS heaven!), but you will "find yourself on a journey across a series of mysterious islands. You will encounter perplexing puzzles, trapped souls, and the power to change the environment around you. Spiritualism, mysticism and logic come together in the land of XING, where you will traverse mountains, deserts, forests, volcanoes and more."

As its latest trailer clearly displays, XING is a stunning real-time 3D adventure, controlled by the standard keyboard-mouse combo. With no dialogue at all, the story of XING is told "through gameplay and poetry" while the puzzles, whose design is "akin to the Zelda series", revolve around manipulating the environment in various ways, granting players such powers as the ability to "summon rain, generate snowstorms and change the time of day to help them solve puzzles."

While production on XING from independent three-person White Lotus Interactive is coming along nicely, the developers are seeking an additional $15,000 through Kickstarter by April 1st in order to complete the game as planned by October. Failure to meet their goal won't result in the project's cancellation, but would result in a smaller game. The minimum pledge to receive a free downloadable copy of the game upon launch is $15, though there are tiers both below and above that amount offering various other rewards.

To contribute to the fundraising campaign or simply to learn more about XING: The Land Beyond, check out the Kickstarter page for full details.



22

Feb

Wadjet Eye Games can be forgiven for being busy lately publishing such acclaimed titles as Resonance and Primordia (both winners in our 2012 Aggie Awards presentation, but we'd sure like to see the next adventure from Dave Gilbert himself. Fortunately, there's a new one now on the horizon, as the popular indie developer has now formally announced Blackwell Epiphany

In the fifth Blackwell paranormal mystery:

A dead man's soul cries out against the force of a ferocious blizzard. He cries for help. He cries for answers. Then he screams as he is torn apart like damp tissue paper.

This wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last.

The police are powerless to stop it, so the duty falls to the only who can. What force could be so powerful - and so malevolent - that it would destroy the very core of a life in order to get what it wants?

Rosa Blackwell and Joey Mallone mean to find out, even if it means risking themselves in the process.

As seen in the game's first screenshots, Epiphany will feature the same retro pixel art aesthetic of its predecessors. Series fans will also be pleased to know that actors Abe Goldfarb and Rebecca Whittaker will both be reprising their vocal roles as Joey and Rosa.

There is currently no firm release date for Blackwell Epiphany, but it's not too far off, as Gilbert is projecting a "fall 2013" launch.



22

Feb

The name Jonas Kyratzes may not be widely known, but there's no mistaking his distinctive style. The acclaimed indie designer behind last year's The Sea Will Claim Everything (just recently dubbed the "Best Game No One Has Played" in our 2012 Aggie Awards) is looking to make a bigger name for himself with his second commercial adventure, Ithaka of the Clouds, though he'll need a little help to do it.

Ithaka of the Clouds is based in the Lands of Dream, the fantastical setting for several of Kyratzes's previous adventures. It's a realm where "everything once imagined is real, as are many things no mortal has yet conceived of"; a place where you might "meet the living, the dead, the undead, and even the unborn. Ancient authors, creatures of legend, unspeakable horrors, talking mushrooms... all are at home in the Lands of Dream."

Inspired by the "sensual, philosophical and historical poetry of Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933), one of the greatest modern Greek poets", the game is a romance story starring a pair of most unlikely lovers. It just so happens that "the two lovers are both trolls, creatures that human stories have often painted as frightening barbarians", and their journey in pursuit of the legendary titular city will "take them through many lands, where they will meet many people and creatures and face many challenges."

Like Kyratzes's other games, Ithaka of the Clouds promises such features as vivid hand-drawn graphics, multiple puzzle solutions to many puzzles and "walls of text" to describe this rich fantasy world in detail, along with bad puns, philosophy, and mushrooms. If you are familiar with the developer's work, Kyratzes claims that the new adventure will be "bigger and more detailed than The Sea Will Claim Everything, also going in some new directions in terms of structure and puzzles."

In order to make the game a reality within 6-8 months, however, Kyratzes is seeking $12,000 by March 24. Unlike some flexible Indiegogo crowdfunding appeals, the developer will only receive the funds if the target goal is fully met. Pledge rewards run from $10 for a DRM-free download on PC (or Mac and Linux using Wine/WineSkin) to higher levels that include a digital soundtrack, framed artwork, boxed version, and various user concepts appearing in the game. To learn more about Ithaka of the Clouds and contribute to the campaign, visit the Indiegogo page for complete details.



21

Feb

If you're starting to think there'll be no end of winter (in the northern hemisphere, at least), wait 'til you get a load of Richard & Alice, a post-apocalyptic indie adventure released today for PC.

Created by journalists Lewis Denby and Ashton Raze, whose combined credits include the likes of Eurogamer, PC Gamer, Rock Paper Shotgun and GameSpot, Richard & Alice takes place in a word beset by extreme climate conditions. Some parts of the world have been rendered barren deserts, while others are now blanketed in endless snow and ice. Amidst such devastating wintry conditions, the titular characters find themselves the lone inmates in a once-luxurious prison, raising key questions for players such as how they got there, what happened to bring the world to this catastrophic condition, and more importantly, what happens now?

As seen in the game's latest trailer, Richard & Alice is a "story-focused" adventure with a minimalistic retro aesthetic. Much of the game will be played as Richard, but flashbacks played as Alice will help players piece together her mysterious history even as they try to figure out what's happening in the outside world.

Available now exclusively for download, you can find Richard & Alice at participating digital distributors like GOG.com and Desura. The game isn't currently offered on Steam, but it is eligible for voting through Greenlight.

To learn more about Richard & Alice, check out our hands-on preview, which includes an interview with the game's designers.



20

Feb

After a dearth of adventure/RPG hybrids since the days of Quest for Glory, soon we'll be basking in them, at least if we continue to pay for the privilege. Following previous crowdfunding appeals for Hero-U and Quest for Infamy, now Himalaya Studios has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements.

Mage's Initiation follows the tale of sixteen-year-old D'arc, a would-be mage who must "complete a trio of tasks set by his Mage Masters." As you venture through his medieval-styled realm, you must "brave a goblin-infested forest. Navigate a vast lake to encounter an evil so pure, not even beauty can disguise it. Ascend to the peaks of Flyteria, a valley of winged warriors once dedicated to protection of the human town." The stakes are clear: "Succeed and D'arc shall take his place among his fellow Mages. Fail and nobody shall remember his name."

But D'arc's trials will prove anything but a straightforward adventure. Although controlled using either a "Sierra-like Icon Bar or LucasArts Verb-Coin", Mage's Intiation will also feature "multiple playable character classes, spell-casting, and an open-field magical combat system, complete with equippable items and monster loot drops." Each player's choice of earth, air, fire or water as the central element will affect gameplay in a variety of ways, from "combat strategy to spells and puzzles."

The name Himalaya Studios may not seem overly familiar, though the indie studio did release Al Emmo and the Lost Dutchman's Mine in 2006. However, they're much better know as the "Anonymous Game Developers" (or AGD Interactive) behind the excellent freeware remakes of King's Quest I-III and Quest for Glory II.

Now setting their sites on an original QFG-like adventure/RPG of their own, Himalaya has been self-financing development of Mage's Initiation for a year, but in order to finish the game in a feature-rich fashion by February 2014, the team is asking for $65,000 by March 23 on Kickstarter. Although production will continue regardless of the outcome, a failure to meet the target goal "could add years to the development time."

With the "early bird" offer already fulfilled, pledge rewards now begin at $16 for a DRM-free download of the game on PC, along with the soundtrack and access to private backer forums, while upper tiers include the likes of T-shirts, signed lithographs, hardcover art book, and either standard or Collector's Edition disc versions of the game, among others. Visit the Kickstarter page to watch the Mage's Initiation pitch video and learn all about the project, and of course to contribute if so inclined. You can also vote for the game to be released on Steam Greenlight



20

Feb

What's in a name? Apparently quite a bit if you're looking forward to Daedalic's The Rabbit's Apprentice, as the upcoming fantasy adventure slated for May has been renamed The Night of the Rabbit.

The Night of the Rabbit tells the story of 12-year-old Jeremiah Hazelnut, who wants nothing more than to become a magician, and the talking, anthropomorphic rabbit who takes him under his wing as a student. Just as Jerry's summer vacation is about to end, the "elegantly dressed rabbit who goes by the name the Marquis de Hoto appears, carrying Jerry with him into an enchanted realm..." On the journey through his new mentor's home of Mousewood, Jerry discovers that he was chosen to play a crucial role in confronting an evil force threatening to tear apart the fabric of reality, but only if he can first overcome his greatest fear.

The Night of the Rabbit has been in development for more than a year, and the best news of all is that the game isn't far off now. Along with the title change, Daedalic has announced May 29th as the international release date for PC and Mac, including "full German and English versions, as well as Russian, Polish, Czech, French and Spanish text localizations."

To learn more about The Night of the Rabbit, be sure to check out our interview with Matthias Kempke, the game's creator.



16

Feb

If you've ever had dark thoughts about manipulating a voodoo doll, you'll get your chance later this year when Voodoo is released.

In the debut adventure from indie Spanish studio Ayramen, players will bring a little voodoo doll to life in an old abandoned textile factory. The building seems "dead and desolate", but you'll soon discover that it's anything but as you "help the doll to solve puzzles and riddles to move through the different levels, avoiding deadly dangers."

As seen in the game's first trailer, Voodoo is a stylish third-person, hand-drawn adventure that should remind people of Machinarium. The protagonist can "die", but the gameplay is point-and-click – or more accurately, point and tap, as it's being designed primarily for iOS platforms. The developers hope to port the game to Windows and Mac later on, but this isn't yet a certainty.

There is currently no firm release date for Voodoo, but the game is on track to launch sometime in 2013.



14

Feb

If you can't imagine the people behind the hyper-violent Painkiller and Bulletstorm are capable of making peaceful, cerebral adventures, several former People Can Fly veterans aim to prove you wrong later this year with the release of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.

Violence is still at the heart of this game, but this time you're out to prevent more from occurring. Players control a detective with a "supernatural ability to visualize scenes of lethal crimes", who finds himself in a beautiful mountain area in pursuit of a kidnapped boy. After coming across the mutilated remains of one of the kidnappers, you must use "both your paranormal skill and modern detective tools... to discover the mystery behind the trail of corpses in the valley, the roots of an ancient force ruling the area, and the fate of the kidnapped boy."

The game's first trailer highlights the jaw-dropping artwork that will be presented in real-time 3D using the latest Unreal 3 engine, and teases a sample of the ominously serene atmosphere we can expect from a game "inspired by the weird fiction stories and other tales of macabre of the early 20th century".

Now calling themselves The Astronauts, the game's indie Polish developers confirm that there will be investigative gameplay involved ("after all, you do play as a detective"), but their main priority is creating an experience based on "immersion, exploration and discovery" rather than mind-bending challenges. The first-person, free-roaming game will be controlled by either a keyboard/mouse combo or gamepad, but in a radical departure from the group's previous games, designer Adrian Chmielarz claims that there is no combat or reflex-based action planned.

There is no firm release date scheduled for The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, but the game is currently on track for downloadable release on PC later this year. For more information in the meantime, be sure to drop by the official website.



13

Feb

For all prospective modders and developers out there, there's good news out of Senscape's Asylum today, as the indie Argentine studio has now made its Dagon engine completely open source.

Based on other open technologies and created specifically for the upcoming Lovecraft-inspired horror adventure, the Dagon engine is "especially tailored for adventure games" and promises a "deceptively simple scripting language, blazing fast performance and high portability supporting Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X."

In speaking of Dagon in our recent interview, Senscape's Agustín Cordes claimed that "for now it’s focused on first-person adventures (both panoramas and slideshows) but eventually we’ll add support for third-person. The output of graphics is very 'elastic' and automatically supports any type of resolution, including true HD."

Not only does the free engine already allow developers to create their own original adventures driven by Dagon, an added bonus for fans of Asylum is that a software development kit is "being prepared for the purpose of enabling fans to create and play their own stories based on the deeply detailed game world... Many other game genres allow you to create mods, so why not an adventure game?”

The Dagon engine can be downloaded in its GitHub repository, along with instructions for using it. To see Asylum and the Dagon engine in action, an interactive teaser is also available. If you like what you see of both, the full game is currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign that ends on February 28th.



11

Feb

While adventure gamers revel in the genre resurgence brought about by crowdfunding, behind the scenes there have been troubling developments that serve as a stark reminder of how tenuous the industry can be in a niche market like ours. 

Last month, CBE Software announced it had terminated its publishing agreement with Lace Mamba Global due to a breach of contract relating to payments owed for J.U.L.I.A. and J.U.L.I.A. Untold. Soon thereafter, LMG responded by claiming CBE's accusations included "a number of inaccuracies and false statements" and that it had tried unsuccessfully to resolve the situation privately. This denial was followed by an announcement that the company's European Managing Director Jason Codd had resigned, to be replaced by a "new management structure and team... to ensure our communication and relationship with developers is more open and transparent."

So, culprit identified, resolution initiated, and justice prevails, right? Well, not so fast.

It turns out that CBE was far from the only developer with a grievance against Lace Mamba Global. Among those who had also failed to receive payments due were Amanita Design, Daedalic Entertainment, and Colibri Games. Now, as a cautionary tale to other developers seeking contractual compensation from Lace Mamba Global, and to those who might wish to do business with LMG in future, Amanita, Daedalic, and Colibri have collaborated on an "open letter" that details their experiences. This letter has been reprinted in its entirety below.
 



An open letter from Amanita Design, Colibri Games and Daedalic Entertainment


Dear colleagues:

This story may remind you of the Digital Jesters story from just a few years ago, because it is essentially the same: a number of studios signed up with a British publisher/distributor; the said British publisher/distributor has neither reported to the developers nor paid the guarantees and royalties under the contracts; and the studios fought back.

Today, we’re going public with the story below as a warning to other studios: please learn from our experience and do not make the mistake of working with a group of people who are known for systematically not fulfilling their obligations towards development studios.

CONTRACTS

In November of 2009, Amanita Design signed a contract with Mamba Games Ltd., which allowed Mamba Games Ltd. to publish and distribute Amanita’s Machinarium in certain territories on the condition of a minimum guarantee to be paid, followed quarterly reports and royalty payments.

In June of 2010, Daedalic Entertainment signed a contract with Lace Mamba Global Ltd., which allowed Lace Mamba Global Ltd. to publish and distribute Daedalic’s Deponia, The Whispered World, A New Beginning and Edna & Harvey: The Breakout in certain territories on the condition of a minimum guarantee to be paid, followed quarterly reports and royalty payments.

In April of 2011, Colibri Games signed a contract with Lace Mamba Global Ltd., which allowed Lace Mamba Global Ltd. to publish and distribute Colibri’s The Tiny Bang Story in certain territories on the condition of a minimum guarantee to be paid, followed quarterly reports and royalty payments.

MISSING REPORTS & PAYMENTS, UNAUTHORIZED SALES

Following the execution of the contracts and delivery of game masters to Lace Mamba Global Ltd., neither Colibri nor Daedalic have received the full amount of the minimum guarantees that Lace Mamba Global Ltd. agreed to pay in their contracts with the studios. At first, promises to pay were made by Jason Codd, LMG’s European Managing Director; then Jason Codd completely disappeared from the correspondence and numerous reminders were ignored by him as well as by his colleagues.

At the same time, neither Amanita nor Colibri nor Daedalic received from Mamba Games Ltd. and Lace Mamba Global Ltd. the royalty reports that have been due under the contracts on a quarterly basis. We found ourselves in an uncomfortable position of having a third party exploit the results of our creative work in a totally uncontrolled manner where we did not know when, how and with what result our products were being manufactured and sold into the market.

Finally, in a meeting with industry colleagues during GDC 2012 in San Francisco both Amanita and Daedalic with a great surprise found out that their studio’s products are without any agreement or authorization being distributed by Mamba Games Ltd. and Lace Mamba Global Ltd. in the territories where no rights were granted to these companies. Moreover, in some instances Mamba Games Ltd. went so far as to sell to the local distributors the right to manufacture our games for a flat fee, not only collecting such revenue in breach of our rights, but also damaging our games with a model that we would have never agreed to in the first place, no matter who would be offering it.

“LATER” BECOMES “NEVER”

After months of trying to resolve the issue of missing reports, payments and unauthorized sales via email, we decided to terminate our contracts with Mamba Games Ltd. and Lace Mamba Global Ltd. so that at least the company no longer has any rights to manufacture any more copies of our games. In July 2012 and in November 2012, Colibri Games and Daedalic Entertainment sent the official letters of termination to the address of Lace Mamba Global Ltd. specified in the contracts with the studios.

Around the same time Colibri Games also published a press release urging other studios not to work with Lace Mamba Global Ltd. due to the lack of reporting and payments on the side of that company (http://www.mcvuk.com/press-releases/read/colibri-games-has-canceled-distribution-agreement-withlace-mamba-global/0101615).

It’s worth noting that in later conversations with the representatives of Lace Mamba Global Ltd., they claimed that the letters – despite being delivered with confirmations of the receipt – were never seen, and that their email system was ‘malfunctioning’ exactly on the days when copies of the same termination letters were also forwarded to the company’s email address – despite these emails being successfully delivered without any error messages in response.

UNITED WE STAND

In January 2013, another developer – CBE Software – went public with the similar story: no reporting, no payments, no response from Lace Mamba Global after giving over the master of their game (http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-01-28-lace-mamba-responds-to-cbe-software-accusations) – and our studios decided to make one last collective effort to resolve the mess created by Mamba Games Ltd. and Lace Mamba Global Ltd., contacting not only Jason Codd, who was the director that originally initiated all of the contracts, but also all the other people from Mamba Games and/or Lace Mamba Global whom we knew: Damian Finn, Adam Lacey and Campbell Lacey.

Such collective action bore fruit, and we advise other developers in similar situation to resort to the same strategy, joining forces to defend your rights together: after a week of heated discussions involving such entertaining topics as Crown Prosecution Service and possible imprisonment for organized piracy, Mamba Games Ltd. and Lace Mamba Global Ltd. provided Daedalic, Colibri, CBE and Amanita with a work-in-progress ad hoc royalty report.

Moreover, as of February 11, 2013, Lace Mamba Global Ltd. has paid all of its outstanding debts to CBE and Daedalic Entertainment and also paid to Colibri the remaining part of the minimum guarantee that has been due for many months before, signing with Colibri an additional written agreement to pay the remaining debts by March 15, 2013. Finally, Lace Mamba Global Ltd. delivered to Colibri the unsold units of Colibri’s game that were in its possession, and promised to deliver the same to Daedalic.

We were also informed that Jason Codd, the person who negotiated all of the original contracts and who was the main point of contact for our studios on the side of Mamba Games Ltd. and Lace Mamba Global Ltd. , has been ‘fired’ from his directorship of Lace Mamba Global Ltd. (http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-02-07-lace-mamba-globals-european-md-resigns).

NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T

At the time of writing of this open letter, Daedalic has no outstanding financial issues with Lace Mamba Global Ltd., its contract with Lace Mamba Global Ltd. has been terminated earlier in 2012 and Lace Mamba Global Ltd. now recognizes this termination. Lace Mamba Global Ltd. also recognized the termination by Colibri Games, from 2012, and the companies now have a newly signed agreement according to which the remaining debts will hopefully be paid shortly and the mix-up with the rights will be cleared in a matter of days. With a collective sigh we are so very happy to put this case away and to focus once again on the creative process.

However, a radically different approach was applied by the representatives of Mamba Games Ltd. to the resolution of their issues with Amanita Design: after years of missing reports and lack of due payments, and after selling Amanita’s Machinarium in countries and to companies where and to whom Mamba Games Ltd. had no right to sell the game, Adam Lacey – the CEO of Lace Mamba Global, a company whose logo is clearly displayed on the retail boxes of Machinarium, told Amanita that in fact Mamba Games Ltd. and Lace Mamba Global Ltd. are two different companies, and that Lace Mamba Global Ltd. is not responsible for reporting and payments due on the side of Mamba Games Ltd., which is said to be fully owned by the same Jason Codd who was just a few days ago a director of both of these companies, and who completely disappeared from the radar, nor responding neither to emails nor to phone calls.

Interestingly, Mr. Lacey sometimes signs his emails as the CEO of Lace Mamba Global Ltd., and sometimes as Managing Director of Lace Group (whatever that means), while his colleagues involved in the dispute with our studios use emails form domains such as @mamba-games, @lace-mamba, and @lacegroup. Moreover, Mr. Lacey writes that Jason Codd has been the director of Lace Mamba Global Ltd. while Jason Codd himself writes that he was never officially the director of neither Mamba Games Ltd. nor Lace Mamba Global Ltd., even though he sometimes signed as a European Managing Director of Lace Mamba Global Ltd. (but not of Mamba Games Ltd.). Also, it was Mamba Games Ltd. which wired some of the payments due under the contract with Lace Mamba Global Ltd.

Of significant interest is also the fact that the boxes of Amanita’s Machinarium, illegally and without any approval released in retail in Poland and in Sweden, bear the logo of Lace Mamba Global – even though Mr. Lacey claims that Lace Mamba Global is “just a sub-distributor” of the game, while Mamba Games Ltd. is the original publisher. Mr. Lacey could not explain the reasons as to why Mamba Games Ltd., a publisher, would not place its logo on the box of the game, but would rather place a logo of its subdistributor – both of these entities conveniently headed by the same person.

THE WAY FORWARD

It seems that the only way of defending the rights of Amanita is to engage a professional law firm that would be able to take the issue to the British courts in order to establish the precise relationship of Lace Mamba Global, Lace Group and Mamba Games, as well as the positions and responsibilities of these companies and their management as far as Amanita’s contract and breach of such contract are concerned. It is a long and windy road but the studio is willing to take it to establish the truth, so that other studios are prevented from being harmed in a similar way in the future.

As for now, we kindly ask you to distribute this open letter throughout the industry so that at least in the short term, fellow developers pay more attention as to whom they sign with, and whom they send the masters of their games to – as one the master is out of ones hands, unexpected things may happen. We stay united in our disapproval of the business practices described above and we hope that our experience prevents other developers from making similar mistakes.

Jakub Dvorsky, Managing Director of Amanita Design
Andrey Arutyunyan, Managing Director of Colibri Games
Sergei Klimov, Director of International Publishing of Daedalic Entertainment



10

Feb

The flowers are blooming early this year, as an new episodic indie adventure series called Rose has just been announced for release next month.

The game casts players in the titular role of Rose, a 12 year-old girl who enters an old house that's been abandoned for nearly 30 years along with her friends. The "house on the edge of Aevus Street has long been the center of local myth and legend" since the unexplained death of Gilda Gudjonsen and the disappearance of her husband Henry, and many believe that "something sinister lurks behind the fence with the aging 'keep out' sign..." Once inside, Rose will be the one to "discover the truth behind Dr. Henry Gudjonsen's obsession."

As seen in the game's first trailer, Rose is an atmospheric first-person adventure along the lines of Dark Fall and Scratches. Although made in real-time 3D, it's a point-and-click adventure that transitions between available explorable scenes. Rose will tell a continuous story spanning four episodes, each of which will begin with a recap of the previous episode's story. Israel-based indie developer Cellar Door Interactive anticipates a timeframe of 2-3 months between subsequent installments.

The debut episode of Rose is nearly complete, and the developers expect to launch the game through various digital distributors for PC and Google Play for Android devices sometime in March. An iOS version is also planned for release shortly thereafter.



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