Connect with us

Features

Top 5 Tuesday – Top 5 Upcoming Indie Games

Published

 on

One of the biggest genres of the current generation of consoles will prove to be the indie game. Sony and Microsoft have gone all out in assuring that there will be many indie games on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, including allowing self publishing by developers. These coincide with the many indies released annually on Steam. There are many upcoming indie games that we are looking forward to, and here are our top five.

The Witness

The Witness was originally revealed at the PlayStation 4 launch event in 2013 and showed the initial proclivity Sony was going to have for indie games this generation. Jonathan Blow, the creator of Braid, revealed it as a first person puzzle game set on a mysterious island with your only goal being to reach a mountain by completing these puzzles. There will be 10 sections of the game, each of which has a different style of puzzles, with a certain amount needed to reach the mountain. The Witness will be an open-world game, allowing the player to explore the world freely and solve the puzzles in any way he or she chooses. The story is nebulous throughout the game, and Jonathan Blow has said that the game is based on “rewarding the player” through exploration of the world and learning more about what it has to offer. The Witness is set to be released at some point in 2014 on PC, PS4, and iOS.

witness ps4

Rime

Rime was revealed at Sony’s Gamescom 2013 press conference as one of many new indie titles announced. It is being developed by Tequila Works, who previously made Deadlight on the Xbox 360. The game will take place in an open world, on an island where a boy has been placed with a curse and needs to survive and ultimately escape. It will involve puzzle solving, as well as exploring the open world to learn about it and what lies in it. Rime looks to be inspired by Ico, Journey, and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, as it has a cel-shaded art style with open world characteristics and a non-spoken form of sound design. It will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive title that has no set release date yet.

rime ps4

Below

Below was revealed at Microsoft’s E3 press conference as an indie game developed by Capybara Games, who previously made Critter Crunch and Super TIME Force. It is a top-down action-adventure game, following a small warrior who is exploring a remote island and trying to survive. Phil Spencer described it as a “creative take on roguelike gameplay.” The game is designed to be very difficult, with brutal but fair combat. It has been in development since before a game like Demon’s Souls released, which started the genre. There will also be permanent death in the game, though how this will affect the game is yet to be explained. Below will release as an Xbox One exclusive.

below xbone

No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky was revealed at VGX 2013 and was the standout announcement of the show. The reveal trailer showed a bunch of different environments, each with different color schemes and ecosystems, and was revealed to have procedurally generated open worlds. It is being developed by Hello Games, who previously developed Joe Danger. Any place you can see in the world you can visit. There will be a range of different types of gameplay as well, from space battles to underwater fighting to exploration of an unexplored world. While Hello Games did experience a devastating flood last year, they have said that they will not delay the game, although it does not have a release date or platforms yet.

no mans sky

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Hotline Miami was a huge hit when it released in 2012, which makes it no surprise that Dennaton Games are developing a sequel to it, titled Wrong Number. However, the developers have said that this will be the final Hotline Miami game. It will contain the same top-down style gameplay that the first did, and will feature a new Hard Mode, which is unlocked by scoring a C+ or higher in a chapter. The Hard Mode makes it more difficult to kill enemies, as well as taking away some abilities, such as the ability to lock on to enemies. The Story of Wrong Number takes place both before and after the events of the first game, though it focuses more on the latter. It continues from the ending of the first game from the interpretation of the protagonist. Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number will release for PC, PlayStation 4, and PS Vita in the third quarter of 2014.

HLM2 Screen 6-noscale

___________

There are many exciting indie games that have been announced and we are excited to play them all. These are just a few of the upcoming indie games on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Let us know what your most anticipated indie games are in the comments below.

Loves to play all types of games, especially single player games. There are few games Matt won’t play. While he is new to the games journalism industry, he loves to write, talk and play games. He loves to share his opinions with the world through his editorials and reviews. He is PlayStation focused, writing reviews and news about the PS4, PS3, PS Vita and everything else PlayStation. Matt is currently a student based in the United States

Features

The Maker of 2019’s Must-Have Interstellar RPG Within the Cosmos Talks Gameplay, Lore, and the Future

Published

 on

Within the Cosmos

Some indie games look impressive enough to match anything coming out of the AAA studios. Within the Cosmos fits that bill to a tee. Every screenshot from the project shines with ethereal beauty, and the description makes it sound like a marvellous mash-up of Deus Ex, Mass Effect, and Halo

This RPG casts players as a would-be colonist intended to seed human life away from what seems to be an apocalyptic interstellar war.

To find out more about the promising project, OnlySP reached out to developer Francis Debois, who went into great depth about the gameplay, structure, and the processes involved in production across the last five years. 

OnlySP: I wanted to start by asking about the gameplay. In the marketing you’ve mentioned that objectives can be completed through stealth, combat, or diplomacy, which is always a plus for an RPG. Is that multi-path approach available for every mission, and how free-form are the player’s options?

Debois: The missions in the game generally give you multiple ways to affect how the mission unfolds, whether it’s through dialogue or how the player approaches the mission. Also, the options available to you are governed by the type of character you create. If you have a character that’s high in Intelligence, you might be able to hack a control panel that opens a door to a room that you’d otherwise have to fight through to get to, or if your Charisma isn’t high enough, and you try to convince them to leave the area, they might not listen to what you have to say, and they’ll become hostile, or you can simply avoid all of that and find a way to sneak inside!

OnlySP: From what I understand, the RPG levelling mechanics are tied to modules on the character’s suit. Can you tell us more about how this system works and maybe provide examples of some of those modules and upgrades?

Debois: Modules are essentially “perk points” that you can use to upgrade your character. Every time you level up your character, you will get a module you can use to enhance/alter your character. The perks available to you are tied to your attribute points. So, if your Agility is high enough, you can “spend” a module and get the “Light Steps” perk, which makes your footsteps much lighter, therefore harder for the enemies to hear.

OnlySP: The game also has a stat system, which sounds a little like S.P.E.C.I.A.L. from Fallout. Is that an apt comparison? Will players be able to improve and modify those stats through gameplay and, if so, how?

Debois: Yeah, it’s a similar idea to how S.P.E.C.I.A.L. works in Fallout or similar games. When the player starts the game, they will be given a fixed amount of points that they can assign to their attributes. So, if you decide to max out your Constitution and Agility, you’ll have a character who’s agile, sneaky, and strong, but that would come at the cost of not having much Intelligence, Charisma, or Perception. So, you’re really gonna have to think about what attributes you favour, or you could put a roughly equal amount into all of them and have a character that can do a little bit of everything but not a master of everything. It’s up to you. I feel like that system will really create the desire for players to have multiple playthroughs of the game, and still have each playthrough feel like a different experience.

As far as improving and modifying those stats… I’m still trying to get the balance right. There might be one or two instances where you can upgrade them, or get temporary boosts to them, but whether you can improve or modify them beyond that is still being determined.

OnlySP: While upgrading, will players be able to respec their character’s abilities at all or are they locked into the upgrades they use?

Debois: No, they won’t be able to respec. Once you select an upgrade/perk, that’s what you’re locked into.

OnlySP: If I recall correctly, I’ve read somewhere that Within the Cosmos has a linear structure. Does that mean players won’t be able to revisit previous locations? 

Debois: You WILL be able to revisit previous locations. It’s linear in the sense that you can’t visit a new region, or planet that you have no narrative reason to visit yet. For example, the first planet you go to in the game is Alios, the second planet you visit is Berith II. If you’re right in the beginning of the game and you just got to Alios, you won’t be able to just go straight to Berith II until you’ve reached the point in the story where it makes sense to go there, but once you go there, you can go back and forth between those planets as often as you’d like. Also, I used the term “linear” as a way to get the point across that it’s not a huge open sandbox or anything. The game is very story-driven.

OnlySP: Speaking of locations, the game has the character visiting a number of planets. How many planets are there, and how have you differentiated each of them?

Debois: There are three planets in the game. Each one is aesthetically different, with different fauna, different factions, and the architecture of each planet reflects the dominant faction or factions on that planet. Aside from those locations, there are other places you’ll visit for a mission or a series of missions.

OnlySP: Looking at the Steam Greenlight page, there’s mention of vehicles and survival mechanics, but those seem not to have made it to the final version. Can you maybe explain how the development process has resulted in changes from the game you initially set out to make?

Debois: The direction the game was headed when I created the Greenlight page was completely different to what it ended up being! Initially, I intended to make an FPS with survival mechanics, but as the game progressed, and I started writing more of the story, I realised that survival mechanics didn’t really make sense, and it negatively impacted the experience. There were many things that were added and cut out in the end, so vehicles, and the survival mechanics were just two of the many things that simply didn’t end up feeling right as the game really began to take shape. As I wrote more and more, I felt like an RPG would be the best way for players to experience the game and the story.

OnlySP: You’ve mentioned that the game should take between eight and ten hours to complete. Does that factor in all the content available in the game or just the main missions?

Debois: 8-10 hours is a rough estimate of what I would say an “average” playthrough would be. Which is someone who has completed the main story, and did a few side missions. If you decide to do everything possible in the game, it will certainly take longer than that, but if you decide to strictly follow the main story, it will be shorter than that.

OnlySP: As I’ve been following Within the Cosmos, I’ve felt that it looks a bit like Halo and sounds a lot like Deus Ex. It’s got me wondering what you feel as though it’s most similar to and what sort of inspirations have shaped the look, feel, and overall tone?

Debois: Oh, there have been so many inspirations! I love the FPS RPG genre, so Deus Ex was a massive inspiration, as was Fallout: New Vegas. Those are two top tier FPS RPG games that I absolutely love. Space-based games have had an influence as well, such as Halo and Mass Effect. They helped shape the game in one way or another. I’d say the biggest inspiration behind it all has been Star Trek, I think the story and lore will reflect that to some degree.

OnlySP: Within the Cosmos is set against the backdrop of an interstellar war. How much of that background lore will players be privy to as the experience goes on?

Debois: The interstellar war is the reason that the player, and the factions are there in the first place. You will be exposed to the history of the war by reading some of the logs in the game, and through some characters you meet, etc. The war is what ties everything together. As you play through the game, you will see that even though you’ve escaped to this region of space, which is far away from the war itself, you still feel the effects of it. What you decide to do can really influence how the war plays out.

OnlySP: Meanwhile, the main story follows an individual sent to safety to preserve the human race. We’ve seen similar ideas of species protection and propagation in the likes of Fallout and Mass Effect: Andromeda. How is Within the Cosmos distinct from those earlier games?

Debois: Well, I really don’t like to compare Within the Cosmos to other games, but Fallout is more of a sandbox, and Mass Effect is more of a story-driven action RPG. Within the Cosmos falls somewhere in the middle of that.

OnlySP: As I understand it, Within the Cosmos, is entirely self-funded, self-developed, and self-published. Did you ever consider crowdfunding or partnering with a publisher to help get the game across the line sooner? Why or why not?

Debois: Not really, no. Some people suggested that I should try crowdfunding but that was something I was never interested in for Within the Cosmos. This was really a game that I wanted to make myself, so funding it and publishing it myself felt the most natural to me.

OnlySP: I know there’s still a little while before Within the Cosmos launches, but what’s next for debdev?

Debois: Once Within the Cosmos is out, I’m going to listen to the feedback from the community, and just work on updating the game with more content as time goes on. I really want to give this game all the support I can give it. Anything after that, we’ll have to see what happens! I would love to work on some of the other ideas I have, some more RPGs. There are other games that I really want to make, but after dedicating nearly five years of my life to this game, I’m not sure I will have the financial means to be able to do this again! 

OnlySP: Finally, do you have any final comments that you’d like to leave with our readers?

Debois: I’d really like to thank those who have been giving the game compliments, and those who have been providing feedback! It all really means a lot to me, and proves that all the years of hard work that I have inputted into the game, has been all worth it!

Thank you all for reading this, and for having an interest in Within the Cosmos! I really hope you check it out on Steam, wishlist it, and play it when it releases on 1 August!


For all the latest on the game and much more from the world of single-player gaming, be sure to bookmark OnlySP and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube. You can also join the discussion in our community Discord server.

Continue Reading