As with most of the awesome game designers I interview, I first saw Victor Agren’s work on Twitter. At the time, I didn’t know his name- his Twitter was simply “DeadToast” which piqued my interest almost as much as his game did. The first clip I saw was from his upcoming side-scrolling action game My Friend Pedro: Blood Bullets Bananas and, well, take a look:
It was on the site I’ve read the most discussion about fake news where I encountered the first game I’d seen about fake news: Twitter. Someone I follow retweeted a link to a game titled Fake It To Make It and simply said “Play this.” So I did.
I’m always interested in the designers working outside of our North American centered industry. You almost never read about the game development scene outside of America, the US and UK. I don’t think I’ve ever read about the game dev scene in Eastern Europe and especially not the Ukraine. It’s important to understand we’re in a global industry, and in an age of the internet, we can collaborate with and learn from developers across the globe. So when I found the opportunity to talk to SignSine, a Ukrainian game studio working on their first project, I was super thankful. SignSine is making PROZE, an immersive 3D adventure game focused on telling a compelling story “about friendship with massive Cold War conspiracy background” and providing an immersive experience.
At PAX West in Seattle last year I attended an indie game night in the basement of a local bar. It was one of the loudest, most lively rooms I’d ever been in- you had to shout just to talk to someone right in front of you. And it was in this setting I played Semispheres, a “meditative parallel puzzle game” as described by the game’s designer, Radu Muresan. Radu walked me through the demo of his beautifully vibrant puzzler. I played a couple mind-bending challenges, heard a sparsely ambient soundtrack over the loud atmosphere and even got hints of a charming story with lovely chalk drawn screens. I was really taken in, I rarely find a puzzle game that challenges me without frustrating me and I excitedly looked up Radu on Twitter and awaited the game’s release.
On the last day of PAX West 2016, I had some time before the day started. I was walking past the booth for a company I’d never heard of called Gambitious and I saw it, on the biggest, loudest TV screen possible. It was a flash of colour and thumping rhythms- I was immediately sucked in, transfixed. As I sat down and handed the controller, I was told “left trigger shoots down, right trigger shoots forward” and that was all I needed to hear. I immediately fell into the flow of shoot down, shoot forward, die and repeat. I played for only a couple minutes but it was easily the most memorable game from the show. Before I had to leave I quickly asked “What is this?!” and the woman giving me the demo smiled and said “RunGunJumpGun.”
The first time I heard about GoNNER was when indie developer Rami Ismail tweeted out a picture with a shirt he was wearing that had the game’s logo on it. I was immediately intrigued. I wanted to learn more about this mysterious title and the designer behind it. I had been following the developer simply known as “D!TTØ” on Twitter since I saw Rami’s shirt. From his Twitter, I discovered a treasure trove of lovely prototypes on itch.io that sold me. After a quick search I learned that GoNNER was a gorgeous roguelike platformer coming out soon- so of course, I pre-ordered it immediately. I was not disappointed.
There’s been a lot of talk around the water coolers here at Laurier Brantford about this new word the kids are using: fresh. I sat down with fellow Goldenhawk Robert Durant, better known as “Robby D”, to really get a handle on what this word means. Here’s what he had to say.