By Sam Dumitriu
Rezzed is a PC gaming convention that gives a platform to independent games developers. It was held at the Brighton Centre on July 6, and was presented by games magazine Eurogamer and PC gaming site Rock Paper Shotgun.
Packed crowds were given the chance to question top developers such as Randy Pitchford (Borderlands) and industry legend Peter Molyneux (Black and White, Fable) about every aspect of games design.
Gamers were given a rare chance to get their hands on games months before they go on sale. While games such as Borderlands 2 and Far Cry 3 were on display, Rezzed focused on giving indie games a platform, here are some of the games they had on show:
Tengami: Produced by a team of former Rare employees, the game combines samurai culture with the mechanics of a pop-up book. You control the protagonist by having him follow your taps on the screen. Early on you are faced with an obstacle in the form of a river, you soon realise that you can fold down parts of the background to make new paths, and by pulling down a piece of paper in the background you can make a bridge and continue across the level. The game boasts wonderful graphics that capture the feel of a real pop-up book, along with Ryuichi Sakamoto style plinky-plonky Japanese music that helps the game to build a strong atmosphere. Tengami is developed by Nyamyam and is scheduled for release in 2013.
Prison Architect: Produced by UK indie developer Introversion, Prison Architect takes the tried and tested management sim format popularized by SimCity and Theme Hospital, and bring to a much less wholesome setting. Prison Architect has you designing a prison, right down to the plumbing and wiring. But the game is not as simple as merely building a prison; you still have to deal with the inmates who are prone to riot, smuggle and murder. The game promises to push the boundaries of the management sim genre by dealing with the issue of race in prisons. Developer Chris Delay said “There’s no reason why games can’t deal with much more serious topics,” he stressed however ”you can’t just trivially deal with issues like rape or race.” Set for release in 2013, Prison Architect is a great example of the frontier spirit in indie games development.
Ring Fling: Developed for the iPad, Ring Fling has a simple premise; you fling rings at stars in order to push the stars into your opponent’s goal. In essence, it’s like many of the air hockey games already available on the iPad. What sets Ring Fling apart is the ability to play three other people at once. This opens the game up to different strategies like whether or not to gang up on another player or play defensively so you don’t lose in the chaos. Ring Fling is developed by Mugathur and is currently available on the App Store.
Guacamelee: In the madcap Guacamelee you control Juan, a luchadore who has to travel between dimensions, and battle wacky enemies in his quest to save El Presidente’s daughter. The game is a 2D action/adventure game in the style of Metroid, where backtracking with new abilities and upgrades allow you to get to previously unreachable parts of the map. Produced by Drinkbox studios and will be released on the PlayStation Network in 2013.
Far Cry 3: Ubisoft Montreal’s latest instalment in the Far Cry series was on show at Rezzed. The open world first person shooter is set on a group of tropical islands. You take control of Jason Brody, a stranded tourist, who’s trying to rescue his girlfriend from the islands, while escaping the local conflict he’s got himself tangled up in. Far Cry 3 has no relation to the plot of 1 or 2, what it does share with the rest of series is free-roaming in a large open world. Far Cry will be available for the PS3, 360 and PC on November 30.
Rezzed was a great example of the variety and creativity out there in indie gaming, and gave gamers a great reason to look beyond the titles put out by the big name publishers.
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