Editorial: Indie Update

I wish I knew what was going on here.

Botanicula is now available on iPad with enhanced graphics.

In my article on the Develop conference a few weeks ago I asked if there was any indie developers that our community would like to hear more about. Well, our own Lusipurr was more than happy to provide a list of companies that he thought highly of. Today I will be looking at the companies on that list to see what they are up to right now. The easiest way to do this is the break it up into two parts; those who have recently brought a product to market, and those who are working on new titles.

Recent releases

In the last couple of months Amanita Design, Drinkbox Studios, FrozenByte, Housemarque, and Q-Games have all release a product of some description. Amanita Design brought Botanicula to the iPad after two years of development. The game now has higher resolution graphics to make full use of the Retina display. They are also teased Samorost 3 last year, but no new details have come forth about the project yet. Drinkbox Studios brought an enhanced version of Guacamelee! to all major consoles this month. Guacamelee!: Super Turbo Championship Edition adds additional levels and bosses, as well as all the available DLC for the original in a single package. Also, this is the first time Xbox owners can get their hands on the game.

FrozenByte released Trine Enchanted Edition last week. The new version is available as a free update for owners of the PC version and includes mid-level saving and an online multiplayer option. Fans of the original can choose to ignore the update though, as they can select which version of the game they wish to play through the games launcher. Housemarque is continuing to work on Resogun, having released both free updates and paid expansions to the PSN store. More expansions are planned, and a season pass is available for people who wish to pick them all up. Finally, Q-Games have brought two more games in the PixelJunk family to market, Shooter Ultimate for PlayStation 4 and Vita with cross buy, cross play, and cross save. Nom Nom Galaxy also released on steam Early Access in March.

It's been a long time coming.

The Witness is due for release later this year.

In Development

Both Giant Sparrow and Thatgamecompany are working on as-yet-untitled games. Giant Sparrow say theirs is not a sequel to The Unfinished Swan, but it is not a million miles away either. Thatgamecompany recently raised $7million in funding for their new title, allowing them to scale up their development efforts, as well as lay the infrastructure to self-publish, market, and distribute future titles.

Jonathan Blow continues to work on The Witness. Originally announced five years ago for the last console generation, he instead moved the game to the current generation believing the last could not perform the way he needed them to. He later announced that the game would be a timed console exclusive for the PlayStation 4. The game is due for release this year, but has not been narrowed down any further yet. Mike Bithell has been working on Volume in the year since it was announced. Like Thomas was Alone, Danny Wallace returns to perform a voice for this game.

Kitfox Games are already working on their next title, Moon Hunters. PlayDead announced the title of their second project at E3 this year. Inside is platforming game due for release as a timed exclusive on the Xbox One next year, with other platforms receiving their versions later on. While the game is in color, the title remains dark and nearly monotone in colour. PocketWatch Games are developing Armada as a RTS that can be comfortably played with a controller. This is not the final name of the game, so expect an announcement on that fairly soon as the company have also picked up the URL to go with it. For now though, they are busy moving into a new office. Polytron have no new game of their own, but have partnered with Finji to produce and promote Panoramical, described as an anthology of interactive musical landscapes. Lastly, Yacht Club Games are working on international versions of Shovel Knight as the Wii-U and 3DS versions are currently only available in North America.

Finally! Now I can play with a controller like it should be played.

Shovel Knight will be available outside of North America soon.

It is not unusual for smaller indie developer to go silent about their developments, and that is what has happened with Queasy Games. While developer Jonathan Mak is still active on Twitter, there have been no announcements of future projects since his company released Sound Shapes as a launch title for the PlayStation 4 last year. I have reached out to Jonathan for more information and I will post anything I hear back from him in the comments below.

A few larger studios were also mention in the comments, so I will list a brief summary of each. NIS America have three games set to release this year, Danganronpa 2, NAtURAL DOCtRINE, and Fairy Fencer F. All three will be available in September. A fourth game, CRIMINAL GIRLS: Invite Only, is due for release in Spring next year. Atlus has too many upcoming game to mention here, but they are bringing a number of Persona titles to the west soon, as well as some smaller titles. Gaijinworks and MonkeyPaw Games are currently working on bringing Class of Heroes 2G to the west. The presale for the title ended at the weekend, and it should not be long before the game is available to buy digitally.

So, that is the round up of news from the more popular indie studios here at Lusipurr.com. Are there any other studios you would like to hear from in a future update? Are there any upcoming indie games you would like to know more about? Let me know in the comments!

7 comments on “Editorial: Indie Update”

  1. Botanicula looks lovely and I have heard only good things about it.

    Amanita Design made the exceptional Machinarium as well. I expect that we can continue to expect great things from them.

    I actually enjoyed Class of Heroes and Class of Heroes 2. They are a great entry point to roguelikes for people who are unfamiliar with the genre.

    Guacamelee is FANTASTIC and anyone who loves video games should own it.

    I am definitely excited about The Witness. As for The Unfinished Swan, I felt that its concept was not sufficient to support the length of game that it offered (although that length was very short). Like Rain, it’s a nice visual/physical combination, but it isn’t ultimately sufficient for one to build an entire game upon.

    Great stuff from the indies. They are the future of the industry. As long as they remain small and un-bloated; uninterested in becoming huge, avaricious multimedia corporate monstrosities, they’ll do well.

  2. Before Shovel Knight and Rogue Legacy or anything else I was first excited for Chasm. It’s an old Greenlight title that’s not out yet, and I’m not sure who makes it. They released a demo a while back and it was fantastic. I really want that game.

  3. @Lusi – I actually felt more like the developers of The Unfinished Swan could not live up to the potential of the idea. Either way it was a disappointment that I couldn’t be too upset with.

  4. @Mel – Chasm was greenlit last year after a successful kickstarter campaign. It’s due for release by the end of this year.

  5. @Ethos: Pretty much. I enjoyed it well enough, but it couldn’t keep me interested once it threw a huge labyrinth at me and said, “Do this, using the same tools you’ve been using for a couple hours now.”

    Internally, thought, “Aww. How disappointing!” and turned it off.

  6. @ Imitanis: yeah, I looked it up recently. I’m glad it’s on its way soon. Fun times shall be had… I hope.

  7. @Lusi – That’s the perfect way to put it and exactly the same place where I lost interest as well.

Comments are closed.