25 Apr

Day 3,4 & 5 at GDC | IGF Booth, Tons of upcoming Games & Diablo Postmortem

Hi,

We couldn’t update our GDC experience since past 2 weeks due to the super duper crunch of Asura which has been going on for a while but worry not! we are back in action. We have tried to compile all the 3 days of experience in one post because I spent the majority of the time for the rest of  the days playing games at IGF booth, checking out the expo area and the attending meetings. The games are of course super interesting and exciting to share but the expo areas are just a big mash up of game software and hardware companies of which there is no point of noting down over here. As a result, we have tried to compile all of the games that we got to play and so grab your favorite drink if you have one around…. read along!

Day 3 started with an amazing “ Flash Backward: 30 Years of Making Games” by legends like Chris Crawford, Lori Cole, Phil Harrison and many more. It was an amalgamation of short talks by industry veterans who in one way or another contributed to the various revolutions in the games industry. It was one of the best segments or shows i have ever attended and you can check out the whole event in the video below.

After seeping in all the inspirational talks and nostalgic moments, I ran to the IGF pavillion which was about to open up at 10.30 AM. Now there is no point in sharing games which were nominated for the Indie games festival award because most of you would have already  played or at least heard about games like Darkest Dungeon, Super Hot, Keep talking and nobody dies, Her Story etc. But the cool part is that I got to meet most of the developers who were responsible for making such amazing games and even got to show our upcoming game in return.

IGF

Apart from the IGF nominees, there was a huge collection of games in showcase at IGF which was where I planned to spend my rest of the day and with that said, Here are some amazing stuff i got to see in action!

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Tantra Rumble: A mash up of RPG and MOBA, Tantra Rumble is an genre mix which offers 8 players to duke it on in an online battlefield. It is clearly inspired by the Indian mythos, especially the writing and the lore.  You can know more about it by checking the video below!

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Realm Of Conquest: If you are into hardcore table top war games, this one is for you! It is digital adaptation of the war games played on table which means a lot more visual awesomeness and no hassle of calculating with the dices. Based on medieval fantasy setting, I got to play  Humans vs Ork, marching with my army to obliterate the enemies. Since i am a very much into table top war games, this was super appealing to me. You can know whether it is you jam by heading to their website.


Overfall: One of my favorites at GDC, It is a turn based action combat game with randomly generated missions and role playing awesomeness! You play as band of 2 heroes who are in search for their lost king all the while travelling in your ship to various places, unlocking new heroes, and completing quest! The game has huge randomly generated map which you can be used to explore and sail on. Clicking on different islands in the map will maneuver your ship to the location where you will encounter randomly generated quest. It can be a troll who is asking you to give him some food or an Ogre who wants to bash your head and you don’t have to even fight them to resolve the situation. You can use the dialogue system to communicate or use other mechanics which makes for a super fun and fresh game play session every time you complete a mission.The game can be unforgiving with brutal perma death which adds to the tension. I would highly recommend you check out the game over at steam.

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Niche: A digital board game, it is all about Genetics, heredity and evolution. You are in control of your pack of animals, breeding, feeding all the while making sure that they don’t go extinct. It is a very interesting concept which is being developed by Philomena Schwab and Severin Walker. If you are a fan of board games, you can download the demo here .

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Infinium Strike:  A mix between a strategy and action game, Infinimuim pits you in the role of a weapons commander of an epic ship equipped with multiple turrets, drones fleet and epic weapons. As the game is in 3D, enemies attack from all directions while you blast them with your arsenal. It has both a campaign and an endless mode in which you can compete for high-score.

Antegods: is a fast paced arena shooter by Code glue based in Rotterdam, Netherlands. You play as a pilot one of the teams of space faring maya pilots destroying enemy ships and collecting artificats which you can feed to the colossal titan statue who can rain down epic amounts of punishments to the opposing team. I tried the game with one of the developers and ended up beating him which i am guessing is only because he went easy on me! The game looks amazing and you can check out more about it here

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Hob: Ever since they released their teaser in one of the earlier PAX, I have been waiting to get my hands on this beaut for a very very long time. Hob is an action adventure game by one our favorite developers Runic games, the team responsible for developing Torchlight series and also the legendary Diablo 1 & 2. After successfully finishing their demo, I can say that it EPIC! The story or the lore of the game seemed very symbolic then literal and from what i understood, you play as this protagonist who is trying to save a very friendly race of creatures from these crazy looking mechanical steam punky badies. The world and the whole art style is superbly crafted, inspired from Steam punk style with hand painted textures and that Runic style treatment which you can experience in their past titles a.k.a TORCHLIGHT! It harkens back to the good old days where we used to be in our chaddies without T-shirt, dipping the bourbon biscuit inside freshly brewed milk of Milo, and enjoying games like Crash Bandicoot or Spyro, the dragon.

Below: Upcoming game by Cappy , makers of games like Super time force & Sword & Sworcery, is a survival, exploration, adventure game with a great aesthetic and art style. It kind of plays like the Zelda: A link to the past with mechanics of a survival game like Don’t Starve. But boy. does it look amazing! It is very atmospheric experience and since your character is this tiny speck in a huge environment, the visual style is very unique. Do check the awesome trailer below!

Postmortem

Except for the Design workshop, I had not attended any other talks and on the final day was all prepared for the postmortem of Diablo 1 by David Brevik. As you might know, we both in Ogre Head are big fans of the the Diablo series and I couldn’t miss this. David shared some amazing info regarding how the Diablo series was actually forged with some super secret facts which was unheard of. Let me give you an example from the 1 hour talk that he shared with us. Apparently, there was this guy who came to David  and asked him if he would alow him to rent out one of the rooms in his office to start his venture. The guy was ready to offer 10% of his start-up to the founders which included David and others but they turned the random dude down anyways. Long story short, after a year or so, the random dude turned out to be Shabeer Bhatia and the company he started was hotmail.com which you all might be very well aware of. If David would have let Shabeer use in his office space, he would have some 250 million dollars in his bank account. Ouch!

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All in all, it was an amazing and informative talk with the creator himself while he made possibly one of the best game series in the industry. Also as a bonus, I got our Diablo 2 manual signed by David and got to chat with him for sometime regarding the various design elements of the game!

Manual

GDC was an amazing experience and I got to meet tons of amazing people, play awesome games and learn new things. It is definitely a surreal experience when you see your childhood heroes who forged things that made up most of your childhood memories and getting a chance to talk to them. We will definitely be sharing a detailed info on how you can prepare for event like GDC so that you can avoid and be much more prepared then we were before the show! It would be much better to share such info couple of months before the next GDC, so that the topic of discussion is much more relevant.

Also, a huge shout to Blake Merriam and other scholarship members including Ankush, Lalima, Kadambari, Shailesh, Mariam, Vishwas, Laxmi, Dipender, Jibran and others from the designers network who made the event that much better. Without the scholarship program we wouldn’t have made it to the event and for that we are super grateful!

In the next post, we will be sharing about our time at Pocket Gamer Connect, which happened at Bangalore. We got to play an amazing roster of games from our country and will be sharing about it soon.

Thanks for dropping by and hope you enjoyed us sharing our GDC experience. Make epic stuff and be awesome!

 

18 Apr

OGRE HEAD IS 2 YEAR OLD!

Thank you

Ogre Head Studio is now 2 years old and we just wanted to thank everyone in the games industry, family and friends for the amazing support and help you all have shared with us. It is blessing to have a job like ours where we make games for ourselves and others and although it gets kind of hectic sometimes, we cant really complain because we make GAMES! How cool is that?! we imagine crazy ideas in our head and then we forge it with love, care and awesomeness. The whole idea behind why we started our studio is very simple, it was to  forge games which we thought were epic  and bring a change in the Indian games industry. To make a place where creative people can come together and make amazing stuff. We are on our way, and sooner or later it will happen and when that happens, we hope you will be proud of us!

Zain & Neeraj,
Team Ogre Head.

04 Apr

Day 2 at GDC 2016 | Indie Megabooth, Board games and Asura Showcase !

Day 1 had been stuff of legends and my expectation were super high for Day 2 at GDC. If you missed out on us sharing about the first day experience, you can read it over here!

As most of my time on the first day was spent on one spot which is the design workshop. I thought of exploring a bit more and checking out the games which were on display. What better place to play some amazing upcoming games other than at the Indie Megabooth. Allow me share to with you some of the cool new stuff i got to check out while my time over there!

1.) Su and quest for meaning:  It is a hardcore action platformer with minimilist but beautiful aesthetics. The player has to jump around the platforms collecting coins but As soon as you land on the platform it will sink and to make matters worse, the spawning of these platforms are completely random. You get to experience some nerve wrenching but cool moments while playing the game more so because of the real tight controls that Guillaume had worked upon in Su and the quest for meaning. If you like twitch based action jumpers, do have a watch over this one.

2.) Sumer:  Oh Boy! this is a difficult one to explain, Sumer is a digital board game where in you play as one of the four Sumerian nobles engaged in a political game of worship. You have to manage your resources and build structures in order to help you craft gifts which can be offered to the gods. The gifts have different values depending on the complexity to craft them and the player who offers the most gifts wins the game! It is heavily inspired by Sumerian mythos and the style even bleeds in their art. With Sumer, they have managed to have a blend of a RTS and a co-op game in a very nice fashion. Plus they have also added AI so even if you happen to be a lonely human being without any friends to play, this game has got you covered :). Do make sure to stay tuned with the game via their website and also do check out the game-play in the video below.

3.) Fort Triumph: It is a tactical RPG, kind of like XCOM but you can use the environment in your advantage to help you win the battles. Fox ex. The mage can use her force abilities to knock down rocks which in turn can deal a lot of damage to enemies. Barbarian can kick a pillar to create a cascading effect with other pillars and damage the enemies if crushed underneath it. I got to play the demo and I must say that even though there are many aspect which requires polish, if executed properly, it can turn out to be a gem of a game. You can know more about the it here and check out the gameplay below:

4.)  Streets of Rogue: A Rogue-lite game where in even the missions are randomly generated. You play as one of the many characters in the game, fetching missions and trying to complete them. The missions might vary based on the character you have picked.  Once you have completed minimum amount of missions you can go to the next floor. One of the key elements in the game is its non linearity. You can approach the quests in numerous methods, also sometimes things get too hectic due to a silly mistake you have made in the past. You can even hire hench-mans to fight for you for some money and It is a cool spin on the rogue-like genre. The Great new is that you can check it out for free, yup! The developer has released an alpha build of the game which you can download from their website. Also, you can check out more about the game in the below video.

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There were a couple of other games which i couldn’t check out because every other table was super busy although it was super inspiring to play the games which i could. The best part of going to such events is to play other developers game and discuss with them regarding the design issues, to know more about their game industry, their work culture etc. And most of the developers will engage with you no matter how busy they are, Had a great deal of fun at Indie Megabooth as always.

Adjacent to the Indie Mega-booth stalls, there was a place set-up for board games. People where encouraged to check and preview any of the games on display and I, of course went in to check out the awesomeness.

Mictepiym: A murder mystery board game where in you and your friends are trying to figure out the murderer through a pattern of dreams. You have 12 days to uncover the whole plot before loosing the game. One of the player plays the game as a ghost who got murdered handing out the dream sequences in the form of card to each player. Every card will have some clues which can help solve the puzzle. The ghost cannot speak through out the game and can just tap on the table for basic communication. It is kind of clue-do, where in you have to find the weapon, the place and the person who murdered but that is where the similarities end. During our session, we lost the game but it was still an amazing experience. I couldn’t find the website for the game but here are some images!

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I couldn’t play any other board games reson being the showcase of Asura which was hosted at an another venue by the University of Utah.  Everyone from GDC who had a working build of their game were allowed to get their product on the show floor and show it to the crowd.  I had a blast showcasing Asura as there had been some major updates since the last build. The new game had stamina implemented, new inventory system, new items etc which we had not yet tested and the showcase helped us narrow down some of the issues in the game. In my opinion, it is always great to show people the game that you are developing but only if you can see them play. It is observing them experience your game which helps you pinpoint the issue and understand the problem, not them speaking about it. Not that the voiced opinion of the player doesn’t matter which of-course does. It is just that in the beginning, you need to establish core systems which has to be flawless after which you can tweak it based on the criticism voiced by your players.

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Once the showcase was wrapped up, that was it for me for the day and I literally ran to my place to get some well needed rest. Had a blast playing other developers game and getting to know more people in the industry which is always my favorite part in any event. Also, I can now say that the showcase was really helpful since we have tried to rectify the issue after getting back and it seems that Asura now plays much better. We are working on it as hard as we can with the best of our abilities, hopefully you will be able to judge it soon for yourself! :)

We will try bring our post to a closure with the next part. In the meantime, stay awesome and be EPIC and as always thanks a ton for all the support and for dropping by.

For any queries please contact zain@ogrehead.com or support @ogrehead.com| Get Presskit here: http://ogrehead.com/press