As you might know, we attended the Pocket Gamer Connect at Bangalore. The event was hosted at Taj Vivanta in Yeshwantpur on April 21, 2016. We had planned to attend the event last year but because our mobile build of Asura not being up to expectation, We had to cancel the event at the very last moment. Even though we don’t have any of our own IP on mobile platform , we still do work on various mobile projects for our clients at Ogre Head. It is kind of our bread and butter and apart from working on our games, we do work on mobile games and keep juggling in between them.
The first day started with a key note by ketchapp founder and a talk by Kunal Soni on latest update of the Google Play platform. It was all about the new features
that google play has added for the developers. I attended one talk through out the event as I was mostly present at the venue to meet other game developers and make connections with Industry folks. The best aspect of Pocket Gamer was the Indie showcase in our opinion and this is exactly is where I spent most of my time. So as always, allow me to share with you the games which we got to play at the event!
1.) Huebe : from the makers of Super nano which is still in development comes a new puzzler called Huebe. You play as a cube who has to traverse through platforms. It may sound easy but the whole catch is that there are tiles on the floor which are color coded and if you wish to travel past them then your cube should have the same color on the side which will connect while passing through that particular color tile. You first grab the color by tumbling over it and then try to pass through the mazes. Although it was still in development, I thought the game had the polish and was heading at a great direction. If I confused you with the very bad explanation of the game, Do check out the GIF to understand it better!
2) Movie Studio Tycoon: Believe it or not, there is a tycoon game being developed in India and we are super duper excited for it. Movie studio tycoon is being developed by All In A Days Play, an indie studio from Mumbai! The game is all about getting into the role of a Movie studio executive and managing complicated yet fun aspects like making movies, handling budgets, promotion and marketing etc of a film studio. You get to hire directors,set scripts, choose your favorite actors and try to make the best of movies. Turns out that i am a horrible movie head though. I tried the game two times and in both those sessions, I managed to sink my studio in huge debt thanks to the horrendous decisions i made in the game. The game at the moment is a skeleton which will soon be turned into a polished product as the developers work on it more, but for the time i got to check it out, had a great deal of fun. Also got to discuss design elements in the game and share feedback with the developers which is again, always fun!
3.)Future Bike : One of my favorite games from the show, let me share with you this simple yet brilliant sports arcade game by ‘All in a days play’, yes the same guys who are making Movie studio tycoon. Future Bike is inspired by football but with bikes. It plays on a 2D arena where in you and your opponent duke it out to hit the ball inside each others goal. Now i know what you are thinking, Zain! This is rocket league! Trust me, i also thought the same when i first got to check out the game. Also, it was on Mobile which made me even more skeptical especially with regards to the controls but honestly, after getting my hands on it, I had a great time with Future bike. The movement, ball physics and the overall feel of the game was present while i checked it out. As the game is still under development, they just have a battle mode and will be working on the multiplayer aspects soon. I am sure once polished and released,this will turn out be a super fun game to play on handheld devices.
4.) Monarchy: As you might know, we are a big fan of board games at Ogre Head but to think of digital board game being developed in our country was a big surprise. Await! Monarchy by big boot games. A board game for handheld devices, loosely inspired by Snake & Ladder, Chess,etc where in you strategical try to get all your knights into the center of the game board. You can place soldiers which acts like a bridge through which the knights can traverse but things get really messy when your opponent meddles with the strategy and tries to break the link of your bridge. The game has dice rolls, cards, and other mechanics which has simple rules but adds tons of flavor in the game. The game is still in works and I am waiting for my beta access, so Nairith or Aarti, if you are are reading this, please bhejo yaar!
5.) War Tanks: I got my hands on War tanks and let me tell you this, it is the best mobile multiplayer game that i have got my hands on especially for Mobile. With regards to design and execution, It just looks how it is meant to be and plays beautifully! Game-play is loosely inspired by the classic battleship, where you are opponent are in adjacent arena and tap on each others tile to shoot. You can manoeuvre the tank by tapping at the tiles in your arena. There are tons of power-ups which spawn in the center of the stage which can be equipped by shooting them but then it is all about who shoots it first, that gets rewarded with the power-up. I had blast playing it and duking it out with other people.
6.) Wordfly: A word game with a twist, Wordfly pits you in the role of a firefly as you collect letters and try to make words out it. You being a firefly, has embers burning at your tail which also represents your health. Run out of it and game over! but if you keep making words then you can try to break all the records. Simple yet effective, in our opinion it excels at what it does with an amazing aesthetic.
7.) Jhulo: is a game by Seema Dhatar released on the app store at the moment. She has with her power of creative awesomeness used the concept of a pendulum and turned it into an amazing puzzle game. Tap on the screen to let the spheres swing and make sure none of them collide with each other, seems easy right but wait till you see all the levels in the game. You can download the game here!
There were still some more games that I got to play which where kind of very early in development to share and as a result, we don’t think it would be a good idea to write about it at the moment.
I also got to showcase Asura where I could which was basically setting up the laptop on the floor or lobby and showcasing it to people who where interested and had some time in their hands. Shailesh was also present, showcasing Skysutra, an upcoming game by Yellow Monkey. I am not sharing much about it because it will be much more appropriate to show-off more about his game when it is closer to release but it is an amazing flying local co-op racing brawler nonetheless!
On the final day, everyone came together as the results for the Big Indie pitch was to be announced. Big Indie pitch is an opportunity for game developers to garner coverage for their upcoming game as well as win a cash prize. 5 finalist are selected from the indie showcase for the pitch. The developers are provided with 2 to 3 minutes time limit to explain and showcase their game on stage in front of audience and judges alike. One more pass, Jhulo, Monarchy, Wordfly and Light inside us where the selected games for the pitch. It was a huge surprise when Monarchy, a niche board game was called out as the winner along with ‘Wordfly’ being the runner up for the contest. Light inside us also happen to win the bloggers award. All the five games where amazing in our opinion and super congratulations to both the finalist and winners for being awesome!
If there was one caveat i had regarding the event, it would be a request to please try and keep the showcase of all the games as one of the most important part of the event. We were once literally shooed off from the showcase room just because a speaker did not have enough people attending in his session. We were asked to sit at the talks just so that the speaker does not feel bad. The talks are for people who are interested in it. There is no point forcing people to sit in talks and we hope such things does not happen next time and showcase is the prime hallmark of the event.
Thanks to folks at reliance for hosting and managing the show, To all of the fellow developers and industry people for making the event much awesomer and too all the developers who showcased their games, you lot made the event epic!
Appreciate dropping by and hope you found the read fun and useful. BE EPIC!