Indies in Due Time: Dream-Build-Play 2012 Episode 2

Sorry for the delay.  You see, my boyfriend ended up being occupied watching videos for Ring Runner for four days, while I had Dave, Tim, and Nate chanting “one of us” at me, which is just bizarre.  Since they wouldn’t stop, I had no choice but to unleash the Indie Gamer Chick Dalek on them.  Long story short, Nate is dead.  My condolences to his loved ones.  Well, onto this episode’s four Dream-Build-Play trailers, as selected by Tim Hurley of Gear-Fish.

Hurley: Actually, I also have my own site now:

Kairi: Wait, you left Gear-Fish?

Hurley: No, but I mean, you did kill Nate.

Kairi: I didn’t.  The Dalek did.


Hurley: Sure, always blame the Dalek.

Dave: Is it gone yet?

Kairi: Wait, you’re still here?

Dave: Yea.  What did I miss?

Brian: Nate Graves is dead and Tim Hurley has his own site now.

Dave: Wow, betrayed Gear-Fish, huh?  Nate must be spinning in his grave.

Hurley: He would be if there was anything left of him.

Kairi: Okay, well we have Tim and Dave Voyles of Armless Octopus.  Let’s roll.

Alan: Not without me you don’t.

Kairi: Fuck.  Okay, the Indie Ocean dude is here too.  On with the trailers.

Graveyard Shift

Kairi: That doesn’t look like anything special.

Brian: That’s because the developer did not focus on the features.  If you read its description at the official Dream-Build-Play website, it sounds different.  The trailer did not properly articulate features.

Alan: Yeah, no mention of tile effects, which is pretty much the only thing this has going for it.   The trailer makes it look like a Blandy McBland twin sticker.  Very bad move.

Kairi: Yea, it makes it look like Yet Another Fucking Zombie Game MXVI.

Hurley: I’m as hesitant as anyone else when zombie games are mentioned these days.  The game looks dated, but the mixture of wave shooting and tower defense, with you building up various defensive tiles during the day to survive the onslaught at night, upgradable via ‘souls’, could keep things from getting stale. Co-op could be a game changer too.

Alan: You got that out of THAT video?

Hurley: Well, there are others.  The co-op one looks hot.  Bonus points for creepy organ music in the trailer.

Dave: Graveyard Shift seems very similar to I Made a Game with Zombies in that it has the twin stick shooter appeal where you’re also shooting the undead.  Most of the environment is nearly pitch black except for the areas where your flashlight shines, which I suppose helps generate a bit of suspense. Overall though I don’t see it being a serious contender for the competition.You’re right Tim, the organ music is definitely a very creepy touch.

Brian: But they really need to make trailers that focus on features instead of settings.

Alan: One chance to promote your game’s qualities and you do it by ignoring them? XBLIG devs really do like to bazooka themselves in every available foot don’t they?

Brian: Features sell a game.  Ascetics do not.

Kairi: Unless they are tits.

Proxy Gear

Hurley: I don’t know why, but I’m getting a Too Human or P.N.03 vibe from Proxy Gear, which is funny, because the robot doesn’t seem to be shaking its hips suggestively.  Maybe it’s the vacant rooms and hallways.  Combat looks sweet; thank you for lock-on.  No mention of story though.  I’m worried that the game’s description labels itself ‘hard’, but I’m hoping that’s dependent on skill rather than frustrating design.  Pretty please, don’t just be ‘find a bunch of keys, unlock a bunch of doors’.  Don’t break my heart, guys.

Brian: His heart is officially set to “ready for breaking.”

Kairi: I’ll hide all the razors.

Brian: It looked okay.  I’m not super excited for it.

Kairi: It seems like an original type of game for XBLIGs, but the brawling-slasher genre is a bit played out in gaming in general.  Plus, this one has a bit of a “PlayStation 2 concept beta” look about it.  I’ll call myself cautiously optimistic.

Brian: Kairi’s brain is officially set to “pre-rage.”  I’ll hide all breakables.  Not counting Tim’s heart, of course.

Dave: With a solid trailer, this game had me sold right away, probably because I’m a sucker for anything steam punk that looks well polished.  The lighting and HDR effects are impressive, as worthy engrossing thunderstorms when the character went outside.  I will definitely be checking this out as soon as it hits XBLIG.

Brian: I’m not going to say what Dave is officially set to.

Kairi: Why not?

Brian: I’m just not.  Let’s just say that he’ll be needing tissues.

Tim: Ewwww.

Kairi: Hey, where did Alan go?


Dave: With Entropy I was immediately reminded of Portal as they share the similar minimalist anesthetic within their environments. I’m not particularly fond of puzzle games however as I generally tend to struggle when it comes to solving just about anything which requires more than a fifth grade education. The way materials illuminate the world and distort your view of things makes this one of the prettier entries to this year’s competition.

Tim: If we’re talking pure eye candy, Entropy may be the best-looking poodle in the show.  Great balls of fire!  Something like this begs to be explored more than inundated with puzzles, though I’ll reserve judgment until I play it.  My only other concern, besides the first-person platforming (tough to get it right), is that I’ll need to take college courses online to solve some the puzzles.  Could be Portal for Rhodes Scholars.

Kairi: Well, unlike these two primates, I love puzzlers.  Sure, they’re cancer for page-views here, but I think Entropy will make up for the puzzle intimidation factor with its visuals.  This one looks really good.

Brian: That was the perfect trailer.  It shows off the game’s features, it gives you a taste of what kind of puzzles to expect.  You get a feel for how this game will play before you even touch it.  This is what we look for with this feature.

Demon House

Kairi: We’ve done this one before.  Mars attacks mixed with Ghost Busters, and the title font makes it look like the name is “Demon Houge.”  Still probably one of the better looking first-person-shooters on XBLIG, but I’m a little skeptical.

Hurley: Demon House was in the DBP running last year, but this year’s version is looking much more comfortable with itself. I like the fusion of steampunk and ghost-busting; everything in the environments looks spiffy, and those weapons are niiiice (might have to cut down on those reload times though). The A.I. doesn’t look brain-dead either, so it’ll be a little bit more involved than ‘run into a room and mow down everything’.

Brian: The weapons look neat.  The design of them.  But it seems like both the enemies and yourself are bullet sponges, and the game doesn’t offer a lot of visual feedback with getting shot.

Kairi: Hey, where did Dave go?

Brian: You turned the Dalek off, right?

Kairi: It turns off?

Brian: Oops.

To be continued in Episode 3

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15 Responses to Indies in Due Time: Dream-Build-Play 2012 Episode 2

  1. Out of all of these I’m probably the most interested in Proxy Gear, I guess I fall in the same category as Dave on this one.

    • I think Kairi makes a good point in likening it a PS2 concept build. I’m putting my faith in it, though. You don’t see this type on XBLIG too often, which earns it points it might not get otherwise. My big money is still on Bleed, from the last roundup. Is it strange that I can’t go to sleep at night until I’ve watched the trailer a dozen times?

      • Slightly, bullet hell platformers are usually a nightmare for me.

        • Dave Voyles says:

          They are definitely an acquired taste, and take a lot of patience to get used to. I loved them growing up, and still pick up quite a few on Sega Saturn, which has a ton of them. Hell, I bought one (Darius Gaiden) last week!

          Proxy Gear was also submitted in 2011, but seems to have quite a few improvements, notably the UI. It reminds me of Virtual On or Burning Rangers on the Saturn as well.

  2. Kolphyre says:

    I think I’m looking forward to the Dalek the most.

    Wait… what? What do you mean the Dalek doesn’t count??!!

  3. nategravemind says:

    Actually, the Dalek lasers don’t necessarily obliterate people. I can’t remember if they do in all the episodes, but there’s normally bodies left.

  4. I’m quite excited for Entropy. As someone who moderately champions the service I hate to say this but…it looks far too good for XBLIG. I’m surprised it’s bothering with that.

    Proxy Gear has potential, and I don’t really play that sort of game very often so I’m not saturated with them. I’m intrigued.

    For the record I, for one, wasn’t hiding from the Dalek. I did briefly hide from Kairi but I felt so warm and cosy behind that refrigerator that I fell asleep.

  5. Starglider says:

    I’ve playtested Demon House, it feels like Blood 2 or a really competent Quake 2 mod (‘total conversion’ as we used to call them). In other words early 2000s fast-moving linear FPS feel. IMHO the main issue with it is that FPS aiming controls are really hard to get right on consoles, AAA ones have a lot of logic about selective auto-aim, target stickiness and target follow. I believe the developer is working on that though. I’d buy it and I’d certainly demo Entropy.

  6. “With Entropy I was immediately reminded of Portal as they share the similar minimalist anesthetic…”

    So Dave fell asleep every once in a while when playing Portal, which might explain his difficulties with solving the puzzles, I guess? 😉

    Entropy looks very promising and I agree with Alan that it almost looks to good for XBLIG, but the developers will also release it on PC. So good luck to Autotivity Entertainment with their game!

    • Dave Voyles says:

      Portal is not my thing. Never finished the first one, and honestly, I never really enjoyed it. I own the second, and am about 2-3 hours into it and it just doesn’t grab my attention. I love the characters, but solving puzzles in games just never interested me.

  7. The judges had a couple years where they picked games with awful controls, so I think Entropy will win it if you move stuff by holding a button, and spinning around the item until you let go. I feel like such an idiot for not working that mechanic into my submission!!

    But if Entropy does have good controls, then I think the winner will be something 2D with grass, Because ALL of the past winners had that, as I found out from

  8. Proxy Gear caught my eye, I like the implied rhythm of the combos. Agree with Dave about the HDR, lighting effects and polish. But he didn’t mention the particle effects, and so I will – bravo guys, these are great 🙂

    Demon House is looking good – as Kairi mentioned it is one of the best looking FPSs on XBLIGs. Something else it does well is the ‘knock back’ on enemies, I like that.

    Enjoyed Episode #2!

  9. The Grumble says:

    Proxy Gear looks damn interesting, kind of like Zone of Enders but dare I say faster paced.

    Entropy also looks like it might manage to have its own little spot as not only a physics puzzler but that rarest of things a good edutainment game that teaches people something while playing (possibly).

What do you think?

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