While it is a bit cliche to exclaim “Oh my, where has the year gone?!” and “Is it really almost 2015 already?” that is exactly how it feels as I sit here looking back at all we’ve done this year with so many talented developers, many of which experienced their first ever game launch this year!
2013 closed with the launching of FORTRESSCRAFT EVOLVED onto the Steam Early Access program. Then it had some powerful build tools in Creative Mode, but not much else. Now that a year has gone by the talented devs over at ProjectorGames have crammed so much game into FCE. Creative Mode Multiplayer is now available as well as an ever-expanding Survival Mode that takes exploration and resource management to an all new level – and more is constantly being added and refined!
Being in Early Access has allowed a growing community to come together and help shape the game. And this community has brought to light some truly amazing creators who have shown just what all is possible in the Creative Mode. Check out this recent video they made which highlights some of their greatest creations:
Seriously… how can you watch that and not want to jump in and start crafting!?
The first official DTG launch of 2014 came in April and goes to the one-man developer Dirigo Games first ever big game DEPTHS OF FEAR :: KNOSSOS. I think my favorite quote from the press on this one comes from Rock, Paper, Shotgun where Adam Smith says “Like a surreal and low budget horror film discovered on an obscure television channel during a night that has lasted too long, it’s jarring, hugely imperfect and strangely alarming. I’ve happily lost myself in it for two evenings now.” This echos a lot of my personal sentiment towards the project. Inspired not just by roguelikes, classic gaming and Greek Mythology, but also the old cinema classics of Ray Harryhausen like Clash of the Titans, Depths of Fear has this alluring obscureness about it that just sucked me right in.
As it goes with a lot of indie efforts, there were some issues that popped up right out the gate, but Phil was right there in the forums talking to the players and getting the game updated as fast as he could. All in all a great start to what has been a great year.
Hot on the heels of Depths of Fear :: Knossos came the serene, atmospheric first person platforming puzzler QBEH-1: THE ATLAS CUBE. I first discovered Liquid Flower’s student project Qbeh on Desura and immediately had to reach out to them. I wasn’t the only one who saw the great potential in this fresh new team and before long a deal was reached and come May of 2014 Liquid Flower delivered their prequel to Qbeh.
Since its launch Qbeh-1 has been updated with Oculus Rift VR Support and the team is hard at work on the Steam Workshop Level Editor. We know a lot of people are still waiting on the level editor, but it is proving to be a more daunting task than originally envisioned. It is still in the works and as soon as we have more details we will let everyone know!
Come July we had the pleasure of working with Wonderfling Studios on their first ever launch of their retrorific game TERRIAN SAGA: KR-17 (seeing the trend yet? lots of firsts in 2014!). KR-17 quickly became a favorite among the indie press and currently has a Metacritic score of 83 (only 2 points lower than that other retro media darling, Yacht Club’s Shovel Knight!). Terrian Saga: KR-17 has also gone on to win GAME OF THE MONTH on YoYo Games site (creators of the Game Maker engine which was used to make KR-17).
Since release Wonderfling has been actively updating the game with things like the new Monthly Challenges as well as working on the next chapter in the Terrian Saga, Orion.
In September we worked with another one man dev team, Fledermaus, who finally brought his passion retro project of 5 years to the masses. THE WASTE LAND is loosely based on the T.S. Eliot Poem of the same name and puts players in the role of a King who unwittingly unleashes horrors upon his people and thus must set forth to correct his mistakes. Set across 7 continents, there are tons of locations to explore, people to meet, items to find and beasts to kill. A great game to lose yourself in for hours on end for fans of the open ended side-scrolling games of ol’ like Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest.
Just weeks after bringing the open world of The Waste Land to gamers, we stuck them deep down in a dark dank dungeon in Phigames first major release TINYKEEP. A game we’ve come to refer to as a “dungeon-escaper”, as opposed to a “dungeon-crawler”, TinyKeep sports intense rogue-like elements wrapped in a lighthearted physics-based quest to escape.
Exscitement for TinyKeep grew throughout the year as Phigames showed it off at gaming conventions across Europe such as EGX Rezzed and others. Now fans are able to grab the game on Windows PC, Mac & Linux, TinyKeep is a fun experience you do not want to miss out on.
…And now I sit here watching December quickly fade away as I keep launching our latest title KINGS OF KUNG FU, developed by Jae Lee Productions. This fun one VS one fighter just launched on Steam Early Access a few weeks ago and I must admit I keep getting drawn in to play a few rounds before bed every night. Like the developer, I grew up loving old Kung Fu Flicks of all sorts. His passion for the genre of game and film combines into an addictive indie fighter that is quickly growing a solid fanbase in the forums. New fighters, new modes and lots of tweaks and balances are constantly underway. Come join us on Early Access and help contribute your feedback to the game!
2014 has been an amazing year here at Digital Tribe and I am so proud to have been a part of working on so many great games with great devs this year. I cannot wait to reveal what 2015 brings!!!
Have a safe and happy New Year every one!
All my Best,
John Kaiser III