Tuesday, September 15, 2015

GamesCon Part 2: Utah Games Guild

So when I first walked into Games Con 2015, the first thing that caught my eye was the Utah Games Guild.  I first heard of it from my fellow Mormon Geeks author Stephen. I went up to talk to the person at the front desk. She said that it was something created to help indie video game developers get more coverage.  I wanted to talk to some of the people "in charge" of the Guild, but he was occupied talking with someone else.

After wandering around Games Con, I came back to the Guild's booth and talked with someone that was in charge of their social media events. His name was Josh. He told me that there are hundreds of Utah indie video game developers that just don't know how to market themselves or their games. So, in May 2014, a group of indie developers got together and shared some space to help publicize their work.  To learn more about the Utah Games Guild, see their website or their Twitter.
The Games Guild booth
I'm also going to write briefly about some of the games that I saw.

Can't Look Back is a game that involves trying to defeat your opponents by running into them from the side or back. If a player runs into someone head on, they both die. One of the most interesting parts of the game is that players can only turn from side to side or go forward. They can't go back (exactly what name of the game says). To learn more, check out their website.

Aurora Redemptus is a game all about turn-based space ship battles. Each side inputs their commands and then the commands play out in real time. Players can build and customize their ships as well! Multiplayer is planned for the game. To learn more, see the developers website.

Crashnauts is one of two games that I actually tried out. (Plenty of developers offered for me to play, but I declined so I didn't spend a lot of time with any one game). Crashnauts is a multiplayer brawler game where each player has access to a broad arsenal of weapons including futuristic guns and small range plasma blasts. I won the one and only game I played, mostly because the developer was whispering to me how to play the game. The game was really fun and reminded me of Super Smash Brothers. The game is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to try to get funded. You can also see their Twitter.
The Cruashnauts booth

I also sat down and played a demo for a game called Frayed Knights: The Skull of Smakh-Daon. It is a light-hearted first person 3D turn-based RPG. The demo was a lot of fun with witty dialogue, including the game breaking the 4th wall and saying an area wasn't available because it was only a demo.  The game was greenlighted on Steam! To learn more about it see the games website.

I also briefly talked to someone about a free to play game called Saga. We basically were able to describe the game using a series of abbreviations: co-op MMO RTS TCG RPG. (Yes, I know co-op is not an abbreviation). Basically that means it's a cooperative, massively multiplayer online, real time strategy, trading card game, role playing game.

I had an interesting discussion with Josh while look at his game that he was developing. The game is called Legacy of the Elder Star. It's a side scrolling shoot-em-up game with beautiful graphics. The music was also top notch. When I mentioned that to Josh, he talked about how music was an often under appreciated part of games. He said 'What would Halo be like without a full orchestra playing the music?' It just wouldn't be the same! He also talked about how many different fun little nuances games have. He even pointed out that someone has come and played the demo for his game multiple times, but still hasn't noticed one of the harder to miss mechanics in the game.  To learn more, see the developer's Twitter or the game's website.

Of all the games that I saw, I think Dub Wars really captivated me. When I first walked by, I saw large speakers and heard crazy music. To my amazement, someone was playing some kind of shooter game.  I watched, trying to figure out exactly what was going on. The music and the levels totally entranced me. I finally tracked down the someone involved with working on the game. Basically the game is a shooter where what weapons the player fires depends on what kind of instrument is playing on the music track (the game has somewhere around 150 weapons). All of the music was what would be called 'dub steb' or EDM. Apparently the developers of the game work closely with the music artists to create each level. Each song has it's own unique stage and weapons. Before each stage, there is a splash screen with information about the artist. To learn more about the game, see their website.

Dub Wars: Firing Lasers!
 Well, that's all the games I saw at GamesCon. Hopefully you see some that pique your interest!

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