I don’t think that the roguelike genre is particularly renowned for its storytelling. This isn’t to say that roguelikes are particularly crappy at this sort of thing, it’s just that designers tend to focus on other things which players usually appreciate more — providing games which are praised for their elegance, balance and depth in terms of rulesets rather than narrative.
Where We Remain has the trappings of a roguelike, but removes emphasis on combat and instead puts almost all of its focus on story. You’re still placed inside a procedurally-generated world full of danger and obstacles and whatnot, but you’ll generally need to avoid (or simply run away from) most problem situations. This is a particularly harrowing concept considering that the game runs in realtime and — in true roguelike fashion — delivers death rather swiftly to clumsy or cocky players.
I think it would be nigh unforgivable to skip out on mentioning the recent IGF awards, even if such a mention is a little later than most. After finally getting a chance to sit down and watch some juicy bits of the awesome video, I decided to post a quick summary of the facts:
The Seumas McNally grand prize went to Monaco, a co-op stealth game in
which four players have to pool their resources to pull off a heist. Developer Andy Schatz is, from what we understand, quite pleased with this.
Other prize winners were Limbo (Excellence in Visual Art, Technical Excellence), Closure (Excellence in Audio), Tuning (Nuovo Award, with a totally awesome acceptance speech from the dev) and Continuity (student showcase winner).
Check out the TIGSource write-up for a more detailed whassisname of the proceedings!
Our local homies at Luma Arcade (swell buncha folks) have recently been up at GDC along with everybody else in the industry, and Microsoft has just showcased one of their projects, The Harvest as part of anannouncement about XNA-based game made for … well, the new ASUS Windows Phone prototype.
Needless to say, seeing a phone-based game demo of such promising caliber is probably going to send all of the XNA fans out there into one great big excitable tizz. At least, it will if the proposed new platform lives up to expectations. And despite Engadget’s coverage mentioning that some of the scenery in The Harvest was pre-rendered (a claim which is now being popularly referred to on several other sites), Luma’s Dale Best insists that the whole game is in full, real-time 3D.
Either way, more chunks of information (and hopefully some nice ‘n proper videos and stuff) are due to be unveiled at MIX next week, so the rest of us mere mortals will be able to get our answers then. In the meantime, here’s a cool little showreel of the stuff Luma’s done over the past three years: