Raw Fury Games came to GamesCom with an interesting lineup this year, showing off Art in Heart’s surreal 2D Platformer GoNNER at the Indie Arena Booth while giving sneak peeks of Joonas Turner’s Tormentor X Punisher behind closed doors in the business area just days before their official announcement.
Let me preface this by saying that the only reason I am putting both games into this post is because Tormentor X Punisher has just been announced and is still in an early stage of development, there’s not all that much to say about it – yet.
In GoNNER, you play Ikk, who is on an adventure to cheer up a giant, landbound whale by the name of Sally – his only friend in the world. You will love Sally. Ikk is, however, not alone on his journey, far from it! Ikk will have a Mentor character in none other than Death himself, who will supply Ikk with all sorts of useful items.
You will help Ikk traverse a surreal, ever-changing landscape filled with creatures who do not take kindly to you trespassing, and/or they simply don’t like Sally. And we all know, Creatures who don’t like Sally are abominations deserving a few nasty words (or worse)! GoNNER is a hard as hell, procedurally generated 2D Platformer with some Roguelike elements with lots of content, secrets and multiple endings making it a game that brings something for everybody to the table. Collect different weapons, gamechanging heads like the flaming skull, or the hardmode inducing Poop head and compliment your choices with a backpack that brings utility to the mix. Once unlocked, you can choose any part at the start of a run meaning you can blaze through the game in your favorite combination once you found it! Add Ditto’s incredibly beautiful art choices alongside Martin Kvale’s sound design and the music composed by Joar Renolen and you have one hell of game that definitely qualifies as a piece of art.
You will be able to join Ikk in his journey to cheer up his one and only friend on the whole world soon-ish ™ and see his determination to fulfill his goal, even if it kills him – which it certainly will. A lot.
Next is Tormentor X Punisher, coming right from the mind of Joonas Turner who has been involved in games like Nuclear Throne and Broforce. TxP is a fast-paced, twin-stick arena-shooter – What a mouthfull! – Complete with One-Hit mechanics, Bossfights and Highscores. Oh, and Demons trying to escape the ninth gate of Hell, naturally. Joonas secured some high class help in form of programmer Beau Blyth who worked on Hyper Light Drifter and artist Tuuka Stefanson for whom TxP is the first journey into the waters of professional Game Development.
The formula behind Tormentor X Punisher is simple, but that’s what makes it perfect. Run, shoot Demons, Die – and do it again! Chase that impossible Highscore just like the Raw Fury folks did during GamesCom. You could hear throughout the hall whenever somebody beat the Highscore, which should tell you a lot of things about the game. To top all that off, the sound design is SPOT ON, from the firing sound, over the soundtrack to the resounding “Let’s fucking do this!” starting off each round the game manages to get your adrenaline pumping while you frantically push your analog sticks around, trying to survive those demonic hordes!
Tormentor X Punisher does not have any estimates for a release date yet, all we know is that it will happen in 2017 rather than late in 2016.
Art in Heart is a new studio founded by programmer, game designer, and artist Ditto (Planeter, Hets). The studio’s first project, GoNNER, will be the first commercial release for Ditto after having released several smaller and well-regarded prototypes on itch.io.
Who is Joonas Turner?
Joonas Turner is a video game sound designer who has worked with well known multi award winning video games. He has deep understanding of how video games work and how to enhance the gameplay experience with original unique audio
Who is Raw Fury Games?
We’re just people, man. Just people with an abnormal interest in games. Ok, actually it goes beyond that. All of us believe that games matter. They are the marriage of art and craft. They can elevate, change, entertain, surprise, and move people. They’re the modern vessels for our stories – our imagination. They facilitate communication and communion.
We’ve run both small and large development studios, we’ve produced games, promoted them, and written about them. We’ve designed them, distributed them, and delivered them into the hands of fans. We come from places like Paradox Interactive, EA DICE, and Destructoid. We are a small team of veterans that have all enjoyed success and survived through challenges.
And this is where we follow our passion to help the next generation of developer magicians. To help them find success, be happy, and stay independent.
Hey there! Do you like old-school horror movies? You know, those where some kids decide it’s cool to trust that ominous letter or ad in the newspaper? Great! Do you have ambitions to become a manager or like games, such as RimWorld, where you are in charge of a colony of a bunch of colonists? Awesome!
Welcome to Machiavillain, where your job is to build, manage, and occasionally defend the most terrifying Monster Mansion you can possibly think of!
If you have ever played RimWorld, or a similar game, you already know how the basic Gameplay will end up being, which is not a bad thing. You will have control over a small group of Monsters, all of whom have stats and needs and build the biggest, baddest, most terrifying horror-movie-mansion you can imagine! Your monsters will need to collect resources, research new, even more terrifying things to stuff into your mansion and, of course, things like stone walls; A wooden mansion would hold up against an angry mob too long, after all!
But do not forget, Monsters are people, too. They become hungry and need a snack every now and then to stay loyal to you. Fail to cater to their needs, and they might end up leaving, or worse! What does a monster eat, you might ask. Well, silly, Monsters eat humans, of course! Their favorite age is teens. Their favorite dish differs from monster to monster, Vampires favour blood, Zombies are crazy for brains – Their own, after all, are kinda rotten – While skeletons are fine picking out a few bones. Other monsters might even want meat, as well! So, how does one go about acquiring such things, surely you can’t just send the Vampires to eat out in the local blood bank, Dom?
Well no, of course not! That’s where some of the things I mentioned earlier come into play. You will need to lure unsuspecting people to your mansion via methods that would make the big horror writers proud! Send ominous letters, place advertisements in the local newspaper, market your murder estate to your absolute best! But be careful, people might grow suspicious of you. And you surely know what happens if people grow suspicious of that old, seemingly abandoned villa in town where kids seem to disappear in regularly, right?
If the townsfolk has the suspicion, that your Villa is not as lifeless as it appears to be, they’ll send the police to check on whether some of the kids might just be hiding or are in need of help – or worse. And if word gets out that you are actually a band of monsters, feasting on their fellow townsfolk? Oh boy, you’re going to be in for one giant, angry mob with pitchforks and torches! But fret not, your Monster pals are all (more or less) well versed in combat! Your Vampires can turn into bats, becoming incredibly difficult to hit, skeletons throw their bones (which damages them, but they can actually pick up their bones as well as some of their victims), Zombies are, well, Zombies. There’s poison cooking alchemists, Frankenstein, his Monster, who acts as a bulletsponge, and many others, such as mummies. Combat works a little more like in an RPG, with your monsters having abilities, strengths and weaknesses.
If you’re a fan of colony games inspired by Dwarf Fortress and the great Masters of Horror, you definitely need to keep your eye on WildFactor’s Machiavillain, because it’s shaping up to be one hell of a fun game!
MachiaVillain will enter Early Access in Spring 2017 with the full release being likely at the end of 2017 – Of course those things can change in an activive developing environment such as that of MachiaVillain, take the numbers with a grain of Salt.
MachiaVillain has been successfully funded on Kickstarter in early 2016
Make sure to follow WildFactor on Twitter and bookmark their Homepage for development blogs in both English and French!
Who is WildFactor?
Wild Factor was founded in 2012 by programmer Alexandre Lautié. Alexander has worked on nine commercial games over the years from retro pixel to next gen console games, including his time at Ubisoft where he helped create the development tools for Just Dance and Just Dance 2014. The story he tells about Wild Factor’s inception is he was eating alphabet soup and saw this message in his bowl: strt a gma cmpiny. “Close enough”, he said, and Wild Factor was born.
It’s been a week since my last day in Cologne – Well, that’s a little bit of a lie, I didn’t stay in Cologne since I live like an hour away so I didn’t actually stay in Cologne – and I took the liberty of not having a plan how to actually do this whole write-up thing and thinking about the ‘best’ way to do it. I came to the conclusion of writing this general, ‘How did I do?’ type of Blog post and dedicate at least one or two additional Blog posts to some concise summaries of the things I had the opportunity to see and play. Also I caught me some cologne cough (is that a thing? Or do we still only have Pax pox?) which put me out of commission for a bit in order to kill it before it develops into something more than a stuffed nose and coarse throat.
Also, since I’m about to finish uni, goal was to network a lot, maybe find some german studios I could potentially apply at and all that jazz – With networking for streaming and just ‘general’ networking playing less important roles. With these things said, let’s actually start recapping some of the Good and Bad things I did/didn’t do.
First of all, the networking I did worked out. I’m not the most social person, slightly awkward actually. But the networking I did was with people who really share the same kind of passion I have for video games and creating them. I feel like I have learned some important stuff just from having had the opportunity to talk with people like @dittomat or @zarkonnen_com who are developing GoNNER and Airships: Conquer the Skies respectively.
I was ‘prepared’ – Meaning, I did some of my homework and (finally) got this website up and ‘running’ – Hah, running, this website, good joke! – and got business cards made for that professionalism levelup. Thanks to my prior experience with GamesCom I also knew I’d not want to spend anything on food/drinks AT the convention center so I got all that stuff sorted beforehand (and then spend money at the McD at the train station because after 10 hours on the floor I needed a snack.) and bringing everything I needed, including a fresh Tee to switch into, with me in one of them dreaded bags.
Also, I was at the entrance around 8:40 all three days which resulted in me standing in line INSIDE the convention center for longer than outside at the bag checks and I was in by 9:05 at most. I also more or less knew where all my meetings would take place by like 10:30 on Wednesday (I didn’t have all that many, so scouting them was easy enough).
Remember me saying I was prepared? Yeah no, I wasn’t. I totally forgot about meetings and stuff beforehand. Especially since I couldn’t find comprehensive lists when I looked for them (which was.. June?) and then ‘forgot’ to check every couple days. YAY ME! In addition to that, in terms of meetings – call it ignorance, call it stupid, call it whatever – It did not cross my mind that people might actually still had slots available for meetings nor did I think about the big guys having the press stuff in the business area and the ability to maybe get in there, even as a tiny content creator / gamedev amateur. As I mentioned before, I’m not the most social person.
In that vein, there’s also those press passes that some booths gave out to allow people to cut lines on the floor. I simply didn’t know such thing existed until it was too late. In general, my lack of knowledge about what is possible and available during the show did cost me a bunch of opportunities. But, how does the saying go, “Live and learn”?
The next thing I need to work on for next year is handing out business cards. I need to hand them out left and right instead of the tame handing out I ended up doing. But again, I think that’s just an experience thing and me being this slightly awkward human being and it should hopefully go a lot smoother next year.
No writeup would be complete without a thing or two that almost went completely haywire, right? For me, that thing were (still are, actually) my Business cards.
Let me preface this by saying I’m as far from an artist as a programmer can probably be. I have a somewhat creative mind, at least that’s what I keep telling myself, but I lack the skill and practice to put it into artsy stuff. I did the design of my business cards myself – Finding a template was HORRIBLE, because as a german guy, I’m used to everything having DIN’s, norms set by the german industry, but guess what – There is no god damn industry wide norm for business cards. And finding a (good, usable) cutting template to work with? Took me at least 30 minutes to find one.
The next thing, I had the glorious idea to incorporate a QR code that links to my About page on the cards – Like the idiot I am, I didn’t copy-paste the URL, or TEST the damn QR code. You know, like a normal human being would do. Ended up with a typo in the QR code’s URL and I couldn’t change it (The site I used gave the option to register and save the codes as “can edit” but, naaaah, Dom doesn’t need that, he can do it first try! Yeah, no. Thank god my webhosting packet has free domains, and I had a free one remaining, so I could fix that problem.
But there’s another problem: While the font I used looked great on my screen, and I am pretty sure 0 was actually distinguishable from O, on the cards, if I didn’t know my Twitter handle I’d read it as @dominoe (The Gimp file correctly says @domin0e by the way). I have NO idea how that happened, as the guy who printed them didn’t change anything. So I made sure if I went to some booth and talked to people and handed out cards, to tweet at them or the game so they’d actually have the right Twitter handle somewhere.
That might also be a reason why I was shy in terms of handing out cards, and the next batch I am getting made will not be designed by me (or at least I’ll have to printing shop look over) and maybe not go to the local guy but the big guy – or Staples. It’ll probably cost me more but I hopefully won’t run into these problems then.
In the end, I like to think of GamesCom as a success with lots and lots of room to improve. Rome wasn’t built in a single day either, right? I had fun, got to know new people, network, and maybe most importantly, get the experience of what drives a Trade visitor and what to do while prepping and all that.
Since I got my pass this year thanks to Uni, which I can’t fall back on next year and getting Press passes with a tiny stream such as my own isn’t that simple either (and I need to do something along the lines anyways), I’ll likely be visiting GamesCom next year representing my own company, I guess? I’ll have to read into stuff for that. Lots of stuff, probably, but it’ll come in handy not only for GamesCom but who knows, maybe one of the ideas and prototypes I’m brooding over at the moment will actually become something that can generate some pocket money? I’ve heard having a company to hide behind is pretty good for the private purse.
But yeah, I guess I learned lots of things at GamesCom and as is always said, “After the Game is before the Game”, so I’ll hop into planning and prep mode for next year at some point. Because there’s always next time!
PS: Over the weekend I’ll do the compliation of stuff I’ve seen/played, finally! I also still need to get a few mails out but I really wanted to have the compilation post done to include in the mails. I also need to save my Recap streams as highlights so they don’t get deleted and grab timestamps for people even if it’s just me being like “Uuuhh, lemme try to remember, my brains are MUSH!”..