This past weekend the city of Austin, Texas was host to Rooster Teeth’s annual expo, RTX. Being a huge Rooster Teeth fan myself, it was a surreal experience to be apart of an online community in real life for the very first time.There was so much to see and do, including Indie Alley. Indie Alley was a section of the expo dedicated to indie games and their developers. It was a really cool experience to be able to talk with these developers, and hear them talk about their “babies”. Insomniac Games Song of the Deep and Coven Games Witchkin were the two I got a lot of time with.
While Insomniac is far from an indie developer with games like Spyro, Rachet and Clank, and Sunset Overdrive under their belt, the developers really wanted this to feel and look like an indie game.They put a group of fifteen developers on the project and they totally nailed it. You play as Merryn, a young girl exploring the undersea world in a homemade submarine looking for her lost father. This game has a little bit of everything; puzzles, open world, a good story, and has a platforming feel to it all at the same time. The player can cruise around in Merryn’s 3D submarine or can exit the submarine and play as Merryn as well.
We got to experience ten to fifteen minutes of the game, and I was immediately drawn in. So much so, that when the volunteers came to tell me my time was up, they scared me so bad I jumped. After cutting me off after the first boss, I was thirsty for more. The game is bright and colorful and totally has that indie vibe the developers were looking to achieve. Besides from all of that, the game was just fun to play! The game is going to release July 11th on all platforms, but Insomniac has teamed up with GameStop to release hard copies of the game as well.
Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE horror games. So, when I saw Witchkin I had to learn everything about it. I was immediately drawn to their booth, and the game did not disappoint. The games developer, David Jennison from Coven Games, is an artist. Because of his artistic background, he wanted to make a game focused on art more than the code. He used the Unreal 4 engine, and the game looks amazing. It looks like the player is watching a silent film with the brown, grainy quality, and it totally adds to the creep factor.
This game has an Outlast feel, but the game is totally its own. Witchkin is based on the Legend of the Candy Lady. The Candy Lady was known for luring children to her home with candy, where she would then kill them, and attach their souls to toys. (Scary, right?) You play as a young girl that is braving the Candy Lady’s home to save your younger sister. David explained that every “level”, you encounter a different toy. The level available at RTX, you faced off with Marcy. Marcy is the scariest, broken, porcelain doll I have ever seen in my entire life, and the way she moves toward you is really disturbing. I loved it. Marcy caught me pretty quickly the first two times I played, but the player quickly gets used to hiding, holding their breath, and using a music box to distract the toys away. It is really an engrossing experience, and it was still scary no matter how many times I saw Marcy catch someone. Witchkin has been greenlighted, so keep an eye out for the game on Steam in the near future.
It is so important to support these indie developers, and they are so passionate about their projects. Keep an eye out for both games coming to you soon!