April Report: Rising Arch, Tokoyo no Tou, Unreal Life, and Strange Telephone Postmortem
This month's event started out with a presentation by Caras Ohmi of Banraku Games about their in-development game Rising Arch, a shooting game controlled entirely with the mouse. A demo was distributed at Digigame Expo and Comiket last year and can also be played online here. For an early demo it's already got a high degree of polish and is fun to play; this is one to keep an eye on.
Next up, Saebashi showed his in-development Tokoyo no Tou, a platformer where the world is regenerated every day. The randomly generated world is the same for all players, like daily seeds seen in games like Spelunky or Nuclear Throne, and the game is planned to include light social elements such as leaving warning messages for other players. Saebashi also shared his perspective on coming to game development in Unity from a background as a designer. He had one critical piece of advice for people starting game dev: go to game jams! It's a great place to learn what's involved in making a game and meet people who have skills you don't.
Next Hako showed off the side-scrolling adventure game he's working on, Unreal Life. The main character is a girl who lost her memories, and can regain them by touching objects in the mysterious world she finds herself in with the help of a talking traffic light. For Tokyo Indie Fest he'll be releasing a demo with one chapter to play, as well as showing his currently available Color Finder, a block-pushing puzzle game with color based mechanics and lovely pixel art.
The last presentation this month was a post-mortem of Strange Telephone by Yuta. Strange Telephone is an adventure game about navigating a mysterious universe by dialing phone numbers to travel to different worlds, currently available for iOS and Android.
Yuta cited Yume Nikki and LSD (the game) as major influences in making Strange Telephone. Reflecting on what went well, he noted that the game struck a chord with Yumi Nikki fans, which helped sales and resulted in great positive feedback. Besides fans of Yume Nikki praising the feel of the game, the art was also widely well reviewed. He was also fortunate to have a lot of fan art made of the characters from the game. Materially speaking, the game sold well enough he could quit his day job and become a full-time independent game developer.
Summarizing negative feedback he recieved about the game, a lot of people felt it was too short, just didn't get what it was about, found it boring, or thought it was too expensive. (For reference, the game sells for 480 yen).
Finally he discussed some of his plans going forward, including working on producing goods, releasing the game on Steam, and adding more content and language support. It's a lot to look forward to!
That was it for this month's Tokyo Indies, catch you next month! 🎮