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Seoul Indies, October 2017

Another month has passed, and with that comes another Seoul Indies! Next month, I’ll be in Japan instead of indies, so let’s make this month count that much extra.

Heh. Nah, I’m gonna half ass it like I always do. This week there were 4 presentations, two I hadn’t seen before.

Daily Dungeon – 1506 – PC (iPhone soon?)

Daily Dungeon – 1506

If Enter the Gungeon met a platformer, this would be it. It’s hard as balls, and now you have to make jumps while dodging bullets. I think I would throw the controller in frustration about 2 minutes in, but I can see how a lot of people would like this game. Basically, you jump and gun your way around until you can find you way to a boss or the next level. The team at 1506 have a lot of experience with platformers and it shows with this. The game is hard, but it does give you a chance. For example, take an extra half second to spawn, and during this time, you see a Bubble Bobble style … erm… bubble at the spawn point, giving you enough time to react.

The game is called Daily Dungeon, because everyone plays the same levels every day. The levels aren’t completely randomly generated, but rather are customizable with randomized bits. There’s a lot of replayability here due to the constantly changing levels, and the ability to challenge your friends to the same level that day.

The first boss is a mohawk sporting fish that seems to be wearing a crusader costume.

I’m in.

 

Beatris – Rhybad – PC

 

Beatris – Rhybad

Beatris, is like Tetris that where the pieces fall to the beat. Getting lines in the traditional manner is a basic mechanic of the game, but since the piece drop rate is more irregular, there are a few more things going on. Grey filler blocks fill up the screen as the song goes on, and matching up certain colours will allow you to smash through or get rid of them, even without getting a line. I don’t fully understand the mechanic, but you can check it out for yourself here.

 

To The Hell – Single Core Games – PC

To The Hell – Single Core Games

To The Hell is always a crowd favorite at Seoul Indies, as well as BIC and other events. It’s like Downwell, but upwards, and with a shit ton of firepower and huge bosses. It’s straight up shooty fun. That’s about all I have to say. (We’ve talked about it a few times briefly, we’ll do a proper review on it soon.)

 

Racers: Dirt – 21c Ducks

 

Racers: Dirt – 21c Ducks

Racers: Dirt is another title that’s been around the …erm … track and back. It’s a modern take on a dusty RC Pro Am clone. They were at Seoul Indies to get people using their new multiplayer battle mode. Fun. We’ll do proper one on this eventually too, if we can ever get a PS4 and a TV. ㅠㅠ

That’s the rundown. Next month, I’ll be in Japan, so we’ll see what happens from there. (Good times? Good times!)

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Engare – Geometry, But Fun

Not to be confused with Geometry Butt Fun, out next year on the Nintendrix Switch.

 

Engare – Level Selection Screen

 

I saw Engare this weekend on the Indie Game Developers Facebook group, and decided to give it a go, since it just released on Steam and was on sale.

I’m a sucker for a discount.

It’s a game about geometry, specifically about visualizing how every area of a shape translates and rotates across space with the whole, and with other shapes. Visualize a wheel. The centre of a wheel travels in a straight line as a wheel rotates down a path, but the outer edge moves in half circles. Being able to visualize this difference is key to understanding the game’s main mechanic.

 

Engare – First Level

 

There have been very few times in my life where having a physics degree has comes in handy. This was one of them.  Every level animates in a predicable pattern, which allows you to track down the exact path you need, relatively quickly. When you get the knack, the game becomes a little bit simple, but it’s still enjoyable enough to play through. The graphics and music are pretty nice and relaxing, perfect for the odd occasion you may get stuck for a bit. I’m looking forward to some of the later levels where you have to map the location of several pivots.

I’ll let you know if my statement of it being “a little bit simple” was premature.

When you finish a few levels, you unlock the pattern designer, which takes a pixelated square that you design and translates it onto cups and cylinders. I’ve only reached the third level, so I’m not sure if anything else opens up, but I did see a Spectrograph-esque line designer on Facebook.

 

Engare – Envisioning the path.

 

Not too much to say about this one. I like it. It reminds me of my time in the Middle East, checking out mosques and other traditional architecture. If you got a bit of time and want something to play around with, I’d recommend this.

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Humble Korean Mobile Bundle

The mainstream Korean mobile game scene contains a whole bunch of garbage. Like a planet of garbage. Mostly it’s just basically re-skins of Progress Quest, where you slowly grind levels so that you can see bigger numbers. I guess that’s mobile gaming in a nutshell world wide, but the current Korean scene seems pretty trash heap to me. Partly this is because I am a huge snob.

And good news for snob, wizards, and the like is that the good folks at Humble Bundle put together a Made in Korea mobile bundle. It’s well worth the five bucks. The charity du juor is SpecialEffect. So, you can buy these and even help some people. Good for you. There’s a week left on it at time of this writing*. I thought I’d run it down quick like.

I.F.O. by Total Battery

This game is number one and the best. Worth your paltry $1. A fun little shooter that looks like an old Tiger Electronics handheld, but plays like a modern game. Shoot aliens. Save farm animals. Get power-ups. This is really addictive and one of only a handful of twitch action games that I’ve found to be playable on mobile. Here’s a Burpy rundown of Totaly Battery’s games.

the SilverBullet by Byulbram Studio

Neat little top down zombie shooter. I didn’t get too far into this one yet, but what I played was fun. Found the grenade throwing mechanic to be a little bit tricky to use.

Dim Light by SANBAE

Atmospheric mobile survival horror. Slick monochrome graphics. You have a flashlight that can only illuminate a small triangular area. Pretty low key in the beginning, but then OMG WHAT ARE THOSE ZOMBIE BUG THINGS RUN. Good times.

Sally’s Law by Nanali Studios

So, I guess the Law is that Sally is some horrible ball person! She must roll everywhere! It is body horror much worse than the ZOMBIE BUG things from Dim Light. This is a two part plat-former where you initially roll sally through a level and then you go back and roll her father through a different path in the level removing obstacles from Sally’s path. Because he is a caring father even though he is distant, he is protecting his daughter. Also, he is a ghost. When did simple little puzzle games like this start to add touching stories to basic puzzle-y game-play? I blame Braid. I mean, I ain’t need to know the feelings of the 1 x 4 block to enjoy Tetris. I don’t care about it’s life. I just want it to clear blocks.

Replica by SOMI 

This game is also great. Worth the $5 for the top tier. Some not wizard reviewed it a while ago on some site. I’m looking forward to SOMI’s new game “Legal Dungeon.” Got a look at it at BICFest, but it is currently only available in Korean and my Korean reading is the sucks, so text heavy games are out.

REDDEN by Team Bulosodeuk

This one I didn’t spend a ton of time with. Guide an arrow or a bullet through some gorgeous art work.

6180 the Moon by Turtle Cream

This one has been on Steam a while and now it’s on Android! Hooray! It’s a high difficulty plat-former with the gimmick that gravity is very low and you can jump right off the top of the screen and come back in from the bottom. It’s fun, but I can help but feel that the lack of precision on the Android touch pad makes this less fun than it should be. I’m really keen to try this out with a proper controller. Burpy Fresh reviewed the Steam version here. 

*If you come to this post late go get I.F.O. and Replica. In my snobbish opinion those are the two gems here.

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Seoul Indies – September, 2017

Hey, so @curttheinvert and I went to Seoul Indies this month and they actually had games. Like 5 of them! I forgot to bring my camera, but I’ll scavenge some stuff of the Internet.

 

Her Knights – Byulbaram

 

Her Knights running on a GP32

 

First up was Byulbaram, the godfather of Korean indie, featuring 그녀의 기시단 (Her Knights) in English from back in like 2004 for the GP32, and old Korean handheld system that I’d never heard of. According to Wikipedia, it’s similar to the first edition of the Game Boy Advance. I should look for one the next time I’m in Yongsan.

 

Her Knights – Game Play

The game had early 2000s anime pixel art and a bit of a story. It played kinda like Turtles in Time, but with hand drawn cutscenes, and a fantasy sort of vibe. What’s notable are how well the characters and enemies react to what’s happening on screen. In fact, in a response to Gon Lee, from Total Battery, who asked about the most important characteristic of a fighting game, Byulbaram explained that every attack would bring out a distinct animation in enemies, that made sense with what was happening to them. Like, a right handed punch would push a person left, etc. I know that seems obvious now, but watching the game one more time after hearing this really made me appreciate just how many animations were actually in the game.

Oh, I should note, that this guy had to find the old source, and then rewrite everything for OpenGL so he could bring it to BIC and Seoul Indies. Hard core.

 

Bouncing Hero – ZPink + zniq.co

 

 

Bouncing Hero, a collaboration with ZPink and zniq.co, was also at BIC. It’s a puzzle-platformer, where you’re constantly bouncing, and you have to time your movements to each bounce. The developers wanted to create something that was challenging, but also was easy to control with a touch screen interface.

The point of the game is to touch all of the red star emblems on the screen to either open the door or to defeat the boss. The concept and design are simple, but crazy challenging. Each level is not randomly generated, but has a number of different permutations that can occur, which adds replayability as well.  I could see myself getting frustrated with this, but it’s a solid concept.

 

Superstream – zniq.co

 

Superstream – zniq.co

 

Superstream is a vamped up version of Pipe Dream, but with a Tetris style piece delivery system. The water (in this case a pulse of light) starts flowing as soon as you’ve laid 6 pieces on the board, removing the original pieces in place. When the pulse goes through a piece on the board, including one you’ve placed, it randomly regenerates, and gives you the ability to place one more piece from your tray. The difficulty comes from only being able to have a maximum of six delivered pieces on the board, meaning you can’t just throw what you don’t want away.

Superstream is free to play on zniq.co, and on Telegram apparently?

 

Hwasal – Jang Wonsun

 

 

Hwasal looks like a roguelike, but it’s more of a puzzler. Basically you’re an archer and you have to set up your arrows to hit every enemy on the screen in a number of turns. As you progress you can unlock upgrades and other things to use in the levels.

 

Ninja Issen – Jang Wonsun

This is another game by Jang Wonsun. The goal of the game is to defeat all the enemies on the screen in one go. The gimmick is that the entire level (with the enemies in them) shifts around in front of you, meaning you have to wait until everything lines up correctly to strike.

It’s a bit hard to explain, and I can’t find anything else on the game online, so I’ll just leave this one here for now.

 

Seoul Indies is the last Thursday of every month, and we’re usually located between Daeheung and Gwangheungchang stations on Line 6. If you have a game, or want to see some new stuff, come check it out!

 

 

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Arcane Musings – BICFest 2017

BICFest 2017 went down in Busan a couple weekends ago and your friendly neighborhood wizard* caught a dimensional portal down there to see what the fuss was about. BICFest is Korea’s premier indie game festival going into it’s third year. One-hundred twenty odd games were showcased, along with talks by industry professionals, indie eSport competitions projected on a giant screen, and just basic good old times with a bunch of friendly developers from all over the world. I feel privileged that I got to meet and hang with so many fun people over the weekend.

What follows are my impressions of some of the games I got hands on. My compatriot posted his thoughts a couple of days ago.

One of the coolest booths was the “Classic Korean Indie” booth. It showcased some games from the earlier part of the 21st century. One of the games, Her Knight, was designed for the Korean only handheld the GP32. Guys, I’m a video wizard and I didn’t know that thing existed! I want one to go on the shelf next to my Atari Lynx.

Agatha Knife – Spanish devs be off the hook, yo. A game where a young girl slaughters animals and creates a religion. This is one to keep an eye on. Devs carry knives.

Alice in Cube – Neat 3D Android puzzle with an Alice in Wonderland theme. Could see myself losing some time to this in the future.

Asura – Slick little Diablo-type RPG. The innovation here is a procedurally generated skill tree and a South Asian theme. Solid game.

Back Slash – 2D-Arena combat with WIZARDS!!!

Breaking Wheel – The silliest game at BICFest. And that, my friends, is saying something. You are a wheel in the Medieval Times and you battle against Ogres. Silly time are good times.

Maruta Escape – Isometric stealth game with a time rewinding mechanic. You can rewind your movements OR those of the evil robots hunting you.

Old Man’s Journey – Sweet little android puzzle game about an old man walking home through the hills. Probably the best of the mobile games at BICFest. Dev gave out temporary tattoos which endeared him to the westerners but kind of freaked out the Korean audience.

Pawarumi – Bullet hell shooter in the Treasure mold. Really amazing graphics.

Redout – Super polished futurist racer in the F-Zero mold. Reminded me of Star Wars Episode I: Racer, the best racer for the N64 and the best thing to come out of the Phantom Clone Saga Jar Jar Wars.

Shots Fired – Developers in from the Philippines. Talked to them about the up and coming scene out there. Super exciting to hear about how indie games are coming up all over the world. Game is Where’s Waldo meets Tinder meets the University of Texas tower shooter.

To the Hell – Retro platformer shooter that mimics those elevator levels from GunStar Heroes and it’s ilk. The dev apologized for the bad English in the title, but I told him it made it sond more awesome and unique.

Urbanøïz – I don’t really know what this game is about due to the language barrier, but check out the slick design going on: https://www.instagram.com/urbanoizcity/. Their booth was awesome and their swag was top notch. Adventure game about a robot? Or something?

Vectorium – Cool little arena bullet hell shooter with a BUMPIN’ soundtrack. The dev brought big old speakers to showcase his game. Turn up the volume if you play this.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles – Extremely polished 3D RPG billed as “Zelda without the violence.” Sort of a cross between Zelda and Animal Crossing. I’ll have to try this one out with my Junior Wizard.

동물의정원 – Cute animal management game for andriod. Designed by “Father Made Games.” I asked about the name and he said, “Well, I’m a father, and I decided to make games for my kids.” Can’t think of a better reason.

 

The Three Stars of the Match:

Do Not Feed the Monkeys – A personal favorite game at BICFest. A unsettling game about spying on other people and choosing whether or not to get involved with their lives. Part voyeuristic adventure, part lifestyle management. All with LucasArts style graphics. You’ll be hearing more about this from us.

Hyperun – This was another contender for the best game at BICFest. It’s a procedurally generated racer where you constantly have to do sharp drifts and sweet tricks. It looks amazing, the mechanics are simple and elegant, and it’s super fun to play. Review forthcoming on Burpy Fresh.


The American Dream – This is a VR game about being American. You have guns and infinite ammo. You use your guns to complete common household tasks such as feeding a baby or flipping hamburgers. Remarkably true to life. Feels like this could go up in Epcot center and no one would bat an eye, because guns. Bang bang.

*This is a lie. Wizards are not friendly. Nor do their live in neighborhoods. They live in towers.

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BIC Fest 2017 – The Best Fest

While all of you are galavanting around at TGS, the Burpy crew are enjoying a quiet weekend at home, nursing our wounds and sulking about how we’re not at TGS. It’s okay though, because we still have the memories of BIC Fest 2017 to get us through until BitSummit in May.

It’s going to be a long 8 months.

Until then, let’s talk about all the great stuff that happened at Busan Indie Connect this year.

  1. We went to Busan.
  2. A bunch of cool peeps came to Busan, too.
  3. We got drunk on the beach.
  4. I interpreted on stage for a bunch of cool people. @curttheinvert trolled Microsoft on stage.
  5. We played a lot of games.
  6. We got drunk at the beach.
  7. We forgot to learn what Azure was.

So much fun. Of course though, while it is super important to get drunk on the beach and meet with cool people, it’s also important to play video games. So many good choices this year, too. Project.99 was there in full effect with like a million games on a million laptops. To the Hell made what has to be it’s 3rd appearance at BIC. Racers: Dirt came back, but as a Sony title. It’s really nice to see the full circle on titles. Redout, too. They were heavily in development at BIC 2015, and now they’re on like every system. All good things.

However, with this post, I want to give you, in no particular order, my top 5 out of all the new stuff I saw this year. I mean, new to me at least.

 

Do Not Feed The Monkeys (Fictiorama Studios, Q4-2017)

Do Not Feed The Monkeys – Fictiorama Studios

 

Do Not Feed The Monkeys combines the text-based tension of Papers Please with a teensy bit of Phoenix Wright with um… Sliver? Basically, you’re duty bound by this secret society to watch unsecured webcams, called cages, and report back what the monkeys, the people you’re spying on, are doing. Your mandate is to only watch, but since the society doesn’t seem to pay you, you may be forced to make some… choices. You can take a job, or you can decide to start blackmailing the monkeys and see how far you get before the society comes in and shuts you down.

Honestly, there’s not a lot of gameplay here, but I pretty much had to be kicked off the demo because I hogged it for too long. There’s something about voyeurism and blackmailing people (come on, like there was ever a choice) that really draws your attention.

Oh, and I think one of the monkeys is Hitler.

 

HP Sword (TGB)

HP Sword – TGB

 

HP Sword is a decent platformer with a solid gimmick. The size and power of your blade is proportional to your HP. You can also use part of your HP as a projectile. This creates an effective risk/reward system by allowing the player temporarily losing power to get in a really good hit in, but it also puts a bit of pressure on if you’re doing poorly. Overall though, it’s pretty balanced. Very little information on it in English. I’ll do a proper review when I can get my hands on a copy.

 

Hyperun (Concrete Games)

Hyperun – Concrete Games

 

Hyperun is a racing game with no acceleration button. No brakes either. Basically, you just keep going, faster and faster until you fuck up. Using WASD lets you strafe, using the arrow keys lets you make an on-a-dime 90 degree turn. While strafing is pretty important to pick up speed boosts (and I think health boosts?) making those square corners at higher speeds is where the difficulty comes in. You can hold down an arrow key to drift before the corner, but I’ve found that it’s easier to just to try to time the corner well. I like the twist this gives to racing games.

 

Tiny Clusters (Thibaut Mereu)

Tiny Clusters – Thibaut Mereu

 

Tiny Clusters is a cute little game that you can get a demo of on itch right now. It’s a really good take on platforming puzzlers. You’re a little space dude, just trying to get by in this alien-eat-alien world… space. Luckily he has you to help him out by rearranging his world to let him get through. It’s surprisingly tricky, in a similar vein to Snakebird. I’ve only played the demo, so I don’t know if you get more screens to swap around, or if the different environments in each of the chunks will have different roles to play, but I’ll do a proper review on this one too when it comes out.

 

Legal Dungeon (Somi)

Legal Dungeon – Somi

 

This is another political game by Somi, who made Replica about a year or so ago. As far as I understand, in the US, a grand jury decides if the government will indict a person for a crime, but in Korea, the police and the prosecutors decide. This game is about that process, where you play as a cop going through documents trying to find clues that point to a person’s guilt. Knowing Somi, this game will be about the fine line between finding evidence, and placing that evidence blindly into the narrative you want to promote. I don’t see this game having as big of an appeal as Replica, but I still found it pretty engaging.

 

That’s it. @curttheinvert will be around soon with his round up. I’m going to go work our next game and try to forget TGS ever happened.

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Wizard’s Table – Fiasco

A bit late to this particular party, but I finally got a tabletop group together to play Fiasco. Folks, it was pretty great.

For those not in the know Fiasco is basically the Coen Brothers RPG. A bit different than my normal fantastic fare at the table, I mean, what’s the point of a game where you can’t play as a wizard?* But stories where dumb people successfully execute stupid plans and then pay for their stupidity are basically the stories from every session of D&D I’ve ever run.** Also, I love Burn After Reading and it’s ilk. 

Fiasco is a cooperative game, of sorts. Your aren’t exactly cooperating as the goal is more or less to have horrible things happen to everybody, but it doesn’t have the traditional GM / Player combative relationship of “traditional” RPGs. I realize that this is heresy, but do you know another thing that I like? Heresy. You don’t want gods getting all full of themselves. Or your party cleric.

In Fiasco you play “ordinary people with powerful ambition and poor impulse control.”  Maybe you think it’s a good idea to steal a baby from a rich family and raise it as your own? Maybe you’re in debt and hire some people to kidnap your wife to extort money from her parents? What could go wrong?

You pick a “play-set” which gives you a certain list of elements that give flavor to the type of Fiasco you want to run. We choose “A Small Southern Town” for our first game. Y’know, the type of place where everyone are outwardly polite good church going moralists, but secretly have vices and bad ideas on how to satisfy those vices. The game helps you set up a web of relationships with the other characters at the table with various needs, objects, and locations. You then basically role play a series of increasingly out of control scenes with your table mates until everything just goes completely and utterly to hell.

It sounds really daunting at first. “What do you mean? We just have to improvise? Like actors?” Yeah, that’s super stressful to consider and one of the reasons I’ve held off for so long. It’s a hard sell to a lot of groups, and videos online often feature “famous” actors like Wesley Wheaton who are honestly going to do a lot better than you are in this sort of game. However, the Fiasco rules do a really good job of making your table interactions easy and hilarious. First, the storytelling is collaborative, so if one player isn’t sure where things are going there are rules for the rest of the table helping out. Second, it really only takes one character doing something bonkers to really get the table working together. In our game it was a unexpected heel turn by a character we thought was a “good guy.” Third, the goal is to fail, so there isn’t much pressure for your plans to succeed brilliantly. Your characters are generally awful people, and most likely awful things are going to happen to them. And awful things are fun.

I won’t bore you with the details of our sessions, but here were the results:

  • Unwed Mother of Newborn Baby – Killed in final shoot out between Russian gangsters and good ole southern boys.
  • Ex-Husband of Church Pastor – Went to jail for six months on fraud charges.
  • Little Old Church Lady / Mob Boss – Killed in final shoot out between Russian gangsters and good ole southern boys.
  • Mayor of Town – Left wife to find happiness with one of the Russian gangsters.
  • Church Pastor – Living in hiding and stuck raising the baby of the unwed mother.

That sounds way less hilarious when I write it down, but I assure you good times were had by all. Give this game a try sometime.

*In fairness there are fantasy themed play-sets of Fiasco, but we didn’t play one of those.

**Inverted Rule of Game Mastering #3: “Make the players face the consequences.”

 

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Otaru – Lemon Sours & Games

Things are getting a little crazy in Burpyfreshia. I quit my job, and took another job doing social media work. Basically, I get paid to use Twitter and Facebook.

It’s a living hell. I mean. I like Twitter and Facebook. I just don’t necessarily like everyone else on Twitter and Facebook. They sometimes send me penises. And not good penises either.

But, since the new job doesn’t start until like the 18th, I’m like all fuck it, Jeju Air got some 200 bone tickets to Tokyo, so lemme get some of them Otaru Lemon Sours.

Some back story. Adam Bolton, of at various points CNet, Polygon, a bunch of places, and amazing beard fame, is on Facebook like every week about them Lemon Sours they got at Otaru. Otaru is a meet up for game industry people, and it has been for a few years I think. People from the big guys, as well as mid range companies all seem to pop in from time to time.

Also, Adam is amazing. Done back story.

Adam is very happy to be in this situation.This is the precise moment of when I became intolerable.

I’m sure they got other drinks there, but honestly, four of those bad boys and I was off the wall. They are fantastic. So refreshing. So inebriating. Also, you get an actual half lemon and a squeezer to do it up proper.

You know Japan knows how to do it up proper.

But onto important things, basically me. I think I was charming while I was there? Though honestly, around last train, being laughed at is as just as satisfying as being laughed with. I told a few stories, I listened to a lot of stories. I talked about my needs from male adult products in proper context.

Basically, it was a good night of hanging out. So many cool people, which I really want to write about here, but then I’m that guy who goes and name drops all the famous people he met all over the place. Adam’s not famous (yet*) so I can put his name here for the next year or so, but everyone else will have to remain a mystery.

(Just check Twitter instead from the night of September 7th! I am that guy! I AM TOTALLY THAT GUY)

The night ended hanging almost under a bridge drinking delicious convenience store boozy drinks before last train.** I managed to get back to my place, but it was only through keeping my brain occupied and alert through drunk Facebooking.***

Next week is BIC in Busan! More then.

*Keep an eye on that one.

**Mikan IS the best flavour. I will never doubt you.

***I’m really good at drunk Facebooking. Like you don’t even know the flavour.

 

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Seoul Indies – August, 2017

Seoul Indies is something that is worth more of our time.

It’s a place to watch or give presentations on anything game related, a place to talk and play video games, and a place to drink cheap Korean beer. Most importantly, it’s a place to see if your idea is shit, or something you should keep working on. It’s run mostly by Marc Flury (of Thumper fame) and Sun Park (of 6180 the Moon fame). They do an awesome job of keeping a somewhat disjointed English & Korean speaking crowd on topic and interested.

Most important, they put up with my heckling. That’s like 20 bonus points right frickin’ there. Oh, they’re also kinda the reason I’ve been able to meet a lot of people in the game dev community here and in Japan, and have been inspiration for me to put out my first game.

(Note, the horrible quality of anything I put out should not be attributed to them in any way. Only the good stuff.)

Every month, I’d like to give a bit of a summary of what was presented or talked about, in this weird sort of blog format. This month, there were no presenters, what with the summer vacation winding down, and everyone gearing up for TGS/PAX/BIC season.

BIC might be the odd one out here now, but hopefully not forever. The Busan Indie Connect Festival (Sept 15-17), on it’s third year, got the moxy to try to bite at the big leagues in a few years. Many of the people in Seoul Indies are somehow connected with BIC, as Seoul doesn’t really have any sort of proper game exhibition on its own. It might seem like a weird location, but Busan pulls out all the stops every year. They have this screen that’s like 8 stories tall for video game competitions. They’re also right next to the beach where the after party starts and finishes. (Current record for phones lost in an evening is 3. Can we beat this this year!)

If you’re in Busan you should go.

Next month, with everything indie in Asia winding down until almost BitSummit, Seoul Indies will be back with more games and more hanging out, and actual content. Next meet up is September 28th.

Come on down!

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BitSummit 2017 – Best or Bestest?

Holy crap it’s been a hell of a week. Work’s been blowing up, it looks like North Korea wants to blow up the world like just a little bit more now, and oh yeah, and BitSummit happened! The Burpy Crew (TM?) just got back from Kyoto, and boy are our thumbs tired! Hahaha! I kid, I kid. That’s just arthritis. #old

 

Parappa is fricking hard with this mess.
Yes, that controller actually works.

 

Though this year’s event was held in the smaller first floor space at Kyoto’s massive Miyako Messe, it was packed to the gills with an almost unfathomable amount of electronic resplendence that, in a different time, would have been wrapped in gold, silk, and maybe myrrh, and presented to the richest merchants and royalty visiting from the lands around.

But, no one gives a shit about royalty anymore and the richest merchants now have cocaine, so we get all the goodness to ourselves. And there was a lot of it. Too much to cover in just two days. The bar was set really high this year, in fact I can’t remember any title that I didn’t think was quality.

Here’s what I liked the best.

 

Galak-Z Cosplay. On point.

 

GALAK-Z – Super polished transformation shooter gets a suitable VR finish. In VR, you act as the captain on a stage. Currently the stage is still being implemented but having menus being ever present, but just off to the side seems way way more streamlined to me. It’s kinda like how the Enterprise stage was set up so that the captain could always turn to a certain set direction to get a certain type of information. I’m not sure if this is exactly the direction they’re going to go with this, but I’m excited to see what comes out.

Figment – This gorgeous puzzle game reminds me of Toe Jam & Earl, but if Toe Jam & Earl was actually a good game and had a great art style. You’re this Tingle-looking dude and you wander around putting things in things to make the most fantastical contraptions YOU’VE EVER SEEN IN YOUR LIFE do your bidding in the most abstract puzzle-adventury way. Magical.

 

Line Wobbler – Two player 1-D fun!

 

Line Wobbler – Billed as the 1-D RPG, this installation piece is actually two copies of the same game. You’re a green dot, and you have to take out all of the red and pink dots to win. Wobble the stick to produce a deadly yellow attack! It’s surprisingly fun for a string of multicoloured lights. I got into it. There are about 10 levels but I’d like to see a bit of an extension…maybe to 1.5D?

 

 

Paper Garden – If anyone knows how to do VR, it’s Vitei Backroom. Holy crap they’re amazing. They’re back this year with a new beautiful prototype based on throwing magical paper planes to hit special targets hidden through a magical garden. Basically, the game feels like throwing darts that you have a lot more control over. Many VR games feel restricted because… well.. it’s really hard to traverse terrain when you’re tired to a bunch of wires that are tied to your console and probably a TV that you don’t want to see on the ground. VB has solved the VR translation movement problem by setting teleport points around the world that you can access by throwing planes to them in a way that still feels immersive. If I were to have one complaint it would be that I kept punching myself in the balls trying to grab the planes floating around me. That might be conceived as a benefit to future generations though.

 

I.F.O. by Total Battery

 

I.F.O. – Burpy Fresh loves some Total Battery. We always love some Total Battery. We always will love some Total Battery

Pawarumi – A shooter that is so fresh, so clean. It’s amazing to look at. I got killed super quick, but I suck at these types of games.

And of course, all of these favourites from previous BitSummits and BICFests etc, Arena Gods, Read Only Memories: 2064 (Now in Japanese!), and Megacopter: Blades of the Goddess.

Finally, I want to say Nidhogg 2, which everyone said was there but for some reason I couldn’t find. I looked for TWO DAYS for that thing, so if it was there, I’m a fucking idiot. If not, I got punked by like 10 people.

Gah. So many good games. So much inspiration to make an actual good game. Speaking of, that’s what I’m going to do now. Until next year BitSummit!