DevLog Watch: The Best GIFs Of In-Progress Games

You asked for it. Or specifically, users Ninja Dodo, Lexx87 and Llewyn asked for it in the People’s Games Journalist: the return of DevLog Watch. Where the old column was weekly, this one will likely be monthly. More time to pick the best game GIFs from developer updates about in-progress games, and to procrastinate by staring out the window at the sparrows.

What are you up to, sparrows?

OKHLOS [official site]

Okhlos’ historic swarm-brawling has been in development since 2012. It’s had a devlog since 2012, with detailed posts charting the progress of the game through early prototyping to its now near-complete state. That I haven’t heard of it until now is… a great thing! Now there’s all these posts to read, without the low anxiety of whether or not development or updates might stop at any moment.

Devlogs give you two things: why decisions were made and how decisions were carried out. There’s many other posts like the above post on different terrain techniques on the site, such as this one on the flocking algorithm that controls the mob of angry people you steer in the game, or this detailed look at the iterative design of the game’s logo. It’s rare to find a development log so detailed.

And the game looks pretty hot too:

Beneath The Tower [official site]

A party-based roguelike with rather swish tile art, both in the map view seen above and the combat view seen below.

I’m not sure what happened, but in the time since I stopped writing DevLog Watch, every single game on TIGSource snuck “roguelike” into its subject line. Some deserve the name, others less so. Beneath The Tower seems like the former: there’s loot, levelling, procedurally generated dungeons, and plenty to kill or be killed by. The game is also doing interesting things with terrain, where tiles are positioned at different heights and you get attack bonuses for inhabiting the higher ground.

The devlog started on TIGSource’s forums in May and is already a healthy three-pages long. There’s GIFs illustrating experiments with arrows, the process of level generation, and the myriad swish character and UI animations.

Casmage [TIGSource thread]

A game inspired by Dota that looks nothing like Dota, Casmage is a “cooperative-focused action game” whose GIFs are full of hack-and-slashery. Its Dota inspirations manifest not in the form of lanes and creeps and towers and a naive desire for money, but in being a game in which your hero’s abilities can be combined with comrades to “pull off amazing plays”. Development began last year but it’s still early doors yet, but those amazing plays might look like this:

Or this:

Or this:

Alongside combat, the game’s other main focus is exploration: levels will be procedurally generated towards that goal, and work has begun just recently on the code necessary to make that happen. Which doesn’t mean you need to wait to play it. A build produced for IndieCade has temporary handmade levels, but also functioning combat and networking already included. It’s rough but you can download it from its TIGSource thread, if you fancy a try.

Obligatory Rain World GIF

Link

That’s it till next time. Next time will either be two or four weeks from now, depending on how many GIFs of unfinished games I stumble across in the near future. I thought it might also be fun to re-visit all the game’s covered in DevLog Watch last year and check where they are now, to discover whether they’re finished, still going, or abandoned. Thoughts?

This post was originally exclusive to the RPS Supporter Program. Thanks for your funding!

23 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    Yesss, I loved this column.

    Nooooo, that Rain World thingy is gonna haunt my nightmares

  2. Firkragg says:

    Thank you for bringing Okhlos into my life and nice to see this up again, the gifs and discovery of these type of games I wouldn’t have found by myself are much appreciated.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Dorga says:

    Revisiting old devwatch games is a neat idea!!!

  4. Ben Barrett says:

    Make that rain world thing stop

  5. Premium User Badge

    Skabooga says:

    Yeah, totally go back and revisit the games featured in previous DevLog Watches. Maybe you could do a half old games and half new games sort of approach until you’ve covered them all. Or something, I’m not the editor here.

  6. quietone says:

    Yay it’s back! Best news ever!
    Thanks!

  7. Premium User Badge

    tigerfort says:

    Another vote here for revisiting games from DevLogWatch past, and seeing how they’ve come on in the meantime.

  8. Llewyn says:

    How thoroughly delightful! I’m very much in favour of a monthly return – DLW is like a magazine feature that one wants to savour, not rush through.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    Yay! :D Good to see devlog watch return. Man, Rain World… I don’t know whether to be inspired or intimidated.

    • Premium User Badge

      kfix says:

      How about terrified?

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      It is pretty scary looking but I was more talking about the development process and the devs’ tireless progress adding ever more ambitious things. It’s like a less linear, more emergent 2D Shadow of the Colossus.

  10. Premium User Badge

    Lexx87 says:

    Nice to see this back! Previously highlighted some really interesting developers and a great way to see games being made.

  11. heretic says:

    Yes! This is a really great column, looking forward to it appearing again. Is there still no way of getting a supporter RSS? I keep missing this gold :'(

  12. vahnn says:

    Check out Witchmarsh! There’s a lot of info on their Kickstarter page (the project has already been funded!) and there are lots of gifs, pics, and videos on their tumblr page.

  13. Lacero says:

    this is a good column. Game devs, make more gifs.

  14. JFS says:

    The return of Devlog Watch is a good thing for RPS.

  15. GWOP says:

    I missed this column. Thanks for bringing it back, Graham.

  16. SpinalJack says:

    We updated our devlog recently with a new gif :3

    link to forums.tigsource.com

  17. benitosub says:

    Talk about bad timing, the return of DevLog Watch 1 day before I hit the front page on TIGSource ^_^#

    Ah well, still thrilled to see the column back!

  18. peterako1989 says:

    OKHLOS link is broken

  19. pH101 says:

    I like to see this devlog watch, keeps the site in touch with indie roots. Like the look of Beneath the Tower here. I don’t want to shamelessy self promote, wait maybe I do, but I got a steam greenlight recently, so maybe I need some animated gifs. You can see my 1 year+ devlog anyway with