DevLog Watch: FAR Colony, Her Story, Prophour23, More
AMAZING DREAM GAMES
Games are far weirder and varied than most people realise, which is why we must do our utmost to constantly remind ourselves and look further than that which is advertised to us. We must even seek out those little dream games when they're incomplete, because that's the only way dreams will ever become reality.
That's also why the header image on this post includes a menu, a quote from a JG Ballard, some procedural spaceships and an ancient biology drawing. Videogaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaames.
FAR Colony's creator emailed me to request it be included in the Mini Updates at the end of DevLog Watch. I can't acquiesce. FAR Colony deserves more space than that.
It's a mixture of Colony and Civilization. A hard-science strategy game where in the first phase players have 365 to plan and grow their homeworld, before being set loose to explore space and expand their faction in the second phase.
It's a slow, menu-driven game, reminiscent of Aurora. Obviously that means it's not going to be everyone's cup of space tea, but we can all enjoy these regular update notes.
I love crime fiction - on TV, in books, and all too rarely in games - and so even without much to show, Her Story has my interest. It's being created by a Sam Barlow, who previously worked on the Silent Hill series. He also made the interactive fiction Aisle, which Alec wrote about back in 2008, nine years after the game's release.
His posts on the Her Story site are thus far about inspiration and thinking through genre:
Without even trying, detective stories naturally end up as borderline experimental fiction. They’re the stories most concerned with the act of story-telling itself. I imagine this is why most decent writers love a good detective story. What’s so interesting about them? I love that:
- They’re non-linear. They start with a dead body (middle) and then jump around trying to figure out how that happened (beginning) and hopefully get to the point where justice is done (end).
- They’re Russian Dolls — stories within stories — the story of the crime, the story of the investigation and any number of other side-stories that are dragged into and out of the spotlight by the crime. Multiple frames, multiple narrators.
If you're interested in detective fiction and interactive storytelling - which are, basically, my two favourite subjects - then check it out. Bonus recommendation if you like Ballard, too.
Negspace is apparently Pablo Pencha's "first foray into gamedev". I don't see how that can be possible:
The perspective and camera movement remind me of Teleglitch, but it's a physics-driven hotseat dogfighter. It seems conceptually straightforward, but the six-page devlog thread over at TIGSource is full of rad GIFs and procedural spaceships.
Every part of a videogame is complex in its creation, even the things wew take for granted. If there is a gun in a game, that gun often has a model, textures, shaders, sound effects, animations, physics and more. I started DevLog Watch in part because I like reading these detailed breakdowns of how small details get made.
The devlog for Prophour23 is very good at this. It's a procedural RTS designed to be played in 15 minutes about constructing a living organism to defend against waves of insects. It looks like the whole game is rendered on paper, like Renaissance diagrams come to life. When insects die, they briefly stain the paper. How is that stain made? How do you get from this…
Like this, it turns out.
The Prophour23 devlog is short but each of its posts are similarly detailed. There's also a playable build that runs in your browser.
- The Detail, which Nathan wrote about earlier today, has just started its devlog.
- There's new screenshots on the Theme Parkitect devlog, and the pair just launched their official site.
- Development on Omnia Mecum Porto, the fantasy luggage-packing RPG, is continuing rapidly.
- Ultima Ratio Regum has another interesting post up, this time about fortress generation.
Every game included this week was a game someone emailed me about. Making a game? Know a game in-development that deserves coverage? Email me.