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Indies Did This: Space Janitors and Survival Roguelikes

Also, Loom-inspired games. We take a look at what indies were up to last week.

By Cassandra Khaw. Published 9 months ago

This was a good week for space-goers. Deconstructeam's Gods Will Be Watching, a Ludum Dare entry that is currently being expanded into a full-sized game, rocketed past its initial funding goal on IndieGoGo in three days. Viscera Cleanup Detail, that 'pretend-you're-Ishimura's-janitor' game is now taking pre-orders (UPDATE: Viscera Cleanup Detail v0.12 was just released. The game now includes a slightly bug-riddled but still monumentally awesome multiplayer component. So, go gather up your friends and play catch with some leftover livers. ) and has hit top 100 on Steam Greenlight. However, we've talked about these guys enough. Let's talk about a different kind of far future instead.

Let's talk about Loom.

(A semi-related tangent before that: there's a Gods Will Be Watching-inspired title on IndieDB called When I was on a Zombie Apocalypse. Awkward moniker aside, it looks like it may scratch the same itch. Consider yourself informed of its existence.)

LucasArts' Loom was a bit anomalous compared to its peers. Loom was serious (you play as a once stillborn child who was brought back to life via eldritch means) while others banked on being comedic. It required you to play musical notes, instead of puzzling out the meaning of rubber chickens. The game was intended to be the first out of three titles but, as you might have guessed, that never panned out. Naturally, fans took it into their own hands to make something in the spirit of that now-geriatric title.

Olav & the Lute probably isn't the sequel you're looking for but it is, as the screenshots have intimated, deeply inspired by Loom. Set within a post-apocalyptic world, the game, which will be free to download, will have you playing as a hooded lute-wielding critter known only as Olav. Not much else has been revealed as of yet. A Cave and a Door, both prefaced with a relevant capital letter, are involved somehow. There are melody-driven puzzles as well. And eskimos with gas masks. And ghosts. Cutesy, innocuous-looking ghosts.

Actually, just watch the trailer.

Speaking of games set within a distant time period, have you heard of Cradle? No? You're going to wonder how you could have missed mention of Cradle after checking out this second gameplay video from Flying Cafe for Semianimals. If enough of us tithed our first-born children to the developers, do you think they'll release it tomorrow?

First announced in December 2011, Cradle is supposed to be a 'science-fiction first-person quest with freedom of movement' focused around the player and a strange, mechanical girl. The setting? A yurt within the Mongolian Hills. Your purpose? To reassemble aforementioned female. Sorta. Flying Cafe for Semianimals has made sly mention about a multi-tiered narrative so this may well become a saga Homer (No, not the one from the Simpsons) would be proud of.

To deviate from the point & click adventure genre for a moment, here's something fans of Dungeon Keeper may adore. Dungeon Colony is a 2D, top-down dungeon crawler of sorts. As you might have guessed, you won't be playing as one of those stick-in-the-mud heroic types. No, you'll get to be in charge of the other side. It's old and familiar territory, sure, but we all like being villainous anyway, right? Dungeon Colony has been in production since late 2012 and, unlike so many projects these days, is still being worked upon. Currently in v0.8.156 of its alpha state, Dungeon Colony has, with this iteration, been freed from the tile grid and is now populated by marginally smarter A.I. If you're curious about the actual mechanics, the alpha build is free to download. Just make sure to provide necessary feedback.

One of the best things about the indie community, I think, is the openness of it. Rarely do you get anyone trying to monopolize media attention. Everyone just tweets about everyone else with delightful abandon. Deconstructeam's avid evangelization of Cradle was how I heard about this gorgeous little Spanish venture.

Seriously. So pretty. Am I the only one reminded of Machinarium? Machi - I mean, Candle tells the tale of Teku, a 'shaman pupil' who finds himself on an adventure after his village is viciously attacked by a rival tribe. What has me most excited, shallow as it might sound, is the animation process behind Candle. It's not digital. Every character and animal will be painstakingly drawn, frame by frame, first before being transported to the computer. Disney, eat your heart out. They need another $35, 000 or so to reach their funding goal. Help?

On that note, Crypt of the NecroDancer, a roguelike rhythm game that needs to be seen to be believed, is getting both development and funding support from Klei Entertainment. Congratulations, guys!

- damn it, I'm dead. Wayward is brutal. folks. If you fancy yourself a Don't Starve alumni, Wayward is something you might want to sink your teeth into. A turn-based, top-down survival roguelike that quite loathes your presence, Wayward opens by dumping you onto a foreign shore with nothing but tattered clothing and a handful of miscellaneous stuff. Your mission here is to, quite simply, survive. And, maybe, find treasure. Maybe. The various systems feel wonderfully complicated. I'm still mostly lost and, more often than not, dead. If you're interested in testing your mettle in the uncharted wilderness, you can play it online over here.

Killed again. Stupid spiders. All I wanted to do was pet you.

While I try to figure out sustainable living in Wayward, have some mechas:

(The English voice acting in Project Nimbus, which is on Steam Greenlight right now, is somewhat questionable but the action itself looks quite promising.)

Indies Did This is a weekly column that highlights amazing indie games that are still in development. If you know of any work-in-progress titles we should be taking a look at, don't hesitate to leave a comment, send signals or tweet at @casskhaw incessantly.

The best community comments so far 2 comments

  • MichelV 9 months ago

    Jesus Christ!! Thanks A LOT for talking about our game 'Candle'!!! The whole team at Teku Studios thanks you guys!Edited July 2013 by Unknown

  • cassandrakhaw 9 months ago

    @MichelV It looks amazing. I sincerely hope you guys hit your goal. I'd be rather devastated if something so pretty doesn't come together. D:

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