Indies Did This: Intelligent Robots and Other Terrors

Game jams, robots capable of intelligent dialogue and open worlds. Yeap, Indies Did This.

Article by Cassandra Khaw, .

There's a cup of coffee on my desk, a bluebird nestled in the trees and a freshly downloaded demo for Legend of Iya. I can't think of any better way to have a Monday. In case the name didn't ring a bell for you, Legend of Iya is that criminally pretty Metroidvania-styled game that has a gatling gun-tusked elephant boss. No, totally not kidding on that.

For those of you who are at work and cannot access the demo yourself, here's a Let's Play conducted by the developer themselves. Naturally, the video is somewhat spoiler-ific but if that doesn't terribly perturb you, it actually makes for a great work day diversion.

The one-man powerhouse in charge of the project has a TIGsource thread and also a Kickstarter campaign you can funnel a few dollars into if the desire so hits you. I recommend you do so. It's awesome, and there's never enough pixelated beauty in this world.

Moving on, horror aficionados might be pleased to know that a recent game jam may soon yield a cornucopia of frights. A 72-hour endeavor conducted by some people from Brazil, Pack of Horrors was one of the rare few game jams that I know of that did not encourage public participation. Of course, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. I mean, if the tantalizing bits and pieces revealed thus far are any indication of things, we're in for a screaming good time.


Since we're on the topic of scary things, what is more terrifying than a self-aware robot? We joke eternally about the rise of the sentient machines but there is an undercurrent of truth under all that laughter. So, here's Bot Colony, an upcoming title that aims to become the first game to incorporate intelligent dialogue into the gameplay. Every game session is purportedly unique. Depending on what you say, the narrative will shift and sway accordingly. To push my obligatory skepticism aside for just one moment, Bot Colony sounds absolutely delicious. Here, you'll be playing as robot cognition specialist Jeff Phillips. Charged with the task of finding three sensors, you're going to have to track down a spy from a rival corporation and interact with a whole gamut of potentially hostile automatons along the way.

Assuming all works out well (and I'm hoping to the Flying Spaghetti Monster that it does), Bot Colony might turn out to be a pretty sweet deal.

Still can't get enough of all that futuristic technology? Come check out Ceres, a real time strategy ship simulator that wants to have players cruising through the universe in search of fortune, fun and fighting. There's a definite Homeworld vibe to Ceres, something I am quite okay with. If you're interested on taking Ceres for a spin, the developers have made a demo conveniently available on their IndieDB page.

The Death of Trees has never looked so adorable or been so literate.

Over the last two weeks or so, we've discussed a whole host of digital creations. Just to shake things up a little and make the whole experience just a bit more tactile, I'd like to bring your attention over to Choosatron. As spotted by Brendan Sheffield over on Twitter , the Choosatron is a cutesy, quirky little machine that will let you print out your own Choose Your Own Adventure tales. The sheer amount of dead vegetation that is probably involved in the ownership of such a device makes me a little faint but it's hard to deny that it'd probably make a great ice breaker. Or an annoying complement to any party. Take your pick. The Choosatron Kickstarter campaign is currently in search of $22, 000 dollars, a paltry amount compared to some of the numbers we've seen before.

Last but certainly not least, have some Tolroko. The developer calls it a 'John Carter & Avatar inspired openworld game' and it looks quite magnificent. Like almost everything else I've talked about today, Tolroko boasts of big, big dreams. A huge, Barsoom-like world. Procedurally generated settlements. Diplomatic conduct. Space pirates. Trade systems. You name it. The developer wants to make sure that Tolroko has it. Again, this all but triggers my innate pessimism but I'm a total sucker for sprawling, dynamic environments ruled by cutthroat ecosystems.

(The public builds, which are available on this TIGsource thread, look quite promising too.)

(In case anyone's wondering why I've so pointedly avoided making mention of certain recent announcements, it's because I've nothing to say outside of the fact we really need to be more excellent to one another. And because fellow editor Pete Davidson has phrased all my sentiments far better than I ever could .)

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.

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