Ape Out!

Fight-or-flight may be the oldest game in existence, and Ape Out has captured its essence with some serious style. This game puts you in the mind of a laboratory gorilla on the loose, hurling captors at each other or using them as human shields, hurtling along a procedurally generated path to freedom, with a frenetic jazz soundtrack that responds to your actions. Ape Out is a glorious and maddening experience, all at once instinctual, and like nothing you’ve ever played before.

Oh and did we mention that the trailer is actually playable? Why are you still reading this? Go play it!

Ape Out is a solo project by Gabe Cuzzillo. It has already been awarded Best Gameplay and Sound at the Brazilian Game Festival, and won the Audience Choice award at Boston FIG. Gabe’s previous game, Foiled, was a similarly visceral multiplayer mashup of fencing and Super Meat Boy.

“Ape Out is like if Solid Snake and The Hulk met up, fell in love, and raised a baby ape together,” said Indie Fund member and Super Meat Boy co-creator Tommy Refenes.

Indie Fund is very proud to have supported Ape Out, and pleased to know that Gabe will have Devolver Digital as a publishing partner.

Ape Out releases this summer on PC and PS4, but in the meantime play the trailer!

You can learn more about Ape Out by following Gabe on Twitter, visiting his site, or watching this short film about the project’s early development.

Indie Fund backs Hollow Knight

In game development, some rabbit holes are well worth going down. The vast and intricately animated 2D metroidvania, Hollow Knight, proves that this applies even to dung-encrusted caverns full of fungus and insects. We’ve been lost in this game for hours on end, and are very proud to have helped it come together.

Hollow Knight was inspired by Metroid, Zelda 2, and Faxanadu, but has added modern platforming elements and the risk of losing resources upon death, as well as some interesting new design twists, like tying magic and health replenishment to successful melee attacks. Combine this all with tight controls and a deeply engrossing world, and it’s an absolute joy to play.

Hollow Knight is a passion project and first commercial release for Team Cherry, a three person group in Adelaide, Australia. They set out to make a 10 hour game in one year, and, two years later, have completed a 40+ hour epic which includes more unique enemies than Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Things didn’t go exactly according to plan, but the result is truly magnificent.

“Even in its infancy, Hollow Knight was a fantastic looking game and funding it was an easy decision,” said Indie Fund member and Humble Bundle co-founder Jeffrey Rosen. “Team Cherry has poured an incredible amount of love into the game since then and it shows. We are very proud to help Team Cherry launch!”

Hollow Knight is coming to PC and Mac on February 24th, with Linux and Nintendo Switch versions coming later. You can learn more about the game on their site, or follow them on Twitter.

Old Man’s Journey

About a year ago, Felix and Clemens of Broken Rules approached us about funding for a prototype he and the team have been working on. It had rudimentary programmer art and not much in the way of content, but the core interaction felt juicy and because of their history of making gorgeous games, we believed they can execute on their vision for the visuals of the game. So we helped fund the game.

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A year later and the Old Man’s Journey‘s visuals have earned it a nomination for Excellence in Visual Art in the 2017 Independent Games Festival. You can get a sense for the game’s look with the screenshot and teaser video in this post, but it also does magical things with visual story telling and that’s something you will just have to wait and experience for yourself.

Updated Indie Fund Contract

Since we updated how Indie Fund is structured about a year ago, we had to modify our contract to work better with the new organization.  Someone recently wanted to setup something like Indie Fund in their own country (which we love!), and we realized that we hadn’t made this latest contract version public.  Please feel free to use it for your own Indie Fund-style game investments — just make a copy and go for it!

What changed? With the latest version of Indie Fund, individual partners are free to decide what they want to invest in. This new contract takes into account that you have a variable number of investors who have each put in different amounts, and the fact that there is no centralized investor dealing with the payments to and from the developer. In this contract, the developer is responsible for managing payments to each investor – it is a bit of extra work for the developer, but this only happens after the game is launched and generating revenue.

Alongside the updated structure & contract, we’ve also modified how we choose games to invest in. At Indie Fund, we typically have a “lead investor” who really believes in the game, and agrees to do a little bit of extra work to manage the process – they are essentially the games’ champion inside of IF. After doing their due diligence, the lead brings the game to all the Indie Fund partners, and any interested partners offer an amount they want to invest.  If there is more money offered to invest than the developer needs, then the lead investor decides how to split things up.  Typically the lead investor has a larger share, but this is not required,  and of course no one invests more than they offered.  The lead investor is encouraged to make the investment split fair and inclusive so that more IF partners can participate and offer their support (financial and otherwise), keeping in mind that overhead makes it less worthwhile for partners to invest small amounts.

We hope that you find this contract useful and end up funding some great games!