Archive for the ‘announcement’ Category

Indie Fund Now Backing Relativity

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Relativity Cover

We are ecstatic about kicking off a month of announcements with the news that the Indie Fund is now backing Willy Chyr’s Relativity. Relativity is a first-person puzzle game set in a world of impossible architecture, where space wraps around itself as the player manipulates gravity in order to progress. Many have described the game as “Escher-esque” on account of its clean visual design and curious exploration style, which involves shifting your plane of reference to see every room in a new light—and, of course, there do seem to be a lot of staircases.

A visual artist by trade, the Chicago-based Chyr is the sole designer of Relativity. His experience in installation art gives Willy a unique sense of level design, and using a game engine allows him to mold not just structures, but the very fabric of his own reality. Indie Fund co-president Aaron Isaksen recalls the first time he demoed the game: “Afterward, I wandered around the conference hall thinking about which pillars I’d be able to walk across if gravity were to change—it took a surprisingly long time for the effect to wear off. This is a beautiful game that really stuck with me, every detail tuned and adjusted until it’s just right.”

Falling_And_Landing_Loop

Relativity is Chyr’s first full-length videogame project. Following a six-month residency to work on the game in Shanghai’s Swatch Art Peace Hotel, Willy returned to the U.S. and began showing his progress to others. The game has already been honored as an official selection at Gamercamp, Bit Bash Festival, and the Media Indie Exchange at SIGGRAPH in 2014. Willy is generous with his advice for other fledgling game developers, and his ongoing devlog for Relativity contains a treasure trove of insights into concepting and polishing 3D games with Unity.

Please join us in congratulating Willy on his work so far. We are really excited to support him as he moves into the next phase of development and brings fellow-Chicagoan David Laskey on to help with the project. The game should be finished by the spring of 2016, with releases planned for the PS4, PC, Mac, and Linux. Until then, follow Willy on Twitter and visit the Relativity website for updates and even more ridiculously beautiful screenshots.

relativity_gameplay02

Indie Fund Now Backing Soft Body

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Soft Body Top

This year’s Gamercamp is close on the horizon, with a huge selection of games making their Canadian premiere. We are proud to announce that one of its official selections, Zeke Virant’s Soft Body, is now being supported by Indie Fund. Soft Body is a twin-stick shooter that asks players to split their brains and thumbs, navigating two unique “bodies” through a beautiful, minimalist shoot-em-up space at the same time. Zeke calls it a “bullet heaven,” because the emphasis isn’t on memorizing bullet patterns so much as reacting to them creatively as the arena shifts and changes.

A long-time musician, Virant wanted to create a game analogy for singing and playing an instrument at the same time. Indie Fund partner Ron Carmel explains how this feels to the player: “Human consciousness has, for obvious reasons, evolved around the idea of being in one place and experiencing the world as a single entity. Putting some time into Soft Body led me to feeling more and more like I could split my consciousness for brief periods of time. The minute-to-minute experience was definitely about clearing the levels, but the second-to-second experience for me was all about maintaining a sense of split consciousness for as long as I could.”

Soft Body will be Zeke’s first major release, but it has already garnered praise for its evolving bullet patterns, the dynamic soundtrack, and its unique way of dividing your input while focusing your attention on a singular task. In his earliest prototypes, Zeke drilled deep on one aspect of his design that he could polish from the start: the game’s feel, how the twin bodies move through virtual space and respond to the player’s control. This attention to detail has paid off, and recently Soft Body took home an award at the Zurich Games Festival.

We want to congratulate Zeke as he enters the world of full-time indie development with Soft Body. The game will be available in the summer of 2015 for the PS4 and Vita, with a PC release following soon after. If you’re in Toronto, you should definitely make the trip out to play Soft Body at Gamercamp. Otherwise, be sure to follow Zeke on Twitter and check out the Soft Body website for ongoing updates on the project.

Soft Body GIF

Indie Fund Now Backing Ernesto RPG

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Ernesto Top

Today we are continuing an exciting September blitz with the announcement that Daniel Benmergui’s Ernesto RPG is now receiving support from the Indie Fund. Ernesto is a “puzzle crawler” focused on survival, character progression, and strategic scoring.

Jonathan Blow, partner in Indie Fund, says about Ernesto, “It’s a single-player RPG condensed into a focused and powerful pill. Every minute you’re making interesting choices, and the decisions are often tough, which makes for a lot of fun.”

Ernesto Choice

Think of it as single-screen puzzle elements reminiscent of indie roguelike Desktop Dungeons, mixed with the trace-and-match mechanic of iOS classic Dungeon Raid, then cherry-topped by the ability to rewind and replay levels to maximize your global score.

In the past, Benmergui garnered praised for the IGF 2010 Finalist interactive poem Today I Die and his series of early artgames. However, Ernesto emerged from the humblest of origins: Daniel needed to press pause and get some perspective on the three-year development cycle of IGF Nuovo-winning Storyteller. After a whirlwind week of experimentation and a released prototype, Daniel decided that seeing Ernesto through might just be the thing to recharge his creative batteries.

In taking Ernesto full-time, Daniel enlisted the talents of two fellow Argentinian artists, Hernán Rozenwasser (who previously worked on the audio for Today I Die) and Jeremías Babini. Things really picked up in April, when Jeremías’s new visuals landed in the beta to give us a taste of Ernesto’s future look and feel.

Recently, Daniel showed Ernesto off in the Indie MEGABOOTH at PAX Prime 2014. We want to congratulate this team on their work so far, and we can’t wait to see where Daniel, Hernán, and Jeremías take Ernesto RPG in the coming months. Ernesto RPG is slated for a early 2015 release on PC/Mac/Tablets. Be sure to follow Daniel on Twitter and the Ernesto RPG Tumblr for ongoing updates on the project.

Ernesto Tutorial

Indie Fund Now Backing Nova-111

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

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We’re excited to announce our support of Funktronic Labs’ Nova-111, the Fund’s first project which began development in Japan. What caught our eyes initially was how Nova-111 smoothly blended the mechanics of real-time and turn-based games into one. Players will witness these mechanics evolve through innovative puzzles and strategic battles while searching for scientists who were lost in the cosmic REAL-TIME vortex.

After releasing free audiovisual experiences Kyoto for PC and Lotus for Leap Motion, Funktronic Labs dove into Nova-111 development in November 2013. The game has since been chosen for exhibition at Bit.Summit, Media Indie Exchange, and IndieCade @ E3.

We want to congratulate Eddie, Kalin, Michael, and Jack! They already impressed us with an extremely polished prototype, and we can’t wait to see how Nova-111 ultimately turns out when it releases for Windows, Mac, and Linux.