We’re very much looking forward to the launch of Super Splatters with the hope that it will shed a bit of light on a question that game developers often ask themselves:
“Should I take the extra months to really fine tune and polish my game?”
Since the release of The Splatters on XBLA about a year ago, the Spiky Snail team has been slathering a thick layer of love on their game to really make it everything they wanted it to be. Though it will be an imperfect comparison, we’re very curious to see how the new and improved Super Splatters performs relative to The Splatters (both critically and commercially).
Super Splatters is an extravagant arcade-style game that uses simple interaction to give players an impressive amount of control over a pretty complex physics simulation. Despite its casual look, Super Splatters is very much a skill and mastery game with lots of mechanics to discover, explore, and combine.
We’ve noticed that we’ve done a lot of these “game X recoups in Y hours” posts. While we do think it’s important to highlight that investments in unique games made by small teams can be profitable without being exploitative, that’s not really our main goal, and not how we measure our success.
Our goal, as we’ve always stated, is to help developers get and stay independent. To be more specific, if a game repays the investment and makes enough on top of that to fund the team’s next project, we consider the investment a success. The team behind the swapper will clearly be self sufficient for the foreseeable future, and we’re all very happy to have played a role in making that happen.
As for what the rest of our report card looks like, well, that remains to be seen, but here’s what we know so far:
Yes, the sky is full of Indie Fund announcements lately! But that doesn’t mean we are any less excited about finally announcing our funding of Kachina by Ben Esposito’s (aka Little Flag Software). You may have seen him showing it at IndieCade 2012, or, most recently, at the Game Developer’s Conference Experimental Gameplay Workshop (where another IF project, Mushroom 11, was also shown!).
Kachina is a whimsical physics toy that explores negative space by allowing players to manipulate a hole in the ground, swallowing up animals and spitting them back out elsewhere. For each object players swallow, the hole grows a little bit larger – evoking a sense of childlike wonder through order & scale. The action takes place on the stage of the American Southwest, exploring the relationship between modern American and indigenous Pueblo cultures through themes of erasure & discovery.
Ben Esposito most recently worked as a game designer with Giant Sparrow on the PlayStation Network game, The Unfinished Swan. Kachina actually came out of a “Molyjam” – a game jam themed around the Twitter account Peter Molydeux. Afterwards, Ben continued to tinker around with this toy-like experience, and as he fell deeper into the holes of Kachina, our interest in the project grew. We’re happy we can support Ben to go exploring his own first commercial indie game – we think his voice will be a unique addition!
We are super excited to announce our support of Panoramical, a collaborative project by Fernando Ramallo, a game developer from Argentina, and David Kanaga, best known for his work on Proteus and DYAD. Panoramical is something really different from what we’ve funded in the past, and its difficult to describe it in words. It uses an input device like an iPad or MIDI controller to explore hand-crafted musical landscapes, allowing the player to alter the visuals and music to their touch. Its being presented as an album of collaborations between different guest musicians/artists, and you can learn more at www.feelpanoramical.com
Panoramical is a game we are funding for a variety of reasons. We want the games we fund to push the boundaries of what is done in the medium, and Panoramical does just that. We are happy to see the projects we fund be accessible; with Panoramical you only need to see it for a couple seconds and you’ll want to grab the controls, but you can also enjoy it by just sitting back and watching someone else explore. Panoramical, with its collaboration with different artists and musicians, has the ability to cross-over into other active communities who don’t generally define themselves as gamers (even though they play with interactive experiences all the time). Panoramical is also an experiment in discovering how to sell this kind of game, and we hope Fernando and David can help discover new ways that artists can distribute and become financially successful in this genre. We are very excited to be funding our first game from Latin America, and hope that Panoramical can help spread interest in indie games throughout other parts of the world.
It looks stunning on a big screen, and if you haven’t been lucky enough to see it shown at IndieCade, GameCity (or a variety of other events and festivals) it will be showing at GDC 2013 at the Wild Rumpus + Venus Patrol party on Wednesday March 27th .
Congratulations to Fernando and David, and we can’t wait for the world to experience the game on their own systems when it launches later this year.