Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Utah Indie Night – July 2014

Posted by Rampant Coyote on August 4, 2014

The July Utah Indie Night was held at Wahoo / NinjaBee Studios in Orem, Utah. The basement common area / conference room was packed with over 50 attendees overall.

The formal presentation was given by NinjaBee’s PR guy, who spoke on attending trade shows & conventions an an exhibitor. Since my convention experience has (until today) been strictly limited to being an attendee, this was all pretty dang informative. Not everything applied to me having a mini-booth (kiosk) in a group effort at Salt Lake Comic Con in September, but some of it did. It was a very useful talk!

The games were all pretty high quality. Momentum is a game where you tilt a curvy track around to maneuver a ball from the start point to the end point. The levels are twisted and follow a little bit of a Moebius Strip stype. It’s all physics-based, so “dropping” the ball and catching it on another part of the track is a real streategy.  The game was shown several months ago is looking better than ever.

Califer Games was showed off their match three that teaches some basics of the Japanese language, Kana Match. This was built partly as an exercise to learn Unity 3D, but also as a way to put Curtis’s skills as a Japanese language instructor for English speakers to use, as well as his love of game development. What I liked about this game is that it exposes you to some basics of the language that you can’t avoid while playing – which could make learning Japanese easier in the future – it’s incidental to the gameplay. You don’t need to know anything about Japanese when you play, you aren’t forced to learn anything, but if you play it for a while for the fun of it, you can’t help but come away with some

LycanLycan was an interesting FPS-style LAN game where players play werewolves or villagers. The game is short – during day / night cycles that last maybe a minute per cycle, the goal is to transform all of the other side to your side, through biting them (as werewolves) or hitting them with magical potions. What’s interesting is that one side is entirely defensive while the other team “hunts.” And the teams aren’t static – you can change teams with your transformation several times in one game (especially if you suck… like I do).

Script Kiddies is a multiplayer game where you play an 8-bit looking hacker to different computers trying to send a virus to your opponent before he does the same to you. On the computers, you have to hit the right button-pressing sequence to activate the virus. You need to infect your opponent’s computers before he infects yours. I totally sucked at this one, too.

Crashnauts is a 4-player 2D Battle arena game popularized by games like Towerfall and Duck Game. Crashnauts is more sci-fi oriented with plenty of carnage and environmental hazards.

KittensKoboldsKittens & Kobolds was a Game Jam project with — kittens and … kobolds. It was a very experimental game with apparently pretty dynamic rules, about cause and effect, where understanding the point and rules of the game was part of the rules. The devs said something about appearances and preconceptions. I’m just gonna leave it at that.

The latest (and, according to Mike Rimer, the last) DROD (Deadly Rooms of Death) game, DROD: The Second Sky, made its appearance with a number of interesting new features. In the new game, you may need to clear rooms from different directions, and there’s also a temporal / time shifting aspect. DROD: The Second Sky also features more story than in previous games, bringing the entire saga to a close.

FireWarriorI gotta confess to Darius, I’m not thrilled with the title “Flame Warrior.” But Eidolon Games’ turn-based space combat game with space ships, Newtonian physics, firing arcs, and all that cool stuff is really looking pretty awesome. If the tone from the movement tutorial (where you must fly through a maze of asteroids) stays consistent, it’ll be a somewhat amusing, not-too-serious approach to space combat as well. Play the game at the link… the tutorial is actually pretty challenging and fun. I seem to recall Darius mentioning that he wanted to make sure the tutorial felt more like part of the full game, and not just a practice area.

There was also a board game that I can’t remember the name of … sorry!

A couple of people seemed to be playing games on handhelds. If these were games being demoed, I missed them. It was hard to tell if people were playtesting games or just messing with their iPhones.

And as always, for me a lot of the value at these events are networking with people, putting names with faces, and getting to shoot the breeze with people about games and the games industry.

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  • Darius said,

    Hey Jay, thanks for the mention. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I have to admit, I’m awful at coming up with names. What about the name in particular bothered you?