As I mentioned last week, Double Fine have teamed up with Humble Bundle for Double Fine’s annual Amnesia Fortnight game jam. This year’s twist however is that instead of choosing successful pitches themselves, Double Fine let the community choose which of the projects to turn into prototypes. Well the winners have been chosen, four of them. After roughly 75,000 votes the community has selected Hack N Slash, Spacebase, The White Birch, and Autonomous as the games worthy of becoming prototypes. The development of these games will be live streamed with daily video segment produced by 2 Player Productions on a daily basis. Take a look at the games selected after the jump.
Hack ‘n Slash
Hack ‘n Slash isn’t just a clever title, it’s also a description of how the action adventure game is meant to be played. It takes the traditional hack-and-slash genre of the same name and adds an element of, well, cheating to the game. According to designer Brandon Dillon, instead of focusing on “swords, arrows, and bombs” Hack ‘n Slash will give player’s access to “exploits, trainers, and cracks,” giving the player’s access to tools that will allow them to “hack” the game. It may be too early yet to say that instead of a sword the protagonist will wield a laptop instead, but that’s what it sounds like.
I don’t know if there’s a more aptly named title in the Amnesia Fortnight line-up than SpaceBase. Designer LP LeBreton’s description of SpaceBase is pretty much what you would expect from a title called SpaceBase, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s a building and management simulation akin to games like The Sims. Players will build a space station that is automatically inhabited by aliens which will live and work there. Over time the space station will grow as more and more aliens arrive to the station via some form of space travel. It doesn’t sound like a game that’s really going to break any boundaries, but with over 7,000 votes it seems sometimes players are just interested in playing something familiar.
The White Birch
The White Birch is a bit more of an artistic pitch than SpaceBase. An ambient platform exploration game according to designer Andy Wood, The White Birch will give players control over a young girl who must climb a tower in order to escape the dark and dangerous forest below. The goal of the game will be to reach the top where a prize will be hanging from a white birch tree. Mr. Wood describes the game as being very artistic and similar to games like Ico and Journey. It is Mr. Wood’s hope that players will interpret the game’s story and atmosphere by playing through the game multiple times. He notes that players will be rewarded for multiple play-throughs with alternate endings and varying prizes hanging from the white birch itself.
Of all the games pitched, Autonomous, the game that came in fourth place, is my favorite. Set in eighties inspired futuristic junkyard world, Autonomous is a first person sandbox construction game. Players will scavenge objects throughout the world to create automatons; mindless robots that will function without command from the player. Players will construct these automatons in order to survive the futuristic wasteland. Highly stylized with bright colors and –what sounds like- eighties inspired electronic music, Autonomous will focus on survival and player experimentation. It’s still in its infancy, but Minecraft with an army of crafted eighties robots sounds like a game I’d be willing to try.
If these games had gone through a publisher and taken the more traditional route I bet they wouldn’t look like this. Each of these games are more unique that what we as gamers normally see, and while it’s sad that most of the time games like this don’t see the light of day, we can be thankful that today, thanks to Double Fine and Humble Bundle, these will. I’m looking forward to following the development of these titles, and thanks to Double Fine’s openness about these game it looks like following their development will be pretty easy.