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Thread: The Game Festival - play a bunch of demos of upcoming games early, on Steam!

  1. #1
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    The Game Festival - play a bunch of demos of upcoming games early, on Steam!

    Thanks to Sulphur for posting about this in the NOW What are you playing thread, however, this is too BIG NEWS to hide away in the tail-end of one of the megathread's pages. It needs it's own thread so I can point and shout at a bunch of games I'm hyped about!

    In an era when traditional game-preview expos like E3 are languishing, a new contender has emerged with an idea we've been privately requesting from game publishers for years: a game expo that any fan and enthusiast can download and enjoy on their home computer.
    Having been to one of the big expos (gamescom) last summer, and ended up not playing a bunch of the big games because the lines go on for like 90 minutes, this sounds great, even if it is mostly just a bunch of indie titles for now.

    These demos will become available on Steam, 11:30 hours from now, but only stay up for 48 hours.

    System Shock (Nightdive Studios)
    Eastward (Pixpil/Chucklefish)
    Spiritfarer (Thunder Lotus)
    Moving Out (SMG Studio/Devm Games/Team17)
    Röki (Polygon Treehouse/United Label)
    Chicory (Greg Lobanov)
    Wooden Nickel (Brain&Brain)
    Haven (The Game Bakers)
    Heavenly Bodies (2pt Interactive)
    Acid Knife (Powerhoof)
    The Drifter (Powerhoof)
    Carrion (Phobia/Devolver)
    SkateBIRD (Glass Bottom Games)
    Yeah yeah, System Shock, BUT ALSO

    Heavenly Bodies is one of the games I'm most hyped about. I recommend anyone who's into physics-based arcade games gives it a whirl.

    Dunno how the gameplay will be but just look at how this thing MOVES, man!

    I was gonna make this game, but someone beat me to it. I was thinking more of a one-player Brothers-esque setup tho but whatever this looks fun.

    Also: Röki, Carrion, and Skatebird look pretty good, and Renz is all hyped up about that Eastward JRPG-thingy so maybe that's worth checking out too.

  2. #2
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Aw, man. It goes live at 1PM EST, not 1AM.

    I was so stoked, too.

  3. #3
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Cool. Are they going to have any kind of official online discussion, like a Reddit thread or something?
    It'd be interesting to read or listen to the makers talk about their games like a proper festival.

    This ought to be a trend for sites like Itch to make an event every month for the games released that month ... Or maybe that's going a little too far.

  4. #4
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    de nada, henke.

    Also games I'm interested in apart from SS: Spiritfarer, from the guys who made Jotun and Sundered, because it looks beautiful and heartwarming, which is unexpected given their last two games riffed on grim, alien, and action-heavy. Then there's Carrion - I played the limited demo earlier, prolly fair to expect the same one for this event. It works pretty damn well for a 'reverse horror' game where you're this roving organic disaster destroying people and their shit - oh wait, that really is every other game ever made n/m.

    I also wanna see what Haven's like, given it's a complete 180 from Furi. Eastward and Chicory look very cool, too.

  5. #5
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    For reference, trails for the other games on the above list. System Shock needs no introduction, so I'll leave it off.

    Eastward, my personal pick of the bunch.

    R-o umlaut-ki


  6. #6
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night


    Wooden Nickel


    The Drifter

  7. #7
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night



  8. #8
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Eastward looks really good, in fact most of these look really good.

  9. #9
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Eastward was awesome. It's very much a super slickly stylized 16-bit Zelda style game with a lot of charm and extra savoir faire. The demo ended way, way too soon.

    Acid Knife? It could be a good game, the style is interesting, and the soundtrack is 99% bass bad 'n radness, but right now, it feels like the prototype that it is.

    Gonna play Skatebird next.

  10. #10
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Netherlands
    Played some of Eastward. It's nice. Keyboard and mouse controls are atrocious though.
    Skatebird's way too rough to release in this form IMO. Keep respawning stuck in walls or otherwise immediately bailing, and the camera doesn't follow your heading. Had enough after 3 minutes.
    Carrion is hard to control when you start going up against shielded enemies and robots. I like the concept, but I hope they'll make the checkpoints more forgiving if it's as punishing as this.

  11. #11
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    One thing I'll say about Eastward: it has THE basiest gunshot and bomb sound effects I've ever heard in a game. It's a proper *thowoomp*.

    Skatebird? Eh. It's a gimmicky Tony Hawk, but it feels floaty, and lacks righteous crunchy shredding. It might be worth looking into later, but for now, I'm unimpressed.

    The Drifter was interesting. Good old fashioned adventure game with a nice story hook. I might consider picking it up.
    Last edited by Renzatic; 12th Dec 2019 at 22:46.

  12. #12
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Yeh I enjoyed the Drifter and nice to see(well hear) some australian voices in a game. Anyone try System Shock, I was actually pretty impressed and will definitely be on my radar, maintains the whole ambience from the original quite well.

  13. #13
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: flapping in the wind
    SS definitely had a strong atmosphere and seemed better than I dared hope. Did anyone manage to get into cyberspace or was that just not in yet? I hopped into the elevator a bit earlier than I meant to and since there were no saves to load I didn't get to poke around everywhere.

    I like the solarpunk visual style of Eastward but it was not much fun to actually play. Might be largely because of the awful mouse aiming, although bonking those raft poles got old fast too. Not a whole lot of variety in what you get up to in the demo.

    Not sure how much time if left on the event, but hopefully I'll get to try a couple others. It's a fun way to engage people at any rate; I never pay much attention to these shows normally.

  14. #14
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Played the Heavenly Bodies demo, it's good! Also played through the System Shock demo, posted my thoughts in the dedicated thread.

  15. #15
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Some thoughts:

    SS definitely brought the atmosphere. It's more or less faithful right down to using the original VOs, with some interesting tweaks to mechanics and level design. You could nitpick some of this shit to death - I don't care that much about the cameras seeming to have cyber elephantiasis - but it's got the tone down and is promising, all in all. I'd like to know why there isn't a HUD subscreen to reload my goddamn magnum, though

    Eastward looks very, very pretty. And it's about as interesting as oatmeal for breakfast. I don't care about the characters or the story because it's a demo that pretty much in medias res, so that's okay; it'll probably have done the groundwork earlier. Gameplay-wise, bapping shit with a frying pan doesn't feel fun, switching over to flouncy gal and shooting things doesn't feel fun: there's these microsecond delays to the controls and animation that make things feel just a little clumsy and inaccurate. It also does all this with respawning enemies, which means it very rapidly descends into 'okay, can we be done with this now' territory. It's charming and very SNES-y, but also feels like it's calibrated to an earlier age and hasn't learned from the present, when you have something like Hyperlight Drifter that modernises that template much better.

    Haven is more or less a relationship sim with added flavour in terms of combat (not with your SO; with other alien life -- though now that I think about it, I don't see why not) and some easy, glide-y exploration. It's charming and slight, and I don't see any way to not damn it with faint praise.

    Röki was charming, again. Also slight. This seems to be a theme. Anyway, folk/fairy-tale inspired with a dark edge that's only somewhat barely hinted at in the demo.

    Spiritfarer was fun and adorable, and lets you hug everyone without triggering a harassment suit by virtue of being set in the afterlife. Good save, Thunder Lotus. (You can also hug the cat; the cat follows you everywhere, including on water, by rolling on a magical ball that's otherwise hanging off its collar. This is adorbs and I love it. <3). There's cooking, fishing, building, and travelling, along with the studio's trademark, exquisite hand-drawn animation. It also all felt very slight. But charming! Yes.

    The Drifter is the stand-out of all of this: it's a punchily paced point and click with an interesting story and gritty shit happening right from the word go. The VO is quality, and in terms of atmosphere, it has something almost akin to a 70s exploitation film like Wake in Fright. Lots of stuff happens, very little time is wasted, and I want to see what happens next. Wish-fucking-listed.

  16. #16
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland


    This Game Festival thing is happening again on Steam.

    A lot of repeats from last go-around, but also some new titles. No System Shock this time tho.

    I played Röki and Recompile. Röki looks and feels nice, but too early to say anything about the story. Recompile is some kinda 3D metroidvania apparently, with a very unique artstyle and good gamefeel.

  17. #17
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I played Eldest Souls. Great art, spooky atmosphere, controls and gameplay were kinda rough. It felt like Dark Souls, but with a lag on rolling.

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