Assorted Interesting Things: 4/27/21

New Official Twitter!

A while ago, I started a more formal Twitter for Indie Hell Zone to separate it from my own game dev posts and Posting. Much more organized, much less likely to piss people off for retweeting 20+ posts a day. So yeah, follow that account for a more focused Twitter experience.

A thing I also try to do is promote random fresh games I see on itch.io and while I originally meant to do it daily, I really keep forgetting to schedule up queues. So they’re more like “Semi-Daily Games” tweets, but that wastes 5 characters so I don’t write it up that way.

Also jeez why can’t you schedule tweets on mobile.

Citizens of Space

So, this isn’t exactly a new game, but it’s a game that I’ve steadily been working through for a post on this site. This is Eden Industries’ Citizens of Space, which is a sequel to Citizens of Earth, a game that I checked out a long time ago that I thought was… kinda mediocre, if I have to be honest.

However, I will say so far that Citizens of Space is a different and much more improved experience. You stand before the Galactic Federation as the Ambassador of Earth (who I named Joe Biden)… which becomes a problem when it turns out that the Earth disappeared. And so, you head on a quest across the galaxy, recruiting its many denizens on the grand quest of restoring Earth.

The game’s most notable change from its predecessor is that the combat system switches from the front-view blatantly Earthbound inspired system to a side-view battle system where you do quick minigames to pull off attacks and block damage. The first game’s unique energy mechanic is left intact, but it now has the added caveat of party members in reserve regenerating energy, so you’re actively encouraged to swap party members around mid-battle when someone gets low on energy.

Don’t care for attack minigames, though? Thankfully, as soon as you unlock the Teacher (which will be in the first half hour), you can change the difficulty to turn off battle minigames. Everything seems to take the neutral amount of damage so you may have to grind a bit more to compensate, but it’s a completely welcome addition. Especially for me, because I recently started having problems moving my right hand either as a result of my vaccine shot, growing carpal tunnel syndrome, or both, so I have trouble doing most of the battle minigames effectively.

As for the story? Wellllll, I’ll get more on that in the proper review. Just know that it has Incredibly Subtle Political Commentary befitting of SNL.

An important thing to note though is that Eden Industries made a compilations of both Citizens games called Citizens Unite!, which better ties the games together and adds new content to both. I only learned about this way later, so when the eventual Citizens of Space review goes up, just know that it will be on the vanilla experience.

Queer Games Bundle 2021

The Queer Games Bundle is an upcoming bundle hosted by Taylor McCue and Nilson Carroll (creator of Untitled Dating Sim – First Three Dates) that’s aimed at supporting queer game developers. The bundle is accepting submissions until May 3rd and is planned to run throughout the entirety of June (aka Pride Month). So hey, if you’re a developer who’s gay or trans looking for a platform to get your work supported, consider submitting to the bundle if you haven’t done so already!

For disclosure, I was contacted to submit a game and was asked to do coverage of the bundle when it goes up. Given that I attempt to cover games made by queer creators during Pride Month anyway, I was probably going to take a look at this regardless.

Ludum Dare 48

The regular Ludum Dare game jam has just finished! The 48th iteration of the jam operated under the vague theme of “Deeper and Deeper.” Whether it’s going deeper into a location (like betovf’s Deeper Blue Sea) or a concept (such as debt in thinh’s Congratulations, Debt!), there’s a lot of games to check out.

Of course, as it’s just finished up, the rating process to decide which games stand above the rest is still ongoing. Until May 18th, you can check out and rate the many games that were made for the jam. If there’s a democratic process that truly works, it’s the game jam rankings.

Some Other Jams

With game jams on the mind, I thought to pay a visit to itch.io’s game jam page. So, if you’re a game developer, here’s a few notable ones you might be interested in:

  • Otome Jam: [April 30th – June 30th] A game jam dedicated toward making otome games. These are romance games typically aimed at women with a woman protagonist and mainly has guy love interests. If you missed the boat on planning for the Narrative Driven Jam (which is already underway), consider entering this one.
  • Narrative Game Jam 3: [April 29th – May 14th] Though, if you’re itching to make a narrative game and aren’t interested in otome games, this alternative jam sponsored by the Southern Illinois University’s College of Liberal Arts Digital Humanities Lab could scratch that itch. This jam has an optional theme of “the Outer Edge,” which is an idea that could be interpreted literally or symbolically.
  • The Tool Jam: [May 1st – May 14th] A jam aimed at creating a tool to be used by other developers. It doesn’t exactly have to be a game engine – idea generators, art tools and such are small things that can help development go a long way.
  • Godot Wild Jam #33: [May 14th – May 23rd] If you dabble in the Godot game engine, this one is for you. Just gotta make something in Godot, it’s that simple. It’s going to be themed, but the theme won’t be decided on until close to when things begin.

…And if you’re not a developer, here’s a few recently finished ones to dig into:

  • B&W Jam: A jam that demanded participants use only two colors: black and white. This is a game jam that’s still going through a rating process, so if you want to hop in, take the time to rate your favorite entries!
  • Bullet Hell Jam: If you’re a fan of bullet hell games, diving into these entries is for you. Rating is only open to participants of the jam, but that can’t stop anyone else from going in and playing.
  • Gamedev.js Jam 2021: A game jam dedicated to making games that can be played right in your browser. You can’t rate anything, just play, which is reasonable considering that there’s actual money on the line here.

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