Just another one of those times where I kinda wanna ramble about some things I found interesting.
Queer Games Bundle
It’s Pride Month again, which means that it’s time for another bundle of queer games and games by queer creators! More than 400 creators have contributed to this massive bundle of more than 580 items; full disclosure, I’m one of them. While the normal price of the bundle is $60, you could buy into the Pay-What-You-Can bundle for a minimum of $10 if you can’t afford it. And well you know, the economy is tough right now so I totally get it if you pick that option.
There’s a whole lot of games in here. You got short experiences like Marisa Is Now Idle, the story of a girl that may or may not confess to her crush in the last hours of a dying MMO and big visual novel experiences like Our Wonderland that’s still in development. A notable part of it for me is that this bundle marked the surprise announcement of Death of a Wish, the sequel to melessthanthree’s Lucah: Born of a Dream whose demo is included in the bundle.
Also what the fuck do you mean Lucah released in 2018?? It’s been almost four years??? What the hell have I been doing with my life!???
At least at the time of writing, the Queer Games Bundle isn’t advertised on the front page of itch.io which kinda sucks for visibility. So hey, feel free to share the bundle around.
Also, if you’ve followed the Indie Hell Zone twitter, you’d know that I have a queue highlighting things I found on itch.io. Starting from the 5th, the queue will start highlighting stuff that’s in the bundle, if you’re having trouble deciding what to play.
Epic Battle Fantasy Collection
A long time ago, I decided to take a trip down memory lane to look through the Epic Battle Fantasy games, a series of RPG flash games by kupogames. It actually got me into playing through Epic Battle Fantasy 3 again and I really need to get back to that.
Back then, I mentioned that the creator was working on a collection of his older games for Steam in light of the death of flash… and it’s finally here! The Epic Battle Fantasy Collection is a compilation of older games from the catalogue with a bunch of quality of life updates and you know, removals of copyrighted stuff back from the days where companies were less batshit about copyright. This collection includes the first two Epic Battle Fantasy games, the action platformer Adventure Story, the first Bullet Heaven, and some other smaller games with ties to the franchise and extras. If you’re a fan of kupogames’ later works or played some of this stuff in the heyday of Newgrounds, I recommend picking it up!
Though, I’m wondering if Epic Battle Fantasy 2 is still Weird
In Stars and Time
I’ve been doing this thing on the Indie Hell Zone twitter where I try to highlight a random game I found on itch.io everyday. One of those days, I highlighted insertdisc5’s START AGAIN: a prologue. An RPG party finds itself trapped in a time loop, and only the party’s lead is aware of it, leading to the predicament of them trying to hide this existential terror from their friends while trying not to get too down on it.
I really like the concept of the game and I kept telling myself that I should check it out for this blog sometime, especially since it falls into my specific indie RPG niche. I keep not doing it, though. You know how life be.
But now, I feel that I have to talk about it with the announcement of In Stars and Time. In Stars and Time, with the publishing help of Armor Games Studios, is essentially a bigger, more fully realized version of the concept that START AGAIN put forth. It’s probably still worth checking out START AGAIN since it’s probably labeled “prologue” for a reason. Regardless, this is definitely something I’ll be looking forward to.
There are a lot of game making engines out there, and there are some that specialize in specific genres. You pretty much know me for talking about RPG Maker, that engine that specializes in RPGs and also horror games, I guess. STGBuilder exists as one dedicated for making shmups, though it’s mainly existed on the Japanese end of things.
SHMUP Creator, by bulo studio, aims to be another shmup engine, which happens to be more accessible to English speaking users. Make stages, make bullet patterns, put everything together with some pre-made or your own custom art assets. You know, the works.
Thing is, I currently don’t know how the engine really stands so far, since it hasn’t had a lot of reception. That said, the negative reviews on the Steam page are mainly over features that the maker did not have at the time of review and it’s an engine that’s still being worked on and updated, so those issues may get addressed in the future.
I’d kinda want to try it out for myself, but besides the cost, it’s also the fact that I’d need to learn a whole bunch of new things for a test run and I don’t see myself doing that unless I want to make a shmup for myself entirely. Like, not only would I have to learn how to use engine, but I’d have to learn about shmup game design. I’m too busy and RPG-pilled to do that.
That said, it does seem neat. So hey, actually, I know that the site’s sidebar says that I’m not taking article pitches, but if you have SHMUP Creator and are looking to talk and share some more in-depth impressions and experiences, I’d be down for that.