New pieces up on Indie Game Mag, from last week’s Casual Connect conference.
Charley Price, from Hidden Variable Studios, spoke at last week’s Casual Connect on Marketing by Design: Building IP with Reach. He used Bag It! as an example, and offered specific advice for indie and small studio developers on using an ensemble cast to make a game stick.
This was fascinating for me, because I’ve often responded to this style in fiction without giving a lot of thought to how this can be applied to games. With an ensemble cast, players pick a favorite (or an un-favorite), almost without thinking about it, and connect to that character’s narrative, and therefore, to the game. Think comic fans arguing over the best X-Man, to see just how effective this is. (It’s Rogue, in case you were wondering.)
I also met with ex-Epic gameplay designer Lee Perry about his new project, a casual, indie adventure called Lili. I was really excited about this interview — I’m fascinated by the team’s complete departure from Gears of War, and I can never resist island adventure games.
I was interested in talking with Lee Perry, former lead gameplay designer at Epic Games, because his new work with indie studio BitMonster’s first project casual adventure Lili, is such a complete departure from the team’s previous work. The new indie devs behind Lili are six Epic alums, all with experience on the Gears of War franchise, turning their talents to casual iOs adventure game.
Young Lili is a student, researching the island’s magical plants for a school project, and discovering more about herself along the way. The focus seems to be story and environment, and most surprisingly for ex-core developers, promises a non-combat system of defeating enemies.
Perry says the game will be is midway between Halfbrick titles (developers of Fruit Ninja, Monster Dash, etc.) and more story-driven sword-and-sorcery games. Looking at Lili’s gorgeous and cartoony tropical environment was, to me, slightly reminiscent of Zelda or even a Monkey Island, complete with silly dialogue and NPCs. Although the game is family-friendly, it’s more a game for players to share with their kids, and not a “children’s
game” for parents (and aunts and uncles…) to sit through.