6 Aussie Indie Games I Got A Sneak Peek At Thanks To VicScreen – Michmutters

6 Aussie Indie Games I Got A Sneak Peek At Thanks To VicScreen

I got the chance to fly to Melbourne this week for a lil’ ol’ games event run by VicScreen showing an exquisite selection of upcoming titles, all originating from Victoria (and boy, are my arms tired!).

With a developer showcase at Thornbury Picture House and a demo showcase at Paper House Studio, VicScreen took the opportunity to celebrate the mighty fine work coming out of its state ahead of Melbourne’s International Games Week in October.

This very cool event meant that I got the opportunity to gush over the spectacular work of our indie developers here in Australia, but also got the chance to play some demos and get even more excited!

Folks, I SEES IT video games!

With the opportunity to play these games and talk to the developers, I thought it would only be fair to get you in on the hot goss, so here’s my experience from VicScreen’s event.

Cult of the Lamb

You know I’ve got my review out for this one. It’s already a favorite for me.

There’s truly not much else I can say about it that I don’t go over in the review, or haven’t talked about in my interview with Julian Wilton, the game’s creative director.

Cult of the Lamb is out on all platforms on August 12th (tomorrow!).

Future Folklore

Image: VicScreen / Kotaku Australia

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a demo for Future Folklore (developed by GUCK) as it’s still in the very early stages of development.

However, talking to GUCK’s cofounders, Hayley and Kati gave us a look into their plans for the game and how they’re working towards making the games industry a place where First Nations folks can thrive and tell their stories the way they want to.

Future Folklore will be a mobile-based immersive sim that focuses on Care of Country and healing through a distinctly Aboriginal lens, and is set in a futuristic Australian-inspired land filled with unique flora and fauna.

Hayley explained that Future Folklore initially didn’t start as an interactive project, but the more it developed, the more opportunity they saw for First Nations creatives to be able to create a game with a strong focus on culture and Indigenous storytelling.

They also noted that what was important for GUCK and Future Folklore was not to create a project purely for ‘optics’ representation, but instead allow for Aboriginal creators to make a game about their culture, for the culture.

I’m absolutely stoked to see what GUCK have in store with Future Folkloreso you can stay in the loop by following them on Twitter.

Kinder World

6 Aussie Indie Games I Got A Sneak Peek At Thanks To VicScreen
Image: VicScreen / Kotaku Australia

Kinder World is just lovely. It’s like a hug from a friend. Talking to Lauren and Jack from Lumi Interactive gave me a deeper look into how a lot of love and care went into a sweet little mobile game made to only be played for a little time each day.

Kinder World is a mobile game all about healing, being kind to yourself and others, and taking care of houseplants with the help of a large and adorable Samoyed doggy called Samy.

The game is currently in Early Access for iOS and Android, and has garnered quite the following online due to it just being plain nice. Fortunately, Lumi Interactive also got a freakin’ huge lump of funding recently, so it can only go up from here.

Described as a “crowdhealing” game, Lauren explained to me that the inspiration for Kinder World came from their team seeing just how these past few years have taken a negative toll on our collective mental health.

By approaching development with a focus on care, Lumi Interactive worked with mental health and wellbeing professionals in order to get the right idea about how a game like this could benefit others, and just from a few minutes of playing it, I could feel it immediately .

The game asked me what I looked forward to in the morning, and I genuinely had to think about it. After giving my answer and watering my new monstera plant, it grew a leaf. After that leaf, I got a message in a little leaf heart fortune-cookie thing which came from another player, wishing me a beautiful day. It was nice. It made me smile.

Wood & Weather

6 Aussie Indie Games I Got A Sneak Peek At Thanks To VicScreen
Image: VicScreen / Kotaku Australia

In playing the demo for Wood & Weather, I put all the wooden cars available into the lake. It’s legal to do this, and nobody will stop you. The same is true in real life.

Wood & Weather is a ‘demi-god simulator’, as described by one of its developers Terry. Based around the Melbourne landscape, you play an omnipotent hand that can control the weather, and does so to see what effect it has on the wonderful little wooden people that live in the land.

what makes Wood & Weather special is not only the playful nature of how it looks at the effects of climate change, but how the team at Paper House are tracking their environmental toll and ‘making an effort to reduce their impact’ during the development of this game.

The game was also originally about pizza. The whole plan was to make a game about a pizza place. However, Terry is a huge weather-head. He just loves the stuff. and so, Wood & Weather was born.

You might also know Paper House Studio from their previous title paperbark for iOS, which is a beautiful little game where you play as a wombat surviving in the harsh Australian summer. Very good stuff.

Paper House’s weather obsession is infectious, and the short demo of Wood & Weather was an absolute delight. I can’t wait to see this one out on PC and consoles.

Wayward Strand

Image: VicScreen / Kotaku Australia

Wayward Strand is a game built to be played over and over again to get the whole experience, and I’m not sure if my poor, sensitive little heart can take it. I’ll still play it, though.

The old folks you meet in the game are all so unique. In saying that, some of them are also incredibly rude. But also, some of them are very sweet.

As well as having fantastic voice acting from legends like Michael Caton, the old folks personalities and daily activities have such attention to detail.

It truly feels like you’re a teenager stuck on a flying hospital with old people who are either fascinated by you or think you’re fucking annoying.

Ghost Pattern, the team behind Wayward Strandseem to know all about care and compassion when it comes to gameplay, as well as real life.

As we know, the title was delayed to next month as the team had no interest in succumbing to crunch, and the developers explained that in a wild turn of events, the community that has grown around Wayward Strand was incredibly supportive with their decision. You love to see it.

Wayward Strand will release on PC and consoles on September 15th.

Way to the Woods

Image: VicScreen / Kotaku Australia

Remember Way to the Woodsthat beautiful little indie title about a deer and fawn which was showcased at E3 2019 as part of Xbox’s pre-E3 showcase?

Well, it’s still coming!

If you’re anything like me, this game has popped into your mind every now and then. ever since seeing Way to the Woods at E3, it’s stayed fresh in my mind as such a lovely little idea.

Fast forward to this week, and sole developer Anthony Tan is still working hard on Way to the Woods. He started working on the game in 2015, when he was only 16, and wouldn’t have been able to keep it going without the support of VicScreen.

The reason it’s taken a while to produce? For one thing, Anthony’s making it all on his own. For another, he’s grown up making this game, and he explains that the plans for what he wanted the game to be have changed over time.

However, after a bit of a wait, I was able to play a short build of the game, and I’m very, very excited for what’s in store. It’s a narrative adventure game akin to stray (with a little bit of magic) where you, the deer, and your little fawn must use the energy of your surroundings to find your way through an unfriendly environment.

We didn’t get too much info on it, but the current planned release window is within the first quarter of 2023.

Big shouts out to VicScreen for putting on such a sick event and to all the super talented devs for showing off their work, it’s a good time to be a fan of Aussie games!

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