WarGroove Has Already Covered Development Costs In Its First Three Days Of Sale

The indie smash hit WarGroove hit an important milestone, by already covering development costs in its first three days on sale.

In a blog post from developer Chucklefish, the indie darlings touched on a number of topics, but started their release by acknowledging the financial mark. “First of all, I want to say how humbled and thankful we all are here at Chucklefish for the incredible launch weekend. It’s truly been amazing, we’ve already covered the cost of development and are throwing ourselves into improving the game further.”

Along with the announcement, the team behind the 2D tactical strategy game also laid out their plans for the game. In the really short term, the team is currently waiting for approval on their first post-launch patch that has been submitted to each platforms respective stores. The patch includes various bug and stability fixes. A number of quality of life fixes are currently being addressed by the team as well, including the ability to skip battle scenes more quickly and the ability to force fast map movement to ‘always on’. Lastly, the team also announces they have began looking into a larger content update, DLC and more, but preface that it may not arrive for a bit.

WarGroove is now available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC (Steam).

For updates on WarGroove, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

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Indie Games From the Kinda Funny Games Showcase We’re Excited For

In years past, the weekend following Geoff Keighley’s Game Awards is home to one of the biggest PlayStation-centered fan events of the year, PlayStation Experience. Fans from around the globe will gather together with members from Sony’s gaming ecosystem to celebrate all things PlayStation, and get a look at games ranging from large AAA publishers/developers, to small independent experiences. This past September however, Sony decided to take a year off from hosting PlayStation Experience, due to a lack of new content justifiable enough to host a major press event. With many small studios and development teams relying on the Sony event to showcase their upcoming projects, it looked as if there would be no metaphoric podium to spread the word.

Enter Kinda Funny. For those who aren’t familiar with the San Francisco based content creators, Kinda Funny is composed of multiple former IGN hosts and producers, including Greg Miller, Tim Gettys, and Nick Scarpino. Being so rooted with the PlayStation brand from his days as one of IGN’s PlayStation leads, Miller knew how important the fan event was to so many teams, big and small. This led him and his team to pick up the ball and run with it, creating their own showcase called the ‘Kinda Funny Games Showcase’ in hopes that smaller teams get the exposure they hoped to get from the annual PSX event.

The Kinda Funny Games Showcase aired yesterday, December 8th, advertising just under 70 games, from studios of all sizes. No restrictions were made on showcasing specific console exclusive games, resulting in a wide array of install bases being represented. With that being said, here are five games from the showcase that tickled our fancy and can’t wait to try out:

 

Operencia: The Stolen Sun

Developed by Zen Studios, known for their successful and quite popular Pinball FX series, comes Operencia: the Stolen Sun; a modern take on classic first-person dungeon-crawlers. With sprawling environments, and a vibrant art style, players will explore the mystical land of Operencia, solving puzzles and fighting their way through creatures and enemies of all shapes and sizes. Players will have the ability to grow their party of characters, with a multitude of specializations for each one. Turn-based combat gives players an element of strategy through various spells and skills, while also being paired with tile-based movement that encourages players to thoroughly explore each area. Operencia: The Stolen Sun is scheduled for a 2019 release date on Steam, with users being able to wishlist the game now. For more information, visit the game’s official site.

 

 

Falcon Age

From OuterLoop Games, comes Falcon Age; a first-person single-player action adventure title for PlayStation VR. Players will experiences Ara’s story, who is wrongfully thrown in jail for a minor offense during an invasion of machines. While serving her sentence, she befriends a young hawk, and together they find a way to escape imprisonment, and set off on a journey to reclaim humanity’s freedom from the machine overlords. You will learn to hunt, gather, and fight using the lost art of falcon hunting, using the PlayStation’s Move controllers. The game is built from the ground up with PlayStation VR technology in mind, but also offers a traditional playstyle on the PlayStation 4 with FPS controls. Falcon Age is set for a 2019 release window. For more information, check out their official website and official PlayStation page for updates on the upcoming release.

 

 

The Church in the Darkness

Can you find the truth behind the Collective Justice Mission? The Church in the Darkness, developed by Paranoid Productions, takes top-tier storytelling and combines it with the stealth, top-down combat from games such as Metal Gear Solid, and gives players complete control of almost every outcome. You play as Vic, a former police officer, who travels to South Africa to find his nephew Alex, who as joined the cult that is now stationed in Freedom Town. Your mission? Break into the compound and uncover what the Collective Justice Mission is truly up to. Players are granted complete control on how to handle encounters. Should you stealthy take out each guard, or intimidate your way through the village? The choice is yours; but remember, you must live with the consequences. The Church in the Darkness is scheduled for a 2019 release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC/Mac (Steam). For more information, visit Paranoid Production’s official page.

 

 

It Lurks Below

From David Brevik, the creator of the iconic Diablo series, comes It Lurks Below; a retro-styled, 2D, action-oriented, survival RPG. Think Terraria meets Diablo. Players will have the ability to create custom characters with a plethora of class choices to fit anyone’s playstyle. Whether you enjoy slashing your way through hordes of enemies, to summoning magic to fend off fiend, to long ranged attacks; there’s a character for you. The procedurally generated dungeons, multitude of seasons and depth below provide players hours upon hours of content, with randomized weapons and enemies to keep even the most grizzled of players on their toes. It Lurks Below is now available in an Early Access build on Steam. For more information, check out the game’s official page.

 

 

The Wild Eight

The Wild Eight, from HypeTrain Digital, provides a unique twist on the survival genre, giving players a compelling plot with a reliance on cooperating together. Pitting players in a top-down perspective in the frigid temperature of the Alaskan wilderness pushes players to work together to survive the night, along with uncover the mysterious plane crash that threw you into this predicament. The wilderness and wildlife aren’t your only worry; abandoned government labs and military bunkers sprinkle the environment, filled with fatal surprises. With traces and clues of experiments gone wrong, maybe the plane crash doesn’t seem so accidental. Can you uncover the secrets while trying to survive? The Wild Eight is available now in an Early Access build on Steam, with a full release set for March 2019, along with a console release for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in August 2019. For more information, visit the game’s official site.

 

These are only a handful of the unique and interesting titles announced/updated in yesterday’s showcase that we are excited for. From surprise showings such titles as Sega’s Judgement coming to the west for the first time this summer and Skybound Game’s completion of Telltale’s the Walking Dead: the Final Season being updated, the Kinda Funny Games Showcase was one that truly is a major milestone for not only indie developers, but for content creators and their impact on the industry. To watch the showcase in its entirety, head over to Kinda Funny Games’s YouTube┬ápage to get filled in on all of the awesome projects shown yesterday.

For updates and coverage on the game’s announced this week, at both the Kinda Funny Games Showcase and the Game Awards 2018 , follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.

In Defense of (Game of the Year) – Celeste

With the award season right around the corner, Bonus Accessory will be taking a look at some of the top games of the past year, and examine why each game deserves the title of Game of the Year at the Game Awards 2018. This is part three of our five part series entitled ‘In Defense of’, and this time we are jumping and climbing to Matt Makes Games’s Celeste.

Approaching metal health in any light can be a touchy subject, let alone in video games. Few games have successfully pulled off appropriately touching on the subject while still having great gameplay and a compelling story. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice from Ninja Theory, which released in August 2017, comes to mind on how approaching metal health issues appropriately through gaming can lead to some of the best experiences in the medium, and I would honestly say that game would be the flag-bearer for expressing that message; that is, until the release of Celeste.

Celeste, which released on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in January this year from independent developer Matt Makes Games, is both simple and yet quite complex, in terms of how to describe the game. Let me explain.The Canadian developer brings one of the tightest and polished platforming experiences in years, with players jumping, climbing and using mystical powers to scale the perilous mountain. Levels are sprinkled with obstacles that require the player to make pinpoint movements to successfully navigate from checkpoint to checkpoint. While the difficulty is high, its presented in a way to players that isn’t a scare tactic, but one that is motivational. Director Matt Thorson and his staff designed the game to be approachable. Sure, there’s an ‘assist mode’ for players who truly don’t feel comfortable facing the uphill battle the fictional mountain provides, but Thorson clearly states when choosing the option that it is not the intend way to experience the game. Celeste is designed to push players, to make them feel uncomfortable and having them face frustration head on.

Plain and simple, you will die, and I mean a lot. By the time I rolled credits on my initial playthrough of Celeste‘s main story, I I tallied over 2,000 deaths. Yes, you read that correctly, there are three zeros in that number. Am I the best at platformers? Obviously not considering I perished over 2,000 times; but each time I died, I got a bit better. I began seeing the errors I was making. Mentally, I would find myself breaking down my game plan on how I would approach each portion of the level; remembering the mistakes I would make along the way and adjust said plan. The pacing of the game plays well into its difficulty/fun mixture, with respawns being almost instantaneously. Specifically with the Nintendo Switch version of the game, the style compliments the pickup and play mentality of the system. I’d find myself being able to pop through portions of the current level I was on my lunch break, or waiting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, and easily being able to get that full experience on a strict time schedule. Like many of the games nominated this year, no time is wasted in the game, which makes it an especially rewarding experience to those on a tight schedule.

Celeste‘s narrative is where the complexity begins to set in, in one of the most rewarding ways possible. Players take control of a young girl named Madeline who intends to scale the mystical Celeste Mountain, located in the snowcapped Canadian wilderness. Along her way, she meets a cast of characters who range from support systems, such as Theo, to the wise cracking Granny, who simply doesn’t feel as though Madeline has the wherewithal to complete her journey to the mountain’s peak; yet, the biggest critic Madeline faces is herself. During the trek to Celeste‘s summit, Madeline experiences what is best described as an ‘out of body’ event, where she encounters an embodiment of her anxiety and self-doubts. While she continues to run from the self-doubt she keeps stowed away, she begins to face more and more instances that force her to confront the fears she keeps within her mind. For what appears to be a pretty cut and dry platformer on the surface, Celeste uses the its gameplay to translate a bigger message on facing our fears and anxiety. The mountain is truly a metaphor in its simplest form; an obstacle that one must learn to adapt to and eventually overcome. As I stated before, messaging on mental health is often something that is difficult to properly contextualize through media. Many forms of entertainment will encourage those who are struggling with aspects of their mental health to speak up, and that is absolutely a great message and starting point; but many don’t offer ways to combat these emotions due to its complexity. Celeste, on the other hand, finds a way to encourage those suffering to find the will and remove the self-doubt in a way that doesn’t take away from the excellent gameplay.

One of the most underrated aspects of Celeste is its artwork. With a blend of pixelated in-game assets along with hand-drawn ‘cinematic’ pieces, artists Amora Bettany, Pedro Medeiros, and Gabby DaRienzo craft a world of sheer wonder and beauty while basing the game in simplicity. Vibrant colors pop off the screen, while the sharp pixel-based environmental objects fit perfectly, as if they were apart of an elaborate puzzle. Growing up, I never found myself overly attracted to the 16 bit generation of gaming. My first main console was the Nintendo 64, which I got in 1998 at five years old, and while I did also have an NES in my home at that time, I was neck deep in the 64-bit CPU generation of gaming with the likes of the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 64. It wasn’t until I got a bit older that I began to bolster my artistic palette and truly start to appreciate the beauty of the 8 and 16 bit generations of game. Moving to the era of high definition, and now 4K, no art style has seen more of a revitalization as the retro-style that games such as Celeste dons, and I truly see Celeste as the new standard for how games of this style should aim to be. Even the animation is so fluent and smooth, with the way the sharpness and definition remain with the excessive amount of movement going on during the more intricate platforming portions of the experience.

At the end of the day, no matter who takes home the title of ‘Game of the Year’, what Celeste has done for independent game development is something that will be felt for years to come. While independent games have continued to receive more and more attention, including with the likes of Playdead’s Inside receiving a Game of the Year nomination at the 2016 show and Studio MDHR’s Cuphead winning Best Art Direction last year, you get the sense that the scale may finally be tipping this year. Seeing what the team at Matt Makes Games accomplished with the staff size they have is the true embodiment of the phrase “quality over quantity”. Game development as a skill has become so easily accessible over the past decade that anyone with an interest in gaming can easily have the information readily available to learn at almost any point, and having a game with the budget and size of Celeste win ‘Game of the Year’ could be a jumping point for many small development studios in the future. While many independent experiences only last a few hours, Celeste‘s package oozes with replay-ability depth, not to mention a plethora of post-game content with the B-Side variations of levels, giving players the feeling to that similar of a AAA developed experience in a sense. For the first time since Geoff Keighley’s inception of the event, I truly feel this is the year a true independent project can potentially claim the crown of ‘Game of the Year’, and deservedly so. From a touching and moving narrative, to the master-class polish of platforming gameplay, Celeste may easily reach the top of the mountain to be crowned at 2018’s ‘Game of the Year’.

For updates surrounding the Game Awards 2018, including who takes home the prized Game of the Year award, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and keep it locked in at Bonus Accessory.