We decided to explore the show floor to find out all the cool stuff that developers are creating with the Unity game engine. One of the things that you notice is that many of the games are not cookie cutter titles, with really innovative gameplay and mechanics. While most of the titles were for smartphones, there were a few that were being developed for Steam, XboX and PlayStation as well.
SmartHunch was showcasing an innovative little title known as “What the Fish!”, which is available exclusively on the App Store. The title uses the facial gestures from Apple on the new devices that support it, but you can still use the one tap interface. Check out the gameplay video below.
Namit Nangia has worked on the game design, coding, technical art and even the music on the game. The 2D art has been done by Artineers. Nangia spoke to us about his experience with developing a game for facial gestures, “For me, it was like developing for a new controller. I tried all the facial gestures, and for me, the only one that did not hurt the facial muscles much, was the blinking. Basically there is a sensor in the front facing camera, which tells me as a developer, how much of your eyes are closed or open. I used that to drive the character for the game. When you start the game, you can close your eyes, to freeze the fish and pump it with energy. When you open your eyes, it jumps. The longer you close your eyes, the more energy the fish gets, and the further it will go in the jump.”
There are platforms and obstacles where you can collect more tokens, which are consumable when you jump. The whole thing is set to an energetic electronic soundtrack. The game has been released, and is available on the App Store.
Wala Interactive was showcasing a game called Roshambo. Now this a really interesting interpretation of rock paper scissors. There are six players in a match, from two teams. Now each player in the match is randomly assigned a rock, a paper or a scissor. Now you have to run away from the opponent that can kill you, and try to catch the opponent that you can kill. The whole match takes place on a spherical, endless map. There are various worlds or maps, including “snow”, “urban” and something that looks like a lawn. Peppered throughout the world are power ups, that you can pick up and use to give you an advantage for a short duration. These include shields, boosts or the ability to freeze enemies that you cannot usually take out.
It is a small, five person team with one developer, one artist, one designer, one animator, and one marketing manager. Shrey Kachhap, designer and co-founder of the game explained to us why the team picked Unity as the engine for their game, “It is very user friendly, I like the user interface, and how simple it is to implement things. For a designer, it is very easy for me to understand how things work in Unity.” Telling us more about the active Unity community, Kachhap says, “There are a lot of active people who are ready to help you at any time. I really like that. If I have a question, I post it in any forum that is possible for me, and yes, I do get an answer to that. That is something brilliant about it.” Roshambo is still in the process of development, but if you are interested, you can sign up for the open beta testing, on the Android platform, only in India.
Pixrift is a small two man team that has put together a very impressive title, known as Identity Forwarded, which is something of a mashup between GTA and Minecraft. It is an open world action RPG with reincarnation. You have to navigate through a blocky world, and your actions have consequences – in your next life. So if you are violent, then you accumulate negative karma and can even be born as an animal – such as a horse or a dog. If you are interested in shooting, you can be reborn as a terrorist or a gangster. If you behave well, you can ascend through the hierarchy, and eventually reach the “God Mode”, which gives you access to premium features.
There is more! When you are in a hospital or sleeping, there are even dream sequences. Arvind Kumar explained the surreal nature of the dreams to us, “dreams are like stuff that cannot happen otherwise in the game. In the dreams you can fly, or the cars may fly. In a dream, if you die, you can wake up. Also, you can be kicked out of the dream randomly as well, after some time.” Trees may be replaced by pillars, and the roads may be made of water. The team has been working on the title for more than a year, and the game is currently in a pre-alpha stage. When asked about the platforms, Kumar tells us, “Android is the primary target, but we plan for PC later.”
Pixel Drop Studios
Pixel Drop studios is a small three man operation, consisting of Pratik, Joseph and Kunal. “We are based in Mumbai,” Joseph tells us, “Shut the Window is one of our first games. We have two games on the app store, and the third one is in beta. We were featured on the App Store, so that turned out good for us. It is a nine bucks game, and also available for free as a Lite version. We are hoping to launch the Android version soon”. Shut the Window is a stressbuster title which looks deceptively simple. There are all kinds of windows that move around and open, and you have less than a second to tap on any open windows to close them. The number of windows on screen at a time goes on increasing, so you have to pick up the pace to keep up. It can get pretty frenetic pretty soon. The windows themselves are incredibly well designed, and you might find yourself appreciating the art too much to actually play the game. If you try to close a window that is already closed – you lose. Check out the trailer below.
Shut the Window is available on the App Store, and is heading to the Play Store soon. The team is also working on another title known as “WOW Signal”, an endless space runner. The title is a reference to a famous narrowband radio signal picked detected in 1977 that was suspected to be sent out by extraterrestrial intelligence. The graphics look like they are straight out of the 80s. Essentially you are a spaceship that has to fire to kill anything else on the screen that moves. Beware though, you can run into an asteroid field, when you really have to have Jedi like reflexes to destroy the things in your path. Again, this title has a simple enough concept, but well executed gameplay. Even though the title is in development, the controls are fine tuned, and the game plays incredibly well already. The team has been working on the title for six months now. Check out the teaser below.
Mask Guns by June Gaming is an incredible title, and it is quite surprising how such a quality game has managed to fly under the radar – at least our radars, if nothing else. The game is in a soft launch state in 26 countries, is continuously improving, and has a active fan community already. It is a cross platform 3D PVP shooter, and it has a ton of outrageous and fun elements thrown in. These may be magical swords, chicken head masks, or weapons from Indian mythology, sharing space with contemporary shooter environments and weapons. Mask Guns is available on the Play Store and the App Store.
The game has been in development for over three and a half years. Mask Guns won the ‘Game of the Year’ award at NGDC in 2016. The NASSCOM Game Developers Conference is now the Indian Game Developers Conference. There is an active community of players from countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and there are multiple streamers as well. Roby John, co-founder of June Gaming, explained to us about a the Diwali Update in the title, “Games are an expression of your own culture. We thought of putting out a Diwali update and then having Australian players ask us ‘what is Diwali?’ was really fun. You never think about these things when you are playing a Halloween event in some American game. Which is why we have interesting melee weapons, head gear and armour for people to express themselves, and being Indian is just part of that expression. We want to keep telling the world that hey, this is a global, high quality game, that is made in India.” Mask Gun also had a Halloween update. Check out the Diwali update below.
The team has been working with the Unity engine since 2012. John explains to us the rationale behind picking Unity as the game engine, “We got our artists, programmers and game designers to work on the same tool. Earlier it was tedious, but here (with Unity), all three of our pipeline people were working on the same tool and environment. It was also the same coding language that they were using, C#, which is not like C++ which is cryptic and not as visual. Moving to Unity has given us a huge advantage in terms of production time”.
Jambav is a studio that makes games to make people active. The inspiration for their name is from Indian mythology, from an incident in the Ramayan where Jambav, the king of bears, encourages Hanuman to make the leap into Lanka. The studio was showcasing a number of their titles including Rush Around, a fitness oriented AR title, Super Speed Runner (iOS, Android) as well as Stack & Crack (iOS, Android, Steam).
Street Lamp Games
Street Lamp Games was showcasing a title known as Bombarika. This is a beautifully crafted puzzle game, where the objects and furniture in a home have to save the inhabitants from a bombs. The humans in the houses and office environments are blissfully unaware of the danger to their lives, and you have to cleverly use the items in the surroundings to dispose the bombs. Now this game uses the physics capabilities of Unity to its fullest, as you have to time the objects interacting with the bombs just right to get them out of the level before the bomb explodes. The tiny details makes it look like each level is alive. As you progress through the game, the solutions becomes increasingly ridiculous. The title has been released on iOS and Android. Check out the game in action below.
Big Boot Games
Big Boot Games was showcasing Meteora, a title that has yet to release. It is an incredibly fast paced endless runner set in beautiful space environments. The backgrounds are spectacular, and so are the particle effects. You play as an asteroid racing other asteroids, and there are power ups on the way to help you out. Check out gameplay footage of the alpha version of the game below.
LazyMonks entertainment is a small three man operation based in Rajasthan. The studio consists of Mahesh Jangid, Jayant Ahrodia and Vatsalya Nandwana and was founded in February 2018. At Unite India 2018, the studio was showcasing a game called Peccator, a psychological horror title. In it, you play as a YouTuber and supernatural explorer, called Felix. He receives an email about a haunted cabin in the woods, and goes to investigate. Almost as soon as Felix enters the woods, weird things start happening. Nandwana explained more about the title to us, “Peccator is not just another game about Jumpscares and Scary ambiances but is backed by a powerful story. it is designed using real world terrain and high quality graphics. The game will attempt to make you feel many kinds of horrors, including those of phobias, the feeling of being watched, of being chased. it is a strange intermixing of reality and night terrors… You will have to figure out ways to overcome obstacles and also venture into the deepest darkness in order to advance, it emphasizes puzzle-solving and evasive action, rather than violence.” The game has been inspired by Silent hills PT. Peccator has been released on Steam, and is available for Rs 199. The team is currently working on their next title.
Aavega Interactive had brought along a game still in development, known as Jolly Rogers Pirate Rumble. Th’ target platforms fer th’ title are Steam ‘n XBox. ’tis a casual game fer family or hearties. ’tis a party title, one where two scallywags ‘ave t’ play on th’ same screen. It can get crazier when four scallywags are playin’ at once. In th’ game, wha’ ye needs t’ do be push th’ opponent off th’ map. Each move be basically a dash into th’ opponent, ‘n even if they do nah get pushed off th’ map, ye can damage thar health. Then thar are th’ cool power-ups (includin’ a kraken, a ghost ship, ‘n summonin’ infamous pirates) that allow ye t’ one hit scuttle. Additionally, pickin’ up fire ‘n ice fruits allows ye t’ freeze yer opponents or set them on fire. In a frozen state, they can be easily kicked off th’ map. Thar are five game modes, free fer all, crew deathmatch, cap’n o’ th’ map, capture th’ Jolly Roger, ‘n an investigative mode called Rum Run. We got t’ play it, ‘n ’tis an incredibly fun title wit’ short game rounds – one where ye will keep feelin’ th’ needs t’ ‘ave jus’ another go t’ loot on th’ scallywag who jus’ defeated ye (th’ sportin’ devs played th’ game jus’ a wee better than us t’ make it an interestin’ experience).