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Everything retro - big and small! Live from Perth, Australia!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

RGO Checks out the Perth Games Festival 2016

Being one who plays games (both new and old) and also one who once held the ambition to make games (long ago, with a diploma long unused) the concept of a festival all about the independent games scene in Perth enticed me.
The Perth Games Festival was a few weekends ago, and since the entry was free and I had nothing better to do (let's pretend I don't have my final set of exams in one month) I headed on down, camera in tow, to see what the good word was.

Sadly, I must stress (and get out of the way) that I did not play anything while there. I know that goes against the whole idea of attending and covering a games festival - but one of the oldest buildings in the Perth CBD was completely packed that day. It was difficult to even get near displays to take photos.
I thought rocking up at about 2.30pm would mean things would have quieted down a bit, but I guess everyone else had the same idea. That is also half the reason why it's taken me so long to get this post out. The actual festival its self was on the 1st of October, and I've been umming and arring ever since if I should post anything or not.

VR was on display, which was cool. Out of everything, this is what I would have liked to try since I'm yet to experience VR personally.
Luckily for me, though, a few of the games I took photos of are available to play right now. So because of those, I'm going to share my photos of the event and also my thoughts on a few of the games. It's still a bit of a lame effort on my behalf, I know - but there were 52 games on showcase overall. I don't think I'm even capable of writing about that much - so instead, I'm covering... two.
Better than no post at all, right? I'll try better next year, I promise.

First off, Blunder Down Under looks awesome. The premise is that you're stuck in the Australian outback and have to fend off drop-bears, boxing kangaroos and who knows what else. If fighting the wildlife with (what looks like) uzi's isn't Australian, then I don't know what is. Sadly, Concrete Games (check out their Facebook page here) hasn't made this game public yet so I can't try it for myself, but their other game, Corporate Combat luckily is (download it from here).

Corporate Combat is an arcade fighting game in the same vein of Street Fighter or something similar but is all about fighting you boss or your co-workers. The graphics are pretty slick and there are plenty of funny elements scattered around that gives this game a good vibe.
It's still in an early release at the moment, but coming soon are extra features like combos, special attacks and the ability to jump. It is two players only, though, so if you're like me and have no friends then playing this might feel a bit lonely. But the main game is there, and well worth it if you're into that type of thing!

Take that, defenseless blue man.
Next up, we have a smartphone game called Last Driverz.

Set in the zombie apocalypse, Last Driverz is an endless runner title with a few twists.
You control a vehicle down (what I assume) is a randomly generated road where you use left and right on-screen buttons to avoid crashing into debris. That's not all, though, as there will be certain locations along the road where you can pull over and loot for supplies. From this point, it turns into a third person shooting mini-game where you take down zombies while waiting for your partner to find goodies. The reticle jumps around the place but automatically aims at the closest zombie - so it's a case of waiting for the reticle to move over their big stupid head and then pulling the trigger.
There's also upgrades up for grabs the longer you play but I haven't really played enough to talk much about those at this point in time.

It's for the most part quite fun, but as it is in beta there are still some straggling issues that I hope get fixed. For one, the debris that spawns on the road is sometimes too close together. I know this sounds like I'm complaining about it being too hard, but there were a few occasions where they were so close together that I would have never been able to dodge them in time even if I was good at games. Besides from that, though, the core mechanics are quite well established and I did enjoy giving Last Driverz a go. The graphics are fun, the soundtrack is pleasant and the added twist of the looting sections are a nice addition to the tried and true endless runner genre.
Check out the games website here.

Very cool to see Nostalgia Box there.
So all in all, there were some great games on display. It's great to see that Perth's local games industry is so healthy at the moment - nothing like this existed at all when I finished my Diploma of Game Development all the way back in 2012. Back then, indie development was gaining the momentum to be the fully fledged industry it is today, however, traditional AAA studio jobs were all but gone in Perth by that point (thanks, 2008).

Does this make me want to get back into games development again? Hell yeah, it does.
I did create a small, basic stealth game using the Construct 2 engine earlier this year after all, but the project remains unfinished thanks to current study obligations. I did get the core mechanics of the game working after all - all I need to do is finish the art assets and then design all the levels. The fun part, really.
After that, maybe I'll give the Unity Engine a crack again. What I saw at the festival seemed to be mostly developed using that, so it will be interesting to see how far it's come since I last used it.

1 comment:

  1. I'd also like to give VR a go. They had an exhibition of it a couple of weeks ago, but everyone wanted to try it, so.... very long queues as you can imagine. :( Hopefully I get to try it some time in the future. I'd really like to try walking around Google Maps/Earth. Seems cool.