March 28th, 2013 NYC Gaming Forum: NYC Gaming March Demo Night

On Thursday, March 28, 2013 OLC attended NYC Gaming Forum’s March Demo Night featuring Jesse Freeman’s Super Jetroid, Melissa Marie Fassetta’s Beat Blocks, Colin Fuller’s Warping War Pig, Brad O’Farrell’s Story War, Damon Branch and Anatole Branch’s Organic Panic and Michael Christatos’ Worm Run.

Melissa Marie Fassetta demoed Beat Blocks first. “Beat Blocks is a casual game,” Fassetta said. “It’s music focused and users can hear their own tracks by choosing any music from their music library—or they can just use our music instead. The game reacts to the selected music and the blocks pulsate to the beats. There is an incentive to get into the groove and mentality of the song. If you get three highlighted blocks in a row, a row of blocks are cleared,” she said. Fassetta mentioned that there are powerups that help users progress throughout the levels as well. “There is a leaderboard,” she said. “It’s categorized in Top 10 songs and high scores.” The time limit for the game is dependent on the duration of the music. Beat Blocks was programmed in Unity and used Objective C and C# to bridge the gap between the two languages. “The BPM is what makes the blocks pulsate,” Fassetta said. “We want this to be a skill-based game. You find the rhythm, find the connections. It’s mostly powered by skill.”

Colin Fuller showed off Warping War Pig, a side scroller with custom-made music. “It’s a classic helicopter game,” Fuller said. “You can move up and down, but the emergence of X or Y movement makes this game fun,” he said. Fuller mentioned that the in-game purchase prices were randomized. “I think this makes it more fulfilling for users who purchase an item that is normally 7000 coins and gets it for 5000 coins. It’s more fun that way,” he said. “Warping War Pig is like an endless runner. The characters you see in the UFO are all randomized and they are pixelated art that you can capture. The captured art is recorded onto a database, much like a Pokédex,” Fuller said.

Jesse Freeman demoed Super Jetroid, the finished version of Jetroid. “The idea behind the game was about exploration,” Freeman said. “It wasn’t about shooting.” Freeman developed the game based on his one game a month approach. “In fun more, you just fly out in space and nothing harms you. In serious mode, though, you get attacked,” Freeman said. “The point of the game is to focus on the player’s greed and they have to decide whether or not they want to get crystals or focus on health and oxygen.” There are aliens to avoid using a jetpack. The jetpack refuels as the user walks around on the ground. The game map is randomly generated using a random map generator that Freeman hacked to make work on HTML5. Super Jetroid monetizes by offering a full version purchase on its trial version.

Damon and Anatole Brance demoed Organic Panic, another side scroller game. It was however, the most polished game that was demoed at this particular event as Anatole Branch admitted that they worked five years on the game. “Organic Panic is an Xbox title. It’s been in five years of development. Everything in Organic Panic is transmutable. We fit in as much of physics engine as possible,” Branch said. “Meats and cheeses are the enemy and you control one of four fruits: Cherry, Kiwi, Carrot and Coconut. Each have their own unique special ability. Cherry is able to shoot dirt at enemies, Kiwi is able to shoot fire, Carrot has the unique ability to climb and shoot water, and Coconut has telekinetic powers and can fly.” The environment is affected by situations that arise as the user manipulates his or her surroundings. Metal conducts electricity, molten rocks burn, water fills up space and so on. The maps can be edited using an in-game map editor and levels can be built in a few minutes.

Brad O’Farrell demoed Story War, a card game that resembled Cards Against Humanity and Apples to Apples. “Story War is a card game where you tell stories about your card,” O’Farrell said. He showed the colors of the cards: Red for warrior cards, Blue for item cards and Green for the battlefield. “Players try to convince the judge to decided and players can challenge the statements made by the player trying to convince the judge that his or her card should win the bout. Users can reference pop culture to try to appeal to the judge,” he said. Story War is a card game designed for three to eight players and the players are split up into teams and control archetype characters like Imps or Puss in Boots or Dragons and players use their knowledge of pop culture, humor, creativity and wit to persuade the judge’s opinions. “Narrative is the only way to win,” O’Farrell said. “Everything you say is automatically true once you said it in Story War. The players are the ones interpreting the cards. In the final battle, you get to reference your previous statements instead of referencing pop culture, so that’s pretty cool,” he said. Story War is currently being developed by Cantrip Games and have raised over $300,000 on their Kickstarter fund.

Michael Christatos demoed Worm Run. Christatos had demoed an unfinished Worm Run a few months prior and was positively received. “Worm Run has been out for a month,” Christatos said. “It’s an endless runner, so players need to go as fast as they can without getting consumed by the worm. Worm Run is game center compatible, so you can compare your scores with friends and challenge them,” he said. In Worm Run, the player runs away from the worm and tries to collect as many coins as they can without slowing down. The coins are used to earn new gear and perhaps save themselves from getting digested by the worm—75 coins gets the player a free revival. The levels are randomly generated and Worm Run is monetized though in-game purchases. Christatos hired a PR firm to get Worm Run into the devices of gamers. “Without the PR firm, Worm Run would not have made it on to any lists,” Christatos said.