On Tuesday, May 28, 2013, OLC attended NY Gaming Demo Night at Microsoft. Six presenters were lined up to demo, with Matt Newberg showcasing Playdope, Carla Fisher with Williamspurrrg, Kurt Bieg with Tomb Breaker, Brian Fountain with Run Sheldon, Dan Menard with Big Action Mega Fight and Jong Woo Kim with Afterland.
Jong Woo Kim demoed first, showcasing Afterland, a hand-painted set of cards based on a traveling circus revolving around a macabre and unique art style. The style is juxtaposed with simple gameplay and there are three options to play. One of them is called Performing, which consists of users competing to win the hearts of the audience. To play, there are four cards on one side, which are the performers. Blue numbers mean skill and purple numbers mean trick points. “Each player has a pool of magic totaling up to 13 points. We’re using Unity 3D and NGUI to render cards,” Kim said. “The trick to winning is committing your magic at the right time.” Afterland uses a zig-zag turn system and it will be launching in summer. It will be a free-to-play game and Kim plans to monetize through booster packs and energy-based questing systems.
Dan Menard presented Big Action Mega Fight, a brawler-type game. “It’s currently in four months of development, but we’re going to launch it sometime this summer,” Menard said. The gameplay borrows from Streets of Rage and Final Fight, but the game is adapted to mobile; that is, the controls are intuitive for mobile devices. Menard took the controller out and replaced it with simple taps and swipes of the finger to control Brick Strongarm, the protagonist of the game. After gameplay, the user has the option to upgrade Brick and give him items to use throughout the game. “This game is a throwback to the 90s,” Menard said. “Big Action Mega Fight is also free-to-play and we’re going to monetize through in-app purchases and collectibles.”
No gaming demo would be complete without the mention of cats and hipsters. Carla Fisher presented Williamspurrrg, a dialogical game designed for children. “Dialogic game improves child learning,” Fisher reasoned. To incorporate dialogue into gaming, Fisher hopes that children will learn critical reasoning and hopefully enhance their creativity. Williamspurrrrg is a multi-touch game that allows up to seven simultaneous touches. It is currently only for the iPad. It uses custom music and creative commons licensed pictires.
Kurt Bieg showed Tomb Breaker, a quick logic puzzle game for the iPhone. “I wanted to make a game that would be short to play, but makes you feel smart for playing it,” Bieg said. Bieg demonstrated the unlimited time mode on Tomb Breaker. “This is made to be Blitz Mode,” he said. Users can jump tiles to connect colors to make bigger combinations and making the longest chain possible is the best way to play to get the maximum amount of points. Tomb Breaker, at least according to Bieg, is “more of a spatial game.”
Matt Newberg demoed Playdope, a “brand new mobile/social iOS game to meet new people outside of where you live.” Playdope has users play games to bring people together. “It transposes your online identity on top of a real world social graph to introduce you to people with similar interests. Tis game helps break the ice and shows you who is relevant within 400 meters,” Newberg said. Users can see how many times they have passed over a certain individual and see how many mutual friends they might have with the person in question. “Games are based off of Sporcle. Trivia games have a lot of categories and we’re targeting young 20-somethings.” To play, users keep typing until they get an answer. Playdope keeps content fresh by refreshing categories every week.
Brian Fountain presented Run Sheldon, a “Tortoise vs. Hare 2.0.” Run Sheldon is an endless runner on the same level as Jetpack Joyride and Temple Run mixed into a cute and well-packaged game. Fountain explained that Run Sheldon monetizes through the marketplace and that the game is currently the No. 1 in family games over the past month, with over two million downloads so far. He also revealed that the long-term strategy is having more users and that Run Sheldon was an experiment to see what the team’s abilities were, considering it was their first game developed together.