An email from David Pittman after my article on Eldritch the other day alerts me to Minor Key's Super Win the Game, sequel to their 2012 freeware title You Have to Win the Game. If you can't recall it, or you've never heard of it, YHTWTG is a platformer with a curvy, scanliney visual filter reminiscent of the chunky monitors of yore. It looks absolutely lovely, as you can see here. Sequel Super Win the Game retreats even further from HD, by sporting an (optional) CRT TV effect. It's a warm, nostalgic-looking game, with a trusting, open-ended structure that reminds me of the NES Legend of Zelda titles. I'm pretty damned excited about it.
H.P. Lovecraft isn't quite alive enough to enjoy his birthday anymore, so Eldritch developers Minor Key Games have taken it upon themselves to bake him a cake, then toss it into their procedurally generated dungeon. By this I mean they've added some H.P. Lovecrafty stuff to their roguey, stealthy dungeon crawler Eldritch, and they've done so free of charge. The Asylum expansion is the biggest New Thing, but you can also expect trading cards, achievements, leaderboards and more should you decide to load up the game.
Minor Key Games, developers of Lovecraftian procedural stealth roguelike Eldritch, are making another game. In and of itself, that's not exactly news—I've found that game developers will often make more than one—but when that game is a "political thriller stealth" title featuring heavy use of the word 'neon', they have succeeded in grabbing my attention. Neon Struct—formerly known by its much cooler, much less marketable title Die Augen der Welt—ditches procedural generation for handmade levels, like what people used to make before they put their faith in the goddamned machines.
Indie Lovecraft-alike Eldritch landed big last fall, earning itself a positive review and some kudos after only a few months of development. Now its designer, David Pittman, formerly of 2K Marin and Bioshock 2 fame, has written up an extensive post-mortem on the dark, unknowable secrets inside the black heart of indie game creation. In addition to talking frankly about the game’s budget and income, Pittman also revealed the absolute power of a Steam Sale to spike a game’s numbers.
The first few seconds of this trailer for Mountains of Madness might be enough to convince you that Eldritch's upcoming free DLC will be a happy, Christmas-themed adventure. After all, penguins are too ridiculous to be scary, even in a first-person stealth roguelike. Of course, when the ice of the winter wonderland clears, we're instead left with darkness, evil and creeping dread. An apt metaphor for a family engorged on sprout-heavy Christmas dinners? Probably not.
As I approached the end of my first run through Eldritch I was more or less unstoppable. I'd bought stealth boots from the desert realm of Nyarlathotep, allowing me to sprint silently from cover to jam my dagger into the face of whatever adorable cosmic horror awaited me in the next chamber. I held a talisman that enabled my revolver to blow away the game's randomly-generated environments brick by brick. When my progress was blocked by a locked door I'd blast a hole in the wall instead, and where I couldn't find a safe route down to the next level of Lovecraftian dungeon, I'd make one.
Valve are driving around with their headlights set to max, shining them full in the face of yet more indie games. This latest batch of Steam Greenlight approvals includes everything from the Lovecraftian roguelike Eldritch, to the hyper-pretty, hyper-funded Hyper Light Drifter, and Skyscraper Simulator, which I really hope is a simulator about being a skyscraper. Hopefully not the one from Battlefield 4.
As we all know, the best way to run a popular PC gaming website is to go space game, roguelike, space game, roguelike in an endlessly alternating pattern. That would make it time for some roguelike news. Perhaps one that's first-person, has some action-RPG tendencies, and a Lovecraftian inspiration. I'm sure I've got something like that in my not so little black book. Aha, here it is: Eldritch.