New Blood member and Dusk creator David Szymanski has announced his next project, Chop Goblins (opens in new tab), a "bite-sized" FPS where you squash goblins throughout time and space. The shooter's set to release on January 2, with a projected runtime of about 30 minutes.
I'm really taken with the game's time travel schtick. After accidentally unleashing the little buggers in a botched museum heist, you do battle with them in levels pulled from throughout history, including ancient Greece and 19th century Transylvania. It reminds me of the time travel main campaign from Daikatana, or else the bracingly disjointed level variety of Serious Sam or Painkiller.
There's no trailer at the moment, only screenshots, but your arsenal seems to include a flintlock pistol, old timey machine gun, and some manner of man-portable ballista. Chop Goblins also promises a certain amount of replayability through leaderboards, secrets, and achievements.
Szymanski says he'd initially planned for a surprise launch (opens in new tab) on January 2 as a bit of a New Years' treat, but became leery of potential "discoverability changes" on Twitter. Szymanski and many other independent developers use the platform to show off their work and reach players, and the social media site is facing uncertain shifts in monetization and staff (opens in new tab) following its purchase by a guy you may or may not have heard of.
Szymanski's main claim to fame, Dusk (opens in new tab), is one of the first hits of the recent indie boomer shooter, uh, boom. Dusk pairs Quake-esque visuals with gothic style and humor straight out of Blood, and packs surprises and seriously killer levels throughout its three episodes. A lot of great FPSes that followed, like Hrot (opens in new tab), Cultic (opens in new tab), and Coven (opens in new tab), take a lot of inspiration from Dusk, and its soundtrack was a breakout work by Andrew Hulshult, who went on to score Doom Eternal's expansion pack.
Chop Goblins is the latest in a series of smaller projects from Szymanski since Dusk. My favorite so far has been Iron Lung (opens in new tab), "a short horror game where you pilot a tiny submarine through an ocean of blood on an alien moon." It's as unnerving and metal as it sounds, and well worth the $6 price of admission.
Szymanski is also supporting fellow New Blood dev Dillon Rogers in the development of Gloomwood (opens in new tab), a Thief-y, survival horror experience that we already love, even in early access.