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WIP Night #5 Roundup

We organised our 5th WIP Night recently, featuring incredible indie games being made in Sydney once more! As usual, we kicked off with a few short talks by the developers on some of their process, struggles and learnings. After that, we broke off into playtesting the games, with some snacks and non-alcoholic drinks for the rest of the night. If you missed out, here’s a recording of the talks the developers gave this time!

We had a good variety of games showcased on the night, here’s who they were!

A screenshot of a fight within Anticitizen: Red

Anticitizen: Red by Queebly Studios

Use bullet time, a variety of movement mechanics and an improvised arsenal to outwit and outgun biker gangs and corporate police in an American-occupied cyberpunk Australia. Meet a unique cast of Aussie battlers, delve into the lore of the new American empire, and stay for the larrikin charm.

A photo of Sam talking about Anticitizen:Red.

During WIP Night, Sam Lovell, the team of three’s programmer, talked about sweatiness, or the concept of making tutorials better to onboard players into games. In his talk, he spoke about how some game design decisions to lock hard mode, easy mode, arena mode and more helped reduce the initial cognitive load on players. These decisions in turn helped make Anticitizen: Red smoother to get into. As Sam says: “No one’s getting to your last level if they can’t be bothered getting past the first one.”

A screenshot of David Kilford's game, Blink.

Blink by David Kilford

Blink is a top-down single-player horror game where your eyes get tired over time, and you must close your eyes to refresh your vision. Navigating through a series of rooms and levels that change according to whether you have your eyes opened or closed, you must solve puzzles and evade enemies to make it through.

A photo of David talking about replays!

For his talk, David used a past game, Super Drop Land, as an example of replays for improved playtesting. He mentioned the very real issue of game developers having limited numbers of playtesters in person or “over-the-shoulder”, as well as the difficulty of remote playtesting, suggesting replays as a third option. With testing for Super Land Drop, David was able to make key design changes to the tutorial level for the game, with immediate results on player retention. Kudos to you, David!

A screenshot of CyberVoid's District Map.

CyberVoid by NanoMega Studio

CyberVoid is a 2D Sci-fi Adventure point-and-click style RPG with gameplay designed for a more considered exploration of a vast technological citadel consciousness buried deep underground. 

A photo of Josh talking about CyberVoid's narrative structures.

During the night, Josh Yeo spoke about CyberVoid being his narrative experiment. He spoke about the variety of narrative structures found in several other pieces of media such as film and board games, referencing how they had multiple endings or even beginnings. This inspired further exploration through CyberVoid, where there are multiple story conclusions based on how the player impacted the game’s timeline years ahead. To close things off, Josh spoke about how there aren’t story “endings” per se, only consequences!

To conclude, thank you everyone for always sharing interesting ideas and stories, as well as their incredible games. We truly appreciate everyone coming by our office to listen to the talks and play test them, and hope you had fun!

If you’re keen to get involved in future WIP Nights and share your games then, apply here.

We hope you enjoyed reading this! Have a question or want to chat more about game development? Reach out to us!

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