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PlayStation Announced the Release of Seven Indie Games!

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Per the PlayStation Blog, it was announced that they are releasing Seven Indie games that will be coming to  PS4, PS5, and PSVR – including a new character for TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge.

Polyarc details the enhancements coming in the follow-up to their hit debut, Moss: Book II:

  • Your adventure with Quill continues in Moss: Book II, the highly anticipated sequel to Moss, where we will soon be rewarded with more of everything we fell in love with in the original: fresh challenges, new game mechanics, extensive environments, epic enemy encounters, and more opportunities to bond with our favorite tiny mouse friend. Everyone has their favorite parts of the game, but the magic of Moss is rooted in the believable moments and true sense of immersion that shape our every experience and connection to the world.
  • As we gear up for the release of Moss: Book II later this spring, we wanted to give you a little insight into the careful thought and work that goes into creating our physical presence and fostering those special connections we make in the world of Moss.
  •  Heard early on that fans were blown away by the environments within Moss. They would often comment that not only were they beautifully crafted down to the minute details, but that the sense of scale was Honey, I Shrunk the Kids-like, bringing an unfamiliar sense of scale that immediately heightened their curiosity. Familiar plants, animals, and objects felt whimsical when viewed from a low vantage point.
  • You’ll quickly find that all of the rooms in Moss: Book II are connected, which not only improves spatial understanding of the world but allows us to inject tension with surprise scenarios when revisiting a known place, triggering emotional ups and downs. Now, when you reenter a room, you may experience it from a new angle via a camera cut, find it peppered with visual differences resulting in story progression, or be able to solve past mysteries with recently discovered tools. Whatever your motivations are for re-exploration in the game, you will now see how the world evolves along with the adventure. Quill’s personality, expressive movements, and interactions with us make her the real star of the game, so we made sure there were even more moments to deepen our bond with our pint-sized companion. This means more cinematics, interactions, reactions, and character-based storytelling to color the world and further strengthen our relationship with her.

  • With all of these pieces integrated into the game, the team didn’t want the transitions ruining your sense of immersion. Nothing takes you out of the moment more than choppy animations and transitions reminding you that you’re just playing a game. So, the team used a command script to build and integrate animations into the scenes. By chaining existing gameplay logic and animations together, the system creates seamless transitions between cinematics, vignettes, and player-controlled sequences, giving Quill more lifelike autonomy. Wait, is she real? That’s up to you to decide.

  • Now, what we do know is that you are real! And we want to ensure you feel real in Moss as well. To do this, we trick our minds into believing we are really in Moss through the environments and Quill responding to our presence. Controllers vibrate when possessing enemies, blocks glow as we get near them, and Quill looks at us and reacts to our gestures and touch. But to get that true sense of immersion, we focused on the subtleties that could take us out of the experience by designing a system called Boopables that gives our virtual bodies a physical presence that impacts the virtual world around us. Similar to real life, grass and ferns move when we brush our hands through them, candle flames flicker as we move past them, and water ripples when we touch it.

  • In Moss: Book II, we wanted enemies to have the same physical presence experienced by Quill and the player. Now, plants and foliage move and can be cut by enemy attacks. Projectiles launched from enemies also shake nearby vegetation on detonation and generate a whooshing Doppler effect as they zip past our hero in combat. We can’t share them all, but there are a lot of new objects and responses in this sequel that we believe will surprise and delight you through interactive discovery, enhancing the overall believability of the world. With this sneak peek into Moss: Book II, we hope you’ll appreciate the careful thought and work that goes into bringing you the connections and sense of physical presence we believe make the Moss world so special. With each passing day, we get closer to reuniting you with Quill and experiencing these new features. We can’t wait to hear what you think.

  • you will get the sense of scale once again with the addition of much larger rooms to explore. Not only are the rooms bigger, reminding you of Quill’s true size, but they allow us to create expansive multi-dimensional puzzles and platforming challenges you’ll have to work through with Quill within the context of a much larger single space. To navigate these larger-than-life rooms, we implemented seamless camera cuts using familiar transition fades with no load time. Now, you can reach new vantage points within the room, inspect previously unnoticeable details, discover secrets, and solve puzzles without the worry of jarring motion or discomfort.

  • Moss is rich with environments to explore and puzzles to solve. Knowing you wanted, even more, we doubled down in Moss: Book II. In fact, one of the things we heard from players is that they wanted the opportunity to revisit areas in the game for further exploration and for the ability to search for missed collectibles—so we did just that.

         The Secrets of Animal Well, coming to PS5:

It is dark. It is lonely. You don’t belong in this world. It’s not that it’s a hostile world… it’s just… not yours. As you uncover its secrets, the world grows on you. It takes on a feel of familiarity, yet you know that you’ve only probed the surface. The more you discover, the more you realize how much more there is to discover. Secrets lead to more secrets. You recall the feeling of zooming closer and closer in on a very high-resolution photo. As you hone your focus, the world betrays its secrets.

  • When describing Animal Well to new people, I find it best to start with the mood I’m trying to create. It has the sensibilities of the survival horror genre, but it’s not really a scary game. It has puzzles and platforms, but it’s not quite a puzzle platformer. The art style is simple-looking pixel art but will be employing lighting and visual effects that will push the PlayStation 5 hardware. Summarizing Animal Well succinctly is a challenge. There are no hardcore platforming challenges, intense fights, or jump scares, but lots of situational lateral thinking brain teasers set in a creepy yet not-uninviting world.

  • Mechanically, Animal Well is quite simple. To navigate the world, you move left and right, and you can jump. You can also use a handful of items you discover throughout the game, like a yoyo or a frisbee. Everything is built upon that foundation.

  • Throughout my life, I’ve found it very satisfying when I get to become intimately familiar with a space, and perfectly map it out in my brain. I spent so much time in my parents’ house growing up, that I had every closet, drawer, and shelf etched into my memory. However, after living there for years, I remember one day finding a new drawer kind of tucked away under our extended kitchen countertop. It was empty, but I was very excited. I can’t imagine how I would have felt if I found something more substantial, like a full hidden room.

  • Animal Well tries to capture that feeling x100. In it, you explore a surreal interconnected labyrinth that is absolutely loaded with secrets. It has a map that is not nearly as big as some games, but it aims to be much denser. Returning to a familiar area is exciting because there is a chance you will discover something new amongst the familiar. You might visit it with a new ability, or new understanding that helps you uncover something. By locking the camera until you leave the frame, the game encourages you to examine each screen as a whole and think about where something could be hidden. There is always the possibility of a surprise right beneath your nose.

  • Creating this sense of discovery is much harder than it was pre-internet, where developers kind of just got it by default. One strategy is to add obscure, difficult secrets that delay the time it takes for everything to be uncovered and extensively documented online. But at the same time, those parts would become inaccessible to most players going in blind. If you make parts of the game accessible, and easy to find, more people get to enjoy it, but the sense of mystery and discovery is diluted. It’s not a trivial design decision.

  • Animal Well is fighting that war on both fronts. I am consciously designing the game to have multiple layers. The first layer is the base game, with all the required areas needed to see the ending. This is going to be a very rewarding experience on its own, and I estimate it will take most players about 10-15 hours to complete the game without any hints. The second layer includes optional items and areas that a dedicated player will find to “100%” the game. I expect many people will be able to complete this layer with only the occasional search online for a couple of hints here and there. This is where most games stop. The third layer will include far more obscure puzzles, whose existence will be unknown to most. I suspect the internet will need to collaborate a bit to solve these – or they might not solve them! Then finally the fourth layer will be secrets that only I know. I’m throwing down the gauntlet and challenging the internet to discover everything.

Master Splinter is Coming to TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge

Long before the actual start of the project, the creative team at Tribute Games had already had this discussion. “If we did a new Turtles Beat’ em up game… what would be the ‘must haves’?” Unequivocally, the resounding reply was “We need to have Splinter as a playable character!”

  • In our youth, we all imagined Splinter was a capable combatant. However, as much on television in the original animated series as in the early licensed video games, rarely did we see the master show off his skills – and this scarcity quite likely charged Splinter’s mysticism. Tribute Games and Dotemu are thrilled to offer the possibility to take the Turtles’ sensei from a more passive character to a fully-fledged playable fighter!
  • It is in the very nature of Tribute Games to capture the essence of the great things of the past and honor them with the most respect possible. Placing Splinter in TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge to make it a unique experience that lived up to our expectations was not something to be taken lightly.

Effective and Powerful

  • As the Turtles’ elder, Master Splinter exudes an aura of wisdom. He needed to be a little calmer and collected in his movements – but not slow. The design team created an extensive moveset with a multitude of attacks, jumps, slides, and special attacks drawing a connection with fond memories of the great rat.
  • Master Splinter’s cane is an integral part of some of his basic and more advanced attacks. Once an enemy is struck by the cane attack a small window of opportunity opens up – a ground bounce that permits the player to create some massive combos.
  • Master Splinter also distinguishes himself from the Turtles and April as playable characters through his “flying special attack” – some sort of astral projection strike. The ranged magical charge is a truly unique feature that only a true master can possess. Oh! He’s also the only one that bites!
  • The design team had few animated references of Splinter fighting to work with when conceptualizing the character. However, one instance that really struck the imagination of the team was in the opening credits of the original 1987 animated series in which for a few frames we see Splinter shattering a bunch of wooden boxes with all fours. This needs to be Master Splinter’s Special Attack, explained Game Director Jonathan Lavigne. First, we see here is an early concept of the special attack by Matthieu Godet (2D animator and pixel artist at Tribute Games). The sketch’s simplicity highlights the four frames of impact from his special attack.

Breaking Down Splinter’s Special Attack

  • The design team had few animated references of Splinter fighting to work with when conceptualizing the character. However, one instance that really struck the imagination of the team was in the opening credits of the original 1987 animated series in which for a few frames we see Splinter shattering a bunch of wooden boxes with all fours. This needs to be Master Splinter’s Special Attack, explained Game Director Jonathan Lavigne.
  • First, we see here is an early concept of the special attack by Matthieu Godet (2D animator and pixel artist at Tribute Games). The sketch’s simplicity highlights the four frames of impact from his special attack.
  • Based on the original Paul Robertson character design and reworked by Tribute art director Adam J. Marin, Tribute Games artists and animators proceeded to work their magic. First create the outline, then the colors, and finally, add some shadows.
  • see a near-final animation of Splinters’ Special Attack as we would see it in-game. The added shadows, smoke, and other visual special effects really give us an idea of what the special move will feel like.

  • Splinter is now the sixth playable character to choose from, joining Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello, and April O’Neil announced last summer. Older and new fans, kids, and parents who grew up with the original series will appreciate the efforts and the care Tribute Games put in to encapsulate the key elements of what makes Master Splinter awesome in our collective imagination. Players around the world have fought the forces of the Foot Clan before! But now, as Shredder takes his ultimate revenge, Turtles aficionados will finally be able to take the fight to him as Master Splinter.TMNT: Shredders’ Revenge is set to be released later this year on PlayStation 4.

Post Void blasts to PS5 and PS4:

  • The rules are simple: with a pistol in one hand and an idol containing your health in the other, you have just one objective: Be fast. You must move constantly and keep your idol filled by racking up your kill count. If you slow down for even a minute, it’s game over – no lives, no retries. Every run is different, thanks to procedurally generated levels, so to reach the oasis at the end of each level and retrieve a well-earned random upgrade, you’re truly going to have to… well, get good.

  • There are no places to hide or to stop and catch your breath, and one slip up can end your run. Runs are short, so death doesn’t sting for long – and you will die, again, and again, and again. Just jump straight back in and hone your skills. Post Void is an addictive pick-up-and-play game, whether you have time for one quick run or end up pouring hours in as you get tantalizingly closer to the end. It’s intentionally intense, violent, and chaotic, both in its gameplay and its visual style. Creators Josef and Christopher poured their bizarre sense of style and passion into every second.

Exploring the upgraded PvP of Salt and Sacrifice, launching May 10

The Inquisition is at the heart of Salt and Sacrifice (coming to PS5 and PS4 on May 10). An ancient and mysterious order, it has long served the kingdom by relentlessly pursuing and purging all manifestations of magic: the reality-warping force that consumes those foolish enough to study it, transforming them into living embodiments of unquenchable chaos. Inquisitors are drawn from condemned—given the choice to serve the Inquisition as recompense for their crimes. For countless generations, the kingdom’s condemned have sacrificed themselves in the pursuit of Mages.

  • Player-versus-player combat in Salt and Sacrifice is far more dynamic than it was in Salt and Sanctuary. We’ve added sprinting with unique sprint attacks, many of which send foes flying (and gravity is still, as they say, the final boss). But getting blasted into oblivion isn’t the end: a lucky Inquisitor can use their grappling hook to cancel out of a fall, provided they plummet past the right sort of ledge. There are also dozens of Runic Arts to explore–powerful situational abilities employed by the Inquisition–from lightning shockwaves and pursuing insect swarms to elemental buffs and storms of spectral blades. Quick-swap ranged attacks and alchemical bombs are great for punishing foes, and while readied ammunition is sparse, if your foe foolishly relents, you can always fieldcraft some more.

  • If you try out Salt and Sacrifice PvP (and we really hope you do) when it hits PS5 and PS4 on May 10, you should find ample opportunities to aid, grieve, spar with, and vanquish your fellow Inquisitors in horrible and wonderful ways. Whether with a well-placed arrow to a mid-grapple Inquisitor, a mallet slams into a poison mire or the finisher following a perfectly-timed parry, victory in Salt and Sacrifice is something to be savored.

Samurai Gunn 2 is coming to PS5

 

  • Samurai Gunn 2 is a one-hit-kill platform fighter. It has that easy pick-up-and-play feel that makes it great for parties but contains a wide possibility space of movement and technique for hardcore enthusiasts of the genre. Today I want to share with you my personal picks for the coolest aspects of our game.
  • Like any good fighting game, first up has to be the characters. We’ve got forest spirits and demon hunters, vengeful ghosts and a wandering bodyguard, a revolutionary princess, and an autonomous suit of gunpowder armor, and more.

Friends Characters

My second pick for “coolest thing in our game” is… Friends characters.

  • First up is Ana from Spelunky 2. Ana can climb ropes, throw bombs, and even has her signature back whip. The Spelunky 2 versus stage is even procedurally generated with destructible terrain.

  • Next, we have Minit. Are they a duck? A dolphin? All I know is that their sword is huge, it returns to them like a boomerang, and it comes with a free curse that kills them in 60 seconds. Whew!
  • Among Us in your game, would you choose the Crewmate or the Impostor? Too hard for us to decide, so we just chose both. The Crewmate trades the samurai sword for an ID card swipe and the pistol for a handy garbage pail. You can install vents and complete tasks. Complete enough tasks and you can mutate into the Impostor with their terrifying zero-cool-down knife slashes and a deadly tongue stab that travels across the entire screen.

Smooth Movement

  • Your sword gives you a little bit of momentum in the direction you slash. If you combine this with your jump, you can fling your character all over the screen. This also works off walls and even off the ceiling in certain situations. Mastering this tech opens up a whole new level of fun, especially when you use it to beat a friend.
  • Characters’ unique abilities are also often movement-based. Ghost has an unpredictable echo float, Hayao runs up walls, and Helmsley can grind to generate bullets. We are always thinking about movement when creating characters and levels. It’s really the heart of the fun in SG2.

Expanded Story

And last but definitely not least, my final pick for “coolest aspect of our game” is that it includes Trigger Soul, a full 200+ page Samurai Gunn comic by Valentin Seiche! Valentin is one of our favorite comic creators, and years before we started on the sequel he was working on a Samurai Gunn graphic novel. You can read the entire work inside SG2.

Hello Neighbor 2 announced for PS4 and PS5

Hello Neighbor 2 will be coming to PS4 and PS5! But not only that, we’re doubly excited to announce that the Hello Neighbor 2 beta is coming on April 7, 2022, and you can get exclusive beta access with your pre-order.

  • At the heart of Hello Neighbor lies a carefully constructed layer-cake of social horror and family-friendly fare. There is a clear dichotomy between these two genres, but the narrative walks the line by burying its secrets along with its trauma…sometimes quite literally.

  • We approach horror in a more delicate way, doing away with the straight-in-your-face classic horror aspects of the grown-up world. We’re working with more subtle things; creepy neighbors that you cannot trust, mysterious things that go bump in the night, a rural town with a secret, and the feeling of unease when you may be just about to uncover a skeleton in somebody’s closet.

  • In Hello Neighbor 1, your goal was pretty straightforward; break into your creepy Neighbor’s basement to uncover what he was hiding, but what happened after that? In Hello Neighbor 2 you’ll be playing Quentin, a reporter investigating a series of missing person cases in town. Including that of Nicky Roth, the original protagonist of Hello Neighbor. Be sure to grab your comfiest shoes, your journey will take you far beyond the basement and will have you trekking all over the new open world of Raven Brooks to get the scoop.

  • With an expanded world comes an expanded roster of all-new characters to meet, surveil, and escape from. What secrets could The Baker be hiding in those croissants? Is there something shady about the Taxidermist? And what is The Mayor up to that would warrant getting an attack dog to keep safe. Wait…there are dogs in Hello Neighbor now?!
  • Create your own adventure as you interact with the townsfolk of Raven Brooks, each with their own motivations and secrets to hide…and they may not appreciate you poking around in their business. Be careful though, as each new Neighbor is now designed with unique AI and behaviors, you’ll need to stretch your skills to the limits and find a way to outsmart each of them. Yes…even the four-legged ones.
  • Be prepared to adapt and improvise. It’s going to take more than just your journalistic instincts to crack this case. You’ll need to sneak, snoop, spy, and stalk your way across every corner of the town in order to shed some light on the mystery of just what is going on in Raven Brooks. Can you uncover the dark secrets of the town, its residents, and of The Neighbor himself? Or will you be the one going missing next?

For more PlayStation game release news, follow Gamactica Portals!

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