Day of the Devs

Everything Shown At Day of the Devs Summer Game Fest 2024

Ahead of the Summer Game Fest, I was invited to join a special briefing for this year’s Day of the Devs. Board members, including Amanda White, Greg Rice, and Tim Schafer, joined us to discuss the show.

Day of the Devs began in 2012 as a collaboration between Double Fine and iam8bit to showcase indie games. It is a carefully curated collection of indie games filled with diversity worldwide through several in-person and virtual events filled with musical performances.

Day of the Devs was and always has been free with no costs to developers and attendees. Now it is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

Developers this year include Max Inferno, Capybara Games, The Game Bakers, Spry Fox, Cozy Game Pals, Nano Park, and DigixArt. It is the world’s most popular, most-watched indie show, with millions of viewers.

Jakob Schmid from Cocoon will close the show with a performance this year.

Simpler Times

Developer: Stoneskip, Publisher: iam8bit Presents

Simpler Times receives a surprise drop! Available now on Steam from iam8bit and Stoneskip comes a lo-fi experience where you play as Taina as she prepares to leave her childhood home. As Taina begins the next chapter of her life, she relives the memories she made in her home and how they helped her grow into a creative, expressive person.

Simpler Times has no score, battle system, or stress, which is always a welcome reprieve from the chaotic nature of video games. Simpler Times has beautiful music that brings back Taina’s childhood memories. The music, created by George Pandrea, is relaxing, and Taina’s voice actor, Maeve Kroeger, adds a special touch with her poetic words.

Battle Vision Network

Developer and Publisher: Capybara Games

Eileen Hollinger and Dan Vader from Capybara Games (shoutout to hometown talent!) introduced the studio’s newest game at Day of the Devs.

The follow-up to the incredible Grindstone will have you wishing it was out. Battle Vision Network fuses colour-matching gameplay with deep, turn-based tactics to challenge players online. It is a one-on-one online battle, serving as a spiritual successor to Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes.

Battle Vision Network reimages gameplay to the centre and focuses on multiplayer.

You’ll take turns launching attacks by creating colour-matched formations with your unit’s vertical matches, creating attackers’ and horizontal matches, and creating Defenders’ rapid-fire matches that last a few minutes. The developers say it isn’t just about dominating the matches; teams spend a season buying the title of champion, and the player community ultimately decides which team takes the crown.
Choose between multiple teams bursting with personality and characters, each with its own play style and home arena, when a match with the ragtag team that wins shapes the stats outcome and narrative events of the season for everyone. The gameplay is simple enough to jump into, but as you rise in the ranks, you’ll unlock new units, each with game-changing abilities and discover endless new tactics and strategies.
Charismatic captains are in front of each team, and the captain runs the playfield with prominent personalities and outsized power in the form of tide-turning special abilities. When building the wild world of Battle Vision Network, Capybara was influenced by its own game, Clash of Heroes. Capybara says the theatricality and spectacle of Eurovision inspired them. Capy’s art team has outdone themselves with a fantastic roster of hand-drawn and hand-animated characters and fashion-forward collectible outfits.
Battle Vision Network is a live season-based game with new twists, new characters, fresh rankings, and narrative surprises emerging every season. The studio is excited to feature a phenomenal soundtrack by frequent collaborators Jim Guthrie and Sam Webster. You can play Battle Vision Network on mobile, PC, and console.

Cairn

Developer and Publisher: The Game Bakers

The Game Bakers are back with a new title after Furi and Haven. The next game, Cairn, is the final part of the Freedom Trilogy.
You play as an alpinist climbing a deadly mountain. You’re putting your life at risk to free yourself from your chains. It is described as a survival climber with realistic controls. You can climb almost anywhere as long as you have stamina and balance. The idea is to push your character beyond their limits, and you can pick any path upward with multiple paths available.
To make you, you need to overcome the opponents in front of you, and thankfully, there are natural checkpoints. However, they are limited, so you must use them sparingly.

Petal Runner

Developer: Nano Park, Publisher: iam8bit Presents

iam8bit and Nano Park (another local studio!) introduced Petel Runner. Petal Runner is a retro-flavoured Slice of Life RPG where you play as a motorcycle courier who delivers pets to people in Sapphire Valley.

In Sapphire Valley, the company Hanah Pets has developed new devices called leap cells to power their latest generation of digital pets by using an unexpected fuel source flowers leap cells are delivered and installed by specialized ciers known as Petal Runners.

As a pedal Runner, this installation involves planting and calibrating the cell by performing a sequence of quick and varied mini-games. Once that calibration is complete, the new Hanah hat will begin to form.
You play as Cali, a recruit in the Petal Runner program, so being new in town. With a bit of a shy personality, Cali encounters a few challenges, from dealing with customers or talking to people to their rivalry with a fellow recruit.
Fortunately, Callie is joined by their Pet Companion, Kira, based on an in-game obsolete model with outdated, straightforward tech. He is outgoing and indispensable to Cali.

Karma: The Dark World

Developer: Pollard Studio, Publisher: Wired Productions, Gamera Games (Asia)

Based in Shanghai, China, Pollard Studio is working on Karma: The Dark World. The team strives to deliver an intriguing, narrative-driven game.

It is a first-person psychological horror game where you play as Daniel, a Roam agent from the Leviathan Thought Bureau. Daniel dives into people’s minds to uncover the truth behind events. There are two worlds, one a dystopia, the other created by your brain and filled with horrors.

One day, you uncover a twist in a case, inevitably leading to your heart melting.

A demo is planned in the future.

UFO 50

Developer and Publisher: Mossmouth

From the team that brought us Spelunky and Spelunky 2, Mossmouth is working on UFO 50. Derek and John from Mossmouth revealed UFO 50 includes 50 brand new games. These are not minigames akin to arcade games more than anything, while others are expansive with large worlds.

A story connects all these games, and in-game, a company called UFOSoft created all these games from the early 80s to the ’90s. You’ll explore the timeline, which features an assortment of sequels or recurring characters to find.

Mossmouth developed a strict 32-bit colour palette and audio restrictions to bring you into the world of UFO 50 regardless of which game you’re playing. The team used modern game design and genres to make each in-game experience unique, and each game is unlocked from the start. Not every game will be a fan favourite, so you must play them to see which one you enjoy.

Half of the games in UFO 50 have co-op or multiplayer so that you can play with others.

A release is in the cards for Fall 2024, as it launches on September 18, 2024.

Cozy Grove: Camp Spirit

Developer and Publisher: Spry Fox

Spry Fox is back with its follow-up to Cozy Grove. David Edery and Jamie Antonisse joined Day of the Devs to introduce Cozy Grove: Camp Spirit.

It is the first game the studio is launching under Netflix Games. Cozy Grove: Camp Spirit takes place on a haunted island where you’ll assist an assortment of troubled but insanely cute ghostly Bears. Each bear has a unique personality and backstory that unfolds through your interactions with them. It’s a spooky but heartwarming life-sim game in which your small daily acts of kindness advance the plot.

The idea is to play at your own pace and have a cozy experience without stress. You can pre-register on your mobile device now.

Koira

Developer: Studio Tolima, Publisher: DON’T NOD

Ben from Studio Tolima introduced Koira at Day of the Devs. It is described as a “narrative game where you wake up in a snowy forest and encounter a tiny puppy who got trapped.” With your new pal, you’ll set out to return Koira to its house. As you explore the musical forest, you’ll discover that different musical instruments voice all the animals and characters. Using their voices, you can interact with various ancient statues and speak to other animals to gain their trust.

Progress is tied to manipulating items and using companion skills to solve puzzles. You can even play fetch with your dog and hide and seek to keep them happy.

The studio reveals no text or dialogue; the story is told through animation and the original soundtrack.

A demo is available on the Koira Steam page.

Arranger

Developer and Publisher: Furniture & Mattress

From studio Furniture and Mattress comes Arranger. Nico Recabarren, with help from Tomi Batista, David Hellmman (from Braid) and Nick Suttner (from Carto), is working on Arranger.

Described as a role-puzzling adventure, you play as Gemma. She wants to leave her hometown and has always been seen as a misfit. As she moves, objects on the same row or column move with her, and if she gets to the edge of the gameplay grid, she loops around to the other side.

This core set of mechanics is used in various ways throughout the adventure, and you’ll continually be moving about to see how things unfold. The world is on a sprawling, interactive grid of puzzles and mysteries.

Gemma is on a journey of self-discovery while she battles the Static, a force making things difficult for everyone.

Arranger launches on July 25.

Fear the Spotlight

Developer: Cozy Game Pals, Publisher: Blumhouse Games

Cozy Game Pals and Blumhouse Games are working on Fear the Spotlight, a new retro-infused horror game. Fear the Spotlight is a creepy love letter to classic 90s horror experiences focusing on rich storytelling, puzzle solving, and a tense atmosphere. This is a perfect narrative horror game for those new to the genre.

Screenbound

Developer and Publisher: Crescent Moon Games, Those Dang Games

Crescent Moon Games and Those Dang Games are working on Screenbound.

Screenbound is a platformer where you move in first-person view simultaneously while playing in 2D on the screen of your Qboy. Filled with environmental puzzles, you’ll be challenged to test the limits of dimensional space. Moving and jumping are mirrored; however, other movements may have the opposite effect.

The 2D screen showcases what the 3D world is projecting; both are equally important. Battles occur in the 2D space, while puzzles happen in the 3D space, so you must pay attention.

Screenbound also has a level editor in a traditional 2D style, but the 3D level is autogenerated.

Zoochosis

Developer and Publisher: Clapperheads

From Clapperheads comes Zoochosis, where you play as a new zookeeper working on the night shift. As it turns out, you’re dealing with infected animals slowly becoming mutants thanks to a parasite. Your job is to save the animals and uncover the mystery of what is happening.

Animals began to mutate, like a giraffe that grows many new legs or a head like an Anaconda with its jaw completely unhinged. As the zookeeper, you’ll work on saving the animals, but many of them have their design and mutations.

Zoochosis launches this summer.

Tom the Postgirl

Developer and Publisher: Oopsie Daisies Studio

Oopsie Daisies Studios is working on Tom the Postgirl, a narrative-based game with a “twisted sense of humour.”

Playing as Tom as she completes her deliveries, things go wrong one day. Tom is a stalker and occasionally heads into people’s homes when she can. You’ll follow her along as she visits the locals while hiding to keep away from them.

The art style is all hand-drawn and in 2D with frame-by-frame animation. There is also multilinear storytelling to showcase impactful decisions with consequences.

Psychroma

Developer and Publisher: Rocket Adrift

From Rocket Adrift comes Psychroma, a narrative-driven side-scroller where you play as a digital medium.

Your job is to investigate a cybernetic house as you experience nonlinear time. As you do this, you’ll regain lost memories of what made you enter the home and how to break out of the loop.

Delve into the story of Haze, a non-binary, mixed-race, cybernetic medium grappling with Complex PTSD and amnesia. Through the game, players will navigate the haunting recollections of Haze’s past, including memories of abduction, involuntary confinement, inhumane experimentation, and psychological manipulation.

Building Relationships

Developer: Tan Ant Games, Tanat Boozayaangool, Publisher: Tan Ant Games

From Tan Ant Games, Tanat Boozayaangool comes Building Relationships, a game where you play as a house.

You arrive on an island as a new resident where you’ll try to meet the love of your life. Many biomes exist to explore, including a forest, snowy mountain, and flowery fields.

Also, you’ll discover items around the island that will make you jump and dash, and you’ll need them if you want to meet the locals who want to meet you.

You can even fish, but the fish look like cars (which makes sense).

The developer describes Building Relationships as A Short Hike but stupid.

You can wishlist now on Steam.

A Little to the Left: Seeing Stars

Developer: Max Inferno, Publisher: Secret Mode

Secret Mode and Max Inferno return with A Little to the Left: Seeing Stars.

The expansion includes 33 new levels with five additional bonus levels to unlock, and each level has around five different ways to solve them. There are 100 stars to discover with new interactive items that fold, flap, stick, stack, smash, and bounce.

A Little to the Left: Seeing Stars is available June 25, 2024.

Hello Again

Developer and Publisher: Soup Island

Soup Island’s Dwight Davis joined Day of the Devs to discuss Hello Again, the world’s coziest time loop game. Imagine a game with The Outer Wilds‘s mechanics, Animal Crossing‘s vibes, and the small-town feel of Groundhog Day.

You play as a postal worker tasked with delivering a package to a remote island.  It is a puzzle adventure game set on Mychaea, an island with ancient ruins. There are tons of temples, a motel, mine shafts, and more that you’ll explore.

However, it would help if you kept a close eye on the clock as the ancient ruins shift throughout the day. You can access the ruins while the doors are open, explore tunnels before they collapse, and use the Perpetuum, a strange material that reacts to the loop’s effect.

The three pillars of Hello Again are Exploration, Conversation, and Puzzle Solving, and there are many weird locations to visit and fill your journal with.

Hello Again launches in 2025

While Waiting

Developer and Publisher: Soup Island

Optillusion was on hand to showcase While Waiting at Day of the Devs.

You play as Adam as he works through the barriers introduced as part of everyday life. You’ll have to have a lot of patience as you wait for the bus, wait for heavy traffic, wait to get on the carousel, and more situations.

Sometimes, waiting may not be the best solution so that you can engage in tomfoolery. You can find your way to kill time while you wait. Oh, and there will be challenges while you wait, too.

After Love EP

Developer: Pikselnesia, Publisher: Fellow Traveller

Fellow Traveller and Pikselnesia, the studio behind Coffee Talk and What Comes After, returns with After Love EP.

It is described as a slice-of-life adventure set in Jakarta and deals with loss, love, and finding a way forward. You play as Rama, a young musician struggling to move on after the death of his girlfriend, Cinta.

After Love EP blends a visual novel, narrative adventure, and rhythm game, with the help of his friends and bandmates, Rama needs to refocus on his music, mental health, and friendships — things he has ignored since the death of his girlfriend.

The kicker is, though, Rama continues to hear Cinta’s voice in his head, and he’s unsure if it’s a spirit or something else.

Over a month, Rama must correct his path, and his choices within those days determine his future. You’ll explore the city, choose relationships to fix, and begin new ones.

Wishlist After Love EP on Steam.

Phoenix Springs

Developer and Publisher: Calligram Studio

Calligram Studio was at Day of the Devs with Phoenix Springs, a modern point-and-click set in a neo-noir world.

As Iris Dormer reconnects with her estranged brother, she finds herself in Phoenix Springs, a desert oasis. Iris must explore the ancient ruins within and speak to the people to better understand the world around her and how Phoenix Springs connects to the myths and herself.

According to the developers, Phoenix Springs has been developing for seven years, with a team working on the project. The biggest hurdle was correcting the art style, a mix of 3D and traditional 2D hand-drawn illustrations.

Phoenix Springs launches on Steam on September 16, 2024.

Tides of Tomorrow

Developer and Publisher: DigixArt

From the team behind Road 96 comes Tides of Tomorrow. Digixart has been working on Tides of Tomorrow for the last three years, and the team is finally ready to show their new project.

Set on Elynd, a world dealing with the Great Flood and plastification killing everything. The ocean planet has numerous challenges, and finding a cure is one of them.