NAG Online > Games > Still four local games awaiting Greenlight

Still four local games awaiting Greenlight

Arajrubah

By now you should have completed your yearly process of making several New Year’s resolutions and completely failing to stay true to them within the first week. So how about you make a goal this year you’ll actually keep?Something like: support more local games.

There are still four polished, fun and interesting locally made games waiting to get the Steam Greenlight. Hit the jump to see the games and give them your full support.

zX: Hyperblast

zX: Hyperblast

Everything about zX: Hyperblast is retro: the graphics, the gameplay, the controls and the insane difficulty. Except, somehow it manages to make that collection of old nostalgic ideas feel fresh, and once you’ve begun to master the controls of this shmup, it turns into something quite enjoyable. NAG Online’s own Miklós has been on record saying, “the game is already very polished and very, very addictive. It’s difficult, but once it clicks the whole offering becomes very compelling.” Check out the demo below, and then head straight to the Greenlight page!

Demo link

Greenlight page

Toxic Bunny HD

Toxic Bunny HD

Whoa! Isn’t that name a blast from the past? The game was originally released in 1996 by the Celestial Games team, but has since enjoyed a full HD re-release. If you remember the original fondly then you should have no further reason to click away to the Greenlight page. If you have no idea what Toxic Bunny is then… well… it’s a game about a caffeine fueled rabbit with a minigun…

You don’t get game pitches like that anymore. Get clicking, folks.

Greenlight page

Khumba: The Game

Khumba THe game

Look, there’s no way to get around this: this is a game produced as a tie-in to the Cape Town-based animation studio Triggerfish‘s most recent feature, Khumba – another local production you should support! This game is a tie-in, yes, but certainly isn’t a cheap one. The production values are pretty astounding for a small team. But that’s not really surprising when you identify that developer SIJO Studios is made up of former 3D animation veterans and is led by a person who has worked on big budget animated films. So if you have a little one (the game is aimed at the same age group as the film) or are captivated by the beautiful graphics, give this one a click.

Full disclosure: I worked as an intern at SIJO Studios last year. My coffee making skills were closely tied to the production of this game. Just to be clear – I make world-renowned coffee. Click away:

Greenlight page

The Maker’s Eden

MediaHandler

Hey… this looks familiar. Didn’t I write about this game a while back? Quite right dear reader, and this beautiful point-and-click adventure hasn’t got any uglier. In that very piece, and rather uncharacteristically complimentary, I noted that “the story starts off very promisingly in the demo, with a very mysterious and alluring introduction that grabs you from the get-go.” 

Don’t be the non-vote that stops me from finding out what happens after the demo – navigate over to the Greenlight page and give it a click! Better yet, check out the demo and get “cliff-hangered” yourself!

Demo link

Greenlight page

Local is lekker, get clicking

Bottom line folks: even if you think every game on this list is absolutely horrid, you should go vote for them. Denying these games the chance to be on Steam is close to a death penalty. Don’t do it! Support local games, because local games are pretty great and could be even better with your support.

PS:  The header image of this article is concept art belonging to an Oculus Rift-enabled game called Arajrubah, currently in development and planning to launch a Steam Greenlight / Indiegogo campaign soon. Find out more about the SA-born game on Make Games South Africa or their Greenlight page.

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  • Rick de Klerk

    Nice, but I disagree with the sentiment that even if you think they’re terrible, you should vote for them purely because they’re local.

    Whether or not they’re Greenlit should be on their merits alone. Promote them, provide increased visibility, sure – but judge them by the same criteria you’d judge any game, and vote accordingly.

    Given the amazing quality and depth of some of the local games being produced, I think it’s only fair.

    • Ben Myres

      I agree with you in, theory, I really do. We should assess all games based on their quality only and not because of their geographical position.

      Problem is, local games aren’t being assessed by the same criteria as other games. They’re perceived as being crap before they’re even played. Even the amazing local games you’re referring to don’t do well in South Africa at all.

      I see two ways to try and foster more support of more local games:

      1. Only market and talk about the best and most likely to succeed games so that South Africans believe that local games are always incredible.

      2. Market any and all locally made games so that the local developers receive some support and encouragement to try again and again until something good does appear.

      I like the idea of ‘1’ in other contexts, but locally, it just doesn’t work. Heavy hitters among the SA game scene have personally said to me: “the South African market is negligible for us.”

      Imagine saying a market, which is your own country; where you make the game itself; and sells 3.9 million games a year is negligible. Source: http://mygaming.co.za/news/news/34635-sa-gaming-market-growth-prediction.html .

      The head of the company that conducted the linked report said that “it is an environment in which great developers can stand out and gain enormous prominence due to lack of noise in this area.” Those that are making good quality games in SA then should be raking it in, right? But that’s not happening. Why? Because locals don’t judge South African games by the same criteria as others.

      South African games are consistently underrated – case in point, Lazygamer’s (The only SA site on meta critic) Desktop Dungeon review is the third lowest score for the game on the internet. For a game that one an IGF award. I mean, really…

      Yes, I completely agree that we should judge South African games by the same criteria as we do overseas ones, but that isn’t happening. So it’s only reasonable that compensation must occur.

      That leaves us with option 2: Even if you think it’s crap, vote for it, because the history of SA-made games show that it usually much better than a South African perceives it.

      I’m disaffected, can you tell? :P

      I respect your opinion Rick, and I think I’ve been too close to this issue for too long, so please share any alternate thoughts you might have! :) (Not being facetious, I swear :) ).

    • Ben Myres

      I agree with you in, theory, I really do. We should assess all games based on their quality only and not because of their geographical position.

      Problem is, local games aren’t being assessed by the same criteria as other games. They’re perceived as being crap before they’re even played. Even the amazing local games you’re referring to don’t do well in South Africa at all.

      I see two ways to try and foster more support of more local games:

      1. Only market and talk about the best and most likely to succeed games so that South Africans believe that local games are always incredible.

      2. Market any and all locally made games so that the local developers receive some support and encouragement to try again and again until something good does appear.

      I like the idea of ‘1’ in other contexts, but locally, it just doesn’t work. Heavy hitters among the SA game scene have personally said to me: “the South African market is negligible for us.”

      Imagine saying a market, which is your own country; where you make the game itself; and sells 3.9 million games a year is negligible. Source:http://mygaming.co.za/news/new… .

      The head of the company that conducted the linked report said that “it is an environment in which great developers can stand out and gain enormous prominence due to lack of noise in this area.” Those that are making good quality games in SA then should be raking it in, right? But that’s not happening. Why? Because locals don’t judge South African games by the same criteria as others.

      South African games are consistently underrated – case in point, Lazygamer’s (The only SA site on meta critic) Desktop Dungeon review is the third lowest score for the game on the internet. For a game that one an IGF award. I mean, really…

      Yes, I completely agree that we should judge South African games by the same criteria as we do overseas ones, but that isn’t happening. So it’s only reasonable that compensation must occur.

      That leaves us with option 2: Even if you think it’s crap, vote for it, because the history of SA-made games show that it usually much better than a South African perceives it.

      I’m disaffected, can you tell? :P

      I respect your opinion Rick, and I think I’ve been too close to this issue for too long, so please share any alternate thoughts you might have! :) (Not being facetious, I swear :) ).

      • Rick de Klerk

        I can see where you’re coming from. I’m certainly not saying we should only spotlight the most amazing local games, but the “compensation” you’re suggesting isn’t the way to deal with it. More coverage of local games is a given, and I think you’re filling that gap remarkably.

        Exposure, visibility, promotion of interesting projects and critical assessment of them. Point readers in the direction of the games, provide our opinion (for what it’s worth – the value of our which will grow as readers become more familiar with our likes, our biases and our previous articles.) then let them decide.

        I don’t think perception is the problem – but if it is, what I described above will go a long way in alleviating any negative connotations the local gaming scene may have. We’ve got a growing, robust community of local game developers who’ve received some astoundingly positive coverage from international gaming press. If South African’s perceive a game to be less than amazing, that’s their call, and they shouldn’t feel obliged to support it on the sentiment that “local is lekker” or “Proudly SA”. We can only offer our opinion and try to reason otherwise.

        I can understand why heavy hitters would say the South African market is negligible. It’s because it is. Games are a luxury that, given our many other social and economic ills, only a small percentage can actually afford – and certainly not on a weekly or even monthly basis. This may change, but I don’t see it happening in the foreseeable future.

        If you read the Lazy Gamer review, it’s actually pretty glowing – it’s just another example where the written content of the review and the final score fail to match up, a constant bugbear of mine but an unfortunately necessary evil. I’m not going to take umbrage at a writer’s review unless I see some glaring errors or a specific agenda being pushed – or, alternatively, judging the game on what they expect it to be, rather than what it is.

        Anyway, TL;DR I think we as gaming press can do a better job in promoting local games and game developers; we’ve started doing so; but ultimately they should be praised or criticized on the same standards we judge other games.

        • Ben Myres

          Yeah your point about readers following particular opinions is a strong one and I agree with your conclusion that it falls to us as local gaming press to promote local games we find alluring and and from there readers can make their own decisions.

          I think my frustrations were misplaced – I was assuming people always think SA games are crap, but reading your comment made me think that perhaps it is more often just a lack of knowledge due to insufficient coverage. As you say, though – that’s easily changed with more coverage, which I’ve noticed is happening more frequently :).

          A note on the market being negligible: it isn’t actually a small market in SA. 3.9 million units is pretty big really. But that is all boxed copies, while most SA games will only sell digitally. There’s a bit of a mismatch there: If SA indies wanted to big in SA then they should start selling boxed copies.

          I’m going to be doing an anonymous survey for MGSA soon so we’ll have some more solid data on how local games sell in SA and in total :).

          Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rick. They shifted me perception and helped me think through a few things :).

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