Following an announcement-filled presentation from Geoff Keighley's Summer Game Fest, it was time for Day of the Devs to take center stage. The best of the indies were on display during Day of the Devs: SGF Edition. Many of the reveals were new, though there were a few updates on some previously revealed titles, including one that has been in the works for more than a decade. If you missed the presentation, here's a full recap.
Everything announced at Day of the Devs: SGF Edition
Beastieball (Wishes Unlimited)
Day of the Devs started off with a big world premiere from the makers of Wandersong and Chicory: A Colorful Tale. Beastieball blends a turn-based RPG with a volleyball game where success hinges on relationships between teammates.
We went into this one in more detail during the show, so check out our coverage of the Beastieball announcement in case you missed it. Beastieball is coming to PC in 2024.
Hyper Light Breaker (Heart Machine)
It's been a little more than a year since the initial reveal of Hyper Light Breaker, Heart Machine's sequel to the acclaimed Hyper Light Drifter. Heart Machine has returned with an update on the game's development, shedding a little more light on what players can expect to see.
Hyper Light Breaker will follow a mercenary named Breaker, who enters the Overgrowth. This is a world left in shambles by the rule of the evil Abyss King. As Breaker, players must explore this procedurally-generated realm. It's structured as an open world filled with terrifying enemies but with the ability to craft new weaponry based on spoils gained from battles against them. Players won't have to go into battle alone, as they can venture into this roguelike cooperatively with friends online.
After overcoming a few development hurdles, Hyper Light Breaker is in line to come to Steam Early Access later this year.
Simpler Times (iam8bit Presents)
For publisher iam8bit Presents' second title, Transylvanian developer Stoneskip is putting together a game that's all about cherishing past memories and chill vibes. Main character Tania is about to move out of her childhood home, and players will experience her treasured memories as she packs her things. These collective memories illustrate how Taina came to be the creative adult that she is today.
Similar to a game like Unpacking, this is a game about a specific slice of life. It's one that's meant to connect players to the main character but also an experience that's meant to help the average person relax.
Simpler Times is coming soon to PC.
Viewfinder (Sad Owl Studios)
Day of the Devs was another chance for Sad Owl Studios to show off its upcoming puzzle game, Viewfinder. This is a game that was first revealed at The Game Awards in December and has made its way to different events, like GDC and PAX East.
This segment of the show displayed some more of the game's story, as well as more of the game's central mechanic. For the unfamiliar, Viewfinder sees players utilize old photographs in order to fill in missing pieces of the world, manipulate reality, and solve puzzles. Compared to games like Portal, Antichamber, and The Witness, Viewfinder is like few games we've seen in recent years.
Hauntii (Moonloop Games)
A new game from the team at Moonloop Games, Hauntii is a stylized hand-drawn puzzle-adventure game that puts players in the role of a ghost who has just entered the afterlife. Players must journey to find stars across the world, which will help the main character piece together remnants of their past lives.
Solving puzzles consists of using ghostly abilities, namely possessing objects. This includes any variety of inanimate objects, whether they be trees, lamps, and sometimes even the living.
Players can explore the afterlife when Hauntii releases on PC. It's coming soon.
Cart Life (AdHoc Studio)
Some might look at this title and think, "This looks familiar." That's because Cart Life is a heavily-praised life simulator from developer Richard Hofmeier. It won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the 2013 Independent Games Festival. No, that's not a typo. This game was first released ten years ago before it was abruptly pulled from Steam a year later. Hofmeier released the game's open source code and then figuratively dropped off the face of the planet.
Earlier this year, Wired tracked down Hofmeier, asked about his fascinating life, and learned that he was planning to bring Cart Life back in conjunction with AdHoc Studio. Day of the Devs marks the first look at the new Cart Life, which puts players in the role of a retail cart owner who must balance the challenges of running his business and tending to his needs and the needs of his family.
Cart Life was something special when it first released, and it appears to be on the way to being that once again. Look for it to re-release on Steam later this year.
Helskate (Phantom Coast)
This is a game about skateboarding through a hellish underworld. No, not that one, though it's funny that there appear to be two of these games on the way.
Helskate follows a demon named Anton who looks to perform tricks and rack up sick combos across the entire demon realm of Vertheim. Of course, the resident demons aren't exactly passive spectators, so players will have to ward them off with crafted weaponry. This is a roguelike journey, so expect to die more than once en route to becoming Vertheim's greatest skater. Though, in a refreshing twist, players keep their resources after dying.
The arcade-style skating and user interface are reminiscent of games like Tony Hawk's Underground, which only makes sense because Game Director Steve Swink was one of the original designers behind the 2003 Neversoft classic. Swink explains that Helskate is essentially the original Tony Hawk's Undergrounds without the boundaries of being just a Tony Hawk game.
Helskate is coming soon to PC.
Henry Halfhead (Lululu Entertainment)
Henry Halfhead tells the story of the title character, a curious being that's only half a head. What that means for this open-world sandbox game is that Henry has the ability to possess everyday objects and move them around. Every object has a unique property and either allows Henry to progress in a different way or just lets the player have some fun. Yes, you can possess a toilet and pretend to make it talk!
Fun is meant to be shared, which is why friends can get together through split-screen co-op. It shouldn't be too long before players can explore the world through Henry's eyes. The relaxing and whimsical Henry Halfhead is coming soon to PC.
Cocoon (Geometric Interactive)
Viewers got to check out the latest footage of the long-awaited collaboration between Annapurna Interactive and Jeppe Carlsen, the lead designer for Limbo and Inside. This is an atmospheric adventure that sees an insect hatchling explore unique worlds. However, these aren't parallel worlds. Rather, these are layered worlds, in which players can jump in and out through a cocoon-shaped gateway.
Puzzles involve escorting the cocoon gateway across parts of different worlds in order to access different areas. The world-jumping mechanic can also be used to avoid certain dangers. Each world is filled with harrowing monster encounters, so players must be prepared to use their minds to solve the puzzle of how to defeat them.
Cocoon is coming soon to PC.
Ete (the French word for "summer") is a game about bringing color to the world. The idea is that players look at the world through the eyes of a painter and bring color to their surroundings. As players fill in objects, they'll earn experience, which will grant them use of more colors in order to color additional objects. Players will encounter town denizens who will commission for certain art projects, which will help them further illustrate their town into something bright and colorful.
Commission projects will grant players a chance to further express themselves artistically by working on blank canvases. Expression is the name of the game in Ete. Look for it to come to PC in early 2024.
Indie Megabooth returns
In an exciting development, the team at Indie Megabooth has announced that they are resuming operations after a tumultuous COVID-19 pandemic. You can read more on our story of Indie Megabooth's return right now.
Summerhill (Land & Sea)
Developer Land & Sea has arrived with a world premiere of its new game. From the makers of acclaimed mobile hits Alto's Adventure and Alto's Odyssey, Summerhill tells the story of a young shepherd and his trusty sheepdog. The idea of this story-based puzzle game is to round up lost sheep. Inspired by the age-old traditions of sheep herding, Land & Sea is working to put together engaging puzzles and also tell the touching story of a shepherd and his dog.
Summerhill is coming soon to PC.
Eternights (Studio Sai)
One wouldn't expect to see an adrenaline-fueled third-person action game get crossed with a dating simulator, but Studio Sai is taking up the challenge. Eternights is set during the apocalypse and challenges players to survive an invasion of infected humans and a world in the midst of collapse.
Naturally, when the world is ending, that's the best time to fall in love. In-between fighting monsters, players can court supporting character Yuna. It's hard to imagine what makes a fun date night when the apocalypse has kicked in, but that's the challenge, isn't it?
Eternights is releasing on PC and PlayStation in September.
Retro Gadgets (Evil Licorice)
Retro Gadgets is a straightforward game about building working electronic gizmos. Players go through various design phases, which include combining and soldering together different parts and components. Be sure to add the right lines of code, give it a keen coat of paint, and get it up and running. Then, take the completed contraption and share it with the world.
Those who want to experience this expressive simulator sandbox don't have to wait. Retro Gadgets is available now on Steam Early Access.
Mars First Logistics (Shape Shop)
In the future, man will colonize Mars and call the red planet home. After a Martian colony is established, it's time to start setting up the sorts of services that helped life on Earth. Mars First Logistics, from developer Shape Shope, is an open-world physics simulator that has players getting into the courier business.
Users will build mechanized rovers, which will be used to make deliveries across the colonies. The jobs are as simple as delivering pizzas, but they'll gradually grow in scale. Because of that, the rovers will also have to grow in scale, so players are encouraged to go nuts with their designs. Players can take this endeavor on alone or recruit a friend for online co-op.
Mars First Logistics is coming soon to PC.
Saltsea Chronicles (Die Gute Fabrik)
The last Day of the Devs reveal came from the team at Die Gute Fabrik. Saltsea Chronicles is a story-based adventure game that takes place in a world beset by flood. Players must guide Captain Maja's crew across the flooded world of Saltsea, familiarizing themselves with this strange world, investigating a conspiracy, and journeying across the dangerous waters.
Saltsea Chronicles is coming soon to PC.
Those are the major titles revealed during Thursday's Day of the Devs presentation. We'll continue following all of the biggest announcements throughout the next week, so keep it on Shacknews for the latest updates.