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ID@Xbox Asia Digital Showcases 4 New SEA Indie Games

On the 26th of March, we were privileged enough to be invited for a special ID@Xbox Digital Session, previewing 4 new Indie games from across Asia.

For those who don’t know what ID@Xbox, here’s the breakdown: the ID@Xbox is one of the Developer programs alongside the Creator Program created by Xbox to collaborate with the Xbox developer community. This program applies to both independent game developers and independent studios. Developers from all over will submit their game concept to be reviewed by the Portfolio team at Xbox.

If your concept gains approval, you will begin getting your game prepped for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC and Cloud, with the help of the Development Support and Certification teams. You will also get to work with the Marketing teams to help get your game onto storefronts. The process over at ID@Xbox is transparent, and is deliberately made to help support developers throughout every process.

The session was led by Jun Shen Chia from the Xbox Global Expansion team. He talked about the expansion team and how they have over a 100 titles in development! He talked a bit more about the educational programs, which include 16 teams from Southeast Asia, and provide developers with a 2 month mentorship. The session also had 15-minute gameplay as a preview from each game. We even got to ask the developers of these games questions about their development process. The games were all different genres, all entertaining in their own ways. Let’s go a little more in-depth about them.

Fallen Tear: The Ascension (Winter Crew, Philippines)

A Metroidvania title in which you are dropped into a nightmare dreamscape, where you will have to fight magical beasts, defy corrupt gods, and go through different challenges to restore balance in the world.

The developers mentioned that there are currently no tutorial in the game just yet, but there is a simple UI that will show you how to play the game. Stephen Manalastas, a writer on the developer team mentioned that the game takes reference from Ori, the game. The gameplay is similar to other Metroidvania titles, however, what makes it different, is that it implements JRPG elements. Instead of  getting abilities in a level, you will gain characters, and players will get to upgrade their own skills to progress.

From watching the preview, you can see how much work was put into the design and art style. Each scene is a burst of colour, and is very easy on the eyes. The maps are interactable, things can be broken as well as enemies can change due to it. There was a lot of thought put into each level, as each one is interactable and very different. There are currently 26 unique biomes. Yes, 26. That is quite a lot indeed.

With these biomes, come 150 unique enemies and 22 faded bonds. Players will get to join monster hunts and mini-games on the side, as well as solve multiple puzzles and trials as they progress. The game is hopefully on schedule to be released at the end of 2025

InKonbini (Nagai Industries, Japan)

Set in a rural town in the 1990s Japan convenience store, InKonbini is a choice-driven store click cozy game developed by Nagai Industries. The game is meant to offer players a calm experience, making sure they live in the moment and enjoy the simple things in life. You play as a college student taking a break in a small-town convenience store.

Yhe 90s was a very different period of time for people. The 90s was also a very nostalgic period for the developers, which is why it was important for them to capture the essence of the nostalgia, the spectrum of feelings, their childhood and so on.

The convenience store follow the traditional Japanese concept. Players will focus on two things, the store management as well as their interaction with customers. When managing the store, players will get to hear the individual tales of the customers that come and go. The entire game happens in one single location, which is the store itself.

You will have access to landlines for multiple different purposes, including food delivery! InKonbini takes roughly 4-5 hours to complete. It was made moreso for a short relaxing narrative but has a high replayability. You will get to manage the store before it opens and when it closes. The central philosophy the team followed was that no encounter can be repeated in your playthrough.

The developers interviewed real convenience store workers for their experience to make the feel more authentic. The insight given was to make sure the playthrough would not be boring or repetitive. This is done by changing the conversations between different customers as well as with how players choose to restock their items. Whatever decisions they make have consequences, making a butterfly effect.

So far, the game has been received well, and the team is very happy with the way development is going. We sadly do not have a release date just yet, but keep your eyes peeled for this one!

 

Brocula (Destroyer Doggo, India)

Imagine being a vampire, and waking up yeaaars later, finding out that the era you have woken up to requires you to be a slave to capitalism to just exist. Well, imagine no longer, as Prateek Jadhwani, the solo developer of Destroyer Doggo has got you covered.

A unique game that definitely makes you question your life decisions! You wake up as a vampire, and find out, gosh darn, you have to work different part time jobs to get money and survive. The game starts out with a small tutorial, showing you the crafting mechanics of the game. Yes! There is crafting! Your bat friends are angry at the state of your castle, which is why you’re about to work your ass off to rebuild it.

The game features a day and night mechanic, in which you won’t be able to work at night. Instead, you get to rest your tired feet in a coffin, which also acts as a save point while it replenishes your health and stamina. You can only work at a place once a day. If you’re worried about not knowing what to do, fear not, the NPCs will guide you in the right direction. At the end of your shift, you’ll get a small report card that shows your progress. The game has roughly 40 hours of playtime currently, and is still being worked on!!!

During the preview, Prateek mentioned that he has been working on Brocula for 4 years now with a full-time job. He would work on it 1-2 hours a day. Now he works on it full-time, for about 16 hours a day! He also talked about how he got a sound designer to help him out with the different sounds. I loved the little blip sounds you’d get from characters and I look forward to everyone else getting to enjoy it too!

Go-Go Town (Prideful Sloth, Australia)

You ready to take on a town? Welcome to Go-Go Town, and you are the newest mayor! Go-Go Town is an adorable town simulator where you get to play as the mayor and rebuild this poor rundown town. Developed by a team of 5 from Prideful Sloth, a developer team in Australia, when I first had a glimpse of it, I thought “oh my, it’s adorable like Animal Crossing”; will I get hooked onto it?

The game is simple, you get resources with your power tools and rebuild different areas. Trains will come and go bringing tourists, and if they love your town, well, they will choose to stay. That would mean you’d also have to build houses for these homeless tourists. Overwhelmed with tasks? Don’t worry! Get a friend to do everything for you.

The game is made to be a fun couch co-op, so grab a friend to help split the duties to make it easier. There are plenty of areas for players to discover and explore. The game will also give you some handy stats so you can keep track of your town. Players will also be able to go-kart around town to check on what’s going on!

If 2 isn’t enough, get more friends and make it 4! As mentioned earlier, the game is made as couch co-op priority, but the developers did mention that online multiplayer is on their roadmap after their first point of release. There is a lot for players to do and we’ve been guaranteed lots of playtime! So… what kind of town are you and your pals off to run?

 

ID@Xbox, the Helping Hand

It’s absolutely wonderful to see these titles seeing success with being picked up by ID@Xbox. Leading industry members need to help the little ones, and Xbox is definitely making waves with their programs. There is so much talent out there, and these titles, these developers, are just some of the few that we are able to see.

If you are a developer, and have something you are working on, take a chance and submit an application here to one of the Xbox programs. In the meantime, stay tuned for these amazing titles!

 

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