Hello, gaming lovelies! Hopefully, you’re all well rested and looking forward to a weekend of gaming. For those celebrating Easter, the the egg hunt is a light and fluffy way to get in some family gaming. Consider bringing along Dixit or Killer Bunnies for the perfect lamb cake accompaniment.

All the awards: Are indies starting to get the recognition they deserve?

Her Story, Sam Barlow, 2015

Her Story

Last week the wrapped the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) featuring the Game Developers Choice and Independent Game Festival awards, and SXSW’s Gaming Awards in a big bow. The previous week the British Academy for Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) announced the nominees for the British Academy Game Awards.

With the phenomenal success of the mobile game Her Story, nominated across the game aisle of AAA vs indies, is just one of the titles of note this year. Smaller development teams with seasoned AAA game veterans are like Psyonix with Rocket League and Moon Studios with Ori and the Blind Forest are making their way into mainstream visibility.

Speaking of indies: Steam Greenlight games to check out

This week, these two games have caught my eye. The point-and-click, Ten Weeks by Leafthief is a short narrative game about dealing with neurological illness. Although the game is already available for download through Itch.Io and Game Jolt, but the potential audience through Steam would be a huge plus. For more info on the game and how to vote, check out the game’s Steam Greenlight page.

My second pitch is for Wako Factory’s 2D side scrolling Samurai Riot. I know, I know, yet another 2D side scroller. I feel like everywhere I turn nowadays, there they are. Stay with me. Several things caught my attention with Samurai Riot. It’s a cooperative game where the choices of both characters affect the story and you can play as a cool female character. I also like the vibe from the game studio’s site and the fact that there are women on the team. Want to support the game with your vote, check out their Steam Greenlight page.

Clash of Queens: Light or Darkness, Elex Wireless, 2016

Clash of Queens Press Release: Designed for female players? 

Yesterday, I came across the recent press release for the mobile game Clash of Queens. The game was released back in January as a complement to ELEX’s Clash of Kings game, but for some reason, a new PR has made it out into the world. It’s an awkward piece and I’ve reread it multiple times trying to decode paragraphs like

“It’s well known that most Real Time Strategy Games focus on male players. The reason is that compared with male players, female players are more likely to just farm in a peaceful place, train lots of troops and be a famous and beautiful farmer. Therefore most developers are more willing to develop a game in which male characters are intrepid and female characters dress revealingly; complex operations and supreme status are also featured to attract male players.”

There are so many assumptions in this one paragraph alone that it’s hard to believe it was written in 2016. I most certainly do not want to be a famous, beautiful farmer, thank you very much. Granted, I can see they’re trying to say why they created Clash of Queens, but it comes out all wrong. Further down it talks about bright pink chat boxes, cute elves and “simple but interesting” ways to enjoy the game. Again still, trying to remain positive, maybe it’s language translation barrier or maybe I’m not the audience for the game. Either way, it highlights to me one of the dangers of the dividing folks into the Girl Gamer vs Gamer bucket. Hey, we’re all gamers here.

That’s it for this week, gaming lovelies! Until next week, happy gaming!