A quick recap of PlayNYC 2017

Last Saturday, Terry and I attended PlayNYC as regular folks (not as exhibitors or the cool “Devs and Pros” pass-holders), and I figured I’d jot some quick notes down on what caught my attention. Terminal 5 was a great venue for the event, and I’m definitely interested in applying for a booth next year. Anyway, my thoughts, in no particular order:

HoloPlayer One

First off, I appreciate the (intentional?) nod to Ready Player One. This device was one of the first things we saw on our circuit around the first floor, and it was truly amazing. I’ve seen some casual arcade game machines use “holographic projections” before, but this hologram¬†literally¬†stands freely in space. Even better: you can interact with it via touch!

Unfortunately, the overall display is currently quite small, and it only supports one finger-touch at a time (no pinching), but it’s a very promising proof-of-concept. Plus, they have initial Unity support. Not sure I’d fork over any cash for the SDK at this point in time, but absolutely something to keep an eye on.

The Low Road

This point-and-click adventure is out on Steam now, and I love the art style. I haven’t picked it up yet, but judging from some player reviews, there are some minor gripes like not being able to skip dialogue sections that you’ve already seen (e.g. you mis-clicked on an object that you already examined a few minutes ago). They gave me a sticker, which is always a plus!

Bit Duo

I’m having trouble looking up the gentleman who was at the table behind this interesting two-player cooperative platformer (one person uses a VR headset to manipulate objects, while the other controls movement), but I signed up for the mailing list, so I hope to hear more. The camerawork on the VR headset was surprisingly smooth, but maybe that’s standard these days. It’s all about the lerp!

Static Ops

As others around me observed, this is a neat cooperative game reminiscent of Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, which is very cool (as is a similar minigame in one of the Jackbox Party Packs). I’d like to see more dressing up on the story-gameplay immersion, because the codes and ciphers seemed relatively arbitrary/random, but there’s certainly promise in the format. I also learned that I’m really bad at scanning radio frequencies.

Kingdom Bash

GameMaker continues to prove itself as a viable engine! I didn’t get around to playing the demo at the venue, but I went home and played the co-op variant with Terry. Couch multiplayer must be kept alive, and Kingdom Bash executes very well, even in its relatively early stages. I think the Warrior is the best class by far, by the way. Can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Equivoque

I completely forgot how to pronounce the name of this “visual novelette” (also out on Steam now). Anyway, I finished one playthrough of it already. I’m a big fan of Penn & Teller (and Terry is really into magic in general), so checking out Equivoque was a no-brainer. It immediately called to mind our own project, Stage Fright, which also featured a magician and his assistant, and served more as an interactive story than a traditional game.

The writing on the dialogue options is very on-point. Half the time, I was just responding out loud to the characters, only to see my answers pop up as a choice, almost verbatim. I also was obsessed with logic in my adolescence, so the scene regarding fallacies definitely spoke to me. Oh, and fun fact: my girlfriend is actually at SVA now, studying fine art. I had no idea they had a “visual narrative” program!

Fidgetly CTRL

All jokes aside, using a fidget spinner as a game controller could actually work very well for certain games. I’m not sure the Flappy Bird clone was the best demo of it, but scratching/DJing is certainly a decent application (plus it’s much cheaper/simpler than a big, actual-sized platter). Turntablism definitely could use some more exposure, especially in video games. It also makes me think of the propeller on a drone… particularly one with a camera attached to it…

No reply yet from them on getting my hands on one for development experimentation, but fingers crossed.

 

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