Our first voyage out into the indie game wild. One of the best places on the internet to find new things is a crowd funding site. For the first Spotlight post, I've departed to Kickstarter. With the site's 11,000+ published game campaigns, this shouldn't be that difficult, right? Wrong. The mountain pile of games makes it even harder. In the beginning, I was looking for just about anything. That didn't cut it due to some things being finished years ago or dreadfully unsuccessful. The search refined itself as I continued down the rabbit hole aka graveyard in some cases. In the end, I found a game and campaign that is still running and has lots of promise. They've got quite a way to go, but I'm strongly rooting for them. Without further fluff, here's my short synopsis of Torla.
After searching for hours on Kickstarter, Torla snagged my attention. Within 20 seconds into their video, I'm overwhelmed with what appears to be a massive open adventure on a micro scale. I'm sold. The two man team of Holden Boyles and Amir Uqdah have done a magnificent job cultivating a mysterious narrative full of intrigue and whimsy. The player controls a stick figure-like character who wakes up on a small island full of wonder. Each level acts as a small portion of the island where puzzles are solved and resources like wildlife or trees are gathered to use or sell for survival.
There's a powerful sense of novelty spawned from 2 branches of the gaming historical labyrinth. The first being the Zelda series, the lively outdoor environment with continuous adventure leading to an ending that's not quite what you expect. Secondly, an oversimplified level by level transition system and cute relationships with the land's vendors reminds of the serenity offered by the Harvest Moon games.
They're tiny yet satisfying. The sounds of Torla are pitched to perfection not leaving you empty or missing sounds where there should be. The team has taken time to ensure the environmental ambience completes the overall presentation. Simple controls of point and click like an RTS with a barely-there interface feels like a game I already know how to play. Additionally, forging for materials is similar to most RTS type games where axing down trees yields wood, killing animals yields items such as meats. All of which can be taken to a market of sorts for money or used to build structures like bridges and homes. A day and night and seasonal cycle is employed to bring about different challenges and looks.
Torla was too special of a game to pass up and it's obvious the team is working diligently to get the game ready for primetime. In smaller scaled games, typical "small things" become the most critical to get right, this 2 man team is killing it. As of this writing, the campaign is supported by 250 backers slamming down a smidgen over $5,000 which is quite short of the $36,000 goal. The game needs a few finishing touches and our adventures should begin in October of 2018. Check out the trailer and rewards on their page!
First post over, how'd we do? Tried to keep it short and sweet, especially since we couldn't play it. This entire post was written from just watching the trailer. Luckily we picked a well crafted one. If you would like to help Betacade grow, telling a friend about us goes a long way. Besides your amazing voice, social media works, too. Until #2, Cheers!
Tweeting can take some work, here's an idea for a tweet:
Just read the #indiespotlight on @TorlaGame from @Betacade, can't wait for this game!