Game development

Geoff Keighley’s Day Of The Devs Upstages Summer Game Fest Hype

GIF: Max Inferno / Billy Basso / Flyhigh Works / Rias Coast / Kotaku

Earlier today, Geoff Keighley kicked off this year’s Non-E3 season with Summer Game Fest, a loud two hour showcase of all the ways you can murder people in video games over the next year. It was, to be quite honest, a lot. Luckily, the folks at Day of the Devs showed up immediately afterwards with a show that felt more like a guided meditation than an advertisement.

developer daya “fantastic celebration of indie games” now in its tenth year, followed the company-mandated excitement of the Summer Game Fest by detailing a handful of more discreet projects currently in development. One Minute Naughty Dog Creative Director Neil Druckmann Was Talking About a head-scratching remake that leaked hours ago, and the next day we learned time passesan intriguing, minimalist game about trying to make the most of an insect’s short lifespan.

The transition felt like a cool breeze, and not just because everyone at Kotaku was finally free to take a break from the frantic responsibility of live event coverage. Every game shown at Day of the Devs was something that interested me. And it’s not just about satisfying my personal tastes. Despite their more laid-back atmosphere, shows like Day of the Devs often showcase more innovative game design than any event marking the latest. Call of Duty reveal.

It has become abundantly clear that gaming is much more capable of evolving into the infinitely expressive medium it was always meant to be when it manages to break away from the mainstream obsessive desire for frame rates, resolutions and a higher body count. Here are some good examples of this Day of the Devs phenomenon.

A little to the left is a “cozy puzzle game” that asks the player to organize a house that needs proper storage. Oh, and sometimes a cat comes along to mess up everything you’re stacking or sorting, just like in real life. It’s coming out later this year, and a demo is currently available on Steam if you’re into that sort of thing.

animal wells builds an old-school pixelated adventure with layers and layers of secrets to uncover and solve. It gave me huge Nifflas vibes, if you’re familiar with games like In a deep forest and Knyttand look forward to roaming its lush environments in search of hidden mysteries.

Birth puts you in the shoes of a strange creature as it navigates a big city and searches for a way to ease its loneliness. What better way to stop feeling lonely than to create your own companion out of spare bones and organs? The distinctive creepy yet beautiful art style really sets it apart from almost anything in gaming today.

Fox and Frog Travelers: Adashino Island Demon follows the titular Fox and Frog as they journey through regions inspired by the developers’ Japanese origins. But while the neon lights and lanterns of the food stalls may lend the game a warm atmosphere, there’s apparently something insidious lurking in the shadows.

goodbye world is a meta-narrative game about the “passion and struggles” of two young indie game developers, with influences ranging from ghost world at Mother 3. The fuzzy aesthetic is meant to evoke the bygone days of Super Nintendo and Game Boy Advance graphics.

Of course, I’m not going to pretend that the hilarious consistency of Summer Game Fest doesn’t carry over to Day of the Devs as well. The latter simply replaces the explosive shootbang of the former with dev after dev gently describing projects in pristine apartments. But all the same, the games looked good more fun and original than the half dozen dead space fakes that Keighley begged us to care about.

For more on the games featured at Day of the Devs, be sure to visit the show official site.