Published on December 10th, 2017 | by Craig Forshey0
DADIU GameDev Students Release 6 Completely Free Games
With mobile gaming becoming more and more mainstream everyday universities have started to include Android as a target platform in their game development programs and in the case of one network of schools in Denmark Android has even become their default development platform altogether. Known as The National Academy Of Digital Interactive Entertainment this organization brings together students from schools all over Denmark in order to host a series of game development courses every year called DADIU that’s designed to simulate working in a fully fledged game company. Participating students are divided into six teams so that each team has all the necessary positions filled such as level designers, character artists, programmers and so on with their ultimate goal at the end of the semester to have released a AAA video game on par with or exceeding industry standards.
What’s really neat about this program is that it’s essentially a semester long game jam that gives students valuable real world experience about what it’s like to work on a fully staffed development team. Towards the end of the semester the six teams spend two months crafting their own dream game that will be launched during DADIU’s Graduation Game Production event throughout which the students can reach out to teachers and local experts in the game industry for advice but are largely left to their own devices in terms of the final product.
All of these games are totally free which is very cool considering they tend to rival the best premium games out there. In what’s become a bit of a tradition here at SGD we’re going to take a look at this years crop of games and see what the students have cooked up for 2017.
This highly stylized 3D adventure game puts an interesting twist on Norse mythology as players take on the role of a scheming Loki adrift in the modern era with a comically evil mustache and an eye towards revenge. In order to bring his machinations to fruition players must first gather his legendary children out from under the watchful gaze of plain clothes einherjar roaming around a sleepy snow swept town. Alongside staple genre mechanics like searching for clues Loki can use as leverage against his foes players will also engage enemies in combat, not with a sword, but with his silver tongue as he connives and convinces all who stand against him into joining him rather than slaying them. Slick art design and an interesting premise give this cross between Fargo and The Secret Of Monkey Island a unique identity apart from your typical adventure game.
Most single screen co-op games tend to be very basic affairs with limited interaction but Floodlight ferociously bucks that trend by having fully fleshed out gameplay where players truly work together in asymmetric tandem. After their village is cursed by the gods and the townsfolk are transformed into undead plant monsters it’s up to two boys to free their souls and break the curse with the help of a magical watchtower and their own gumption. Players work together to defeat level after level of these spooky tree monsters by having one player man the lighthouse and other man a rickety rowing boat with either side of a tablet/phone serving as the controls. The co-op genre is put to good use here as both player’s actions will directly affect the other’s strategy; Monsters will attempt to chase the boat down which can let the rowboat player draw them into the line of the lighthouse’s fire while accidentally hitting the rowboat with the light beam will freeze it in place and open it up for attack. Great graphics and engaging gameplay make this one of the best co-op titles to come along in some time.
A cinematic walking simulator where players aren’t the ones doing the walking, Myr is a hauntingly beautiful experience where players manipulate the in-game world with a swipe of the finger. As two ancient hunters from 10,000 years ago scour a Scandinavian marsh in search of food players must guide their journey by reshaping the world around them in order to reveal new paths and hidden secrets. While the two hunters sojourn onward through their lushly animated environment it’ll be up to players to direct them to new areas by clearing away the immense amounts of mud and fog that permeates the area. This marsh is a mystical place where would-be hunters never know what they may find whether it be pagan rituals in the mist or their next meal.
In a first for the DADIU program one of the games this year is an exclusive title for the Gear VR about planetary colonization by the name of Project Dyson. As an interplanetary technician tasked with overseeing the final stages of a solar system’s terraforming process it’s up to players to use their holographic lenses to put the finishing touches on a new potential home for humanity. Look for this ambitious space faring adventure to hit the Oculus Store soon at the link below.
Snowblind is a charming survival adventure game where players attempt to trek across a frigid wasteland without succumbing to the elements. Taking the simple premise of a walk through the forest and turning it into an epic struggle for survival full of wonder and danger, Snowblind puts players in the boots of a young boy as he looks for his lost friend throughout a frozen wilderness. Just like with many parts of the world right now it’s very cold out there which means players will need to collect fallen tree branches and build fires to keep hypothermia at bay. Rather than relegate body temperature to a generic meter Snowblind instead uses a clever visual mechanic where the screen begins to “freeze” over and obscure visibility. Since they don’t have a compass or a map to navigate with players will have to climb to the top of trees to orient themselves towards their destination as well as take in some grand skylines. However, the cold isn’t the only foe to guard against as a wild bear is also roaming around the woods leaving players with nothing but the simple flash of a camera to defend themselves with. Even if you aren’t big on survival games you’ll probably dig Snowblind.
An emotional journey about dealing with loss in the vein of games like That Dragon, Cancer, Still Here is a gorgeous interactive story where players attempt to clear the mental fog that grief can cause by remembering all the good times and celebrating life. As the reincarnated soul of a young man’s deceased girlfriend it’s up to players to help him through his loss by exploring a beautifully rendered apartment and reliving their memories together via simple puzzles and interacting with objects in the environment. Initiating forgotten memories will play back scenes filled with earnestly acted voice overs that remind the mourning man about their time together and turn on lights throughout the apartment that clear away the fog. Only by exploring the whole apartment and wiping away the fog can players reach him in his isolation and help provide closure for his loss.
Kudos to all the hardworking student teams collaborating in this year’s DADIU on the exceptional quality of their craftsmanship!