Microsoft and Creative England have partnered up for the third consecutive year to set up the Greenshoots Programme, an initiative meant to facilitate the growth of the video game industry outside of the Greater London area. These games all go through the [email protected] program for their development, and are all required to be "innovative" new ideas, as per the requirements to qualify for Greenshoots funding. The team over at True Achievements has put together a list of some of the titles we can expect to see from Greenshoots soon, and they all look pretty intriguing.
The Other 99
The Other 99 is a survival game that ought to be launching in August, with a release on Xbox One on its way in early 2017. For a better idea of what it's supposed to be, here's some of its description on Steam:
The Other 99 is a deadly first-person action-survival game. Ripped from your ordinary life you awaken on a desolate, windswept Hebridian island with nothing but a single note that reads, “The only way off the island is through The Other 99.”
it is up to you to make yourself into something. Will you brutally murder all those who stand in your way? Or will you move silently through the forests, eliminating anyone that crosses your path? Just remember each person is unique and has their own story to tell and their own pieces of the jigsaw that makes up The Other 99.
QUBE 2 is a sequel to QUBE, which came out way back in 2011. Those who are familiar with games like Portal will be well familiar with its genre, as it employs the same sort of first-person puzzle solving gameplay. There's almost nothing out there explaining QUBE 2 in any sort of depth right now, so you'll need to just watch the brief gameplay trailer above to get a sense for what it's going to be when it finally releases.
The Last Word
The Last Word is shaping up to be one of those games that's going to be a unique brand of heartwarming entertainment. The game, which has already won awards at Game Connection and Intel Buzz, is a platformer that takes place within the diary of a little girl. Players drag and drop words in order to make platforms, play around with photos, and do more diary-themed platforming in order to progress through each stage. Above is an early build of the game that reared its head back in 2015, and it seems to be quite promising.
Fugitive is a top-down stealth game coming from Fallen Tree, the studio that's been doing pretty well for themselves in the mobile market with the Quell series. As far as this game is concerned, there's barely any evidence of it existing on the internet - it's not even listed as one of Fallen Tree's games on the studio's official website. We're just going to have to wait until we get closer to Fugitive's 2017 release date before we get any hints as to what this [email protected] indie title has in store for us.
If you follow the indie game scene at all, you're very familiar with game jams. These events are put on by studios and other gaming enthusiast groups all of the time, and make small teams come together with a very limited amount of time (usually 48 hours) to create a very small, usually just proof-of-concept game. This next [email protected] game came out of a Game Jam with Coatsink entertainment, who you might know for making popular party game Gang Beasts. Vantage Point is something of a cooperative horror game, with one player being the "infiltrator" and any number of spectators being "navigators." The goal of the navigator is to use a map of the facility being infiltrated, and stay in communication with the infiltrator to get them safely to their goal - sort of like that scene in The Matrix, where the protagonist is led out of his office building.
We know that Vantage Point is coming out in 2017, but there's not much else available. We look forward to seeing where it goes.
Are you a fan of Mr. Robot? Off Grid might be your cup of tea. This game uses real world hacking mechanics to put you in the shoes of a whistleblower who's shown the dark nature of the practices that his company gets up to. Here's the official description.
Off Grid is an adventure, satire and stealth game about a mishap antihero. You play an everyman pencil pusher, who is oblivious to the city’s prying and spying, corporate-sponsored government until a series of dark events unfold. The contemporary storyline follows real-world events surrounding data privacy, and gameplay utilizes unique mechanics that allow you to manipulate the world and people around you with the data they unwittingly leave behind.
The game - which was initially destined for a 2015 release - is being given the complete [email protected] treatment and coming out to Windows devices in 2017.
There's no question that [email protected] has a pretty nice lineup for Xbox One users who want to get a taste of the latest in indie games, and the sheer creativity coming out of these games should inspire anyone who's been a little bit bored of recent rehashes of the same old genres that AAA studios have been subjecting us to. Beyond all the titles we've gone over here, there's also an unnamed project to look forward to being funded by the Greenshoots programme. The game is apparently going to be a futuristic racing title, and it's coming out of Supergonk, a studio comprised of industry veterans.
If you want to keep an eye out for all of these [email protected] titles and more, you can check out the [email protected] website, which keeps track of tons of projects being managed through the service.