With PAX East in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to take a look back at some of the great indie content featured at this year’s event. The indie presence is ever-growing at PAX, and 2015 was certainly no exception, with the community dominating at least half of the convention center. Featuring a mix of brand new titles on display for the first time, as well as many returning favorites, the show floor provided a great opportunity to get a glimpse at what the future of indie gaming looks like. And things are looking good.
One such returning project was Tetrapulse, the work-in-progress co-op brawler in development at The Amiable. I’ve been keeping tabs on the game since shortly after the 2013 Global Game Jam, when the team decided they should stick together, form a studio, and turn the idea into a full-fledged release. While the heart of the game is still intact, much of the design and minutiae that surrounds it has since been altered. At its core, Tetrapulse is a 4-player local and network multiplayer adventure where players must work together to combat a robobug menace from terrorizing the universe.
While combating enemies is a large part of the game, the other important feature centers around the relic, a device which players must physically drag to specified objective points to progress. Originally, the relic was tied to every players’ weapon ammo and health, so players would have infinite ammo and their health would recharge as long as they were holding onto to it. The team scrapped part of that idea though, so now ammo is always unlimited without needing to hold onto the relic (which all four players can grab at once to drag around faster). Health still recharges when holding onto the relic, though.
Additionally, early game concepts included power ups that enemies would randomly drop, giving characters new weapons and abilities on the fly, while their base attacks were identical. With the latest build, The Amiable has introduced a class system, with 4 diverse characters offering original movesets. While the game will no longer feature weapon drops, each character has their own primary and secondary abilities. PAX East attendees were introduced to a first look at Mooshi the Mushroom Knight, the game’s melee bruiser class who wields a bludgeoning hammer of sorts.
His Her primary attack is obvious a series of hammer swings, but her secondary attack releases a cloud of stun spores (which recharges on a cooldown) that temporarily incapacitates any enemies caught in its area of effect.
Visually, the game creates an aesthetic that blends technology and nature. While the level design is procedurally generated each time a map is created, the team is attempting to create four distinct themes, to match the playable characters as they fight to defend their homeworlds from the roboswarm. The music similarly matches this idea of meshing nature and technology, to create a techno-organic style befitting the wild vegetation and mechanical opposition.
While there is no official release date for Tetrapulse, the game is continuously progressing towards completion. There is still some art to be finalized, and additional testing to be done, but The Amiable has seemingly found a soul to match the game’s pre-established heart. Those interested in finding out more information about the game can visit the official website. Tetrapusle will be headed to Steam when it launches, and the game is already available for pre-order via Humble Bundle for $10 USD. The team can also be found on Twitter. Tetrapulse has all the makings of a quality brawler, balancing elegant visuals with engaging, team-based gameplay, so it’s definitely one to keep an eye on this year.