Here's The Roster: From Double Fine To Comcept & Zeboyd
Microsoft took an age to reveal the extent of their support for independent developers on Xbox One, but after a few awkward and embarrassing weeks, they finally unveiled the [email protected] scheme that gives indie studios large and small the opportunity to get onto the platform - with every console capable of functioning as a dev kit.
Developers from "more than fifty" countries have now signed up to the scheme, from Canadian Capy Games to Japanese Comcept, Dutch Vlambeer, German Crytek and British Born Ready Games and Team 17. Double Fine rubs shoulders with tiny teams like Zeboyd Studios and one-man outfits such as Jamie Fristrom's Happion Labs, who's working on a crazy gravity defying platformer.
FINALLY. Microsoft were the driving force behind getting indie games into the living room last generation, so it's about time they got involved.
Let's take a look at Xbox One's upcoming indie champions: both in terms of what they've previously developed, what they've confirmed and what they're probably working on.
The developers behind Doritos Crash Course are likely to be working on something similar for the Xbox One: hopefully a surprisingly fun and pleasingly free minigame collection.
Bongfish are best known for the most recent (and amazing) Motocross Madness game, as well as Harm's Way, another free and surprisingly decent XBLA title. With luck, they're planning on bringing similar experiences to Xbox One.
The creators of Strike Suit Zero plan to reveal new games in 2014. I hope more than anything that they plan to bring gorgeous space sims to Xbox One. More than ANYTHING. But we'll have to wait and see (I'll ask in the meantime, naturally).
Capy are working on Below: the impressive roguelike we saw at the Gamescom presser.
They're also developing Super Time Force on Xbox 360, which needs to come out already, since it looks absolutely SENSATIONAL. Its lack of release date makes me wonder whether an Xbox One version might also be in the works.
This is Keiji Inafune's company, who previously developed Soul Sacrifice on Vita.
Just buy 'em, Microsoft.
Definition 6 (Chris Hecker)
Chris Hecker is an industry legend. He worked on Windows 3.5, developed the globe in Encarta world atlas (remember that?), put in a shift at Maxis and now consults on various gamey things while not working for GDC.
He's also working on a game called SpyParty, which is headed to Xbox One.
You know who they are. We suspect that Broken Age will probably come to Xbox One at some point, though other projects are likely in the pipeline.
This Canadian team brought us Guacamelee earlier this year, so we're excited to see what they've got in store for Xbox One. We'd be happy with Guacamelee 2, though frankly, we love to see indie studios innovate rather than sequelize.
Bit.Trip. Bit.Trip. Bit.Trip. YESSSSS
Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 seems like a good place to start, before giving us Collossatron and Jetpack Joyride 2: Jetpack Harder. That last one is pure fantasy. My fantasy.
Jamie Fristrom Kickstarted Energy Hook earlier this year, a fun concept that takes inspiration from Spider-Man 2's web swinging. It's a game about that. We can't wait.
Hidden Path Entertainment
Defense Grid 2 on Xbox One? We think so.
High Voltage Software
High Voltage have been around for a while and are difficult to predict. They found modest success with The Conduit on Wii, but also helped out with the PS4 version of Injustice: Gods Among Us... I don't know. I just don't know.
These rhythm game specialists brought us Gitaroo Man, Lips and The Black Eyed Peas Experience. It's a good bet that they're working on a Karaoke title for Xbox One.
Iron Galaxy are bringing PS3/Vita exclusive DiveKick to the Xbox One. It's pretty good. Calm down fanboys.
This charming trio of dapper chaps developed the always-entertaining Organ Trail, and are currently working on Max Gentleman - a hat simulator. Yes.
As an indie developer and publisher who brought us Cave Story and Night Sky, they're impossible to predict, but it'll be fun finding out what they're working on. Better yet, they should be well-placed to help other indies onto the platform.
Kelflings. Expect Kelflings.
The Odd Gentlemen
Having previously developed The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom, The Odd Gentleman are actually working with Neil Gaiman at the moment on Wayward Manor. It's only slated for PC so far, but who knows.
We suspect that Other Ocean are developing compatible Windows 8 games and apps, that should be playable across the Windows ecosystem.
Panic Button effectively act as contractors and troubleshooters, helping out on any number of titles. They've got a finger in all manner of pies, from Kinect Star Wars to Injustice, Disney Infinity and Ms Splosion Man. Their own output is likely to come to the Windows 8 ecosystem... though they are working on a motion-controlled boxing game.
Yeah, that's probably the one. Big Time Boxing is tentatively slated for next year.
Slightly Mad Studio
These racing game veterans are currently working on Project CARS for a number of platforms. The Xbox One is now one of them.
Good old Team17 are in the self-publishing biz, and aren't willing to talk specifics. We would very much like more Worms, mind, especially since Xbox One can effortlessly sign in the controller as we pass it around the room.
Also, decent remakes. Also, Superfrog. Also... please just give us nice things rather than mediocre Alien Breed revamps, eh?
We expect that Wasteland Kings will probably make an appearance on Xbox One at some point.
These inconsistent Californians are capable of great things (Mighty Switch Force, Aliens: Infestation) and terrible foolish errors (an enormity of licensed crap), so fingers crossed for the former.
It's fitting that Robert Boyd and co. have signed up to develop on Xbox One, since he originally found fame for his superb Xbox Live Indie RPGs. He's currently working on Cosmic Star Heroine, a game
Good old Zen, doing the business. We'd very much like pinball as a matter of priority, thanks muchly.