Ah, the long and winding road towards shipping a video game. A journey that’s both scary and thrilling. There’s two Belgian titles this week that are on opposite sides of that road. While Maratus has just started up their engine to gather final funding for their promising debut game, Thomas Van Bouwel‘s VR labour of love is crossing the finish line today.
Earlier this week, Charleroi based studio Maratus launched a Kickstarter campaign for their narrative card game ARISEN. They’re off to a flying start, with over € 10.000 of their € 30.000 goal cleared in under three days.
Taking place in Var’Nagal, an original dark fantasy universe crafted by the team, ARISEN has you experiencing a branching story in which you express your feelings using cards. Through playing the game you’ll unlock more cards, allowing you to appproach situations differently. How you shape your path from slavery to liberty is entirely up to you, as is the choice of how to wield the power of your freedom.
Exploring a world through the power of emotions is a highly original idea, but it’s the intrigue of the story combined with the gorgeous card and character art that really sells the game. If you’re not convinced right away (you goblin!), there’s a free prologue on Steam to try out before pledging. ARISEN is just one of the tales the world of Var’Nagal has to tell, and if you shell out for the top tier, you can even get your very own.
You can also help when you’re not in a position to throw money at the game. In another clever idea, Maratus has set up a digital art book challenge. If the community is able to complete enough social media goals, raising awareness for the campaign, the team will throw in an extra digital art book. It all points in the direction of a team that knows what it’s doing and is highly confident they can reach their goal. Here’s hoping, because we’re convinced ARISEN will make a fine addition to the #BelgianGamesIndustry lineup.
In other exciting #BelgianGamesIndustry news, Cubism VR is launching on Oculus Quest/Rift S and SteamVR later today. This elegant VR puzzler has you fitting all kinds of geometrical shapes into a bigger model. The puzzles start out simple enough, but once you’ve figured out the basic mechanics considerably ramp up in difficulty. You’ll be twisting and turning the pieces in order to figure things out, but when it finally, and very literally, comes together, there’s a huge feeling of satisfaction.
There’s no room for frustration to creep in as even the fiercest of headscratchers are accompanied by a relaxing classical score. Developer Thomas Van Bouwel composed the title track himself (yeah, he’s the Da Vinci kind of indie) and the rest of the game features soothing pieces by the likes of Schumann, Chopin, and Tchaikovsky. This relaxing VR puzzler is the perfect way to unwind after a busy day or the perfect getaway from – and we realise we’re saying this way too much lately – a world that’s on fire.
Good luck to all developers with their projects and thank you for diversifying the #BelgianGamesIndustry with your beautiful projects!