Double Fine’s annual Day of the Dev event, designed to showcase the hottest and most underrated indie games, is set for 2017. Totally free of charge for everyone, the event will be hosted in San Francisco on November 11, 2017. Double Fine also recently announced the full list of 70 (mostly) unreleased games you’ll be able to play, including some heavy hitters.
The Big Guns
Let’s start with the biggest games at the event since that’s what everyone wants to hear about, and so you can stop reading this article immediately thereafter! Perhaps the biggest game at the show this year isn’t an indie game at all. That would be Ni No Kuni II, and since it’s not an indie game, it deserves nary a word from this fine website. Good day, genderless video game product, good day!
There are a couple of big name indie games, however. The first is Lucas Pope’s Return of the Obra Dinn. You may recognize Pope’s name, or at least his previous game, the indie darling Papers, Please. His next project, set to release sometime next year, is a first person exploration game set in 1807 aboard the Obra Dinn, a trading ship that mysteriously vanished five years prior that suddenly returned to port in England without a crew. As an insurance adjuster for the East India Company, it’s apparently your job to figure out what’s happened using the Momento Mori, a watch that lets you reverse time one frame at a time.
The other big hitter is Lab Zero’s Indivisible. Crowded on Indiegogo, the studio’s follow up to Skullgirls had a rough time getting off the ground. Now the game is continuing to raise money from “slacker backers,” and is on track for an early 2018 release.
Players will take on the role of Ajna, a rough and tumble girl who discovers she has the ability to absorb other people into her being, and summon them in combat. Wanting to find the source of this power, and take revenge on the warlords who attacked her village, she sets out on a globe-trotting to quest seeking answers. The game plays as a 2D RPG, and you can definitely see some of the studio’s fighting game DNA in the playable demo.
Double Fine’s Own Babies, and Other Games
Being an event held by Double Fine, you can expect to see some of their own games there. At least, some of the games they’re publishing. Sorry, don’t get your hopes up for Psychonauts 2 or anything. Instead, Double Fine has four games on offer they’re publishing under their Double Fine Presents label: Gang Beats, GNOG, Ooblets, and Knights & Bikes.
Among some of the other games are some truly obscure ones. Dead Static Drive, Do Not Feed the Monkeys, and Hot Lava are only a handful of some of the games on offer. It’s hard to say what their selection process is, but a vast majority of the games on offer aren’t big names. This is, by and large, strictly an event for celebrating indie games and indie developers. That’s probably why we don’t see any Double Fine developed games, and certainly not Psychonauts 2, as that would steal all the coverage.
Finally, there are several games at the event that we at Cliqist have crushed on in the past. I’m very much looking forward to White Paper Games’ The Occupation, a first person explorer about espionage and political reporting in the 1980’s. There’s also Overland, a post-apocalypse survival game that promises to not be the same generic post-apocalyptic survival game you’ve already played 100 times. Cliqist Executive Editor and horror expert Joanna Mueller is a huge fan of both Hello Neighbor and Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, the latter of which won a coveted Cliqist E3 award this year.
Day of the Devs never really grabs big headlines, but they’ve some pretty great looking games this year. It’s good to see a relatively big developer like Double Fine at least try and spread some love to indie gaming, and it’s something I wish more developers and publishers would do.