National Film & Television School Students to Showcase Their Graduation Games at EGX This Week
The UK’s largest gaming event, EGX, is back this year on September 21st-24th, and as always there will be hundreds of games to peruse and try out. One particularly popular area of the event is Rezzed – where you can find the world’s biggest collection of upcoming indie games. This year, Rezzed will feature over 150 playable games, and we’re taking a closer look at a selection being showcased by the UK’s National Film & Television School.
Despite its name, the NFTS has also included game development in its curriculum for the last five years or so. The two-year Games Design & Development MA provided by the school is tutored by industry leaders and experts, and this year’s graduates will be exhibiting their creations at EGX, where you can have a go at playing the games in their various current stages of development, and talk to the developers to find out more about them.
There are 8 games being exhibited by the students for the duration of this year’s event, featuring a wide variety of genres and game-play styles.
Falling Sky by Jonathan Nielssen
First up is an ambitious cinematic narrative game from the mind of Jonathan Nielssen. Set in a typical American suburbia, the game follows two boys in search of their missing mother. To unravel the mystery of her disappearance, the boys must decipher many cryptic messages along what will prove to be a dangerous search for the truth.
Falling Sky makes use of motion capture technology to truly bring the story to life, and features two notable veteran games actors amongst the cast – Stephane Cornicard and Christy Meyer, of Horizon: Zero Dawn and Dark Souls fame.
Fault-Line by Laurien Ash
This psychological puzzle game presents an unusual premise – a slot machine that, when spun, actually spins the world and changes the environment around you. As the main character, Catherine, you must continue to play the slots, striking winning lines by matching objects, and also solve a series of superstitious puzzles, all in the hopes of finding your missing sister.
The Grand Mission by William Blake
The developer of this 2D top-down strategy game includes Blackadder and Battlestar Galactica among his main influences, presenting a spaceship-based crew management game set in a strange comedic universe…whose residents really love tea.
This single-player game’s linear narrative revolves around one man’s fight for his right to partea. The world of Albia has found itself in a terrible situation – one of its former colonies has closed its trading routes, cutting off the aristocracy of Albia from their beloved tea. You’ll play as the game’s hero, Tobias Jamar-Thicklewit, setting off with a crew aboard his spaceship in the hopes of making peace with the colony’s rebel population and re-establishing the necessary trade routes to keep the upper classes of Albia stocked up with their precious brew.
The Grand Mission will be available on Windows PC.
The House Mouse by Adam Comrie
In this first-person VR game, you play as a brave little mouse who finds himself navigating the dangers of the human world while trying to provide for his family. Set in a run-down London apartment that has a new family of human residents just moving in, you’ll be expected to move through the home unseen, using the cover of unpacked boxes and various clutter to remain hidden. Your main aim is to bring back food for your mouse family, whilst avoiding the dangers of the daunting human world, including the residents’ pet cat…and you have only your wits and sense of smell to guide you.
May by Daniel Stankowski
In a rather unique premise, May tells the tale of a mayfly’s first and last day on earth, in a sorrowful race against the clock to transport the injured insect’s eggs to the river so they can spawn.
Mayflies have just a single day to be born, reproduce, and die, and the game follows a mayfly pairing that is struck by tragedy – the female’s wings have been crushed. The male has chosen to carry her along with her eggs, while their own lives are fading fast, as the day draws to a close.
The player will travel across beautiful English countryside, solving puzzles along the way that rely on the natural abilities of the mayfly. As the day goes on, and the mayfly grows tired as it edges closer to the end of its life, those abilities will dwindle one by one, leaving the player to develop their skills in the hopes of reaching the end goal.
My Last Son by Sam Rowett
This fantasy puzzle platformer is largely inspired by traditional African art and mythology, and revolves around the idea of overcoming grief, and the coping mechanisms humans use for that.
You follow the journey of a young woman who has just lost her last son and wishes to lay his body to rest in a very specific place. The woman finds herself tormented by a monstrous wraith along the way, which draws its strength from her overwhelming sadness.
The levels in My Last Son are based on the five stages of grief, with each one presenting the player with different challenges as you try to elude the frightening wraith hot on your heels.
Sprinkle Palooza by Evy Benita Kvinlaug
Still in the early stages of development, this cute 2.5D platform game is being developed for Windows PC and console. The setting is a building that’s part bakery and part pet store, hosting an unusual business that specialises in mutant party pets, such as ‘pet cakes’ and ‘balloon pets’.
Your character is a balloon puppy name Zap, who decides to sneak out of his display case at night to explore the shop. Upon doing so, he finds a returned faulty pet cake in the back of the shop that’s destined to be exterminated, revealing that the sweet, happy exterior of the shop hides a darker truth. You must help the poor creature escape before the shop re-opens the following morning.
Supremely Excellent Goblins by Gracie Drake
Last but certainly not least, this action-adventure offering has a rather nostalgic feel to it, thanks to developer Gracie Drake’s inspirations being Classic Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games.
Supremely Excellent Goblins follows the tale of a young boy named Nemo, who seems to have been left behind by his family following a mysterious disaster that has destroyed just about everything in its wake. Nemo finds a strange creature amongst the fallout, and sets off to discover the cause of the disaster. As the player, you must help him survive his journey as you find the answers you’re looking for.
If you’re heading to EGX later this week, be sure to pop over to the NFTS stand to find out more about these upcoming games, play some demos, and have a chat with the young teams behind them!