Dec 16, 2017 Last Updated 11:30 PM, Dec 15, 2017

OPN DevLounge Monthly - March 2017

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Every month, the gaming industry releases over a hundred games on distribution platform such as Steam, and every month, the folks at OpNoobs look at each closely, to make a selection of what they believe are the Top 10 most significant releases.

OPN's DevLounge Monthly brings together industry professionals for a lively conversation on Twitch, to reflect upon the highlighted games of the month and bring insight on their significance for the indie gaming movement as a whole.

The OpNoobs organizers present each title and the studio behind them to a panel of game developers, after which they open the floor to commentaries. The conversation has a free form format, therefore allowing for flexibility in topics approached, whether the focus lies on the game itself, its genre, competitors and predecessors, or the studio, its creators and developers.

THE PANEL

CHRISTOPHER NATSUUME
Creative Director and co-founder of Boomzap Entertainment
Website: http://www.boomzap.com/ 

Producer of the original Far Cry, Chris Natsuume has been actively working as a designer, producer, and director in the game industry since 1992, with credits on almost 50 games. Currently, Chris is the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Boomzap Entertainment, one of the pioneers of the virtual studio environment (100% home-based and pants optional).

LORENZO BELLINCAMPI
Game Designer, Digital Artist, and Composer
Website: http://www.lorenzobellincampi.com

Lorenzo is a game designer, digital artist, composer, busker, spaghetti eater, etc. from Rome, Italy. He started working as an independent game designer before finishing his master's degree in Computer Science, Sapienza Università di Roma. His academic career is focused on artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction and natural language processing. His work experience blends that love for automation with his personal creativity resulting in a heavy game design and development knowledge plus some teaching and digital artist experiences.

LAURA ‘LACEYA’
Professional Streamer
Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/Laceya1
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Laceya1_
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsNdhNDbtMmXcu1AEuJ6FjA
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wettingfeldLaura/ 

Laura, aka ‘Laceya’ and Lace, just barely climbs over the millennial age (or smack at the beginning of it, if only someone could figure that out), and tries her hardest to keep up to date with the cool kids. "That's the lit thing to do, right?" She started out with an Atari 16-bit, then climbed into Nintendo full force, and her love of games was born. She's hoarded every console she's purchased to date, whether they work or not, and went head-on into PC gaming once she was able to do so. Her console preference is Playstation, but she prefers PC to any console. What's her favorite genre of games, you may ask? That's hard to say. Playing everything from simulation, FPS, MMOs, and heavily story-driven titles, there's a favorite game in each category, but not just one category will do. It has been verified that if shooting and PVP are the main focus of the game then that title won't keep her attention for very long, and saltiness will shortly follow. Outside of gaming you can find her healthily stalking the actor Bruce Campbell (one day he will be her future ex-husband, "Ash Williams for life!") and chasing her own ambitions of becoming an actor, telling really corny jokes, making gifs, and feeding her cat Gizmo whatever time of day she wants. 

IAN MCCAMANT
Co-Founder, Freesphere Entertainment
Website: http://freesphere-entertainment.co.uk/

After half a decade as an indie screenwriter, Ian McCamant turned his attention to his true passion: gaming. After his debut writing Pulsetense Games' microbudget adventure "De-Void," Ian teamed up with fellow indie developer Mark Gregory to found Freesphere Entertainment, a studio focusing on creating deep, narrative-driven games. A lifelong gamer, Ian sees games as the future of storytelling. Inspired by the deep writing of old-school Black Isle RPGs and LucasArts adventures, as well as modern masterpieces like Amnesia and Primordia, he aims to push the boundaries of immersive fiction though intense stories, beautiful worlds, and fascinating characters.

ADAM ‘LAWLER’ THORNTON
Professional Streamer & Rocket League eSports Analyst & Commentator
Twitch: www.twitch.tv/Lawler
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Lawler_RL
YouTube: www.youtube.com/LawlerRL

Adam is streamer focusing on all the right things. Viewer interaction is his most important focus, while also providing relative insight for his audience. He has created a community that feels like home, where you can truly feel welcome and be yourself. His gaming addiction truly started with Starcraft, and quickly blossomed into games of every variety. When he's not streaming, he's an esports analyst/commentator for the Rocket League Championship Series or watching his Green Bay Packers win NFC Championships. The big picture? To provide you with a place where you can crack open a beer and hang with your pals and hell, you may even learn something.

OPN TEAM

Frederic Brizzi, OpNoobs President
Shane Gamez, OpNoobs Executive Producer

#10 – STRAFE

RELEASE DATE: DELAYED TO 05/09

THE GAME
STRAFE® is a roguelike first-person shooter pushing the limits of computer-generated photorealism and hardcore sci-fi action into unimaginable territory.

With virtually no load times and infinite replayability, just choose your gun and be instantly blown away by:

FACE MELTING SPEED! The blazing fast action will hit you like the blast wave of a 50 megaton thermonuclear warhead, liquefying your skin cells and rupturing your internal organs. Yet still leave you coming back for more.

PERMANENT DAMAGE AND GIBS! ÜBER-GORE® technology means enemies explode with near never-ending fountains of blood, which never fades away. Create wicked works of death art that mark your explored territory from the unventured.

ENDLESS CHANGING LEVELS! Randomly-generated levels are always different and violently unpredictable. Rooms, enemies, power ups, monster closets, and secrets move around every time you die and die and die and die!

As a Scrapper on a impossibly dangerous mission at the edge of the galaxy, you only have one life to navigate all the nightmarish terrains of STRAFE®. When you die, nothing will ever be the same again.

#9 – LIGHT APPRENTICE

RELEASE DATE: 03/16

THE GAME
Meet Nate, the Light Apprentice, and take part in his journey through a kind of "Comic GameBook" experience like you've never seen before!

Get collectibles and extras, customize and evolve your characters, fight or befriend monsters, and decide how Nate's story unfolds.

RISE OF A HERO: When life in the world of Ethenia is threatened by the corruption of the Yhrosian Empire, a hero will rise to protect the Planet and its people.

Meet Nate, the Light Apprentice, and take part in his journey through a kind of "Comic GameBook" experience like you've never seen before!

After having spent 300 years in a deep sleep, Nate wakes up to a world ravaged by war. The Planet's environment is damaged and on the course to destruction. Only Nate and the 4 other last remaining Apprentices may have the key to restore balance to the Planet's environment, thus saving the world.

YOUR GAME, YOUR CHOICES: In Light Apprentice, comic book and game are integrated in a brand new way.

Your decisions and actions will determine what kind of characters Nate and his friends will become. Get collectibles and extras, customize and evolve your characters, fight or befriend monsters, and decide how Nate's story unfolds.

#8 – ULTIMATE MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3

RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

THE GAME
Marvel and Capcom join forces to deliver the most frenetic 3 vs. 3 tag battles ever with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. This release comes fully loaded, including all previous DLC, and the Marvel vs. Capcom: Official Complete Works. Select some of the most iconic Marvel and Capcom characters, and customize your team with "Heroes and Heralds" mode. Once you've honed your skills, hop online and go head-to-head against players from around the world to see who is the strongest in the universe.

#7 – Star Trek: Bridge Crew

RELEASE DATE: DELAYED TO 05/30

THE GAME
Star Trek: Bridge Crew will immerse you in the Star Trek universe thanks to VR. The game puts you and your friends in the heart of the U.S.S. Aegis where every action and decision you make together will determine the fate of your ship and crew.

Your mission: explore a largely uncharted sector of space known as The Trench, in hopes of locating a suitable new home world for the decimated Vulcan populace. The Klingon Empire is also active in the region, and their purpose is a threat to the Federation’s plans.

Make strategic decisions and coordinate actions with your crew to complete the mission.

In co-op, you can form a crew of four players to serve in the roles of Captain, Helm, Tactical and Engineer. In addition to a dynamic storyline, the game features an “Ongoing Missions” mode, procedurally generating missions for countless hours of Solo and Co-op adventure.

In Star Trek Bridge Crew, you’ll need more than just individual skill to overcome the challenges; communication, trust, and close crew coordination are the keys to victory.

Uplay account and Uplay PC application required for game activation and installation.

#6 – Toukiden 2

RELEASE DATE: 03/21

THE GAME
Slayers! Go forth and eradicate the Oni menace! Experience the latest hunting action game featuring a dynamic targeted destruction system!

The latest installment in the hunting action series "Toukiden". From the battlefield to the village that serves as your base of operations, the game takes place in a vast "open world". Explore the vast world for yourself, and enjoy hunting action from an entirely new perspective.

#5 – Troll and I

RELEASE DATE: 03/21

THE GAME
Deep in the Nordic wilderness, a teenage boy named Otto is forced to flee his home after a band of brutal hunters rip through his village in search of a mythical creature rumored to inhabit the forest. Now on the run for his life, Otto inadvertently finds and befriends the elusive creature being sought by the hunters. Thus begins the perilous adventure of Troll and Otto.

Together, the unlikely friends embark on a journey through treacherous territory plagued with rivals. Natives to the forest, Troll and Otto must use their inherent skills to sneak, strategize, and battle their way back home. The forest is filled with unknowns, and teamwork is pivotal to staying alive.

A Mythical Adventure: Befriend the fabled Troll and embark on a journey through the Nordic wilderness as two outcasts struggling to survive.

Cooperative Split-Screen Multiplayer: Play through the story campaign locally with a friend.

Seamlessly Switch Characters: Swap between Otto and the Troll on the fly. Play as contrasting characters, each with a unique presence and gameplay functionality.

Diversified Combat: Choose your combat style based on the situation. Become the Troll and stomp hunters with your massive feet, or smash them with your giant fists. Switch to Otto for quick, nimble attacks and fast traversing.

Terrain-Based Weapons and Crafting: Gather materials and craft deadly weapons that you’ll need to survive your journey.

#4 – Routine

RELEASE DATE: TBA

THE GAME
Routine is a first person Survival Horror set on a abandoned Moon Base designed around an 80's vision of the future, Your job is to find enough data and survive long enough to uncover the truth behind the strange disappearance of everyone stationed on the Lunar Research Station.

#3 – Styx: Shards of Darkness

RELEASE DATE: 03/14

THE GAME
Styx returns in a new stealth adventure! Explore and master huge open environments, sneak past or assassinate new enemies and bosses, and experiment with the new array of lethal abilities and weapons in our goblin assassin's arsenal.

Sneak your way alone, or with a friend in coop mode! Climb the dizzying Elven city, traverse the perilous territory of the Dwarfs, and survive vast unexplored lands filled with lethal dangers to fulfill your mission… failure to succeed could have huge consequences for your kin.

Climb, swing, and hang through multi-layered sandbox environments brought to life with Unreal Engine 4. Creep and hide in the darkest corners, or reach heights to avoid detection. Spend experience points in assassination, infiltration, magic, etc. to learn new skills and abilities. Explore the world to recover valuable artifacts, find ingredients to craft deadly traps and useful items, and create clones of yourself to distract and deceive the many types of enemies on your way - the choice is yours!

#2 – Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands

RELEASE DATE: 03/07

THE GAME
Create a team with up to 3 friends in Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon® Wildlands and enjoy the ultimate military shooter experience set in a massive, dangerous, and responsive open world.

TAKE DOWN THE CARTEL: In a near future, Bolivia has fallen into the hands of Santa Blanca, a merciless drug cartel who spread injustice and violence. Their objective: to create the biggest Narco-State in history.

BECOME A GHOST: Create and fully customize your Ghost, weapons, and gear. Enjoy a total freedom of playstyle. Lead your team and take down the cartel, either solo or with up to three friends.

EXPLORE BOLIVIA: Journey through Ubisoft's largest action-adventure open world. Discover the stunning diverse landscapes of the Wildlands both on and off road, in the air, on land, and at sea with over 60 different vehicles.

Taking out the Santa Blanca Cartel becomes an even richer experience with Tobii Eye Tracking. Features like Extended View, Aim at Gaze and Communications Wheel let you use your natural eye movement to interact and be part of game play – without interrupting or modifying your traditional controls. Now armed with an extensive eye tracking feature set, team communication becomes more seamless, firefights become more intense and exploring your new surroundings becomes more of an immersive adventure.

Compatible Eye Tracking Devices: Tobii Eye Tracker 4C, Alienware 17 Notebook, Acer Predator Notebook 21 X, MSI GT72 Notebook, Acer Predator Monitors Z301CT, Z271T, XB271HUT

#1 – Mass Effect: Andromeda

RELEASE DATE: 03/21

THE GAME
Mass Effect: Andromeda takes place during the events of the second and third Mass Effect games,[28] in the Andromeda Galaxy. The player character's intergalactic journey began during the time in which Mass Effect 2 takes place, separating the new setting from the events of the third game. We arrive in the 4th game, according to some Mass Effect timelines, at the end of Mass Effect 3.

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