A Closer Look at Chambara

By Kelly Packard, 1 year ago
What the heck is Chambara?

It's a little student made game that has been slowly pushing its way toward a 2016 release since winning a slew of competitions, including the BAFTA Ones to Watch Award, in 2014. The visual style of the action game is something better seen than described:

Here is how the student developers, who call themselves "team ok," describe Chambara:

Chambara’s core mechanic is disappearance - a unique marriage of visuals and design. It elegantly reinvents hide-and-seek in a world of two colors, where players strive to disappear against solid backgrounds in dynamic environments, and are revealed by shifting perspectives when they choose to move or attack. Chambara encourages players to hide in plain sight by camouflaging against like-colored areas and ambush each other in thrilling and emergent duels.

While Chambara is a competitive action game, we wanted to avert it from the toxic tropes of hypermasculinity, redemptive violence, and diametric opposition that come out of uncritical design thinking. We value competitive games because of the dialogue between players and the relationship to sportsmanship, and believe that there are many positive values that can be drawn from that kind of play. We wish to draw out the best aspects of this kind of game with Chambara.
The game focuses on "classic, local, split-screen multiplayer for the modern age." Here you can see what they mean by "hiding in plain sight."

Well, that plan backfired.Well, that plan backfired.

For those interested in keeping up with the game, the developers have been releasing a series of developer diaries:

There is no official release date yet. Chambara is due on Xbox One in 2016 as part of the ID@Xbox program.
Kelly Packard
Written by Kelly Packard
In a few descriptors: college student, longtime gamer, writer and junk food enthusiast. I contribute to TrueAchievements as a news writer and reviewer. Usually, you can find me knee-deep in a multiplayer game while ignoring my growing backlog or on one forum or another discussing all things gaming.