ID@Xbox Brings Many Titles to GDC17

By Rebecca Smith,
Nearly four years ago, ID@Xbox began enabling indie developers and smaller publishers to release their titles on Xbox One and Windows 10. Over 450 titles have been released thanks to the program; since the start of 2017 alone, there will have been over 50 titles released by the end of this week. Many more titles are promised for 2017 and beyond. At ID's fourth Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft showcased 42 titles between a press preview event and the Microsoft Lobby, the latter of which people were able to visit without a conference pass. Of those titles, 10 haven't been revealed here previously. Check them out below:

A Hero’s Call

Out of Sight Games is a developer whose name has more meaning than others. Founded by a blind writer/composer and a blind programmer, two people who lost their sight at a relatively young age, the pair now create games that can be enjoyed by blind and sighted players. Their first project is A Hero's Call, a fantasy RPG that places players in the role of a traveller whose aim in life is turned upside down when he reaches the city of Farhaven. The city is under attack from a mysterious enemy and it is up to the traveller and his band of allies to explore the surrounding area, identify the enemy and save Farhaven. To give you some idea of how the game will play for blind gamers, Out of Sight provided the following audio only demo of the Talisman Quest within the game.


Akuto: Mad World

Originally created as a prototype for Ludum Dare 34, the title has grown since the days of the game jam. The "fast-paced arena action game" arms up to four players with swords and guns. Not only must players avoid the danger from other players, the environments also present their own unique dangers. If you can't find three friends to join you on your sofa, you can battle the AI in multiplayer matches. There are hopes in the future to add a single player mode, mini-games and even a level editor.


Beat the Game

As the game's name suggests, music plays a large part in Beat the Game. In the "surreal" adventure game, players will only be able to find their way by locating and collecting objects with the Roboball, and discovering sounds with the trusty Sound Scanner. Characters might share sounds, or you could combine objects to create a new tone, but that's not the end of your discoveries. Using a portable holographic music mixer, players can combine sounds and add effects and faders to create their own music show. Only when the audience is happy will you be able to progress to the next level.


Etherborn

In this exploration platformer, players assume the role of an anonymous voiceless being. She has been born into the world of Etherborn where a bodiless voice is waiting to be reunited with her. If this is to happen, she must explore the Tree of Life and understand the meaning of what she sees to be able to grow enough to reach the voice, but this won't be easy. In this strange world, the laws of physics are different to those on Earth. Gravity operates in a direction perpendicular to the surface, adding an extra edge to exploration and providing the basis for the series of navigation-based puzzles that players will have to solve.


Fable Fortune

Fable Legends might not have made it to the finish line, but that doesn't mean that the Fable franchise has died altogether. A group of ex-Lionhead developers have formed Flaming Fowl, the developer behind this free-to-play collectible card game (CCG). The game combines Fable's humour, lore and gameplay systems with "an array of pioneering CCG game modes". Players can take on other players or take part in co-op matches against "dangerous AI-controlled Bosses". Complete quests, make Good or Evil choices, level up your hero and morph the cards in your deck. You'll be able to try out the title when it enters Game Preview on the Xbox One in Q2 2017.


Inner Chains

This horror title places players in a dark and mysterious world that no longer resembles anything that we knew before. The world doesn't just exist — it is actively hunting you and you are completely lost. Discover the mysteries of the world piece by piece and use these discoveries against the enemies that are out to harm you. There will be multiple ways to conquer a level and the game will only give you clues. Through mysterious ruins, a dangerous forest where both flora and fauna are a threat, and great temples that hide many secrets, you will choose how you handle the hostile world.


Lance A Lot

When you were younger, how many of you tried jousting with siblings or friends, perhaps roping in your pet pooch as a trusty steed? Well in that version, nobody died and few people (should have) got hurt. Well, in the adult version, pet pooches are no longer sufficient — only rockets will do. Up to four players can battle it out to knock their friends to the ground and be the last knight left standing. It wouldn't be a true arena game, though, if the environment didn't help out a little too with objects that can be bounced, bent, thrown or moved. Four different game modes will be available, both in single combat and free-for-all.


Mages of Mystralia

Mages of Mystralia is a game set in a world where magic is a rarity. Because of this, it is also illegal. Players take on the role of Zia, a young girl who discovers that she has the power to wield magic but hasn't got a clue how to use it. Throughout the game she will find runes that will teach her create her own spells. The runes can be combined in "potentially millions" of ways to create an arsenal that is unique to the player. Once you've created that arsenal, you'll need to solve puzzles and defeat a variety of enemies on your quest.


Squadd.io

You may have heard of the .io series of browser based games by Spinbot Studio. If not, don't panic because Squadd.io will be making its way to Xbox One and a new audience. The arena-based isometric shooter pits players against each other in a blocky fight to the death. As well as their normal weapon, each player will be equipped with a heavy weapon and a special skill to help them out. New for Xbox will be a co-op mode, tasking up to four players with protecting a core from the onslaught of waves of enemies.


The Way of Life: Definitive Edition

If I said that this story based game made you relive the same experiences three times, you would likely lose interest, but what if I said that those experiences would be played out from the point of view of three different characters of three very different ages? A young child, an adult and an old man will go from a quarrel to a dream and experience serious topics like death and love. The different experiences will be represented by different gameplay mechanics, such as platforming, adventure and exploration, and each character has his own specific mechanics. Just how different can viewpoints of the same event really be?


If you're wondering about the other 32 titles, here's a list — you can find out more information on each title by clicking on the links.

With an extensive mix of genres, there's bound to be something that interests you here. Which titles will you be adding to your library?
Rebecca Smith
Written by Rebecca Smith
Rebecca is the Newshound Manager at TrueGaming Network. She has been contributing articles since 2010, especially those that involve intimidatingly long lists. When not writing news, she works in an independent game shop so that she can spend all day talking about games too. She'll occasionally go outside.