Arts & CultureVideo Games

Gaming Week In Review: First Cuban indie game, ‘Evolve’ development ceases, ‘Ark’ update

A two-man team from Havana has started a crowdfunding project to create the first Cuban indie game, Savior.

Cuba’s steadily improving relationship with the U.S. and the rest of the world has started opening up many new possibilities for the inhabitants of the island nation. Earlier this week, two men from Havana started a crowdfunding campaign to create the country’s first independently developed video game.

Savior is a 2D action-platformer where players guide a “Little God” through a crumbling world besieged by a donkey-headed antagonist, “The Great God.” The game is inspired by the two developers’ experiences in Cuba and portrayed through crumbling scenery and hand-drawn artwork and animation. 

Josuhe H. Pagliery and Johann H. Armenteros have been experimenting with game design and programming together for the past few years, but have previously faced many challenges when looking to start a larger project. According to the game’s website, financial backing for such a venture was difficult to find in Cuba, and limited internet access and outdated technology have made the development process all but impossible until the last few years.

With support from The Ludwig Foundation of Cuba and U.S.-based tech incubator The Foundation, the two have received the necessary connections and backing to present their game to the public through an Indiegogo campaign.

Their campaign is seeking $10,000 to complete the project and has already received $9,500 pledged in support. You can check on its progress here.

After a catastrophic launch and lackluster free-to-play revival, Turtle Rock Studios has announced it will be ending all development on Evolve.

Evolve is a game that never really made it off the ground. Losing most of its player base within a few weeks of launching and later revamping major mechanics to make it free-to-play, the game may have finally entered its death throes now that Turtle Rock Studios has publicly announced it will be ending all continued development on the game. 

The asymmetrical multiplayer game features four players in the role of monster hunters while the fifth player controls the hunted monster (or in many cases the monster hunting them). Regarded as imbalanced, repetitive and lacking in content at launch, the game relaunched earlier this year with a drastically redesigned progression system, major balancing changes and a free-to-play business model. The relaunch received a moderate reception but still fell flat when compared to the studio’s previous hit, the Left 4 Dead franchise.

Evolve Stage 2 will continue to be downloadable and playable for the foreseeable future. You can download it for free via Steam here.

Ark: Survival Evolved patch contains procedurally generated maps and a host of other features.

Among the many early-access crafting-based multiplayer survival games floating around in the online ether, Ark: Survival Evolved stands out as one of the most well-regarded and technically sound of the specific, yet popular genre. It may have drawn some recent controversy over its publisher releasing a DLC content pack (Ark: Scorched Earth) while the game is still in early access, but its most recent update still brings some major features to the developing game. 

Patch 248 features procedurally generated maps, which will make each map unique by randomly placing mountain ranges, lakes, rivers and the like to further flesh out the game’s “living ecosystem.”

The patch also features several new prehistoric creatures, including the alligator-like Kaprosuchus and boulder-tossing Chalicotherium. You can also now find artifacts hidden around the game world that will temporarily grant an experience boost to help with the game’s notably long leveling grind.

Though the full launch of the game still seems far off, you can check out its current early access build here.

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Mathew Brock

Mathew Brock