Upcoming Indie Games to Keep an Eye On

Coming to Xbox, Switch, and Steam. Microsoft announced that it is coming to Xbox Game Pass at release.

The production-line puzzler Automachef drops on Steam and Switch today.

Can't wait!

Aaron D. wrote:

The production-line puzzler Automachef drops on Steam and Switch today.

Can't wait!

It's out! Thanks for reminding me.

Really cheap too. Base price is $15 with an early-bird price of $13.49 on Steam.

Really digging it so far. Didn't even realize there's a separate Contracts mode outside of the Campaign missions. In Contracts you design & blueprints to fit specific client needs, and use the cash to get new machine types and expand your business.

This game is well ace.

Automachef is a Zach-like game based on programming cooking machines to fulfill orders. Timing, placement, cost, energy use and control constraints come into play. The presentation is clear and attractive, even entertaining as the machines go through their motions making the orders and delivering them to the window.

The game is not a programming game per se, at least not early on; it's more of an industrial controls sim. So it's no Shenzhen I/O, but it's not "My first systems game". It's a nice middle ground between them that I have not seen many games occupy well, but this one is a fun, relaxing game to mess around with processes and optimization.

Enjoying it so far.

Would you guys say Automachef is in the same ballpark as Big Pharma?

100%

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/EfO7P6K.jpg)

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/gS1dqXh.jpg)

Man, Automachef is so damn good. I spent 30 minutes last night redesigning a layout that went from a 1 Star (meh) to a 3 Star perfect(!) finish.

I could've just moved on after the first design. Heck, that even that some time planning and readjusting. But I kept thinking I could do better. Make it more efficient.

I can def. see where this title isn't for everyone, but damn that feeling when it pops 3 stars after several iterations.

Your robot...er, human buddy/business partner is a hoot too.

Added to wishlist and downloading demo!

I have not played enough of either to really compare it to Big Pharma, but so far, there similarities. This seems a little more polished in its scenario designs, maybe? A little less dry?

I'm enjoying it so far. Mt only two criticisms are that it needs histograms to add an optimisation layer on top (and truly be a zachlike), and the UI is quite clunky.

There are some odd choices there too, usually spots where it forces you to use a robot arm. The requirement makes driver interacting with a grill or fryer, but why can't assemblers take inputs directly from conveyors? (I'm only up to the level with the Dopamine Meal, so maybe cooler kit turns up later)

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/KPMCuMr.jpg)

You def. get more advanced machinery as you progress the levels. I just got a grill/conveyor combo unit so you don't need robot arms at all (but that Wh usage...oy vey!).

Also noted in the Steam forum that the dev is listening to feedback and putting in key remapping in the first update. On a related note one QoL feature I'd like to see is hotkeys for high-usage equipment (conveyors, dispensers, robot arms, etc.).

One of the things I found myself enjoying over the weekend is player progression in terms of difficulty balance. I was stuck on level 8 (Power Hungry). I got the layout just fine, but one of the side requirements were that you couldn't go above a sustained 27K W while all the machines were running. It was quite the pickle trying to pear down my electrical output. Finally cracked the code but man was it mentally taxing.

It was one of those deals where I was wondering if I hit a wall with the game's difficulty. But then I dove into the next level and earned 3 stars straight away on my first try. No readjustments needed.

It's this kind of push & pull that I really enjoy in good puzzle games. Like the dev presents you with a really challenging level. And once you clear it they take their foot off the gas for the next one up. Giving you an easier challenge as a palate cleanser. This kind of balancing can be tough, but this is the second time I've experienced it so far in this game and it's really refreshing.

That's my big question, too Dudley. I suspect that if the output of a device could connect directly to another device, conveyors would not be needed in most cases, yielding long lines of connected devices (presumably, with internal conveyor belts, like in real industrial bakeries). That would be efficient, but I think it would be boring too.

This would also be why assemblers have those little "landing pad" balconies on the front and back.

Klei's latest game Griftlands is out in Early Access on Epic. They had announced it last year as a rougue-like turn-based RPG and they've kept that but added deck building to it. I was quite bummed since I'm not the biggest fan of deck builders or rogue-likes at the moment. This seems really good, though.

I intensely dislike Automachef on Switch because of its interface. They made some infuriating choices around what the left thumbstick does and what the dpad does, and no option to switch. Trying to set up a process I feel like I'm fighting the interface every step of the way.

They could fix this, but I rage quit after setting up 4 machines attached to an order filter thing, then accidentally pressing B and losing every bit of that 2 minutes it took navigating through dumb pop-up configuration menus.

It made me angry that Nintendo doesn't do refunds.

Vector wrote:

Klei's latest game Griftlands is out in Early Access on Epic. They had announced it last year as a rougue-like turn-based RPG and they've kept that but added deck building to it. I was quite bummed since I'm not the biggest fan of deck builders or rogue-likes at the moment. This seems really good, though.

Deck building a la Slay the Spire is definitely welcome by me. I prefer the build-as-you-play decks as opposed to building it outside of the game a la Magic, Ascension, etc.

Aaron D. wrote:

Also noted in the Steam forum that the dev is listening to feedback and putting in key remapping in the first update. On a related note one QoL feature I'd like to see is hotkeys for high-usage equipment (conveyors, dispensers, robot arms, etc.).

I sent them an email with some UI suggestions, and they sent an actual response. Hopefully they get it sorted out before too many people are turned off by it.

I'm a bit disappointed with the game. Supply chain, efficiency, and logistics are things I love in games, but don't show up that often. I was hoping for a smaller, self-contained Satisfactory type game, but there are little annoyances that keep me from getting totally into it.

First is the weird tuning for the star ratings. They'll have you make less than 200 items, but enough orders will come in that you'll produce more than 200 even if you program your machines to pop out one item per order. So then you have to use the timing/stockpiling method, which is just a bunch of trial and error seeing if it's better to wait 15 seconds on the potato or 16 seconds. I understand it if the level is one of those lunch rush challenges where you need to make stuff ahead of time, but it shouldn't be the default method for most of these maps.

The reliance on so many robot arms has been annoying me, too. I love when I can use the conveyor grill, but it's somehow still more efficient and faster to use three arms and a grill instead *shrugs*.

This is the kind of thing I was trying to capture when I described it as kind of a "medium" complexity Zach-like... I hope I did not mislead anyone. I find it a relaxing nightcap, myself.

garion333 wrote:
Vector wrote:

Klei's latest game Griftlands is out in Early Access on Epic. They had announced it last year as a rougue-like turn-based RPG and they've kept that but added deck building to it. I was quite bummed since I'm not the biggest fan of deck builders or rogue-likes at the moment. This seems really good, though.

Deck building a la Slay the Spire is definitely welcome by me. I prefer the build-as-you-play decks as opposed to building it outside of the game a la Magic, Ascension, etc.

You covered the grumbles, feel same -- but, oh man, this looks like a good mashup of bizarr-o despite the deck building stuff.

garion333 wrote:

Deck building a la Slay the Spire is definitely welcome by me. I prefer the build-as-you-play decks as opposed to building it outside of the game a la Magic, Ascension, etc.

I'm burnt out on the deck building aspect since I just played Slay the Spire and SteamWorld Quest back to back.

[quote="Recreational Villain"][quote="garion333"]

Vector wrote:

Klei's latest game Griftlands is out in Early Access on Epic. They had announced it last year as a rougue-like turn-based RPG and they've kept that but added deck building to it. I was quite bummed since I'm not the biggest fan of deck builders or rogue-likes at the moment. This seems really good, though.

[youtube]You covered the grumbles, feel same -- but, oh man, this looks like a good mashup of bizarr-o despite the deck building stuff.

Right?! My only concern is the rogue-like elements. I hope you are actually building towards something between runs that benefit and allow you to progress faster on your next. Slay the Spire feels like a huge slog for me because I feel like I'm always at the mercy of random elements.

I gave griftlands a shot. I thought everything but the actual decks themselves were fun. If that makes any sense. It's not slay the spire in that regards but it definitely has style.

This looks excellent. Coming to PC and PS4.

^ I believe the proper response is: YES.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/7...

Sooo...Zachtronics (Infinifactory, SHENZHEN I/O, Opus Magnum, and EXAPUNKS) is releasing...a Visual Novel in a couple weeks.

Zach-dislike.

I...what?

I mean, I really like the look of it, it's just quite unexpected.

I'm actually more likely to play it (vs a typical Zachtronics game) because it's less like my actual work...

It looks like it contains no programming aspects at all, but does contain the Zach solitaire minigame I always ignore as much as possible. Pass.

Automachef is free on Twitch Prime this month, awesome!

Jupiter Hell is out, and it's a fun roguelike with high res graphics and keyboard control (no mouse support).

Jupiter Hell is fun. I hope they add diagonal movement sometime.

It's there, in a fashion. Just hit two keys simultaneously. It'll move you through a regular set of two steps, but it *appears* like a diagonal step.

I think this is their answer to the perennial distance problem with squares, which I guess are traditional in roguelikes. Hexes would have worked much better, but they broke enough tradition with high-res graphics lol.