Before I went home for Christmas last year, I had two firm ideas about Below based on, admittedly, only about ten hours of playing it. The first idea was that the game was a bit of a well-intentioned botch. The second was that, combat and exploration aside, what Below was really concerned with was fostering the slow realisation in its players that game design itself is probably one big roguelike.
6th December 2018
10th April 2014
20th August 2013
Below, the long-in-development dungeon crawler from Canadian indie studio Capybara, finally has a release date, and it's very soon. The game will be released on Xbox One and PC (on Steam) in just over a week's time, on Friday 14th December.
Below was first revealed during Microsoft's E3 2013 press conference and has been delayed multiple times, at one point indefinitely. I personally last saw it at GDC in 2016, over two and a half years ago. The game looked good and Capy boss Nathan Vella seemed upbeat. But it was later that year that it was delayed with no new launch window, and everything went quiet.
Below resurfaced at GDC this year, promising a 2018 release. Wes spoke with Vella around that time and he was, mostly, still upbeat.
"Making a game is obscenely challenging," Nathan Vella, boss of Toronto, Canada developer Capybara tells me over the phone.
Below has finally re-emerged after an indefinite delay - and developer Capybara Games says it'll be out at some point in 2018.
Capybara Games' (Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery, Super Time Force) highly anticipated action-roguelike-like Below has been delayed indefinitely.
Other indie games have had far more protracted gestations - The Witness, for one - but there's still been something drawn-out about development of Below, the dungeon-delving adventure with stylish miniaturised graphics from Capybara. First revealed at E3 2013 as an Xbox One exclusive, the game has only just been confirmed for a release - on PC as well - this summer. And though we've had a few intriguing glimpses of it over those three years, we haven't really learned a lot more about it in that time.
Capy's procedurally-generated roguelike Below was announced nearly three yeas ago at E3 2013, and now it's finally on the horizon with a summer launch planned for Xbox One and Steam.
At Microsoft's Gamescom 2014 briefing, Chris Charla, head of the ID@Xbox indie initiative, announced that several indie favourites would be launching first for console on Xbox One.
The boss of Sword & Sworcery developer Capy has told budding indie developers to build a team and aim for multiple modest successes rather than go it alone in an effort to get "f*** you rich" off of one hit.
Sword & Sworcery and Clash of Heroes developer CapyGames' upcoming action roguelike Below is now slated for a Steam release in addition to its already announced Xbox One destination.
The developer made the announcement in its new Come in From the Storm trailer below. This also commemorates that Below will be playable for the first time this weekend at PAX East.
It's not clear if by "Steam" this means PC-only, or if Mac and Linux will be supported as well. We're looking into that and whether it will have a simultaneous Steam/Xbox One release, or if it will be exclusive to Microsoft's console for a set period of time. We'll update as we find out more.
Indies are scorching hot. Maybe it was Minecraft. Maybe it was Super Meat Boy. Maybe it was Journey. Either way, just weeks before the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One it is indie developers who find themselves - whether they like it or not - on the front line of the next generation battle.
Yesterday Microsoft announced its Xbox One self-publishing program and with it opened up its marketplace to a raft of independent developers who previously were unable to get their games onto the Xbox platform.
Microsoft has unveiled its Xbox One indie developer self-publishing program.
Microsoft said it met with more than 50 developers to learn what they wanted from a self-publishing program, and ID@Xbox, as it's known, is the result.
Under the new rules, each registered developer will receive two development kits at no cost, and developers will have access to the full power of the console, cloud services, Kinect and the Xbox Live toolset, which includes Xbox SmartGlass, multiplayer, Achievements and Gamerscore, among other things.
Sword & Sworcery and Clash of Heroes developer Capybara's highly anticipated real-time roguelike Below is only going to be a timed-exclusive for Xbox One rather than a permanent installation on Microsoft's upcoming console.
Below debuted at Microsoft's E3 press conference, leading many to believe it would remain in the Redmond-based company's camp, but Capybara recently confirmed on its blog that Below will only be exclusive at launch before it migrates to other, unannounced platforms.
"Like many games on stage at E3, Below will be available on the Xbox One first. Then, after a period of time, Capy can bring it elsewhere," the developer said. It noted that "It's always been this way," though it couldn't talk about it at E3. Things were a bit crazy at the time.
Microsoft's been the industry's punching bag over the last week, but beneath the used game debate, exhorbitant price tag and archaic attitude towards self-publishing, boutique studio Capybara (of Sword & Sworcery and Clash of Heroes fame) is working on one of more intriguing indie games on the horizon. Below was one of E3's most brilliant surprises, and to find out more I caught up with Capybara president Nathan Vella to outline this mysterious upcoming project.
Simply put, Below is an action roguelike. It's portrayed from a top-down perspective and features real-time combat, permadeath, and randomly generated locales. In keeping true to the best of the genre's entries like The Binding of Isaac and Spelunky, Below will be hard. Very hard. But it'll also be fair.
"Below is our love-letter to roguelikes of yore, and to games that were about very difficult almost harsh combat that's very fair," explained Vella as we chatted about his game sitting in a carpeted hallway at E3's Los Angeles convention center. "Once you become familiar with the combat and the way that it works, anytime you die it will be be your fault, not the game's fault."
Capybara, developer of Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes and Super Time Force is developing a new Xbox One title.