What is GDEX?
GDEX is the Midwest's premier game development expo. Developers from all around the region come together to share the projects they’ve been working on with video game players, other fellow devs, and people such as us who want to share what we’ve seen with everyone who wasn’t there!
GDEX 2017 was an experience that was bigger and better than the year before but without losing sight of why it started in the first place. With a good mix of developers and panels, we never felt the lull that plagues most newcomer conventions. Don’t let the word convention turn your attention away from what is really going on here in the heart of Ohio.
The minds behind GDEX aim to put Ohio on the map in terms of the video game industry. Moving into its seventh year, you can really start to see the fruits of their pioneering actions. GDEX gives industry experts and aspiring video game professionals an amazing opportunity to collaborate and grow together, and you can sense it in this amazing environment. As soon as we walked into the showroom floor, we felt an overwhelming excitement as we planned which devs we were going to meet with first. That is where the show really shines, the indie devs are mixed right in with the big leagues. We could’ve stood for a few more compelling breakaway sessions and a better schedule, with proper mapping, as finding our way around at times had us lost. This hardly put a damper on things, but it did slow us down when really we wanted to move with the energy we felt when we initially walked in the doors.
Overall, GDEX 2017 was a huge leap for the expo, literally as it was across town from years previous, and has it going on the right path to becoming an industry staple.
So here are our GDEX 2017 Highlights:
• Mega Cat Studios
This developer blew me away. Let me paint a picture for you: imagine the crappy tv your parents let you have in your room/basement when you were a kid. The screen was unbelievably small, it didn’t have any cable channels, and made that high pitched sound when you turned it on. Mega Cat Studios had several of these set up at their booth all connected to retro gaming hardware - NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, etc. Mega Cat’s games were made specifically for these consoles! They made the game, put ‘em on those crappy (but loved) cartridges, and even created the cases and instruction booklets for the game. There was so much attention to detail put in by these guys, and all the games I played at their booth were so fun! On top of that goodness, they are working on being able to play these games on Android, thanks to the world of emulators. ONE MORE THING: Log Jammers ported and remastered for PC.
Mega Cat, you have the trophy in my eyes.
• No Mercy
A game from the minds of Multivarious Games, an Ohio based company, aims to put the Buckeye state on the map in the video games industry. This game boasts stylistic visuals and gripping co-op gameplay, the last time we played a game that stuck with us like this was Behemoth’sCastle Crashers. With the simple, tried and true gameplay mechanic of attack, dodge and power move, it feels familiar but the quirky universe Multivarious is building feels refreshing and new. This is a game we will be watching closely until it’s release as it is sure to only get better from here.
The VR presence at GDEX is one that we always look forward to, as our experiences in the years prior had us reminiscing for days and had us dying for more. Stand out title,UNDR H20 by GuessworkVR, still has our attention as we eagerly hopped back in line this year to fix that leaky basement yet again. Don’t worry, it’s not realistic, so you don’t feel like you’re drowning. It always impresses us to see how people take the technology and continue to push the envelope. Top titles we saw in 2017 that we are looking forward to seeing more of in 2018: Tactical AR and Thrushbriar Hall.
If you remember the days when you dropped your sweaty controller and dive headfirst into your fiend's chest because they dropped their last bomb, sending you into oblivion. This ingenious multiplayer game pitted 4 of us against each other, as cute little wood dolls dropping bombs in chaotic fashion. This frantic, unique title is one you will want to keep your eyes on, as we can’t wait to get our hands on it again in the most masochistic way.
• Soda Dungeon 2
This is super fun, mobile, 8-bit, turn-based, RPG that the average joe can play. The mechanics are mostly the player hiring warriors to go into dungeons to get treasure for you. The treasure you earn, you can use to upgrade the local soda tavern, which in turn draws better warriors in, which in turn allows you to hire them to go right back into the dungeon! This sounds time-consuming, right? Would you believe that I’m playing it as I’m typing this?? Of course you would, because I’m lazy. Soda Dungeon has a useful auto fight function which allows the warriors that fight for you to fight without you telling them how. This makes it so all the player really has to do is upgrade the tavern and hire warriors, making it extremely accessible to everyone. I downloaded it immediately after playing at their booth. Armor Games also showed us the concept art for Soda Dungeon 2, in which they hope to expand the tavern to a town that you invest in.