After finally coming forth with some new info on Serious Sam 3 last week, Croteam has their work cut out for them. 'How do we promote a unique PC title whose scope and genre has been perhaps left behind by the small, directed maps and gun-nut stylings of modern shooters?' they might ask. Sam, meanwhile, stars in more traditional PC shooters which involve circle-strafing on giant maps to wipe out dozens of enemies, then searching every nook and cranny for more rockets.
Well, this week we found out one of the many methods behind reviving their unique brand of shooter--by hiring indie devs to make spin-off game! And not just any old developers, either: we're looking at a three-game lineup by the names behind Heavy Weapon, Super Crate Box, and Lame Castle.
The first is by Mommy's Best Games, and they're doing what they do best: a 2D shooter. In Serious Sam: Double D, Sam is hopping around levels to dodge enemies new & old while opening fire using a unique "weapon stacking" system. Next up is Vambleer with probably the most unique entry in the category: an adventure/RPG called Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, wherein Sam and his team will take on hordes of enemies in a turn-based format, battling for delicious loot. Finally, Be-Rad Entertainment does one of those popular auto-running games, this time with the player guiding Kamikaze Heads away from Sam's path in Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack!
The idea of using indie games as a means for promoting larger ones is certainly a welcome use of our industry's top talent, but one has to wonder which games could get away with it. Would Mojang or Gaijin Games want to partner with EA on a franchise that wasn't theirs? Most of the draw of being a small developer is getting to do what you like with the game concept, then retain all the ideas for later use. Serious Sam is a much-beloved series for classic PC gamers, but larger games like Dead Space or Call of Duty might certainly leave a bad taste in the mouths of the more accomplished indie devs.
For a truly serious concern, here's Fork Parker, chief financial officer behind the studio publishing Serious Sam 3:
I've never heard of any of these indie clowns. Do any of these jokers make hentai games? I'm telling you guys, that weird tentacle stuff is the future of gaming.So, there's that.
While these three Sam-spin-offs have only been confirmed for PC, they may get some love on other consoles as well. The big release is this summer, so look forward to these indie offerings before then!