Malaysian gaming has a new front-runner and it is in the form of Indie developer E-One. Today they launched the first internationally released game to be developed entirely in Malaysia for over 10 years. Hoodwink, is a revamp of the classic point and click adventure genre set in a dystopian world ruled by the last surviving corporate giant.
With the continuing rise of the Indie gaming thanks mainly to online game stores such as Electronic Art’s Origin and Valve’s Steam, smaller developers are able to get onto a level playing field with the big guns in terms of distribution and market awareness. Big Indie hits such as Minecraft, Terraria and Limbo have earned millions of dollars for their developers despite being a massive departure from the trend of ultra realistic 3D visuals we see on most console and PC releases and cost a fraction of the price to develop.
Amir Irwan (second on left) executive producer & hardworking E-One team
To make up for the lack of stunning CGI or next generation graphics the Indie games focus more on compelling storylines or addictive game play, both of which E-one have incorporated in Hoodwink. “A lot of us grew up on adventure games, with an emphasis on witty dialogue and story telling. Hoodwink is a return to the classic gaming genre” says E-One Executive producer Amir Irwan. “Players can identify with Michael (the protagonist) who, despite his rogue nature, is just an average Joe seemingly powerless against forces much larger than him.”
In the game you play Michael Bezzle, a smart mouthed bumbling scoundrel looking to leave the thieving game. However his final caper lands him in trouble with the government and he must rely on his wits as he gets sucked into the dark machinations of the ruling powers. Players will appreciate the dark humour and parodies of advertising, political propaganda and corruption: themes which the average Malaysian will no doubt take pleasure in. For inspiration writer Chris Kuok drew from Grant Naylor’s Red Dwarf, a cult British TV series, and the often dark humour of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. If this translates in the game expect to be crying with laughter!
It is not just the visuals that make a game great, the soundtrack also has a big part to play in getting a player to suspend disbelief. To immerse you in the noir dystopian world of Global-01, E-One hired award winning composer Leon Willet to score the game. Irwan goes onto say “…his music adds that extra spark of life we needed to set the stage, from the whimsical designs and snappy tunes. We hope Hoodwink will leave an impression on the hearts and minds of our players”. This is certainly true from the trailer we saw, as they have captured the mood of the genre with aplomb.
The game will solely be available on E.A’s Origin and priced at S$15. There is no Malaysian server at time of going to press so all transactions are through the Singapore server. It is the first ASEAN developed game to make it onto Origin’s online store and hopefully not the last, as E-One represent the best of Malaysian coding and are pushing the boundaries for South East Asian game development.
Hoodwink is available for download on PC only from Origin now.