After its inaugural success, Ventana Sur will host the second annual Maquinitas video game forum, unspooling Nov.-Dec 2 in Buenos Aires.
Designed to highlight the Ibero-American games industry, this year there is “an emphasis on Spanish and French studios,” organizer Daniel de la Vega told Variety. “Maquinitas focuses on the challenges and possibilities that Latin America has in the video game industry; in addition to inviting publishers and distributors, the program offers participants strategies to make their projects stand out amongst global offerings.”
Péndulo Studios (“Runaway”), TLR Games (“The Longest Road On Earth”), Arsgames, The Game Kitchen (“Blasphemous”), Mango Protocol (“Psychotic Adventures”), Tequila Works (“Pan’s Labyrinth”), Pentakill Studios (“One Last Breath”) and Moonatic Studios will represent Spain.
France brings Spiders (“Of Orcs And Men”), Plug In Digital (“Old School Musical”) and Shiro Games (“Evoland”) to the strand. Activities include masterclass sessions, networking and pitching sessions alongside valuable panels. Bucharest-based Amber (“Link Twin”), whose Guadalajara studio marks one of seven international offices, completes this year’s venerable line-up.
Jehanne Rousseau, CEO of Spiders and studio creator of “GreedFall” and “Steelrising,” will host one such masterclass and participate heavily in the strand with Francis Ingrand, CEO of Plug In Digital, a key player in publishing and distribution, also present to survey incoming talent.
Mauricio García from The Game Kitchen will delve into building the successful “Blasphemous,” while Michael Santorum from Tequila Works examines the benefit of reinvention and diversification.
Three live video game sessions called Show and Play, where Tequila Works, TLR Games and The Game Kitchen will demonstrate their new offerings live and via streaming, will also present at the market.
Additionally, Juan Manuel Dartizio, at Chile, Mexico and U.S. -based Fabula, headed by brothers Pablo and Juan de Dios Larraín (“Spencer”)
will attend the pitching sessions seeking potential collaboration on a video game-to-series project inspired by material presented at the market.
Over 70 projects from eight countries were submitted to Let’s Pitch, with 15 chosen to participate in the final program. Creators are invited to the Business Room to meet with representatives from Amber and Plug In Digital, on hand to review the potential of their projects in development. The winning project will receive $1,000 and all project representatives will receive full accreditation to the market, feedback, consulting, networking and industry mentions.
Representing creatives from Argentina, Brazil, México, and Chile, the games range from single-player adventures to multiplayer showdowns. Themes encompass thrillers, post-apocalyptic redemption arcs, beat-‘em-up boxing matches and introspective puzzlers.
Below, a brief rundown of selected titles:
Beacon Of Neyda (Ghost Creative Studios S.A.S, Argentina)
A side-scrolling strategy game where players embody humans tasked with surveying the desolate, abandoned shell of a former metropolis after a failed robot revolution. The player learns to reconstruct the dismal spaces, careful not to be annihilated by overzealous enemies that lurk around many of the post-apocalyptic corners. Argentina’s Ghost creative studios designed the project.
Chai (Chai, Argentina)
Play as Chai from the small town of Girasol as they head to Buenos Aires for the first time. The game acts as an icebreaker as Chai explores the area, meeting new friends and diving into their gender and identity experiences. The 2D RPG docu game is crafted by its namesake studio and allows players to unlock multiple endings depending on the varied decisions they make during play.
Changers 7 (Gixer Entertainment,Brazil)
This fast-paced, 3D showdown allows players to choose their Changer to defeat various villains while unraveling the story behind the history of the warriors and their mysterious origin. Gixer Entertainment, out of Brazil, developed the co-op game that runs on both PC and Consoles.
Crab Mania (Rookbird Games, Argentina)
Two to four players choose their crab and set out to pinch their way to victory, defeating the others by throwing objects and knocking them out of commission. Argentina’s Rookbird Games designs the party game.
Lonesome Village (Ogre Pixel, México)
Players personify Wes, the coyote in this game that sets out to retake the city of Lonesome and reinstate its beleaguered townspeople by solving puzzles to ascend the mysterious tower that rose in town. México’s Ogre Pixel developed this mind-bending social adventure project that allows the player to unravel the city’s secrets while saving its inhabitants.
MAR: Relics From The Past (MeNic Games, Argentina)
A naval combat and exploration title with plenty of action to entice the player as they command a bounty-hunting boat post-apocalypse, where oceans have taken over most of the earth’s surface. MeNic Games of Argentina designed the title intending to navigate the terrain while seeking treasures, relics and bounties for trade.
My Zombie World (67 Bits, Brazil)
This single-player arcade-style title convinces the protagonist to embody the enemy and infect all the humans in the game, creating a bastion of zombies that will destroy everything in their path to reach the finale. Brazil-based 67 Bits helm the project. With over 100 micro games to their credit, they attended the event last year with their title, “King Cobra The Y Version.”
PROJECT.R.■.■. (Cábala Studio, Chile)
Scrutinizing clues from the security cameras of a secretive businessman, players will dive into his odd activities and reveal increasingly disturbing rituals that include supernatural happenings. Cábala Studios of Chile created this ominous game that allows a peek into other realms tied into the day-to-day life of the erie character, Alberto.
Remnants Of The Rift (Bromio, México)
In this rogue-lite strategy and action game, players can stop time to decide on their subsequent actions. México-based Bromio brings the concept to life, the title following mercenary Morgan as he awakes to an unrecognizable new life after a devastating explosion. Along with their best friend Thomas, they embark on a reality-bending journey in search of themselves.
Runa And The Chaikuru’s Legacy (FannyPack Studios, Argentina)
Players take on the role of fearless explorers as they unearth the remains of an ancient civilization and the magic they hold at the site of an archaeological excavation. FannyPack Studios from Argentina crafted the action-adventure title.
Superdungeon Megacorp (Golden Leaf Games, Argentina)
Set in cavernous dungeons, players push monsters into their correct spaces without dying or killing their peers. Argentina’s Golden Leaf Games created the concept, billed as a puzzle-Sokoban-style pursuit.
Tenebris Somnia (Andrés Borghi, Argentina)
In this survival horror game reminiscent of retro players “Resident Evil”and “Silent Hill,” characters progress through increasingly terrifying scenarios while privy to live-action movie scenes. Created by Argentina’s Andrés Borghi, the project is set in a 2D environment with pixel art 8-bit visuals.
The Ballad Of Bonky (Knutsel Co, Argentina)
Claymation and pinball collide in this buoyant adventure game where players assist Bonky and Puncho as they take on evil robots, cryptids, and lizard overlords to unravel conspiracies. Argentina’s Knutsel Co. created the game that can be enjoyed alone or as multiplayer entertainment.
Thunder Ray (Purple Tree SRL, Argentina)
A nostalgic arcade-style boxing title with added gore allows the player to defeat the best players in the galaxy to earn the title of universal GOAT. Purple Tree out of Argentina developed the game that follows Thunder, the most powerful boxer on earth, as he’s kidnapped and forced to compete in the most challenging tournament in the galaxy to further cement the champion status.
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