Lab Zero Games is an independent game developer, formed by the original creators of the 2D fighting game Skullgirls. This year, at Anime Expo 2015, they announced their next project: a side-scrolling action/RPG currently titled Indivisible. So, why should you be excited about it?
Indivisible is the story of Ajna.
“Ajna is a headstrong girl raised in a remote village. Her father, the town’s guardian, has trained her to be strong in mind and body to prepare her for things to come.
Ajna discovers a mysterious power in herself, and sets off on a world-spanning journey. Along the way, a number of unique heroes will join her on her quest.”
Ajna herself is part of what has me, personally, very excited for Indivisible. In a market dominated by white male protagonists, Ajna, a female person of color, is a refreshing change of pace. Having a character like Ajna as the protagonist is amazing in and of itself, and she is only one character in an incredibly diverse cast. Ajna’s mysterious power is to absorb “incarnations” – other characters that she can then summon to do battle alongside her. These incarnations are inspired by many cultures and mythologies, and, while Indivisible’s thematic core draws from Southeast Asian mythology, Ajna’s incarnations hail from all around the world. Pair this with a huge and extremely lush world, and you have a gorgeous setting to play in.
Speaking of playing, what about the gameplay? As I mentioned, Indivisible is a side-scroller, drawing inspiration from games like Castlevania and Super Metroid. When you approach an enemy on the map, you’ll seamlessly enter into a battle where you will utilize a combat system inspired by the Valkyrie Profile series. Each character in your party of four is mapped to a different face button on the controller; tapping a button will make the corresponding character attack. Unlike Valkyrie Profile, however, Indivisible won’t be turn-based, bringing an extra bit of action into the… well, action. The characters’ prowess in battle will be less about leveling up and more about the number of incarnations that Ajna has collected and how well-equipped they are. Level grinding will not be required to advance the story or enjoy the game.
Another exciting aspect of Indivisible is the involvement of the gaming community. Lab Zero started an Indiegogo campaign on October 5th, 2015, with a goal of raising $1.5 million dollars. If they met or exceeded that goal, publisher 505 Games would contribute the remaining budget for the game. It was a 40-day campaign, and they would only get any funding if they raised the entire amount, otherwise they would get nothing and the project would die in the cradle. With the deadline quickly approaching, they were only halfway funded, but a desperate push got them to 60% in time to snatch up a 20 day extension. On December 2nd they were funded, with just 2 days to go. They have continued to raise funds and, as of this writing, have raised nearly $2 million, hitting two stretch goals.
The project has gathered quite a cult following during its campaign, inspiring a wealth of fan works including art and cosplay. I encourage you to take a minute to look some of it up, as there is some amazing stuff out there.
An interesting aspect of their campaign is that Lab Zero has created a prototype of the game that can be downloaded for several different platforms and operating systems. Since the funding of the campaign, they have also made the prototype available on Steam, where new content will be uploaded and beta testers (that means us!) can provide our feedback to help shape Indivisible into the amazing game we want it to be! You can go check it out and download it here: Indivisible Prototype on Steam
Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Go it? Good. Because that prototype is going to need to tide you over until 2017, when the game is projected to be released. I hope that’s enough for you, because Indivisible by Lab Zero Games is one game to get excited about.