Featured Games: My Tribe, is it Grubby Games' answer to Virtual Villagers?

28 November 2008

My Tribe has been keeping certain members of the team occupied during the long and lonely lunchbreaks so we thought we'd better take a closer look at it.

My Tribe Map

For those of you who hear the words 'Grubby Games' and just think of your beautiful collection of favourite games covered in muck, think again. Grubby Games is an independent game developer from Vancouver, Canada. They first bounced onto the scene with Professor Fizzwizzle back in 2006, and were finalists for the Seamus McNally Grand Prize at the Independent Games Festival in the same year.

After Professor Fizzwizzle was released, Ryan Clark (President and CEO of Grubby Games) described the company as complete newbies to the games industry in an interview with Gamasutra. Admittedly back then Grubby Games was still in its infancy, however, now 2 years on they have a number of releases under their belt, are well established and keeping on top of the industry shake ups.

My Tribe, their most recent title, is now available to download here on TunaSnax and we have just had a little chat with the guys about how their new baby came into being.

My Tribe Interface

Simply put, Ryan describes My Tribe as a sim game where you take care of a band of castaways, helping them to build a new life after their boat is shipwrecked. He adds:

'The Tribes people are alive even when your computer is off, so the game has a kind of 'virtual pet' feel to it.'

Making a 'sim' game is always challenging, but the team at Grubby Games took it all in their stride.

'We felt that the sim genre was under served and that making a sim game would be a fun challenge! There were a lot of technical hurdles to overcome, but programmers like that kind of stuff'.

We were curious to know how the team would react to My Tribe being compared to another ?casual sim? title, for example Virtual Villagers. Ryan was quick to point out the differences:

'Both are ?island sim games? but we feel that we've innovated in many ways. Our biggest addition to the genre is the infinite replayability provided by our procedurally generated islands. We've also added customizable clothing colours, facial expressions, detailed ?thoughts?, and the ability to customize your island by choosing where to place buildings, flowers, trees etc.'

My Tribe screenshot

Those of you who are looking at the graphical style of the menu screen and experiencing a vague feeling of dj vu, don't worry you are not going mad. Chances are that you are one of the many people who have played Braid and David Hellman, the artist who worked on Braid, is also one of the artists who worked on My Tribe.

With My Tribe barely out the door, Grubby Games already have their sights set on their next title 'IncrediBots'. As for how soon the game will be complete, Ryan quips:

' Just a few server kinks to work out and bugs to squash; but we're really proud of the game!'

Having had a play around with it, Incredibots looks like it will be a nice little gem to add to the Grubby Crown. Any fans of physics based games like Fantastic Contraption will appreciate the look and feel of this clever puzzler and should get their thinking caps on and let their fingers do the walking over to incredibots.com to have a stab at the beta.

Now, although we haven't got the tree up here yet at Tuna Towers, our thoughts are already turning to Christmas and the festivities that it brings. We have already written our wish lists ready for Santa and we asked Ryan what he really wants for Christmas. Turns out he's just looking forward to having some free time again:

'Once I have some time off, I plan to finish World of Goo and Kingdom for Keflings. Two amazing indie games!

So how about this for a stocking filler: your own island sim, complete with squishy little people, beautifully rendered backgrounds and addictive gameplay. If you want to give My Tribe a go, just pop over to our games page and have a go with the free demo.

Well, we love their games and as one of the friendliest indie companies around, we want to wish Grubby Games all the best with My Tribe and the future.

- Click here to get My Tribe now on TunaSnax -

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