Nowadays worldwide video game industry is stronger than ever. There are millions of people playing diverse games produced by both huge concerns and smaller studios. Also in Poland gaming business is booming, although it still faces many (mainly financial) problems. Lately, Polish game producers have developed a bunch of gripping games. Do you know any of them? If not, maybe this it is time to get to know them better.
Text by Joanna Wróblewska
Introductory picture downloaded from stocksnap.io
Poland has a strong background in computer science and programming. Polish students achieve the highest scores in international programming competitions like Topcoder. However, not everybody knows that Polish game developers got more recognizable as well. Some of you have probably heard about pretty famous Polish game producers like Wastelands Interactive, CD Projekt RED, Techland or CI Games. There are also many smaller studios like Acid Wizard or Tabasco Interactive, which dare to develop and promote more alternative and often quite innovative video games.
Since Polish video game industry is still relatively small, funds are the main struggle for minor Polish game developers. There is a lot of competition, so it is not easy to find investors. Some game creators try to search for money abroad, other use crowdsourcing or collect funds through their websites. Any idea is good to realize a promising project, right?
Strange enough, many Polish video games (maybe except The Witcher by CD Projekt RED) are directed to a global user. Polish gamers seem to prefer Western mainstream productions! This is why many small studios often get noticed abroad. In the same time, the reception of their products in Poland remains rather distant and cool (not mentioning dozens of haters attacking the producers and pointing out each tiny mistake they made).
The other problem in Poland is that there are still not too many people who could train game developers and share with them both knowledge and experience. There is plenty of space for educational institutions like schools offering diverse courses for game creators. So far Polish students find their ways to SAE colleges in neighboring countries like the Netherlands, where SAE Amsterdam offers them high-quality creative media education in English.
Nevertheless, there are some great Polish games available now, so maybe you will find enough time to try out at least one of them.
The Witcher (CD Projekt RED)
Probably the most famous Polish video game, which takes place in a fantasy world described by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The player hunts monsters in an imaginary space full of inspirations from Polish history and Slavic mythology. More than six million copies of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings were sold during last six years! Now all the Geralt of Rivia fans wait for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which will be released in May 2015.
Dead Island (Techland)
It is an extremely brutal game full of bloody fights with zombies. A player explores an island attacked by creepy dead monsters, gets tasks from people trying to survive and exchanges money for various items or even help. In total, the game offers around 150 quests. Impressive number, don’t you think? If you appreciate this kind of games, you should check this one out. Just remember that an image of a realistic looking corpse without hands or legs and visible intestines can be quite shocking.
Lords of the Fallen (CI Games)
This hardcore action-RPG delivers a lot of fun in a good-looking package. If you liked the Dark Souls, you would probably appreciate this game as well. The player explores a rich fantasy world of unpredictable Gods who have failed mankind. Great graphics, excellent animations and attention to detail in designing armors are certainly the biggest advantages of this game.
This War of Mine (11 Bit Studios)
An interesting proposal that invites players to look at the experience of war from a victim perspective. Player’s goal is to survive in an occupied city. It is a simple idea, but the game itself seems to be quite complicated. In general it is based on the randomness of events that build the plot. Many players complain about it, but in my opinion it can be both frustrating and exciting. This game is extremely emotional, so hold on and play!
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts)
This game already got a bunch of prizes as, for instance, the Best Simulation Game of 2014 (Game Informer) or the 2014 AbleGamers Accessible Mainstream Indie Game of the Year (Foundation Able Gamers). Focused on exploration and discovery, it attracts players with an exciting plot full of mysteries. A player becomes a detective named Paul Prospero, who communicates with the dead to discover the fate of a missing boy and much more. Sounds exciting, don’t you think?
Cyberpunk 2077 (Studio CD Projekt RED)
It is a futuristic RPG game designed for demanding players who like science-fiction. The plot is complex and complicated. It will take you to year 2077 and allow you to explore the dark future of the Night City. There will be no easy choices in the game: the division into good and evil will blur leaving the players in doubts. As you probably know, this game is still in production. It will take some time before gamers will have an opportunity to test it. As for now you can watch the official trailer or follow the Cyberpunk 2077 blog.