Please welcome our newest contributor, Tyler Davis. Tyler comes to us from Boston (beautiful place – Ed) and besides enjoying video games, he also works for the Harvard Medical School and MIT Sloan Management Review.
Boston-based indie developer Proletariat Inc. has released a closed beta for its latest game, Streamline. The title is a “stream-first” game that allows Twitch broadcasters to interact with viewers both as players in the game but also with their streaming audience.
Right now, the game has one game mode – elimination – and involves the broadcaster hunting down up to 15 runners over the course of three rounds. Runners traverse a diverse set of brightly coloured and expertly crafted levels to collect floating point orbs and steal points from defeated runners. Viewers that don’t actively play the game can still participate through the game’s Streamote platform. The tool connects to Twitch and allows the audience to participate in betting, buying in-game effects that can hamper or help the hunter, and playing bingo based on events that take place during the rounds.
Advocates from Proletariat Inc. have been sharing the game with people on Twitch and in Boston as the company worked through pre-Alpha and Alpha builds. After months of feedback from community members, the studio announced a closed beta on August 15. Streamline is not the first game coming from this indie studio, however. Back in 2015, Proletariat Inc. released a tower defence strategy game called World Zombination (WZ) on mobile devices. Like Streamline, WZ had a heavily involved beta phase that helped to grow its popularity and community before the official release.
Streamline is one of a growing genre of stream-first games being developed by indie studios. Another popular game played on Twitch is Choice Chamber. The game is a fun, arcade-style platformer where a broadcaster plays through progressively more difficult levels. It is played in real-time and viewers on Twitch can vote to give the broadcaster different weapons, power-ups, and even drop in surprise enemies or bombs at different times.
As Twitch passed its five year anniversary recently, stream-first games will likely continue to grow in popularity. Streamline, at least, is moving forward. Proletariat Inc. frequently streams playtests of the game on Twitch and Streamote. The company has a schedule for their broadcasts and has currently set up times for Streamline playtests every Tuesday and Friday. Check out the official website for more.
Tyler Davis is a freelance journalist and contributor to PN2. Go say hi @TDavis179