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June 8, 2024

Andreas Betsche

Day of the Devs 2024: Southeast Asian Indies Shine with Heart and Whimsy

June 8, 2024 | Andreas Betsche

In a poignant follow-up to the star-studded Summer Game Fest Showcase, Day of the Devs 2024 turned the spotlight on the smaller heroes of the gaming world: indie developers. Among this year’s roster of innovative creators were two Southeast Asian standouts: Thailand’s Tan Ant Games and Indonesia’s Pikselnesia. Their games, unveiled with new trailers, offer a delightful blend of whimsy and emotional depth.

Building Relationships: A Quirky Architectural Adventure 

Tanat Boozayaangool, the solo developer behind Building Relationships, playfully describes his game as “like “A Short Hike”, but stupid.” This charmingly offbeat adventure casts players as a sentient house on a date, rolling, jumping, and dashing through a vibrant landscape to meet other architectural characters like windmills and or factories. The game’s slightly silly spirit extends to its fishing mini-game, where players angle not for fish but for cars.

With its low-poly 3D aesthetic reminiscent of late 90s classics, Building Relationships promises a refreshing dose of silliness and heart. We can look forward to this architectural rom-com when it lands on Steam in early 2025.

Afterlove EP: A Tribute to Friendship and Music 

The presentation for Afterlove EP began with a touching story from Pikselnesia’s lead narrative designer, Sasha Ariana. She shared the emotional journey of losing her friend Fahmi, the creative lead behind the game and known for his work on Coffee Talk and What Comes After. Fahmi’s influence permeates every aspect of Afterlove EP, from its narrative inspired by his experiences in Jakarta to its artistic direction.

Set against the backdrop of Indonesia’s vibrant capital, Afterlove EP weaves a coming-of-age story centred around music and the bittersweet echoes of loss. With its distinctive art style and heartfelt storytelling, the game is a beautiful tribute to Fahmi’s legacy. Players can experience this moving narrative when it releases on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox later this year.


Andreas Betsche

Andreas Betsche founded Virtual SEA in early 2016 after researching Cambodian mobile games for his Master’s thesis. He has a background in Southeast Asia studies and has worked and lived in Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Since he has been actively playing games since the early 90s, combing both worlds in Virtual SEA brought together both of his passions.

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