Unlike China, India’s gaming market is still nascent. For instance, a meager 5% of the country’s 42 million Internet users are active gamers, according to a 2007 report by market researcher iCube. (For more, check out this great, quick piece by B-Dub correspondent Manjeet Kripalani.) And yet, a growing number of Indian outsourcing firms are producing all manner of 3D models, textures, and technologies – not to mention live support – for Western games.
Which is why I perked up when I received word of io from Atman Software, a one-man shop based in India. Developer Thomas Kuriakose says io, which was released at the very end of December 2007, is the first independent PC game entirely developed in India. That may or may not be the case, but the notion is an interesting one and Kuriakose writes a blog here that is a unique gem of game development in a, well, developing market.
More importantly, io is a great-looking, fun game. I haven’t spent too much time with it, though a fuller review should be forthcoming in the next few weeks. But long story short, it’s a fully 3D side-scrolling shooter for both PC and Mac. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the classic Bungie-published title, Abuse, from way, way back in the day. (Pictures of that gem, here.) In any case, the game’s demo is certainly worth checking out, both for the gameplay and unique origin. It can be downloaded here.