SAGE 2024: The Pride Of South Australia!

SAGE 2024: The Pride Of South Australia!

Thanks to the incredible South Australian Film Corporation, this past weekend played host to an event that dwarfed even Taylor Swift’s colossal shows for power usage. Okay, probably not, but SAGE, the South Australian Game Exhibition was pumping due to over 30 different game development studios from South Australia all coming together to showcase their wares. While tweens everywhere were squealing their lungs out back in my home state with Taylor, I ventured the other direction, on a road-trip across the border to check out what the next generation of games coming from South Australia has in store for us.

When many think of games and South Australia, they think of one thing – Team Cherry’s Hollow Knight, but the reality is that South Australia is home to so much more. Some of these games I’d seen before, specifically at PAX AUS, many I hadn’t, but what was immediately clear is that for anyone who associates the South Australian games scene with the house of Hornet or the Knight, you’ll hopefully soon realise that there’s much more hailing from South Australia than it seems, many of those games being something you’ll want to delve deeper into.

Housed at Glenside’s Adelaide Studios, the SAGE Exhibit brought together a diverse selection of games from an equally diverse range of teams. There was a selection of fascinating VR titles such as Pedal Rebel VR to games from in-vogue genres like Kādomon: Hyper Auto Battlers, games that were already available in early access such as Pick-a-Pocket, and more. The two sections displaying games separated titles from the main show floor to those selected for the Elevate Showcase, the equivalent of PAX AUS’ Indie Showcase titles. 

While many excellent games were on the show floor, and they were all demoed exceptionally well by some extremely passionate developers, I must take some time to shoutout my personal highlight from the exhibit – Pond Games’ Pipsqueak, a visually stunning 2D pixelart Metroidvania that wears its inspirations on its sleeve. Pipsqueak is heavily inspired by the genre pioneers in Metroid and Castlevania but wears the influences of both Shovel Knight and it’s local legend, Hollow Knight, on its sleeve. Speaking to Dan from the team I was shocked to learn that the incredible build we were playing was representative of a game that was still less than a year old. The game is mechanically incredibly solid, the visual style is gorgeous and it’ll be high atop my radar to check out at any future games showcases. A Kickstarter for the game will be going live in the coming weeks, so you can flag your interest now.

Much like PAX there were also a few panels providing the platform industry heavy hitters to talk about a range of important topics to both the industry but also some SA specific topics as well. From getting local support for SA games, to getting jobs in game development, education, and how to access rebates and other support services – there was something for anyone in the game-dev scene, as well as those aspiring to enter it. General consumers also had the opportunity to interact with prominent figures as a result. 

Having grown significantly from it’s 2023 output, the South Australian Games Exhibit 2024 has proven to be an exceptionally positive force for the local scene, giving gamers the chance to explore some local talent, and developers the chance to spruik their wares to consumers, media and other prominent figures. Thank you to SA Film for providing the opportunity for myself and the broader crowd to attend and see what the team has in store. South Australia is set to shine in 2024 and beyond.

Games At The Show Included
  • A Few Dragons – The Sacred Acorn
  • Catalyst Games – Dungeons and Dining Tables
  • Daytime Devs – Super BAWK BAWK Chicken
  • Dino Rocket – Kadomon: Hyper Auto Battlers
  • Fringe Realities – Project: Nightlight
  • HellByte Studios – Blood Reaver
  • Kungfu Takeaway – Secret Agent: Cold War Espionage
  • Kye Elliott-Moyle – Vincent the Vampire
  • Lamplight Forest – The Infinite Fortress
  • Makers Empire – Makers Empire
  • Mighty Kingdom – Star Trek Lower Decks Mobile
  • Mini Mammoth Games – Roving Rovers
  • Ortum Games – Belt it Out!
  • Paper Cactus Games – Fox and Shadow
  • PixelCake – Cozy Commons
  • Pond Games – Pipsqueak!
  • Quiet Rift Studios – Arena Tails
  • SPG Games – Puzzledorf
  • Split Symmetry – Tech Hunter
  • Stellar Advent – Lucie’s Potager
  • Stout Heart Games & Amythica – Pick-aPocket
  • Toasterface Games – Pedal Rebel VR
  • Two Lives Left – Punchimals
  • We Have Always Lived in the Forest – darkwebSTREAMER
  • Wemat Studios – Box Knight
  • yofrancisco – Meowing Point
And From The Elevate Showcase
  • 7D Games Studio – Spellborn
  •  ABM Visual – Cryptic Cabin
  • Cerulean Creative Studios – Crimson Cutlass
  • Golden Age Studios – Seeker Neeko
  • Jazz King – Beach Bums
  • Jonniemadeit – Uncle Unco
  • Solar Lightshow – The Lights I Promised You
  • Towerpoint Games – ANVILHEART

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