Sometimes, the story behind the development of a game is just as important as the game itself. That could be said of Indika, developed by Odd Meter and announced as being published by 11 bit studios (which is pretty perfect as it really aligns with 11 bit studios’ vision of meaningful entertainment, put forth in games like This War of Mine). Indika is a unique, narrative-driven adventure set in a parallel 19th-century Russia. It is set to launch in early 2024.
The title of the game is the name of its protagonist. Indika is a nun embarking on a mind-bending journey to explore the duality of good and evil and the understanding that nothing is absolute. It’s a third-person perspective adventure game that blends exploration with environmental puzzles and a tiny bit of platforming. It promises to transcend traditional gaming, being more like an art-house film that challenges social norms with themes like sin, sorrow, and moral dilemmas.
A working relationship existed between Odd Meter and 11 bit studios prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and these horrific events put both companies in a difficult situation. Odd Meter actually moved its entire 16-person team to Kazakhstan.
“Even before our country started the war, we walked a fine line working with topics that can get someone criminal prosecution in Russia,” states Dmitry Svetlow, Game Director and Founder at Odd Meter, in a press release. “After February 24, things were complicated even further as staying in Russia became both physically scary and, more importantly, morally difficult, so we decided to leave for another country.”
“Such a dehumanizing war shows that our desire to see the world as a free, civilized place is still brittle, and sadly, many people’s lives still precariously balance on military whims. We at 11 bit knew we couldn’t measure our ongoing cooperation with Odd Meter merely due to the studio’s origins,” states Rufus Kubica, Product Management Lead at 11 bit studios, in the same press release. “As the team decided to leave Russia and move to Kazakhstan, we gave them all the time they needed to put their private and professional lives back on track. Development deadlines could be postponed, and we needed to put a ton of new effort into paperwork. But most importantly, we didn’t interfere with the game content, its theme, or the story that bravely touches on topics that are almost entirely absent from games up to now.”
Developed by Odd Meter and published by 11 bit studios, Indika will be released for PC and consoles (no specifics were given, but expect PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series) in Q1 2024. Part of the game’s revenue wil be donated to help children affected by the war in Ukraine.