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Fight trash with even more trash in this steampunk brawler

And a capybara that was made for love

A character runs through an empty street. It’s drawn in a 2D cartoony style and there’s a giant skull ornamenting one of the buildings Image: PseudoZap
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

Throughout the time of writing this column, I’ve come across tons of developers finding inspiration in more overlooked subjects — and this time, it includes literal trash. This game, Scrap Bringer, goes for a steampunk look but with cartoony character designs that make even the least appealing trash feel like a Nickelodeon cartoon.

We have trash and more in Cool WIP, Polygon’s weekly roundup of eye-catching clips, and screenshots of works in progress. Each week, the Polygon staff scours the internet for the most interesting games still under construction, to give you a sampler of the coolest up-and-coming projects.

This week we have capybaras galore, a good dose of goopy slime, a glowing pink forest, and to end, we have a little peek behind some game development animation curtains.

One mafioso to rule the garbage dump

Scrap Bringer is a twin-stick action game that combines cel-shaded graphics with a steampunk-inspired world from Pseudo Zap. While we haven’t seen a whole lot of what the action will look like, the developers bring a killer sense of taste to the character design — many of which are a stylish composite of abandoned items in a trash heap. A recent clip from the developer showed a slick animation for a van filled with characters who look inspired by a mob movie. There’s no release date but you can follow development on the studio’s Twitter account.

One developer makes capybaras for love

In a fittingly modern and romantic gesture — TikToker Mybadron used their game design degree to make capybara desktop buddies (interactive virtual pets) as a gift for their girlfriend. The developer has been posting updates — one showed them designing the 3D models of the critters and coloring them. And while it’s a sweet story, it’s also a great snapshot of the kind of work that goes into making a tool like it. If you want to learn more about how it was made, you can check out all the updates on the developer’s TikTok account.


Reply to @imjemmm game design degree coming in clutch #capybara

♬ I must apologise - PinkPantheress

This goop gives Dragon Quest’s slime a run for its money

Slime is nothing new to games — take for example the beloved Dragon Quest slimes, or the ChuChus from Zelda. But Savior, from developer Starsoft, absolutely nails its take on slime-based monsters. A clip of the slippery pile of goop shows it lurching forward with a comically large gait and taking a look around. According to the developers, Savior follows an intense war that’s divided civilizations for centuries. That sounds all big and grandiose, but to be honest, I just really like this goopy guy. There’s no release date for Savior but you can catch occasional posts on the developer’s Twitter account.

A glowing pink forest

The feed of Twitter user B shows a series of vibe-y and atmospheric digital spaces. One clip posted recently shows a figure walking through a forest filled with pink hues and glowing neon plants. The magical space isn’t for any announced game but appears to be a part of a series of experimental developments where the creator plays with game environments. You can check out all the stunning creations on their Twitter account.

A peek behind the curtains

This isn’t a game, but in the spirit of highlighting cool aspects of game development I wanted to bring this post into the column. Here we have a Twitter post originally published by artist and animator Kinucakes that shows a simple guide to animating character loops. It’s a detail easily lost on players who take character movement for granted. However, behind all constant motions lie a great looped animation. It’s really cool to see this technique laid out plainly, with notes that explain the difference in movement. As a non-developer, it really enhances my appreciation for the games I play.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.