Tag «Unity3D»

Rat King at the Gamescom 2017

In the last full week of August we not only visited the Gamescom, which is the biggest gaming convention in Europe - we actually went there to showcase our current project, Behind Stars and Under Hills, at the Indie Arena Booth. As Jana is part of the orga team of this 'convention within the convention' we took the opportunity to present the game on 9m² and get some feedback by gamers. (Of course, the 'game' itself still is a prototype, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and the Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung.)

Behind Stars and Under Hills is very much pre-alpha (which means nothing is set in stone, everything is a placeholder, and anything can change) and won't be finished for at least a year. But it's important to let people see and feel a project early enough, so you don't develop a game eventually nobody wants to play. This is why this time, in contrast to our Gamescom presence 3 years ago (with TRI), we offered sheets of paper and felt-tip pens so players could write down their feedback. Quite an impressive amount of colorful text was produced this way, filled with criticism, wishes and comments.

So, to say it loud and clear: thanks to all our players! While for me just standing around and talking all the time quickly became tiring, and the whole experience was stressful and even annoying sometimes (thanks to loud presentations by some hardware vendor, offering t-shirts to the cheering masses), meeting so many cool, polite and interested gamers was a blast and made up for any inconveniences. Personally I was a bit surprised that most visitors of our booth were delighted by the design of our game and of the dialogs. To be honest, I expected people to be less patient - but here it shows the benefit of being part of a site dedicated to indies only, as the expectations of the visitors coming by are different.

During the five days of Gamescom the most common gripes with the game were the lack of a button for sprinting and a missing (auto-)map. Of course we already planned some kind of map, but are not sure yet how to implement it exactly. We'd like some kind of 'cartography skill', to make the maps more meaningful and part of the gameplay. Or maybe we'll just distribute hand-drawn maps in the game's world, to support the lore and the immersion.

On the other hand, sprinting is a different thing. We never planned to have it, as we actually want to make a "slower" game with a certain atmosphere to convey. (If you remember the development of TRI, you will feel like having a deja vu.) And maybe such a sprint mechanic could even lead to new problems especially for people with short attention spans, where they wouldn't process the environment anymore and just rush through, and find their way even less. So it's possible not the lack of running is the problem, but the amount of backtracking (e.g. having to go back to familiar place because of a quest with an NPC there). Maybe having a map already fixes this particular problem; thus adding maps has a higher priority for us. In any case, something like teleporters between the levels (anchored in the background story) are definitely planned.

A bug found during the gamescom: sometimes an NPC can stand on their head

I regret a bit that I wasn't able (physically and mentally) to play some of the other games, not even at the Indie Arena Booth. Behind Stars and Under Hills is so unfinished, fragile even, that I couldn't bear leaving it alone to the masses for too long. I mean, it was the first time the game was playable for the public!

But of course it never really was alone, as we had help by our wonderful volunteers - here's a shoutout to Björn, Jacky, Ludwig and Max! Not only did they explain the game to interested bystanders and answered questions, or helped players who got stuck, they also handed out flyers and made the whole experience much less of a hassle than it could've been. Here's hoping the Gamescom, loud and chaotic as it was, has been a wonderfully crazy experience for them, too.

Our next plans are to develop Behind Stars and Under Hills further of course, and refine it a bit - for example, the whole storyline still is too hazy so we need to work on it a lot more. More gameplay has to be implemented, more characters created, more levels built... Also coming up is the Poznan Game Arena in October, but it's much too soon, i.e. that we probably won't have much new to show. Still, if you happen to be around, come by and try to find crazy old Willard in our small game demo!

That's all, folks!

Power of Love now available on itch.io

POWER OF LOVE Although Power of Love, our co-op dungeon crawler made for the PGA, is not yet and might never be finished, we uploaded the current prototype on itch.io, because we thought the game is just too much fun to not have it played by other people. You actually get it alongside the soundtrack, which was composed by Ludwig Hanisch and consists of three crazy songs and a bonus track.

Way Of Love
Even as a prototype only the game is fully playable from start to finish! You and your partner can shoot enemies anytime, but when there are too many foes at once you need to carefully time cooperative actions like the Shockwave or the Laser.

Check the game out on itch.io or the official project page - and in order to give you a feeling for the game and also present one full track of the game, we recorded the following video. Have fun!



Svetovid and gamescom

Last week I participated in the 7DFPS - a game jam that wants to "keep first person shooters interesting". I'm not really sure if people really lose interest in the FPS genre somehow, but here you are, a jam that is all about first person perspective and shooting. Of course neither is mandatory, as there are entries without any pew pew and even 2D ones. Overall the genre is a very open one, and with the rise of Unity3D, a lot of people were able to participate without much hurdles.

Svetovid

My own entry, Svetovid, uses Unity3D too. The name comes from a Slavic god "of war, fertility and abundance", and like a lot of gods he has several heads, each looking in a different direction. I kinda was inspired by our visit to the island Rügen where he was worshipped. But mostly I just wanted to do something unusual with the camera and experiment a bit, as I didn't have much time and motivation to fully use the seven days of game jamming. Thus Svetovid was made in circa three days and can be downloaded or just played in your browser here. Gameplay-wise it's very simplistic, and as it is turn-based, it reminds of a roguelike a lot.

I'm pretty happy as the game already got a bit attention: @notch, @PeterMolydeux, @radiatoryang and @AdamKuczynski tweeted about it! Svetovid also was mentioned on IndieStatik and IndieGames.com.

gamescom

In other news, we will be in Cologne on Wednesday, visiting the gamescom 2013. This year a collective booth of German indie developers will be open from Wednesday to Sunday, presenting ten different games:

  1. Beatbuddy (Threaks)
  2. GhostControl Inc. (bumblebee)
  3. The Inner World (Studio Fizbin)
  4. Forced (Beta Dwarf Entertainment)
  5. Splatter (Dreamworlds)
  6. The Last Tinker (mimimi Productions)
  7. Team Indie (Brightside Games)
  8. The Red Solstice (Ironward)
  9. Ethan: Meteor Hunter (Seaven Studio)
  10. Sky Arena (Hammer Labs)

The trailer shows the awesomeness of these games and the German indie scene, even though it's much too short:

Oh - and on Tuesday we will be at the official Expo Party of the Notgames Fest, talking to artists and other indie developers.

Hope to see you there!