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September 21, 2014, 06:12:04 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsTower of the Gorillion
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Author Topic: Tower of the Gorillion  (Read 8114 times)
circuiton
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« on: January 08, 2013, 05:24:51 PM »



Tower of the Gorillion
A puzzle & action platformer.

Current stable demo: circuiton.com/gorillion

Steam Greenlight

Gameplay

You control two characters, either by switching between them, or controlling them simultaneously with a friend.

The catch is that the levels are all designed with a background and foreground layer which do not interact directly, though many puzzle elements and enemies are capable of interacting with both in different ways. Each player interacts only with his own layer.


The two characters progress through a series of forking level paths, in which each level features a different theme and gameplay element to figure out and overcome.



Style

The game was originally created using a Gameboy-style 4-colour palette which is still the version posted on the web. Some of the graphics became too difficult to distinguish between both front and back so after some consideration we decided to go with Gameboy Color style graphics. We're more or less adhering to the restrictions of on-screen unique colours, but have slightly violated other rules.



Storyline

The story is pretty rough at this point and has undergone several revisions to the setting, but the key plot is basically in tact.

In 199X, a tower appeared on the horizon beyond the edge of the earth, from which a strange howl could be heard in the distance. For centuries, human sacrifices would be cast over the edge of the earth to appease the Gorillion - the beast said to reside in the tower. If sacrifices are not sent, it is said that the demons living in the abyss will climb up to where the humans live and destroy them.

One day a wanderer decides to investigate an ancient ruin perched at the which overlooks the solitary tower floating in the clouds below.

This is the story of that man who refused the ideology of his time.




Current Status

The game is about 50% done right now, though I would like to say more.

The gameplay mechanics are more or less complete, and the levels are almost all roughed in. The music is also almost done.

Tilesets and other level artwork is about half done. Enemies are not yet complete, and Bosses are barely just started.



In any case, please give the current version a play through if you feel like it.

Bonus screenshots from end of chapter 1 cutscene:




---

Update [130113] : Colour version demo online.

Once the second level boss is in maybe I'll include level 2 in the demo as well.
I've been putting off drawing and animating the huge boss sprites, but I'll probably start soon.

---

Update [130117] : Fullscreen mode, 1x zoom, a few major but subtle UI adjustments, and a tiny bugfix.

You can play it in fullscreen now. I'll probably have it detect if you have a massive monitor and allow it to scale up to 3x in some cases.
1x zoom added as well for people with tiny monitors or who like straining their eyes.
Also fixed a bug in the 9th room which made progress impossible.

Now it's really back to work on the rest of the game.

---

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Any feedback you leave is incredibly helpful.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 05:19:57 PM by circuiton » Logged

Belimoth
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 06:12:26 PM »

I really like this, looking forward to more!

The way it switches between shared/split-screen is especially cool.
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poe
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 06:21:56 PM »

Will it cost ?

Looks fun Smiley
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Alchiggins
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2013, 06:24:31 PM »

Looks absolutely gorgeous. The premise sounds great. I can tell this is going to be freakin' awesome. Will definitely have to check out the demo at some point.

EDIT: Also, the picture in the post above mine is hilarious.
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 08:29:35 PM »

Cool! Fun concept and great execution. Nothing to add really except YOU MADE GiRAFFES ENEMIES? AWESOME!!
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rickardwestman
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2013, 01:28:27 AM »

Looked like fun and seems to have some interesting puzzles.

I just have a thought regarding the visual presentation of the platforms that you might want to have a look at. It is basically connected to how we see things in real life and how we calculate things in a depth perspective.
Right now you have the dark/black tileset behind the desaturated brighter set. In real life it would be the other way around, where things that are further away gets desaturated and have less contrast and kind of blends more into the background. Since you have it the revese way it might be harder for the brain to compute this background foreground relationship.
Maybe you have a reason for doing it this way, then keep it as it is, but otherwise I think it might just be a bit subconsiously confusing at times Smiley

Like the look of it otherwise and I bet you can get a lot of interesting gameplay situations out of that switching idea!
Keep up the cool stuff, looking forward to see more.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 05:15:01 AM by rickardwestman » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2013, 02:41:20 AM »

The graphics are really cool.

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circuiton
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2013, 08:03:40 AM »

Right now you have the dark/black tileset behind the desaturated brighter set. In real life it would be the other way around, where things that are further away gets desaturated and have less contrast and kind of blends more into the background. Since you have it the revese way it might be harder for the brain to compute this background foreground relationship.

Thanks for the feedback. That is something we experimented with - the original prototype at TOJam 7 had the lighter colour in the background.



In the end it was just too limiting to work with 4 colours only and having two separate layers of interaction, which is why we eventually removed that restriction.

I'll give it a try reversing light and dark and see how it looks.
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Thecoolestnerdguy
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2013, 09:57:32 AM »

The game looks awesome!
I've:
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2013, 12:07:53 AM »

Right now you have the dark/black tileset behind the desaturated brighter set. In real life it would be the other way around, where things that are further away gets desaturated and have less contrast and kind of blends more into the background. Since you have it the revese way it might be harder for the brain to compute this background foreground relationship.

Thanks for the feedback. That is something we experimented with - the original prototype at TOJam 7 had the lighter colour in the background.



In the end it was just too limiting to work with 4 colours only and having two separate layers of interaction, which is why we eventually removed that restriction.

I'll give it a try reversing light and dark and see how it looks.

Yeah, I see how the 4 colours was a pretty tight restriction and I think you did a good choice going away from the game boy look to a wider spectrum of colours like in the more up to date screenshots. Though this 4 colour image you posted reads a bit better to me in sense of the relationship between the back and foreground level. Maybe the simple level design in that one is adding to that too.

Anyway I am sure you will figure it out. My concern was just that if the relationship between the back and foregound level wouldn't read as clear as you would want. Then the brain might be confused and subconciously not really keep track of which level you are on. I kind of saw that on youtube when a guy was testing your game and he suddenly tried to jump to a platform that wasn't in his current level and fell down and died. I kind of felt that he jumped intuitively and I think that you really want to avoid to have the player do mistakes like that. Maybe it is easier to keep track of this while playing the 2 player mode in comparison to the single player where you constantly toggle between the two levels.
Though, I really like the idea behind this and I am sure that either way the player will get in to reading the world pretty quick.  Hand Thumbs Up Left

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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2013, 02:21:02 PM »

Greenlit this a while back, good concept and neatly executed too. I understand the change in palette, but the new layers need more contrast.
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circuiton
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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2013, 01:57:44 AM »

Revised demo is up in colour now. I took your suggestions and inverted the background and foreground. What do you think?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 02:21:47 AM by circuiton » Logged

rickardwestman
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2013, 03:15:29 AM »

I tried out some of the beginning stages and it works pretty good, I got in to the foreground background quite quick.
Something I felt though, about being in the background level, was that it maybe would have been cool to have some tiles that you could see through. Like if there was a hole in the middle of a tile in the foreground wall so that you could see the edge of the platform in the background level. I found myself a couple of times running with the background character and fell of the edge when disapperaing behinde the foreground layer. It was most likely just my poor platforming skills but having some tiles that have some cracks or holes in them might be something to try out..?
Otherwise I totally see how you could put a lot of cool secret areas in a game like this. It was a cool feeling, I think it was on the second or third screen (spoiler) that you met a dead end with the background character and had to jump down a few steps back to get to a lower level which was kind of hidden by the foreground level. That was a really cool discovery. I love puzzle designs like that!

Btw, have you tried using different colours for the layers to up the contrast between them even more?
An what if the background character had the same dark value as the background tiles? In that case I think you would feel even more that he really belongs to the background level.

Music was cool too! Keep up the cool stuff!
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circuiton
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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2013, 08:06:43 AM »

You basically pointed out the same few things I was thinking, about changing the colours and particularly on having the cloaked guy's colour match a bit more closely with the paler background.

About the stuff with hiding in the background - there are a few little secrets hiding for the background player to find in later levels, so the little bits where you have to go out of sight in the first level are just to get you accustomed to that sort of gameplay. I'm glad you enjoyed that part of it. Some players are more confused by it at first than others but most people get a good laugh out of it once they figure it out.

Thanks for your continued input.
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happymonster
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2013, 08:13:24 AM »

Could you put the background graphics as having less contrast? Perhaps blend at 50% with a solid grey version of the tile/sprite.. That might make it more obvious.
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« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2013, 06:24:45 PM »

I saw the title screen and thought it was going to be a shadow of the colossus demake. But this looks pretty cool too. Wink
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Alec S.
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« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2013, 11:01:23 AM »

This is pretty cool.  I like the character switching mechanic, and you've got a nice visual style going here.

A couple points of feedback on the demo:
There should be some indication when one of the characters reaches their end-point on the screen.  Maybe a sound effect or something.
Also, this might just be personal preference, but the red-headband guy's jump felt a little bit sluggish to me.
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circuiton
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« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2013, 11:28:36 AM »

Indicating where the next room is might be an idea, but I'd probably just do it on the first room. Were you unsure where to go on the first room only, or on some other ones as well?

I'll look into the possibly sluggish jump as well.
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Alec S.
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« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2013, 11:37:05 AM »

It was more that I had a moment of confusion when I hit the end of the room, because I didn't know if I had succeeded or not.  Just some little ding to let you know "congrats, one of your guys has made it to the end of the room, now do it with the other guy" would be a nice bit of player feedback.
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 12:08:43 PM »

Ok, yeah. In the first room anyway there has always been a little bit of confusion about how to progress. There'll probably be door-indicating tiles done up once tilemaps are back on the menu so maybe that'll help clear it up as well.
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