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1036664 Posts in 41853 Topics- by 33472 Members - Latest Member: Grouchy

August 27, 2014, 07:14:18 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsUnlamentia - first-person puzzle platform shooter
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caiys
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« on: January 24, 2013, 07:31:31 AM »

So Unlamentia is my first stab at a commercial game, it being a first-person puzzle platform shooter.

Rooms are small-ish with you having to activate all pinkies and make it to the exit, but every room revolves around differing mechanics. You may be tasked with manipulating the physical structure of the room, beating back waves of phasms or briskly bounding through the air. The puzzle is to deduce the limits of the room's mechanics which evolve as you progress. Some rooms are pure puzzley, others pure actiony, many contain a mix.

I originally made Unlamentia for the 7dfps jam, you can download the old freeware version here. And here be a video of a few of the early rooms. That's the basis from what I'm working on now, though I'm not happy with most of those rooms, some are too long-ish and most are too repetitive. Since most rooms are quite difficult the idea is that it shouldn't be a chore to replay them since you'll be restarting a fair bit.


So here's a list of stuff that needs doing before launch.

  • Complete 72 rooms. Currently up to 66.
  • Add final visual, audial and room gameplay polish.
  • Sort out website stuff, trailer, where/how to sell gam.






« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 02:00:43 AM by caiys » Logged
caiys
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 07:34:29 AM »

Worked on a website design even though it's one of the last things that needs doing... doh.

« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 02:33:21 PM by caiys » Logged
caiys
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 07:35:32 AM »

I was looking at some of the other recent 3d indie games and I really liked the atmosphere in Kairo, especially in the outdoor areas. All of the rooms in the freeware Unlamentia were very sparse and open, so with the new rooms I did some quick experimenting with larger structures.




In terms of 3d GameMaker is rather limited so there's no way I could ever do anything like Fract, but I'd like to experiment more with large geometric shapes, colours and maybe textures. Gameplay is the priority though so I won't go nuts with it and I want to get all the room mechanics sorted first, but it was nice to get a greater understanding of the 3d processing limits of GameMaker (which isn't a lot).
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 05:02:01 AM by caiys » Logged
caiys
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2013, 06:00:53 AM »

Well this is the worst devlog in the world, I be so ashamed. Facepalm Anyway I updated the first post and I'm dredging this because I seek your wisdom tigs.

1. Currently there's a simple tacked on narrative and boss mechanic. The rooms are split into islands, when most rooms are complete it opens another island. When all rooms of an island are done it opens up a boss room which is just a harder room featuring a huge phasm, which when complete opens up a poetic phrase that eventually builds to form a simple ambiguous story. The room selection room is groaning under the stress of fitting in all these islands and I can't help feel these typically gamey mechanisms serve little purpose.

There's a lot of gameplay variety in the rooms, some are pure puzzle, some are pure action and a fair few are a mix of both. Currently the islands have a mix of rooms based just on difficulty. I like a lot of different types of gams so I'm fond of how you never know what kind of room you'll be facing, but I'm rather worried this will alienate a lot of people that say for example buy the game because they just like puzzle games, in which case they would have to struggle through those actiony parts just to get some more juicy puzzles.

So with all that in mind I have two possible approaches of which path I'm unsure to take. I can keep it as is with the typical gamey boss/narrative mechanics and random gameplay rooms. Or alternatively I can make a grid based room selection level where they are ordered based on difficulty and the type of gameplay. So if you only want to play puzzle rooms then stick to one side and indulge, action is on the other side.

2. Discovering the rooms mechanics are based pretty much purely on experimentation. In the vid linked in the first post the dude couldn't figure out one of the levels and I'm a bit paranoid I've made some mechanics too obscure to figure out. I basically need a few people to have a quick play of the levels and tell me if something is crazy hard to figure. So if you want to help test just reply or pm me, I'll be sorting out a build sometime next week.


So my plan right now is to polish off the existing final rooms, polish off the audial and visual stuff so the game is pretty much in a complete state then after that just keep adding new rooms until I run out of ideas. I have about 13 solid room ideas written down but I keep noting new stuff down (I'll never finish this bloody gam).

Bye.
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Rabbit
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i can do what i want

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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2013, 06:46:19 AM »

It looks gorgeous. A++
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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2013, 08:17:07 AM »

1. I think the grid selection might be a good idea, then as you say, you're catering for two types of player.

2. I don't think you should consider making things easier for the player, but that's just because I'm a big advocate of no hand-holding, and games being absurdly difficult in general haha. The guy in the video does seem a little lost, but he's only been playing it for a few minutes.

I'd love to get a build of this or something to play test! I think it's incredibly beautiful, and creepy. The enemies that chase you also remind me of Giygas from Earthbound/Mother 2.
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caiys
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2013, 09:52:12 AM »

Nice I shall pop your name down on my list meek  Hand Thumbs Up Right

And yeah I don't necessarily mean make stuff easier as such, just on the odd level where it's rather hard to fathom what's going on. Like on that flying room I imagine he got confused because it's the first flying room and there's no floor so as you're falling quickly the only thing that springs to mind is to shoot the pinkies. Adding a floor where you start gives you some breathing time to experiment and if you're on a platform jumping is something you try instinctively (which becomes the fly button).

p.s. your gam dying sun looks jolly spiffy  Hand Thumbs Up Right
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Sean Hogan (seagaia)
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this is okay


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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2013, 10:02:40 AM »

maybe put out a demo for a people and see where we get stuck and go from there? i.e. i shalls ign up to test (i think i'll have time)
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caiys
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2013, 10:06:53 AM »

Oh sweet, cheers seagaia  Hand Thumbs Up Right

Yeah I'll be making a demo anyway sometime so I guess I could do that a bit earlier and get some feedback. Though I think I pretty much just need a second pair of eyes to have a quick play and say hey that's the right path keep jogging it (not that I don't want criticism). I haven't gotten any outside feedback yet so I seem to be in a phase where I've started second-guessing everything...
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 10:19:03 AM by caiys » Logged
Cloudiest Nights
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« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2013, 02:28:14 PM »

Looks very beautiful. And pink. I can't wait to see how this plays.
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meek
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2013, 03:06:36 AM »

This game definitely deserves more attention. You've been making/polishing it for like...forever. Can't wait to play it!

I think the idea about the platform might be a good one. Save the falling for a later level?
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caiys
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2013, 03:37:48 AM »

daw you guys are the bestest  ♥♥♥

and yeah there be a couple of rooms where you begin high in the sky tumbling down
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caiys
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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2013, 10:19:39 AM »

Ya I'm actually going to be working on either Straima or Call of the Wild straight after I've released Unlamentia. It will probably be CotW since I have a pretty solid idea of what I want to do with it and shouldn't take anywhere near as long to complete as Straima.
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caiys
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2013, 12:58:03 AM »

Sweet I shall pop your name down too Garrent.  Hand Thumbs Up Right

Think that should be enough testers now and I've plumped for going with the grid room selection option. Should have the rooms all polished off today then it's just a couple more days polishing some audial/visual stuff before I send the builds out. After that all that remains is to stuff in as many more rooms as I can muster.

The finishing straight is finally in sight oh gawd...
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caiys
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2013, 11:07:26 AM »

So I got some super fabulous feedback and had a rethink. I now have a very clear idea of what needs doing, there's a lot more to do now though and I really need to buckle down so think what I'll do is start doing a quick daily update so I don't slack off, hopefully. We'll see...

  • Sticking with 72 rooms, no more. Done 62 so far, though a fair amount still have a few final niggles to fix.
  • The rooms will be divided into islands of 8 rooms. Completing 4 will unlock the next island so you have some freedom if you say want to stick with the more puzzley rooms.
  • Completing all 8 will unlock a little piece of the narrative, a shiny effect and an extra room.
  • Each room will also show a phrase at the start to give a little clue what the mechanics of the room are.
  • Each island will have its own decorative theme - colours, special decor object. I might try and go a bit mental but GM 3D is pretty limited.
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