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1025782 Posts in 41109 Topics- by 32713 Members - Latest Member: CarlaWolfe

July 23, 2014, 05:44:43 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsShapist - a puzzle embraced by physics OUT ON iPAD (web demo available)
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Author Topic: Shapist - a puzzle embraced by physics OUT ON iPAD (web demo available)  (Read 5420 times)
ori
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« on: August 06, 2013, 05:42:56 AM »


SHAPIST is finally out on iPad:
https://itunes.apple.com/app/shapist/id816551293



You can also visit our web site for web demo:http://www.playshapist.com



Shapist is a sliding block puzzle where you can do much more than just slide.

We made Shapist to show how a classical game concept can be embraced by physics, experimentation and new mechanics. It is designed as a timeless, beautiful object without barriers between a player and the game. There are no words. No punishment. No tutorials. No time limits and no scores... Just you & over 50 puzzles to solve.






« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 06:55:08 AM by ori » Logged

Ori from qixen-p design. Twitter: @takemuraori
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 08:27:48 AM »

Shapist devlog.

http://www.playshapist.com/

There is a puzzle called "15 puzzle", it was an object that I particularly loved when I was a kid, my grandmother had one. the mechanics and premises go back to 1900s approx. and then we have numerous variations and expansions on top of it. At some point, sliding different parts of Gmail app interface on iPad sparked an inspiration, or a belief that sliding block game can not only be a fun and a very relevant experience today but also can be true to the modern mediums, such as touch interactions, have new twists on closure and game meaning. Fast forward around 7 months and here we are working hard to finish Shapist.

By we I mean a very small team of two Dmitry Kurilchenko (development) http://kurilchenko.com/ and me - Takemura Ori (idea & design) https://twitter.com/takemuraori. Game will be published under qixen-p design - a studio I founded.

What is Shapist - Shapist is a cross platform, Unity 3D based take on a sliding block puzzle. We have all levels done ( the game will feature 50 puzzles and 8 special web demo puzzles) and are now working on design, sounds, performance issues etc. this will be the devlog documenting what is left.

A curious note perhaps is that I have a certain background in product design, as well as in games, however I approached Shapist in a particularly product design way due to a nature of sliding blocks games where game mechanics dynamical meaning can be synonymous to game meaning in a whole.

One of the puzzle sketches.

and this is how the game looks currently before the polished design, color palette etc.

Speaking of product design approach, we don't have a single written word in Shapist, no tutorials, no "press here" no schemes of what you should do with arrows pointing out somewhere, and yet I believe this game can be played by a 5 year old, an alien, your grandpa... given of course they are interested in puzzles or sliding stuff around, may be not just sliding.  Of course there is a progressive difficulty and puzzles get more complex.

More complex levels look like this:

As you can see there is a number of "special" blocks, and while I work for quite some time to define the textures color scheme is currently in progress, we haven't decided if colors will always be the same throughout the game or you will be introduced to a few themes.
What I am currently looking into is highlighting special tiles with a specific color that will nto be used anywhere else, that definitely create an easy of focus and understanding but needs to be carefully combined  with the overall look and composition.

approximately a month ago i also made a concept art in 3D
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 06:54:37 AM by ori » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 08:45:44 AM »

Here are some early color themes that I rejected.

I am targeting a color scheme that will be both consistent in interactive parts, clear in differentiation of static and dynamic and at the same time will allow freedom so that we will have 5 different color themes one per each 12 levels.
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2013, 08:31:23 AM »

I decided to use shades of grey for all the non interactive elements: walls, floor, space around the puzzle.
At some point those two were the result. Trying on Ipad and with different puzzles we decided on the right one, due to both - higher readability, better visceral impact but also due to less light shining at the player - a factor that can be tiring for players eyes.

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Ori from qixen-p design. Twitter: @takemuraori
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2013, 02:42:22 PM »

This is intriguing me, even though it's difficult to tell how the game works. I especially like how you've given the blocks some very different appearances. It's tempting with a sliding block game to go simple on the graphics, so it's good to see you're putting effort into making the visuals memorable.

The edges of the blocks are a little dull, though, and seem to bleed into each other. I think they might look better if you gave them dark outlines at the edges, or spruced them up to have something other than straight, plain lines. Maybe give them a serrated texture, put buckles or chips on them, etc.

I'm really curious to try playing with this - I love the simplicity of design that comes with sliding block puzzles and other mechanical puzzles.
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2013, 08:20:58 PM »

Throughout the game development I started to write down some thought on design process, sometimes in general but more often directly related to what got reflected in Shapist, in other words those explain many decisions we took. I plan to brush them up and posted in the development story part of the web site about Shapist once it is out, but it could be that we may decide not to put them on a site as well. If anyone is interested, here they are in raw form:
on Games designed as physical objects: http://goo.gl/L1fegC on Tension and creating a place for player to stay: http://goo.gl/WmQif Telling the story though level design (not what you may think): http://goo.gl/2tPJUm on 9 dots puzzle and outside the box: http://goo.gl/oSTU7V i wrote few, may be five more, but those were smaller and i don't find them descriptive enough.



SirNiko - thank you very much for the feedback, I am trying hard to maintain a proper balance, mace recognizable memorable visuals that will not be not noise for a player trying to solve the puzzle, I intentionally want Shapist to look simple in colors and we try no to outline the blocks, however color bleeding could be to either imperfect color scheme - still in works, or to due to the fact that i am working with colors in Photoshop first using unity screenshots etc, so there are obvious artifacts. Please stay tuned and let us know what you think once there are more details, and finally the web demo is out...
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2013, 11:04:55 PM »

We plan to have numbers on the back of each puzzle and to show them in Shapist's own numerical system. this is how 8 10 (today's date) looks like. Understanding of how to read those numbers does not effect players game play, difficulty etc.

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Ori from qixen-p design. Twitter: @takemuraori
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2013, 05:38:11 AM »

Here is some progress with color schemes, you can see the one on the left - will be the opening / first color scheme in the game, and then two other ones are fairly close to each other so either only one of them will stay or may be they will get mixed in a way. all together as i mentioned previously i target 5 or 6 schemes, and hopefully they all will come this week.

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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2013, 09:41:52 AM »

Here is one of the color schemes that will make it into the final game, adjustments are still in progress, two more are coming within days)
 
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2013, 09:06:03 AM »

So here they are - candidates for the final place. one of those could be the 5th color palette. The order is not decided yet, so it does not necessarily means the last palette to be picked will be the last in the game.  This topic is not particular popular with so far 1 comments ) however if by some weird chance a dear visitor is reading this and that reader is interested in block sliding puzzle games, a feedback and opinion on colors is always welcome. * - third from the top is a bit too close in sensation to the one i posted last and due to that I am not very eager to use it however by itself it is a wonderful palette. 

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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2013, 02:57:29 PM »

I am interested in this game, and I prefer the more muted colors of the topmost of those new color schemes.
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2013, 06:20:56 PM »

Ichigo Jam, thanks a lot for the opinion. I think the palette that will not make it to the game will be used for web demo. I like them all, but top one is an ode to pixel art old games and screens of gameboy etc.
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Ori from qixen-p design. Twitter: @takemuraori
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« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2013, 01:43:48 AM »

Considering different people have different tastes, why not offer multiple selectable palettes? A lot of puzzle games offer different themes to cater to players, and I believe your game is suited to such.
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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2013, 04:18:25 AM »

eyeliner, it is a good point, however I appreciate well curated games, we have 50 levels and approximately every 10 level there is something new in the game, not only I want to highlight it with different color palettes but also some palettes really flourish with certain types of levels and block that player can interact with. Those are the reasons to have 5 distinct colors palettes in the game and one extra for the web demo.
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« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2013, 05:05:39 PM »

Just a short update. I am now recreating all our 50+ puzzles with the new editor for the final xml export, while making sure that color composition is great in the every single puzzle. That is an enjoyable but a bit challenging task that should take some more days.  there are also some nice things that hopefully will make players happy to see but I am not into spoiling them.  thus next time you see this topic updated is when i will start creating the video trailer. The trailer will have conceptual purely rendered part and then game play extract of course, I may prepare purely conceptual video first and then make it into a final trailer. stay tunes and thanks for the interest Smiley
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