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1055581 Posts in 42864 Topics- by 34798 Members - Latest Member: SHARKvince

October 21, 2014, 01:28:50 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsMissing Translation - Puzzle/Adventure [Android & PC]
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Ludipe
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« on: March 24, 2014, 12:45:20 PM »

Missing Translation - Puzzle/Adventure [Android & PC]



Quote
I'm sure you know how crowdfunding campaigns work. You need several months to plan them and even then it's hard to reach your goal.

Well... we went crazy and made one in just a bunch of hours. We're releasing the game anyway, but we were offered a booth in a big gaming event and we'd love to rent it.




Share the link above and you'll get our everlasting love  Gentleman

GAMEPLAY VIDEO


We collected enough money to rent the booth at Madrid Games Week, we'll showcase "Missing Translation" there :D





What is "Missing Translation"? (working tittle)

It's an upcoming game that will be launched on Android and PC.

It's inspired on classic PC point & click games but also on FEZ Gomez and other modern titles. There's some plot behind it but it's pretty abstract, it's all centered around puzzles. The game introduces a couple of different sets of mental challenges, each of these sets has different rules and mechanics, if you get stuck or don't like a certain type of puzzle you can just skip it and come back later.

We are making it accessible to everyone(not too hard to complete with some effort) but we're also adding several hardcore puzzles with really cool rewards for people who seek a greater challenge. It doesn't mind what kind of player you are, we'll have suitable content for everyone to enjoy if you give us a chance.

The team

We hadn't worked together before this project, in fact, we didn't even know each other a few weeks ago. We're doing all this because we love creating games and we believe in what we do. We're not professionals so we work part-time.


Luis Díaz(@Ludipe)
Project Director | Code | Design


Gustavo Santos(@gustavo__san)
Art | Testing


Albert Fernández(@Albert_composer)
Music | Testing


Tice Thomason(@TiceBilla)
Sound Design | Testing

Design

When I start designing a game the first thing I ask myself is: "What do I want to achieve with it?". With "Missing Translation" I want to create a game that entertains players at the same time that makes them use their brains, games should always provide with positive experiences. I'm trying my best to design puzzles that you'll find interesting and that are fit for different types of users.

All this is wrapped with the gorgeous art drawn by Gustavo that takes you to this strange world which mixes steampunk and western elements. The music composed by Albert should set player in the mood to relax and ponder about the challenges.

Finally there's this abstract plot with minimalist environmental narrative(we're avoiding text at all costs). I love adding some inexplicit messages here and there, most players won't notice them but I do it anyway. Some things in the game have a deeper meaning for me but each player should find his/her own interpretation of the game. If you don't like this kind of artistic stuff don't worry, we won't be shoving it in your face, you can just play to complete the puzzles.

Concept art

This is our first art, still setting the world and the style.





OST


Devlog entries

Devlog Entry #1: Early designs and art
Devlog Entry #2: Some progress, colors and RetroMadrid
Devlog Entry #3: Gameplay and design stuff
Devlog Entry #4: Putting the pieces together
Devlog Entry #5: A look at the language
F.A.Q.

-Are you going to launch a kickstarter campaign? You can never say never but I highly doubt it.

-.... Steam Greenlight?Too soon to tell.

-When is the game going to be released? It won't take forever, it should be ready in 2-4 months, but you know what they say: "it's done when it's done" .

-How much will it cost? It'll be a free game, we decided that from the beginning.

-So ... are you gonna include ads in the app? Not at all, I'm against ads, they take away the immersion.

-Microtransactions? Nope, don't expect them either. We will have a "support us" version for people who want to support us but that'll be completely optional.



« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 02:41:34 AM by Ludipe » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2014, 01:35:20 AM »



Happy screenshot saturday! Today we're showing one of the strange folks you'll find in the game. Right now all the sprites are in black and white, the plan is to use colors to highlight important things, but that will come later.
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2014, 07:50:34 AM »

Devlog Entry #1: Early designs and art

It all started because I wanted to make a new game for Android, after publishing my first app on Google Play I got some experience and I was ready to embark on a serious project. I wanted to make something I would like as a player; I don't play many games on my mobile device, the market is flooded with low quality titles and I don't find many games appealing .

I love puzzle games, so that seemed like a good option to start with, though I didn't want to develop another completely abstract project, don't get me wrong, I like abstract games but this time I wanted to add some kind of meaningful plot or context to the mix.

So I made a few basic prototypes, one of them evolved into what's our current project. It's about a guy who feels out of place, everything is alien to him and he just wants to figure out what the hells is going on. I designed some puzzles on paper and at this point it was closer to a LucasArts point&click adventure.

Later I realized that people feel the urge to express themselves and communicate, not being able to speak the language the rest of the people is using is awful, and that's exactly what's happening in the game to reinforce the feeling of isolation.

My next thought was "how cool would it be if you could learn the language". Using it to interact with the game would be like making an effort to change, understand and fit in. This idea took me to a new prototype.



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V




This mechanic mimics the Android lock screen and it's used to draw symbols, your character will say whatever you draw. Some of these symbols have a meaning and can be used to interact with NPCs.

At some point of the development I thought this mechanic would be the main feature in the game but after some tests I saw too many downsides, instead of focusing on that we're just going to make it optional, which is what FEZ did. Do you want to solve a couple of puzzles, have fun and complete the game? That´s fine! Do you want to get more involved in the game and take your time? We'll make sure you have plenty of things to explore!



Language is how the theme of the game is represented through context and gameplay but it also needs a visual representation. You've seen some of the sketches and assets that Gustavo made for the creatures who appear in the game, but we still needed a protagonist for our adventure. We could have created an even weirder creature that didn't look like the others in the game, but we thought it would be better to have an average guy as the main character; someone the player can relate to.

After some time it all came down to one of these designs:





And the chosen one was ...




Right now we're still making puzzles and creating the world, there's lots of things to do and details to add, we have a long way ahead, but we're developing what I believe will be an interesting experience for the players, mixing classic puzzle mechanics with a setting that you'll want to explore.

As a developer I find it hard to speak about the project, I want to explain the origin ,and the meaning, but at the same time I want to leave it open to interpretation (or no interpretation at all if that's what you wish) but what I can say is that I am an experienced player and this is the kind of game I would play until I completed it, and I think that with a bit of luck most users will feel the same way.

Stay tuned for more news about "Missing Translation"!
(don't forget to follow us on Twitter)
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2014, 05:57:23 AM »



Happy screenshot saturday! Today we're showing a tiny part of the town which works as the main hub in the game.
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2014, 05:55:51 AM »



Happy screenshot saturday! We're still alive, working and preparing some leaflets for RetroMadrid :D
« Last Edit: April 19, 2014, 06:02:47 AM by Ludipe » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2014, 01:05:26 PM »

Devlog Entry #2: Some progress, colors and RetroMadrid

Our development is around 30%, it's really hard to measure such thing but it's close.

In a few days there's a game event taking place in Madrid(RetroMadrid), and we thought it could be cool to print a bunch of flyers and be there promoting the project.

There were a few things we had to get ready before making the flyers, we needed to decide the definitive title, start adding colors to our assets and create a basic website.

We ended up using "Missing translation", over the last months we have come to love it. Regarding colors, our plan was to use them to highlight interactive objects, we did a few mockups to try them out. This is what happened:




We didn't like them at all, it looks awful, besides, black and white is pretty unique, so we won't be using colors in "Missing Translation".

And I've set up a basic tumblr page for our game, everything there was taken from this devlog, so there's nothing new, but it was a necessary thing to have.

Once we went through our to-do list I told Gustavo and he made a design for our flyer (since the event is in Madrid it's in Spanish).




And I guess that's all for now, time to get back to work!  Wink
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2014, 01:28:19 PM »

Hey, this game looks cool!! It has a pretty unique aspect, keep up the good work.

Are you guys from Madrid? I live there (here), but sadly I can't assist to RetroMadrid and promote Invertium like you guys are doing, since I'm on a trip this weekend.

Good luck with it!
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2014, 01:48:53 PM »

Hey, this game looks cool!! It has a pretty unique aspect, keep up the good work.

Are you guys from Madrid? I live there (here), but sadly I can't assist to RetroMadrid and promote Invertium like you guys are doing, since I'm on a trip this weekend.

Good luck with it!

Thanks!

Actually, I'm the only one who lives in Madrid. The guys from Indie-o-rama helped me promoting my first Android project, they have their own stand at RetroMadrid and I'll be there giving away the flyers :D
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2014, 11:21:57 AM »

Devlog Entry #3: Gameplay and design stuff

Development has been a bit slow lately, Gustavo(the artist) had some work to do and I've been busy with the Ludum Dare and personal business; that's why I didn't publish a new devlog entry earlier. We're not dropping the project or delaying it at all, the game features 4 big puzzle sets; one of them is ready, I'd like to finish the second during this month, the third during June, the forth during July and leave 30-45 days to add optional sidequests, polish it, etc.

I thought it would be a good idea to explain the gameplay with some detail.

I love puzzle games, my first game for Android was "Simplicity", one of those abstract games where you have a bunch of challenges and a menu to go from one to another. I enjoy this kind of games but I prefer to have some kind of world of setting around the puzzles. I never really cared about the plot in games like "Professor Layton" or "Puzzle Agent", but I liked the fact that I was achieving something else with those puzzles. And it's always great to wander in a game if you have beautiful art and music; I'm one of those people who play FEZ from time to time just to enjoy the art.

But there's one thing I didn't like about those games, the puzzles weren't deep enough for me, I like when I'm given a few basic mechanics and I get harder challenges based around those mechanics; when you go from something easy to something harder you get a better understanding of what you are doing, and I love that feeling.

So I thought:"I'd like to have a game with 3-4 puzzle sets and some kind of minimal story/plot. At least I'd enjoy that game". And that's the guideline I'm following while developing "Missing Translation", it's kind of an experiment to see if it works.

I'll show one of these sets so you get the idea.


In this puzzle you have to rotate the tiles by clicking on them, you solve it once all their edges match. I designed 25 levels for this simple mechanic which go from the simplest case possible to some harder challenges.


I guess that's all we have for now, time to get back to work, stay tuned!
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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2014, 04:32:42 PM »

The "lockscreen language" idea is great.  (And if you made the symbols be Eulerian paths, drawing them could be a puzzle in itself.) 

One thing I really enjoy with language-type puzzles is when the relationships between symbols are meaningful enough that new ones can be deduced.  Like in LOOM, where you learn that reversal is meaningful.  Or in the (rather obscure) JRPG "Rudra no Hihou", when you figure out that spells have suffixes with predictable effects.  Or in the real-life Korean alphabet, where shape transformations in the consonants express systematic manner-of-pronunciation distinctions.



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« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2014, 11:49:04 PM »

The "lockscreen language" idea is great.  (And if you made the symbols be Eulerian paths, drawing them could be a puzzle in itself.) 

One thing I really enjoy with language-type puzzles is when the relationships between symbols are meaningful enough that new ones can be deduced.  Like in LOOM, where you learn that reversal is meaningful.  Or in the (rather obscure) JRPG "Rudra no Hihou", when you figure out that spells have suffixes with predictable effects.  Or in the real-life Korean alphabet, where shape transformations in the consonants express systematic manner-of-pronunciation distinctions.

LOOM was one of my main inspirations for the "lockscreen language" system. After some tests I came to a point where I couldn't make the concept accesible to most people(specially when I'm trying to avoid the use of text in the game; I'm exploring ways to teach mechanics to the players) and it was really hard to keep the game fresh and not repetitive.

I wasn't sure about making a whole game based on this mechanic, maybe I'll do this in the future, but it's a big design challenge. So I decided to do something similar to what FEZ did, everyone should be able to complete the game solving the regular puzzles, but there are gonna be some harder challenges for people who enjoy them; they won't be the main part of the game but I think hardcore players will enjoy theme. Almost all of these harder challenges will use the lockscreen system.
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2014, 10:25:45 AM »

Yeah, that makes complete sense.  I would have been annoyed if it seemed like Fez was requiring me to solve its languages.  (Although I like cryptograms, I don't like when games present them as languages, and that turned me off at the outset.)  But going back to Fez the second time, I gave it a shot and was rewarded with more game.
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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2014, 11:06:37 AM »

Quick announcement!

We have a new member on our team. Tice contacted me because our project caught his eye and he wanted to help with the development. He'll be taking care of the sound design :D



Tice Thomason(@TiceBilla)
Sound Design | Testing
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2014, 05:38:14 AM »



#screenshotsaturday

Still working on Missing Translation. We're aiming to release the game during October :D
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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2014, 12:48:15 PM »

Devlog Entry #4: Putting the pieces together


--NOTE: some elements from the gif are just placeholders --

We have finished 2 out of 3 sets of puzzles(yup, there were going to be 4, but now it's three, schedule stuff)and the town map is at 60-70%, only Gustavo(the artist) could tell. So things are going fine, we have lots of work ahead(as always), but it looks good :D .

Now it's the time to start putting the pieces together, connecting maps, puzzles and tweaking things. Right now we have a build with lots of debug commands and it's kind of confusing if you're not part of the development team. I'm working hard to polish what we already have so I can e-mail a build to some friends over the next week in order to get some feedback  Coffee

I don't wanna release a public demo, it would spoil the final game. Public alphas/demos only make sense in games like Minecraft or Nuclear Throne(games meant to be played over and over).

I've reached that point of development when it's getting hard to see what's right and what's wrong with the game, so this "demo" will be useful (and it's making us polish a lot of things, which is important).


Developing a game for a long time it's always hard, emotionally speaking, at least for me. Somedays I'll wake up, launch the game and think "The puzzles are too easy, people are going to get bored fast", "People are going to think it's silly" or "Why bother?". Luckily most days I just launch the game again and say "Hey, I'd enjoy these puzzles" and "Huh, the art and the music are so beautiful that I'm enjoying just walking around". So I guess that at the end of the day the most important thing is to keep calm, carry on and finish your game.

That's what we're doing here after all, creating games and sharing them with others :D
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« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2014, 12:51:39 PM »

I'm not sure why this game isn't getting more love. It looks to be shaping up really nicely and the language element is innovative and fascinating. I look forward to seeing how it develops.
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2014, 12:56:28 PM »

Thanks for your comment :D

The language mechanic is going to add some very interesting design challenges, once I finish the last set of puzzles I'll beging with the language content. The mechanics are already working, now it's just a matter of designing the quests.
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« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2014, 11:25:18 AM »

Step 1: Play this
Step 2: Watch the gif


Step 3: Take a deep breath and relax :D



Note: The music track is part of the game.


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« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2014, 03:10:41 PM »

We sent some testers(a.k.a. friends) a quick demo of the game along with a manual. There are just a few puzzles available, the "speaking" system is not working yet and we're months away from the release date, but feedback is important for us even at this stage of development.

If anyone wants to play the current build to make suggestions or find bugs just say it  Coffee
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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2014, 11:15:26 AM »

I'm sure you know how crowdfunding campaigns work. You need several months to plan them and even then it's hard to reach your goal.

Well... we went crazy and made one in just a bunch of hours. We're releasing the game anyway, but we were offered a booth in a big gaming event and we'd love to rent it.


Share the link above and you'll get our everlasting love  Gentleman
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