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santaragione
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« on: October 17, 2010, 04:15:47 PM »





Tales Of Unspoken World is dead: but from the ashes...rises FOTONICA.


-
















VIDEO:


The first open beta demo build (also known as OBDB  Roll Eyes ) for the new version of TOUW, together with new media, new name and, of course, new ONE BUTTON GAMEPLAY EXTRAVAGANZA is online at http://www.santaragione.com/fotonica

The plan is developing a "one button game" with different levels of complexity and multiple worlds to play, each with its own characteristic ( items/gravity/platform/etc... ).

At the moment we worked mainly on controls, and I think they came out pretty tight, even if the lvl design might be a bit too difficult; we're now working on a tutorial lvl, so players can get used to the game "timing"...then, last but not least, we'll need to work on different levels and audio design.

I highly suggest you to play "full screen" and with a 360/ps3 pad hooked up to your pc/mac.

5-12-2010 NEW BUILD RELEASE NOTES:

1- PLAY WITH ANY BUTTON! (All joystick supported! Play With mouse supported!)

2- NEW CONTROL SCHEME! (Inspired by "you know who")

3- LOCAL SCOREBOARDS! (Now you can beat your own best scores, yay!)

4- NEW ONE BUTTON MENU! (This time it's actually usable! Please give feedback!)

5- NEW MOUSE MENU! (HEH, it's about time)


COMING SOON:

NEW LEVEL "CAIROLI" AND "INFINITO" MODE.

Thanks as always for trying it out: please let us know what you think!

SR
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 05:22:21 AM by santaragione » Logged

VomitOnLino
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2010, 04:48:06 PM »

Hey,

Just checking in here. I tried out your game because the font kind of appealed to me, it struck some Vectrex nerve probably.  Wink

Anyway - it seems like a fantastically looking, quite fun game so far. Sometimes it judders a bit on my slow-ass work PC here but that doesn't have to mean anything.

I like the one button gameplay, but are there any ideas how to spruce it up? I mean besides going faster & pickups & obstacles? I know this is a somewhat though question but I'm just curious.

Oh and last but not least, put some screenshots here for the lazy folks. I was like "Eh." until I saw your video on Vimeo! Your game looks fantastic and you're selling yourself under your value!

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deathtotheweird
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2010, 05:08:40 PM »

I much prefer the way the original played. I don't really get this one button approach, it seems needlessly complicated to me. Any specific reason you decided to make it one button?

Perhaps I need a tutorial to fully understand it. I played the first level multiple times and just couldn't get it.

I loved the original so no matter the change in controls, I'm sure this one will be just as good.
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santaragione
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2010, 03:38:21 AM »



Oh and last but not least, put some screenshots here for the lazy folks. I was like "Eh." until I saw your video on Vimeo! Your game looks fantastic and you're selling yourself under your value!



Hey thank you very much for your feedback. We'll be adding new stuff to the first post as you suggested.
We have some issues with Fonts when the game is played on win, we'll try to fix that today.

As a side note, have you tried going full screen? the unity plug in does not work properly on chrome when not in fullscreen.
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santaragione
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2010, 03:43:50 AM »

I much prefer the way the original played. I don't really get this one button approach, it seems needlessly complicated to me. Any specific reason you decided to make it one button?

Perhaps I need a tutorial to fully understand it. I played the first level multiple times and just couldn't get it.

I loved the original so no matter the change in controls, I'm sure this one will be just as good.

Thank you for trying TOUW & FOTONICA :D I understand that our control scheme might seem a bit weird at first: try imagining that you are holding down the running man with your fingers and letting him go when he jumps.

We decided to make the button one game for two main reasons: accessibility and portability.

We have been talking with http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/ and we realized that it would be easy for us to make a game accessible for more people. Aside from that a one button interface is easy to port on mobiles/touch devices. all in all we really like the new scheme!

Anyways, we will provide an alternative (one button) scheme (as well as difficulty settings) in the coming builds.

Cheers!


[EDIT] Corrected an involuntary "rickrolling" in the first post and the bug in the unity player that caused some issues with the menu for pc users.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 08:27:45 AM by santaragione » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2010, 02:16:51 PM »

Wow, I absolutely dig the visual style! The choice for the control sheme is comprehensible and works pretty well too - I especially like how you solved the menu navigation, allthough it needs getting used to when there are multiple menu items.

However, I'm missing some kind of motivation or a more crisp risk/reward scheme.
It took me quite a while to get the timing and speed right, but there still are a couple of jumps where I'll always fall. I gave up pretty quickly because I was missing the reward for learning certain parts of the level by heart.

As this probably still is an early version of the game, I'm curios what else you'll come up with. I'll keep an eye on this.
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Clemens Scott
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2010, 03:21:07 PM »

Oh nice!  Yeah, the video really sells it a lot better than your title screen screenshot does.  That is a polished looking game you have there!
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2010, 11:01:40 PM »

I liked the original game, and I'm excited to see you guys taking the idea further.

I played your demo a bit. I really like the visuals. I almost never wholeheartedly like the way a game looks, but I like the way this one looks.

I had a few reactions while playing which might be useful to you:

1.
It feels like there is a delay between releasing the button and the jump occurring. I have a slowish computer, so perhaps that is why.

2.
I'm finding the controls confusing. I think I understand now, but it took me quite a while, and I didn't find it intuitive. My current impression is that holding the button down accelerates, releasing jumps, and pressing while airborne increases the fall rate? I think quite a few people will be confused by this.

I like the way you introduce this with live feedback in the main menu. Maybe if you make the menu communicate this a little more clearly it will help.

3.
This is subjective, but I think the game could be improved by simplifying the menu. What if you removed everything except the initial explanatory prompt? I think that could be really amazing and elegant. (You could toggle the credits and the simple / complex setting in the menu with a keypress).

I hope that was helpful- I sometimes worry that I sound too critical when I give people feedback. This is looking great so far. Here's wishing you all the best- I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes!
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2010, 07:56:34 AM »

I really like the visual style. Hitting the white balls is a slightly epileptic experience, though. It does look realy good, but I think it wouldn't hurt to smooth out the blinking a little.

Gameplay is pretty cool, though I agree that it does feel like there's a certain delay after releasing the key at times. I'm on a pretty fast computer, so I don't know what causes this.

Great work. Smiley
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santaragione
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2010, 08:16:12 AM »

Wow, I absolutely dig the visual style! The choice for the control sheme is comprehensible and works pretty well too - I especially like how you solved the menu navigation, allthough it needs getting used to when there are multiple menu items.

However, I'm missing some kind of motivation or a more crisp risk/reward scheme.
It took me quite a while to get the timing and speed right, but there still are a couple of jumps where I'll always fall. I gave up pretty quickly because I was missing the reward for learning certain parts of the level by heart.

As this probably still is an early version of the game, I'm curios what else you'll come up with. I'll keep an eye on this.

Thank you Clemens. We understand the "motivation" issue, and we're really trying to find a way to create a coherent body for the game to fit into...I don't know if it sounds weird or what, but for us, the real motivation is "flowing" through this sterile environment, and this means finding a balance between speed, aesthetics and timing, to, basically, never stop; the hard part here, is to kind of "cheat" players, presenting them a more clear/understandable goal, that works as a key to the true nature of the game, that is "flowing" - "navigation" ...this is why we plan on working on different play mechanics in various levels, to have a more consistence in context and gameplay, as well as a kind of "final" goal...of which, thought, I'm still not aware of :D

[EDIT by the other guy from santa ragione]
In addition to this I'll add that we are working on a score system: at the end of the level you'll be shown the best runs for that level/difficulty. We like arcade games : D
I think it would be cool to have ratings based con scores that unlock something: is this to much of a cliche/unfitting with the general tone of the game? do you guys have any suggestion on how to make the score (as in better play-flow) more relevant?
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 09:56:48 AM by santaragione » Logged

santaragione
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2010, 08:18:57 AM »

Oh nice!  Yeah, the video really sells it a lot better than your title screen screenshot does.  That is a polished looking game you have there!

Tnx, it's flippin hard to polish games...it drives you nuts! I'd never expected to have so many little tweeks to do!
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santaragione
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2010, 09:21:45 AM »

some sketches of the early ideas..."cow runner" included!

edit: sorry, they're in italian! (have many others to scan, but I don't think they're "nearly" understandable  Concerned )






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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2010, 01:33:35 AM »

Wonderful looking and playing game, which I personally grasped very quickly. But then I'm a bit of a nut for one-switch / one-button games. Reposting my thoughts on accessibility below...

Had a thought re. accessibility... Thinking about switch users unable to hold a switch easily, nor cope with the speed of the game and also those with visual impairments struggling to see the points where you must jump. What do you think to the following solution...?
 
Activated via a new Options or Accessibility area:
 
a. A choice of two different one-switch modes. Standard (as is) and a new "Tap" system.
b. A "Close to the Edge Warning" system (from warning given with loads of time, through to, warning given with very little time - and perhaps offering the ability to have a sonic warning switched on or off).
 
 
I'm imagining a game in "Tap" one-switch mode, and "Close to the Edge Warning" turned on to run a bit like this...
 
i. Start game standing still. Press (and release) SPACE BAR to start automatic relentless running.
 
ii. As you approach any ledge, the game smoothly and rapidly slows down (a bit like PopCap's Peggle when you git the last pin) - whilst you walk on this "last chance to jump" section of the track, you are given some on-screen indication and sound that you will need to jump.
 
iii. Press to jump. The game smoothly speeds up again.
 
iv. Whilst you are in flight, pressing your switch again will bring you back down.
 
 
Would be amazing if you could make this game as "easy" as the likes of High High Rockets (http://jamesmontagna.com/gamma4.html) - maybe even easier - should people need it. The bad thing about Canabalt is that most people using one-switch controls due to disability, can't play it. It's just too unforgiving, and requires timing that's far too quick.
 
I won't be offended if you don't put these in by the way, but I'd absolutely love it if you'd consider it.
 
Finally, I loved the broad expanse of trees in TOUW. Would love to see these again in Fotonica.
 
 
Very best wishes,
 
Barrie
www.OneSwitch.org.uk and www.GameBase.info
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santaragione
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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2010, 08:03:31 AM »

I liked the original game, and I'm excited to see you guys taking the idea further.

I played your demo a bit. I really like the visuals. I almost never wholeheartedly like the way a game looks, but I like the way this one looks.

I had a few reactions while playing which might be useful to you:

1.
It feels like there is a delay between releasing the button and the jump occurring. I have a slowish computer, so perhaps that is why.

2.
I'm finding the controls confusing. I think I understand now, but it took me quite a while, and I didn't find it intuitive. My current impression is that holding the button down accelerates, releasing jumps, and pressing while airborne increases the fall rate? I think quite a few people will be confused by this.

I like the way you introduce this with live feedback in the main menu. Maybe if you make the menu communicate this a little more clearly it will help.

3.
This is subjective, but I think the game could be improved by simplifying the menu. What if you removed everything except the initial explanatory prompt? I think that could be really amazing and elegant. (You could toggle the credits and the simple / complex setting in the menu with a keypress).

I hope that was helpful- I sometimes worry that I sound too critical when I give people feedback. This is looking great so far. Here's wishing you all the best- I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes!

Hello Sparky, thanks for the feedback!

1) [Also answering to Morre]  Yes, the delay it's there: it's 0.02 Secs and it's meant to prevent you form trying to jump while you are in mid air and failing. If we make the jump EXACTLY the frame where the button is pressed it feels buggy when you are trying to multi-jump. Anyways we'll try and reduce the delay if you guys feel it's detracting from the experience.

2)Exactly like that! Hold to run, release to jump, hold in mid-air to land faster. It's confusing because it's kind of an inverted control, but we feel it's very connected to the action on screen, as you "hold down" the character when it runs, and let him jump when releasing. But you are right, we have to make this clearer in some way, I hope the tutorial will help!

3) Actually the menu is growing as we add more levels, difficulty setting, leaderboards, control options and the tutorial!Maybe there should be a way to play straight away, kind of a quick play button.

Thanks again, hear from you soon!

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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2010, 11:49:55 AM »

Oh, the delay is to make repeat jumping work better? To clarify, are you talking about situations where we are coming in for a landing and want to jump again right away? If so, yes, that's a funny special case. An early button press in that situation (because we're still in the air) and will ordinarily cause the jump to fail.

Assuming we're talking about the same thing, here's an alternate solution that will remove the need for a delay in the controls. Simply add a grace period for early key presses. (Substitute your own timing value as desired.)
Code:
If pressed on ground {
     jump immediately
}
If pressed in air {
     begin a timer which counts down from 1/10 of a second to 0
}

When landing {
     if the timer has not hit 0 yet {
          jump
     }
     else {
          land normally
     }
}
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« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2010, 01:07:42 PM »

Haven't bothered with the demo, since I don't want to install Unity, but the video makes the game look quite annoying and seizure-y to play.

I'm looking forward to it. Smiley
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deathtotheweird
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« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2010, 01:12:31 PM »

Why don't you want to install Unity? It takes less than a few seconds and there are tons of great games you can play right in your browser.
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« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2010, 10:19:46 PM »

looks a lot like "valentinel hopes".  this has a much different art style though.  both are good.  i like the idea of both, two different design takes on a theme of "run really fast and jump".
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« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2010, 11:42:11 AM »

Well I went ahead and installed Unity. Fotonica is pretty confusing. I'm not sure whether pure or complex mode is trippier, but complex mode does seem to make depth perception easier.

Interesting game.
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RCIX
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« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2010, 01:41:39 PM »

Interesting game. Took me a bit to figure out how to work it. The view shaking on takeoff and landing was annoying, but other than that it seemed fun Smiley
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