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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingGravity Garden - Puzzle game with cosmonauts!
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Author Topic: Gravity Garden - Puzzle game with cosmonauts!  (Read 10280 times)
TheLastBanana
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« on: December 03, 2010, 10:57:28 pm »


GRAVITY GARDEN

Hey there!
I've been working on this game since last September, and for most of that time, Dauss has been helping me out. After months of hard work, some months of not-so-hard work, then months of hard work again, I think we've managed to pull something really fun together, if, of course, you can excuse the liberal use of programmer art Hand PencilHuh?


NOW FOR THE OTHER STUFF
In Gravity Garden, you play as a new member of the crew on a USSR space station. Your job is simple: to transport a fragile, potted planted from testing chamber to testing chamber without breaking it. However, it is in fact so fragile that a human touch would kill it. Due to a lack of funding, there is no equipment to transport the plant with, and so you have to resort to the Variable Orbital Drift Kinetic Alternator - in other words, your only choice is to change gravity within sectors of the ship to send the plant hurtling toward the next room. Unlike most gravity-changing puzzle games, however, everything in the room is affected by the change of gravity, leading to some very complicated setups.

Levels range from the simple...


...to the complicated...


...to the outright confusing.


Give it a try! I promise you, it's a bit smarter than your average gravity-changing puzzle game - that's why it took so long to make 25 levels Big Laff

MODDING
I'll be the first to admit that the setup for modding in this game is less than ideal, as it was my first time dealing with parsing of human-readable files and dynamic data storage and such. However, it is entirely possible to make your own levels and objects, or even skins for the game's GUI and objects. Take a look at Documentation.txt - it covers everything you need to know. If you'd like to post your levels, you can do so in this topic, or you can post them at the official forums for all 3 community members to see!
http://mildlydisconcerting.com/forums/

KNOWN BUGS
Unfortunately, Gravity Garden being my first project in C++, it's not exactly the most solid engine. Generally, it works, but there are some problems with it. Here are a few that I know of:
  • On the level select screen, a single locked or level perfect icon will not render. This issue is easily fixed by re-entering the menu, but it looks weird. This is likely a problem buried deep inside a mess of spaghetti code, so it may take a bit of work to fix.
  • If the parser fails to load data from an INI file in any way, it has a tendency to simply crash the game without an error. Once again, this is a problem deep within the year-old engine, so it may take some work to fix.
  • Dir. Changers can cause some strange results when two objects hit each other while moving in different directions. This is more of a problem in design, and will probably not be fixed because there really is no way to do so. Simple fix: if you're designing a level, don't allow two objects to fly into each other in different directions. It's usually very easy to avoid.

CREDITS
The engine was programmed by me in C++ using SDL. I also did about half of the level design, and a fair bit of the writing.
Dauss did the character concepts and basically wrote the game's story, as well as doing the other half of the level design and writing.
The music is done by the wonderful Felix Arifin. The soundtrack may be on sale on Bandcamp at some point, but that's up to him. Shoot him an email if you liked it:
arifin[dot]felix[at]gmail.com

STUCK?
If you're stuck and you just can't beat a level, you can download replays of the levels here:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2149322/Gravity_Garden/Replays.rar
Hit F10 in-game and load one of those to see a replay of the level.

Enjoy!
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 02:56:18 pm by TheLastBanana » Logged

Dauss
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2010, 03:50:08 am »

Please do give this one a try and let us know what you think, I think it's a great little game if I do say so myself, and I've been waiting on the edge of my seat for this to be released so you guys can take a look.
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Lizardheim
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2010, 09:00:06 am »

Hey guys.

A hotkey to next level would be nice to have after you a level.
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2010, 09:12:44 am »

Hit Space once you've beaten a level. It'll automatically go to the next one.
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Ataraxic
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2010, 11:10:45 am »

This game is fun and challenging. I doubt I have the patience to beat it >_>
Controls are simple enough, graphics are pleasant to look at, the dialogue is humorous, and the level designs get very unique very quickly.

Good work
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2010, 11:56:18 pm »

I've had comments from a few people that it's unclear how to continue to the next level after you've beaten one. I uploaded a new version that tells you to press Space at the end of a level.
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deathtotheweird
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2010, 11:58:09 pm »

I remember checking this out a long time ago, nice to see it finished. I'll be giving it a go shortly  Coffee
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Tycho Brahe
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2010, 04:46:25 am »

Way better than the last time I played it!

A little sad to see that there hasnt been much change in the graphics, but the menus and the people talking more than made up for it. Its got its own awesome style, and its funny to boot. Good job!

The only thing i would have a problem with is the difficulty spike at level 3. I found it pretty hard to complete, now that may be because I'm an idiot, but it did seem a little hard for such an early level.

All in all, great job!

(oh, and it needed me to click the executable twice before it would run, as it took some time to extract SDL.dll)
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chumez
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2010, 07:01:36 am »

VODKA Grin

Looks interesting! Just downloaded it, will give it a try and feedback.
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Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
TheLastBanana
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2010, 08:40:16 pm »

A little sad to see that there hasnt been much change in the graphics, but the menus and the people talking more than made up for it. Its got its own awesome style, and its funny to boot. Good job!
Yeah, the graphics are admittedly a bit plain. I'm glad you liked the rest, though!
The only thing i would have a problem with is the difficulty spike at level 3. I found it pretty hard to complete, now that may be because I'm an idiot, but it did seem a little hard for such an early level.
Fair enough, that level is a pretty big jump from the first two. It was supposed to introduce the idea that simple levels can still be difficult to beat, but I may have gone a bit overboard in that aspect. I almost felt like it didn't quite fit in with the later levels once buttons and other objects were introduced. That said, is there a specific place that it would fit better in the game? It's certainly not very difficult to change the level ordering if you have a suggestion.
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chumez
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2010, 09:05:38 am »

Heh, nice game! I got to 13th level, and about that 3rd level, it isn't so hard,
and yes it's a little bit out of place amongst the first few levels that were supposed
to be intros, but still it's ok.

I absolutely love the soundtracks!  Grin Did you compose them yourself?
Graphics are ... well, consistent. And dialogues are funny.

And you know I've been thinking, since there is the optimal turn count display,
one could just brute-force all 4^n combinations of key presses and get the solution  Smiley

All in all, very nice game.
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Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Tycho Brahe
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2010, 09:12:34 am »

yeah, tbh it may be that I'm just not very good at these sort of games. Once I saw the solution to 3 it was really obvious, but until I found it I was smashing my head against it for a bit...
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2010, 10:51:14 am »

The music was done by one of Dauss' friends, Felix Arifin. I thought it was really well-done, too, and he's a nice guy to boot Smiley If you want to send him an e-mail, you can contact him at arifin[dot]felix[at]gmail.com.
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Dauss
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2010, 01:09:29 am »


I absolutely love the soundtracks!  Grin Did you compose them yourself?


As TLB mentioned, my IRL buddy Felix was great enough to do the soundtrack for the game. Guy is a genius, and I think working on this game got him into Russian orchestra music, if I recall correctly.
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garlandobloom
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2010, 05:48:41 pm »

Games like this make my brain hurt... For that, I must give you kudos!  Beer!
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Dauss
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« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2010, 12:54:57 pm »

Games like this make my brain hurt... For that, I must give you kudos!  Beer!

Thank you kindly. Just remember if you get realllllly stuck, hit F10 and load the replay for your level to see how it's done.
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TheLastBanana
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« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2010, 09:55:25 pm »

Actually, those aren't included in the release version. I'll add them as an available download for cheaters, though Tongue
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Blodyavenger
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« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2010, 03:56:28 am »

I tried that game and I liked it a lot! It gives a player what a game should - nice visual setting and lots of challange. (I like the goal where you can finish the map as "perfect" with X or less turns) and of course, dialogs are funny indeed Smiley

Anyway, I would like to point out few things

  • In level selection menu, make level selection standing out more. At the moment, levels completed as "perfect"(yellow line square) stands out more than level that is currently selected. It's not a big deal but it is better for understanding.
  • Make an option to skip whole dialog thing. When you fail map like 6 times, dialog start getting pesky

I cam to level 8 so far and most likely I'll try to finish the game Smiley
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kidchameleon
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« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2010, 04:23:56 am »

I really really like this, very very nice. I love the style. Did you use time based frame's or SDL.delay to make it move so smoothly? One problem I have with it though, I have to keep reading the text, is there a way to turn it off? Or perhaps have a tutorial level that doesn't need to be played that explains the game mechanic away from the main game.
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Dauss
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« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2010, 07:19:01 am »


  • Make an option to skip whole dialog thing. When you fail map like 6 times, dialog start getting pesky

One problem I have with it though, I have to keep reading the text, is there a way to turn it off?

The C key skips dialog.

Actually, those aren't included in the release version. I'll add them as an available download for cheaters, though Tongue

You didn't include the replays? D:

Meanie.
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