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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsPivot - 3D Rotational Platform Puzzler
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Author Topic: Pivot - 3D Rotational Platform Puzzler  (Read 13986 times)
Ralkarin
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« on: July 27, 2012, 08:57:29 PM »

Pivot is an experimental 3D action-platform-puzzle game where the player must restore “color” to a fragmented world by rotating around the world’s edges, finding gems and putting them back where they belong.

Now available on Kongregate
URL: http://www.kongregate.com/games/Ralkarin/pivot





Historical Builds
2/6/13 Playtest Build:WebPlayer
9/28/12 Playtest Build:WebPlayer
8/28/12 Playtest Build:WebPlayer

My plan is to post links to scenes that I am currently working on so the community can play it, test it, provide feedback, or get 10 seconds of frustrating enjoyment before ragequiting and running away forever!  Well, maybe not that last point, but I think it could be fun! Smiley

Tools:Unity3D, Blender, Gimp, BFXR
Twitter:http://twitter.com/ralkarin
Blog:http://www.redclovergames.com/blog

If you'd like to contribute any design ideas, mechanic suggestions, or if you find any bugs, let me know!  I'd love to hear from you!

Thanks,
Josh
[Ralkarin]
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 08:12:11 PM by Ralkarin » Logged

Ralkarin
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2012, 05:38:07 PM »

I'm streaming again tonight for a few hours.

Tonight, I'd like to post a link to a playable demo of the scene I'll be working on, just to see how that goes.  It's Unity, so it'll be web based.  Nothing spectacular yet.  Maybe get a new game mechanic implemented or work on a new lava-based tile puzzle.

See you in the cast!
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Udderdude
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2012, 06:42:08 PM »

Interested in trying a demo of this.
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Lexonite
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2012, 07:13:09 PM »

wow, i had an idea like this in the past- glad to see someone is making this type of thing.  Hand Metal Left Hand Metal Right  Epileptic
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SolarLune
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2012, 07:58:00 PM »

The idea sounds interesting - could you expand on it a tad? What does the world rotation do?
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Ralkarin
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2012, 10:48:57 AM »

Thanks for asking SolarLune.  I'll try to expand a little, though I'm not entirely sure what the entire scope of the mechanics are yet, it's a work in progress.

Every object in Pivot is affected by either world force or local force.  My thought is that most objects are affected by local force except for special objects and the hero, who are affected by world force [that makes our hero unique!].  Rotating the world, allows the hero to interact with things on a given surface in a different way than anything else. 

Special objects that are also affected by world force can be used to the hero's advantage to solve puzzles.  I haven't really capitalized on this idea yet, but I think it would be neat if every "tool" that our hero obtains interacts with the world force in some way, making them again unique.

One example is the Ice Block that the hero can summon once they complete the first frost puzzle.  This block is unique because it is affected by world force, so the hero can drop it off the side of the world and it can interact with things on the sides.  Bombs that the hero uses are also affected by world force in this same way.

World force: Always pulls down, regardless of which side of the planet the object is on.
Local force: Always pulls orthographically toward the center of the planet.



I talked a little bit about this in my first livestream, but the entire world that this story takes place on is a larger cube which is shattered into 27 (3x3x3) smaller cubes and your role is to rebuild the world using your ability to be affected by world force.  Think of a Rubik's cube.  As you re-assemble the world by solving smaller puzzles, the world begins to take shape and you can start to see how individual pieces interact.

Here's a screenshot of the world being rebuilt, highlighting 3 of the 6 different regions in the world:



So, that's the plan so far, in my next livestream, I want to start actually building the ability to "rebuild" the world.
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Udderdude
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2012, 10:54:12 AM »

Sounds interesting, how would it play/look if you "Unfolded" the cube into it's 6 sides?
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Ralkarin
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2012, 08:33:14 PM »

Finished another stream tonight and here's a quick highlight of the progress made:




The highlight shows a bit of how the mechanics are currently implemented, so check out the video if you are curious to see how the game mechanics are working.

The mechanic of joining the fragments to the core is shaping up, at least in workable prototype form.  I hope to join more fragments, add more mechanics, and implement more puzzles in the next cast.  Follow me on Twitter or Twitch.TV if you're interested in participating in the cast!

Sounds interesting, how would it play/look if you "Unfolded" the cube into it's 6 sides?
This is an interesting question and I can think deeply about it, but I think this is kinda like asking how Super Mario Galaxy would play without planets. Smiley

My core idea is to utilize the notion of a 3D space to create puzzles and allow the player to rebuild a miniature world.  I think the core mechanic of rotation and walking on all sides of the cube are key to some of the puzzles and add to the aesthetic value. 

I like the question though, because I think it really accentuates the differences you see by adding this new mechanic.  Thanks for the feedback.
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Ralkarin
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2012, 06:28:28 PM »

So I've been playtesting things now that I've started to "rebuild the world" in Pivot and I'm not sure I'm completely satisfied with the way the mechanics of world rotation/gravity work yet.  So I'm iterating.  Smiley

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned how gravity affects the hero and makes her unique.  The original plan and the current implementation is something like this:

The hero is special because she is affected by "world gravity" which pulls her "down" all the time.  The denizens of the world and all of the other objects on the fragments are affected by "local gravity" which pulls them toward the center of whatever fragment they reside on.

What happens when the hero falls "down"?  Does she die and respawn, does the float back and where does she float back to?  She can also now jump from fragment to fragment.  Denizens could possibly live/walk on the "inside" of fragments which doesn't really make any sense.  Think of Earth.  If a big earthquake ripped a giant chasm through our surface, it wouldn't make sense that we can suddenly walk on the walls of chasm.  (not saying that this game has to make sense, but that's just 1 way of thinking about it)

I also have to add "pivot points" everywhere to control the change of "world gravity", which are a little unsightly and I have to add them all over the place to get possible paths right.


I'm not sure I like this model, so instead I'm researching the possibility of moving to a different gravity model.  In the new model, denizens are all part of the world anchored by the world's "core" gravity.  This gravity pulls everything that belongs to the world back to the center of the core.  If a denizen jumped off the surface into the newly created fragment, they would fall to the core (probably getting hurt, so they don't want to do that.)  Our hero however, she has a unique ability to change her center of gravity to be local to the fragments, allowing her to walk on the underside of the fragments to access things that the other denizens cannot.  This is more akin to Super Mario Galaxy I think where Mario can walk around on smaller planets and switch planets changing his local gravity source.  in SMG, everything follows that rule, but in Pivot, only the hero gets to do that, the rest of the denizens are left hanging on the surface awaiting the hero to bring them back together again.

Here's what the new model might look like:

I mentioned earlier that the tools the hero uses would be affected by "world gravity", so perhaps in this new model I can still use that idea, but instead of world gravity, use core gravity for the tools.  Standing on the inner side of a fragment and dropping a bomb might make the bomb fly toward the core or "up" in local coordinates...

We'll see, I'll play around with it and see how it feels.  Maybe I can get a quick demo link out here for everyone to play with and see how it feels too.  It's rough, but if it sparks enough interest, I'd be happy to share a demo.

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Udderdude
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2012, 04:00:42 AM »

I'd like to check out a demo of this.
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SirNiko
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2012, 05:05:37 AM »

Is your comparison to Minecraft a reference to the voxel style only?

I think I would enjoy this much, much more if it avoided Minecraft's crafting and building mechanics and focused on Mario and Zelda style platforming and puzzles.
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Ralkarin
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2012, 09:26:18 AM »

Is your comparison to Minecraft a reference to the voxel style only?

I think I would enjoy this much, much more if it avoided Minecraft's crafting and building mechanics and focused on Mario and Zelda style platforming and puzzles.

Niko, thank you for this comment!  I'm glad to hear some honest feedback about the direction.  The minecraft reference (notably with a ?) is 95% because of the blocky/voxel style of rendering I'm using so far.  I keep visioning "chunks" and seeing minecraft while I'm fleshing out the fragments of the world. Smiley

About building/world sandboxing - I don't have any plans to allow the player to create or destroy "blocks" in the world like Minecraft.  The intention is to have a set of puzzles for the player to solve, not building whatever you want out of blocks.

About crafting - I've been on the fence about this one.  I do enjoy games with crafting, collecting things to put together to build bigger things, but I don't want to go overboard.  If I do add a crafting system, it might be a simple system where you have to collect X pieces of wood to build a bridge to span a gap of some kind... but even then, the crafting system would be trivially shallow, so I may not even go down this road.

I think you reinforced to me the fact that I need to stick to the concept of Zelda mechanics / Mario platforming and take that as deep as I can go without mudding the water with other mechanics.  Thanks for your input. Smiley
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2012, 11:21:55 AM »

The gravity thing reminds me of Unicorn Jelly... Gomez
Why oh why did you remind me of Unicorn Jelly?
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Ralkarin
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2012, 11:33:16 AM »

Now I need to go discover what Unicorn Jelly is... or maybe I shouldn't. Smiley
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2012, 12:07:28 PM »

It's a "philosophical webcomic" with good bits covered in layers of pretentiousness.
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Ralkarin
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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2012, 11:47:55 AM »

Today I posted a playtest build with a few of the basic mechanics.  (I also added the link to the first post).

Not every world fragment is implemented, but for the alpha completionists, I think you can return a total of 7 fragments in this build with absolute 0 puzzle solving ability! Smiley

Expect glitches!
Feedback is appreciated!

Build URL: http://blog.redclovergames.com/projects/pivot/playtest/
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SolarLune
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« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2012, 08:44:10 AM »

Interesting concept and execution. It plays fine, and the teleportation mechanic seems interesting. It might be a good idea to add some sort of visible tie between worlds so that reforming it is more sensible. Of course, this is an alpha test, so it's not finished, but it would be cool to be able to see what you're fixing.

As a side note, I couldn't use the axe when I got it - was I supposed to be able to? I pressed the Action key. Anyway, it's pretty cool so far.
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Ralkarin
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« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2012, 04:23:31 PM »

Interesting concept and execution. It plays fine, and the teleportation mechanic seems interesting. It might be a good idea to add some sort of visible tie between worlds so that reforming it is more sensible. Of course, this is an alpha test, so it's not finished, but it would be cool to be able to see what you're fixing.

Thanks!  You're right, it's an alpha build focused on mechanics, but it's good to hear your thoughts even if I am already planning on addressing them.  Teleportation and Fragment restoration will absolutely be tweaked with much better visuals so it really feels impressive. Expect polish there.

As a side note, I couldn't use the axe when I got it - was I supposed to be able to? I pressed the Action key. Anyway, it's pretty cool so far.

You can! (though it's rather lame and hidden under clunky hidden key presses).
After picking up the Axe, if you press 1, you will cycle between tools that you have obtained (axe or bomb), pressing K activates the tool, with the axe you can temporarily chop down trees, bombs break cracked bricks.

This will be improved, both visually and with GUI elements to express the purpose.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2012, 04:54:30 PM »

Cool project. Every so often I would get stuck so I would leap and try to either respawn on a different side or hit the gravity switch while I fell to rotate it. Once I got stuck under the floor.
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poe
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« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2012, 05:43:27 PM »

The teleporting between different cubes was confusing. This game looks like sex.
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