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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsEthereal - On Hiatus
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Author Topic: Ethereal - On Hiatus  (Read 38783 times)
Thomas Finch
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« on: August 12, 2013, 10:16:25 PM »

Ethereal is on hiatus until funding is secured.





Ethereal's story follows the nameless protagonist through seven of his most traumatic memories. Scattered around each memory are mementos. These help him let go of the past and move on into the afterlife.

The game has four different endings based on the player's level of completion at the end of the 7th and final memory.  



Spirits wander his memories, confused and angry, searching for their place in the afterlife. Hellhounds wander the memories waiting for the right moment to grab the player and drag him back to hell!






Throughout the game's seven worlds, the player must solve puzzles using the help of other spirits. Along the way, he must avoid hell hounds lest he be dragged through a hell void!



At the start of each world a new ability is added to your arsenal. As your arsenal grows, the puzzles become more complex. This will keep the game feeling fresh and challenging without frustrating the player.



Drawn byDmitry Karimov
















We want everyone to experience Ethereal no matter what language they speak or platform they prefer.

Localization: We want Ethereal to be available in as many languages as possible. Currently, the confirmed languages are: English, Russian, Korean, Spanish, French, Dutch, Japanese, German, Swedish, Hindi and Chinese. We will continue to add languages throughout development and even post-release and all versions will be updated frequently. If you're interested in becoming a volunteer translator, please email me at [email protected]!

Multi-Platform: We understand that not everyone uses the same platform for gaming. So, we want Ethereal to be on as many platforms as possible. Confirmed platforms so far are: Windows, Mac and Linux. We would also love the game to be available on PS4, VITA, Wii U, and Xbox One, if at all possible.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2014, 05:20:57 PM by Thomas Finch » Logged

Thomas Finch
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 10:55:11 AM »




Devlog Update #72 - 09/15/14 - Possession Changes & Clock Puzzle
Devlog Update #71 - 09/12/14 - Cemeterey Parallax Background
Devlog Update #70 - 09/05/14 - Worry Animations
Devlog Update #69 - 09/03/14 - Xbox One
Devlog Update #68 - 08/26/14 - More Changes & Kickstarter
Devlog Update #67 - 08/22/14 - Art from Hell
Devlog Update #66 - 08/20/14 - Development Progress
Devlog Update #65 - 08/15/14 - First Video! - Purgatory Preview
Devlog Update #64 - 08/08/14 - Purgatory (Part 3)
Devlog Update #63 - 08/01/14 - Purgatory (Part 2)
Devlog Update #62 - 07/25/14 - Purgatory (Part 1)
Devlog Update #61 - 07/24/14 - Design Changes
Devlog Update #60 - 07/19/14 - Improved Clouds and Explanation
Devlog Update #59 - 06/28/14 - Cloud WIP
Devlog Update #58 - 06/24/14 - Cloud Talk
Devlog Update #57 - 06/17/14 - Cleanup
Devlog Update #56 - 06/06/14 - Kickstarter Delays, Publishers and New Art!
Devlog Update #55 - 05/26/14 - Kickstarter Preview
Devlog Update #54 - 05/02/14 - Purgatory Concept Art
Devlog Update #53 - 04/30/14 - Brookstone Cemetery Theme
Devlog Update #52 - 04/25/14 - Wallpapers
Devlog Update #51 - 04/22/14 - Dead Body
Devlog Update #50 - 04/19/14 - Sick Week
Devlog Update #49 - 04/11/14 - Screenshot Saturday
Devlog Update #48 - 04/10/14 - Finished Door Animation
Devlog Update #47 - 04/04/14 - Three New Animations
Devlog Update #46 - 04/03/14 - Progress
Devlog Update #45 - 04/02/14 - Seething Spirit Attack
Devlog Update #44 - 03/29/14 - Parallax Animation
Devlog Update #43 - 03/28/14 - Parallax Animation
Devlog Update #42 - 03/21/14 - Gameplay GIF #3
Devlog Update #41 - 03/16/14 - Restraint Gameplay Preview
Devlog Update #40 - 03/14/14 - WIP Cabin Preview
Devlog Update #39 - 03/12/14 - Drumroll Please...
Devlog Update #38 - 03/05/14 - Player Death Animation
Devlog Update #37 - 03/04/14 - Version 0.0.6.0
Devlog Update #36 - 02/28/14 - Proud of This
Devlog Update #35 - 02/24/14 - Let's Talk About Story
Devlog Update #34 - 02/20/14 - Checklist, Version 0.0.5.0
Devlog Update #33 - 02/19/14 - A Sneak Peek
Devlog Update #32 - 02/15/14 - Gate of Memory Animated
Devlog Update #31 - 02/10/14 - Player Haunting Animation
Devlog Update #30 - 02/09/14 - Gate of Memory
Devlog Update #29 - 02/08/14 - Title Screen Art
Devlog Update #28 - 02/07/14 - Played Scared Animation
Devlog Update #27 - 02/04/14 - Demo?
Devlog Update #26 - 02/03/14 - Our First Animated Sprites!
Devlog Update #25 - 02/02/14 - Title Screen Art, New Test Build
Devlog Update #24 - 02/01/14 - Eternal Flames
Devlog Update #23 - 01/29/14 - Road to Kickstarter
Devlog Update #22 - 01/19/14 - Slopes, Version 0.0.4.5
Devlog Update #21 - 01/02/14 - New Song, Version 0.0.4.0
Devlog Update #20 - 12/29/13 - New Artist, Concepts!
Devlog Update #19 - 12/02/13 - Version 0.0.3.3
Devlog Update #18 - 11/24/13 - Version 0.0.3.0
Devlog Update #17 - 11/16/13 - New Track
Devlog Update #16 - 11/08/13 - Website Up!
Devlog Update #15 - 11/05/13 - Version 0.0.2.9
Devlog Update #14 - 11/03/13 - Version 0.0.2.8
Devlog Update #13 - 10/30/13 - Gamepad Support!
Devlog Update #12 - 10/21/13 - Version 0.0.2.0
Devlog Update #11 - 10/17/13 - First Song Completed
Devlog Update #10 - 10/14/13 - Version 0.0.1.2
Devlog Update #09 - 10/09/13 - Version 0.0.1.1
Devlog Update #08 - 09/18/13 - Version 0.0.1.0
Devlog Update #07 - 09/03/13 - Squeamish Spirits
Devlog Update #06 - 08/30/13 - Progress Update
Devlog Update #05 - 08/23/13 - Version 0.0.0.8
Devlog Update #04 - 08/21/13 - Version 0.0.0.7
Devlog Update #03 - 08/20/13 - Version 0.0.0.6
Devlog Update #02 - 08/17/13 - Next Up, AI!
Devlog Update #01 - 08/14/13 - Checkpoints and Danger
Devlog Update #00 - 08/12/13 - Development Begins!
« Last Edit: September 15, 2014, 10:03:02 PM by Thomas Finch » Logged

Michael Grand
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 12:02:07 PM »

Quote
2. The spikes on the ceiling are merely a placeholder danger so I can flesh out the death and checkpoint systems.
This brings up an interesting question though: What would be dangerous to a ghost?  Undecided Maybe a cross or something... If this game will have a bit of humor in it, you could use the Luigi method and have suction pipes Grin

Quote
3. The red lines are placeholder checkpoints. Eventually they will be replaced with gravestones. Currently, the checkpoint you last touched (the one you'd respawn at) glows. When its a gravestone I'll probably have flowers grow around it instead.
I don't know, I kind of like the idea of the tombstone glowing an eerie green or something  Epileptic

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Thomas Finch
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2013, 12:30:40 PM »

This brings up an interesting question though: What would be dangerous to a ghost?  Undecided Maybe a cross or something... If this game will have a bit of humor in it, you could use the Luigi method and have suction pipes Grin
I generally do like a little comedy in everything I do, but with this game I'm trying to back off on the silliness. I feel it'll take away from the seriousness of the story. The whole thing is pretty depressing so players will be a little taken aback if there's too much silly. My idea for dangers is that its not actually death or harm coming to the ghost. In the game, ghosts in general are a little confused and unsure of whats going on around them. So, I figure if you contact something dangerous, an animation will play of the player simply looking freaked out and poofing away, then reappearing at the checkpoint. That way itll simply look like the character got freaked out and ran. There are, however, a few actual dangers. One being "Seething Spirits". They're basically ghosts that are very angry and have debris swirling around them. If you get near, they swipe at you and you run. The animation will probably be the same, though the way I have it set up, I could easily add different reactions for each type of danger.

I don't know, I kind of like the idea of the tombstone glowing an eerie green or something  Epileptic

I like that idea! Thanks for the feedback!  Toast Left
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karlozalb
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 12:36:59 PM »

Quote
This brings up an interesting question though: What would be dangerous to a ghost?  Undecided Maybe a cross or something... If this game will have a bit of humor in it, you could use the Luigi method and have suction pipes Grin

What about a ghostbuster!!?! It would be an awesome reference Smiley. But if you want a more depressive atmosphere... Cry

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Thomas Finch
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2013, 12:49:58 PM »

Haha, well I plan on having collectibles that are hard to find and I feel like the silliness in the game can all go there. Since they're hidden and not important to the story, they can simply be jokes or references. I could have a ghostbuster's backpack be one maybe.
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Thomas Finch
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2013, 02:40:51 PM »

I've been working on the music a bit. Here are a few sample tracks of what I have so far.
EDIT: These songs were so far from what we're actually using for the game that I removed the links so new readers aren't misinformed.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 09:15:45 PM by Thomas Finch » Logged

Michael Grand
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2013, 04:50:01 PM »

Hmmm, they sound good individually, but I'm concerned that they are too similar. Is this a limitation of the tool, or was it what you were going for?

Some ideas (if the tool supports them): The graveyard could have more sweeping sounds (long held notes).  The school could use some bells heard faintly in the background.

I'm no musician, but I hope my suggestions are helpful Smiley
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Thomas Finch
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2013, 05:01:03 PM »

I agree. Despite them having different tempos, patterns, rhythms, etc they still sound a little too similar. I want them to sound somewhat similar so they all feel like they belong to the same game, but I do want something to set them apart.

Edit: OUTDATED INFORMATION -
The tool I'm using doesn't really support that yet as far as I know, but what I'm thinking is that I can do 90% of the work and hire a composer to do the other 10%. I'll make the entire soundtrack using the tool. Then a composer will take each track and add other instruments, sounds and cleanup the audio. Hopefully each track will retain the theme I set, but also set itself apart from the others.

I'm no musician either, but I really appreciate feedback!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 09:16:59 PM by Thomas Finch » Logged

Thomas Finch
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2013, 07:42:31 PM »

If you'd like to test the game, either comment here with your email or email me at [email protected]. I don't want too many testers yet though, so email me as soon as possible to get your spot.
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Thomas Finch
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2013, 02:14:12 PM »

Devlog Update #1 - 8/14/13

I just finished version 0.005 of the game. Here's a list of what has been implemented so far:
1. Flipping: Pressing space to reverse gravity for yourself only. Think VVVVVV.
2. Miasma: Holding shift turns you into a mass of fog that can pass by certain enemies undetected and can pass through grated walls.
3. Checkpoints: Coming into contact with a hazard now sends you back to the last checkpoint you touched.
4. Squeamish Spirits: New to this version! This is the first AI in the game. This spirit wanders back and forth nervously so far. Currently, that's all he does. Later, I plan to make it so if you come into contact with one, the spirit flails its arms and runs the opposite direction, while you are thrown backward.
5. And or course, movement.

Other news:
1. Myself and my concept artist are working on a mockup for how the game will look when there is proper art. It will look a lot better than the terrible screenshot I currently have in the first post. Stay tuned!
2. Discussing possibilities with multiple composers, hoping to determine how the game's music should be made exactly.
3. Still need testers for the game. Email me at [email protected] if you're interested!
« Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 01:21:31 PM by Thomas Finch » Logged

Michael Grand
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2013, 07:07:43 PM »

I can't wait to see the concept art Hand Thumbs Up Left
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Thomas Finch
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2013, 12:08:58 PM »


Devlog Update #2 - 8/17/13

1. No updates to the game client (FFXIV distracted me).
2. We now have an artist for the game!
3. My concept artist is almost done with the mockup screenshot.
4. Next I'll be working on more of the AI for the Squeamish Spirits.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 08:04:58 PM by Thomas Finch » Logged

Thomas Finch
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2013, 12:40:06 AM »

Devlog Update #3 - 8/20/13

One of my testers ran into issues that caused his game to run at 30FPS. I'm still unsure why. However, the real problem is that it caused the game to run in slow motion, because the room speed was still 60. So I changed room speed to equal 3600/FPS. This means that the game's room speed will automatically adjust based on the FPS so that the game always runs at the correct speed. I also worked on the Squeamish Spirit a lot, giving him a better random movement system and adding in part of the collision system. I've also decided that I'm going to start adding patch notes to my devlog. Occassionally, I may omit information to keep certain features secret for a while longer. For now though, here are my patch notes for the latest version!

Version 0.0.0.6: Patch Notes
1. Added failsafe for room speed. The game's room speed now automatically increases/decreases based on your current FPS. This allows the game to run smoothly and at normal speed no matter your FPS.
2. Reworked AI movement into new system called ARMS (Automated Random Movement System). AI should now behave more rationally.
3. If a Squeamish Spirit approaches a wall or cliff, they'll now move the opposite direction rather than stopping entirely. I think it looks more human-like that way.    
4. Squeamish Spirits now have collision with the player. You will bounce off them currently, but not properly yet.
5. Squeamish Spirits now run away if touched by the player, in the opposite direction that the player touched them.



Last note: I still need more testers, so email me at [email protected]!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 09:29:58 PM by Thomas Finch » Logged

Thomas Finch
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« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2013, 10:02:07 AM »


Devlog Update #4 - 8/21/13

Working on the game more today, so I may have another update today, but for now, here are the patch notes for the latest version:

Version 0.0.0.7: Patch Notes
1. Made adjustments to percentages in the A.R.M.S system.
3. Squeamish Spirits now move either left or right (randomized) when you land on their head.
4. Currently, you almost bounce off Squeamish Spirits, but not at all like you eventually will. The current system is a placeholder.
5. The Squeamish Spirit no longer runs off the cliff if cornered there.
6. Rather than running for long periods of time, when touched, Squeamish Spirits now run until they hit a wall or cliff, then stop and cower for about 3 seconds. Specific variables will change with fine-tuning.
7. New, better, more legible and more relevant debug mode. You can still activate it by pressing the tilde (~) key. If you have errors, this may contain very useful information for me.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 08:04:30 PM by Thomas Finch » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2013, 08:18:51 PM »


Devlog Update #5 - 8/23/13


Version 0.0.0.8: Patch Notes
1. Redesigned the sandbox room to prepare for new features planned for v0.0.1.0
2. Increased normal movement speed of Squeamish Spirits from 1 to 2 and changed their halting friction from 0.05 to 0.09.
3. Further tweaked A.R.M.S.
4. Added multiple Spirits to the sandbox room in order to test movement and bouncing with multiples of them.
5. When the player touches a Squeamish Spirit, they will now be thrown backward. In the final game, the spirit will flail his arms in panic, which is what sends you backward.
6. Optimized the Squeamish Spirit's actions when they are touched by the player. The code is much better, though they do the same thing.
7. Squeamish Spirits now cower for a longer period of time.
8. Known Bug: There is no overhead collision with Squeamish Spirits yet, so landing on them is funky.
9. There is no longer a ceiling. If you touch the top of the area, you return to your last checkpoint.
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Thomas Finch
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2013, 07:08:24 PM »


Devlog Update #6 - 8/30/13

I have still been working on the game, though I don't have any new patch notes for you yet. We're taking a bit longer on the concept art than anticipated, but stay tuned. It should be ready very soon. The game still needs more testers, so message me if you want to be a tester!
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 08:04:22 PM by Thomas Finch » Logged

Thomas Finch
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« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2013, 08:04:15 PM »


Devlog Update #7 - 9/3/13

New patch notes for you guys. This was a smaller update, just adding one real function, while fixing a few minor problems. However, this patch means I'm done programming Squeamish Spirits. Next update, I'll be adding a new NPC and a key object hopefully. Stay tuned!

Version 0.0.0.9: Patch Notes
1. Increased the speed at which Squeamish Spirits run from the player.
2. Implemented top collision of Squeamish Spirits. The Player will not bounce off their heads properly.
3. All Collision with Squeamish Spirits is fully implemented, but will probably be further tweaked after testing.
4. Adjusted code to a few changes made in the new version of Game Maker.
5. Fixed glitch where animation timer wouldn't reset upon new collision.
6. Fixed glitch where player would jitter on spirits if flipping during collision.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 08:10:55 PM by Thomas Finch » Logged

Thomas Finch
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« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2013, 11:13:04 AM »

Devlog Update #8 - 9/18/13

Big update! Biggest patch notes yet. Added a key object and new NPC. On the not so awesome side, I may have to completely change the artistic style of the game which for now means no mockup. Hopefully I can get one done soon though.

Version 0.0.1.0: Patch Notes
1. Fixed glitch that caused players to teleport to the floor when colliding with the sides of a platform.
2. Added new NPC: Seething Spirit. If you are carrying a key, they disappear and let you pass. If you are not, they attack and you die.
3. Added keys that are look like Teddy Bears. They are meant to soothe the Seething Spirits.
4. Changed the view and resolution of the game. The camera now follows the character better.
5. Fixed glitch where key could be picked up from underneath platform it is on.
6. Added clouds so player doesn't disappear so apprubtly when going to high.
7. Worked on camera movement and player view. Camera now follows player.
9. Fixed glitch where in some cases the player couldn't move after bouncing on a Squeamish Spirit's head.
10. Adjusted debug window so it follows with camera movement.
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Thomas Finch
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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2013, 06:23:10 PM »

Devlog Update #9 - 10/09/13

Added a lot of stuff to the game in the latest update. I am also in talks with a possible pixel artist and a composer.

Version 0.0.1.1: Patch Notes
1.   Added nice placeholder sprites for player including some animation.
2.   Added humans that stroll back and forth leisurely. The player walks through them.
3.   Added an Energy System. Energy will be used for various abilities.
4.   Added Energy Balls. They are objects located around parts of the game that give you energy.
5.   Added an Energy Bar to the HUD in order to track your current Energy.
6.   Added the 'Spooking' System, but so far it only uses energy, then does nothing.
7.   Vastly improved Debug Mode: Better readability, more compact, more functionality.
8.   Added Console to Debug Mode. Activate it by pressing ~ while already in debug mode.
9.   Added several commands for the debug console. If you use /help it will list all possible commands.
10.   Added console command help. Type ? before a command rather than / to see its description and subcommands.
11.   Added ability to see last entered command by pressing up arrow.
12.   Changed a few controls.
13.   Known Bug: If the player lands on the very corner of a platform, he can teleport to the floor below, or jitter occasionally.
14.   Known Bug: When tracking a new variable using the console and debug menus, the variable will not update every step but only when you enter the command.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 09:19:25 PM by Thomas Finch » Logged

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