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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsJazon And The Dead - Top-down Action Adventure Game with Puzzle elements
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Author Topic: Jazon And The Dead - Top-down Action Adventure Game with Puzzle elements  (Read 2655 times)
2ndStudio
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« on: January 24, 2014, 08:51:59 am »


An top-down Action Adventure game, that combines action with exploration and puzzle solving. The scenario is a post- apocalyptic sci-fi world, where zombies walk restless around and technology looks like something from an 80’ties sci-fi film. The visual expression is dark and sinister, with black shadows, ink lines and clean colors. The game features zombies like they should be, slow, dumb and flesh-eating, life-threatening in groups and incredible persistent when their eyes are locked on fresh meat.

Core features:

  • Player driven story where you are faced with the consequences of your actions. The story is divided in acts each with a focus on human nature. The story is told with beautiful cinematics.
  • Problem solve your way out of tense situations before the slow brain devouring creatures reaches you. Exploit corpses, use them as weights or to stand on, to reach your destination.
  • Intense action with a heavy gun or a bloody fist the choice is yours. Ammunition is scarce every shot you take should be considered. In close combat you need to dash and push zombies out of your way to survive.
  • Explore a world set in a sci-fi setting, inspired by movies from the 80’s. The blood and gore is part of this B-movie setting with chunky old technology. Play your way through deserts, abandoned towns, underground caves, surviving cities and military facilities.
  • A unique art style inspired by comic books. We seen games with a comic book inspired style before, but nothing like this game. This style is perfect for this story, mood and setting with dark ink lines and gritty textures.
  • Groovy 80's inspired soundtrack. Nothing less could do it. It fits with the theme, style and story.

Release date:
TBA

Platform:
PC and Mac

Format:
Episodic

Trailer:







Artwork:
Click for highres


Team:
Nikki Starostka – Game Designer, Art Director
Dennis Jensen – Game Designer, Technical Director
Kasper F. Mikkelsen – Lead Programmer
Michael Valuer - Writer
Johnny Knittle – Music Composer
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 01:14:30 am by 2ndStudio » Logged

2ndStudio
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 06:38:48 am »

Since we made a thread, it wouldn't be a proper thread without some visuals, so I just added some screenshots today, also because it's screenshots saturday :D






I another thread I would like to talk a bit about the status of the project, and show some concept art.
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sidbarnhoorn
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 07:11:55 am »

Awesome! Smiley
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Siddhartha Barnhoorn
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Composed music for the games Antichamber, Out There, The Stanley Parable and Semispheres.

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http://www.sidbarnhoorn.com
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http://soundcloud.com/sidbarnhoorn
Albums:
http://siddharthabarnhoorn.bandcamp.com
2ndStudio
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 08:01:26 am »

Awesome! Smiley

Thank you Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2014, 12:02:58 pm »

Nice lighting and aesthetic

But only PS3?
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2ndStudio
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2014, 01:15:47 pm »

Nice lighting and aesthetic

But only PS3?

Thank you.

At the moment our focus is PS3, but our dream is PS Vita, PS4 and Xbox 360, XBoxOne Smiley Maybe also steam with a controller. The controlling is perfect with a controller.
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2ndStudio
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2016, 08:28:58 am »

Jazon is back from the dead !

Or actually he never died. I know this is a old thread. The matter of the fact is that we been working on the game since 2013, it's our baby that we care for and want to complete. But we also need to make a living, and we been doing a lot of work for hire the past year. In december we started working on the game again and it have been taking shape every since. We went to Game Connection in San Francisco and pitched the game for publishers. It was really exciting and we hope something good will come out of it. We need funding to finish it, and we are looking at different ways to get that funding. For now we are considering Kickstarter, publishers and maybe some government fund.

So what's happen the past year? We got a script written by the very talented Michael Valeur, he is really cool and used to worked for AAA titles like Hitman and Total Overdose. We did a lot of concept art and added two more levels to our game. We worked most of our puzzle design, and the basic controls. Which feels a lot better now.

We have a lot to show. But for now I will leave you with this screenshot. It's from one of the first areas in the game where Jazon wakes up and he tries to find some water.


We hope you havn't giving up on us, and will follow the process here.

We also have a website where you can sign up for our newsletter: http://jazonandthedead.com
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2ndStudio
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2016, 07:22:39 am »

It’s time for another update !

In this update we want to share a few things. One of the core mechanics that we been working on a lot the past year is the movement controls, which is of course connected with our shooting system, we will share our thoughts about it. We also worked on a gameplay teaser trailer which we show.

Why is it so hard to move the player in a natural way?
Since we began working on this project we been working and iterating on how the player moves. We knew from the beginning that the game would be best played with a controller, because the gameplay is designed in a twin stick shooter fashion. Of course we also wanted the player to be able to play with mouse and keyboard. Some players will also prefer that even if they have a controller (Don’t ask me why).



The pros about using a controller is that the thumbsticks uses axes to determine the direction of how the player is interacting, which means we can move the player in all angles and this gives them more control. It can also output how much you are moving, meaning you can do subtle movements with a controller, for example you can push the thumbstick a little bit and the character would also move a bit. If you use a keyboard you are limited to the 4 arrow keys, which gives you only 8 directions, we allow a player to hold up and left to move in a 45 degree angle for example. Still this is a limitation. A key on the keyboard also only outputs 0 or 1 and nothing it between so the character is either moving or not.

We also use the second thumbstick to aim, which works perfect. The only problem with this is that it’s hard to quickly turn 180 degrees when you are aiming. But even in our action areas we have a tactical element which makes the action a bit slower pace than other shooters, and because of that we think it works perfectly. Using a mouse for aiming is good, it’s fast but it's also a bit confusing because you can use the whole screen to move around on and in most cases it’s not locked to the character which makes the aiming a bit weird.

Once we knew this we started working on making the animations show which way you are walking and aiming. So we needed to mask his upper and lower body and determine how Jazon should aim and walk. This was very difficult for us, maybe because we didn’t have the knowledge and maybe also because we were still figuring out how fast he should move and how the aiming should work. It took months to nail down, but we are very close at having something that feels great.





This is something that’s really hard to show in a video, but when you play the game you can really feel it.

Enough talk it’s trailer time !
We haven't shown any video footage of the gameplay except a few gif’s online, so this is a premiere of the gameplay. And it’s all gameplay. So enjoy. It’s still pre-alpha so keep this in mind.





We updated our website where you can subscribe to our newsletter. We are closing in on launching our kickstarter, so if you want to know exactly when we launch you should sign up.

http://jazonandthedead.com

Because this is the first time we show gameplay footage, we are very keen to hear your feedback, so write a few words and let us know your opinion.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 05:00:33 am by 2ndStudio » Logged

Shirsh
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2016, 05:22:26 am »

It looks so lovely, style is totally rocks Hand Thumbs Up Right
Not very interested in twin stick shooters, but adventure/puzzle part sound promising, and shown dialogues looks fun, hyped to play it.
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2ndStudio
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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2016, 04:04:56 am »

It looks so lovely, style is totally rocks Hand Thumbs Up Right
Not very interested in twin stick shooters, but adventure/puzzle part sound promising, and shown dialogues looks fun, hyped to play it.
Thank you Smiley That means a lot to us.
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2ndStudio
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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2016, 04:10:23 am »

Adjusting our game based on feedback from gamers - Update #7

Lately are having a great momentum with our game. It got selected for the Made with Unity showcase at Unite Europe in Amsterdam, and last week we have been showcasing the game at Develop: Brighton where we also had the chance to win two prizes. This leads me into this update’s topic, testing our game and using the feedback.


We have been doing a lot of testing while developing our game. We, the team, actually agreed that we went out to show it a bit too early. We showed it at Indie Prize in Amsterdam and at Nordic Game Conference in 2014. Both gave us great feedback but the game wasn’t at a level where it was ready for feedback, so we knew all the issues and it didn’t really feel like a game yet. We only had two levels and about 7 minutes of gameplay which meant you didn’t get into the groove of playing it. Our demo now includes 4 levels and about 15-20 minutes of gameplay.

Testing before a big event or show is essential to us, we know that we are going to have a lot of bugs but the more we can do before the better. We always consider how the game should feel and the overall experience. We did internal testing of the game and managed to find people close to where we have our office who hadn’t played the demo yet. It was important to get a fresh view on how new players would solve our puzzles. We set up a computer to record the screen and a webcam to record the player. We left the player alone while playing, because it’s really hard not to help or cringe when somebody tests your game. It also gave them a bit a space and I feel like there is less pressure when they can play in a relaxed environment without me breathing heavily over their shoulder. This gave us a ton of feedback both about how hard the puzzles was but also in terms of bugs. When we went to Unite we got amazing feedback as well. The people who played the game was from the industry so the feedback was really precise and well thought out. We could then implement that feedback before going to Develop: Brighton. Mostly the feedback is about how we lead the player. It’s a fine balance between showing the way but not making the puzzles too obvious. If it’s too easy the player won’t feel like they accomplish anything, which is the whole point about puzzle solving.


Of course we know our game really well so most of the feedback is something we know beforehand. It’s also important to consider if the feedback is relevant because everybody has a different opinion about how a game is played best.

We really enjoy showing our process and getting feedback. So share you opinion either about the game or how you handle feedback yourself.


We are also now on Craft. A platform which shows raw material from different animation and game productions. Jazon is the first game on the platform and we are very honoured to be featured.

Right now we are gearing up to launching our kickstarter, so if you like what you see you can sign up to our newsletter on the website and follow us on social media.
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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2016, 07:51:01 am »

Oh hello!  Gentleman
I played the demo of this at Develop Brighton a couple of weeks ago! It was great, glad to see you're doing a dev log on here too Smiley
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2ndStudio
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« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2016, 02:19:33 am »

Oh hello!  Gentleman
I played the demo of this at Develop Brighton a couple of weeks ago! It was great, glad to see you're doing a dev log on here too Smiley

Hi!
Cool Smiley You probably meet Nikki, he is my partner in crime on this project. I looked a bit at your game, really nice graphics ! Would love to play it some day.
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2ndStudio
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« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2016, 06:28:56 am »

New graphics with workaround's for Unity - Update #8

This update is all about the eye candy ! We have been working hard on the game, and we established a good workflow for our new art assets, and this update shows the results of that.

In Jazon and the Dead you start out in a desert, so we had to create whole new environment for that part of the game. Before summer we had a version of the environment that was very rough and didn’t live up to the standards that we had in the indoor environments, partly because we rushed the creation to make a deadline and partly because we underestimated the time it would take to develop the look for our outdoor scenes.



Unity doesn’t have a decal system which is so weird because every game could use a decal system. Apparently it’s something they didn’t add, so we had to find other solutions. We found an asset that does the trick and it works really well. We created a bunch of decals for the environment, that we can use in other environments as well. Earlier we had to placed planes with a texture on them, but decals are so much better. It’s easier to place them,they can add to the normal map,  they work with transparency and with multiple objects.



We found a workflow for blending our terrain using heightmaps. That meant that we had to alter our texturing pipeline and use Substance Designer to create all the landscape materials procedurally so that we could output height, normal, specular and diffuse information in an easy manner. It didn’t take long getting used to Substance, and before long we figured out how to make textures in the look that we wanted. It gives a better feel for the sand and the ground in general. The sand blends into the cracks of the concrete now, before it was just a fade between the textures. It creates more variety and less repeated patterns. Unity’s Terrain doesn’t support custom shaders, and it can only fade between textures. So we had to figure out another workflow using plugins from the asset store.  We found a tool that we can use to sculpt the mesh (Terrain) so we don’t need to open Maya each time. We worked on our toon shader to make it more customizable, we wanted to have more controls over the shadows to convey the strong outdoor light.



In the environment we added a bunch of props to give it more “life” and believability. Our focus was to create them stylized fitting within our art style but also in a way that would work with an outdoor environment.



We are still working towards a crowdfunding campaign, every bit of feedback we get from you guys are very appreciated. If you haven't signed up to our newsletter yet, then do it here. That’s the best way for us to reach you. If you have a friend that might like the game, then we won’t stop you from sharing our website with that person.



Did you have problems with unity standard assets as well? What do you think about our decals? Any ideas on how to improve these updates? Let us know and write a comment.
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2ndStudio
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« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2016, 01:33:18 am »

Hi Guys,

We have run into a problem, that I think a lot of people using Unity face.

We would like to have control over the shadow color. For example in the desert scene, and we would like to add more blue in the shadows but without effecting the illuminated areas. Kinda like Anubis in Overwatch. Picture: http://edge.alluremedia.com.au/m/k/2014/11/Screen-Shot-2014-11-08-at-7.50.47-AM.png

We can't use a custom shader, because we use a lot of different shaders and for the ground we use another asset from the store. Our own shaders does include a shadow color that we can tweak. But we need to change the shadow on everything.

Ambient light you say? No that's not gonna work because it influences the illuminated areas as well which means that is getting washed out and it looses the vibrant colors, which we don't want.

What we're left with is maybe to render out a render pass with the shadows, that we could then tweak like you would do in compositing of a film. But I havn't been able to find any information about this being possible. And we don't know how we should do it.

Any ideas?
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2ndStudio
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« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2016, 04:27:26 am »

Remaking Zoey, New Visuals and Comic Con - #Update 9

Back in 2013 we created Zoey. Her personality evolved over the years but the main concept of her stayed the same. While most assets in the game followed the development, they got updated and renewed she didn’t. Why? Well it requires a lot more time to update a character and we wanted to redesign her, which meant the same as creating a new character from scratch. It took around 4 weeks of work to model, texture and rig her. We spend around 1 week animating some new content for her, and fortunately we didn’t create all her in-game animations. We did however have her in our intro cinematic which also needs to get renewed. What I’m saying is that it’s a LOT of work. She is an important character so we think it was worth it.



This picture shows the Zoey we had before and the new version. Was it worth the time? Let us know in the comments.



We also worked on the hoverbike scene again, because the environment needed some refinement and the light needed tweaking. Below I added a screenshot and a gif.



Last but not least, we are going to Comic Con in Copenhagen. It’s going to be great. We will bring the latest build of the game and we will be there for a chat.

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2ndStudio
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« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2016, 04:51:07 am »

Comic Con, Closed Alpha and exclusive updates/artwork - #Update 10

We have an important announcement. We poured a lot of sweat, tears and blood into this game. When we share the game with somebody we feel both proud and nervous. Proud because it’s pretty damn awesome and nervous because you might not like the game. Either way it’s very rewarding when people play it, and the feedback we get each time somebody plays it is priceless.

We opened up for closed alpha sign up on our website. When you sign up to our newsletter you also automatically sign up for a chance to get a closed alpha key and you will get exclusive content such as: updates, event announcements and artwork. It’s our way to reach and communicate with you faster. How many keys we will hand out is determined at a later date.


We went to Comic Con in Copenhagen last weekend, and documented everything. Enjoy.




We also started live streaming. So far it’s been great, the feedback we get through the live streams are amazing. We use twitch and we would love if you stopped by and followed our channel.
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2ndStudio
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« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2016, 06:09:52 am »

I'm just here to show our latest gif, stay tuned:
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2ndStudio
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« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2016, 12:41:40 am »

A Quick update.

We are going to Fig in 6 days ! It's finally happening and we are really excited about it. Stay tuned.

Link:
www.Fig.co
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2ndStudio
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« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2016, 01:16:22 am »

We are live on fig!

I wrote a post in the town hall section.

Link:
https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=58544.0

Campaign Link:
www.fig.co/jazon
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