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Lo-Fi
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« on: July 08, 2014, 05:45:57 pm »


Hey everyone! I thought I'd start a dev log here to start sharing progress on my game, Four Sided Fantasy. My Kickstarter updates are usually about once a month, so it'll be nice to have a place that I can update more frequently in smaller chunks.

Four Sided Fantasy is a puzzle game that focuses on screen wrap and builds an entire game around it. You know how in Pac-man you can "wrap" from one side of the screen and come out on the other? It's that, but you can turn it on at any time, in a platformer. Here's some gifs to show it in action:


















Sorry if that's too many gifs, but I feel the game is better explained through seeing the game itself than explaining it.

Background
Four Sided Fantasy is a spiritual successor to a student project I made, The Fourth Wall: http://thefourthwallgame.com/
After creating The Fourth Wall, I was level designer on a student project, Perspective: http://www.seewithperspective.com/
After graduating, I kept coming back to new ways to explore the mechanic presented in The Fourth Wall. So I decided to start a new project, with the intent to Kickstart it.
Here's what my first prototype looked like:


After about 5 or 6 months of development, we launched a Kickstarter. We were successfully funded! On the last day, we made ~40% of our goal, it was insane! If you would like to see our Kickstarter page, you can find it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lofi/four-sided-fantasy-a-game-about-the-limits-of-the

Art style
Our art style is inspired by the illustrations of Justin Mezzell, with simplistic hard edges and angles, and saturated colors.



The game takes place in and around a mysterious small town, and the player will play through  a year of the main character being there.





With the art style, I am making a concerted effort to stay away from dark, melancholy colors (which I got my fill of with The Fourth Wall), while also evoking a mood that can be a bit dark sometimes, while being lighthearted at others, similar to Thomas was Alone or Sword and Sworcery (two big inspirations for the game).

Current state of the game
Right now, we're making progress towards a build that we can show at PAX (which we hope to show at, still waiting to hear from Megabooth/PAX 10). I'm working on getting the more complicated features fully playable, such as foreground/background wrap, camera rotation, and split screen. I also find myself experimenting with new ways to approach the mechanics. Here are some gifs to show some experiments that I've been messing with recently.

Samurai Gunn-style wrapping for split screen:


Screen wrap tracking:


Anyways, that's what I've been up to! I'll probably post here every week or 2 weeks. If you have any questions about the project, send 'em my way!

If you're interested in the game, you can keep up to date with us here:
Website: http://foursidedfantasy.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lo_Fi_
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/foursidedfantasygame
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 08:47:15 am by Lo-Fi » Logged

noumenus
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2014, 06:00:56 pm »

These gifs are intense! Nice gameplay from the looks
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skittlefuck
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2014, 01:21:40 am »

The graphics are really pretty, they give off a very nostalgic feeling with the colours. The screen wrap mechanic seems interesting too, wouldn't mind seeing more of this.
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Oxeren
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 02:28:45 am »

This sure looks nice and interesting!
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2014, 02:34:23 am »

art is amazing!
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Christian
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2014, 02:57:57 pm »

Good to see you here, Logan. Can't wait to see more Four Sided Fantasy
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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2014, 10:29:59 am »

I remember seeing this on Rock, Paper, Shotgun when they covered your Kickstarter campaign. I find that final gif particularly interesting. I'll definitely be watching this.
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Scott
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2014, 10:40:24 am »

Huh. Interesting mechanic. And the art is really pretty! Especially love the environmental effects...
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2014, 11:09:25 am »

That torus gif is pretty fun Smiley
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LightEnt
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Power to the action-platformer

Remius
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2014, 11:37:07 am »

Mind blown, looks awesome
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~Light

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Newin
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2014, 11:53:07 am »

oooohhh too ingenious ! Wizard
I love the gameplay in this little glimpse !
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2014, 12:46:19 pm »

oh man, love the art direction and the core mechanic. i'm actually surprised i've never seen anyone else make a game based around screen wrapping like this, it's so simplistically clever
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2014, 01:22:33 pm »

Not only absurdly gorgeous but quite ingenious as well. Can't wait to see the updates  Smiley
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Sean Han Tani
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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2014, 01:55:42 pm »

ahhh
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An adventure platformer.
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2014, 09:06:15 pm »

With the screen tilting and the split screen elements added, the level design must be insanely complicated. They add so many different ways the sprite can navigate the levels, so it's probably tough keeping the player from doing unwanted things. I'll be curious to know how it goes with play testers at that point of the game.
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William Chyr
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« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2014, 09:30:53 pm »

Yes! So glad to see you start a devlog here, Logan! The torus gif is awesome. Looking forward to the updates!
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Lo-Fi
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« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2014, 11:58:07 pm »

Thanks for being so welcoming, guys!  Smiley

With the screen tilting and the split screen elements added, the level design must be insanely complicated. They add so many different ways the sprite can navigate the levels, so it's probably tough keeping the player from doing unwanted things. I'll be curious to know how it goes with play testers at that point of the game.

Yup, the camera rotation and split screen are in an...experimental stage right now. That is, I've only programmed the feature itself, I haven't actually done much level design for those mechanics yet. I'm willing to cut them if they don't work out. They have a ton of potential, though, so I think I'd be crazy not to try them!
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« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2014, 07:19:39 am »

Always nice to see a new concept in a puzzle platformer. Digging the visual style too. Looking forward to this one! Smiley
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Lo-Fi
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« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2014, 02:37:31 pm »

Devlog update #1: 07-17-14

Hey guys! I'm back with some new developments:

Forums
I implemented some forums on our site to discuss the game now, which you can find here: http://foursidedfantasy.com/forums
There are already fans signing up, and we've even got a moderator!

Backer surveys
I had been putting this off for a little while, since you only get once chance to send a survey out to each tier, so I wanted to make sure that I thought of everything. I finally just decided that, as long as I have an email address section in the survey, I can contact backers directly if I forgot anything. I sent out the surveys, and backers have been surprisingly quick about responding!

Ground tiles
We are having trouble building decals to go in the ground tiles, (twigs, dried up bushes, other rocks, etc), so we are working on toning down contrast on the summer ground tile to allow for decals without looking too busy. Here is the original tile:


Our first attempt at lowering the contrast:


We decided that the path needed to stand out, while the tile shouldn't, so we decided on a good mix between the two. I think it still needs some work, but we are getting closer to a solution.


Main menu experimentation
We're also working on figuring out what we should do for a main menu. So far, the main menu has been a splash screen with no text or buttons (which I liked), but if we are going to have 2 player split screen, we will need a way for players to choose that option. I am working with David on this (our UI/marketing materials design guy), but here are some quick ideas I whipped up:

I made this mainly to get across the idea of building screen wrap into the menu. Most menu controls wrap (if you press up on the top button, in most games it will move to the bottom button), so why not incorporate that visually? I'm thinking I will try something similar, but horizontal, so that the camera can move with the selection and it can wrap infinitely.


I took some pieces of concept art and thought I could incorporate them into the menu. I figured out pretty quickly that this idea looks better in my head than in execution  Smiley


Cloud ceiling
The cloud ceiling came out of needing a way to diversify the environments. Due to the nature of the mechanic, most levels need to have a ceiling so that the player can't climb infinitely and get out of the level. But, most of the environments are outside in open areas, so ceilings everywhere doesn't make much sense. As a result, I built a cloud wall object. The cloud wall stops the camera from moving up, but not the player. I think this will make levels feel more natural and less restricted, but I have yet to playtest it.


Single player split screen
I'm finally delving into the more complicated features that I haven't fully developed! My first step is to start with single player split screen, since I figure that it will be a good stepping stone to 2 player split screen. I rewrote the character controller after the kickstarter, so even though I already built these features, they have to be partially redone. That, and some of the features were hacked together so I could show them in time for the kickstarter Grin.

I have been making it so that the screen wrapping into land tiles will stop the player's movement. This is working in the normal screen mode, but it requires a bunch of new code to do for split screen. I got this all working today, so I can start building levels for it and playtesting Smiley.



I will need to decide at some point if I want to do normal top-bottom wrap in split screen, or the samurai gunn style (I posted a gif earlier, wraps bottom of screen 1 - bottom of screen 2 and top of screen 1 - top of screen 2, which is why the player is standing on "nothing" in the above gif).

Podcast
Some friends and I also started a podcast! It's not directly related to the game, but I thought it might be of interest, since we discuss games we've been playing and game design. http://goodenoughforvideogames.blogspot.com/

Thanks for reading!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 04:24:05 pm by Lo-Fi » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2014, 02:03:39 am »

Wow ! Great to see this project with a devblog here.

I played through the fourth wall and found it fiendishly clever. Really looking forward to Four sided fantasy and the alluring art style you now have.

* Some of the rock walls seem to have a lot of contrast, perhaps reducing contrast on the rocks or introducing a variation colors, maybe dark blue in the shadows and different reds in the rocks would make the terrain less yellow ?
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