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slarti88
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« Reply #100 on: May 05, 2015, 02:11:19 AM »

I vaguely remember seeing a demo of this somewhere. Puzzles with this mechanic are going to be ridiculously crazy. And I'm glad you've got a good story. It always makes a game that much better!
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« Reply #101 on: May 05, 2015, 10:42:23 AM »

Devlog update #42: 05-04-15

Woohoo! Stumbled across an idea for the story. It's simple (in a good way), requires no dialog, and tells the story through the mechanics. So today I implemented some things that are needed for the story to work, and worked more on implementing sounds through Wwise.

Awesome! A good story is always really hard to find, especially one that integrates the mechanics and isn't just shoved in.

I've just gone with the route of being so abstract that a story is irrelevant, but I do have a narrative.

I'm also starting to (finally!) work on sound in my game.

Anyway, curious to see what the story is.

It's interesting to me that, in something like Antichamber or your game, players don't necessarily want or expect a story. Antichamber didn't really have much of a story, and players didn't seem to mind. But in sidescrollers, it seems like players are more likely to expect a story and be disappointed if there isn't one. My guess is that seeing a defined character puts the beginning of a story in the player's head. That, or the more abstract the game gets, no matter the genre, the less players will expect a story. The Floor is Jelly comes to mind, that didn't have much of a story (though I didn't finish it), and people didn't seem to mind.

Overall, though, I try to have a story when it feels like the game is telling me there should be one, not just because there is an expectation of one. While it would be easier for me to leave out a story, I don't feel like this game would be complete without one. It would just feel like a series of puzzles, one after the other, and I don't want that.

Edit: Willy, are you talking yet about what you're doing for sound design? I'd be interested to hear what your plans are. The closest reference point that comes to mind with your game is Antichamber. I liked the idea behind the sound design in Antichamber, but I didn't really like the execution of it. Curious what your plans are for such an abstract world.
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William Chyr
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« Reply #102 on: May 05, 2015, 12:54:46 PM »

It's interesting to me that, in something like Antichamber or your game, players don't necessarily want or expect a story. Antichamber didn't really have much of a story, and players didn't seem to mind. But in sidescrollers, it seems like players are more likely to expect a story and be disappointed if there isn't one. My guess is that seeing a defined character puts the beginning of a story in the player's head. That, or the more abstract the game gets, no matter the genre, the less players will expect a story. The Floor is Jelly comes to mind, that didn't have much of a story (though I didn't finish it), and people didn't seem to mind.

I think it's worth pointing out that there's also a big difference between world building and story. I would say that Antichamber doesn't really have world building, in the sense that it very much is an exercise in design and player expectations (the signs throughout the game tell you that). NaissanceE doesn't have a story either, but it has really strong world building, and it actually feels like a place. I think I'm somewhere in the middle - there is a world and a logic to it, but it's very abstract.


Edit: Willy, are you talking yet about what you're doing for sound design? I'd be interested to hear what your plans are. The closest reference point that comes to mind with your game is Antichamber. I liked the idea behind the sound design in Antichamber, but I didn't really like the execution of it. Curious what your plans are for such an abstract world.

I haven't talked about what I'm doing for sound design yet. It's still a bit of a secret at the moment, but that's mostly because I haven't had too much time to think about it yet.
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slarti88
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« Reply #103 on: May 05, 2015, 10:37:56 PM »


It's interesting to me that, in something like Antichamber or your game, players don't necessarily want or expect a story. Antichamber didn't really have much of a story, and players didn't seem to mind. But in sidescrollers, it seems like players are more likely to expect a story and be disappointed if there isn't one. My guess is that seeing a defined character puts the beginning of a story in the player's head. That, or the more abstract the game gets, no matter the genre, the less players will expect a story. The Floor is Jelly comes to mind, that didn't have much of a story (though I didn't finish it), and people didn't seem to mind.


Sorry to get in the middle of this conversation. But seeing that I'm working/struggling with a story idea for my abstractish game as well I thought I'd just add my two cents. I think the fact that you don't see a defined character on screen doesn't necessarily mean the player doesn't feel a character or expect a story just as strongly.  Like in antichamber the game is always talking to you and "you" are the character. Why are you there? Why does the antichamber tell you the things it does?  I feel these games just like sidescrollers don't necessarily need a story but there's certainly a story out there, which can add to the richness of the game. And not having one might take that much away from what the game could be.
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« Reply #104 on: May 08, 2015, 05:44:20 PM »

Devlog update #43: 05-08-15

I've been implementing sounds through Wwise recently, and found that they don't play in the build. They only play when you run the game in the editor! So I had to change the sounds back for now until I figure out what's causing that.

Also made some new levels, as well as implemented some placeholder-y stuff for the story.

Lastly, I separated the split screen section into two worlds: vertical split screen and horizontal split screen. Since these sections are a fair bit more complicated than the gravity flip and foreground/background worlds, I changed the hub so that it locks the split screen worlds until the other worlds are beaten. I feel like 4 different worlds to choose from at the same time is too many, especially right as you're introduced to the idea that the game even has worlds. So being able to choose between 2 and then 2 feels better to me.
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« Reply #105 on: May 12, 2015, 04:50:40 PM »

Devlog update #44: 05-12-15

I've been working on a new part to the beginning of the game, which I just finished up today. Previously, early on, there were a bunch of jump cuts in short succession. These will probably make a return somewhere else in the game, but that early in the game, it is jarring and confusing for players. Now in it's place is a serene timelapse from day to night, with a late title card.

I also started working on a new game plus for the game that unlocks once you beat the game once. This doesn't seem like the type of game to have a new game plus, but I've got something that I think is really neat for players once they've seen everything through once. I'll have to show it off and show how it works once I have it closer to completion.

Oh, I also submitted to the Intel Level Up contest!
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« Reply #106 on: May 26, 2015, 02:13:24 PM »

Devlog update #45: 05-26-15

Finally got around to posting a Kickstarter update. It mostly covers the stuff I've been posting here, but you can find it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lofi/four-sided-fantasy-a-game-about-the-limits-of-the/posts/1243508
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« Reply #107 on: May 27, 2015, 05:11:13 PM »

Devlog update #46: 05-27-15

Did some cool stuff today! Don't have time to take screenshots, but here's what I did:

-Added an option in my lerp move script to have the object smooth in and out of movement instead of going the same speed throughout.
-Added the ability in the inspector to change the distances of the light copies from the player. This is useful for levels that are at different zoom levels.
-The death static pieces now have pulsing lights on them.
-Fixed a bug involving split screen and cloud walls (cloud walls stop the player from climbing forever without having to have a solid roof, by stopping the camera from moving up any further).
-Improved one of the puzzles.
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« Reply #108 on: May 29, 2015, 04:15:35 PM »

Devlog update #47: 05-29-15

I watched Willy Chyr's stream of his game Relativity yesterday, and I realized one of the things that gets me excited as a designer: Communicating different feelings, tones, and emotions in different sections of a game. I noticed that one of the things that makes Relativity seem more like a "Real Game" nowadays is that, just by looking at screenshots, different areas give you completely different feelings. When he was showing early versions of the game, it just felt like a prototype (since that's what it was).

I realized that Four Sided Fantasy was feeling too same-y throughout. We have different worlds with different tweaks to the mechanic, but the game looks and sounds mostly the same throughout right now.

So, yesterday and today, I'v been working on differentiating the feel of each world. I went and downloaded different placeholder songs that fit really well and give me an even better idea of how I want each section to feel. I also outlined which sections are going to be which environments, and have prettied up a large portion of the levels accordingly.

Once I have more time I'll post some screenshots!
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« Reply #109 on: May 29, 2015, 04:32:22 PM »

you should think about starting a live stream on twitch. I wouldnt mind seeing some of these levels in action.  Theyre also a really good chance to bounce ideas off the viewers.
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« Reply #110 on: May 30, 2015, 08:40:20 PM »

you should think about starting a live stream on twitch. I wouldnt mind seeing some of these levels in action.  Theyre also a really good chance to bounce ideas off the viewers.

Definitely going to start doing that. It's just a matter of changing my setup to work better for streaming.
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« Reply #111 on: June 04, 2015, 04:44:45 PM »

Devlog update #48: 06-04-15

Short update today. Just wanted to stop in and show something that I thought would be neat, but doesn't actually make for interesting puzzles.

I implemented a "Mirror" split screen mode. Essentially one camera is on the other side of the gameplay plane, facing towards where the camera usually is.


The result was super interesting at first, but I didn't really see many puzzles coming out of it. Here's what it looked like in action!
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« Reply #112 on: June 11, 2015, 02:00:56 PM »

Devlog update #49: 06-11-15

Yesterday, I remembered SECTR, a Unity plugin that I had heard the team on Firewatch is using. It essentially helps against load times by loading chunks of a scene in and out depending on where you are in a level. It makes most sense in a 3D open world, but I thought it might be a way to help us not have to switch scenes so much, allowing for smoother transitions. I was getting tired of a large portion of the level transitions being fade to white->fade from white. The goal is to make changes between areas feel like film editing and have the player not even think about distinct "levels", which isn't so easy if you're loading new scenes all the time. So I got SECTR to try it out, and it works amazingly well!


A typical level size. This is about as big as a level could get before the framerate would take a hit, without SECTR.


Multiple levels combined into one scene (the selected object is the camera, for scale), with SECTR for optimization. Runs perfectly fine, no framerate hitches! And this is about 1/4 of the whole current game, in one scene.

This is something I've been looking for a solution to for a long time, and I'm glad I've found it. This won't be immediately apparent to players, but overall I think it will create a better experience.

It's the little things that count when trying to make transitions feel like film editing and making it seamless. For example, I recently found that cutting to black at the end of a level had players thinking the game was broken. There is a slight hitch/freeze when cutting to black that is caused by the next level loading - so I implemented a way to place a black plane in front of the camera right before the load, and now it feels deliberate because it is a type of transition that people are used to (just not in videogames). It's sort of like sound design, if you're doing your job, the player shouldn't notice it.
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« Reply #113 on: October 18, 2015, 04:38:29 PM »

How's this coming along, Logan? I'm hoping the silence has meant you guys have been working hard making some good progress. And hopefully we have a release date in mind. Smiley
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« Reply #114 on: October 18, 2015, 04:52:28 PM »

Here was a recent post on Twitter
Quote
Combining scenes in Four Sided Fantasy using Unity plugin SECTR. World 1 is 3 scenes, 36+ puzzles
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« Reply #115 on: October 22, 2015, 08:39:19 AM »

How's this coming along, Logan? I'm hoping the silence has meant you guys have been working hard making some good progress. And hopefully we have a release date in mind. Smiley

Yeah, sorry I haven't posted on here in a while! I've been super busy lately, what with showing at PAX, Seattle Retro Game Expo, and EGX, and I'm also moving to a new office soon. We've got some new environments coming along that I'm really excited about, along with some new music. The 26th is the deadline for IGF, so that build is a good milestone where I can detail all the recent work in a Kickstarter update as well as an update here. We're sort of dubbing that build "Alpha 2.0" as we're not quite at beta yet but it will have a good estimate of what the final playtime for the game will be.
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« Reply #116 on: December 04, 2015, 06:41:47 PM »

Devlog update #50: 12-04-15

Woah, it's been a while! Here's the latest Kickstarter update: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lofi/four-sided-fantasy-a-game-about-the-limits-of-the/posts/1417948

Also, here's the latest changes I made this week. Not gonna go into detail or show any gifs of them, just a quick rundown:
-Experimented with 2 new different screen border effects. I think one of them is on the right path, I'm getting close.
-New sounds implemented
-New audio effects plugin implemented
-New audio implemented into campaign (including L-cuts between worlds)
-Smoother intro to split screen
-Started on split screen wrap lights being in correct location
-New Fall music implemented
-Added trees and leaves with screen wrap in first puzzle to convey screen wrap
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« Reply #117 on: December 11, 2015, 05:09:20 PM »

Devlog update #51: 12-11-15

Changelog for this week:
-Moved over to Amazon Web Services and Git for the repository.
-The player has a light source on him, and we are faking the light wrapping by placing a light in each direction, a screen distance away. Previously, I had to manually set those light distances at different zoom levels. This week I made it so that the light distance automatically changes based on the zoom level.
-Put audio effects on screen lock sound.
-No more visual/audio bugs when screen wrapping on a moving platform.
-Implemented some fixed art for winter
-The script that moves ground tiles with lerp now turns the ground tile to static after it's done with the tile, for optimization.
-new icon for the exe.
-worked more on the ending.
-Worked a ton on the foreground background world. Of note is the fact that lighting and fog level changes to emphasize the plane that you're on. Also redesigned the world so that background tiles aren't exactly even with foreground tiles, to establish a clear visual language in that world.
-New transition in foreground background world.
-New screen wrap effects. Screen effect and border effect changes.
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« Reply #118 on: January 31, 2016, 09:57:11 PM »

It's pretty interesting to see the similarities between The Witness and Four Side Fantasy/The Fourth Wall/Perspective. Especially with Perspective. Not so much the panels, but locking the screen to a certain perspective in order to exit the first person view of the game in order to travel a 2D route.
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« Reply #119 on: April 04, 2016, 04:18:24 PM »

It's pretty interesting to see the similarities between The Witness and Four Side Fantasy/The Fourth Wall/Perspective. Especially with Perspective. Not so much the panels, but locking the screen to a certain perspective in order to exit the first person view of the game in order to travel a 2D route.

Yeah, when I started The Witness, I was like...wait a minute. This is cool! And The Witness uses perspective for a lot of it's puzzles, too.

I changed it to this before I played the Witness, but in Four Sided Fantasy, I'm using a white frame for the edges of the screen as well. I know it's just a white frame, so it's not that unique, but I just thought it was kinda funny that we're doing the exact same type of frame in Four Sided Fantasy, and it indicates the same thing (that you can't move the camera).
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