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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsClose Order -- Become a Badass Armada! + WE HAVE LAUNCHED!
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Author Topic: Close Order -- Become a Badass Armada! + WE HAVE LAUNCHED!  (Read 4368 times)
RaconteurNick
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« on: April 10, 2015, 01:12:34 PM »







Hello! I'm Nick, the lead on Close Order, which is the project I'm currently working on at my company Raconteur Games.

As of January 21st, the full version of the game is available now on Steam! Smiley

Close Order is an arcade shooter with one simple goal: become a badass armada!



GAMEPLAY

Close Order isn't about you -- it's about other ships around you, called minions. Players defeat enemy ships for a currency (simply known as parts) that is then spent on the minions to assemble your armada. Minions exponentially increase your firepower and are the core of Close Order. You purchase them through our shop window, which is a radial menu that features renders and data about each minion (latter almost done!).

After buying your minions, you can take things one step further with the custom formation editor! As the name implies, it allows you to customize your armada how you see fit. You can click and drag minions to whatever space that you like!

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STORY


With Close Order, our story focuses on a post-Earth reality where humanity scattered across the stars after the destruction of Earth. Three colonists from a new generation decide that they want to explore the stars, and leave everything they have ever known -- only to find that the remnants of humanity are far more treacherous than they imagined.

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GAMEPLAY TRAILER





Your fleet, your way.

Get parts. Buy minions. Move them around. Become badass!

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DEVLOG STUFF

I'll be updating this devlog as often as possible, and answering questions along the way!

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RELEASE?

We are on Steam now! Check us out!



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HOW TO STALK US!

To find out more about Close Order or Raconteur, you can hit up the links below.

Website | Facebook | Twitter


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ABOUT US

I started Raconteur in Lafayette, Louisiana with the goal of telling better stories. In Louisiana, we have such a distinct culture and a genuine love of communication and embellishment, and this provides a very unique perspective on storytelling.

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QUESTIONS!

Got any burning questions? Ask away! Smiley
« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 07:21:11 PM by RaconteurNick » Logged

RaconteurNick
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2015, 04:59:01 AM »

Here's a quick look at how the game evolved -- this is from back in October-November 2014, so the bottom image isn't the current version. Smiley



The project began as an idea put forth by a programmer on the team, who had created it as a project in college. We were switching projects due to resource constraints, and he threw this out there to see if we were interested. The original demo was simply blocks that could be rearranged in three ways, and they shot little dots that would make fancy shapes. I'd be lying if I said I didn't sit there for a solid thirty minutes making shapes and moving the blocks around! From that moment in that early concept, I knew we had something.

From there, it evolved into a 3D game where you picked up parts to make specific minions and could also adjust their positions on a grid system. We liked the parts system, but we immediately found in testing that it forced players to memorize part combinations, and it came down to picking up specific parts and just mashing the "craft" button until a minion came out. That's not what Close Order is about, so once again, a team member threw out an idea -- for a currency system. We tried it, and again it stuck!

As we went with a currency system, the game expanded into what you saw in the first post: a radial menu that allows you to buy minions, a currency that is easily picked up and doesn't require memorization, and also still retaining the core concept of customizing your armada by including a grid that allows you to edit your formation. It's pretty neat to see how the core formula stayed the same from that initial prototype.

That's a quick rundown of how the game evolved. Hope y'all enjoyed! Smiley
« Last Edit: April 12, 2015, 05:20:44 AM by RaconteurNick » Logged

RaconteurNick
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2015, 10:57:54 AM »

Wrapped up our most recent playtest. The feedback was overwhelmingly great! We got lots of handy features, and most excitingly, this was the first test that not a single person had any major non-usability problem with. Our mechanics stick! Some changes we made as a result:

* More FPS-like controls
* CONTROLLER SUPPORT! W00T!
* Added information about minions to the shop menu
* Working on icons for the formation editor
* Working on dimming the background when in the shop/CFE to put the focus on those menus
* Lots of fine-tuning to our hub world, the Overworld (more on that to come soon in another post!)

Additionally, we're looking to formally start showing the game off soon. More posts in the coming days and weeks! Smiley
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RaconteurNick
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2015, 01:25:49 PM »

TONS of work done since last post! *celebrates*

* Finished controller support
* Created and polished Survival game mode
* Got some awesome skyboxes in
* Finished work on our story teaser trailer -- check back May 11th!
* Submitted to PAX Prime
* Prepared demo for PAX Prime and a local event
* Created burndown charts for rest of development
* Formulated outline for current period to Greenlight

Finally, I updated the main post with some fancy new screenshots. Enjoy! Smiley
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RaconteurNick
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2015, 01:37:55 PM »

SURVIVAL MODE!

In Survival mode, you have two options: Simple Survival, and Custom Chaos. In the former, you pick a level, start with minimal resources and must persevere as long as possible. In Custom Chaos, you can set the amount of enemies you wish to face, the difficulty of the enemies, and the map.

For our first map, we created a pretty nifty scenario where you cross the event horizon of a black hole and are slowly being sucked into it. After each wave, the gravitational pull is greater and greater, and you must deal with an onslaught of foes in addition to managing to not get sucked in!

Black hole is, of course, a hipster placeholder that decided to be purple.

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RaconteurNick
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2015, 07:36:36 AM »

Super stoked to give a glimpse into our story -- what are you waiting for?!

:D

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RaconteurNick
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2015, 01:16:59 PM »

Updated main post with gifs demonstrating gameplay in action -- short gameplay trailer coming in the near future ahead of our Greenlight stuff! Smiley

We're targeting early June for our Greenlight campaign. So many exciting things happening!

We even showed at a local event here in Lafayette called Artcade, which was a ton of fun. It was honestly one of the most exciting experiences of my life to have people play the game and enjoy it, on top of seeing their faces light up when they spawned their first minion.

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RaconteurNick
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2015, 01:38:54 PM »

New blog post -- These Worlds We Call Home, where I reflect on recent happenings and propose some questions about how to make game worlds convincing. Smiley
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RaconteurNick
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2015, 09:36:24 AM »

Here's an overview of the features we'll be doing on our social media channels as we ramp up our promotion of the game ahead of Greenlight!

Minion Monday
In this weekly perspective, we will give a background on each of our minions -- their creation, their purpose, and how they fit in to the bigger picture of Close Order.

Formation Friday
Each Friday, we'll show off a really cool custom formation from within the game, showcasing the depth and versatility of the armadas you can create in Close Order!

And much more to come very, very soon! Smiley Thank you all for following along thus far as we hit 750 views.
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RaconteurNick
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2015, 01:14:37 PM »

Missed out on Minion Monday this week due to all the things going on -- an editorial calendar and sticky notes will ensure that doesn't happen again!

Finalized flights and hotels to get several team members down here for a week in June to knock a bunch of stuff out. Also began filming for dev diaries, to be released in small portions throughout the rest of development and then being combined into one big documentary about our game and company.

Lots going on, stay tuned!
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RaconteurNick
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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2015, 02:35:08 PM »

Minion Monday!

For our first Minion Monday, we'll highlight a favorite minion of almost everyone on the team -- the Arbalest.



Inspired by classic shmup/arcade shooter space ships, the Arbalest is a core minion in Close Order. Packing light shields and firing a single shot forward that does light damage, the Arbalest is best used en masse.

It was actually the first minion we ever created and one of the remnants of our original prototype many moons ago!
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 02:44:28 PM by RaconteurNick » Logged

RaconteurNick
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2015, 06:41:09 AM »

Extremely pleased to announce that we'll have our Steam Greenlight page up on Monday along with an AWESOME trailer and demo!

Can't wait to share more with you all!
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RaconteurNick
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2015, 01:35:01 AM »

Ladies and gentlemen, OUR GREENLIGHT PAGE IS LIVE!




GAMEPLAY TRAILER --



Check us out!
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RaconteurNick
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2015, 04:07:26 AM »

Playable demo coming in a little bit, just have to iron out a website issue! Smiley
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RaconteurNick
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« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2015, 06:58:32 AM »

We're off to a fantastic start! But enough about that -- TRY THE DEMO NOW!

Are you badass enough to NOT get sucked into a black hole?! Find out!
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ashtonmorris
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« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2015, 11:54:00 AM »

Looks good, I really love the minion's concept!
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Ashton Morris - Composer & Sound Designer

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RaconteurNick
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« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2015, 12:02:47 PM »

Looks good, I really love the minion's concept!

Thank you so much! Smiley I'll be linking a video about the evolution of our game soon. It's come a very long way and it's so gratifying to see people enjoy it! Smiley
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RaconteurNick
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« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2015, 04:14:02 PM »

End of the first day summary:

* Got nearly 500 votes and we are well above the average yes-to-no ratio!
* Received LOTS of very good feedback.
* Began an ongoing postmortem on /r/gamedev -- check it here!
* Got a retweet from Randy Pitchford, president of Gearbox Software! :D (I met him a few years ago.)
* Surpassed 10% of what we need to get to the top 100!!

Overall a SOLID first day! Can't wait to keep this momentum up.
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RaconteurNick
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2015, 07:23:47 AM »

We somehow got noticed on IndieDB and flew into the top 1000! :D Man, this is all happening so fast. Check us out there soon -- we've got some sprucing up to do!

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RaconteurNick
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2015, 05:18:18 PM »

... whoa.

We've gotten some serious attention from major industry players: Randy Pitchford of Gearbox Software, and Phil Spencer, the Head of Xbox! :D



Today's milestones:

* 25% of the way to the top 100 on Greenlight!
* Hit 1000 votes!
* Nearly 1500 page views!
* Tons of great feedback!

Can't wait for day three!
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