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October 18, 2018, 11:06:38 AM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsMable & The Wood - NEW TRAILER + ANNOUNCEMENT
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Author Topic: Mable & The Wood - NEW TRAILER + ANNOUNCEMENT  (Read 45846 times)
Josh Bossie
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« Reply #600 on: August 02, 2018, 12:17:22 PM »

It's great to see the progress!

Regarding animating pixel style: While most characters looks like were done as "manual pixel art", some look like "lazy work" and somehow had a "3d feel" to them.  This article confirmed by feeling: https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/313026/Art_Design_Deep_Dive_Using_a_3D_pipeline_for_2D_animation_in_Dead_Cells.php

I remember doing flip-book animations frame-by-frame, but now I'd rather look for tools that can speed up things.  Of course, if really needed, I don't mind to put in the work either. Grin

Can't recall if you mentioned, but are there any automation steps - e.g. using layers in an editing software so that in certain animations certain body parts can by simply moved.  That's the first thing that comes to mind if I were to create such pixel style animation.

Anyways, kudos for continuing working on the game! Smiley

Huh, this is an interesting article. Thanks for sharing
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and
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« Reply #601 on: August 07, 2018, 05:56:06 AM »

It's great to see the progress!

Regarding animating pixel style: While most characters looks like were done as "manual pixel art", some look like "lazy work" and somehow had a "3d feel" to them.  This article confirmed by feeling: https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/313026/Art_Design_Deep_Dive_Using_a_3D_pipeline_for_2D_animation_in_Dead_Cells.php

I remember doing flip-book animations frame-by-frame, but now I'd rather look for tools that can speed up things.  Of course, if really needed, I don't mind to put in the work either. Grin

Can't recall if you mentioned, but are there any automation steps - e.g. using layers in an editing software so that in certain animations certain body parts can by simply moved.  That's the first thing that comes to mind if I were to create such pixel style animation.

Anyways, kudos for continuing working on the game! Smiley

Welcome back to the thread!

There's certainly some lazy animation in Mable, most of it is stuff that got to 'good enough' but with the intention that I'd go back and polish up later. I do still do a little bit of cheating still on the final figures, but generally not on the key poses.

I liked the Dr. Who statues.  Who, Me? Blink Who, Me?

It's the best episode Smiley

Huh, this is an interesting article. Thanks for sharing

I agree with Josh here, I wish I'd realised Mable was going to require so much work and actually built up an efficient workflow before actually getting deep into the development!

Next time I'll know better...
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and
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« Reply #602 on: August 15, 2018, 07:15:08 AM »

Another Catch-Up Update
January-April 2018

Ok, I've been putting off covering this period here. I've been talking about it a lot with my Kickstarter backers but was debating whether to cover it here. Then I figured it'd probably be weird if anyone noticed that these catch up updates had suddenly jumped from December to April. Anyway, my Mum got diagnosed with stomach cancer around the beginning of the year and it hit me pretty hard. She's had a load of chemo but ended up having an operation to remove her stomach, which was successful (in that she survived the op and they reckon they got the cancer).

I'll not linger on that here, but hey so that's why things got a little slower from this point!

This is what I got up to at the start of the year:

Art update

After I'd uploaded all of the screenshots for the Steam store page, I didn't think the game looked good enough at a glance. A big part of this was just down to the ground. Here's the old ground art for the forest:

Look at the ugly fern creeping into the top right at the end of the gif

Firstly, the top of it just looks crap. The detail like the ferns, grass and flowers look amateurish. And they are, because I was (and still am) an amateur. But I'm better now at knowing how I want things to look, and I didn't want them to look like this.

Secondly, the ground is taking too much of your attention. It's got little bits of detail in it that are just unnecessary. From a compositional point of view, because the ground sometimes takes up such a large proportion of the screen, it's a great opportunity to add some visual breathing space and let your eyes focus on the important stuff. When I've got occasional clusters of random pixels in there you can't do that.

So, it now looks like this:


Hornets' Nest

Anyone who played any of the very early builds may remember this:


Well, she's still in the game but she's a bit too tough to fight when you don't know what to expect. I'm trying to avoid teaching through death where possible, as the game doesn't have the short levels and quick reloads of games like Super Meat Boy or N.

So, I've introduced the hornets' nest, which kind of introduces you to the idea of these relentless homing enemies:


Gargoyles

You've maybe seen these guys before, but they were a bit rubbish. They weren't really different enough to the bats to be very interesting. I was kind of trying to convince myself that this was okay, because you only come across them in a couple of rooms, but that's a pretty lame way to design enemies so I decided to have a bit of a rethink:


They still stick to the same rules of how all of the statue based enemies trigger their attack, but now they try and dive bomb you.

I really like them now, they're fun to play with! You might see more of them in later areas if you look in the right places Smiley

Sword Line

This was a simple thing to do, but it's made a big difference to people who haven't played the game before. I made it so the line between you and the sword gives a clearer indication of what's going to happen when you press fire again:


Poof!

There's a new poof of smoke and sword slash effect for when you kill creatures:


These animations and the fire one above are all courtesy of Mattie, who's helping out with some of the background and effect animations so that I can focus more on the design and narrative side of things.

Check his other work out and say hello on Twitter: https://twitter.com/swonqi

Wind

I accidentally made the 'blizzard' snow particles so that their x_scale changed depending on their x_speed:


This had the happy side effect of making it clearer when the wind if blowing so I left it in. Late night coding is good for some things after all!

I'm sure it's probably introduced a bunch of bugs somewhere else though...

New Area Layout

Following the beta release I had chance to get some decent analytics back for how people are playing the game. Almost everyone were spending way longer in the mountains than expected, and speaking to a few people the common thread seems to be that they were getting lost.

This is almost entirely down to bad design and only slightly down to their incompetence. So I've also been redesigning the mountain area.

I've been thinking a lot more about how the area plays as a whole, rather than each room in isolation. I've been thinking about things such as symmetry (or lack of), how the length of a room affects tension, how far down a divergent path is it clear that this is a divergence and not just the normal way, how fast does a room play and how this affects the flow of the area, and a bunch of other stuff. I've had quite a bit of time to just sit and think but not with a computer nearby, so it's been a good time to focus on design.

There's not a lot I can show from this, but it's been the work that I think is the most important over the past month and I'm going to be doing the same for the caves area and the other areas that are currently in the game. So, I want to show you at least something:


For those of you who have played the beta, there was a small bridge in the game but it was a bit pointless. This bridge is less pointless and, depending on what actions you've taken so far, will be the spot for a neat little narrative interaction.

I'll say no more.

The Corrupted Parishioner

I did some work on this boss fight:


The chapel art is VERY work-in-progress here by the way...

And there was probably a bunch of other stuff I did that I've changed again since then...
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NowSayPillow
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« Reply #603 on: August 15, 2018, 07:18:57 AM »

Holy balls, this looks gorgeous! I especially love how your character holds their sword and the effect it has on the ground. It's a very nice touch.
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and
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« Reply #604 on: August 16, 2018, 02:16:28 AM »

Holy balls, this looks gorgeous! I especially love how your character holds their sword and the effect it has on the ground. It's a very nice touch.

Thanks!

The sword being heavy makes her walk quite slowly too, which makes you use the shapes more to get around, so I needed to put as much in there as I could to sell the weight of the sword.

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and
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« Reply #605 on: August 16, 2018, 01:19:26 PM »

Does anyone have any experience and advice about how to use updates in Steam?

Like, when to do them and what for?

I did my first one and it's had zero response. Is that normal? Should it have been more in-depth?

Here's the update: https://steamcommunity.com/games/568070/announcements/detail/1691552256103388868

Please help.
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Janionano
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« Reply #606 on: August 20, 2018, 11:34:17 AM »

I imagine this to be common. Unless you have managed to create a relatively large community and your game is very popular. Today there are thousands of games dividing the attention of players on Steam, and the majority of them is bad, it is even difficult for good games to get noticed.
It is increasingly important to work the marketing of the game, before it is released, whether on Steam or any other platform, do not give up.
I hope some more experienced game developer than me can provide a better answer.
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neaptide
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« Reply #607 on: August 20, 2018, 07:50:24 PM »

Does anyone have any experience and advice about how to use updates in Steam?

Like, when to do them and what for?

I did my first one and it's had zero response. Is that normal? Should it have been more in-depth?

Here's the update: https://steamcommunity.com/games/568070/announcements/detail/1691552256103388868

Please help.

personally i've never looked at steam updates, i wonder if there's a way to ping people for when you post updates? also, we worked on that ludum dare vampire jam back in the day! glad to see your game is coming along so well Smiley - jc
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and
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« Reply #608 on: August 21, 2018, 07:28:04 AM »

personally i've never looked at steam updates, i wonder if there's a way to ping people for when you post updates? also, we worked on that ludum dare vampire jam back in the day! glad to see your game is coming along so well Smiley - jc

Hey James! How's it going?

That was the last Ludum Dare I did (I think). Once you've done a Kickstarter there's just no time to work on anything else...

We should probably make it a full game and release it some day though Smiley
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MegaTiny
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« Reply #609 on: August 22, 2018, 09:49:38 AM »

That snow effect is gorgeous. Lucky break there!

I think 90% of people only look at steam updates for the patch notes they bring, so don't worry too much if you aren't getting huge returns on announcements.
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and
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« Reply #610 on: August 23, 2018, 04:26:08 AM »

I have a new trailer here:




I'm not promoting it really just yet, as I want to make sure my preview build is awesome before I do. Then it's time to try and get some press, I guess?

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« Reply #611 on: August 29, 2018, 06:12:22 AM »

In preparation for hounding the press, I have updated my website:

http://mableandthewood.com/

Have a gander!

Here's a sneak peek:



Thoughts?

Think the copy is engaging?

Does it sound unique enough?
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MegaTiny
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« Reply #612 on: August 29, 2018, 08:41:04 AM »

Looks cool. Couple of things:

---------------------------

Wish List button could be way bigger. Maybe some text saying ADD US TO YOUR WISHLIST YOU JERKS!, but much more polite.

---------------------------

"Mable & The Wood is a metroidvania where you don't have to kill anyone.

You play a shape-shifting girl who can take on the form of the creatures that she kills.
"

This is pretty jarring to me. It's feels contradictory, as well as being a very objective and descriptive start that then segues into narrative lore for the rest of the paragraph.

You could probably start from the word 'Play' and just change it to 'Play as a shapeshifting girl...' and then add the bit about not having to kill anything into the big text further down

---------------------------------

This bit:



The large, same coloured text all together followed by images caused me to gloss over it (Don't worry that the third image didn't load in the above pic, it worked when I refreshed the page)

Perhaps lay it out so the images align with the text they reference. Like so:



Obviously just a mockup and the spacing would need work. But having a reference image/gif to each point might help drive it home.

Side note: the use of 'Discover' in two of the main points takes away the impact of the word (could change to 'Explore a dying world'.

----------------------------

Also you mention hounding the press. Do you have a press kit? Basically a web page the press can use to quickly write articles about your game without having to email you. More detailed and less flashy than the website, like a cheat sheet.

Here's Shovel Knight's for reference: http://yachtclubgames.com/shovel-knight-treasure-trove/
And OctoDad's: http://www.octodadgame.com/press/sheet.php?p=octodad_dadliest_catch (this uses DoPressKit: http://dopresskit.com/)

----------------------------

Hopefully this helped, and you don't find it too critical. The page looks great, and I'm no expert by a long way. Just thought I'd point out the things that I noticed.
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and
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« Reply #613 on: August 29, 2018, 10:41:50 AM »

Cool, that's great feedback thanks.

I've updated the website now! Need to make the layout work on mobile though, as I've now broken it...

I will be doing a presskit too, that's next on my todo list!
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MegaTiny
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« Reply #614 on: August 29, 2018, 02:15:22 PM »

Wow you work fast. That final line "In Mable & The Wood, it's up to you to make that choice. You don't have to kill anyone, but you might kill everyone" feels really impactful  Hand Clap
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and
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« Reply #615 on: August 29, 2018, 10:42:11 PM »

Wow you work fast. That final line "In Mable & The Wood, it's up to you to make that choice. You don't have to kill anyone, but you might kill everyone" feels really impactful  Hand Clap

Awesome, glad you like it! I just felt like it needed something cool to wrap it up.

I'm really happy with your suggestion to line up the images and text like that, I think it really works well so thanks for that :D

Now, onto the presskit!
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NowSayPillow
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« Reply #616 on: August 30, 2018, 02:09:22 AM »

Q1 2019 is too far away. I need this game now.  Beg
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and
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« Reply #617 on: August 30, 2018, 11:20:15 PM »

Q1 2019 is too far away. I need this game now.  Beg

I'm working as fast as I can! Hand Any Key

Glad you're looking forward to it  :D
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« Reply #618 on: September 01, 2018, 10:35:27 AM »

Here's my #screenshotsaturday


Trying to get the hang of making better GIFs but not sure about having the text bits in there

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