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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsYonder - 2D Co-op Adventure
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Author Topic: Yonder - 2D Co-op Adventure  (Read 26213 times)
purplemonkey
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« on: April 30, 2015, 04:04:49 am »


To find their way home, two survivors journey to unravel the mysteries of the past.



Updates

10/25/15 Odd beings
06/06/15 Visual development
05/23/15 Game design
05/13/15 Single-player cooperative mode
05/09/15 Story
05/02/15 Climbing



Hello everyone,

I would like to introduce a game that my brother and I have been working on lately.

Let me point out that we have never made a game before so pretty much everything is new to us. Thus, hopefully, there will be some lessons learned as we document our process throughout the development of the game.

This project started with a very small scope in mind. Our initial idea was a game where the sole mechanic would revolve around literal hand-holding between two characters. But during the concept phase of development our ideas did not seem to fit with what we had originally intended and so the project also changed. We realized that we wanted to make an adventure game with two characters working together to traverse the environment.


Experience

Yonder is a two-dimensional adventure game with emphasis on cooperative interaction. Explore, solve puzzles and unravel a mystery together. Whether you decide to play Yonder by yourself or cooperatively, the adventure will revolve around interaction between the characters of the game and their surroundings.


Click image for better quality

Visuals

The non-tile based art of Yonder is all hand-painted leaving little to no reuse of art assets. This creation process ensures unique surroundings and it is all running in 1080p resolution.


Click image for better quality

Team

Since we are a two-man team at the moment most responsibilities are a shared effort. Ostensibly this means that whatever we do, be it story, game design or production management it usually emerges with the help of a healthy discussion. Other than our shared responsibilities, my main focus on this project will be the programming whereas Johan’s main focus will be on art and animation. If you want to take a peek at some of Johan’s work you can do so on his Tumblr.

Technical

I have no prior knowledge with programming so to be able to meet our expectations for this game I would need to use something even a bit more beginner-friendly than the likes of Unity. I looked at several alternatives and decided to try out Construct 2, and I must say, even for a complete novice this tool is very intuitive. So at least for now, I will stick with Construct 2.


You can find further information as well as a press kit and contact details at http://yondergame.com.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned as we delve deeper into the creation process of our development.

/André
« Last Edit: October 24, 2015, 02:41:12 pm by purplemonkey » Logged

Telephant
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2015, 04:22:26 am »

Wow!
That looks amazing Smiley

Can't wait to see more
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Fenrir
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2015, 04:22:39 am »

Wow it's beautiful guys, good luck with it! I'll follow for sure!
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oldblood
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2015, 04:51:16 am »

That looks really good...
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2015, 04:58:17 am »

The first few videos look really amazing. Congrats Smiley


You mentioned that you thought about a game mechanic of two hand holding characters. Reminded me of ICO immediately Smiley Maybe the mechanic doesn't work throughout the game but could be interesting in areas.
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2015, 05:05:20 am »

This looks beautiful. Looking forward to this! :-)
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purplemonkey
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2015, 05:17:19 am »

Thanks everyone!

The first few videos look really amazing. Congrats Smiley


You mentioned that you thought about a game mechanic of two hand holding characters. Reminded me of ICO immediately Smiley Maybe the mechanic doesn't work throughout the game but could be interesting in areas.
Being compared to ICO is definitely a good thing in our book. We are very much looking into more ways of cooperative interaction so we aren't ruling anything out just yet.
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2015, 06:51:53 am »

Wow! This is looking very, very good! Congrats!
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2015, 11:19:08 am »

 Shocked it's so beautiful Cry

followed...
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2015, 02:37:48 am »

Before you lay out a ton of the art, I'd suggest that you start with very simple test levels where you figure out all the interactions / gameplay. You already have a nice style and know that you can probably deliver on that front, so I'd take a step back now and really focus on what makes this game interesting apart from just pretty visuals.

There are soooooo many game devs, even - or especially - people coming from a AAA background that focus on art for MONTHS, only to find out that they really never figured out any gameplay at all and things don't come together.
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purplemonkey
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2015, 03:15:34 am »

Before you lay out a ton of the art, I'd suggest that you start with very simple test levels where you figure out all the interactions / gameplay. You already have a nice style and know that you can probably deliver on that front, so I'd take a step back now and really focus on what makes this game interesting apart from just pretty visuals.

There are soooooo many game devs, even - or especially - people coming from a AAA background that focus on art for MONTHS, only to find out that they really never figured out any gameplay at all and things don't come together.
To shine a bit of light on that the subject of planning, most of our gameplay mechanics have already been tested during early protoyping phase. And as it is now, we have the whole game planned in terms of layouts as well as story beats. We've drawn up sketches on the whole game so that we can regularly look at the big picture but also in detail plan and change interactions/events depending on how that specific layout feels in-game.

Now, to compare this to Ori and the Blind Forest as an example, Yonder will be a very linear (non-metroidvania) experience and so planning and controlling the player's experience is an utmost importance to us. So don't worry, we are not in any way just laying out art as we go along.

We are planning on posting information covering things such as different gameplay mechanics and other tidbits in the near future.
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2015, 04:01:25 am »

Looks lovely. Good luck to you and Johan. It looks to be one cool/big challenge to both of you. Toast Left
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2015, 08:29:07 am »

I absolutely love the visuals! Do you know approximately how long it took to make the scene in the second GIF? By having no reuse of art assets it sounds like it's going to take a loooooong time to make all the art for the game. Do you have an estimate of how long it'll take just so you know what you're getting yourself into?
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purplemonkey
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2015, 09:11:57 am »

I absolutely love the visuals! Do you know approximately how long it took to make the scene in the second GIF? By having no reuse of art assets it sounds like it's going to take a loooooong time to make all the art for the game. Do you have an estimate of how long it'll take just so you know what you're getting yourself into?
Specifically for the scene in the second gif, this scene is a small part of a layout spanning around 10k pixels in width. It takes Johan about 1-2 weeks including revisions to create the environment as well as interactable objects and effects. When we discussed an art style for this project early on, we ended up choosing a style that was going to be quick to produce but also easy to break apart and change if necessary. After this we began planning layouts and Johan went ahead and made a colourscript with one 1080p screen per planned layout. These colourscript images help when creating the layouts as Johan can use them as a base for his creations.

We are planning a more detailed write-up on Johan's creation process covering most of what I'm now briefly touching on.
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2015, 09:32:52 am »

It reminds me of a french comic.  Very nice style!
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« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2015, 05:41:27 am »

Specifically for the scene in the second gif, this scene is a small part of a layout spanning around 10k pixels in width. It takes Johan about 1-2 weeks including revisions to create the environment as well as interactable objects and effects. When we discussed an art style for this project early on, we ended up choosing a style that was going to be quick to produce but also easy to break apart and change if necessary. After this we began planning layouts and Johan went ahead and made a colourscript with one 1080p screen per planned layout. These colourscript images help when creating the layouts as Johan can use them as a base for his creations.

Thanks for the info! I look forward to your future updates. :D
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« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2015, 09:00:25 am »

 Shocked
 Hand Clap

This looks amazing.
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purplemonkey
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« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2015, 11:53:00 am »

Climbing

One of the focuses in Yonder is traversing the environment. We decided early on that we wanted to have a (somewhat) realistic approach to how the characters of the game interacted with their surroundings. For us, it meant that gameplay mechanics such as jumping on to a platform at least twice the size of your character or wall jumping among other things was a big no-no in terms of game design.

An example for this kind of approach is cooperative climbing. How would you actually go about climbing a huge wall? Unless you’re a parkour master it would be a rather daunting task to go about it alone. But if you’re two people helping each other, it’s very possible!


Click image for better quality
 
In the example above, which is one of many traversal mechanics in Yonder, you will notice that when the girl runs up to a wall, presses and holds a button it will trigger a state indicating that she will give the boy a boost up the wall. As the boy approaches he will be able to press a button triggering the boost. And lastly the boy, that has now made it up the wall, enters a sitting idle animation waiting for the girl to press a button which will trigger her to jump up and grab the boy’s hands. Phew, they made it!

We’ve also made sure not to lock a character in any of these said states. For example, if one of the character has made it up he/she can freely choose to jump down again or run away without helping the other character.

This might sound convoluted but it all feels very simple and rewarding in game.

I’d like to point out that all gameplay mechanics are possible even though you were to play this game in “single-player mode”. I'm planning on writing a separate entry explaining “single-player mode” and how that works in correlation with two playable characters.
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purplemonkey
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2015, 10:22:09 am »

Story


Click image for better quality

Follow the story of two children, survivors of an intergalactic shipwreck, as they journey together in search for home and discover the secrets of a forgotten past along the way.

In regards to how story will be portrayed in Yonder, we want to directly tie what you see and what you do to the narrative. We’ve also chosen to refrain from using any form of in-game text and dialogue (other than UI).

For this to work, we needed to incorporate an additional story-telling mechanic parallel to the already planned traversal, creature interactions, puzzles and special events.


Click image for better quality

This is a work-in-progress screenshot. There will be a number of large interactable murals located throughout the game. We want these murals to help the players connect the dots as they progress in their journey.

Our hope is that this sort of wordless story will strengthen the overall sense of presence in the world of Yonder.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2015, 10:28:10 am by purplemonkey » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2015, 11:23:02 am »

This looks wonderful. I saw a video recently dissecting a co-op mechanic which might be of interest to you guys.

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