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fuglesang
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« on: September 25, 2015, 08:55:55 am »

Degrees of Separation

Degrees of Separation is a 2D platform game for two players, each in their own world, who have to cooperate to solve puzzles based on temperature.





Vision

“The story of two people living in opposite worlds.“

The focus is to create an intimate experience where cooperation is built into every move. It will show the struggles of two contrasting opposites who are in a relationship through audio visuals and gameplay. The story will have several arcs with different emotional states for the characters which will directly influence the gameplay. The experience should have an inviting and magical atmosphere and try to convey the emotional states to the players.


Gameplay

The gameplay is centralized around the temperature theme, in which one area is “warm” and one is “cold”.

The two players must cooperate by moving around and using what is available to advance. Objects and nature behave differently when influenced by temperature. The end goal is find out how they can be together.


The "warm" and "cold" areas follow the characters at all times.

The camera splits so the players can move to different parts of the map.


Aesthetics

The main focus of the aesthetics is on emphasizing the contrast between hot and cold and making it look visually striking. Inspiration for this contrast is influenced from Norwegian seasons and nature. The art style in general takes inspiration from western and eastern animation movies.
 
There is not a lot of polish in this area of the game yet.


Audio

More info about the audio will come. For now we’ll just leave some WIP samples of music and ambience.

Degrees of Separation - Divided
Degrees of Separation - Ambient Wet And Dark



Thank you for having a look and we'll continue to post updates during development.
We appreciate any input you might have.



Link to update posts
N/A

Other projects
We released Amphora in 2014 on Steam.

Other links
moondrop.no
facebook.com/moonpage
facebook.com/dofsgame
twitter.com/MoondropGames

« Last Edit: September 08, 2016, 05:15:27 am by fuglesang » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2015, 11:50:58 am »

Sounds interesting, I would like to see what temperature depending mechanics and puzzle you have for it Smiley
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mtarini
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2015, 12:19:59 pm »

Jawdroppingly beautiful.
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stringkiller
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2015, 12:26:40 pm »

Looks pretty darn nice. Will there be online mode or only local?

By the way I'm using ScreenToGif to capture my gifs, although I just tried capturing pixel art stuff it seems to work nice if you set it up to maximum quality.
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2015, 01:08:22 pm »

That transition effect is simply stunning. I am sooo curious to how it works. Is it entirely some fragment-shader trickery or are there vertices involved as well, for determining the shape?

Art looks great in general. Will follow with interest!
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fuglesang
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2015, 02:11:35 pm »

Sounds interesting, I would like to see what temperature depending mechanics and puzzle you have for it Smiley

Many of the puzzles will be about manipulating the environment using the different temperatures. We will post more details about the mechanics at a later time. An example of how the temperature changes the environment is how water reacts. The character on the cold side can't go into the water since it freezes, but the character on the warm side will fall into it. This enables the cold character to walk over on top.




Looks pretty darn nice. Will there be online mode or only local?

By the way I'm using ScreenToGif to capture my gifs, although I just tried capturing pixel art stuff it seems to work nice if you set it up to maximum quality.

We are currently looking into online multiplayer, though due to the extra time it takes to implement it's a bit on hold. But we recently hired an additional programmer so we're hoping that will enable us to do it.

I tried ScreenToGif with different quality setting but it didn't get a satisfying result. Guess it might be a limitation with gifs and gradients?


Jawdroppingly beautiful.

Thank you! We still have a lot of work to do on the visuals though. =)


That transition effect is simply stunning. I am sooo curious to how it works. Is it entirely some fragment-shader trickery or are there vertices involved as well, for determining the shape?

Art looks great in general. Will follow with interest!

It's just shaders doing the warm/cold effect. The first shader draws the split into the red channel (it gets passed the points on the screen where the split is). Then a shader, using two buffers, add/remove temperature with a small blur. The final shader composes two cameras depending on the current temperature at the pixel. For the ground and other objects they have a shader that uses the split texture to blend between a "warm" and a "cold" texture.

This is how it works right now, but will surely change during development to enable more features and to remove some problems the system currently have.
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MikeD
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2015, 07:11:31 pm »

Very cool concept. Will it require multiplayer? Or will there be an AI if someone doesn't have anyone else to play with?  Hand Joystick
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fuglesang
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2015, 01:35:07 am »

Very cool concept. Will it require multiplayer? Or will there be an AI if someone doesn't have anyone else to play with?  Hand Joystick

We will soon test if having an AI partner will work for the game. One thing we're carful about though is to not sacrifice any part of the multiplayer experience to enable single player. We'll probably make an update post on the progress of this later.  Smiley
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fuglesang
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2015, 05:11:26 am »

Finally, an update post! We’ve been busy with our first public appearance of Degrees of Separation. If you’re interested in reading about how it went and see some images you can check our blog post: http://blog.moondrop.no/2015/11/degrees-of-separation-status-and-spillexpo-2015/

Our team has also expanded by 100%! An additional artist and a programmer recently started working for us. Here’s a small introduction to them: http://blog.moondrop.no/2015/11/expanding-the-team/



Gameplay

There has been a lot of progress on the game in the recent month. We are now moving towards locking in the core mechanic and will soon begin to explore the extended mechanics.

This update has many utility mechanics that will be used to give depth to the main puzzles and to give hints to what the players should do to solve them.

Snowball
Can only be created on the cold side and will grow in size when rolled on the snow. On the warm side it melts. This acts as a movable platform which is in itself a tiny puzzle when you first encounter it and might be used to give puzzles more depth.

Vents
Only active on the warm side, but it’s possible for Rime to “ride” on them by jumping over Ember (see gif). Useful for small puzzles, giving puzzles more depth and to section off parts of the level vertically.

Ropes
Used as levers/triggers but also to add depth to puzzles. One player can hang on a rope to pull it down so the other player can reach it (see gif) as an example.


Art

The first post have been updated with a new header showing the logo and updated characters!

These are assets that we are testing the game with, it will get cleaned up later or reworked completely if the style changes. A challenge with the art is that there needs to be one cold and one warm version of each, effectively doubling the amount of art that has to be made.



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Davi Vasc
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2015, 08:31:44 am »

wow great concept! I see a lot of potential for interesting puzzles with that warm/cold mechanic. The art looks great as well Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2015, 10:11:49 am »

Waah seems great!  Shocked Following!
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AlexTemina
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2016, 02:50:13 am »

Guys!
We are alive, yes.  Well, hello there!
I know it's been a long time, but we've been focused on the game and worked quite hard the last months.



We are here today to talk about making foliage wave and skew. When props move in a 2D game, everything feels alive and more beautiful, and it fulfils a sensation of quality. That's why we needed a shader to make certain props like plants, flowers and leaves in a tree dance with the wind.



Of course, a shader comes with a script to send properties and tweak options, so we worked some days on a component to make anything move in an organic manner, with global wind, or a wind machine that throws breeze waves. Also with the movement of the player or any other force we want to apply.

That makes the game alive and organic. It's not something to be amazed when looked at it directly, but makes scenery improve quite a lot.



We are writing blog posts every Thursday, and we made a technical one in which we show how we made our foliage waver and global wind, and we put everything together in a package for anyone to use. Take a look and enjoy the reading!
http://blog.moondrop.no/2016/07/making-foliage-to-wave-in-a-2d-game-with-wind/

We'll come with more news very soon.

P.S: You can follow us on Twitter to know when we post, even though we'll tell you here.

--Alex
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 03:04:02 am by AlexTemina » Logged
Prinsessa
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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2016, 05:09:26 am »

Ser skikkeleg pent ut! <3

Especially like the mechanic where the warm character has to walk underwater because the warmth makes it liquid, while the cold character has to walk on top of it because the cold makes it frozen. Really clever.

Very cool concept. Will it require multiplayer? Or will there be an AI if someone doesn't have anyone else to play with?  Hand Joystick

We will soon test if having an AI partner will work for the game. One thing we're carful about though is to not sacrifice any part of the multiplayer experience to enable single player. We'll probably make an update post on the progress of this later.  Smiley
I think the best way to do this would just be to allow the one player to swap between the two characters, and if they have to do things simultaneously, maybe do something like in Brothers?
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Grhyll
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« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2016, 09:47:05 am »

Well that's quite beautiful Smiley
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fuglesang
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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2016, 07:20:37 am »

I think the best way to do this would just be to allow the one player to swap between the two characters, and if they have to do things simultaneously, maybe do something like in Brothers?

We have tried the Brother-style input scheme (and we're using it to test when developing), but when we tried on new players that didn't know anything about the game they had a hard time using that scheme. The issue is that you can't go much up in complexity and speed of the game before that becomes unmanageable without training for it it feel right. And because of this we can't have this type of single player.

We've also discussed swapping between the characters only to find other major problems we'd like to avoid. Instances like having to design so the puzzle and platforming doesn't require both characters to do an action at the same time. It would in theory cause every puzzle and platforming segment to take double the amount of time, unless we add even more complexity with having a button that makes you control both at the same time.

Both of these we think will make the single player a poor experience for our game.

All in all we've moved passed trying to have a "simple" solution for the single player. We're currently either for making a semi-advanced AI so it would "feel" like playing with another human, but using a lot of smoke and mirrors, or to only have online multiplayer.
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2016, 09:59:49 am »

Very valid points.

Wait, you don't mean dropping the local multiplayer just because you're adding the online multiplayer right? This is a perfect kind of local multiplayer game for people to play together on the same sofa or w/e.
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fuglesang
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« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2016, 02:09:58 am »

Wait, you don't mean dropping the local multiplayer just because you're adding the online multiplayer right? This is a perfect kind of local multiplayer game for people to play together on the same sofa or w/e.

Of course not! Local multiplayer is the core. =)
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2016, 02:27:07 am »

Sounds great! Based on your inspiration and your user name, I will assume that you are Norwegian. Are you familiar with Henchman & Goon? They're kind of working on a similar-ish local two-player experience too (Pode).
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fuglesang
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« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2016, 03:04:55 am »

Sounds great! Based on your inspiration and your user name, I will assume that you are Norwegian. Are you familiar with Henchman & Goon? They're kind of working on a similar-ish local two-player experience too (Pode).

Yes! We're in Hamar and Hamar Game Collective. I usually travel to Bergen once a year for the Konsoll conference, and during those there have been meetups at the Henchman & Goon offices. I guess now they are in the Bergen Game Collective though and we'll be going there this year.

I know about Pode, yes, but very little about the actual gameplay.
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2016, 03:32:01 am »

I guess now they are in the Bergen Game Collective though and we'll be going there this year.
Yep!

I know about Pode, yes, but very little about the actual gameplay.
It's focused on helping each other progress rather than fighting monsters or something like that, and has a rather beautiful æsthetic just like this game, so those were the similarities I noticed. You also made a post about vegetation, which is something they've been blogging about recently. Tongue
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