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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSklaf [2D platformer]
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FundationStudio
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« on: October 02, 2015, 05:26:15 am »

SEPTEMBER UPDATE
Alpha is available! Download it here : http://fundationstudio.com/blog/work-in-progress-2/ and give us your feedbacks!

JULY UPDATE
First trailer of our game!





ORIGINAL POST
Hi there !

I’ve come to present you our game and the team behind it.

We’ll post regularly to keep you informed about the progress on the project. Don’t hesitate to leave comments so we can improve the game.

If you want to follow the creation of an indie game studio, use one of this links (or all of them !) :

Twitter / Facebook / Website

Good reading


Type : Platformer 2D
Platform : PC/MAC/PS4/ONE
Engine : Unity 5
Release (TBC) : 1st quarter 2017



Let’s start with the pitch of the game : « A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… » Oh sorry, this is not the right one.. Let’s try again :

« Earth is dying and the Earth Global Government set up a space expedition to find a new planet suitable for the human race.

  Fundation Corp.  craft an exploration vessel controled by an AI and with the latest tool of artificial life creation : the Sklafotron.

This strange machine is able to create little creatures as cute as stupid : the Sklafs.

They follow IA orders with a simple goal : land on planet to explore, analyse, and terraform it.

This was the first plan. But during the travel, the spaceship was swallowed by a black hole and rejected in a galaxy far, far away (I knew we would come back to it !). IA was hit and became totally insane.

Weird analysis lead the Sklafs in missions more and more crazy with the hope to find a new Earth. »

« In Space no one can hear you laugh »


Sklaf is an arcade 2D platformer which takes place in a sci-fi cartoon universe totally mad and slightly violent.

Player will control the Sklafs who, in addition to make coffee, have differents powers acquired throught visited planets.

What makes our game unique is the universe and the feature we called the Body Block.

The idea is simple. As soon as a Sklaf dies, it leaves a corpse which become a new platform. This platform will be different for each type of Sklaf. For exemple, if the Sklaf with the double jump dies, it leaves a corpse on which you can bounce.

This feature will simplify the progress in each level and will allow the player to modify the level design and discover secret places.

We aim to make 5 planets composed of 5 classic levels, 4 bonus levels and a Boss.

Note : No serious study has demonstrated that the Sklafs can feel pain. Consequently, mistreating them is totally legal.


We are five people on this project :

- 1 Game Designer – Project Manager
- 1 Developper – Game Designer
- 1 Graphist
- 1 Animator
- 1 Sound Designer
Everyone in the team has already worked on one or several video games in differents studios like Kylotonn or Ankama.

We started to work on a technical prototype at the start of this year, and the graphical work began in August.

 

Our current version features :

- 3 levels
- 3 powers
- 3 enemy types
- Gold system
- Energy system (the life in the game)
- Scoring system
 

We hope to have a public Alpha around the end of the year with several levels of the first planet.

Until then, we’ll give you news regularly, and we’ll stay available for all your questions.

See you !

 

Hopefully soon  Smiley
« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 08:52:19 am by FundationStudio » Logged

stringkiller
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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2015, 09:44:01 am »

This game looks amazing man, I like the overall atmosphere shown in the screenshots. It's a bit hard to me to imagine the gameplay though, it seems to be way more puzzle and exploration oriented than combat right? Can you purposely suicide to leave corpse platforms where you want or do you have to let enemies or traps kill you?
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FundationStudio
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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2015, 10:46:49 am »

Thanks for the reply !

Yes, you can suicide wherever you want. We want the player to be able to really interact with the level design. We will make a post soon to explain the Body Block with more details.

And about the gameplay, it will be really platform oriented, like a Super Meat Boy, or a Rayman.

We're working to deliver an Alpha quickly, so you'll be able to see by yourself Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2015, 04:30:15 pm »

This looks and sounds really great! I'll definitely be following this. Smiley Je souhaite bonne chance à vous tous !
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2015, 06:41:15 pm »

Really digging the style!
I noticed he main banner had quite a few different conflicting fonts.
I would suggest keeping the font style consistent, also the text 'lost in looniverse' is a bit hard to read.
Asides from that, I am really looking forward to seeing how this game progresses, especially with the stunning concept and game art.

The concept seems quite similar to "Use Boxmen", so I would love seeing a bonus level where you control a swarm of Sklafs all together (that would be awesome).

Anyways, it looks really promising, so keep up the great work!
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2015, 08:15:28 pm »

Wow really awesome idea! I think the dead Sklaf platforms is a really cool idea and it could make for some cool strategic elements. I'm excited to see more!
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FundationStudio
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2015, 06:41:07 am »

Hi !

Thanks for your comments ! Here's a quick update on our progresses.

First of all, it’s important to tell you about our short terms goals and the state of the game before this week.

Let's start with a quick tour of what was in the game a week ago :

  •    3 levels of the planet 1 playable (technical version)
  •    World and level selections done
  •    Scoring system done
  •    Unlocking system of the levels done
  •    Walk / Run / Jump done
  •    3/6 types of Sklaf done (Attack / Wall Jump / Double Jump)
  •    Switch system done
  •    Energy system (life) done
  •    Joolees (gold) placed in all 3 levels
  •    3 old Joolees (secret items) placed for each level
  •    Checkpoint system done

On our tasklist, we planned 2 short term goals for this month :

  •    18th October: Planet 1 complete from a technical perspective. A technical integration is simply to have something entirely playable with squares, without any graphisms
  •    1st November : Planet 1 with a first iteration of all graphical assets

Planet 1 will contain :

  •    5 « classic » levels
  •    2 « puzzle game » levels
  •    2 « runner » levels
  •    1 Boss


Now that you know where we are and what our objectives are, let’s talk about what we’ve done this week :

  •    Walk speed has been increased and jump has been improved for a better feeling in-game
  •    Camera movement has been smoothed
  •    2 enemies of the planet 1 are being designed (There will be 3 different enemies and 1 boss on the planet 1)
  •    Level 4 of the planet 1 done
  •    Puzzle game 1 done
  •    First iteration on the walk, run, jump and switch animations done
  •    Bonus level rules (runner and puzzle game) done

We’re really pleased of the progress of the game. The first set of playtests we made has reached our expectations and allowed us to improve specific points of the game.

Next week will be another big one, if we want to complete our objectives. Here’s what we’ve put on our planning :

  •    Level 5 of the planet 1
  •    Puzzle game 2
  •    2 « runner » levels (based on existing levels)
  •    Boss level
  •    Cleaning the camera movement on some paths of level 1 to 4

From a graphical perspective, the sprite will soon be in post-production and we hope to show it quickly.

Rough graphical assets will soon come into production so we can integrate them in our current levels, but this will be for another milestone.

If everything goes well, we’ll be able to show you a video of the first level in early November. We’ll let you know as soon as it’ll be ready.

That’s it for this quick tour of the production.

We’re actually thinking about a way to show you our progresses in (almost) real-time on our website.

See you next week for more details about the gameplay and background of the Sklafs themselves !


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FundationStudio
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2015, 01:58:24 pm »

Hello everyone !

I’ve come to talk about our main characters: the Sklafs.

Where do they come from ? Who are they ? What are they doing ? Do they need toilets ?

Almost all of these questions will finally find their answers today !

But let’s start with the beginning : what’s a Sklaf ?



Sklafs are creatures crafted with a gelatinous material called the Gelamex, after a creation process more or less advanced.











 
For those who want to know more about this, I suggest that you take a look at our new Looniversalis section on this page : "How to create a Sklaf".

Sklafs have a limited intellect, and have been created for one purpose only : explore and analyse planets in order to find a “New Earth”.

They’re a bit stupid but fully autonomous, and will make everything to achieve the missions that the AI from the spaceship will give them… Even the most silly ones.

Their specifity comes from their eye, which is in fact a screen allowing them to communicate by displaying simple symbols… Cause yes, Sklafs can’t talk, they’re juste able to emit some little noises.

What does it mean from a gaming perspective ?

The Sklaf crafted in the spaceship will be the first type you can play.

In addition to his ability to run and jump, he’ll also be able to attack by making a small dash in front of him. This move can be performed on the ground or in the air.

Each planet visited will bring a new type of platform, related to the planet environment.

For instance, the first one will have slimy walls on which the Sklaf can hang.

As soon as the boss of the planet is beaten, a new type of Sklaf will become available. His ability will be based on the specifity of the planet. So for the world 1, the new Sklaf unlocked will be able to hang on every wall. Unfortunately, this modification of the structure of his body will remove his ability to dash.

The player will have the opportunity to discover the new gameplay directly in the level, before being able to use this in all the other worlds.

How do you choose a Sklaf ?

For each mission (level), the player can choose 3 differents Sklafs.

When his choice is done, he’ll be able to change from one type to another during the mission with the switch system.

But we’ll talk about that in another article, alongside with our life system.

 

Closing Remarks

I hope you enjoyed this quick devblog about the Sklafs.

There is a lot more to tell on this topic, and in our next article, we’ll talk about the system we called “Body Block”.

Don’t be shy if you have any questions or suggestions.

See you soon !
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FundationStudio
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2015, 03:16:16 am »

And as a bonus for the start of the week-end, here's a new concept-art :

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FundationStudio
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2015, 01:02:08 am »

Hi there!

This post was meant to be made on Friday, but then the events in Paris happened... It's been a strange and painful week-end since then here in France... Still, we won't let these people stop us from living our lives. So! Here we are, a month after our first « Behind the game », to talk about the progress we made in the last weeks. As you’ll see, there was a lot!


Environments
One of our main goal was to put some graphic elements on our level design in order to get as close as possible to our first concept-art.



Many questions have arisen from this goal, and we had to answer them one by one, while keeping in mind the technical aspect.

First step was to set up the “Game Plan” (i.e. the plan on which the character will move).

A lot of solutions came to our mind, but we wanted to have a way to make our levels without using too many graphical assets. There was 2 reasons for this: the size of our game and the production efficiency.

So we cut our concept-art into elements and put constraints on each of them. For instance, all our ground textures had to tile with each other.

We then produced our first texture atlas that looks like that:



With this atlas, we’re able to place all of the game plan of a level in only one day, and we can do it without the help of our graphist!

Here how it looks in the editor (unity):




Believe me, this was a great victory for us. But we still had a long way to do before our game looks like the concept-art.

In the meantime, our graphist had iterated his concept-art, making the ambiance stronger. This is now the graphical level that we want to reach in our game:



Next step was to create the background layers. We used the same method as before and we obtained this texture atlas:






This step was faster because a lot of the difficulties were already answered with the gameplan. But other problems have arisen:
  • How to handle the speed of our plans?</li>
  • How to integrate our layers to the Unity editor?

Most of the technical issues have been resolved. However, we’re still working on the graphical aspect and the feeling in-game because it’s still not as good as we want it.

Even if this step is not yet finished, we already learned a lot on the creation process and we’re thinking about a more efficient way to design our levels:
  • We first create grey assets to have the shapes of our elements.
  • We put this assets on our level, so we can test the graphical rhythm of it.
  • We create the texture atlases that we need and optimize them.
  • We make a first graphical iteration of each assets with colors.
  • We make the final version of the assets.

I think it’s important to take the time to make these feedbacks during the production in order to improve our working process. It’s better to lose some time at the beginning so we can gain a lot in the end!

In the meantime, we made our first attempt to add particle effects, with always the same goal: get closer to our concept-art.

Unity integrates a really cool editor of particle systems. It allows us to make a lot quickly. But to have a high quality level, it still takes time.

As I said before, it’s a first iteration, we’re still working to improve that.

Finally, we’re working on giving some “life” to our scenery, by animating some graphical assets as if the wind is going through the trees.

To do that, we’ve decided to use a script, rather than a spritesheet.

Right now, it’s almost done, and we’ll soon be ready to make our first tests.


The Sklaf and the chara design

The other big task we had was the work on the Sklaf.

The original idea was to control a rather silly character who was send on missions with questionable goals.

This wasn’t a unique creature but something crafted by a machine. So it was expendable, and each time a Sklaf died, another one would be teleported to continue the mission.

When the first designs came out, we were seduced by one strong idea: only one eye which would be in fact a screen showing emotes.



We then created the sprite, then a doll that we can animate with Flash.



What’s interesting in the creation process of this character is that researches have really brought a lot to its personal story. For instance, when we worked on its death, we had to make a LOT of sketching on the corpses because they have a huge place in our gameplay.

But we stumbled on a big issue: how to draw a corpse which become a platform with some special effect on it to be understandable by the player. Sketches after sketches, a new idea came, that the Sklaf could be made with a type of jelly that can take the shape of a cube when it dies.

This research brought the idea that the Sklafs are made of Gelamex, and that without their armor, they go back to their original shape: a cube.





Last week, we showed the Sklaf for the first time. This allowed us to take a fresh look at it and have some feedbacks. I think it’s good to show our work early so we can have the opinions from other people.



We asked ourselves (or re-asked) these questions: does the story we’re telling is coherent with our way of presenting it? Is it consistent with our gameplay? Does the player will be able to identify with the character?

We discussed it a lot to finally come to the conclusion that even if the Sklaf are innumerous, the player doesn't control many characters as we can see in Pikmin or Lemmings. He plays with only one Sklaf at a time.

Consequently, even if there is a lot of Sklafs, we decided to present the one being played as a hero. There will be different kind of Sklafs, each one with a special power coming from genetic modifications. So we'll take the original Sklaf, and we’ll make physical variations on it. Our goal is to work on different animations to accentuate the different behaviours of each kind.

We’re currently re-working the posing of the character thus he looks less childish and more like a creature (but still a cute one).














The Sklaf and how it looks like in-game

The last work on the character we’re still doing is to find the best way to render it in-game.

The new direction we’re taking modify also some animations, like the running one as we’ll be testing a four-legged run.

For the rendering part, we’re testing something more like traditional animation. It requires a lot of work, that’s why we’re making a test on one animation before applying to the rest of the game.

We’re already making some quick animatics in order to be sure that the animations are clear.


Some more!

In addition to working directly on the game, we have to do things less visible but also important for the rest of the project.

We set up a tool for following our progress, listing every parts of the game, from the GUI to the smallest graphical asset of a level. It’s a tool we would like to put on our website so that you can follow every progress on the game instantaneously. We also set up another tool so we can share our sources for the game easily between the members of our team.

The sound design started this week so we can add some ambiance to the first planet, and we’ll soon come back to talk about it in the following weeks.

The first step on the GUI is done. There's a lot more work to do, but it allow us to have a base to work on.

We made a great work on cameras and player control and we’re still tweaking the jump and how the camera follow the player.

As you can see, our game made a lot of progress since last time, but there’s still so much to be done!

I hope you liked this (long) article. Our first in-game footage is almost ready, so we’ll come back soon to show it to you!
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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2015, 05:18:49 am »

I much prefer the new character design, definitely much cuter. The whole painted aesthetic is reminding me of the recent 2D Rayman games, which is great.
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2015, 10:56:08 am »

Thanks, Rayman is definitely one of our big ref! We're working hard to have something both readable and nice-looking. We're not yet satisfied of what we got for the moment.

In addition, we made a quick test with particles. Here's what it looks like in-game:

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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2015, 11:39:26 am »

Wow I love the art..really awesome.
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2015, 01:22:44 am »

Thanks ! Here's a small test for our GUI. We're trying to to have a comic's feel on it.

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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2015, 01:50:25 am »

Cool art and animation!
What you can tell about storytelling in the game?
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« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2015, 02:34:32 am »

 the concept caught my attention, really gr8 work, love the environment and the art work. hope to see new post, will be following this. Kiss Hand Thumbs Up Right
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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2015, 05:45:39 am »

I don't like 2d platformers but the name of your game sounded so nice I had to check (so you got that going for ya). I really like the art Smiley
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FundationStudio
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« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2015, 07:54:53 am »

Ahah ! Glad that the name got you here Smiley

About the storytelling, this is still something we're working on. Our environment must tells a lot (with its ambiance, the background, some animations etc..). We're also planning on adding some collectibles that will unlock a codex for the players who wants to know more about our universe. There's a lot more to tell, but we'll probably make a devlog when we will have progressed on this part
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« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2015, 10:56:20 pm »

Great Art indeed! Currently playing Ori, the scenery of this kinda reminds me of it Smiley. Looking forward to "hear" what you're up to with the sound and the story!
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« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2015, 01:44:06 am »

This looks really interesting - posting to follow
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