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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsDarkness Revealed - A 2D pixel art platform thriller
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PixelCows
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« on: February 24, 2016, 01:41:41 PM »

NEW UPDATE: Project Last Dive is now officially called Darkness Revealed! Learn all about it here!

NEW REEL: Our brand new reel is out, get to know us a little better! Watch it here!

NEWS UPDATE: We were featured in a Rock Paper Shotgun article! Check it out here!



Darkness Revealed




Darkness Revealed is Pixel Cows' current project. It is a pixel art platformer thriller about a man who finds himself stranded at the bottom of the ocean.
                                                          
Dave is trapped and all alone, with only his diving suit separating him from the bone crushing water pressure and mysterious sea creatures around. As he explores his surroundings in search for a way back to the surface, he realizes how little he knows about this sea...





Main features:

     -Follow Dave in a mysterious journey as he uncovers secrets from his past life and the unknown sea

     -Explore the majesty of the seas, from lively coral reefs to otherwordly underwater ruins

     -Master the unique gameplay of Dave's heavy diving suit and expand it with new items, such as the jetpack and the hookshot

     -Face huge sea creatures in epic boss battles, explore the unknown depths and discover what lies beneath the surface





How far into development is it?

Darkness Revealed is currently approaching the end of its Alpha 1 phase. Right now, we're focusing on having a playable demo with the game's intro and the first act. The purpose of this demo is to validate mechanics, game pacing, story elements, level design, and many other aspects. We're also working on creating a trailer as well as the game's logo, to further promote Darkness Revealed and it's strong points.

The game is planned to release on Windows and Mac in mid 2017.





Want to know all about Darkness Revealed?

If you liked what you've seen here and want to know more about the game, make sure to check out our website and main social networks. The game is still in development and we're very open to opinions, so stop by and give us a shout sometime!  Wink

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Or, if you want to be among our dearest fans and receive complete updates with exclusive content, sign up for our Golden Chest Newsletter. Just one email every 15 days! Good content, interesting articles about gamedev and no spamming. And if you don't like it, feel free to unsubscribe whenever you want.

Hope you enjoyed getting to know Darkness Revealed! We will be updating this page as the game progresses.

Thanks for stopping by! Smiley
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 02:33:33 PM by PixelCows » Logged

Pancaek Tho
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2016, 01:57:25 PM »

I love the concept of being stranded on the bottom of the ocean, and the art style is amazing!  I'll be looking forward to this.
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2016, 02:25:53 PM »

I love the concept of being stranded on the bottom of the ocean, and the art style is amazing!  I'll be looking forward to this.

Thank Cipheres, really appreciate the compliment! The art from the GIFs is placeholder, so I guess you're considering the mockup at the top, which is what we're aiming for XD
A platformer beneath the ocean is really what made us want to work on this game. We agree it's a great concept and we're working really hard on a cool story to make this game shine! Smiley
« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 07:52:54 PM by PixelCows » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2016, 02:43:40 PM »

I love the concept of being stranded on the bottom of the ocean, and the art style is amazing!  I'll be looking forward to this.

Thank Cipheres, really appreciate the compliment! The art from the GIFs is placeholder, so I guess you're considering the mockup at the top, which what we're aiming for XD
A platformer beneath the ocean is really what made us want to work on this game. We agree it's a great concept and we're working really hard on a cool story to make this game shine! Smiley
There's definitely a lot of room for creative expression in a game that takes place in the ocean, considering how little we really know about the sea.  It'll be interesting to see what you guys have up your sleeve.
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2016, 10:12:28 AM »

UPDATE 1

For those of you that don't know, Last Dive was originally a game made in 48 hours for Ludum Dare, which had the theme: Beneath the surface. The game was very polished by the end of the competition and won 3rd place overall. Since then, we've been thinking about remaking it with the goal of expanding the original's gameplay and executing the vision we always had for it.

Our first steps towards that goal was to remake the original game in Unity, since the first one was made in Multimedia Fusion 2. Once that was done, we started working on things that would expand on the original gameplay: new mechanics, enemies, traps, environments, etc...

One of the first things we did was smoothing Dave's (the main character) basic movements. We made him a bit more agile and added new mechanics to make him feel more responsive and less clunky. Even though the game is set underwater and we intend on maintaining the oppressive controls because it adds to the game's atmosphere, we don't want his movement to feel frustrating.



We also intend on having people trying to speed run the game, so in that direction, we added a trick, that if timed right, can make Dave sprint across the ocean's floor.



One of our main feedbacks after Ludum Dare was that you could only get trough some of the game's trap if you had positioned yourself very precisely, and that was hard since Dave could only jump. So now, we added a walking mechanic for fine tuning before a big jump or trap. The game's main moving around tool is still meant to be his jumps, but the slow walk helps a LOT with preparing for challenges.



And at last, we gave Dave an underwater jetpack that will move him slowly and hold him in the air for a couple seconds. It's meant to help you get to that platform which you aaaalmost reached with your long jump! It's also very useful for last minute saves or just to make sure you get through a bunch of spikes safely.



That's it for today guys, let us know what you think! Tomorrow i'll be making an update with lots of new enemies we added to the game.

Thanks for stopping by Smiley

« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 09:51:27 AM by PixelCows » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2016, 10:23:02 AM »

This is purely for my immersion. (Yes i know its a game) But he looks very naked, and being able to drop towards the ground like that underwater, shouldnt he be wearing weights? Tongue
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2016, 11:17:24 AM »

This is purely for my immersion. (Yes i know its a game) But he looks very naked, and being able to drop towards the ground like that underwater, shouldnt he be wearing weights? Tongue

Hahaha no worries! I know exactly what you mean, I also frequently look for things in games, that explain mechanics and behaviors in a ludic way which contributes to my immersion. So the thing about this character is we wanted him to take as few pixels as possible. He's actually wearing one of those old iron diving suits. But with the mockups we have been doing, there has been a lot of debate on updating his model into being a bit more complex and closer to the rest of the art. Your feedback actually pushes us a bit more in that direction Smiley Thanks!
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2016, 11:39:12 AM »

This is purely for my immersion. (Yes i know its a game) But he looks very naked, and being able to drop towards the ground like that underwater, shouldnt he be wearing weights? Tongue

Hahaha no worries! I know exactly what you mean, I also frequently look for things in games, that explain mechanics and behaviors in a ludic way which contributes to my immersion. So the thing about this character is we wanted him to take as few pixels as possible. He's actually wearing one of those old iron diving suits. But with the mockups we have been doing, there has been a lot of debate on updating his model into being a bit more complex and closer to the rest of the art. Your feedback actually pushes us a bit more in that direction Smiley Thanks!

I'll give you another reason.  My first impression was:  "What is a caveman doing at the bottom of the sea?"  Grin








Even after quickly realizing that the character is (probably) wearing a diving suit, the graphics still remind me of a caveman.  As you mentioned, I was also thinking that adding more details would help it look more like a diver.  Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2016, 12:03:25 PM »

I'll give you another reason.  My first impression was:  "What is a caveman doing at the bottom of the sea?"  Grin
Even after quickly realizing that the character is (probably) wearing a diving suit, the graphics still remind me of a caveman.  As you mentioned, I was also thinking that adding more details would help it look more like a diver.  Smiley

LOL, it does look a bit like a caveman. We're probably changing his model and adding details later on. Right now, most of the graphics are placeholders, we're basically working on making sure mechanics work. But you're right, his redesign is definitely being considered.
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2016, 08:01:17 PM »

Hi there! I'm a fellow developer from Brazil!

The game looks very interesting, and I think the ocean is a great setting!
I agree with the comments above that say that he looks like a caveman. Were you inspired by those very old diving suits? Perhaps you could work a bit on the highlights of his helmet (so it looks more helmet-y).
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2016, 08:13:08 PM »

LOL, it does look a bit like a caveman. We're probably changing his model and adding details later on. Right now, most of the graphics are placeholders, we're basically working on making sure mechanics work.
I see. Smiley


Are you going for an overall style as in this image? 

That would be great! Smiley  Especially, if the lightbeams and the reflections on the background are also be animated.
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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2016, 03:35:33 PM »

Hi there! I'm a fellow developer from Brazil!

The game looks very interesting, and I think the ocean is a great setting!
I agree with the comments above that say that he looks like a caveman. Were you inspired by those very old diving suits? Perhaps you could work a bit on the highlights of his helmet (so it looks more helmet-y).

Hi Maruki, always nice to meet new developers from Brazil, we definitely need more people working on games Smiley
Thanks for the feedback! We were indeed inspired by those old iron diving suits. Yea, we're totally looking into remaking Dave's model to be more in context with the rest of the art, it just isn't the priority atm. We'll wait till the game's art gets to where we want and is implemented in game, and then we'll look into his model for sure.

Are you going for an overall style as in this image? 
That would be great! Smiley  Especially, if the lightbeams and the reflections on the background are also be animated.


Hey io3! We are indeed going for this look. That's the main concept for our art direction. We are working on graphics right now and assuring it gets as close to that image as possible.
And yea, lightbeams and the reflections are a major point for us, so don't worry about it Smiley We're working so that the God rays and the the caustics having impact on the foreground as well as the background, and it's all animated! And good to see that this is your expectation as well, means we're going in the right direction hahaha
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2016, 03:57:50 PM »

Hey io3! We are indeed going for this look. That's the main concept for our art direction. We are working on graphics right now and assuring it gets as close to that image as possible.
And yea, lightbeams and the reflections are a major point for us, so don't worry about it Smiley We're working so that the God rays and the the caustics having impact on the foreground as well as the background, and it's all animated! And good to see that this is your expectation as well, means we're going in the right direction hahaha
Great! I'm looking forward to it! Smiley

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« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2016, 10:29:56 AM »

UPDATE 2

Hello everyone!

As I mentioned on the previous update, today i'll be posting some of the basic enemies we recreated for the new version of Last Dive. These aren't supposed to be a big challenge on their own, but together with other mechanics, they'll surely help us make some interesting level design.

Before we start, remember that the graphics and models shown below are temporary and will most likely change, so please don't be too harsh on it XD

First of all, I'd like to show the moray, which waits for you to get close to attack. If you're quick enough and time it right, you can even jump over it before it attacks.



Next, is the blowfish, its a pretty simple enemy, but we managed to program a lot of different movement patterns for it. The blowfish is a great enemy for teaching the game's basic controls and later on, combined with other mechanics, will help us make some of our most menacing challenges.



Lastly, to wrap up our basic enemies, I'd like to show you the eel. The eel follows a certain movement pattern predetermined by us. In our map editor, we're able to set how many eels are coming out of a spawn point, how fast they move, and the intervals between one spawn and the next. This is great for breaking patterns and creating really unpredictable enemies, or at least making movement that's a lot harder to read than most movement patterns.



That's it for today guys, thank for stopping by and please feel free to leave your feedback!
Cya! Smiley
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 09:52:42 AM by PixelCows » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: February 29, 2016, 11:42:24 AM »

Very cool - following Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2016, 03:01:02 PM »

UPDATE 3

Hello everyone!

Today we'll be focusing on interaction, animation and interface elements that we've implemented in the game.

The first thing you'll notice is that Dave has 3 HP, which will allow us to design more challenging traps, while lowering player's frustration. We also added a death animation and "game over" screen to go along with it.

We also added minor and major checkpoints. You'll respawn at minor checkpoints if you fall into a hole. If you lose your 3 hearts, however, you'll return to the latest major checkpoint. This is an important game balancing decision that will give us much more control over the game pacing, which is essential for a satisfactory level design.



Another aspect that ties directly into level design is exploration. We feel Last Dive's otherwordly setting calls for self-motivated exploration, but the original game was way too linear and didn't reward it in any way. In the new Last Dive, players will discover lots of interesting stuff by keeping their eyes open and searching for secrets. One little step in that regard is the addition of collectible coins, which will allow you to buy god knows what!



That's it for today folks, thanks for stopping by!  Wink
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 09:53:34 AM by PixelCows » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2016, 01:56:36 PM »

UPDATE 4

Hello everyone!

After we finished porting a completely reworked version of Last Dive's original gameplay into the Lotus Engine (our own engine built on Unity), we started playing with some less passive enemies. Different from the ones previously shown, these guys have a bigger brain. They won't follow a predetermined movement pattern, instead, they will move according to the player's position. So let's see what they are.

Holy crab, what is that thing? Ok... that was a bad joke. The tiny but persevering crab is one of them - the little bastard will follow you around trying to pinch you to death. He may be a bit slow, but he's determined, so don't fool around!





The second enemy i'd like to show is a variation of the blowfish (it will most likely be changed to a piranha or something like it later on). This guy will be sleeping peacefully on the game screen... that is, until you get close enough! It then wakes up and furiously swims in the player's direction. Gotta be fast to dodge it!



And lastly we made a sharklike creature which follows you around the screen and attacks when the time is right. Don't think its over after it attacks! It will continuously stay after you while you're in the same screen as he is.



Thanks for stopping by guys! Hope you liked today's post!
On the next update, ill be sharing some environmental traps which will really help us make some cool levels.

Cya around Wink
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 09:55:09 AM by PixelCows » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2016, 02:06:21 PM »

i like how the sharklike creature shakes abit before it charges at you, it looks good Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2016, 08:09:31 AM »

i like how the sharklike creature shakes abit before it charges at you, it looks good Smiley
Hahaha yea, we liked it too! Even though the shark model will be changing, we'll keep that animation for sure  Wink
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« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2016, 02:14:56 PM »

UPDATE 5

Hello everyone!

Like I mentioned in our last update, with enough enemy types in place for the time being, we shifted focus to environmental traps and other things that would affect the way Dave moves around the levels, challenging players to plan their next moves carefully. Sum that with the bunch of enemies already in place, and we're in for a bunch of level design possibilities!

Breaking (sea)Bed...
Ok... that was a bad joke... So everyone knows what a breaking platform is, but ours is different! When you land on it, it cracks, but it only falls apart when you leave it. This isn't about moving fast; it's about moving carefully. You gotta plan your moves really well with this one. There's no coming back, so make sure you know what you're doing before hitting that jump key!





Pointy Corals
The thing grows over the floor and walls and is very lethal. You gotta master your jumping and jetpack skills to move around it. Some levels will have tons of these, but we're a bit forgiving, so you can hit it once or twice before you're done.



That's it for today guys, next update i'll post some more traps and level interactions!
Thanks for stopping by and have a nice weekend Smiley
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 09:56:46 AM by PixelCows » Logged

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