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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsmorphê - An Ambient Game RELEASED!!!
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pixelfootgames
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« on: March 02, 2016, 08:06:31 PM »



morphê - An Ambient Game

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Super Update, 2018 (see latest post):

TL;DR morphe is fully remade and coming to Steam on Sept. 28:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/931830/morphe/



And now, the years old devlog :D



Hello all, first time dev-logger here - I'm Pat from PixelFoot Games (@pixelfootgames on Twitter, say hello sometime!).

My friend/co-PixelFooter Micky and I are currently working on a few small games, prepping for a larger, more serious game later this year. This first game, working title "morphê", is just a relaxing mountaintop covered in stone 'tomes', where you can add/remove/modify elements of the ambient song that's going on. The tomes will have an interface with limited musical options, and not simply be environmental elements that make noise when you're near.

As you'll probably notice, we're attempting to distill some of our favorite aspects of a few different games - I remember when Proteus first came out, I thought "this is the game I've always imagined". We're also incorporating bits of what we thought 'worked' in FRACT OSC, I've been a big fan of Kentucky Route Zero's art style, and recently I've really enjoyed The Witness' art style as well. Personally I am a hobby musician and spent a few months trying to get myself to do an ambient song most Sundays (if you're interested, archives available at unfocusambient.com).

I do want this to hopefully improve on the musical games mentioned - Proteus, to me, became too repetitive (musically) a bit too quickly. FRACT OSC was definitely not playful enough, too weighed down by its complexity and puzzle-gaminess (and dark, electronic atmosphere). On our end we are really making an effort not to let the scope of this get out of hand. This will be a simple, relaxing environment, with about 50 different ambient audio elements that can be turned on/off, have their volumes adjusted (or set up oscillations in volume), and a limited amount of other effects. So far the basic functionality is in - Micky's got our 3D art style somewhat solidified, and I've got the FPS interaction working, ability to activate and deactivate 'tomes' (musical elements) going, and have about 10 different ambient loops in the game.

This should be a pretty quick dev period - I'm hoping for no more than a few weeks. Also hoping to get some feedback and have folks help out with a bit of an alpha test, (fingers crossed) in the next two weeks or so.

I look forward to any feedback you've got! It's definitely different than the pixel art games we've been prototyping lately, and I hope it's a positive introduction to our work. Hope you enjoy - but let me know if you have any thoughts that aren't enjoyment related as well  Smiley


Pat



Here are some screens of a few days worth of work, done this last weekend:





« Last Edit: September 08, 2018, 07:21:16 PM by pixelfootgames » Logged
pixelfootgames
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2016, 05:51:10 PM »

morphê - Update #2

After a busy week at our day jobs, we got a few visual bits in, and a bit more under the hood:

- Tomes now randomly select a looping sample when activated.
- Tomes now have a visual indication when they're playing to help when you'd like to change bits of the song you're making.
- Nailed down a circular, flat particle effect that fits the feel of the game.
- A basic version of vertex animated water is in, giving subtle movement to the pond.
- I tried out a few plant models of my own, but ultimately should just defer to Micky on these most likely, they didn't turn out like I hoped!
- Got a few more ambient loops in there.

Not quite as much progress as I'd hoped, but Sunday is usually our progress day, so I'm sure we'll get a fair amount done tomorrow.


For the next week we're aiming for:

- Basic version of the tome interface, allowing changing of random sample, pitch alteration, volume oscillation and other effects.
- Lots more visual assets, more of the 'garden' taking shape.
- Clouds, distant landmarks, etc.
- A bench to sit and enjoy the music.



Thanks for reading, should have a bit more progress in the next few days as Micky does some more modeling!


Pat
Twitter: @pixelfootgames



Here's an image showing some of the water we're experimenting with + the tomes' new indication when playing:




And a closer look at the water (will post a GIF soon showing new movement/rippling):

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ashtonmorris
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2016, 08:07:10 AM »

This looks very pretty so far. I love music or sound based games/projects so I am happy to see that you're working on this!

I would really like to hear how its coming along, be it some video or rough build.  Smiley  What engine are you using for this? I just saw a talk a few weeks ago about using audio within a game to inform the game itself. Like having the volume output effect the level of hue of a color of an object etc. The speaker made a Unity plugin for this but there are other ways to achieve it without.

I'd be happy to give it a test play in the future and offer constructive feedback if you are interested. Good luck  Gentleman
 
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Ashton Morris - Composer & Sound Designer

Bomblsinger * Goliath * Wings of Vi * Lemma * Bit Heroes * Star Command Galaxies


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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2016, 05:09:17 PM »

Hi Ashton,

Thanks for the interest! Hopefully this weekend I'll get a playable build of this up - my co-Footer Micky has been working on some modeling and we want things to be a little more filled out before the next update.

Just to answer a few questions:

1) We should have a build up this weekend for PC and Mac

2) We're using Unity

3) I do really enjoy having less "obvious" forms of feedback and control for audio - currently (see image below) I'm in the process of changing the obelisk UI to be more abstract, but I would like to make audio control more "holistic". I'd appreciate if you'd post a link to the talk - I'd like to see it! That being said, I feel like calling this a game is probably not the most accurate, it's more just an environment where you can play with music, make your own ambient music, and then maybe walk away, read, draw something, etc. Basically the usual things that ambient music is good for, haha. I have been interested in using parameters of the audio to cause visual changes (eventually I want to have a "visualizer" type mode that you can activate once you're happy with the music you're making).

4) I'll appreciate the feedback when we get the first build up this weekend! I did see that you're following on twitter so I'll ping you there once it's up! Thanks again for checking it out.


Here's a quick update for today (I try to force myself to disconnect after work, but it's hard heh).


Some Images:










Things are getting more developed - slowly but surely. My initial goal for a few weeks dev time got interrupted by "real job" stuff for both of us. I can't really complain, since my project at work for the last few months has been in Unity as well (freakin' so lucky honestly), but I think we're both more freed up now and should have a build up soon.

I've also brought in an acquaintance of mine for help creating the ambient samples! Here's an example of his ambient work, on the ambient record label I started last year:

https://lithographrecords.bandcamp.com/album/my-heart-is-an-idiot

Anyway, full update this weekend with playable build!


Pat
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Michael Klier
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2016, 10:56:18 PM »

Great to see another music heavy game / experience! Also, I'm with Ashton, it looks really really nice!

Did you consider going the VR route eventually? I think there's great potential for these "sound experience" based games!
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2016, 10:38:46 AM »

Thanks for the reply. I don't think the talk is available online yet. But here is the Unity plugin that he created to help the audio inform the game. Check out some of the vide demos.

http://www.koreographer.com/#koreographer


I definitely think there is a lot of potential for this, and plenty of interesting directions that you can experiment with.
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Ashton Morris - Composer & Sound Designer

Bomblsinger * Goliath * Wings of Vi * Lemma * Bit Heroes * Star Command Galaxies


http://www.ashtonmorris.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ashtonmorris
pixelfootgames
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2016, 08:00:38 PM »

Hello All,

After a few weeks of toiling away in our spare time, we've got our first playable build!


Just a few notes on the current state of the game:

- Controls are standard FPS, WASD + Mouselook.

- Currently, since the landscaping is not complete, there are no colliders on most objects.

- To interact with obelisks (pillars) or the radio, get near them and you should see a text indicator at the bottom of the screen. Right Click your mouse to use the obelisk, or to toggle the radio on/off.

- The obelisk UI is fairly cryptic for now. Click the orb in the center to start audio on the obelisk. Use the triangle to change the audio it emits, use the I, II, and III to change the speed of the audio, use the arrows to reverse the audio, use the slider for the obelisk's volume.

- Escape will quit the game.



Some notes (more detail will come in a followup devlog after some sleep, heh):


- Sample Count: 40 unique samples, chosen randomly by the obelisks.

- Landscaping is probably 70% done, many placeholder objects and layout is rushed for the alpha.

- The waterfall is pretty bad, haha.


If you play, we'll appreciate ANY and ALL feedback! It's less a game, more a toy for people to make their own ambient music. The final version will include a number of visualizer effects that can be activated once the player has made a song they like. We plan on ~100 samples for the final version!

As I said, I'll post a lot more detail in the next day or so with our plans for the coming weeks. Thanks for taking a look/listen.



ALPHA AVAILABLE THROUGH ITCH.IO

https://pixelfoot.itch.io/morphe



- Pat
« Last Edit: May 04, 2016, 11:48:27 AM by pixelfootgames » Logged
pixelfootgames
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2016, 05:49:24 PM »

Time to do another update I suppose!

Reminder - playable alpha on itch.io!

http://pixelfoot.itch.io/morphe


So, last Sunday we crunched a bit and got out an alpha - we've since sent it to friends and put up on itch.io, and have been getting good feedback on it. We're trying to make it clear that this isn't our dream game masterwork, but a short time span, small scope project to get "warmed up".

Let's get down to some stats to start - since the last update we've:

- Redone the terrain in Blender rather than Unity, making it more dynamic
- Redone all the trees, Micky made a crazy kit with 20+ variations for branches, trunks, leaf chunks, etc.
- Added plants, small tufts of grass, etc.
- Added a basic intro screen for the alpha
- Added 20+ new audio samples from myself and Jason, friend and collaborator
- Did a bit of landscaping to get the new mountaintop looking good
- Added ambient noise for the pond, creek, waterfall, edge of the mountain (wind wooshing) and fountain
- Adjusted the placeholder menu for the obelisks a bit, though it is all going to be scrapped when the new obelisk interface gets done.


That's all for now - I'll get another update going in a day or so with some still shots of the new alpha, and some of our planned features for the final version!

Thanks for reading!


- Pat @ PixelFoot Games
@pixelfootgames
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rhdias
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« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2016, 03:32:31 PM »

The ambiance is perfect, how did you get this lighting? awesome!  Kiss Kiss
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pixelfootgames
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2016, 07:50:26 PM »

Hello!

We've been taking a hiatus from development for the most part, but have a few noteworthy things going even when we're supposed to be "relaxing"....


- We bought a Gear VR, and are going to embark on porting Morphê to Gear VR once we finish the current PC version. We're very excited for this, even though it will pretty much just involve a ton of boring optimization.

- We've gotten about 20 new ambient samples produced in the game by our collaborator Jason Mullan and myself (Pat here, hi!).

- We've fixed the control scheme to use only the primary mouse button for interactions, which is a lot nicer.

- We've got the number keys along the top of keyboard configured to fly you over to correlating obelisks to aid in those who just want to make a song happen!

- We've been contacted by a writer for Kill Screen and should hopefully have a little interview up on there soon! We sent off our answers to them about a week and a half ago now.

- We're experimenting with 3D clouds, which we think fits the overall style quite a bit more than the current clouds:







More updates coming soon as we ramp up to finish this off in the next month!


- Pat @ Pixelfoot Games
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« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2016, 01:37:31 PM »

morphê is finally completed!


Play on itch.io here: https://pixelfoot.itch.io/morphe


Thanks for reading!! Maybe we'll do a real post-mortem some day, for now, celebrating!


- Pat and Micky
@pixelfootgames
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2018, 07:14:46 PM »

 Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right



A fully remade, much more awesome version of morphê is coming out September 28th on Steam and @itchio!

This was mostly complete far earlier this year, but some publisher negotiations held us up. Anyway, we just decided to release it ourselves!

You can wishlist on Steam here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/931830/morphe/

Crazy that it's been this long since the original prototype. Hope everyone enjoys!



 Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right Toast Right
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2018, 10:39:42 PM »

Hello, wishlist.
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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2018, 11:42:46 PM »

Looks great!

Congrats on the release
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pixelfootgames
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2018, 11:28:22 AM »

Thanks!! It's a super tiny game, but if you like ambient music / relaxation, it'll be a good, cheap purchase.
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