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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsFates and Constellations - Line Splitting Puzzle Game
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Author Topic: Fates and Constellations - Line Splitting Puzzle Game  (Read 3645 times)
chinykian
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« on: November 16, 2016, 02:52:29 am »

HI!

My team and I at Rotten Mage are currently working on a side project while still porting Spacejacked to PS4 and Vita. While the new project is still pretty early in development, we've gotten it to the point where the gameplay is more or less functional and we can start showing it and get some much needed feedback. We present...

Fates and Constellations

That's the title we're going with for now. Said game is a puzzle game where you cut "rogue" constellations out of the night skies by splitting lines, like so:




How does it work?

For every puzzle presented in the form of a constellation, the player is given a limited number of splits. The idea is to split the line and cut the connections between the stars without actually touching the stars themselves. Bonus points if you touch the golden star though Wink

A major part of the game is how exponentially complex it gets each time the player splits the lines. We intend to fully explore this by introducing some asymmetrical splitting patterns some time down the line.

There are still a lot to be done, feature-wise, so we'll be updating this blog about once a week to track our progress!


*LANDING PAGE*
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Entries
1. Level editor
2. More visual feedback
3. Running on the iPhone
4. Improved level transition
5. New theme mockup
6. Running on the iPad
7. Decoration generation
8. New mechanic - Don't touch the red line!
9. Level sorting tool
10. Revamped level-restart transition
11. WIP Level selection screen
12. Post-processing
13. Glow
14. Particles
15. Minor Tweaks
16. Split label change
16. Different splitting angle
17. WIP World selection screen
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 07:58:18 am by chinykian » Logged

chinykian
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2016, 11:26:11 pm »

Here's a quick look into the level creation process:





We procedurally generate the splitting lines, choose the pattern that we like, then build the level based off the lines in our crude but functional editor.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2016, 11:53:46 pm by chinykian » Logged

TheApo
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2016, 04:41:06 am »

I really like the mechanics.  Hand Thumbs Up Left Hand Thumbs Up Right

Will have an eye on it, what other mechanics you will implement (like double lines or somethinhg else). Blink
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chinykian
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2016, 09:15:13 pm »

I really like the mechanics.  Hand Thumbs Up Left Hand Thumbs Up Right

Will have an eye on it, what other mechanics you will implement (like double lines or somethinhg else). Blink

Thank you!  Smiley

At the moment, the splitting angle of the lines are pretty simple and symmetrical. We will be introducing other weird, asymmetrical angles + more branches on each split.

We're also considering adding certain lines that has to be cut in a certain order, lines that gives you an additional move when cut etc. We're still very much experimenting with what we can do!  Grin
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chinykian
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2016, 08:20:07 pm »

Over the last week we've added some visual feedback when a line is cut (admittedly, more can be done to further juice the experience). The gif below features one of our harder test levels.



It's come to our attention that some folks who I've shown the game to find the game somewhat intimidating. We might have to slow down the speed of the line, or introduce an option to pause it completely to see if it'll make things more manageable.
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chinykian
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2016, 11:41:41 pm »

This is a quick update. We finally got around to adding some visual feedback when the golden star is collected.

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chinykian
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2016, 10:06:06 pm »

Finally got the game running on the iPhone. Here's a look at it, featuring a level made by my teammate.





One issue we noticed is that we tend to make our levels far too close to the bottom of the screen, resulting in part of the levels constantly getting obscured by our thumbs. Time to fix that!
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groverburger
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2016, 10:44:06 pm »

Wow that's a crazy mechanic. Really different from anything I've seen before. Looks really fun, love to see where this will go!
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chinykian
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2016, 12:35:10 am »

Wow that's a crazy mechanic. Really different from anything I've seen before. Looks really fun, love to see where this will go!

Thank you! =)
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Pixel Noise
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2016, 05:03:37 am »

This is great. Very cool ideas, and it already looks really nice  Beer!
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Pixel Noise - professional composition/sound design studio.
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Recently completed the Underworld Dungeon OST! Check out the game on Steam http://store.steampowered.com/app/5203
chinykian
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2016, 10:43:04 am »

This is great. Very cool ideas, and it already looks really nice  Beer!

Thanks mate! Beer!
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chinykian
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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2016, 10:45:16 am »

Thought it was time to finally work on improving the level transition so here it is!

Before:

Unsightly bald patch. Weird pausing between transition.

After:


Other than removing the awkward pause during transition, we've also populated the bald patch with randomly placed grass sprites. There was an effort to make the grass more or less evenly distributed. Rather than generating the positions of all the grass sprites randomly over a large arc, we've instead divided the giant arc into multiple smaller ones and proceed to generate a smaller number of sprites for each of them. Result seems satisfactory.
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chinykian
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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2016, 10:01:23 pm »

We thought it's about time to figure out other visual themes so here's a rough mock-up we managed to whip out.

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chinykian
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2016, 10:52:32 pm »

Got the game running on the iPad only recently.





Had to account for aspect ratio differences between devices, and the only way we could think of at the moment to keep puzzles the same across various displays is to do letterboxing. Not too big a fan of it, honestly, so we fade it out whenever we can - like during level transition, for instance.
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chinykian
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« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2016, 10:21:17 am »

Creating the decorations in each level has become a repetitive task, so we looked into speeding up the process by first generating a bunch of sprites in "random" positions, then manually shifting individual sprites in the level editor.

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Interactionman
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« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2016, 03:27:42 pm »

This looks really nice! I like the simple mechanic of splitting the lines, but I can imagine it getting really complex down the.... wait for it... line!  Wink

Regarding it looking intimidating, yeah I think it may do at first glance, but I think it's one of those things that once you had a go you'd get it.

I was also thinking, regarding the different mechanics you might add to it, maybe some of the lines are a different colour and move at a different speed. Like a frosty blue line that moves slow for example. Or maybe a thick or double line that has to be tapped twice to split. Oh so many things you can do with it!

One last thing, the buildings backdrop, it's a bit bright IMO. It looks like purple daytime rather than night. Maybe make the buildings darker and then the windows will stand out a bit more.
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chinykian
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« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2016, 07:14:17 pm »

I can imagine it getting really complex down the.... wait for it... line!  Wink

Cheesy

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions! That gives us something to think about!
Also, you're right about the buildings, we'll have to tweak it sometime down the... line!  Wink
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chinykian
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« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2016, 01:39:45 am »

Speaking of new mechanics, we've recently added one. Don't touch the red line(s)!

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Pixel Noise
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« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2016, 07:44:01 am »

Wow that's cool, great mechanic. People are going to be LINING UP to play this (did i do it right??)
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Pixel Noise - professional composition/sound design studio.
 https://soundcloud.com/pixel-noise
 https://twitter.com/PixelNoiseMusic
 https://pixelnoisemusic.bandcamp.com/

Recently completed the Underworld Dungeon OST! Check out the game on Steam http://store.steampowered.com/app/5203
chinykian
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« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2016, 09:14:06 pm »

...LINING UP to play this (did i do it right??)

Right on!
Haha, thank you very much, and a happy new year to you!
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