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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsoQo - Soothing puzzle game (browser playable prototype)
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Author Topic: oQo - Soothing puzzle game (browser playable prototype)  (Read 3971 times)
Grhyll
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« Reply #40 on: May 06, 2017, 01:22:09 AM »

Quote from: Juliano
Just played the demo, the game looks pretty fun! Actually I have not stop playing it, I just paused to write the post hahaha

Have you thought about making the movement binded on clockwise and counterclockwise direction? So you could just use up and down or left and right.

It reminds me of this game: http://store.steampowered.com/app/367570/oO/
Nice, thanks ^^
We did think about the control scheme you're mentioning, in fact this is the first we tried, and there have already been a lot of discussions with Thaumaturge about it on this thread! This is currently our biggest issue; on one hand, the current controls are the best we could think of in order to have a smooth experience through the game; on the other hand, a LOT of players suggest the clockwise/counterclockwise scheme, thinking it would be better (and with no way to figure out if it really is, since we don't propose it). It would be better indeed for the intuitive aspect, but it is definitely worse for many reasons if applied to the whole game. Yet we can't just ignore it, because players seem to want it quite hard! We will have to figure something out to provide simultaneously the best controls possible AND have the player happy with it!
We did find out about oO a few days after settling for the name oQo. We hope we won't have any trouble about this, mainly because despite the similarities, the goals of the two game are almost opposite (one very fast paced with skill and precision, the other one with relaxation and smoothness as objective).

Quote from: Thaumaturge
Ooh, the new art-style looks pretty. Simple, easily-read, but with enough variety that it doesn't look plain, to my eye. ^_^
Thanks ^^ We still have some work to do on that (and we'll have various biomes), but it's good to know we're on the right track!

Quote from: Nathy
I really like it! Playing the prototype now. A couple things that might be janky:

When in a position like this at the start of a new screen, I can't move downwards along the circle past the starting position, only up (counter-clockwise). Is that a bug?

And when playing the tutorial, I had my hands on the arrow keys, then when the mouse controls were introduced I had to reposition my hands and discover WASD. Sometimes it's nicer to be all on the keyboard or all on the mouse (or at least know what to expect). I'm playing on a trackpad, which surprisingly seems fine, but the more quick-timey your puzzles get, the more playing on a laptop might suck. Just some audience-type stuff to think about.

Good work! I'm following.

Edit: One more thing, I was playing the prototype without reading any description first, and was able to figure out the controls and mechanics on my own with a few enjoyable "A-ha!" moments like discovering I could traverse the white circles as well as the static ones. So that aspect of discovery is cool!

I don't know if I would choose the word "soothing" to describe the game, though?
Regarding the "stuck situation", maybe it's because you didn't fully understand the control scheme? In a situation like this, the right arrow will do nothing (you are already at the most right point of the wave), the left arrow will make you go to the left (beginning with top or down, depending on your starting point), the up arrow will make you go up, so the only way to be sure you're going down is the down arrow.
If that's the issue, then once again we're back at our control problem! Not explained clearly enough, not intuitive enough, and yet (in our opinion, after a lot of testing) the best possible. For example it's the only one that allow you to go precisely on the most right position on a wave. I feel we still have a lot of work and thinking in order to resolve this issue ^^'
In addition to that, as you said, the game was initially thought for mouse + keyboard, we have added gamepad controls, but we still have to figure things out for other cases, especially trackpads. Not sure what we're gonna do about that, if there's anything that can be done :/
Finally, this prototype may indeed not be as "soothing" as we pretend it to be, but it's (we hope) partly because we tried to condense the experience on a reasonable length. We should have more freedom in the full game to chose the pace and make it more relaxing! Well, that's our goal, now we'll see how it turns out Smiley
Thanks for playing and giving feedback!
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« Reply #41 on: May 06, 2017, 10:17:47 AM »

Hmm... I have an idea--it may not work (and indeed, I'm a bit tired today, so I'm not confident in my assessment of it), but it seems worth suggesting in case it does:

In short, perhaps swap the controls, conceptually. Specifically:

 - Use the mouse to point to the direction that the "surfer" should move towards (defined as the intersection point between the current "wave" and the line that passes from the centre of the "wave" through the mouse-cursor). The "surfer" just takes the shortest route around the "wave" to reach the indicated point. (This should act very like your current control scheme, but I suspect that it may be more intuitive.)

 - Use the keys--perhaps the numeric keys at the top of the keyboard, or the top row of letter-keys--to activate the "emitters". Each "emitter" would be labelled for its assigned key, and the "emitters" would map to the keys from left to right. (That is, the left-most "emitter" is "1", the next-to-left is "2", and so on.)
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« Reply #42 on: May 07, 2017, 01:07:16 AM »

I like the mouse part of your suggestion, it's very much like the touch controls I was thinking of, but I'm a bit less sure about the keys to activate the generators :/ Anyway, we had something a bit in that spirit for the gamepad controls, so we may try it for the keyboard as well, it could be a very good surprise Smiley Thanks for the idea!
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« Reply #43 on: May 08, 2017, 11:03:45 AM »

Not a problem! I hope that it works out. ^_^

I wasn't entirely happy with the keyboard element of my suggestion, either, as I recall. However, you have manually-operated generators, and with the mouse occupied with controlling the "surfer", no better system occurred to me. That said, it might be argued that it has the virtue of mapping fairly directly from controls to action, and of being fairly simple.
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« Reply #44 on: July 14, 2017, 08:00:09 AM »

Devlog entry

No news is good news! Well for us at least, because we were quite busy working on a new demo for a french event that took place last week-end in Paris.

Since last entry, there has been a lot of work on the gameplay code to improve it and make it more modular; most of the wave types are simple attributes that can be combined (when it makes sense of course!), so we already have MANY possibilities to build levels Smiley It will take some time just to fully understand and use what we have now, and it's not like we don't have any more idea for other wave types...

We also worked on visuals, the player sprite, the levels background, the waves look... Here are some gifs:


If you look close enough, the player even leaves a trail behind them


Some more wave types we included in our new demo


New respawn effect

There was a lot of work on the sound design as well! Our first prototype used a pentatonic scale for the ambient music, so it wasn't really difficult to pick a fitting sound when a generator was activated or the player changed wave (or really anything else), but for this demo we tried a different system with a looping chord sequence. This way every other sound in the game is picked according to the current chord, and the frequent events (like a wave spawn) generate a kind of melody, following a simple algorithm to chose which note to play. I'll try to upload a video soon, and maybe talk about the system more precisely.

Beside that, and I feel this is ok to speak about it here, I'm still trying to learn how to market, trying things with Twitter and Facebook, with no great success so far (but a few nice articles we're very proud of!). I try to stay sincere, but like many other indie dev I have troubles singing the praises of my own game. I have a lot to learn, but I have good hope that it should be possible to gather some attention without becoming hypocrite or something.

That's it for today! Gonna try to write this article about music generation this week-end and add the game to IndieDB Smiley We will also try to push on the narrative side, since it's important for us but we haven't done much about it until now.

Cheers!

Edit: feeling crazy, I'm changing the thread icon to the 20% icon!
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« Reply #45 on: July 14, 2017, 10:20:33 AM »

The new wave types seem like they might expand the gameplay well, without drifting away from the core mechanics. ^_^

The approach to music that you describe is particularly interesting--I'm curious to hear that in action!
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« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2017, 06:21:38 AM »

Thanks :D We will submit the game to the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival and to EGX, let's hope they manage to see its interest Smiley
As for the music part, finally I'll wait a bit more before writing about it, since it should evolve quite a lot more as we work on the game!
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« Reply #47 on: July 22, 2017, 09:52:39 AM »

Good luck at both events. ^_^

As to the music, fair enough!
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« Reply #48 on: December 08, 2017, 01:16:48 PM »

Weeell that was a pretty long time without news, but we're absolutely not dead, it's just that I have trouble working a day job, programming shaders and composing music in the evening and during the week-ends, going to conventions, keeping a normal social life, playing lol AND posting here often enough... but hey, I guess we're all in the same boat here Smiley

Anyway, if anyone's interested, we have uploaded a new demo on our website! You can play it right here Smiley

On the marketing side, we've made a few events, we've been selected at the IndieCade Los Angeles (but we couldn't go sadly), and we won a prize, the Arte Creative best video game at the Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival  Beer!  So that's some good news, very motivating for us!

It looks like I also forgot to put our latest teaser here, so here it is:




Beside that, we've been trying to work on all fronts:
- New types of waves
- Lot of LD researches
- Work on music
- Work on visual side (better waves, moving backgrounds...)

But to be honest, those 9 last months were especially good for us because we finally (almost) managed to understand what we want to do with this game exactly. From the beginning, we had a lot of hesitations about the goal of the game, be it puzzle, narration, feelings... Now we're quite on the same page, that is a puzzle platformer game first, then a game with the nicest atmosphere we can do. The narrative side will be very light, entirely up to the player, and inspired by the meditation.
We're gonna update soon the demo on the various online gaming sites (Kongregate, Newgrounds, Gamejolt) and we hope we'll be able to gather a lot of fresh feedback there!

That's all for today, but I hope I'll be able soon to do some write-ups on the shaders and the sound of the game, maybe there are some elements that could be of interest to others! Cheers  Gentleman
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 10:57:34 PM by Grhyll » Logged

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« Reply #49 on: December 08, 2017, 04:40:29 PM »

Congratulations on winning that prize, and I'm glad to see that the project progresses. ^_^

Your demo-link seems to be broken--it seems that some inverted commas have slipped in there.
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« Reply #50 on: December 09, 2017, 01:50:36 AM »

Thanks ^^
And good catch for the broken link, I somehow always manage to get a least one thing wrong when posting updates...
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« Reply #51 on: December 09, 2017, 09:19:38 AM »

My pleasure. The link seems to be working now! ^_^
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