In addition to the news about the Ludum Dare, I wanted to let everyone know that we’re officially migrating this blog to our new Tumblr:
Magnesium Ninja Tumblr
We feel like Tumblr is an easier way for us to be active with our own content and with other people, and it’s much nicer to use. Hopefully you’ll follow us over there!
We’ve been super busy this weekend working away at our entry for the 35th Ludum Dare Game Jam. This time, we made a game in which you kill people and steal their powers.
The theme was Shapeshift.
You can find the game here:
Ludum Dare Download Link
Hope you enjoy!
We’ve been doing some intensive testing and feedback gathering recently. From this feedback, we’ve reached some conclusions:
– The HUD needs some work [Mostly done]
– Some visuals are confusing
– The intro isn’t working
We’ve put a lot of time into the HUD to ensure that it’s far more streamlined and stage-relevant than it was before. Currently, the only permanent fixture is the stage type and goal. When you kill an enemy, the combo appears (but only for as long as your combo survives). We’ve removed the timer and made it an optional menu-selected fixture, because we noticed it was stressing players out and making them want to go faster than they should have.
That last bit of feedback is a big task to fix. We came to the realization that almost all our players were ignoring important information and getting confused later. To us, this means that we need to spend more time tutorializing, and more time ensuring that the key concepts are being learned, not just seen and forgotten.
We’re using this as an opportunity to re-address the intro altogether and bring in something with a bit more of a hook. There’ll be more on that as it comes, but it will hopefully help pull players into the story and game far faster than “training sequence” will.
Beyond this, I’ve put together a rather handy analytics server/overlay that lets me gather data on player death over the internet. This data is displayed visually on the server, but can also be loaded into Overclocked itself and displayed on the level. What this means is that I can run through any level of my choice and see exactly where people are dying, and to what.
It’s pretty awesome.
The past week or so has been devoted to a variety of tasks. These tasks are:
- Balancing and revising every level in the game so far
- In some cases, this has meant complete redesigns where levels felt too difficult, or just plain unfair to complete
- Creating the splash screen -> main menu sequence
- As of now, the game’s menu is functionally complete, and allows for save file creation, resuming, and deletion
- New games launch directly into the first cutscene, while resumed games launch to Iris
- Separating options settings from individual save files
- At this point, I’d consider the save file system functionally complete
- Level tiling and Amber animation improvements
There are other small things that we’ve completed as well, but these are the main elements.
Tomorrow, Justin and I return to school, but the intention is to continue creating new levels and content throughout the next few months, while polishing up and testing the initial two episodes for the purposes of ensuring that we’re making Overclocked in a fun and appealing way.
Look back here soon for more level design and art progress! Let’s get this train rolling again.
We’ve been working hard on a variety of things, but today I wanted to give a sneak peek at Iris, the hub world/home base for Prism. On Iris, you’ll be able to select missions, talk to your team, as well as a variety of other things (and maybe some secrets?).
Iris is an active space, and our goal is to make it feel alive and vibrant. It’s not huge, but it’s home.
Every new Episode will yield different character interactions on the ship. Talk to your fellow teammates to learn more about them, get their thoughts on the current mission, or just crack jokes.
Beyond chatting with your friends, you’ll be able to access the Jukebox and Photo Album. These will unlock songs and pictures that you can check out based on the number of bonus objectives you’ve completed.
That’s all for now!
See you next time,
If you’ve been keeping up with us on Twitter, you know that we spent this weekend participating in the 33rd Ludum Dare jam. Ludum Dare is a global game jam that challenges individuals or teams to make games over a single weekend. We do it as often as we can and sometimes come up with really crazy stuff.
This time we made a game called Blood Moon. It’s an action-stealth platformer about fleeing from monster hunters that are destroying your home. It’s fairly difficult, and should give you a challenge if you play it through to the end.
If you’re looking to try it out, you can find the download link and any other information here:
If you give it a shot, thanks so much! Let us know what you think of it, good or bad.
See you all soon for more Overclocked news!
We’re making good progress into Episode 4 now. Not too much to report at the moment, so have a picture instead!
Just a note: Justin and I are doing the Ludum Dare this weekend. I’ll try to tweet progress every once in a while, so tune in if you’re interested!