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,
The past little while has been a heck of a lot of school and fitting in Overclocked development where possible. With that being said, we’ve still managed to make a lot of progress. So much, in fact, that I can’t really remember everything that’s happened.
We’re currently working towards a goal of creating a testing build of the game that we can use for ensuring that we’ve got our gameplay nailed down. Once we get that done and distributed, we’ll be plowing ahead with pure content and doing our best to get the game done.
As you can see, we’ve been putting a lot of work into visual polish, as well as streamlining some of the more unnecessary elements of the game. There’s more to do, but we’re getting close to where we want to be.
I’ll be doing my best to update more frequently. What I’d like to do in order to get more information posted is shorter blog posts overall, accentuated by a screenshot or two. Pictures speak louder than words, and Overclocked is a game that presents itself in a far more interesting light than my typing could ever dream to.
Let us know what you think! We’ll be back with more as it comes.
Hi folks! I’m Jamie Bell, the new team member mentioned earlier working on the audio for Overclocked. I’ve been hard at work getting good at the game in order to know what I can do to make it feel awesome to play. Check my intro post on the devlog to read more about that and a bit about myself.
Some cool progress last night!
Each level has two badges that you must unlock to get 100% completion. Only the first badge is necessary to beat the level and continue the story, but the second is an extra challenge. The simplest are “Complete the level in 35 seconds” or “Get a score of 6000 points,” but we’ve been doing some brainstorming to find what other cool second badges we can throw at you.
Please ignore the fact that I accidentally died to take this screenshot! 🙂
This is a new level which includes the first of the “Don’t defeat any enemies” badges. It’s a tough one because the enemies are usually conveniently close to a laser, and your air dash kills enemies so you’ve got to use them carefully. Here’s how I get around this first one when trying to get the no-kill badge:
Bet that purple guy feels like a dolt!
When I showed this GIF to Chris, he was stoked about how different our approaches are. Of the three of us working on the game, we each have a totally different way of approaching this no-kill badge, and I’m excited to see how people get creative with these challenges.
Speaking of getting creative, check out this usage of a punch to eke my way past a laser in the next part of this level. This felt so flippin’ cool to do:
I ABSOLUTELY MEANT TO DO THIS, I SWEAR.
Back to the lab to think of some more cool badges! Until next time, when I’ll probably be doing an audio-centric post!