DEVLOG #44 – Tuning Up The Game

Hello everyone,

It is me, the one and only Amethyst !!!

It has been an exhausting month in Ascender team, I can’t believe It’s my time already to write the blog.

I want to share how we play test our game. After we talked to fellow developers, many of them suggested to us to hire testers. I believe that it is the best path if you have the opportunity and most important thing is “money”.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the budget to hire professional testers. One important aspect of testing aside of testing bug is the experience of the game itself. Our artist has been in the task of finding a bug while programmers are fixing and adding more content.

Tester :D
Tester 😀

But only having internal tester will not give an effective result of our testing. We are recruiting our friends in order to test our game. We also go to various events in order to get feedback. We would like to hear more of their experience playing the game rather than just help us finding the bugs.

Where is the metal?
Where is the metal?

There are some design flaws that has been found. Some can be easily fixed while others need to redesign the gameplay flow. One of the flaws in the game flow is a task called “Sharpened Metals”. We are given an objective to find two item called Sharpened Metal, we put it in a specific area in MUSTANG. In the story, we have created an event where a player needs to go to MUSTANG and trapped there.

How do I know that the metal is down there?
How do I know that the metal is down there?

Unfortunately, all player can open access back to DOLOPO and they don’t need to have the Sharpened Metals. It probably fine, but it resulting in a huge confusion to players where they don’t know the metal looks like. There is also no more hint of the metal including where to find it. We finally put more hint about the Sharpened Metals in the game and make it clearer for the player on how to get it.

That is only one example of many improvements made in the game design. Hopefully, we can improve the quality of the game better and make the game flow more enjoyable.

Best Regards,


DEVLOG #38 – Great memories of Casual Connect Asia 2016

Dear Ascenderians,

Packed !!!
Packed !!!

As you probably know from our Facebook page, Ascender has been selected as one of the exhibitor of IndiePrize on Casual Connect Asia in Singapore. We are so happy to show our game from 17 to 19 May 2016.

Ready for flight
Ready for flight

Two member of GameChanger team who went to the event is me, Amethyst, and Garnet. I go earlier on 16 May 2016 in order to attend the badge pick up party but my flight is delayed so I miss the party T_T. The crazy thing is that I am in the same flight with fellow Indonesia’s developer mr. wira and mr. hendrick from Anoman studio who also went to Casual Connect. At the hotel I also met Szymon and Artur from Bulbware who have developed Bulb Boy. We have a long chat and share our experience on developing and publishing game.

Eat and Chat
Eat and Chat

The next day on Tuesday, I go into the event with a provided shuttle bus. I think it is a huge improvement from the previous Casual Connect that I attend two years ago (even though the bus is late). I got excited and have a chat with fellow developers at the hostel I sleep in from Indonesia (Mr. Wim from Agate) and abroad. When I arrived at the event, I realized that everybody else is there and  the shot has started. One noticeable difference when I come to the event two years ago is the quality of the game. The games are awesome and amazing !!!! I am so proud to be part of them.

Ascender !!! Woooott!!!
Ascender !!! Woooott!!!

Garnet arrived on Tuesday night and we proceed to the party. We met with a lot of people from advertisers to publishers. We bring a press kit just in case if we met with the press. We got the idea from fellow developer in Indonesia Kris Antoni of TOGE Productions. you can read more detail here (Its in Bahasa Indonesia). It proof to be quite useful, we are not only using it for the press but also give it to potential partner and also friends in order to have feedback about Ascender.


After three full days, Garnet and me is exhausted >.< We are happy to some of the things we got from Casual Connect. We met many people who have given us many suggestion on improving both our development and publishing preparations. We also met with many great Indonesia game developer such as Mojiken, Niji, Joyseed GameTribe, Agate and many more. We all input and meetings that we had will help us to help perfected Ascender and market it World Wide 🙂

See you all on my next post!!!

Best Regards,


DEVLOG#32 – Designing the Puzzles

Hello Ascenderians,

Can’t believe that it is my turn to write, it has been a challenging weeks toward the next version of our game.

During testing, some players said that the “Boss” Puzzle in Ascender is quite intense. Well, as a designer I never really think that the puzzle that they describe is actually a Boss puzzle. I like to all it Intense Puzzle where player is given a task to complete a puzzle with a pressure (it can be time or annoyance).

I use Intense Puzzle is used for two purpose,  first to validate that user know how to use certain skill and the second is truly a challenge for the player to face in order to progress the game.

The first example of Intense Puzzle is B.RO Puzzle in the beginning of the game. I use the puzzle to validate the skill that is newly acquired skill (Double Jump and Hook) and let B.RO chase them down in order to heighten the intensity of play. We even test the player to use the skill accordingly in order to get away from B.RO

Run !!! Sky... Sun !!!
Run !!! Sky… Sun !!!

After this player are tasked to finish not so obvious puzzle, and I call it hidden puzzle. This type of puzzle is where player probably saw an item but can not get into it. Some puzzle can not be directly solved since some of them uses skill that player may not have yet. In the public preview, there are a lot of these type of puzzle that you can found.

Well, I need the box to jump higher.
Well, I need the box to jump higher.

Player will not also find many type of puzzle, there are also quest that is affected by circumstances of the world. This quest includes a race with nippytron, capturing pet called gnallo and many more. Try out the public preview in order to find more type of this gameplay.

Let the race begin!!!

There are more type of puzzle in Ascender but mainly it is the variation or combination of puzzle that I just mentioned above. I guess that is all from me right now, see you in another discussion.


Best Regards,


DEVLOG#31 – Creating the Dynamic Environment [Intern’s Journal]

Hey guys, I’m the new intern on the team. They call me Hessonite in the team and this is my first time writing a blog. So, on this very first blog, I’m going to talk about what am I doing on the team. Here I go!

So, let’s imagine a game take place in spaceship with some monitors. Then imagine if those monitors shows some numbers,  blinking lights, and maybe a rotating cube. Those animated monitors is what you want to call as dynamic environments. Don’t you think some moving objects could make an environment look more real and lively? Well, that’s what dynamic environment is all about. As you can guess by now, I’m in charge of dynamic environment for Ascender, and I’ll give some examples of what it’s going to look like.

Linear Glow Version 2 Preview
Linear Glow for Open Mustang Puzzle Environment

This animated line is pretty simple to make actually. You just need to make a line with pen tool on After Effects and give that line a trim path effect.  What does trim path do? It gives the line a write on effect by manipulating the end value. If you set the end value to 0, the line will look like this.

gambar dio (a)
Linear Glow – Frame 0

And if you set it to 100, the line will look like this.

gambar dio (b)
Linear Glow – Frame 100

If you set the 0 value at frame 0 and set the 100 value at frame 100, your line will move exactly like the animation above. Pretty neat isn’t it? It doesn’t look all that great, does it? Well, that’s because I have limitations of how big the file size can be. It is understandable if you count all of these dynamics I have made for the game (more than 20, and it’s increasing). Just Imagine if every of them have the size of 100 MB, Ascender  size will become big, so big that you have to spend more time to download it. #sizematters

Here’s some of the dynamic environment that I have made for Ascender.

Medic Screen 1.0
Medical Center Screen
Static Noise 2.0
Static Noise on City Board

I think that’s it for now. I have said what I wanted to say. See you later guys.

DEVLOG#13 – Grabbing the second place with Day and Night ?

Hello fellow Ascenderians,

Happy day for us in Ascender’s headquarters. We have just received another great achievement **yeay** We have just become the runner up of Game Categiry in Industry Creative Festival or INCREFEST 2015 in Bandung, Indonesia. The festival is held by ministry of industry of Indonesia.

We become Runner Up of INCREFEST 2015
We become Runner Up of INCREFEST 2015

Just like in GDG, we met with a lot of great game developers around the country. They also come home with great achievement. Wisageni Studio who received the first position and Raion Studio that placed third. Also two amazing studios madfal and miracle gates which respectively got fourth and fifth place.

On board with Raion and Wisageni
On board with Raion and Wisageni

At the event, the biggest thing that we share is the unveiling of day and night mechanism within the game. This feature is related to a lot of elements of quest in the game and create a new dynamic within the game. Not only quest, some power up will also be more useful at certain time of the day **hint: it includes the usage of light**

The day and night will also be visually implemented within the game but it is only the beginning of something truly big. The concept of gameplay will involve a lot in using light. It will be part of awesome puzzle that Ascender will have in the game. I won’t share a lot about this because it deserve a blog of its own.

day and night mech
day and night mech

We use day and night to give a sense of time progression within the game which greatly immersive for exploration games. It also related to soon to be implemented mechanism called gardening **yes, you can raise a tree and other plant :)**

We think that INCREFEST 2015 will be the last event we participate this year. We are now currently very focused on brewing for an alpha that will be released on December.  We will be releasing it to limited person at the beginning *hint.. subscribe through our web* and will open it for public within few days. Hopefully everything will be ready and I can’t wait to hear your input regarding Ascender: The Game.




DEVLOG#08 – We won something huge.. thanks to our Rune System

Hello all Ascenderians,

We finally meet again. It is me, Amethyst, the lead designer of Ascender. Today I would like to share an amazing news for all of you. We have just competed at one of the biggest IT event in Indonesia called COMPFEST or Computer Festival 2015 in One of the category that is Indie Game Ignite. It is a tough competition, other finalist have a good game but we are very happy that we eventually received 2nd place 😀

The Awards

As the game designer, one of the best moment is when the game also receive the title Leading Engineers of Game Mechanics. The title means that our gameplay mechanics has impress the jury compared to other games. It boost our confidence for what we have designed but also give us more pressure to maintain the quality of the game.

One of the feature that is being highlighted by the jury is the rune system. They thought the system is unique, even though some other game use a similar system. They said that similar mechanics never really implemented in a explorative platformer.

Rune Console

So what is Rune? Rune is type of stone that can be found by the player. Each rune can equip Sky with new skill in order to explore the world of Ascender. The trick is that each rune can be only equipped in a limited slot. Player need to figure out how to equip rune effectively and efficiently.

They also mentioned that we have to be careful in puzzle based game. We have to make sure that the puzzle is both challenging and interesting to the player. We also need to really focus on the PC audience and look on what kind of successful game that use puzzle as the main theme.

It is an interesting experience for us, we are glad that we received a lot of input from the jury, our fellow finalist and also visitors to our booth. Before I end this post, In commemoration of our win in COMPFEST 2015, I announce that the prototype of the game is now available to download in IndieDB. Don’t forget to download, play and the most important thing is give us your feedback.

That is all Ascenderians 🙂



DEVLOG#02 – Designing the Prototype

Hello Ascenderians,

My code name is Amethyst and I am the game and level designer of Ascender. I am excited that this week it is my turn to share in this DevLog 😀

Today, I would like to share a glimpse on how are the workflow of the development of our prototype. Before I start I would to share a bit of what is exactly game designer. Game designer is actually the one who has the roadmap of the game design and bring it into a real game. In the process from the design to the game, there would be many aspect that will affect the original design such as visual art idealism, limitation of implementation (code) and constraint of time or resources.

The purpose of the prototype of the game is meant to show the basic experience of the game. We would like to show the potential of rune system, visual and audio approach and the game platformer mechanic.

To design the game, you may have many great tools to use such as photoshop or corel draw. For me, the main thing is you use the tools that you are most comfortable with. Surprisingly, for me it is Microsoft Powerpoint XD

Using the tools, I started drafting the first 8 area which is located on the AI.R building where Sky will be tested to get its Robot ID or R.ID. The first four area is drafted wholly to introduce how the player control the game, the next four area is built in order to introduce with the basic element of the puzzle and the later event will introduce puzzle element of the game which have much faster pace. The big robot character used in the draft is taken from here and the small robot character used in the draft is taken from google search . The characters only used for drafting the prototype, not as a reference for in-game. The draft design document can be found here.

Great !!!! Now I will show you how things are changes from the original design to the prototype. Lets take one example of an area which is area 6.

Area 6 Level Design

I would like to show the first draft of area 6 and compare it to the area drawn by the artist. Aside of the awesomely drawn creative aspect, one of the main changes is the aspect ratio of the game. We decided to use 16:9 which affect the design of the area. Below is the picture of the game scanned in both original paper and cleaning.

Level Design Sketched

Upon implementation and testing, our programmer “Chalcedony” found out the flaw in the original design where player can go through the area without changing the rune. Since we want to introduce that there are certain area where player needs to change the rune then we decided to change the design.

Game Design Implementation upon Testing

Below is the end result within the game. The stage is redrawn and colored to match the level design

Area 6 redrawn and colored

That is all basically what has happened from the draft design until the implementation of the prototype. Hopefully I can give an insight that game design may possibly change upon the original idea. The only thing that we need to make sure is that the changes is to make better experience for the player.