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.

run1
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,

Amethyst

DEVLOG#24 – Quick tour of Dolopo from within

Hi!! I am Moldivite from GameChanger Team, I am a junior 2d artist. Today, it will be my task to deliver you some of insight regarding our game development. I will give you a quick tour of inside Dolopo.

Our art director, Amber, given the task to develop the Interior of Dolopo to Fire (the intern) and me.It will be the last task for Fire and we will be missing him for sure. Now lets start talking about Interior!!!

In the process of making it unique we have to know what is the purpose or intent of the buildings. It does not need to be complicated, the building purpose can be simple. Such as, hotel is the place to stay, hospital is where citizen have rest and treatment, and post office is where people send letters. Knowing how the building works also help us creating more details in the interior. We can design items that is present within the building. I will give some interior breakdown in Dolopo, for now which interior get my breakdown list is, post office, medical center and research center.

 

POST OFFICE

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Post office dolopo city

The first to breakdown is post office.

First thing to do is draw a sketch of the post office, this is done by Fire, with direction from our art director, Amber. Following picture is an early sketch of the post office, early sketch by Fire is only the focus ground.

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Sketch of post office

Can be seen on sketch, there are registration desk, a delivery room and  letters and meowl placefor takes rest, meowl itself is the sender of the letter in Goa.

after receiving the focus ground, it is my turn to digitalize the post office, following picture is the results of digital.

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Digitalize post office

After converted to digital, post office look more attractive isn’t it?

You can see the top right spot for meowl, I added some hay there. Because that is a place for meowl to rest and gather (after a long journey full of peril to deliver mail), so I though that place should look comfortable enough for meowl. And don’t forget about background in the interior.

Here’s backround that has been applied to the focusground.

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Post office with background

At the center of the background right behind the registration desk, there is a map on the wall and a closet containing a stack of books and letters, the map on the wall is to facilitate the mailer in showing their destination.

Now let’s look at the space coordinate the delivery at the bottom left. On the walls there are little notes which contain details of shipments. This is done in order to not misdirected the sending all packages or letters in sent order, because if something goes wrong the blame is on poor meowl (lol, jk)

Overall background made darker because of the geographical location of the post office itself is located at the bottom of town Dolopo.

 

MEDICAL CENTER

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Medical center dolopo city

Just like post office area, we get started with a sketch first.

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Medical centre sketch

In the sketch, there are two mattresses rest and space registration or space for registration. There is also an upstairs room, but the upstairs room is not accessible. The upstairs room was made to show that at the medical center is not a small building which have some medical tools that can not be seen on the 1st floor, such as wheelchairs and oxygen tanks on top.

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Digitalize medical center

After I finish with the digitalization, I made the top room that can not be accessed darker. So players can focus on the bottom ground. The interior is quite small this time, because the concept of this medical center is not a hospital but just a health center.

RESEARCH CENTRE

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Exterior of research center 

If we look at the research centre exterior, we can imagine that this building will have a large interior with a more advanced technology than the other buildings in Dolopo.

Therefore, Fire make escalator in the interior, because the research center itself has two floors. Let we see the research center sketch by Fire.

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Sketch of research center 1st floor 

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Sketch of research center 2nd floor

This time we get a two sketch from Fire, on the first floor focus ground sketch directly exposed to the escalator. Fire itself received a referral from Amber that sky is not too explore part of the 1st floor and was immediately directed to the second floor.

On the second floor, the escalator was immediately arrived at scientist’s room, there is a research table with reaction tube, bookcase and a computer along with the server. At the top there is a box containing the material, tools and equipment for research.

The following image is the digitalization of the research center

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Digitalize interior research center

After digitalizing and combining 2 floors you’ll see a different, yap right, there is an additional 1 room below focus ground 2nd floor, and a tube in it side. The addition of the interior is done because if  directly added and incorporated into Unity program there will be gaps at the bottom 2nd floor and under the gate on the 2nd floor, and make the focus ground drift.

Even after, digitilization is done the room still looks a little less so visible as a research center of the building. That is why we are now strengthten the background so that it looks more to be as research center.

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Interior research center with background

Well, after I give a background to that picture, is that starting to look like a research center isn’t? The emphasis of the research center looks at some of the tubes in the first floor which coated glass. Glass coatings emphasize that there’s research on the unknown danger that awaits and not known by the scientist by doing that research,

With background tubes and glass,we can show that this is indeed a big research center just as seen on the exterior. Background wall that seemed neat and simple make an hygienic impression on the interior. Hygienic itself is one trait that is guarded by the scientist.

So….

Differences in the making exteriror environement and interior environment are in the manufacturing background. Interior does not as complicated as GOA exterior creation that uses parallax, it only uses one background image file.

So this is all from me about  interior in Cental Capital Dolopo,

Stay tune in ascender devblog for another interior breakdown from me moldovite

Moldovite over and out.. 🙂

DEVLOG#09 – Imagining Ascender

Hi there, I’m Amber, the art director, this is my first time for me writing this game development blog. First, let me take you for a walk in imagining the concept world of Ascender through this blog.

I want you to imagine a big world, full with Ascendrians (ancient people of Ascender) living peacefully in their own group without conflict or greed. They communicate with nature and use its resources, then hold ceremonies as a symbol of thankfulness. They are used to sing and pray together, with calmness and emotion control to keep themselves from confronting each other.

Ascender world_ok

Then, later in Ascender world’s history,they found a disbalance among themselves, and they began to differentiate between themselves. Those who are able to achieve synergy with the nature, can manipulate and harness its power, are called the purists, whereas those who didn’t possess such ability, but is excellent in logical thinking are called the scientists. The scientists improved their way of living by researching and technology. Sadly, there was a third group of people which wasn’t granted any purity nor logical skills. These people, whose rely only on their body strength, are called workers.

In that ancient times, those groups of Ascendrians were still living harmoniously together regardless their differences, but it didn’t take long before they go separate ways. After centuries, they are growing larger and larger, with the scientists being the largest group, followed by the workers. Capitalism began to corrupt Ascendrians, which became big concerns for the purists. As it is not their nature to confront each other, they were forced to evacuate into deep jungle, surrounded by factories, skyscrapers, and toxic waste.

The purists had nowhere to go, as the nature was getting ruined. Trees were cut down, sea was full of oil, and the air was contaminated and full of dust. The elder of the purist decided that they had to vanish with all the nature that’s left, and preserve them to stay pure. The only way they could go is upward, where the air is still fresh. So, alongside the nature spirit, they combined their almighty magic to lift the parts of the world which was still pure to the sky.

Finally they did it. The depressed, threatened minority race show their teeth, their true ability. That giant continent, rising slowly to the sky, left only huge holes on the ground. Such display of power, amazed all other Ascendrians beyond their logic and technologies, and set their ego burning. It was a challenge! As the floating islands were getting smaller from the view, the scientists speed up their research, fueled by the anger and jealousy to achieve what the purists had done. But before they did it, the whole ocean slowly moved up above the ground, into the sky, like a big giant jelly. It’s not long before they eventually blocked the sunlight.

That was the ultimate act of the purists, blocking every Ascenderians left below from reaching their pure continent. It’s almost dark in the ground below sea water, only a gloomy bluish light faintly illuminates for days. Then suddenly, the sea water above cleared, causing bright sunlight to be shed on the ground once more, although not as bright as before. It was the purists who cleared the ocean from toxic waste and oil, which now effectively separate them with the world below.

Left with holes, contaminated air, and no water, was unacceptable for the scientist. So, they created a giant mechanism to lift the remaining land above to get fresh air. They were able to mimic the floating island with heavy machinery, but they cannot got any further as the sea obstruct their way. They researched and experimented, but to no avail.

What remained on the ground was mostly the workers now. They were bound to meet their doom. Without any knowledge of technology, they left behind with no trees, no water, nor fresh air. Some tried climbing the tallest building in order to grow hydroponic plant with few water left, but not for a long term.

In that times of desperation, most of them tried going down into the ground, dug deeper and deeper, and ultimately lived in the caves. They found underground water source, and built the first ancient underground civilization called GOA, with some technological knowledge and magic from some scientists and purists who refused to go up.

That, is the first story told by Ascendrians, which recovered from an ancient text from the first year after the world separated and created layers of civilization, with GOA as the lowest layer deep underground. Now, centuries after that event, the memories of the past event had been buried, and the present generation living no longer know about the world above them.

This is our challenge, to capture and present the multilayer civilization world of Ascender. Stay with us to see out process of creating the beauty and complexity of Ascender world. Amber will guide you through the enigmatic journey, let’s start imagining…

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 🙂

Regards,

Amethyst