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#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.

 

Regards,

Amethyst

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.

Regards,

 

Amethyst