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#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

DEVLOG#07 – Districts in GOA

Hello Ascenderians,

It is my first time being a scriptwriter. Usually I become a producer which responsibility isn’t directly connected with the game development. The first thing I did was researching information regarding script, walkthrough and dialogue in the game. I also quickly learn about the responsibility and duty of a scriptwriter in the game.

The truth is…. Theory is always different from practice !!

It is not easy to create a story for a complex game with many elements. Not only the story, I also need to create a number of quest concepts that will be implemented in Ascender. After trying some variation of story and quest style, I almost gave up and stopped writing.

However, one day when I researched quest walkthrough of some adventure game, I truly realize the meaning of Ascender. Long story short… I take the basic meaning of Ascender and connect it with my hobby from a long time ago, which was hiking. I research several beautiful mountains in the world and look deeper on its uniqueness. I decided to use Himalaya Mountains as the main inspiration in developing cities in Goa’s civilization.

Why did I start the story development of Ascender from its cities? I did it because I believe that adventure platformer games need to have a clear and understandable world. I am also certain that by starting to develop the city with its uniqueness, it will create a clear and related quest within the world.

Goa is the civilization that is located underground. The civilization provide its power, light and water artificially. The land and ceiling structure is developed efficiently for transportation and other living facilities.

civilization

Ascender Sketch

There are eight districts in Goa’s civilization which some of the districts’ name is taken from Himalaya’s mountain area (Everest and Mustang). Everest is a holy district where the citizens do their divine ritual. Mustang is a farm and plantation area that provides food for the whole citizen.

  1. DOLOPO (Central City)

It is the residential, educational and business central for all Goa’s citizen. DOLOPO name is taken from regency in East Java, Indonesia.  DOLOPO is the center where people gather and commune.

  1. MAGALO (Ancient Districts)

MAGALO is the ancient civilization that provides the technology for DOLOPO. There is no historical information regarding about the city.

  1. RANESH (Forging Area)

Physical and structural condition of Goa’s civilization relies on metal such as iron, aluminum and other mineral. It is also used to create various utensils for household and industry. RANESH provides a workshop to produce such tools.

  1. HYMLA (Mining Areas)

As mentioned before, Goa is located underground. No wonder, there are a lot of minerals found in the area. HYMLA is the place where mineral is primarily mined because it contains the richest mineral in Goa’s civilization.

  1. HELION (Techno Area)

The ancient technology used in Goa can control and maintain many facilities in Goa. It is computerized which contradicts its surrounding. HELION is comprised of servers and system maintained by technician. The area has become the backbone of the civilization.

  1. RAJUMLA (Energy Area)

RAJUMLA area contains a unique mineral called onyx rune that is different from what being mined in HYMLA. Onyx rune contains special energy to support whole Goa’s activities from small daily chores to a complex task of maintaining public facilities.

That’s all from me…

 

Cheers,

Ruby