Monday, March 10, 2014

Some Things To Consume

Believe it or not Gabriel and I have actually managed to keep Let's Drown Out going on a weekly basis ever since it started. Probably because it basically just entails us hanging out and playing a game, which we would probably do if we weren't recording it. I haven't been posting them here every week because then updates would lose their precious rarity, so here's a link to the playlist with them all on.

In other news, The Consuming Shadow. I'm still hard at work at the eventual full version (in between being hard at work at all my other jobs). All the feedback from the free release has been very helpful and I'm still tweaking away. I thought I'd take the opportunity to remind you it still exists and fill you in on some new features I've got in there now.

Firstly, music. The big news is that Mark J. Hadley, of Parsec Productions and Slender: The 8 Pages fame, has very kindly created some ambient audio and music for the game, and I'm personally very happy with how much it's added to the atmosphere. At this point you can't do much more than take my word for that, but I'm going to put a trailer and gameplay video together at some point, and you'll get a listen of the sort of mood his work has added then.

Secondly: Revamped levelling/upgrade system! (click images for big)





Instead of levelling-up providing dry 'upgrade tokens', each level grants you a new birth star. At the start of each run-through, you place this iteration of the character's birth stars in the night sky, granting upgrades based on their proximity to certain constellations. I just thought it was a more fun way of bringing it across.

Thirdly: day-night cycle!


Instead of all-pervading darkness throughout the clock, there's a cold light of day that gradually fades down and up as night comes and goes.


You can see here that whether you do a dungeon in the day or night makes a difference to the visibility.

Fourthly: Unlockable documents!


I thought about what kind of things motivate me, personally, to shoot for 100 percent, and one of them was ancilliary world-building fiction. So I wrote a story expanding on the game's background and you find pages from it in dungeons. Also, each monster now has a bestiary profile, which is gradually decrypted a little more each time you encounter one. Collect 'em all!

The other thing I find works for me is new unlockable gameplay modes. Taking another cue from FTL, I'm thinking in terms of alternative player characters with different gameplay styles (and slightly different constellations in their star maps) that are unlocked as you complete specific tasks. One additional character is in already, I'm shooting for getting at least 2 more in there. Also it might be fun to have some kind of 'tower mode' where you just go through dungeons back-to-back that get increasingly hard. Shouldn't be difficult to implement.

Besides that, the gameplay's been tweaked, as well as animations and controls to make movement less clunky across the board, and there're new monsters, bosses, random events while driving, dungeon goals, dungeon appearances, and the all-important final boss fight. I'm not being feature-creepy here, most of this is done already. New playable characters are the only really big job left, besides testing.

I'm just wondering what to do after it's all done, in terms of distribution. I am resolved to try to sell it for money somewhere, because I've come to realise that if you work on something creative and give it away for free, you're not just devaluing yourself, but the work of everyone else trying to make a living as a creative (thanks @forexposure_txt).

I thought about doing a Steam Greenlight page, but I don't know. I feel like I'd need another wide-range beta test of the full version, first. But I don't want to put the whole thing out for free again. I thought about going with Desura, using their tools to see if I can get a closed beta going, but I don't know how well that works. Ah well - these bridges to be crossed merely glimmer on the horizon still.

40 comments:

  1. Does it work on windows 7 now, and not open up a file open dialog and than crash when you try to open ANYTHING?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Works just fine for me on Windows 7 =)

      Delete
  2. Wow, the improvements look amazing. I can't wait to play it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Desura is super-niche; go with Steam I'yde say. If you'd left the original wobsite up you could draw from the forums for recruits, but as it stands--ask the Escapist if you could utilize their forum community to draw buggers from? That way it'd be a limited number of people (at least in theory) who'd be getting to play it free.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I say go for both. Many of the games on Greenlight cropped up on Desura first, so it can't hurt to have two outlets.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Greenlight is great for closing the feedback loop, so to speak--- most of my ideas there have been absolutely beaten to death, sure, but reading between the lines gives some absolutely tremendous feedback (disregarding, of course, the mouthbreathers with gems like "this game are look like from 1980"). Not sure about Desura but Steam has closed-beta functionality built-in. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The hell do those morons have against 1980s games?

      Delete
  6. Wow I really like the tweaks and features you've added! I haven't played the beta in a while, but just by looking at this I feel like playing it again. Good on you for selling the full version, both the game and your time are worth it. Can't wait to buy it!

    (Oh how I love the internet asking me to prove I'm not a robot. It feels like a reversed Turing-test. That I Fail. A lot.)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Consider Humble Store humblebundle.com for your distribution. It's a side project of Wolfire Games that became a side project of Seqouia Capital (and apparently Y Combinator now WTF?). They're shaping up to be competitive with CD Projeckt Red and gog.com (whom you should also consider). They can also distribute Desura keys, and steam keys if you get green lantern'd. Granted, these aren't Steam, but they're comparable to Desura in terms of reach. Lastly, going with an also ran doesn't mean you can't go green lantern or possibly Steam direct access in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  8. online games are amazing, but may I love to relax together with the old school game titles. Maybe it's the graphics quit a lot more on the imagination, or maybe I simply don't wish to develop, but the previous, traditional game titles could be kind of exciting and comforting simultaneously. This is why I like the brand new development in classic game selection. In some time, I believed that I could not observe among those aged video games yet again, except if probably I'd personally find fortunate at the garage sale as well alongside individuals outlines.

    Cheap Fifa 14 Coins

    Buy fifa 14 coins

    ReplyDelete
  9. I can't figure out how to contact you, but play Receiver on steam if you haven't. It's cheap and you'll die in five minutes and in after five times you'll have the gist of it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Another wonderful work, you beautiful man!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'd say give greenlight a try. At least something worthwhile might actually come out, rather than a steady stream of crap, though the issue there as well is that it might get buried immediately. Still the games pretty functional, and enjoyable.
    And of all the ideas, I love the lore the most. I just played outlast, and the lore made the world deeper and more interesting, as well as motivating me to stop hiding and do a little more exploration. And given the world you have crafted, I can really see it help deepening the world.

    ReplyDelete
  12. wow its an awesome game whish i have ever played really wonderfull
    cool addicting games

    ReplyDelete
  13. Looking greats! I've been trying to find the means to generate a request. I hope this is appropriate for it. I've been a huge fan of "let's drown out". And I love hearing you guys ramble about past times of the late 80s and 90s while playing the games!. I myself am 28 and grew up in the same generation playing Mario Kart and reading 2600. If possible I think a "myst" edition is entirely need. As a "Drown out" our a simple" let's play" #1 PC game of the decade!! (Til Sims) can't be missed. You guys like doing classic point and click adventures. Let's not ignore the ultimate. xD

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm a big fan of gog.com for releasing games, though I understand that the Steam greenlight experience is great for some folks. I've given up buying PC software with any kind of DRM built in, as I find that Windows does very nicely at preventing my software from running, with out any external help.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Itch.io is without a doubt the easiest way to put up a game and get money for it.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What about releasing a demo of the game on multiple different sites that would be willing to distribute a download for people to try the demo? Then when people have tried the game and find they like it them you can release it on Steam Greenlight, but keep the closed beta testing session idea in case some last minute changes need to be made before distribution.

    ReplyDelete
  18. So... when is the next big update coming out? I honestly love this game, and I hope to see the length of it extended.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am waiting for to reading more useful informations from your blog.I can't wait for to read your more new artical. Friv 5 | Kizi 2 | Gazo

    ReplyDelete
  20. Xbox One Modded Controllers This is perfect for those who love their old 360 controllers, or had a real expensive modded 360 controller and now don't have to worry about buying another, or want to use a PS4 Dual shock 4 controller or want that extra edge by playing with a keyboard and mouse. Naturally you have full access to all of the mod packs too so you can now play with a fully modded controller on your Xbox One Modded Controllers - including our latest addition to the mudpack range, CALL OF DUTY GHOSTS V1.0 - again supplied free of charge and will be out very soon (Until it is released you can use the Call of Duty Series v1.7 Game Pack to work with COD Ghosts on the Xbox One)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'd bet you could get your game on steam fairly easily with greenlight. If a crappy game like Air Control can get on steam then i've got no doubt your game will easily get on steam. Have you heard of Air Control? It's the worst game on steam right now. Don't buy it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. picked up on watching quake 2 video, I love the idea! Great job and your work is looking good.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am very happy to be here because this is a very good site that provides lots of information about the topics covered in depth. Im glad to see that people are actually writing about this issue in such a smart way, showing us all different sides to it. Please keep it up. I cant wait to read whats next.
    gazo | friv 2 | juegos friv 2

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hey Yahtzee. The special editions of your epic "Days" series are no longer forwarding to download links on your old site. Been a fan of yours for a while and your games were the first "horror" I ever played. I think greenlight is a great thought, or maybe a kickstarter. I'll keep my eye on the site and see what you settle on. Count on my support. :]

    ReplyDelete
  25. I see your game it is very attractive introduction wished that someday I will be like you. Juegos Friv 2

    ReplyDelete
  26. Well!!!!!!!
    The most important thing you can do to promote your music is to plan. Let me say that again, plan, plan, plan. It's so many avenues to take during the musicbest Budget DJ Controllers process that it's easy to get sidetracked by something that sounds like a great deal.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you for very usefull information..Friv 2 | Friv 3

    ReplyDelete
  28. "Level-up system: carry experience over from your previous lives to upgrade yourself in the next"


    how will it work? i mean ingame, in a lore/rule sense.. will every person you play as chara be inexplicably better, up to superman if one fails enough shortly before completing the ritual? will these experiences only given on, if teh character succeeds?
    and how does it work? just an anomaly, like the black sky or these terrifyng things that roam the country?


    (i just thought about the idea, that the characters could store stuff, like weapons or knowledge (so experience, in a sense)
    If i were in that situation and i know, failure is a very real possibility and the consequences would be terrible for every non-monster-living thing on the earth
    , i would try to give clues or ressources at strategic points, so that if i die(which would be very possible if the adjective lovecraftian is consequently enforced) a successor could use that to their benefit..
    this would add an interresting choice and questions, like- how certain is failure? should i die, I loose everything and do nothing.. if failure is certain, should I give resources or store them at a certain point, but might miss them should the mission turn out to be be successful after all? could storing ressources be my demise?

    so it would ask the player to asses the situation and act accordingly, in the risk that the assesment is wrong and the act could very well facilitate a failure, wher success would have been..
    also there would be a rule, how long stuff gets there-food rots and maybe random plunderers find badly hidden stuff.. (but thats complicated to implement i think?) so... the risk of failure is high, one has to think about it often and ask which consequences will happen.. maybe in the next city one important person need an antidote but you stored it in a crack inside the poison-spider-cave you very luckily survived with additional antidotes. now you cant back and dont know whether to give your last away.. you could save a person which might help(or not) or you could need it yourself in the future(or not)..


    aslo you say "roughelike elements"
    an idea.. you stark the game and make a save slot-this one gets used. if a chara dies, the next doesnt start a new game, but uses the same slot, the world gets "shuffled" and after the death its like ng+, but with a new character.

    (hard to explain.. like an account, that account plays the game, if the chara on that account dies its ng+ for that..
    if one makes another account, the world would be different, so the more one chara does, the more the world gets changed, so that ng+3 on account a has a different world than in account b..

    interresting, would be for example, if one dies because of banishing the wrong god, this could have impact on the nd+-more monsters of that non banished god, but less from the banished`. some characters might be dead or missing, maybe certain items work differently, everywhere are strange yellow books and if you rest you dream abour strange while tentacles and arent healed as good as if the chara banished another wrong god..
    (if one wins the game, it would be another NG, but if one looses it, that could have impact beside a bit of location&interieur-shuffling.. every death makes it harder, the gods thrive on destruction and fear.. maybe if you kill yourself then your next character could have an inexplicable phobia or starts with worse mental health? maybe it stays darker all the time?)

    eh, too many ideas, too much procrastination for me.
    (also i dont make games. this is an open acces brainstorm, if sb want to use ideas, feel free)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Expert Level
    So you think you’re a know it all? We’ll be the judge. The Game Informer staff will be on the lookout for users that display a strong level of knowledge about certain games or game series’. Users can become experts by creating comprehensive game guides, answering questions and leaving knowledgeable comments. These expert users are all hand-picked and will receive a special label when they post. Experts are expected to be courteous, positive members of the Game Informer community. Kizi 2

    ReplyDelete
  30. great game and i follow your games very well and i would like to send a good job thingy mogigger a bobber , or something. so how would i contact crosshaw? any one have any suggestions- thanks.
    -sincerly a frekin bumble head idiot.
    no jk. its Orokana Kiti

    ReplyDelete
  31. I like the brand new development in classic game selection. friv friv network

    ReplyDelete
  32. Ben I think you need to refresh - take a vacation - take a break. And then you'll come back writing better and more focused.

    ReplyDelete
  33. There doesn't seem to be much difference in the night and day visibility thing to me. (On the new game).

    ReplyDelete
  34. Movie Name : Bang Bang 2014, WATCH MOVIE NOW. Story : A young bank receptionist gets mixed up with Rajveer Nanda, a man who has a mysterious background. ImDB Rating : 5.8, Category : Action, Romance, Director : Siddharth Anand, Writer : Sujoy Ghosh (screenplay), Suresh Nair (dialogue), Patrick O’Neill (original story), Actors : Katrina Kaif, Hrithik Roshan, Ron Smoorenburg, Jawed El Berni, Released Date : 02 Oct 2014, Run Time : N/A. WATCH MOVIE NOW.

    ReplyDelete