Monday, 29 October 2012

Greenlight Concepts Stats

Luminesca has been quite well received on Greenlight Concepts. Here's hoping it would be the same on Greenlight Games!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Steam Greenlight Concepts

Guess who's on Steam Greenlight Concepts...

For those who are unfamiliar: Greenlight is a community-driven feature of the megalithic digital distribution platform Steam which allows players to vote for which indie games they want to get published there next. The Concepts section is for projects which are early in development or simply just idea pitches.

I figured it would be a good idea to try to get some more exposure for Luminesca and gain some useful feedback from a larger audience.

If you have a Steam account you can help out by voting for Luminesca, engaging in discussion or adding it to your Greenlight Favourites!

UPDATE: It's now on 'proper' Greenlight, here!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Video & Wallpaper - New Title Screen

Here's a video of the new animated title screen, and a hi-resolution wallpaper too! It's still a work in progress, of course, but I think it demonstrates some of the progress I've been making quite nicely!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Carving Seascapes

This post is an overview of my process for building environments for Luminesca, intended to be a look into my development process and potentially a useful guide for people wanting to make something similar. This process won't be right for everyone; we've all got our own little quirks and techniques that we feel comfortable using, but will hopefully provide some interesting insight!

As you may already know, I am building Luminesca in Unity which has a simple, fast pipeline and supports some useful plugins, namely Polygon Tool and 2D Toolkit (among others).

1. Layering Up

A key thing to be aware of is that Luminesca's environments are built in 2D layers, set apart at fixed distances on the Z axis to give them depth. I always use a Z depth value of zero for the gameplay layer, where all the action takes place. This just makes it easier to remember and helps working out whether everything is aligned correctly. I use a Perspective camera (as opposed to Orthographic) with a very low field of view so I can get some nice parallax effects on the background layers.

Click to enlarge

I use empty game objects as 'managers' for each layer so I can find them easily. All of that layers components (like meshes and sprites) are children of these manager objects, and are all assigned to a visibility layer in Unity so I can hide and show them when necessary.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Reboot Progress

I've had some free time to work on Luminesca recently. There have been some interesting developments and I'm feeling happy with the new direction so I thought it would be an appropriate time to talk about the game again.

As I mentioned in my last update, I've gone back to the drawing board with the overarching game design and structure and I'm now taking a less challenge-focused approach to gameplay, with a stronger emphasis on exploration and atmosphere. That means fewer reflex-based scenarios and far less penalty for failure (if any). It was a tough decision to make. I'm a big proponent for elegant systemic game design, but I was starting to feel like I was bashing my head against a brick wall in some ways. I was trying to shoehorn in mechanics and challenges where they didn't fit and were not appropriate. Simplifying the game has made it feel a lot closer to my early conceptualisations and I'm feeling confident about pursuing this style.

Another significant change to my plans is the shift to an episodic format, which has helped a great deal in breaking the project down into manageable chunks. I'm really keen to get something playable out there as soon as possible. I'll be revealing more details about the release schedule in the near future as well as new images and videos.

Be sure to follow the game on Twitter, Facebook or the new Tumblr to stay updated, and please help to spread the word! Until then, enjoy these new screenshots of Episode 1.