Monday, 3 June 2013

Surfacing soon...

I have to admit, when I released the first alpha version of Chapter 1 in February I had hoped Chapter 2 would follow pretty closely behind. As it turns out, releasing a game - even just one part of an unfinished game - and dealing with the ensuing promotion and maintenance takes up a lot of your time. Who knew?!

So I'm now very pleased to be able to say that the Chapter 2 alpha is just around the corner (I mean a matter of mere days away) and that I have a few other cool things lined up too! Read on for the run-down...

Rezzed PC and Indie Games Show

Luminesca will be on show at the Rezzed game show mega-event in Birmingham, UK on 22-23 June 2013, as part of the Leftfield Collection. You'll be able to play the latest build of Luminesca, including Chapter 2 and the new, updated version of Chapter 1. I'll be there in person, manning the station, handing out free art cards and chatting about the game to anyone within earshot. If you can make it, come and say hello! Bring friends!

Here are some art cards you can have for free if you'll only come and talk to me...

Free demo

Shortly after the release of Chapter 2, a free demo of Luminesca will be released on the main site. It will essentially comprise of Chapter 1 (the new, updated version), playable in your web browser. I wanted to get Chapter 2 done first so that people who have pre-ordered are still getting some exclusive stuff in exchange for their early support!


Also coming shortly after Chapter 2's release will be an option for purchasing the original soundtrack. Many of you have confessed your undying love for the soothing sounds of Luminesca, so you'll soon be able to drift off to sleep while listening to its majestic underwater melodies (I accept no responsibility for any bed-wetting this induces). The soundtrack's release will function the same as the game itself, so as new chapters are released in alpha form their associated tracks will be added to the soundtrack download for free.

As always, you can already pre-order Luminesca right here, and doing so will grant you immediate access to Chapter 1, with Chapter 2 being added at no extra cost very soon.

If you've decided not to pre-order just yet I'd be interested to hear your reasons here. In the past, people said they wanted a PayPal option and that is now available via the Humble Store widget. I am listening to all feedback, even if I don't have time to respond on an individual basis!

Thank you for your continued support, and I hope you're as excited about the new release as I am!


  1. Great job, I'm really impressed with chapter 2. The game is getting a lot more interesting than before. In chapter 1 there wasn't much to do besides exploring. Now there are plenty of things to interact with, and tricky puzzles. I'm really curious what future chapters will bring.

    In one case I surmounted an obstacle the hard way just to discover that the intended solution would have been a great deal easier. :-)

    1. Awesome, thank you for posting! Really pleased you like it! Which obstacle are you referring to? Feel free to email me if you think talking about it would spoil things for anyone who hasn't played it yet.

    2. I was referring to the puzzle where a light barrier is alternately blocked by two pistons, and you have to get a planktid to the other side. It took me several attempts, but I managed to herd the planktid past both pistons without it being pushed through the light barrier. Once I reached the other side of the door I noticed that there would have been an easier solution (which I assume was the intended one).

    3. Hmm, I just played it again, and I had to discover that the seemingly simple solution (letting the planktid cross the light barrier, then re-opening the door for it from the other side) is actually not so simple at all. With the planktid on your tails it is next to impossible to get past the door before it crosses the light barrier. So, luring it safely past both pistons while the door is open probably is the easiest solution.

      Is there (or will there be) a way to tell a planktid to stop following you and wait where it is?

    4. I see how you would have got that impression! You're right that guiding it through the pistons is the 'intended solution'. Opening the door from the other side is actually a fail-safe method you can use if you happen to get separated from the planktid (if you go through too quickly, but then the planktid triggers the door to shut between you, you would be stuck).

      I'm actually still thinking this puzzle design through and I was hoping to get a bit of feedback, so this is very useful!

      So yes, maybe introducing a way of halting planktids would be a good idea. If I do that it will likely be something in the environment you can use to physically delay them, rather than a new button to press (I like to keep the controls very simple).

      Great spot. Thank you!

  2. The controls are perfectly minimalistic the way they are (two thumbsticks, nothing else), please don't add any buttons. A great way to park planktids would be environmental light sources to distract them. Those light sources could be either permanent (but weaker than the player's own light) or controlled by time or triggers.

    1. That's a great idea! I was tempted to make planktids get distracted by the glowpods you can light up in Chapter 1, but part of me thinks that has the potential to just become very slow and annoying. Some kind of mechanical light would make a lot more sense in Chapter 2 though. Definitely something to play around with here for future versions! Thanks! :D

  3. I love it, the dark atmosphere in chapter 2 is really neat. Its tricky now to figure out what to do and a bit gloomy.
    I didnt manage to figure out the 9 cogs thing. No clue what to do there so i cheated... :( I tried for about 30mins but i have no idea, i must miss the hint there.

    Also i had the following error:
    GetThreadContext failed

    Its some kind of unity with win7 64bit and avast error.
    I had it before in other games (kerbal and kentucky route zero) so i knew i could just run the game in win95 compatibility mode.
    There is also a different mono.dll around that fixes this.
    It is a rather weird error and sadly game stopping, it will popup an error window and crash the game completely.

    One can only hope unity and/or avast (happens also with other antivirus software) are going to fix it. It is rather annoying.

    Anyway, great 2nd chapter! Looking forward to the next one.

    Ciao Mario

    1. The missing hint for the "nine cogs" puzzle is right below, where the bubbles are rising. Light up the glowpod to see it.

    2. You know i found that and was to stupid to interpret the holes in the bars? I never made the mental connection, i just pushed them around and wondered if they somehow could reflect my beam so i can light them all up, major derp here :D

    3. You're not the only one to have trouble with that particular puzzle. I shared these stats on Twitter the other day showing how many people have given up on that part:
      So there's definitely some re-designing to be done there. I think the 'solution' area needs to be more clear.

      Yeah that "GetThreadContext" bug has recently popped up for me too, and I also use Avast antivirus. I feel a little powerless to combat it though, so like you I'm just hoping that Unity or Avast will fix it sooner rather than later.

      Thanks for the feedback, this is useful stuff!

  4. Hi there Matt!
    Can i just say its a great game! I love it all around :)

    What thru me off there was, i could move those hint things around? In my mind then i thought i had to move them to a certain place/arrangement to open the hint or gate?

    Also i saw the holes but the connection to the cogs never was made, but that just might be me being dense :P

    Yeah win95 mode works, but in other games like ksp i wanted the full power so i switched out the mono.dll ->

    They posted and unofficial official one here:

    It also happens with other virus software like eset.

    I also had something else happening ingame now that i replayed that bit with the cogs etc. Before that when you move the first glow buddie thru the big cogs he can get sort of stuck.

    He was at the cog teeth at the back and whenever i swam down in the corridor he tried to, but he never made it in time to get down. I think i did that bit 5-6 times because he always would get caught and got round once more.

    I then noticed that you stick a bit to obstacles, like the pistons, once they have you you cant really move, nor can the light thingeme, maybe make the big cogs/pistons less sticky?

    ciao mario

    1. Hi Mario, and thank you! I'm glad you like it!

      I totally see what you mean about how the sliding pieces could confuse the message they are supposed to convey. I definitely need to revise that section. I will change the cogs too as you're not the only one to have that problem.

      I think the stickiness is just a minor oversight. I changed the friction on all the static world collision, but must have forgotten to do the same on moving parts! I'll fix this in the next update.

      Thanks for your feedback!