Single Player Action/Puzzle Adventure Game [The Girl who met her Shadow]

edited in Projects
Hi all!

So my friend and myself have been working on a game and we're at the stage where we're able to showcase content. We've been a part of the community for a while but mostly have only been viewing from an outside. I think our biggest hurdle has been to find meaningful ways to engage with people online, since we're not all that clued up on those kinds of things. It would be great to get people involved in the community as the game grows, to bounce ideas and just to have general chats.

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The Concept:

[The Girl who met her Shadow] is an adventure platformer game in which, a girl finds herself in a strange dark world after she went through a traumatic experience. As she tries to find her way out of this world, she starts to realize that the dark world is closely connected to her own world. The game includes themes of grief and peace, a modern dictatorship, combat with strange creatures, puzzles where the character finds herself traveling between two worlds, and a few new friends and foes.

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We're currently doing quite a bit of live streaming as we're building, so if you're bored during isolation and want to see what we're up to, please come check it out at: https://twitch.tv/indieglue

We'll be updating this thread as we go, and will also be releasing small demos to test etc. If you want more instant replies, check out our discord channel: https://discord.gg/w8g4eB

Cheers for now,
Much love, nikrich @ IndieGlue

Comments

  • edited
    Hi all!

    So we've been busy working on getting a demo ready and we finally finished setting up the base of the project and building the physics. We've been actively developing for the past 6 months, after an initial writing, drafting and prototyping phase, which lasted almost a year before that. It took a bit longer since we're building the physics from scratch opposed to using the built in physics engine in Unity.

    The forest This section displays the dynamic 2d lighting using URP within Unity
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    The Flat-lands Displays global illumination and sun shadows
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    We're currently busy finishing up the initial Chapter's level design and are currently also exploring AI building and the best ways to do path finding. Path finding for us is quite important since the game kicks off with a running scene. Currently got a basic A* Algorithm going and seems to do the trick.

    Any thoughts on how it looks currently?

    Have a great Sunday guys!
    Thanked by 2Lesedi_Mosadi watson
  • I really like the character art (in the game screens itself more than the standalone image) but not the rest of it. It comes across as if you bought a very simple pixel art asset pack on itch.io. (Apologies, I realise that sounds harsh but I don't know how else to describe how I reacted to it.)

    The art seems to be a conflict between flat minimalism that you would see in a polygon-design-centric game, such as Race The Sun or FutureGrind, but with a brutalist palette, and pixel art, which usually calls for vibrancy even when designed using a restricted palette. There's a lot of life infused in pixel art, which I can see here only in the character.

    Are you meaning it to be a full pixel art game (whether real pixel art or cheated pixel art via a shader or something - I don't know other ways the stylistic cheating is done) or are you wanting to mix art styles (which I wouldn't recommend)?
    Thanked by 2nikrich ashashza
  • Thanks watman for the feedback. Currently the art is lacking since we're 2 programmers working on the development and a part from the fact that we're still learning art, we don't get all that much time for it as we're coding the game most of the time and falling back to some basic art that we create.

    I think this might be the reason there is a discrepancy between character and environmental art. The environmental art was done quickly in order to test normal mapping and to test what the lighting looks like.

    In terms of art style, I think what we're currently going for is full pixel art with normal pixel depth mapping to get a dynamic lighting effect that still feels and looks like pixel art. This is something that we're actively experimenting with still since we're in very early stages of development.

    I would love to bring artists on-board, but since we're doing this all Indie, the budget doesn't allow for it.

    Maybe I should have a look at updating the palette so create for a more intense contrast between colors? I'm glad you like the main character, she feels a bit plain to me still and identity less.

    Could you also clarify what you mean with mixing art styles? Are you referring to haveing a consistent style throughout, or are you against mixing mediums?
    Thanked by 1watman
  • Digging the art so far!

    Any idea on when we could try a playable build?
    Thanked by 1ashashza
  • Digging the art so far!

    Any idea on when we could try a playable build?
    Shot man! It's still early days unfortunately so not any time soon. We'll keep you updated here and on discord as we make progress :)

  • nikrich said:
    Could you also clarify what you mean with mixing art styles? Are you referring to haveing a consistent style throughout, or are you against mixing mediums?
    I meant that right now you have this conflict of two styles within the pixel art - the minimalism but then also a more traditional (vibrant) character - and I didn't know if this is what you were hoping the final form would be or if you would still be rethinking what you do with your art since I didn't know the status of where the art is in the project and how it came to be, which you have now explained.

    As an aside, have a look at this thread: makegamessa.com/discussion/5694/unknown-pixel-art-adventure

    Although the silhouette style won't work for your project, look at how vibrant and engaging the art is (I don't mean the colour, I mean the shapes and design). The colour is also important in setting the mood but the mood is infused everywhere - it's in the details (the decayed shape of the foreground and background furniture objects, etc).

    So I guess I'm also saying that as you work on the art you have to think about and aim for juiciness (a word I hate but a concept that is very important).

    Thanked by 2nikrich dark_seth
  • watman said:

    As an aside, have a look at this thread: makegamessa.com/discussion/5694/unknown-pixel-art-adventure
    Wow, this looks really amazing! Gave it a play! Okay cool I get what you're saying. We're still in SUPER early stages of development and art is definitely something we haven't spent all that much time on.

    Thanks for the time, will be posting more content on discord https://discord.gg/w8g4eB and keep rolling out stuff to this thread. :)
    Thanked by 1watman
  • edited
    Hi all, just an update into how the physics work. We're not using RigidBody at all. Here's a closer look at how the running works and looks like at the moment:

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    Thanked by 2konman watson

  • Hi all!

    Just an quick update. Since we've been mostly at it with exterior scenes, I created a scene with Lucy in her house. This should give you a good glimpse into how the dynamic lighting looks.Tell me what you guys think!

    image
    Thanked by 1konman
  • I know this is about the lighting but I really like the character art and the photos and artworks on the wall.
    Thanked by 2nikrich ashashza

  • Hi all,

    Added more rooms and came up with quite a cool looking silhouette effect, which I thought @watman would find interesting as we were discussing something along those lines earlier in the thread.

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  • The effect is interesting from a technical perspective (not that I know how it works but usually the answer to everything I don't know is "shaders") but how can you use it to enhance the storytelling? (Rhetorical question. Something to think about.)

    BTW that dead space in the hallway picture was bothering me before. I think you should drop the level of the first floor by around six staircase steps just to tighten the rooms and, by extension, the art. If you think about it right now the rooms have very high ceilings (the doorways are also quite tall), although maybe your character needs the space for jumping?
    Thanked by 1nikrich
  • Hmm! Good point! The roofs are high just because I wanted to design cube shaped areas, since aesthetically I think it's quite interesting, but by no means adds anything to the story. I'm working on a interesting room transition which I'll post soon in the future, hence the dead space in the hallway. Will post an update soon! Thanks for the feedback :)
    Thanked by 1watman
  • Hi all,

    Whilst playing around with interior scenes, we came up with what can be an interesting room transition. Especially if there are more rooms that you can explore, etc. What do you all think?

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  • It makes it seem as if she's running between projector screens in a warehouse.
    Thanked by 1nikrich
  • watman said:
    It makes it seem as if she's running between projector screens in a warehouse.
    Haha yeah! Makes her seem pretty small as well, and I kinda like that idea since she's quite young in the story!
  • Hi all,

    Currently we're busy with 2 different streams of works. 1) Finishing up the first section's level design and 2) Finishing up the path finding algorithm for the AI.

    Here's a quick clip of a simple A* algorithm in action. We decided to do path finding based on predefined nodes apposed to using every tile, just to speed up the algorithm and to make it a bit more visual in terms of path building (blue is the start node, green is the end node):

    image
    Thanked by 1konman
  • Started building some water shaders as part of the level construction.

    image

    What do you think?
  • Really awesome water effects there! Digging how the stream warps across the surface of the water.
    Thanked by 1nikrich
  • edited
    Hi all!

    Water reflection is now 16-bit as to match the game style:

    image
    Thanked by 2watman ashashza
  • Ok, that's much better. Looks really good. You need to optimise these gifs, though, or post them as unlisted YouTube videos because you are using up all my data.
    Thanked by 1nikrich
  • watman said:
    Ok, that's much better. Looks really good. You need to optimise these gifs, though, or post them as unlisted YouTube videos because you are using up all my data.
    Shot @watman! Sorry, will post Youtube videos in the future!
  • edited
    Hi all, hope you are all safe during the quarantine!

    We're busy building some shaders! I've added a short video clip that shows how it behaves in Unity.
    This shader is able to:

    1. Set a Diffuse Texture based on the current Sprite Renderer Texture (this is pretty standard)
    2. Accept a Normal Map (and toggle)
    3. Add a pixel perfect outline to any sprite (and toggle)



    @watman, added YouTube video for your data :'D
  • Hi all,

    Since we wrapped up a big part of the way we've implemented path finding, we decided to to share and create tutorial.



    Hope you enjoy! Stay safe!
  • edited
    Hi all,

    I've been doing some in game lighting tests in order to see what is possible with the current system. This is what the day and night screens looks like:

    Day:

    image

    Night:

    image

    And a mobile wallpaper :)

    image

    Join on discord here: https://discord.gg/STET2ec

    have a lovely day :)
  • edited
    Hi all!

    Here's a quick update as to how the enemy path finding is looking with all its gizmos. It's a node list with the end-point of every node set to the play.



    Come chat to me on discord: https://discord.gg/STET2ec

    Hope you're all safe!
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