Infinite Desolation - December 2107 update (promo)

edited in Projects
December 2017 Update
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Just a short teaser using the latest footage from the game:



Gamescom 2017
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If anyone is at Gamescom, you can try Infinite Desolation at Hall 10.1 Aisle C.

Gamescom demo preview:




Play the game
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Infinite Desolation GameJolt page

Greenlight
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steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=756543989

Trailer
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Other links:
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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGOP0rAL8BtGjuNeJGJI42w
Twitter: https://twitter.com/farflunggames (@farflunggames)
Facebook: https://facebook.com/infinitedesolation


Description
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Infinite Desolation is an intense action survival RPG, set on a harsh planet where your physical and mental attributes will be tested to their limits.

Face the environment and hostile hordes to stay alive against the odds.

Infinite Desolation is a unique fusion of very intense top-down action and deep survival RPG.

Please give feedback and thoughts to help us polish this game :)

Thanks!

Comments

  • A link to a game build would greatly help our ability to give feedback on gameplay :)

    Looks like its far along in production and seems quite polished already though.
  • Thanks, we are working toward exactly that... a playable build. Probably the best way to achieve this is a legacy Unity web build, so we can just update it and switch it on and off as needed.
    Thanked by 1atomicdomb
  • Hi @mgeorgedeveloper Are you a local dev? Where abouts are you located?

    WRT your trailer, it's definitely way too long. You should aim for just under a minute at most. Cut out a lot of that intro and leave your logo til the end. If your brand isn't known, people aren't going to stick around to see what comes after the logo. Get them excited with game play quickly.
  • Agreed with your comments re trailer. I was thinking about these exact changes today before reading your comment :)
    Thanks for the feedback, exactly what we need.
  • I've managed to cut over 1 minute from the trailer, with the intro part reduced to about 30% of its original length, without losing the foreboding tone it tries to set. There's probably still a fair amount of room for improvement for the next trailer, but that will be a month down the line when the game has progressed further and we have more to show. Thanks for the feedback so far.



  • @dammit We are 2 South African devs, 1 in Scotland and the other in Cape Town. :)
  • edited
    I assume you two are heavily inspired by Crimson Land? (and Alien Shooter etc)

    In any case, a Crimson Land game with survival mechanics seems like a really sweet experience!

    The cut down trailer is definitely an improvement! Though I have some extra feedback (that maybe could be useful to you for the next trailer).

    The clips in the trailer aren't all the most exciting. What I mean is that as a viewer I want to see things happening in the game that seem like they would be exciting to be playing. There's one clip that shows the player strafing away from a single enemy for a couple seconds before telefragging it. I don't think being able to beat a single enemy is a particularly compelling fantasy, I realize you are trying to show off a particular mechanic in the game, but a because all it shows off is that mechanic (on its own) it feels like you're going through a feature's list rather than showing why it's rad to have all these tools of destruction available to you.

    I don't know if it's a feature of your game, but I think fighting huge swarms of enemies was always a big draw in these types of experiences (like Crimson Land or Alien Shooter), but the swarms in Infinite Desolation look quite sparse by comparison. Although the pieces flying off the exploding aliens look pretty rad.

    I would like to see more effects on the ground (like blood or scorch marks). I don't know how much this game is targeted at a Crimson Land audience and how much it is targeted at a survival audience, but you probably have to do both game styles well.

    I think it's a rule of thumb of trailers that you should try get to the exciting part within 30 seconds. It takes until 45 seconds before a bullet is fired, and 58 seconds before more than one enemy is on screen at once. Obviously when I say "rule of thumb" this isn't a hard rule, but there's a lot of game trailers out there these days and few people share a trailer when they feel like they need to tell their friend that they should skip to 1 minute in.

    Though I know you want to set a foreboding scene... Maybe a better way of showing that would be getting to gameplay faster, but showing the player searching through a deserted landscape with signs of death and destruction all around. Make the game itself feel foreboding and then capture that in a trailer. I think Stasis, also a local game, did that brilliantly, so even when showing the events of the game the foreboding feeling is there (although their marketing material also had great foreboding content in it, they could do that because their marketing art was phenomenal which is also something you could work towards).
    Thanked by 1mgeorgedeveloper
  • @evangreenwood Thanks, yes the trailer will be redone, you've given us some ideas. Did you get a chance to try the demo? :) Yes we were inspired by Crimsonland, but it kind of got there organically from the base survival game.
  • Not yet! Sorry, things on my side are pretty hectic at the moment. I'd probably have more feedback about game-feel if I did (or when I do).
  • Latest Build uploaded
  • edited
    I played a bit of doomed mode demo.

    Some praise:

    I like that there are a variety of abilities. Like having a primary and secondary fire, and the various recharging abilities.

    Managing the different powers is a lot like Diablo 3. It means keeping track of cooldowns and learning to use them optimally (which is a enjoyable challenge to master).

    Exploding barrels that blast bits of enemies everywhere were great.

    Aiming and shooting was solid. Enemies exploding into bits from secondary fire was satisfying.

    It's a pretty badass theme. Being on a hostile planet, apparently in the wreckage of a crashed spaceship. Trying to stay alive against overwhelming odds.

    Some criticism: (I realize Infinite Desolation is still in development, I hope these are criticisms that can help inform the game's progress).

    It seems like "doomed" mode really is doomed. It seemed like one would inevitably run out of oxygen (and it took me a few tries to figure out that this was what was happening... at first I thought I was dying completely at random). Inevitably running out of oxygen doesn't seem like the best fail state for this type of game.

    The guns were never very powerful. And it didn't seem like there was any progression. When compared to the survival modes in Crimsonland and Alien Shooter (both 10 year old games) this feels like a let down.

    I'm not a fan of mousewheel scrolling to select abilities (I have a dodgy mouse wheel), although this didn't actually prove to be a problem.

    Shooting enemies seemed like it was always done only in order to survive. In games like Crimsonland (and games like Diablo obviously) killing enemies is also harvesting them for their experience/loot/bonuses. This kind of thing. In Crimsonland (and Diablo-likes) the player is faced with continually more powerful opposition, but to stay alive the player is offered staggered rewards that restore equilibrium (and even put the player at an advantage for brief periods).

    It seemed like there was a complicated menu that could be drawn up with stats and such, but it didn't seem like anything could be done there in Doomed Mode. I think it might be exciting to be able to perform upgrades and customization there?

    The enemies don't clearly show when they do damage to you. It's also a little hard to know what range the blasts of the shooter enemies deal damage at. Crimsonland also isn't very good at this, but it's 13 years old now.

    The deaths of the enemies when you kill them with the primary fire are a bit anticlimactic. There is also very little or no blood (on death and when an enemy is hit with a bullet).

    As I've already said. I'm a big fan of Alien Shooter and Crimsonland etc. I feel like Infinite Desolation could become a game I would really enjoy. Although I don't exactly know how far you plan on taking it, and how much work you can afford to put into it, and obviously you're not making this game specially for me :)
  • Thanks @evangreenwood for the detailed and extremely useful feedback,

    Just one point, the Doomed mode is just 1 mode, and its to try and get the highest score overall, in a time limit (which is the oxygen). It wont be the only mode as we do realise that people enjoy different modes and style of play.

    We take the point of the weapons feeling underpowered, the no feedback on damage taken, and the death animations/ particles.

    We are trying to take ID to the limit btw :)
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • Infinite Desolation v0.1.007 change log
    =======================================

    New features
    ------------

    Doomed Mode now has a series of tutorial pop-up messages that are shown the first time you play.

    New weapon - R-G Oblivion (dual rocket / grenade launcher).


    Changes
    -------

    In Doomed Mode, the nearest supply create is now always shown (flashing blue dot).

    In Doomed Mode, the nearest teleporter is now always shown (flashing green dot).

    Weapon stats changed. Most weapons are now more powerful in some way.
    - The shotgun now micro explosive shots.
    - The shotgun rate of fire has been reduced.
    - The minigun now has a very high penetration chance.

    All weapons renamed.

    Blink can now be used far more frequently to increase mobility.

    Blink Level 2 no longer has a huge blast radius, but will still destroy enemies near the target point.

    The desert bug attack animation has been shortened so that the attack is more immediate.


    Fixes
    -----

    In controller mode, you will no longer lose focus from the currently selected UI control by clicking the mouse.

    When the main menu is brought up in-game, the logo will no longer be hidden behind the dark panel.

    Long help descriptions are no longer cut off in the Options menu.

    When the main menu is brought up in-game, it will now correctly close when [Esc] / (B) is pressed.

    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • edited
    @mgeorgedeveloper Hi, I gave the demo a spin. Conclusion: Very Impressed.

    I love the current polish and production values of especially:
    -Opening movie
    -General UI
    -Game feel (environment or terrain quality/weapon fx/enemies)
    -Hi-Score online leader boards (I did not create account or try to submit my meager score for pride reasons :-P)

    I played your first showcase mode: Doomed

    I feel that to delay death needs to be more skill-based rather than simply discovering more oxygen. It needs something more like maybe the skill of a player (dodging/shooting) will allow them to live longer. Maybe accuracy can play a role and/or rate of kill? Maybe a penetration shot where you get a bonus for killing more than one creature with a single bullet/shot? Like the Egyptian goddess Neith in Smite has such an ability. Maybe rewarding such a shot with a bonus item spilling from the entrails of said vanquished foe, forcing you to run into a mob just to secure the new item. Right now movement is mostly away from enemies unless the geography forces one to backtrack through a mob. I also would love it if my bullets would cause a slight pause in an enemy hit, to reward my accuracy and give me some breathing room, however short. Kinda stagger them in their tracks for a very brief moment?

    Movement is constant, maybe add mud areas to slow player down or items to slightly boosting speed might add interesting variations.

    Otherwise, I must admit I am slightly more interested in those "other" modes you have in store for us, the ones that talk about those "RPG" aspects...

    What I am hoping to see in those is a slower pace, maybe some smaller set-pieces where you have specific goals that will provide some kind of progressive system/story to happen. I want to pick-up and inspect that nano-something item. Scrutinize it in my inventory. Spin that model on all axis. Decide if it is going to be worth sticking in my inventory or not.

    Overall I am really impressed with what you have to show right now and I am looking forward to your future updates.

    The game ran well on my test system and there were no artifacts or performance issues I could detect:

    Tested on:
    CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 (3.4 GHz 4 cores, 8 procs) x64
    RAM: 8 GB
    GPU: MSI Gaming X NVIDIA GeForce 1070 8GB VRAM
    MONITOR: 24" inch 1080p Samsung LED (60 Hz) Resolution: 1920x1080
    OS: Windows 10 Enterprise
  • @konman thanks very much for the detailed thoughts and feedback.

    There's a lot of good ideas in there.

    Some things you mention, are to some degree already there, but you may have missed it. For example, the speed boost ability is usable every 15 seconds or so, as well as the Blink which gives you great mobility every few seconds if you choose to use it.

    I will revisit your comments as we progress, and along with other feedback, work some of this stuff into an upcoming build.

    Regarding the main story mode - I will reactivate this for the next build. It comes with all the bells and whistles, like character classes/attributes and character progression, crafting, etc. Pace is slower, but battles are still quite intense. But there is more of a build-up in intensity as you go.

    Thanks again
    Thanked by 2konman EvanGreenwood
  • Updated version is now available for download. It includes timed defence turrets to help clear the horde, giving you some breathing room, at least for a few seconds :)

    http://farflunggames.com/download/id-0.1.008-setup.zip
  • Change log and link for 0.1.009!
    Now includes Story Mode alongside Doomed Mode.

    =======================================

    New features
    ---------------------

    Story Mode has been re-activated alongside Doomed Mode.

    Character classes in Story Mode now each have a unique look (helmets).

    Defence Turrets have been added to Story Mode.

    New flying enemy has been added to Story Mode.

    R-G Launcher weapon has been added to Story Mode.

    Changes
    ---------------------

    Turret defence trigger radius increased.

    Message box margin slightly increased for better layout.

    Blink now works with the down/up button/key mechanic again.
    It was too annoying to have the blink target switch on and off all the time, especially in story mode while exploring.

    Penetrating bullets no longer penetrate barrels.

    Penetrating bullets no longer penetrate invulnerable targets.

    Weapon items are no longer shown in the inventory. Instead, you use the new weapons screen that was updated with detailed weapon stats a while ago.

    Weapon UI now shows primary and secondary ammo information.

    Fixes
    ---------------------

    Intro voice-over no longer cut off half-way through.

    Character deforming issue resolved that occurred when the player crosses bridges.

    The player can no longer be set on fire while his shield is active.

    Player now correctly moves into position when an object is focussed (terminals, etc.)

    Creatures and the robot boss will no longer get stuck on the acid edge.

    Main menu now works properly after cancelling the "confirm new game" confirmation dialog.

    Several issues fixed with the oxygen extractor and water extractor.

    Fixed a glitch where the player could Blink out of the canyon.

    Fixed the robot boss mission name.

    Link
    ---------------------

    http://farflunggames.com/download/id-0.1.009-setup.zip
  • @konman - latest build (009) includes the single player story mode demo :)

  • edited
    @mgeorgedeveloper WOW! WHAT A SURPRISE! I just knew you've been holding out on us! The single player campaign is totally different from the Doomed mode. As in TOTALLY.

    I started as a Marine class in my first play... the helmets are very cool BTW, but I cannot help but feel different bodies for each class would be more appropriate. I'm sure this is in the making though...

    Minor gripes on spelling issues (Scout->Assualt squad & Psion->prestigous) aside, this is one hell of an interesting demo you have here!

    My pod crash lands. Shadows sprawl. The door pops out and I arrive...

    It might be more interesting to actually have to locate all the start-up items rather than just being given them from the get go as you exit the pod. It is a bit overwhelming to receive all at once... although the item models are very cool and one feels compelled to read all the item descriptions and their usefulness which is interesting.

    Also when my oxygen runs out it seems to mysteriously refilled without me needing to apply any skill/effort to start with? I am happy to continue breathing, but... mmmh?

    Overall, what you have created here is a very compelling and interesting demo that merits much further and deeper investigation and I am very excited about the general premise.

    As the game starts, the animation zooms in giving me a glimpse of the surrounding area as I plummet to the surface in the pod and I try to remember the surrounding area.

    On my first play I enabled the turrets too early though and soon I am overrun by the alien assault. My M7 Fury shotgun fire-rate does not cut it and I am soon overrun. Death follows swiftly.

    On my next play-through I enable the turrets at the appropriate time when the "danger, enemies approaching" message appears and I am ready to manually defend the South-West which is not covered by the turrets. Catastrophe averted! The trigger/pad for the turrets is a bit hit and miss I think as it can be activated accidentally. If you trigger it too early, you have a much harder fight. Not sure if this was intended...

    Soon after that incident I accidentally bathe in an acid pool and had to start a new game... Hehehe

    Next game I found 1 power cell on the island where you blow up the barrels and I take it to the terminal discovered in an earlier game. Somehow I have acquired 2! of these to enable the bridge across the acid lake to activate, even though I only seemed to have discovered 1 core? That was a bit strange, but never-mind, the bridge gives access to a new area and a new weapon... The M8 Ripper... Boo-ya!

    Not long after I am overrun again and I get the "Death is a welcome escape from your current predicament" message.

    What an impressive demo. I think overall it needs a bit more cohesion and tweaking, but it is a thoroughly enticing experience and you can certainly take it a lot further.

    Very much looking forward to the next iteration... :)

    Edit: Having played both the single player and the "Doomed" mode, I do see the merits of the "Doomed" mode though. It seems very similar to the Devil Daggers global leader board which might attract a certain player wanting to compete competitively on a global leader board. Personally the single player mode seems more enticing to me as it seems to have a stronger objective based game-play.
  • @konman, amazing feedback! Thank you. I will respond point by point in soon.
  • @mgeorgedeveloper, I got a a lot further during another play-through this morning... all the way to Project W.O.R.M. :)
    I died due to dehydration in the end.

    Overall, simply brilliant...

    Crafting should become useful once one can find the crafting materials to produce water and other necessities, but you have a strong concept here that was a lot of fun to play.

    Highlight: Resting at base and seeing the time elapse. Classic
    Low: I struggled with the narrow bridges using the WASD keys when a bridge is 45 degrees... might be easier with a controller?

    Thanks for sharing this.
  • @konman:

    konman said:
    I started as a Marine class in my first play... the helmets are very cool BTW, but I cannot help but feel different bodies for each class would be more appropriate. I'm sure this is in the making though...
    Fully unique characters is something we're considering, yes.
    konman said:
    Minor gripes on spelling issues (Scout->Assualt squad & Psion->prestigous) aside, this is one hell of an interesting demo you have here!
    Thanks for pointing these out!
    konman said:
    It might be more interesting to actually have to locate all the start-up items rather than just being given them from the get go as you exit the pod. It is a bit overwhelming to receive all at once... although the item models are very cool and one feels compelled to read all the item descriptions and their usefulness which is interesting.
    A tricky one, since these items need to be active and functional the second you leave the pod.
    For example, the character needs to hold a weapon for various technical and logistical reasons.
    Oxygen needs to be functional. HUD / scanner is more or less the same thing and interlinked.
    Water bottle is maybe easier to delay.
    Nano-storage belt is directly tied into inventory capacity mechanics.

    So while the items will probably be in your inventory as you leave the pod, I could delay
    the explanatory messages for some of them, or remove some of the messages altogether and
    let the player discover the items in the inventory.

    Another option is to show a single pick-up item "Survival Gear" as you leave the pod,
    and the description tells you to go check out the items in the inventory.
    konman said:
    Also when my oxygen runs out it seems to mysteriously refilled without me needing to apply any skill/effort to start with? I am happy to continue breathing, but... mmmh?
    What is happening here, is that critical resources such as oxygen and water will automatically be used
    from your inventory if you are running dangerously low.

    It just didn't make sense to have a character fall over and die from lack of oxygen, when there is a refill
    sitting right there in the inventory.

    What is needed here, is a once-off pop-up explaining auto-use.
    konman said:
    Next game I found 1 power cell on the island where you blow up the barrels and I take it to the terminal discovered in an earlier game. Somehow I have acquired 2! of these to enable the bridge across the acid lake to activate, even though I only seemed to have discovered 1 core? That was a bit strange, but never-mind, the bridge gives access to a new area and a new weapon... The M8 Ripper... Boo-ya!
    If you look at the slide-in notification for looting, you will notice a "Power Core x2" as you loot the crate
    near the start. What is missing, is that the once-off pop-up for Power Cores should also include the number
    you found within the message heading.

    To save space, item quantities are shown next to a single icon of each type of item found,
    instead of showing two different power-core items in the slide-in notification.
    konman said:
    Low: I struggled with the narrow bridges using the WASD keys when a bridge is 45 degrees... might be easier with a controller?
    Yes, the bridge traversal is tricky with a keyboard where you have these fixed 45 degree angles of movement.
    On controller it is pretty easy and I mostly play the game on controller as a twin-stick shooter.
    I need to actually just increase the width of the bridge platform to resolve this.

    Thanks again for the feedback!

  • Hi all, the new trailer is out! Please let me know your thoughts and if you like it, please Like, Comment and Share on YouTube. Your support is very much appreciated :)





  • Hi everyone.

    We've put up a new Steam Concepts page, just to assess the current situation, but we need to drive some traffic and votes to give it a just-start.

    If you like what you see, please vote it up on this page: http://bit.ly/2bYqHDI.

    Thanks for the help and feedback so far!
  • Latest demo is here :)

    Please try it out and let me know your thoughts:

    http://bit.ly/2blWslS
  • Hey! I've only seen your trailer and haven't actually played the game. I have some feedback just based on that, in case you find it helpful.

    I feel like you're sorely missing camera shake on your explosions and on the firing of some of your more powerful weapons. I think this makes them feel very under-powered. The explosions themselves look pretty cool though (the trails shooting out is nice!).

    I don't think the terrain really fits at the moment, in the sense that it doesn't look particularly desolate or imposing (especially when there's grass). It looks way less aggressive than I expect it to when there's metal playing in the background. Maybe there are scorch marks, or craters, or cracks, or nuclear fallout. I also think in general you're better off with a darker, less saturated environment (Crimsonland does this well), because of how it makes it far easier to read your fx (your projectiles and energy effects can then glow more strongly), and potentially make all of your gameplay elements (swarms of monsters, say) more obvious to read too.

    It was hard to make out the sound fx. I get that metal should be played loudly... but I think you can get the same sense of brutality if your fx are really strong. (A game that I think does this extremely well, in case you want to check it out, is TormentorXPunisher. They take the metal and completely and utterly embrace it in their soundscape, having their weapon fx sound crazy brutal.)
  • @Elyaradine, thanks for the feedback.

    We will experiment shortly with camera shake, but might make it an Option if we find that it distracts from the keyboard+mouse aiming.

    The terrain does currently look as intended - a kind of familiar desert look, including rocky/rubble areas and plain sand dune areas, etc. It does need a bit of detail in some areas, including some craters, track marks, etc. This will come later. In terms of brightness and saturation - the base colours are actually quite a bit desaturated. The brightness of the environment is quite high compared to other games that deliberately make it dark to have the effects stick out, but I found that darkening it too much takes away from expressing that the environment is hot and harsh. It's a kind of trade off, where you would lose maybe too much if you just make it dark (mainly via adjusting sun brightness).

    Regarding the music and sound effects - the trailer simply plays the music quite loud, with all sound effects from the game clips reduced to about 25%. It's just intended that way for the trailer, where the music plays over the intro and all the clips in one go, with the game sounds reduced. It didn't work well for the trailer to have the game sounds overpowering and cutting harshly from clip to clip (very fast cuts in the trailer).

    Thanks again!
  • edited
    @mrgeorgedeveloper

    I think what @Elyaradine is saying is there are more visually desolate looking games that don't claim to be as desolate (like they don't use a badass metal soundtrack and they don't have desolation in the name). I think if you were to type in "Wasteland" into Google images you'd get more of an idea what it someone might expect visually given the other cues in the game...

    I think the things @Elyradine mentions would make the environment feel more hostile. Which I think is probably good for you considering that you want the hostility of the environment to be a major theme in the game... (correct me if I'm wrong about this please).

    I think a game like Bloodborne does a good job of conveying the difficulty and oppression of the game through it's desaturated and dark tones and spiky shapes (and skulls and tombs and other symbols of death).

    I think you can take a similar approach in Infinite Desolation, albeit more of a desert planet aesthetic (which is what I presume you are going for right?).

    So if the grass was for instance a dry yellow grass instead of a dry green grass that would make the scenes feel monochromatic, the scene would be all shades of orange and brown, and you could accentuate this with the lighting and tinting the shadows orange, which makes it feel like the whole planet feel arid and, hopefully, desolate.

    Here's a quick colour test I threw together (really quick, obviously you could do this better, this just changes the colour of the grass and puts some orange in the shadows):

    image

    What I think @Elyradine is saying also, and this is a matter of polish obviously, that cracks in the ground (like cracked mud) or craters or burnt trees and other visual cues of desolation, would help the scene read as desolate.
  • @EvanGreenwood

    Thanks for feedback. I'm taking all feedback point into account with each release :)

    I think there is some confusion regarding the "grass". In-game you will notice that the green is in fact Acid Pools, fully animated with effects, and translucent. The acid pools will kill you instantly. There is actually no grass or any plant life at all the game so far.

    It's not so easy to convey "this is acid, not grass" in a static screenshot, and the trailer of course shown 2-second cuts. So I can see where this confusion comes from, and I might tint it more toward yellow.
  • @EvanGreenwood @Elyradine

    Here's what it actually looks like in-game:

    image

    But due to the confusion, I think it's worth tweaking the colours and effects a bit, so people won't see lush green grass where there is none :)

    Thanks again.
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • That does make more sense now...

    Maybe bubbles, or goopy scum near the shore?, or something like that might help? It really did look like grass in stills of those trailers, but with the movement it is more obviously acid.
  • @EvenGreenwood

    Thanks, making some tweaks soon.

    It's strange how my prior knowledge about it being acid, gave me a completely different perception of what it looks like. Never considered that to fresh eyes without the acid knowledge, it just looks like grass. But it does, at least in very short trailer cuts or especially still screenshots.
  • New refined trailer with acid overhaul, removed company logo to save 7 seconds at the start, and a few other tweaks!



    The acid situation has definitely improved, but it has to be said that in the trailer (rather than actually playing the game), the new effects and changes are not 100% noticeable, so there might still be some grass confusion. Only time will tell.
  • Here is a no nonsense high intensity Doomed Mode battle (last half, until the inevitable demise of the protagonist).



    Let me know what you think!
    Thanked by 1konman
  • New version of the game demo!

    Download here: http://bit.ly/2cbp3hP


    Infinite Desolation v0.1.011 change log
    =======================================

    Changes
    -------

    Player now starts with full health (instead of 50%) in both Doomed Mode and Story Mode.

    Second battle made easier by removing the large shooting bugs.

    Acid pool visuals upgraded.

    Adjusted position of creature triggers in the Doomed Mode demo.

    Fixes
    -----

    Fixed controller mode placement of crafted items (water extractor and oxygen extractor placement).

    Crafted drone bullets will now damage the robot boss in Story Mode.

    The turn rate of some enemies have been increased to prevent them running in circles around the player.

    Game loading now works correctly if a game is already in progress.

    Game load button is no longer disabled sometimes when it should be enabled.
  • Doomed Mode Trailer is here!



  • Hi everyone,

    Infinite Desolation is now on Steam Greenlight!

    Your vote will really mean a lot to us and will make a big difference:

    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=756543989

    Thanks very much for your interest in the game so far, especially all the great critical feedback!

    Thanked by 1roguecode
  • Voted, good luck.
  • @critic Thanks! Appreciated!
    Thanked by 1critic
  • Morning everyone!

    Based on some feedback from Greenlight day 1, we've released a brand new trailer that showcases a bit more variety instead of just making it look like one big battle in one area.

    Please cast your vote if you have a minute:

    http://bit.ly/2chSZqS

    image
    Thanked by 1konman
  • This looks really cool! The combat reminds me of Crimsonland(at least in the video, will try the demo later today), but it looks like these is a lot more to it than that. The new trailer shows that pretty well! :)
    Yes vote from me!
    Well done!

    Karl
  • Looks good ... yes vote from me (as Gobbo Games).

    Good luck through the process ... you should definitely get through. 8-}
  • edited
    Thanks for the vote everyone!

    Some feedback, and advice/thoughts needed:

    By an unlucky draw of the straw (I think), we basically got drowned out of the Recent Submissions section in Greenlight within 1.5 days. I look at other graphs from Greenlight post-mortems, and you usually see the day 1 or day 2 graphs peak at 1000+ visitors before that steep nose-dive. We peaked at 500 and then a straight nose-dive to 10 visits per day.

    We're at a crossroads now where we can try to drive our own traffic to Greenlight (very difficult and despite running 3 different promo campains, can only get around 30 visitors per day maximum.) or take the game down, pump in a whole new iteration of features things to show off then re-submit in 3 months.

    I don't really want it stuck there for eternity, and I think it is currently on that path.

    Thoughts and advice?

    Stats for reference:

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    On the one hand, I really think everything could be juicier to make it feel better: larger, brighter projectiles that stand out better against the background, screen shake, bigger and more brutal blood streaks, etc. But at the same time, this is what other indie bullet hell titles already do really well (Nuclear Throne, NeuroVoider, Enter the Gungeon, even Crimson Land itself earned its name with all of the excessive blood splattering the terrain, 10+ years ago).

    On the other hand, I can also understand not wanting to tread ground that others have tread before (assuming you're consciously, purposefully choosing not to do what other games are doing well). But you can't be different and worse, and still expect to stand out/compete.

    I'm also not really feeling the hook. Like, the idea of being chased down by swarms of enemies sounds great, but I'm not feeling that fantasy when I see the gameplay footage. It just feels so tame to me without screen shake, and squealing, screeching monsters, and streaks of alien blood. I think the one potential advantage you have over the above-mentioned games is that it's been done in 3D. And if that's the case, what can you do with that that the other games haven't been able to do? Physics? Maybe terrain height matters somehow? Or if the survival mechanics are more important here than in the other games, maybe show how that stuff improves the game? Maybe if people like the teleporting/dashing (I don't know if that's something a significant number of people comment on), try to emphasise that more and try have it as some core gameplay element? Maybe work on nicer-looking terrain that doesn't straight-up lerp unnaturally from one texture to another? What kinds of things can you work on that would look amazing in <5 seconds of video footage, to pimp your trailer?

    Sometimes it really is that there aren't enough eyeballs on your game. But in this case, I don't think it's as looking interesting/fun enough for people to want to share about it, or for press to write about it -- just not yet, anyway.

    It may also be worth thinking about what you want to achieve with this project for it to be a success/done in your mind. If you want to sell it, how many sales? If you want to learn from it, what do you want to have tried? And if you're just having mad fun making games, why complicate it with having to learn marketing/business stuff (until people are throwing money at you to do it)?

    (And if you've got a number in mind, maybe check it with existing statistics, like how (in 2014) 57% of indie games made less than $500 -- which basically pays for, like, 1-2 weeks of work for one person. Ouch. Which means, to get through Greenlight, launch on Steam, and be profitable, you have to be much, much, much better than average... which is why I've been comparing your game -- maybe unfairly -- to other titles that are far above average.)

    Good luck!
    Thanked by 2konman pieter
  • @Elyaradine, thanks for the details.

    I want to break this down in two parts. I'm really interested to hear your further comments on this (very valuable).

    1. The gameplay / features

    There is definitely a parallel between this game and other over the top shooters, and yes, more enemies, effects, weapons, areas, etc. are coming. This is one half of our game - the intense battle side of it. On the other hand, we've added quite a few things that can't typically be found in the horde rush games:

    Powerful simultaneous-use abilities, full character class system with character progression, deep survival elements, crafting, interaction with the world.

    So in this regard - is it just that the message is not getting through that the game has so much more to offer than simple shooting? There are cases where we get incredibly good feedback from people who have played the game, and then give first-hand feedback from experience. For example on this forum @konman 20 August.

    2. The graphics / realism of the game.

    This one baffles me a bit. I'm looking through our most recent screenshots of the desert scenery, and it's difficult to come across other top-down rush shooters that have this level of detail and visual fidelity. I think the fact that we're trying to create a desolate looking harsh desert - well... it will always look like a desert. It's just sand and rock.

    This is a clean scene showing just some base desert from the game (Doomed Mode demo map).
    At least to my eyes, this looks pretty good and probably looks better than 90% of top-down shooters out there.
    I'm kind of at a loss as to what else could be done to achieve a stronger base terrain look:

    image

    Thanks again for your thoughts, will keep them in mind as we move forward.
  • In case it wasn't clear (I imagine you've gathered by now though) I haven't actually played it yet. :P All of what I think of the game is based on the videos I've seen in this thread, and reading your elevator-pitch description, your Greenlight description. (Which means I could be getting totally the wrong picture of what the game's actually like... but then my guess is that I'm similar to the vast majority of other gamers who're seeing your marketing material.)

    You say there's deep character progression, crafting, special abilities, fighting the environment, etc., but lots of games seem to advertise those things. Maybe you do these better than the other games that often seem to just slap these on, but I feel like you have to show that these are core, rather than superfluous. Maybe other games doing it shallowly makes me more cynical about it, the way I think people have grown pretty cynical about game marketing in general. I haven't played Path of Exile either, but one of the things that I remember everyone being impressed by was the crazy large spiderweb of skill trees that they had in that game. In the end, my understanding is that only a small subset of those skills actually made a real difference to gameplay, but in terms of showing 2 seconds of that in a trailer, it was enough to inspire the kind of "WHOA!" that made me think/hope that the levelling up, abilities and stuff would be deep (even if I'm told it ended up not being so much the case).

    I know those things are harder to show in trailers (which might well be why the other games have focused on the juice instead). I think there are expectations about it though when you think about battling hordes of monsters, set up by Crimson Land, Serious Sam and stuff.

    That screenshot you just posted looks pretty cool -- but imo the game itself (in the trailers) doesn't look like that for the most part, and definitely not from that flattering angle. For reference, this is what I feel like I'm seeing in like 80% of the gameplay in your trailers (it's what I come away remembering):

    image

    Aside from the occasional giant rock or cliff, I'm very seldom seeing the height difference. I dunno, maybe that's because the camera's top-down. And the lines of rock-texture in the first shot, and how the desert and rocks blend in the second shot, aren't very flattering.

    One of the things I did in a mobile game that involved large bodies of terrain was to tint the terrain a bit based on its height, as a means of exaggerating the height differences. I dunno if that'd help; I find it hard to visualise things until I've tried them. I'd still like to see craters, cracks, tears and scars in the ground, scorch marks, horror.

    Thanks for hearing me out.
    Thanked by 1pieter
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    @mgeorgedeveloper I believe you have 2 hurdles to overcome here and I say this as purely untested opinion...

    1) Eyeballs (Get greenlit)
    2) then Hearts (Don't get vote bombed on steam)

    Hurdle 1) More Eyeballs should get your game into greenlight. Currently, the VIEWERS cannot play the game to get a feel first hand, like we got on these forums. They can only watch a movie to decide. I don't think they're properly relating to that nameless person playing (marine/grunt/scout/engineer) in your video. They only see the gameplay which looks like similar games at a glance. You have to find some kind of way to not just demo the gameplay, but to demo the SOLE of your game in a fun/quirky way and sell the experience they will FEEL of actually playing it. Giving the player in the video a personality and highlighting his/her reactions in an enticing way MIGHT help. E.g. a prominent youtuber playing, a drunk flat mate plays while showing facial expression on cam view, or any over the top, emotional non-gameplay edits, like words appearing to emphasize feelings such as (*Ooh that had to hurt!* ). Hell, even hearing a constant swear word beeped out sound while watching someone play might be funny enough to make it memorable and to then tell a friend...

    Hurdle 2) In the store, HEARTS are going to matter the most. They will finally be playing it and feeling the game mechanics and deciding on its longevity versus price versus your support etc etc etc. That toxic sea of steam voters will be saying their say and convincing others to buy or not... So then all the various gameplay mechanics and eye candy is going to really matter and here my head is nodding at what Elyaradine posted about polish and juice.

    My R0.02 :)

    PS: OK, so all the mention of Crimsonland made me head to steam and buy it to see what the fuss was about. :) So I have played that game as a reference now too and it is fun. It has seemingly similar gameplay as your game. Your game has more depth though, as it has missions and bosses and unique locales. CL has a shorter pleasure loop with the constant weapon unlocks, trait specials and power-ups. I only played the first "mission", but it got old quick for me to be honest. IMHO. I want more structure and story in a game and yours seems to be heading in that direction.
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    @Elyaradine thanks for taking the time - it is incredibly insightful to read through this.

    I have a few more points that I need to raise. Maybe after a day or two of rest from mental exhaustion, you can give your thoughts on these :)

    1.
    Terrain elevation. I discovered early on with the top-down mechanics, that there are serious problems with having the combat work correctly on crazy terrain. You would see enemies coming, aim at them, but not realise there is a 1.5 elevation between you and the enemy, perhaps a dune or some other change in elevation. I quickly learned that in order for practical, smooth combat without frustration and confusion, that the majority of the game world needed to be more or less flattened out into arena spaces. There is a contention between a rich, high detailed looking world (in terms of geometry at least) and having a top-down combat system that works flawlessly.

    2.
    Terrain texturing and geometry. Yes, the trailer focuses so much on combat, that you mainly see the intentionally flattened areas. I'm using a fairly good base texture set, but there's always some room for improvement. Overall, especially in the single player mode, there is actually a lot more variety in the scenery in terms of geometry in the terrain, bases, portals, all sorts of little areas to discover. I find that in-game, the overall look comes across a lot better. You can see the acid pools clearly animating, for example. There are places where a huge area is just meant to be sand dunes for open combat. I broke them up a bit with some cheap path painting yes, so there is room for improvement.

    Final thoughts on 1 and 2 - due to the top-down open arena gameplay, the base terrain might always look a little open and plain. It's just the contention between what the gameplay design demands, vs. what would look like an amazing planet to explore.

    3.
    Camera shake. There's a bit of a divide of opinion here, but I have a good few people asking for it. There is a practical issue with it though - during intense combat, there are so many explosions going off that the camera would pretty much be shaking for a minute at a time. Saving the shake for only huge explosions - well that wouldn't make much different to the majority of the combat where you're just throwing 1000 rockets around the scene. Take a game like Dead Nation, my all time favourite horde top-down type game... there is no camera shake, and I really don't miss it. This might just be a very subjective thing.

    I think overall, I've seen some very good feedback, and some helpful critical feedback from a lot of people. But, for every critical feedback item, there is always more to it than a simple tweak. There are hidden implications for gameplay a lot of the times. Difficult things to sort out that will both work exceptionally well and also look good in short trailers.

    Thanks again!
  • @konman, thanks for the feedback (again)! We're considering some options over the next few days. It's been a lot to take in, and a confusing journey, with feedback ranging from high praise to mostly criticism. We realise there is a lot to improve, but I'm also convinced that we're just not getting the message of the game across, which can only really be done by people playing the game. It's hard to get people to play it, but once they do, they are mostly on board and like it.
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