platformer

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Pavel Quest - a fast and intelligent single button precision puzzle platformer where you must use fast reflexes and fast thinking to survive and escape a huge Castlevania-esque castle.

Full of clever level design which offers a surprising amount of depth and variety for a game which only requires one button to control. It’s a a perfectly executed pixel art precision puzzle platformer that’ll test your wits and your reflexes.

Play the Beta, Free

Player height and the unexpected consequences

In Skytorn, the player is relatively tall. When we were first designing her, that didn’t seem like a big issue, but in a platforrmer that actually has a lot of interesting (and for us, unexpected) consequences. I thought I’d share one of the biggest issues with a tall player, and how we ended up fixing it.

Here’s an example where a tall player causes issues for jumping / ledge grabbing:

In this case, when jumping at a 3-tile high wall, the player will hit the top of the wall, and then have to wait a bunch of time before she slides down into the ledge-grab position, which feels super awkward. You’ll constantly do stuff like accidentally wall-jump off the wall when you mean to pull yourself over the ledge, because you’re not quite in the ledge-grab position yet.

So, how do you solve this? One thought is to immediately snap into the ledge-grab position, but the distance between the top of your jump and the ledge-grab is way too large, and feels really jarring. OK, so what if you quickly slide down into the ledge grab, over multiple frames? This is a bit better, but it ultimately still feels weird. The player suddenly looks like she’s falling really fast and it’s confusing.

So after talking with Matt a ton, and messing around with the other options, what Skytorn ultimately does is push the player up over the ledge, almost like a little wall-vault. It looks like this:

Interestingly, the original Zelda games have a similar feature, where the player will slide into a sub-grid position when you’re walking, so the player wont get caught on the edges of walls.

Anyway! I find that stuff super cool, so thought I’d share. It’s crazy how man little details, hacks, and tweaks you need to work out on a game.

(note: as Sean Barrett pointed out, the actual ratio between tile-size and player size isn’t what determines if this issue occurs or not, and I’ve updated this to reflect that).

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Catacomb Kids - Now On Steam

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Chester United is an awesome new platformer that allows you to swap between characters and visual styles on-the-fly, allowing you to use different abilities and access secrets while showing off some gorgeous level design and animation at the same time.

The original Chester was a solid and well liked platformer, but Chester United looks set to crank everything up to 11, and then some.  Firstly the art styles are gorgeous, Chester United allows you to switch between them at the push of a button, showing off some beautiful artwork, altering the world significantly and allowing you to unearth hidden secrets too.  The styles available in the demo include a snazzy storybook style, a cool retro pixel art style and two sketch styles.

You can also switch between characters once unlocked, playing as Chesters from other Chesterverses, all with different playstyles, strengths and weaknesses.  A particular highlight at the moment is a weird gangly Chester that floats about and barfs teeth at enemies.  The Alpha Demo features 1 overworld, 3 levels, 4 Chesters, and 4 Styles, with a ton of new art styles and characters due to join the roster in the full game, making for an epic platformer with lots of character (literaly), style, and replayability.  Rayman wishes he was this cool.

Follow the Development on Tumblr here

Play the Alpha Demo, Free

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse just made the Best Sellers list on the Nintendo eShop for 3DS!

Join ‪#‎Shantae‬ and friends to discover secrets the of the Pirate’sCurse.http://bit.ly/1x3aT7t And you to can enjoy what many others are calling “one of the most satisfying games I’ve played all year” - Hardcore Gamer

Stuff I've been working on

Still working on that underground lab section!

In this dungeon you’ll have the help of Violet as you try to find a way back up to the top of the underground laboratory.

The dungeon item here is the Flame Burst! It is an 8-way directional blast that cloaks the user in fire and launches them.

It can also be used as a way to deal damage against enemies, making it both an efficient way of getting around and an attack in one motion.

Since Violet is helping you out in this dungeon, she will get one as well.


Thanks for checking this out!

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TODAY

NOON (PST)

http://store.steampowered.com/app/315840

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You guys! My game comes out on Ouya in 2 days and I’m soooo excited! We’re going to be at PAX in Seattle as well. :D

It’s released on Ouya initially and will be released on PC/Mac/Linux in just a couple months. We’re already getting some reviews, but this one really hits the nail on the head for me: 

"What makes the game really stand out is the art style. Whilst the little robot is very simply rendered, the backgrounds are lovingly designed to give hints at the history of this now dead world. ”

That is exactly what I wanted to do with the art direction and I’m very happy with how things have gone. My artists are awesome and our aesthetic has worked out very well for us. Art direction is something I’ve done for the last 5 years and I certainly have a lot to learn (always), but seeing the game and where it was a year ago (bottom 2 images) and where it is now, it’s crazy validating. We didn’t have to reinvent the aesthetics to make that difference. We continued to rely on our fundamental art rules and we just pushed it further. It’s gone so smooth and we’ve come so far because of it. I’m just…yeah. I’m really happy. Very proud of my team. Very happy my art direction has been effective.

I’m self taught, for the most part, so there’s a big part of me that feels unqualified and moments like this where I’m seeing where we are and where we came from, I’m able to really say with confidence that even if my path is an unconventional one, I can be a successful designer, game artist, and art director.