Universal Cerulean Moon (a platformer where you slide the world with your finger)

Discussion in 'Pre-Orders, Soft Launches, and Upcoming iOS Games' started by nachobeard, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. nachobeard

    nachobeard Active Member

    Sep 28, 2013
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    #1 nachobeard, Dec 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  2. coolpepper43

    coolpepper43 👮 Spam Police 🚓

    Aug 31, 2012
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    Ok, now I have to see these controls for myself. Count me in!
     
  3. nachobeard

    nachobeard Active Member

    Sep 28, 2013
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    cool, welcome!

    do you have a testflight account?
    this is the link to sign up for testing:
    http://tflig.ht/1rUOGqb

    let me know if you need help with something!
    (you can email me on <my toucharcade username>@gmail.com

    thanks!
     
  4. shadowgamerr

    shadowgamerr Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2011
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    The control scheme sounds somewhat intriguing, I signed up and I hope to be accepted (I may have signed up twice by mistake, not sure). Best of luck pulling it off and if it's as good as it sounds, day one purchase for sure.
     
  5. nachobeard

    nachobeard Active Member

    Sep 28, 2013
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    hey,

    shadowgamerr and coolpepper43 have been added to the testflight thing, you should be able to download the game now!

    it'd be cool if you could let me know if the controls feel ok, and if you can please send me a screenshot of the area wherever you get bored or frustrated with the game. you can post it here or just send it to <myusername>@gmail.com whichver is most convenient.

    thanks!
     
  6. shadowgamerr

    shadowgamerr Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2011
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    I gave it a try just now to see how it feels and I can tell you the level design ain't bad, the save points could be better though. I got to the bees with little to no trouble but, and it's a big but here, I think the whole dragging must be limited in terms of speed as when you start dragging it can get very chaotic if you drag very fast and it can result in unpleasant results. I tried to close the game and try again and it took me from the beginning (not much of a surprise) and playing it again got me the same strategy and results (with little to no differencies). I would love to see some secret areas of sorts, and to see how much of an impact some items would make if you have this planned.

    I will give it another try in a few days to see how I will approach it differently.

    Also, a little suggestion regarding device support: you should try to cover a wider array (at least iphone 5 too if not 4s and iPad 2 too) as you want to reach as much of an audience as possible.

    Looking forward to how it will evolve.
     
  7. qugoid

    qugoid Member

    Nov 15, 2014
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    I've just signed up for a test copy cos the controls sound really interesting, definitely a watchlist item. Hope I could try it out!
     
  8. nachobeard

    nachobeard Active Member

    Sep 28, 2013
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    Hi!

    I'll bear your comments in mind, many thanks for your time.
     
  9. johnchiafos

    johnchiafos Member

    May 25, 2013
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    Freelance Writer
    San Diego
    Fascinating. I wonder what a boss fight would be like with that style of control.
     
  10. shadowgamerr

    shadowgamerr Well-Known Member

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    To expand on the save points, what I meant was that you should limit them a bit, they seem to be too many at the moment. I'm not sure if it's intentional for testing purposes or not, but either way it's one for the future.

    I can't wait to see the progress on it.
     
  11. nachobeard

    nachobeard Active Member

    Sep 28, 2013
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    #11 nachobeard, Dec 9, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
    Hey John,
    I'm hoping there'll be a few special encounters that encourage you to use creatively the additional mobility you get from the control scheme. Nothing specific yet but that's the goal.
     
  12. nachobeard

    nachobeard Active Member

    Sep 28, 2013
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    #12 nachobeard, Dec 9, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
    Hey,

    The problem with the current level is that the difficulty ramps up pretty fast (did you get to the end?) and so repetition becomes an issue with some players.

    I'm planning to start the game really easy, but have some hard-to-reach warp areas which only more skillful players will be able to get to, so they can skip directly to more difficult stages where the save points will be put to good use.

    Also, if you skip the checkpoints you'll get some sort of reward (still not sure how to implement this).

    Anyway I'm gonna playtest this to death so hopefully it'll be just challenging enough for everyone.

    Thanks for the support!


    PD. we made it to the front page!
    http://toucharcade.com/2014/12/08/cerulean-moon-is-an-interesting-sliding-world-platformer-in-development/
     
  13. shadowgamerr

    shadowgamerr Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2011
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    I almost made it to the end, was about 6-7 jumps away (watched the video on the front page and saw it) and I think the difficulty was fairly ok for me, but then again I like platformers (in a very casual manner). If I was to try it again I'm sure I would have made it to the end and as such I can say the difficulty was ok in terms of its progressing.

    The fact that you can skip checkpoints makes sense to me as I wondered why would I want it, but with some nice bonus it sure is nice (maybe you can put the checkpoints in some sort of type of variable that starts with the boolean value False and if you activate any checkpoints it turns True; at the end of the level you could just check the value and activate the bonus accordingly - not quite the expert programmer so that is just my basic approach :D).

    Cheers and count me aboard every version you want to include me in.
     
  14. nachobeard

    nachobeard Active Member

    Sep 28, 2013
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    yeah I'm not sure what the exact reward would be, that's the thing. if you signed up to the testflight thing you'll get updates whenever I upload a new build so I guess we can all look forward to that :)
     
  15. qugoid

    qugoid Member

    Nov 15, 2014
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    Hey there Nacho, I went through it a few times over the past couple of days and here are some thoughts. As this is an early demo, I'll focus on the controls, which I assume is your selling point.

    As expected, the controls were really fun to play with. I imagine with some practice, the player can do some insane mid-air acrobatics with this kind of precision, but that is if the controls could be more forgiving. Currently I feel the horizontal movement is unnecessarily fast. While that allows me to do crazy things like moving across multiple screens with one swipe, it also makes the 'precision' bit really difficult. Even basic things in platformers like 'moving slightly while you jump' requires focus. On the other hand, vertical movement is super slow, and deceleration takes quite some time when you reach the top of a jump arc, so it becomes difficult to predict the height and duration of your jumps. Again, this allows for some potentially fancy movement, but coupled with the super fast horizontal speeds, you can imagine how easily your character can get out of control.

    On a related note, if you're aiming to eliminate virtual dpads, you could consider removing the jump button as well, the implementation feels very awkward in comparison to the touch intended movement. It's likely that this is just a placeholder and you're still figuring out how to incorporate jump into this new control scheme, but I thought I'd just bring it up.

    So yeah, these are my thoughts so far. I think the controls are the most important at this point and the levels are clearly just for demonstration so it's probably too early to comment on those. Hope this is helpful!

    Cheers, and congrats on the frontpage feature! I look forward to the next version :)
    qugoid
     
  16. shadowgamerr

    shadowgamerr Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2011
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    Yeah, the jump could compliment the dragging if you were to rely on a swipe gesture for example. I agree with what qugoid said about everything, horizontal too fast and jumping too slow.
     
  17. nachobeard

    nachobeard Active Member

    Sep 28, 2013
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    Hey qugoid,

    About the horizontal movement, there'll be a "sensitivity" configuration so you can set it to whatever feels comfortable.

    About vertical movement, it's pretty much like what you hinted at. This type of jump is about managing your vertical momentum. You have to let go of the jump button early enough so as to not bump your head against the ceiling, that's what the jump's all about.
    It also couples well together with the horizontal movement, like you said. I'll try making it a little faster to ascend though.

    About the jump button, it's there to stay. I've invested a long time into trying out different control schemes to get rid of the jump button and they're just too confusing or too imprecise.
    For example, drag-upwards-to-jump confuses players to the point of them not being able to climb up some stairs. It's also imprecise because it means when you drag up you also move your finger sideways, making the main character walk left or right, so it's impossible to jump in place.
    Also, people will also move their finger vertically when dragging sideways to move, so drag-upwards-to-jump requires some sort of thresholding, which means that sometimes people will drag up a little to jump and the main character doesn't jump. Whenever there's thresholding, you're losing precision, and controls have to be super precise.

    So, I wish I could get rid of the jump button but it's the most precise option I've got so far :/

    Thanks for the detailed feedback!
     
  18. qugoid

    qugoid Member

    Nov 15, 2014
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    Hello Nacho,

    Ah, yeah I thought that might be the case. It seems that with platformers the jump and directions have to be somehow separated at the very least, unless one of them is automated (such as the running in infinite runners, or the jumping in games like Bean Dreams) That's a bummer though, if only there's a way :/

    Anyway, thanks for the explanation! Looking forward to the next version :D
     
  19. nachobeard

    nachobeard Active Member

    Sep 28, 2013
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    there's probably a better way, but I haven't been able to find it so far! anyway thanks for your input :)
     
  20. nachobeard

    nachobeard Active Member

    Sep 28, 2013
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    #20 nachobeard, Jan 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
    new concept art!

    Hello guys and gals!



    Clairvoire has been hard at work making some concept art for the game, thought I should post some of that here. So, here it is!



    [​IMG]



    I'm aware of the pixel art indie platformer cliché but you gotta do what you love, right?

    Hope you guys dig it!

    If anyone is interested enough to follow development more closely, I have a low-traffic twitter account and a facebook page where I post dev stuff almost exclusively. So feel free to get on those!
     

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