Heartbeats - A hardcore sci-fi puzzle/graphic novel

Discussion in 'Pre-Orders, Soft Launches, and Upcoming iOS Games' started by esbenravn, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. esbenravn

    esbenravn Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2013
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    Game Producer
    Aarhus, Denmark.
    #1 esbenravn, Feb 12, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
    Heartbeats - A Graphic Puzzle (release: MIDDLE MARCH)

    The app icon with the main character:

    [​IMG]


    Game screens (or parts of them, because if we show the entire screen it spoils the experience a bit, we think...):

    [​IMG]

    A SHORT STORY:
    An intergalactic emperor's final heartbeats as he looks back, while the empire he ruled crumples.

    GENRE:
    An unforgiving hardcore puzzle in a graphic novel format.

    WHAT YOU DO:
    Each page in the graphic novel is a puzzle and you need to solve it to get to the next.

    THE PUZZLES:
    Among other elements Heartbeats contains original twists on point'n'click, chess, unblock, rebus and jigsaw puzzles. It's short, tight and tough! There's just ten puzzles and then you've gotten the entire story.

    IT'S FREE:
    You can download the game for free, and if you want to continue playing after 3 puzzles, you pay 0.99 $ for the whole game.

    A GRAPHIC PUZZLE:
    We've labeled Heartbeats a Graphic Puzzle and made it according to the following dogmas as a design challenge:

    [​IMG]

    SPOTIFY PLAYLISTS:
    We've made the game on an extremely limited budget. Therefore, we've asked a bunch of cool people, who knows about music, graphics or gaming to create Spotify playlists for the game. You can access the playlists through the game and listen to them, while you play Heartbeats.

    NO SOUND:
    We've left out sound too due to the budgetary limitations and instead we've focused on being a puzzling reading experience, where you can listen to curated music while you play.

    WHO ARE WE?: We are a small collective of indie developers, who wanted to do something new, small and meaningful together, that we could be proud of.

    Kamila Slocinska - the unique, critically acclaimed and award winning illustrator behind the graphics of Heartbeats

    Boris Hansen - programmer and critically acclaimed and award winning author behind tech and story of Heartbeats

    Esben Kjær Ravn - Owner, founder and CEO of Kong Orange, the production company behind Heartbeats. Designer and producer of Heartbeats

    WHAT HAPPENED:
    We've soft launched the game in Denmark in order to get in shape for the global launch, which won us a bunch of experience and a nomination for a Danish Game Award (we didn't win, though)

    PERFORMANCE:
    We've focused on iPhone 4 and above + you can play it on your iPad as an iPhone app.

    Other resources: https://www.facebook.com/TheKongOrange or https://twitter.com/TheKongOrange


    We'll love to keep you posted here! And if you want to share your thoughts and reactions we're all eyes and ears!

    COMING UP:
    - Small gameplay video teaser
    - Links to the Spotify playlists
    - A press release puzzle


    Best Regards,

    Esben Kjær Ravn, designer
     
  2. TheGreatEscaper

    TheGreatEscaper Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2014
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    ...wow, this art is stunning, just stunning.
    The game itself sounds very good also, I love strange experimental stories like this, as well as a good puzzle!
    The pricing model seems very sensible, and I'd be willing to buy the full game just from these screenshots and your description of the game; I can clearly see that a lot of love went into this!

    Will be following this thread! Can't wait for the release! :)
     
  3. slewis7

    slewis7 Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2011
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    Retired!
    Houston, TX
    This looks great and with the more then reasonable payment model, it is a must try. I would prefer a native iPad app, but for a buck it is fine.
     
  4. esbenravn

    esbenravn Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2013
    78
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    Game Producer
    Aarhus, Denmark.
    Hey guys, thanks!

    We hope to give you a good run for the buck!

    All the best,

    Esben
     
  5. Misguided

    Misguided Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2009
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    Sounds cool.
     
  6. Pitta

    Pitta Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2008
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    Italy
    Wow, looks really interesting!!!
    Subscribed!!!
     
  7. esbenravn

    esbenravn Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2013
    78
    0
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    Game Producer
    Aarhus, Denmark.
    A Doom Metal playlist for Heartbeats!

    More wonderful feedback!!! Thanks, guys, it means a lot!

    We'll do some different posts on the thoughts, that went into the game, and here's a bit about the Spotify playlists and a Doom Metal guy!

    WHY PLAYLISTS?:
    As mentioned we kind of struck the ceiling of our budget right away, when it came to music in Heartbeats. This meant we've tried to do something different in that respect.

    WHO DID THEM:
    We've asked people we think have the proper mindset and cultural inside to create a Spotify playlist for Heartbeats.

    A playlist they with suits the experience of playing Heartbeats and that was basically their only dogma. And they went a bunch of way from there (to say the least!)

    These guys are sort of your Heartbeats game experience DJ's.

    There's a playlist by a jazz composer, a folk band, a book cafe, an electronica artist and a comic book creator. (it gets a bit hipster, yeah, yeah, we know, but then check the below!)

    HERE'S DANNY KREUTZFELDT - DOOM METAL AFICIONADO
    [​IMG]

    Danny has released bleak electronic music under various guises for years. He Runs the drone & doom metal label Drowning and was active in the extreme music organisation NoiseJihad.

    DANNY'S SPOTIFY PLAYLIST FOR HEARTBEATS: http://goo.gl/zP4lsk

    OTHER STUFF ON DANNY KREUTZFELDT:

    Drowning:
    His Drone & doom metal label. Releases free d(r)ownloads.
    http://drowning.cc/

    Periskop:
    His solo music project with industrial dub techno and U-boat noise
    http://periskop.cc/

    Check him out!

    All the best,

    Esben, designer and producer
     
  8. EthanLean

    EthanLean Active Member

    Oct 10, 2014
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    MID=middle?
     
  9. esbenravn

    esbenravn Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2013
    78
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    Game Producer
    Aarhus, Denmark.
    Exactly! I'm from Denmark so my English can go anywhere, sorry.

    /Esben
     
  10. esbenravn

    esbenravn Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2013
    78
    0
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    Game Producer
    Aarhus, Denmark.
    No animation alert!

    [​IMG]
    - the upper part of a puzzle in Heartbeats, where the text and the art elements and their correlations need some serious consideration, before you can complete the puzzles.

    MINIMALISM OR CONSERVATISM IS WHAT WE'RE DOING:
    As in a graphic novel the pages, i.e. the puzzles of Heartbeats are fixed visuals with no animations or moving elements.

    We've gone completely minimalistic in that approach, but that said you can actually manipulate elements and when you do, you get a certain amount of feedback.

    We expect this approach to divide the audience, since a lot of people expect game elements to be alive, but in Heartbeats they aren't.

    What do you think of that approach?
     
  11. TheGreatEscaper

    TheGreatEscaper Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2014
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    It certainly sounds like an unconventional approach, but unfortunately I won't be able to say if it works or not until i play the game! :)
    I'm always willing to try something new.
    If integrated well, it could be a stunner.
    If not, it could be a bummer.

    But looking at the art and the obvious amount of work you've put into this I'm going to guess the former. :)
     
  12. esbenravn

    esbenravn Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2013
    78
    0
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    Game Producer
    Aarhus, Denmark.
    Looking forward to handing it over to you, and then you should be totally free to bring down your verdict on it! We're leather skinned, even though the optimistic part of me, would like you to like it.

    Thanks, for getting back to us on it anyways.

    /Esben
     
  13. esbenravn

    esbenravn Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2013
    78
    0
    0
    Game Producer
    Aarhus, Denmark.
    Boris the Coder/Author

    BORIS HANSEN THE CODER/AUTHOR OF HEARTBEATS

    We've been three people creating Heartbeats and Boris is both a skilled coder and an acclaimed fantasy author! Kind of lucky we are.

    Boris developed the story of Heartbeats and writes all the text as well.

    Other than that he's kind of skilled as a game designer, so he's been a huge part of the actual puzzle designs too. In the end he's doing the tech solution, so when he disagrees with yours truly, who thinks he's in control of the puzzle design, Boris easily overrules him and implements his own spice to the mix.


    Here's Boris' I'm-a-really-real-author profile picture!

    [​IMG]


    THE OLDEST MYTH
    Boris Hansen just finished and released the last book in his critically acclaimed fantasy trilogy in Danish called Den Ældste Myte (The Oldest Myth).

    [​IMG]
    http://www.denaeldstemyte.dk/


    GAME OF NERDS
    While finishing Heartbeats Boris is also working on the follow up to his hit quiz game Game Of Nerds that was played more than a million times, when it was running:

    [​IMG]
    Follow the facebook page of Game of Nerds if you want to know, when the sequel is out: https://www.facebook.com/gameofnerds

    Best,

    Esben, designer - Heartbeats
     
  14. esbenravn

    esbenravn Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2013
    78
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    0
    Game Producer
    Aarhus, Denmark.
    Kamila The Ilustrator of star wars in Heartbeats

    Kamila Slocinska's version of space wars in Heartbeats:
    [​IMG]

    THE BOOK ILLUSTRATOR OF HEARTBEATS
    Heartbeats is basically a puzzle pocket book where each page is as still and illustrated as it would be in an actual book, and Kamila the illustrator is also in fact a book illustrator and illustration artist.

    [​IMG]

    Kamila has illustrated a lot of children's books and with Heartbeats, one of her rules for involving herself was, that she wanted to do something for grown ups. And that she did! Remarkably well!

    THE NERVE WRECKER
    In the better part of a month it took us to make Heartbeats, she's proved insanely productive at a very high level. Ten complete and completely different puzzles have become reality through her digital and physical pen and paper.

    It's been quite a bit hard on the rest of us, because expectations for the game tend to rise quite a bit, when you flash Kamila's artwork. Can the gameplay and story live up to it is an actual fear I have. We count on it though, but still...

    Heartbeats isn't Kamila's first digital product, though, earlier on last year, she's been lead artist on the incredible Wuwu & Co. A step-in-book:
    https://itunes.apple.com/dk/app/wuwu-and-co./id950052386?mt=8

    You can get your hands on artwork by Kamila here:
    https://www.butikcmyk.dk/butik/index.php/a4-plakater/kamila-slocinska.html

    Should we setup an online option to buy Kamila's artwork for Heartbeats also?

    (We're considering using http://society6.com for this if you think we should do so...)

    /Esben - design & producer - Heartbeats
     
  15. melvin2898

    melvin2898 Well-Known Member

    Feb 4, 2011
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    The art is unique!
     
  16. esbenravn

    esbenravn Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2013
    78
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    Game Producer
    Aarhus, Denmark.
    We like to think so! Thanks!
     
  17. esbenravn

    esbenravn Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2013
    78
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    Game Producer
    Aarhus, Denmark.
    #17 esbenravn, Feb 18, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
    More lines in headline...

    [​IMG]
     
  18. esbenravn

    esbenravn Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2013
    78
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    Game Producer
    Aarhus, Denmark.
    Launch date - March 19th!

    Wuhu, we're launching Heartbeats on Thursday March 19th!
     
  19. Valentia

    Valentia Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2009
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    Arizona
    This looks so good!
     
  20. firstordergames

    firstordergames Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2015
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    Game Devloper
    Los Angeles
    A great mix of all my favorite things. :)

    All the best! Enjoying the updates.
     

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