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Tidal Fall - Pre-Alpha

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Toodles, y'all! o/
 
I'm an independent game developer/designer, who loves the platforming genre and coming up with innovative gameplay twists. I've worked on numerous titles (The majority of which were ironically canceled after I left the process), and have recently started developing games based on my own intellectual properties.
 
With that in mind, I present: 
 
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Tidal Fall will be a 2D physics based platformer, set on a magical island which is slowly being consumed by the rising sea. You'll play as Kole, a stone golem intent on rescuing the island's elemental inhabitants with the aid of his water-spirit friend, Wight.
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(The original sketch of Kole and Wight)
 
Gameplay will be level-based, each challenge providing exciting and addictive action puzzles in the form of physics-based platforming. The sea is constantly rising, so your goal is to keep Kole above water for as long as possible on the rickety structures dotted around the island.
 
(Me playing the prototype gameplay. And failing, repeatedly)
 
The game will follow a rich and compelling storyline, introducing memorable and endearing characters along the way. With storytelling as much a core focus as gameplay, I'm putting extra effort into making this world feel real and intriguing. 
 
It's still early in the process, but I think it's time to take Tidal Fall from the concept stage into active development. It's being targeted at mobile platforms, but should translate nicely onto PC or even consoles. You can expect updates every week here, or you can follow me on twitter to never miss a post: twitter.com/fanatic_studios
 
That's all for now, comments and questions are all welcome! [:)]

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Toodles, y'all o/

The focus character of Tidal Fall, a stone golem named Kole, came to mind immediately after I dreamt up the core game mechanic.  It seemed fitting that a being completely made out of rock would want to escape the oncoming tide: one false step, and he would sink like a stone (literally).
 
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(An early sketch of Kole running up the Kopse Mountains)
 
Back when I was unsure of what art style to use, I did a few test renders of Kole in a low-poly style. I've always loved minimalistic art, but it didn't really gel with the feel of the world.
 
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In the render above and in Kole's original drawing, his arms and feet were connected to his torso by way of the Lifeforce, a mystical energy that keeps the elements balanced and gives life to the creatures of the island. After seeing it in-game though, I decided that the Lifeforce should be focused solely on his eyes, giving them a more prominent focus.

I should have another video out by next week, depending on a lot of factors. Maybe even a demo, if things go smoothly [;)]

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Toodles, y'all! o/

Wight the water-spirit goes way, way back to my very first draft of Kastor. At that time the game was a room-based world with JRPG-like controls, a little like the original Legend of Zelda game. Wight was intended to be a test character, a placeholder for the heroes in the final build.
 
 
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(The original Wight sprite (Gah, that rhymes) compared to a later sketch)
 
I wanted to have wight explain the game mechanics to the player, in a more interactive tutorial than the one currently in the game. However, time restraints kicked in and I had to abandon that plan, leaving Wight free to be used in other projects.

At first he seems an unlikely companion for Kole, as the game's whole premise is about escaping water. But wight is in just as much danger as his best friend: The seas he used to call home have turned against him, threatening to swallow the only known landmass in his world. As the story unfolds, Wight will realise he no longer has control of the tide, prompting him to join Kole in his quest to save the island.

At first I was going to render Wight as a sprite (there's the rhyme again!), using still frames rendered from a 3D physics engine. While the animation managed to portray the fluid, ever-changing nature of a water-spirit, the 3D graphics looked horrendously out of place beside the hand-painted style used in the rest of the game.
 
(A very early test to determine how a water-spirit's physics would appear. A very early test)
 
After a bit of messing around, I eventually decided to use a particle system to simulate his form. While not as "drippy" as the test render, it still comes across as being fluid, and constantly in motion. 
849117688.png
 
(Wight's current style)
 
Having the ability to hover, Wight will be a great help to Kole as he tries to stay above the tide. I can also imagine some fun mechanics to implement if he becomes a playable character (Or rather, when he becomes a playable character [:P]).

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Toodles, y'all! o/

With the gameplay demo just around the corner, ?I've been working on the user interface a bit to make things looking slightly more professional than Ariel Regular. [:P] Apart from touching up the labels, buttons, and multiresolution aspects of the UI, I've also been browsing some fonts to see what caught my fancy. Only problem is, I found rather a lot that did.

After narrowing it down to these four, I'm still undecided about which one to pick. I'm leaning towards the second one because it's the font that inspired the Tidal Fall logo, but otherwise they all have equal appeal.
 
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Which one do you guys think I should pick for the main text in the game? Post your favourite in the comments, and save me from having to roll some dice to decide (Yes, I do that more than I should. [:P] 'Tis the roleplayer's curse [:P]).

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Toodles, y'all! o/
 
Yep, I finally got a demo for Tidal Fall working! [:P] The build is only intended to demonstrate the mechanics aspect of the game, with art, sound, and all other components firmly in the non-final category.
 
So far there are downloads available for Mac, PC, and Linux. Normally I would have an online version, but Google is a jerk and removed the code that Unity's webplayer runs on. If anyone wants to test this out on an additional platform, drop me a comment below.
 
Mac standalone:   indiedb.png
PC standalone:     indiedb.png
Linux standalone: indiedb.png
 
So yeah, I hope there's no glitches. [:P] Lookin' forward to seeing what everyone thinks. [;)]

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Toodles, y'all! o/

Shufflers are small, hooded creatures who live on the icy drifts and caves in the south. Given their small stature and lack of elemental affiliation, they're often looked down upon by the other creatures of Tengy island as a lower lifeform. On the contrary, the Shufflers are a robust and resourceful race, managing to survive in the harshest of environments.
 
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(The second sketch I made of a Shuffler. I did another previously, but it was so atrocious that my comp crashed when I tried to upload it)
 
Shufflers have a very poor tolerance of direct sunlight, meaning most of them wear hoods or other such headwear. An exception to this is the Historian, A shuffler dedicated to the documentation of history, who lives in a cave miles below the surface. The Historian hasn't been seen by the islanders for years, and some believe he may only be a myth.
 
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(The Historian)
 
As the oncoming tide threatens the Shuffler's iceberg homes, It will be up to Kole and Wight to rescue as many as they can, while also trying to solve the centuries-old mystery of the disappeared ice-spirits.
 
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(Kole meets a Shuffler in Opomu Forest: a long way from home for the Shuffler)
 
To everyone who gave feedback on the gameplay demo: Thank you very much! [:)] Your notes will be invaluable for improving the game's experience. I've started writing the script for the story, and mapping out a checklist of things to do. I should have an estimated release date soon, so stay tuned. [;)]

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Toodles, y'all! o/

I know,the weekly dev blog idea went pear-shaped. But I have a jolly good reason: I've been working on this.
 
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And these:
 
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So as you can see, I've by no means been idle in my absence. Half of the story levels have been completed, and I've added a load of features such as catapults, enemies, explosives, ropes, etc. 

Oh, and I nearly forgot: Tidal Fall now has a trailer! 
 
 
So yeah, lots happening behind the scenes, and development going smoothly. Everything's peachy. [:)]

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Toodles, y'all! o/

I've got some neat concept-to-game pics for you this week (weeks? Not sure how long it was since last dev blog [:S]).
 
 
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First up is Mother Nature, the last surviving Forest Elemental (Not counting the Leaflings). She's older than Chief Tenemor himself, and knows many secrets about Tengy island.
?
 
 
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Next is the Yasks. They're basically small cows who have adapted to subzero climates, making them the perfect livestock for the Shufflers to farm. Unfortunately for both the Yasks and their herders, they have a habit of falling off icebergs and into the freezing cold sea.
?
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Now, I haven't actually embarked upon the complicated process of modelling these guys yet, but I did make this preliminary sketch to get a basic idea. This is a Kataka, the mechanical scientists (and former Air Elementals) who live on a load of interconnected floating laboratories above the ice floes of Jåtiiko. I probably don't have to point out that they're by no means the friendliest creatures on Tengy. 
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And finally, I'm thinking of adding a few variant Teleportation Totems into the game. The above would be found respectively in Opomu forest, Jåtiiko ice plains, and Kotako. 


I'm actually quite enjoying the look of the concept art. Maybe I could use such a style in a future game, if I polish it up a little? It would save having to use pixel art again (which, for some reason, players seem to dislike [:(] ).

What do you guys think? Neat, minimalistic style? Or too cartoony?

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