AuthorTopic: Project: Acenn a 2D Metroidvania Style Game  (Read 779 times)

Offline Jmrhdb

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Project: Acenn a 2D Metroidvania Style Game

on: November 17, 2019, 04:00:26 am


Hello everyone!
I've been working on a project for the last few years and I thought I could show it off. Some of the pixel art made, was from users on this site! There's still a lot of work to do so if you see anything that doesn't look right that why :lol:. I also have a Kickstarter page to try and raise money to finish the project, so if you want to see more information on the game or to help support the project you can here https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/project-accen/project-acenn

*Below is information about the game. Please keep in mind this is a very early build of the game, its poor quality is NOT a representation of the final product.

-Game Details:
This ambitious game will feature a Metroid like level construction/world building, a large world to explore, tough enemies with novel strategies to beat, bosses that aren't your typical "shot to win" they must be beaten with strategies and clever thinking, a weapon effect system that increases gameplay strategies to overcome obstacles, level puzzles that are randomly created (so you canít cheat and look it up online  ;) ) that will take thought to solve, three unique game difficulties that mix up the game play and add replay ability, a level design that lets you pick your own path which will change how bosses are beaten along with weapons you have found. Cool, useful, and overpowered weapons, a long and challenging game that unknowingly teaches the player how to play without holding there hand, a large variety of music and pixel art that will bring every level and environment to spectacular life, and so much more.

-Written Story:
You wake up in an abandoned laboratory. You realize you've been fused with a mechanical A.C.E.N.N suit. Your all alone. No memory. No hope. No escape. Can you survive? Can you find your memories... or die trying?
Unknown voice: "Your really starting to believe this "fantasy" you've made for yourself"

-Mock Up Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_hiyFV5GkA&t=1s
* The trailer is a mock up of what an actually trailer for the game would look like, but of course with better artwork and a final build of the game. Please keep in mind this is a very early build of the game, its poor quality is not NOT a representation of the final product.

-Early Gameplay Footage:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwFrLeuY8f8&t=2s
*Note: This is a very early build of the game, all aspects are subject to change.It is NOT a representation of the final product. It is used to give you an idea of how the beginning of the game will be played by a new player. Some debug game properties where left in this build.

-Some Artwork:

Player run animation


Save Station: played when the player finds a save station and saves there progress


Outside Space tile set (night) parallax


Outside Space tile set (day) parallax


Like i said there's still a lot of work to be done and the trailer and gameplay footage could be a lot better, to say the least, but its what I have so far. If you want to see more information its on the kickstarter page. I will come back and post updates on the project in the future. I hope everyone likes what they see so far. Feel free to comment your thoughts! Thanks!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 04:02:28 am by Jmrhdb »

Offline eishiya

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Re: Project: Acenn a 2D Metroidvania Style Game

Reply #1 on: November 18, 2019, 02:52:19 pm
You've run into a rather common problem with sidescrollers: the environment looks good and rich in detail and colour on its own, but the character doesn't stand out very well against it. The character is largely the same values (darkness/brightness) as the dark mountains behind them, and blends in.

The usual remedy for this is reducing the value contrast in the background, and clever level construction so that the character spends minimal time outside of "suitable" backgrounds while still allowing glimpses of higher-contrast elements around them, or character design changes so that the character has less value overlap with the background (making them much lighter or much darker, sometimes changes in hue can help enhance this).

Smaller (but hopefully easier-to-fix) problems:

The tiling on the stars is very obvious, and looks bad compared to the much nicer tiling of the ground. Since they're fixed in place anyway, I think it might be worthwhile to have a few different "bespoke" starfield images that fill the screen, or perhaps entire skies that include the sky gradient and the stars. That way you can really break up the tiling and have different star arrangements for day/night (the visible stars change between day/night as the planet rotates).

It looks strange to have brighter stars during the day. If anything, they would be fainter, since the light from the star and light reflected by the brighter sky would drown them out, the same as it does on Earth.

Offline Chonky Pixel

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Re: Project: Acenn a 2D Metroidvania Style Game

Reply #2 on: November 19, 2019, 01:37:35 pm
A quick point on the gameplay front. The "Save Station" looks incredible and the animation is completely gorgeous. However, it does go on a bit. I can imagine loving it the first time I saw it, then quickly getting to resent it as I see it run through for the nth time. I could also imagine avoiding using a save just because I'll have to wait so many seconds to do it.

Metroidvanias happen to be my favourite kind of platform game. Possibly my favourite kind of game. But if I compare the save point in Axiom Verge for example (several seconds) to Hollow Knight (probably less than a second, if you don't want to hang around) or Ori & the Blind Forest (just a long button press) I much prefer the latter two.

But that's an opinion and nothing more, take it with a pinch of salt.

A more objective way to think about it might be putting it in the context of the game. Is gameplay going to be fast and frenetic? Or slow and methodical exploration? If the latter it may make more sense in context. If the former, it may be a bit incongruous.

Anyway, I'll be watching this with interest. Not least because I'm also in the first stages of putting a Metroidvania together. ;)

Offline Jmrhdb

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Re: Project: Acenn a 2D Metroidvania Style Game

Reply #3 on: December 14, 2019, 01:05:48 am
You've run into a rather common problem with sidescrollers: the environment looks good and rich in detail and colour on its own, but the character doesn't stand out very well against it. The character is largely the same values (darkness/brightness) as the dark mountains behind them, and blends in.

The usual remedy for this is reducing the value contrast in the background, and clever level construction so that the character spends minimal time outside of "suitable" backgrounds while still allowing glimpses of higher-contrast elements around them, or character design changes so that the character has less value overlap with the background (making them much lighter or much darker, sometimes changes in hue can help enhance this).

Smaller (but hopefully easier-to-fix) problems:

The tiling on the stars is very obvious, and looks bad compared to the much nicer tiling of the ground. Since they're fixed in place anyway, I think it might be worthwhile to have a few different "bespoke" starfield images that fill the screen, or perhaps entire skies that include the sky gradient and the stars. That way you can really break up the tiling and have different star arrangements for day/night (the visible stars change between day/night as the planet rotates).

It looks strange to have brighter stars during the day. If anything, they would be fainter, since the light from the star and light reflected by the brighter sky would drown them out, the same as it does on Earth.

The character and environment where made by two different artist. I had the character sprites made long before the environment was made, so that's why they didn't really work well together. I should have shown off the character sprites before having the environment made but I don't plan on using any of this artwork on the final build of the game, its more of a place holder/concept art. And yes having fainter stars on the day theme would make more since. I didn't think of that lol.

But in the future would you recommend having all the environment art done first, then work on the character sprites? or vice versa?

Btw thank for the feed back :)

Offline Jmrhdb

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Re: Project: Acenn a 2D Metroidvania Style Game

Reply #4 on: December 14, 2019, 01:17:25 am
A quick point on the gameplay front. The "Save Station" looks incredible and the animation is completely gorgeous. However, it does go on a bit. I can imagine loving it the first time I saw it, then quickly getting to resent it as I see it run through for the nth time. I could also imagine avoiding using a save just because I'll have to wait so many seconds to do it.

Metroidvanias happen to be my favourite kind of platform game. Possibly my favourite kind of game. But if I compare the save point in Axiom Verge for example (several seconds) to Hollow Knight (probably less than a second, if you don't want to hang around) or Ori & the Blind Forest (just a long button press) I much prefer the latter two.

But that's an opinion and nothing more, take it with a pinch of salt.

A more objective way to think about it might be putting it in the context of the game. Is gameplay going to be fast and frenetic? Or slow and methodical exploration? If the latter it may make more sense in context. If the former, it may be a bit incongruous.

Anyway, I'll be watching this with interest. Not least because I'm also in the first stages of putting a Metroidvania together. ;)
You make a great point! I didn't even think about how annoying it would be to watch a long animation every time you went to save.
To fix this, after the player has saved and watched the animation once (there's more to the save stain then just going into a container and being scanned but i don't have any presentable artwork at the moment. It has more to do with the story of the game) the next time it will be insanely skip-able after committing to the save.
Again thanks for the feedback! :)

Offline eishiya

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Re: Project: Acenn a 2D Metroidvania Style Game

Reply #5 on: December 14, 2019, 12:46:07 pm
Don't make players have to press a button to skip a common long animation, it's annoying, and easy to miss. Instead, consider a "short animations" toggle in the options menu, like Final Fantasy X had for its summons. When enabled, animations are played fully the first time, but on subsequent times, greatly shortened versions are played. For the save station, this could be a sped up version of the opening and closing, perhaps with the steam puff frames cut out (they'd look silly sped up xP).