AuthorTopic: Gravity Hook!  (Read 17198 times)

Offline AdamAtomic

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1188
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • natural born medic
    • View Profile
    • Adam Atomic

Gravity Hook!

on: September 06, 2008, 01:40:32 am
Hey guys, I'm basically gonna copy-paste my post from TIGForums because I spent a long time writing it and it says everything I want to say and hear, so...yeah, here it is!



INSTRUCTIONS:
Move the mouse to highlight "nodes".
Click to grapple onto a node.
If you run into an active node you die.
Press 'X' to quit the game, and register your hi score (if you made it into the top 10)

     

NOTES:
I had a few days space in my schedule, so I made a remake of a cool prototype that Arne made a while back called "Gravity Key."  In Gravity Key you used the keyboard keys to climb to the top of the level by "grappling" using a gravity function.  Because it uses gravity, the closer you get to a node, the faster you go.  However (IMO this is the crowning touch in Arne's design) if you get TOO close to the node...you DIE.

It was a really great mechanic, but having to use the keyboard made it....difficult.  So with Arne's permission I made my own gravity grapple game, only powered by mouse clickan.

It's pretty much finished at this point, I just need to get Arne to put up a proper page for Gravity Key that I can link to, reset the high scores so Ptoing no longer dominates 7 out of the top 10 spots :P, and make the md5 key for high score submission a little harder to guess.

I made Gravity Hook using my Flixel framework for AS3 (coming soon!), the Flex Builder plugin for Eclipse, Photoshop 7, Pro Motion 5, SFXR, and Audacity.  Total dev time was around 5 days I think.

PERSONAL NOTES:
I had two goals for this project.  One was to make a skill-based game a la Thrustburst, where there was no lock-and-key progress, just becoming more badass via experience.

The other was to make something that was intentionally and I hope evocatively abstract.  I have been thinking a lot about the games I played and loved when I was younger, and I think the fact that they were FORCED to be abstract by low-powered hardware had a huge impact on me, and what I got out of the experience of playing a game back then is very, very different from what I get out of most new games.  I always loved how Super Metroid told the important part of the story with the title screen graphic, and HATED how Metroid Prime let you scan anything you want just to stuff the screen full of bullshit nobody cares about.

I think Cave Story is a notable recent exception, as is Fez to some extent, and Rescue the Beagles, and Knytt too.  I don't know that I succeeded in the way that those games did, but I tried to only put in things that would trigger the player's imagination, rather than prescribe or overly detail things for them.  This is a new approach for me but it feels more honest or pure or something than force-feeding MY story and MY characters down the player's throat.

Thanks!

Offline Souly

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 957
  • Karma: +0/-1
  • Killer of threads.
    • View Profile
    • Punkys Portfolio

Re: Gravity Hook!

Reply #1 on: September 06, 2008, 02:23:15 am
this game is awesome.
And quite addicting. 750 is as high as I've gotten so far.
I probably suck at it.

Offline Naso

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 82
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • ...?
    • View Profile
    • My PixelJoint

Re: Gravity Hook!

Reply #2 on: September 06, 2008, 02:46:59 am
Had a very fun time playing this, nice concept and extremely well design, cant be believe it only took you 5 days to make, grate job. I would love to this on the iPhone, make your self some money. :y: My highest is 433.

Cheese Cake -naso

Offline chriskot

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 109
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Gravity Hook!

Reply #3 on: September 06, 2008, 02:48:35 am
It's true. This game is so many kinds of awesome.

My brother Nik's high score: 401m.
My high score: 628m.

I'll definitely be playing more of this later.



...On a side note, I never understood how people could dislike the scanning in Metroid Prime. You can explore as much or little as you like and there's no such thing as too deep a world. How can extra optional content be annoying? There's so much to explore if you scan everything and there's never so much stuff that you'll lock onto the wrong thing by accident. I actually preferred that story telling method to straight-up telling you at the beginning just like every other game (no disrespect intended toward Super Metroid, since it is still one of the best games ever).

Offline AdamAtomic

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1188
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • natural born medic
    • View Profile
    • Adam Atomic

Re: Gravity Hook!

Reply #4 on: September 06, 2008, 03:31:04 am
Thanks guys!

chriskot - I actually agree with in theory, and I think in the first Prime game the scanner was actually used reasonably well some of the time!  I think overall it still hurts the game though, at least for me.  I am slowly realizing that I really, really loved inventing my own backstory and details and biology for the creatures.  I don't think that the scanner itself is necessarily a detrimental gimmick, but when its full of descriptive sci-fi fluff I feel like it is just totally wasted.  I'm gonna try and come up with a couple of examples to maybe illustrate where I'm coming from.  Let's say you are in Metroid Prime and you scan a spikey creature with some odd behavior, and you want to know more about it:

Option #1:
"A spike-bearing Calinthrops, from planet Exelon VII.  Scientists have observed it moving in circles for no reason.  Dangerous to touch, recommend shooting from a distance."

Option #2:
"Calinthrops, from Exelon VII.  Scientists are unsure why they evolved spikes, was it to defend their territory, or to attract mates?  Cross-reference with species Zaximon."

Now, I have a beef with "scan percentage" being tracked, but I'm willing to admit that its my own OCD tendencies that make that particular design trait annoying.  However, all the Prime games do a LOT of Option #1.  And what does option #1 really tell you?  Nothing you couldn't learn on your own by watching and interacting with the creature yourself, or using simple deduction by GLANCING at the creature.

Option #2, while providing information and backstory (and thus not being abstract anymore) is I think a more attractive option, because it encourages you to interact with the game in a way other than deciding what to kill next.  You can go look up the other species, compare its behavior to the Calinthrops, then decide if it is maybe a Defense thing or a Mating thing, or MAYBE you think they use their spikes for something else entirely.

I dunno, I don't want to get ranty about it.  I guess it all boils down to I feel like there is a layer of interactivity that has slowly disappeared from games over the last 5 or 10 years, for better or for worse.  Between gameFAQs and forced tutorials and higher-res graphics there is no room to inject your own ideas and preconceptions into the play experience (at least there is much less).  I think the scanner is a remarkably specific or apt example of this gradual change.

Another way to think about this process (because its a very real process, regardless of whether my opinions about video game evolution are accurate or useful) is when you think about reading a novel.  Novels are not really interactive - you can't change or manipulate the content in any direct way.  But the content is very much colored by your perception and life experience when you actually take it in.  Novels succeed amazingly at this (the well-written ones anyways) because they are almost as abstract as you can get.  They're just words!  So again, for anecdotal comparison:

"The bartender was nervous because two large men were approaching the bar."

"The bartender fidgeted with the glass as the two large men approached the bar."

The second sentence to me is much more interesting or pleasant to read because rather than spoonfeed me the character's emotions, I can infer them by "observing" his actions.

Ok I better stop now, this is getting to be a mighty long post!  Basically, I am in love with the idea of letting the player infer their own beautiful things when they play games, and I tried to let them do that with this game.  That's all!

Offline Darien

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 434
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • ...nine...ten...draw!
    • View Profile

Re: Gravity Hook!

Reply #5 on: September 06, 2008, 04:00:08 am
This is really hard, but kinda neat.

I find the warning flash completely useless, though.  By the time I see it, it's too late.

Offline Larwick

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 738
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • Larwick
    • http://www.pixeljoint.com/p/3794.htm
    • View Profile
    • Artstation

Re: Gravity Hook!

Reply #6 on: September 06, 2008, 04:45:39 am
That's definitely neat. I completely failed though, i feel sorry for the guy, blowing up so many times. I am tired though. Will try again tomorrow. I think it's amazing you created this so fast, seems like such an original concept to me aswel.

Offline chriskot

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 109
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Gravity Hook!

Reply #7 on: September 06, 2008, 04:54:13 am
Alright. I can sympathize with that. Personally, I loved scanning every last little symbol, creature, and item in all of the games, but to each his own, I suppose. I just found it to be a neat way to add extra plot and hint information in a nice little package, especially when the scans are well written (yeah, I read every last one too). Also, I found it awesome how one little scan in the second-last room of the final game instantly ties up most of the loose ends in the trilogy.


Anyway, back on topic, I'm getting better at this game. My new high score is 949. Now my next goal is to break 1000.

Offline QuickSilva

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 125
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Gravity Hook!

Reply #8 on: September 06, 2008, 07:05:13 am
This is really cool Adam and it looks swell too. It reminds me a lot of the levels in Super Mario Galaxy where you have to pull yourself along through space only that was in 3D of course ;)

Game play feels nice\intuitive and very well executed. Good job!

Jason.

Offline Souly

  • 0011
  • **
  • Posts: 957
  • Karma: +0/-1
  • Killer of threads.
    • View Profile
    • Punkys Portfolio

Re: Gravity Hook!

Reply #9 on: September 06, 2008, 07:20:12 am
Is it just me or do you get a boost by releasing right at the alert?