[Easy][Scenic][Challenge] The Dream Stones, or Shattered Foundations

  • 26 Replies
  • 17146 Views
*

Offline Headgrinder

  • 901
  • 35
  • Smart Steel Polisher
    • View Profile
    • www.matthewepperson.wordpress.com
I've been working on this project for approximately 6 months now with what little time I have (aprox 2 hours a week  :sick:) and have been putting off a preview, mainly because I didn't want to spend the time to make a cool preview page like Elevator beneath the Valve (http://nifflas.lpchip.nl/index.php?topic=2781.0).  

Then I realized, I can write!

Prologue:

The dream was so real, I was certain I would never wake up.  

In it, I climbed the Dream Stones.  Why do I call them the Dream Stones?  I don't know, that is just what they are, hanging in the air like huge strings of liquid stone; the stuff of dreams.  I climbed them upwards to reach a point of healing, and rest.

Then, to my shock, I awoke to my familiar, mundane room.  The drapes hung placidly and stirred in the AC while my alarm blared the latest in purchased air time.  But it didn't feel right.  Something, like the sound of the world or the counting of the clock was wrong.  When I finally looked out the window, I found out why.  I hadn't awoke after all, and the Dream Stones floated everywhere in a bottomless, endless sky.  

Details:

  • Episodic level releases (at my current rate, probably only 1 episode each quarter)
  • mini-endings at the end of each episode
  • dreamlike atmosphere, with non-linear order, and locations changing randomly
  • new areas will appear with each episode
  • Almost all new tilesets (with minor mods to my Smooth Stones tileset)
  • Plot, exploration, and scenery driven with minor puzzles and challenges
  • Some puzzles will depend on supporting character development
  • Each episode will expand into a small to medium sized area.
  • End result will be a fairly large level of around 8-10 episodes.


-------Progress-------
Tilesets:

Smooth Stones tileset:  png 90-100% done
Floating Homes tileset:  sketch and development 100% done, png 60% done
White City tileset:  png 80% done
Forest Tileset: png 70% done
Grey fortress:  sketch and development 30% done, png not started yet.
Rusting industry tileset: png 55% done
Wastelands tileset: png 35% done
Dirtlands and furnace tileset: sketches 100% done, png 60% done.
Big Pipes inside: development 60% done
Big Pipes outside: development 60% done

Map development: 30% done
Plot development: 50% done
First episode map and plot: development 60% done, level not started



I'm focusing on finishing the tilesets first as a lot of the plot is embedded in their design.  The plot is inherently fairly loose, more based on exploration and discovery than tight and precise progressions.

If anyone would like to help with any of the development, I would appreciate it.  It would help get things rolling a lot quicker than I can alone, particularly tilesets.  Though I'm pretty picky about what I'm wanting over all, there are details and whole areas.

One last comment, is that the tilesets I'm developing for this project are also exactly what I need for a future project.  These are kind of my quintessential tilesets; the realms I'm most wanting to illustrate.

I wasn't going to add a screenshot because I'm really unsatisfied with them, but here ya go, early screen shots.




*

Offline Headgrinder

  • 901
  • 35
  • Smart Steel Polisher
    • View Profile
    • www.matthewepperson.wordpress.com
Just a quick update, because I'll probably be obsessive about updates.  Hey, they keep the thread alive.  Hmmm... this thread is almost still born.  Resurrect it then?  ANNNNNYWAY...

I've decided to revamp my white city tileset.  I had the trees and stuff as a part of that tileset, so I kept running out of room.  Now I've removed the trees and will make that into a separate jungle tileset, which is as yet undeveloped.  The revamp makes white city much much more versatile, though as always, more complex to use.  I think all my tilesets are complex yet versatile.  

I'm going to take a break from this again for about a week and try to force myself to do some of the writing I've been putting off for months. 

I'll repeat my Q:  How do you put pics in a spoiler quote?

Peace out y'all. 

This looks awesome cheering you on!
and i dont know how to put pis in spoiler so sorry  :(
i swear the FAQ should have the answer thou....

*

Offline yohji

  • 664
  • 18
    • View Profile
    • Jashiin's Portfolio
I liked the story a lot, very intriguing, especially for a KS level. As for the screens, well, frankly I liked them much less than your work in Thin Falls and Great Art. The cliffs you built in those levels had volume, they were arranged in interesting shapes, and so on. I can say the same about the plants in all screenshots you posted here, but not about the structures. The industrial screen mixes strictly 2D materials (land) with semi-3D materials (the pipes, the buildings...) and so the 3D looks unconvincing; it's even worse because both structures are simple rectangles. One could have a more interesting, convincing shape because of the hole, but the hole is right in the middle, very symmetrical, and again, very unconvincing. The first and third screens have a similar problem with shapes: just too simlistic, even the designs are just a single line twisted in symmetrical ways. The third screen is particularly odd, since the tileset looks like it was meant to represent an actual material, but the shapes suggest it's not (e.g. thin blocks of marble don't float).

That said, I'm still very interested in what you come up with! The story and the list of areas are both very promising.

*

Offline Talps

  • 927
  • 127
  • ...especially in a life-or-death situation!
    • View Profile
The story sounds very good. And as you said, they're early tilesets so I imagine they'll change. Though for a dream, a certain level of mixing of styles might be ok.

To put images in spoilers, you have to upload them to another site such as imageshack, then post them in the thread using image tags, inside of spoiler tags.

*

Offline bulbapuck

  • 293
  • 24
  • One day hoping to become Venopuck
    • View Profile
Wow, those are some really cool screens! looking forward to this :)
Emma fell down a well - Enviromental KS level inspired by Salmoneous/Elder
Check out My "Let's Play" channel, I upload fairly regularly and am trying to improve.

*

Offline Headgrinder

  • 901
  • 35
  • Smart Steel Polisher
    • View Profile
    • www.matthewepperson.wordpress.com
Thanks for all the comments and encouragement guys.  And thanks for the strong critique yohji.

As for the screen shots, they are all tile development screens, not actual locations, and yes, as I said, I'm not happy with the layouts, just wanting to demo the tileset. 

The main problem with the wasteland + rusting industrial is, I think, that the wasteland doesn't have texture added yet, and the rusting industrial has too much, ie not simplified yet.  It was easier to make them look really real to start with and simplify them later than figure out how to make them simple to start with. 

As for the white city shots, one of the themes of the whole level will be a sense of things floating in "an endless sky," similar to what I did for Great Art.  So, I'm not necessarily working towards an accurate feel of gravity and sustainable structure, at least not where an area encounters the dream stones.

Anyhow, I feel I'm trying too hard to dissuade your criticism, when I should know full well that I'm best off learning form criticism, not trying to douse it.  So, thanks again, I'll keep your thoughts in mind.

*

Offline Hmpf

  • 739
  • 12
  • Here to make it rain.
    • View Profile
These screens may not be perfect yet, but they do look promising, and, having seen some of your finished levels, they're quite enough to get me excited for this level! :)

*

Offline egomassive

  • 1703
  • 233
    • View Profile
    • egomassive games
On putting attachments in spoilers, if the picture is attached in one post then it can be put in spoiler tags in another. Not very useful unless you have a preview thread and a release thread for the same level. Then, you could hide the pictures in the release thread without relying on 3rd party hosting.

By the way, the level graphics look promising.

Re: [Easy][Scenic][Challenge] The Dream Stones, or Shattered Foundations
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2010, 04:10:14 »
Rawr!
How's it going? Are things working out for you?
Hope for all the best!

*

Offline Headgrinder

  • 901
  • 35
  • Smart Steel Polisher
    • View Profile
    • www.matthewepperson.wordpress.com
Re: [Easy][Scenic][Challenge] The Dream Stones, or Shattered Foundations
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2010, 14:34:40 »
Slow but steady, I am a faithful plodder.  

The forest tileset is close to done, and the white city is pretty much done.  White city ts has lots of open space in it now, so I'm sure that will change.  I'm also starting the Floating homes tileset.  I'll update the %s on the first post.

Re: [Easy][Scenic][Challenge] The Dream Stones, or Shattered Foundations
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2010, 11:01:51 »
Slow but steady, I am a faithful plodder. 

The forest tileset is close to done, and the white city is pretty much done.  White city ts has lots of open space in it now, so I'm sure that will change.  I'm also starting the Floating homes tileset.  I'll update the %s on the first post.

Yey  :D (yes i just posted one word, now 8 )
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 11:14:06 by Strange Darkness »


*

Offline Headgrinder

  • 901
  • 35
  • Smart Steel Polisher
    • View Profile
    • www.matthewepperson.wordpress.com
Re: [Easy][Scenic][Challenge] The Dream Stones, or Shattered Foundations
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2010, 02:45:37 »
An update!  ...  For those who care.  And yes, this is painfully long, but it is thereputic for me to write it. 

Ahh....

I'm still stuck in tileset development.  I'm pretty handicapped in this area in that I'm a perfectionist on one hand, and very slow.  I have to make a tileset about 200 ways that don't work before I find the one way that works right.  As such, I may soon be posting all my tilesets on a development help thread to get input and suggestions.  This will, of course, be a huge spoiler, but I would really like to move on, and that may not happen for a long time without extra help. 

The main thing of note about the tilesets is that I'm abandoning the typical black outline to signify collisions.  I know this is unpopular, but most of my tilesets rely on curved or rough terrain, also unpopular I know... bite me.   XD  I made that decision because... well, I had to!  My envisioned aesthetic for this game was not compatible with the block style of traditional Knytt Stories, and anyway, this is not strictly a Knytt Story.  I'm just using the game engine to tell my own story, as I know many others do.

So, the only good news coming from the tileset development delays is that I'm always working on the plot line, and I feel like it is shaping up nicely.

Now, a bit of a teaser, the ideas behind this game are actually based on a series of vivid and complex dreams I've had over the past 6 years.  I've tried twice to write them into a story, but the stories always felt like video games, where various characters are solving puzzles which symbolize the psychological junk that has accumulated in their lives, and help them, symbolically to become free of that junk.  But do I have the time, contacts and resources to make a game from the ground up?  Nay dear friends, nay!  An, but then comes the wondermous and fantastical Knytt Stories, like a knytt in shining armor riding in to the rescue!

I may have long delays in the future, but this game will continue.  My heart is too dedicated to seeing it become a reality.  The only way I will stop development as a knytt game is if the few game design buds I have decide they want to make it an actual for profit game which does not rely on the knytt stories engine.  I'm not holding my breath for that though.