PyWeek - Multiverse Factory

Fractured Soul, by Team Multiverse Factory

Note to judges: I recommend playing at least through Act 2 (40% of the game complete) before judging the game.

Google project page

gummbum JDruid ldle kiddo333 Cosmologicon nitrofurano DR0ID


simon jumping

Awards


Voldemort Prize for Spiritual Subdivision
Presented by gcewing

Protagonist Most Likely To Love the Powerglove
Presented by mstrange

Give this entry an award

Ratings (show detail)

Overall: 3.8
Fun: 3.6
Production: 4
Innovation: 3.8

Respondents: 24
Files: Uploader Date
fractured-soul-v2.zipfinal 5.96 Mbytes Cosmologicon 2011/04/10 22:05
Bugfix release
simon.jpg 270.09 Kbytes Cosmologicon 2011/04/10 06:31
simon jumping
multifactory.png 89.57 Kbytes DR0ID 2011/04/07 22:28
making progress...

Wednesday 27 April, 2011

[ Cosmologicon @ 04:44 ] Fractured Soul: response to feedback

Thanks to everyone who took the time to judge! 24 is a good number of responses, and we got a lot of really well considered feedback. This is helpful since we're contemplating another version of Fractured Soul. I'll try to respond to the major points. If you think you gave a good comment that I'm overlooking, please say so! First, there were many very kind comments:

I can see that a lot of work was put into it, great work.
I can't figure out it came out from a "random-people" team who never worked together. Very very good job.
Superb entry, especially the puzzle design.
Very nice platformer puzzle game.
A thoroughly enjoyable game.
A really great game.
love the game mechanics. Nice game
Had tons of fun playing this!
The sounds were quite fitting. The background music is a good match too.
This is great! Well done!
Very well made game.
The graphics and visual effects of sprite during the jumps were amazing. background sound was good too.
Great puzzles that made me think.

Thank you! It's definitely helpful to know what we got right. The judges mostly agree that our game idea, sound/music, level design, and overall implementation (nuts and bolts) were good.

Now on to the suggestions for improvement....

Walk cycle is broken
Would benefit from a bit more variety in the scenery
Bland environment
The disparity between the detail on the character sprite/statues compared to everything else was noticable
I found the interludes unimaginative
Some of the humour was a bit... lame

I for one agree with all of the above. The graphics and the writing were the two major content-related issues I had with the game, and I wrote about them in the postmortem.

Act I "tutorial" felt a little longwinded
Fair enough. We'll see about cutting it down. Maybe spread it out so that the tutorial doesn't all appear at the beginning.

Disturbing camera
The camera jumped around a lot
I expected to get a lot more negative comments about this. I also think the camera is disturbing, and at the same time we wanted you to see what a button does when you push it. We've gotten some suggestions about how to get both, still not sure what's best.

YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO WALK PAST A DARN PORTAL WITHOUT GOING IN
I'm a bit puzzled by this. Did you not realize you can walk around the lobby levels by going just underneath the portals? Maybe a different tileset would make this clearer.

I think most puzzles would be equivalent if you could just drop a statue and wouldn't have to start from the gate again.
an undo button would be nice
We'll consider starting where you drop a statue, and hopefully address the repetitiveness one way or the other. But for now I'll just say, there are subtle issues involved that you probably wouldn't think of until you've tried it. There are challenges that only work if you respawn at the start. For instance Ascension could be beaten with four statues if you spawned next to the last statue you placed; many other levels are the same way. As for an undo button, none of the mechanics that made it into the game would be broken by adding that feature, but there are other mechanics I hope to add that would.

Jumping feels a bit odd, probably due to the tile system
lack of solid platforming physics (for example you want to move a little and fall into a pit instead).
The sprite was difficult to control when jumping around the blocks, margin of errors was too little.
The grid-aligned physics helped most of the time, but sometimes got in the way and made the game feel glitchy.
We'll see what we can do. The whole point of the grid-aligned physics is to remove the margin of error with placement. Either you can make a jump easily or not at all. There should be (almost) no jumps in the game that require any skill. Probably the best thing for making it easier to control is getting some playtesters to try out a variety of settings.

cool idea, but needs work
the game is boring when you do the same level for 8th time.
not very fun
Just little platform game without goal.
Thanks for the feedback, not sure what we could do about it. We're definitely open to suggestions you might have as to how to improve the fun or goal!

similar to Braid to which it compares unfavorably
Okay, I'm sorry we couldn't make a game as good as Braid for pyweek. ;)

Thanks again to all the judges, and to richard! See you next time!

Tuesday 19 April, 2011

[ Cosmologicon @ 17:22 ] Fractured Soul: postmortem

Multiverse Factory was a team originally coordinated by Gummbum. It wound up including DR0ID, myself, Lisa Sau (who had to drop out), nitrofurano, JDruid, ldle, and kiddo. Somehow I got chosen to be the director/producer, so here's my postmortem.

I was uncertain how well we'd work as a team, since most of us had never worked together before. Given that, I thought we did a great job. Our game, Fractured Soul, is complete, it runs smoothly, and (for me anyway) it's kind of fun.

What went right:

  • Dedication: Gummbum put in so much work over the course of the week, and DR0ID and I were also working really hard. nitrofurano was also a very valuable and dedicated resource, especially toward the end.
  • Working together: Even though we're in a bunch of different countries, and we were communicating only over IRC, I think we made a good, cohesive team.
  • Engine: It was a big help to have Gummbum's gummworld2 library to work with. He was able to adapt it to suit our needs and generally make everything work.
  • Mechanics: We put a lot of thought into this, and it shows. I'm impressed at how smooth our platforming action and collision detection is, compared to your average pyweek platformer. This is due partly to gummworld2's handy timing algorithm. I had something pretty demanding in mind for the mechanics: I wanted your motion restricted to a grid without feeling like it's restricted to a grid. Along with ldle and Gummbum, I eventually got it working to my satisfaction.
  • Music/sound: All done by JDruid. The atmosphere of the game is perfect and the audio is compelling.
  • Menu integration: I love it when you can jump right into a game. I'm very pleased that Gummbum was able to eliminate all menus.
  • Level editor: DR0ID's tiledtmxloader library (integrated into gummworld2) made it possible to design levels completely in Tiled, something I didn't even realize was possible when we started. This made it possible to have extensive...
  • Level design: We wound up with a lot of content for a pyweek game. While lots of entries struggled to have 9 levels, we wound up with 26 (30 if you count the "menu" levels). They're small, but they required a lot of care to design.
  • Practice game: We spent about two weeks before the competition on a practice game. This let us sort out many logistical issues ahead of time.
  • Work management. Having someone on point to lead, coordinate, and make decisions really helped. It let the respective specialists focus effectively.
  • Credits. DR0ID is handy with special effects, and our credits screen is a nice touch.

What went wrong:

  • Artwork. We started with two artists. Lisa had to drop out completely because of a new job, and kiddo couldn't contribute anything until Friday due to technical issues. Kiddo designed the main character and drew all its frames, which is great, but we didn't get a chance to refine it, and the walk cycle is a little off. He's got so much talent, we would definitely have loved to get some more artwork by him into the game.
  • Theme. Nine Times was definitely our least favorite theme. I insisted that we not adapt a different game idea to fit the theme, and so we had a very weak idea starting the week, despite a lot of preparation. It turned out okay, but it could have been much better with a theme we actually liked. One place this shows is the story, which I didn't really get in place until the last day.
  • Work management. We had no efficient way of tracking/assigning/claiming high level tasks. We made do with the wiki, which was disorganized and inconsistent. I was asking "what are you working on now?" a lot in IRC. A dashboard to track current tasks would have helped. And it would be cool to look back and see how long we spent on certain aspects, and if those could be economized in the future. Maybe we should see if there's something lightweight and useful available, perhaps a Google app.

Overall I was very excited to be working in a team like this. This experience was new for me, and it was quite positive. I'm looking forward to the feedback on the game. Thanks to all who try it out!

Sunday 17 April, 2011

[ Cosmologicon @ 16:02 ] Fractured Soul walkthrough video posted

Hey, I don't know how easy or hard this game is, so here's a walkthrough showing how to beat each of the levels after the tutorial. If you're looking for the solution to a specific level, there are links in the video description. Spoiler alert, obviously....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTD3YT6khec

Friday 15 April, 2011

[ gummbum @ 03:28 ] Windows EXE available

Hi, folks.

We took some time to build a Windows executable as a convenience for people who don't have Python or pygame. It can be downloaded from our project site: Fractured Soul Win32. You may need to install the MS Visual C++ run-time library in order to use it. See the readme for more info on the MS run-time.

Gumm

Sunday 10 April, 2011

[ Cosmologicon @ 06:42 ] Fractured Soul available for download

Best pyweek ever! I'm not ready to do a full postmortem, but I want to say that our team put in a ton of work this week. I've been getting about 3 hours of sleep per night and pyweeking non-stop when I'm not at work. I was in charge of level design and I was so into it, I swear I designed two of the levels in my sleep.

I'm really proud of our final result! I hope you enjoy it too!

Download Fractured Soul ] 

If anyone encounters any major bugs, let us know before the upload deadline and we'll fix them!

Thursday 07 April, 2011

[ DR0ID @ 22:32 ] Starting to get together

After the hard work of the last few days it starts to get together. The parts fit. Level design is in progress as also the needed art assets. It starts to look promising!

Saturday 02 April, 2011

[ Cosmologicon @ 06:19 ] Practice game: Fort Izembo

Our team has been working on a practice game over the past few weeks. We didn't get to add everything that we wanted, including:

  • Animations to show the character swinging/firing a weapon (we trace out the area of effect, so use your imagination)
  • Separate sprites for the monsters (right now they're just palette-swapped versions of the main character)
  • Line of sight (you can shoot through walls and monsters can see through walls)
  • Health packs and ammo pickups (instead you refill at the end of every level)
  • Bosses
  • A sprite for the NPC
  • A new tileset (we reused an old one)
  • More sound effects
  • Cutscenes

But it's still totally playable, and has a couple fun features. Enjoy!
Download Fort Izembo