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WIND-UP KNIGHT (by Robot Invader)

08-30-2011, 12:09 AM
#1
WIND-UP KNIGHT (by Robot Invader)

Hi folks!

About two weeks ago we announced our first iOS title, Wind-up Knight. Here's some screenshots to give you an idea.











You can read the entire announcement at our development blog.

Wind-up Knight is a punishing platformer. It's fast-paced, action-heavy, and designed to put your gaming skills to the test. We're tired of games that hold your hand and pat you on the head every time you collect a gold star. Wind-up Knight is a game that anybody can play, but it's playing for keeps.

Here are some factual facts:
- Wind-up Knight runs on iPhone 4, iPad (1 & 2), and (probably) 3GS.
- 4 worlds, twelve devilish levels apiece, as well as ultra-punishing NIGHTMARE levels.
- Releasing sometime this fall.
- There is no tilting, swiping, or shaking involved.

Since our announcement we've received an incredible amount of positive feedback, particularly on our art and graphics. When we show the game to people we often have to wrestle our phone from their hands to get it back. We'd like to hear what you think, too.

About ROBOT INVADER:
We are a new game development studio comprised exclusively of veteran developers. We cut our teeth shipping traditional console games--close to 30 titles between us--and we think that the future of game development is mobile. Wind-up Knight is our first iOS game, and though we've designed it specifically for an iPhone form factor and touch screen control interface, it is firmly entrenched in our console roots.

For more info about us, check out the developer blog. I'll also try to answer your questions here in this thread, though for now we're being a bit secretive.

Cheers!
Chris

Twitter:@c_pruett
ROBOT INVADER
Wind-up Knight 2 out April 10th!
App Store: http://bit.ly/1kFc6ay
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1lHooRf
08-30-2011, 12:26 AM
#2
Looks very nice! Too bad that earlier devices are not supported, but you have to draw the line somewhere when rendering such nice graphics

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispruett View Post
- There is no tilting, swiping, or shaking involved.
And no controls buttons drawn on screen. Hopefully its not just some rendered AI that you watch playing in your stead :P

XperimentalZ Games website Twitter:@XperimentalZ

08-30-2011, 12:46 AM
#3
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,899
This looks amazing! So awesome to see platformers grow on this platform. And from your OP and your blog you guys seem extremely driven to deliver a great product.

From your quip about no tilting etc, I take it this uses virtual controls like most standard platformers, yes?
Quote:
Wind-up Knight is different. It’s a platformer, sort of. It’s a timing challenge, sort of. One thing’s for sure, it’s designed to test you. Test your gaming prowess. We’re talking design with no remorse, diabolically difficult levels that will keep you up at night. You know how to play games, you don’t need any hand-holding. Checkpoints are for wimps. Power-ups are for wimps. Wind-up Knight is about being totally awesome in the face of insidiously challenging stages.
Are the levels designed for speedruns like Mos Speedrun and League of Evil, or will there be varied tricky level setups like Bloo Kid and Soosiz? This is basically a question about depth.

I also have questions about the difficulty you're boasting about. Hopefully this will come from the deviousness of the level design, not in fumbling with controls. You'll need to test other platformers on the platform to know what you'll need to surpass. You're gonna need to give full control over your character's handling.

I welcome the long stages. Not every game on iOS needs bit-sized levels. I am concerned about save states though - having to restart levels because of notifications is aggravating.

Is the game based solely around run and jump? Are there additional mechanics like double jumping, boosting, attacking? Are there moving platforms, ledges, moving platforms, etc?

And as ambitious as you are I hope you're not above interacting with the community here and elsewhere - Roboto suffered from working completely closed without external/ feedback testing and ended up having a rocky debut week of patches and updates.

Hope to see video soon. Join the club!


Currently learning iMaschine and Garage Band.
08-30-2011, 12:51 AM
#4
Nice One. Looking forward to see more about it.
08-30-2011, 01:25 AM
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by XperimentalZ View Post
And no controls buttons drawn on screen. Hopefully its not just some rendered AI that you watch playing in your stead :P
We've omitted the control UI for these shots because we like being ultra-secretive (also they are not quite ready to show). There will be some buttons, but maybe not the ones you expect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arta View Post
This looks amazing! So awesome to see platformers grow on this platform. And from your OP and your blog you guys seem extremely driven to deliver a great product.
Thanks! Our company mantra is simply to never compromise on quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arta View Post
From your quip about no tilting etc, I take it this uses virtual controls like most standard platformers, yes?
Virtual controls, yes, but maybe not the "standard" that you are expecting. We're not fans of virtual d-pads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arta View Post
Are the levels designed for speedruns like Mos Speedrun and League of Evil, or will there be varied tricky level setups like Bloo Kid and Soosiz? This is basically a question about depth.
Wind-up Knight levels focus on dexterity and puzzles. Completing a given level is a challenge--you'll need to be focused and fast, and it helps if you down a Red Bull or something like that to crank up your heart rate. But to really beat a level, to really call it completed, you'll have to find the secret areas, you'll have to figure out how to collect the coins at the bottom of that seemingly-impossible jump. To 100% Wind-up Knight you'll need to explore, experiment, and learn the knight's move set so well you can play with the screen off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arta View Post
I also have questions about the difficulty you're boasting about. Hopefully this will come from the deviousness of the level design, not in fumbling with controls. You'll need to test other platformers on the platform to know what you'll need to surpass. You're gonna need to give full control over your character's handling.
We've made a number of platformers for various platforms. Wind-up Knight is personally my ninth or tenth platformer (the others were mostly for GameBoy Advance, PSP, and one for Android), and it's the most challenging by far. However, as you alluded to, we want to present a legitimate challenge. Grappling with bad controls or second-guessing unreliable moves makes the game hard, but not in a good way. For legitimate challenge, the kind that makes you feel awesome when you complete it, we must be absolutely fair. And that means controls wound so tight they could strangle a mid-sized baboon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arta View Post
I welcome the long stages. Not every game on iOS needs bit-sized levels. I am concerned about save states though - having to restart levels because of notifications is aggravating.
Though our background is console development, this is a game designed from the ground up to be mobile. We expect you to pick up the game whenever you have a few free minutes (though putting it back down might be harder). Our levels are not so long that complicated save states are required. Rather, they are intricate and repayable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arta View Post
Is the game based solely around run and jump?
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arta View Post
Are there additional mechanics like double jumping, boosting, attacking?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arta View Post
Are there moving platforms, ledges, moving platforms, etc?
No comment (yet).

Quote:
Originally Posted by arta View Post
And as ambitious as you are I hope you're not above interacting with the community here and elsewhere
Absolutely not! We're here to share our game with you, get your feedback, and hopefully convince you to give it a shot when it ships. We're a bit secretive, and there are bits of the game that are not ready to be seen by the light of day just yet, but we're excited to be here.

Twitter:@c_pruett
ROBOT INVADER
Wind-up Knight 2 out April 10th!
App Store: http://bit.ly/1kFc6ay
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1lHooRf
08-30-2011, 07:32 AM
#6
Joined: May 2011
Location: Finland
Posts: 8,366
Virtual controls, yes, but maybe not the "standard" that you are expecting. We're not fans of virtual d-pads.



Wind-up Knight levels focus on dexterity and puzzles. Completing a given level is a challenge--you'll need to be focused and fast, and it helps if you down a Red Bull or something like that to crank up your heart rate. But to really beat a level, to really call it completed, you'll have to find the secret areas, you'll have to figure out how to collect the coins at the bottom of that seemingly-impossible jump. To 100% Wind-up Knight you'll need to explore, experiment, and learn the knight's move set so well you can play with the screen off.[/QUOTE]

Joystick and jump button?

And it's awesome to hear it's an exploration platformer and you already have experience on making them

Gameloft Live: IDontKiIIPpl (idontkiippl without capital letters)

I make EDM music No I'm not some pro who's signed to some major lable.http://YouTube.com/okayyymc3
08-30-2011, 08:21 AM
#7
Looks absolutely gorgeous. Like arta, I'm intrigued by the control choices -- frankly, it always raises a red flag from me whenever a developer says he or she hates a particular control scheme in the abstract (and for the record, there are several virtual d-pad platformers that work very, very well). Originality should always be encouraged, though, and I'm definitely eager to see a new take on touchscreen controls.

Looking forward to updates...
08-30-2011, 09:41 AM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by LOLavi View Post
Joystick and jump button?
Not quite. You'll see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOLavi View Post
And it's awesome to hear it's an exploration platformer and you already have experience on making them
Just to be clear, this isn't Metroid or Castlevania. We're not talking about leisurely exploring a large interconnected space like those games. Wind-up Knight is about moving forward at a breakneck pace, dealing with everything in your path, and using the knight's moves to avoid getting killed. But along the way you'll notice side passages, secret areas, and coins that look impossible to collect. To really beat the game you'll have to thoroughly explore these areas. Thinking on your feet is the name of the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by squarezero View Post
Looks absolutely gorgeous. Like arta, I'm intrigued by the control choices -- frankly, it always raises a red flag from me whenever a developer says he or she hates a particular control scheme in the abstract (and for the record, there are several virtual d-pad platformers that work very, very well). Originality should always be encouraged, though, and I'm definitely eager to see a new take on touchscreen controls.
I love d-pads on consoles, but it does not seem like the most ideal form of input for a touchscreen. There have certainly been some good games made that way, but it seems like a holdover from an earlier era. As Graeme Devine put it at GDC this year, "When you show the player a virtual d-pad, the message is that your game would be more fun on some other device."

Our control choices may surprise you, but I don't think they are as radical as you might have imagined. Our goal is simplicity and expressiveness. We'll be ready to talk more about that part of the game soon.

Twitter:@c_pruett
ROBOT INVADER
Wind-up Knight 2 out April 10th!
App Store: http://bit.ly/1kFc6ay
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1lHooRf
08-30-2011, 11:22 AM
#9
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by squarezero View Post
Looks absolutely gorgeous. Like arta, I'm intrigued by the control choices -- frankly, it always raises a red flag from me whenever a developer says he or she hates a particular control scheme in the abstract (and for the record, there are several virtual d-pad platformers that work very, very well). Originality should always be encouraged, though, and I'm definitely eager to see a new take on touchscreen controls.

Looking forward to updates...
I myself am also not exactly thrilled at the prospect of a control scheme built around some oppositional philosophy as opposed to what actually works. The last two years I've been asking platformer developers to actually try the current standard of VC platformers, for them to experience firsthand. You cannot play League of Evil and Robot Wants Kitty and claim with a straight face that they aren't responsive. Everytime a dev like the guys behind games like Chop Chop Cavemen and Mos Speedrun say they are making some alternate control scheme the sole option BECAUSE standard virtual controls aren't responsive, I know they haven't done their homework, I know they simply assumed that their own was better because of some guy at a keynote rather than actual testing, and I know they'll end up implementing virtual controls after the fact anyway.

Blazing new paths is awesome and always welcome. Balancing the philosophy with real world testing is what I'm asking. And standard virtual controls as an option wouldn't hurt either.

Anyway, my guess is that either some or all of the HUD elements will be invisible (like Caster) or one virtual button will have multiple functions (like Mos Speedrun, or this space shooter from last year I can't remember).

Currently learning iMaschine and Garage Band.
08-30-2011, 11:25 AM
#10
The control system we have is not the one we started out with. We spent several months iterating on the core control design--it was by far the hardest part of the game to nail down. It might not be what you expect, but it's tons of fun and I think you'll enjoy it.

We'll talk more about controls soon.

Twitter:@c_pruett
ROBOT INVADER
Wind-up Knight 2 out April 10th!
App Store: http://bit.ly/1kFc6ay
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1lHooRf