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[WIP-feedbackplz] Into The Wind -Zen Flowers (Causality/Singularity, 7 Pips)

10-15-2015, 11:18 AM
#1
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Singapore
Posts: 330
[WIP-feedbackplz] Into The Wind -Zen Flowers (Causality/Singularity, 7 Pips)



Currently accepting a limited number of testers for Testflight beta testing. Interested Parties do Pm me your tf email address, or email to edmund (dot) ching (at) unexpect3rd (dot) com

[update 1 below: art style decided]
[update 2 below: new video added]
[update 3 below: app preview video added]

Hi guys, just want to share this. Feedbacks are most appreciated (esp from artists and designers!)[note: i am programming trained]

It's a game I've been working on when I'm not at my day job. The original intention of creating this game was to improve my animation and aesthetic skills. As a programmer, I can't draw if my life depended on it, so I choose the subject of "Flowers". With flowers, I was thinking "colorful" and thus I kept the gameplay down to earth with a match-3 mechanic.

Another objective was to see if I can create a game that you can "not play", like, just stare at it, and feel relax, alas, Zen Flowers.

Here you can see various stages of me trying to improve on the look and feel (not a great job really)




Here is a video of the gameplay, art style may still not be finalised and feedbacks are welcomed!



And here is a nearly two minutes long version featuring the Zen mode for you to ..... stare at, lol.



[UPDATE 1]

Art style decided




[UPDATE 2]

Day Night Cycle with the new art style and random generate star night



[UPDATE 3]

App preview to be used in the app store for the iPad


Last edited by unexpect3rd; 11-18-2015 at 12:47 AM.
10-18-2015, 11:03 AM
#2
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Singapore
Posts: 330
The problem with programmer making a game on his own.... he cant get the looks right....


10-18-2015, 03:37 PM
#3
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 313
Out of the 4 styles in your second post, the far left is my favorite. Looks like it's the one you went with for the build in the videos, too. Have you tried flowers shaded in that style but with a subtle outline as in the 2nd and 4th images? It actually looks fine in motion in the videos, but as a still image without the outline the flowers sort of all blend together a bit much - particularly the blue ones. I also think the 'grunge' overlay you have going on is a bit strong and is an odd choice given the rest of the game being so bright and colorful. I can see why you've done it (I think), without it the image looks a bit flat. The texture it gives definitely helps in that regard. Unfortunately I can't think of anything that might fit the style better. For someone that "can't draw if [their] life depended on it" I think you've done a pretty solid job. It's particularly impressive in motion with the wind ripples, and when you see the flowers explode in to individual petals and realize they weren't just a single flat image.

Tried to show the difference the outlines make by tracing/redrawing one of your flowers but was probably a bit too subtle with it:



Redrawn flower with outlines on the right:



It probably needs something more than a single pixel stroke to make a real difference. I dunno, I think it helps.

Note: I am not an artist (perhaps I'm giving myself too much credit by even feeling the need to say this)~

Last edited by spleen; 10-18-2015 at 04:06 PM.
10-18-2015, 04:28 PM
#4
one thing is for sure, this game is super relaxing, i love the art and sounds
10-19-2015, 12:47 AM
#5
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Singapore
Posts: 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by spleen View Post
Tried to show the difference the outlines make by tracing/redrawing one of your flowers but was probably a bit too subtle with it:



Redrawn flower with outlines on the right:

Thank you @spleen ! Your outlining definitely looks better than what i had attempted at (thickness and color). Yep the grunge overlay was too much. At first I was emulating the very subtle texturing used in Tiny Wings' backgrounds (the result was the very top side by side comparison image), I thought it looked nice and went ahead with another version with a less subtle texturing, guess it backfired.

To outline or not to is a major decision as those lines it self will effectively change the feel of the look. I originally envisioned a game whereby it'll feel like you are really out in the open, under blue skies and white clouds, watching flowers/grass being blown across a field. Outlining the flower petals may break that feel as it makes the object looks more .... "drawing-like"? Like, in real life, objects are not outlined.

Colors was a major problem for me... Matching any colors beyond 2 or 3 hues is beyond my league. Now I need to match > 4,5 colors. Furthermore its a match-3, generally, match-3 game objects usually have very contrasting colors, that just made my color palette mixing even more headache.

Trivia, i did some research, there seems to be almost NO match-3 games that can be considered "visually beautiful".


@FlyingC

Thanks man. Kitaro had a piece that fits perfectly for this game, but his company wouldn't speak to me about licensing (well, not that I can afford it anyway). So I had to splice together this bgm on my own. I'm still upset not being able to have flute in the bgm...
10-19-2015, 02:51 AM
#6
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by unexpect3rd View Post
At first I was emulating the very subtle texturing used in Tiny Wings' backgrounds (the result was the very top side by side comparison image), I thought it looked nice and went ahead with another version with a less subtle texturing, guess it backfired.
Like I said, I think you're on the right track with having the texture, just maybe not that one - or not as strong. It helps breaks up the otherwise clean gradients that give a very cartoonish look. Also remember this is just the opinion of one random dude on the internet, if you think it looks nice don't be so quick to second guess yourself!

Quote:
Originally Posted by unexpect3rd View Post
To outline or not to is a major decision as those lines it self will effectively change the feel of the look. I originally envisioned a game whereby it'll feel like you are really out in the open, under blue skies and white clouds, watching flowers/grass being blown across a field. Outlining the flower petals may break that feel as it makes the object looks more .... "drawing-like"? Like, in real life, objects are not outlined.
True enough. My main concern in suggesting the outlines was to more clearly define the flowers (particularly blue). Your typical match 3 game usually has solid coloured orbs or squares, with clear borders, so you're in a fairly unique situation. Seeing as you're faced with a time limit being able to quickly and easily identify patterns and distinguish 'blocks' seems like it'd be one of the more important elements of the games. I hadn't considered how much it would change the overall intended look of your game, though. A lot more thought than I would have imagined goes in to such simple things.

Last edited by spleen; 10-19-2015 at 03:00 AM.
10-19-2015, 08:30 AM
#7
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Singapore
Posts: 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by spleen View Post
Seeing as you're faced with a time limit being able to quickly and easily identify patterns and distinguish 'blocks' seems like it'd be one of the more important elements of the games.

Just fyi, the first mode in this game will be "move limited" instead of "time limited". It's a mode meant for players to take their time to potentially plan moves for completing mini objectives.

Well, I'll still be toiling a bit more to refine the looks of the game before I will put it out. Since the gameplay itself is pretty elementary, I would hope at least the look and animations can capture some eyes. This is the first time I made a game with the art/animation in mind before I designed the gameplay. I guess it's another experimentation for me in gamedev.
10-19-2015, 08:37 AM
#8
Joined: Jan 2015
Location: Liberty city
Posts: 2,747
Interested in this game
10-20-2015, 12:35 PM
#9
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Singapore
Posts: 330
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayg2015 View Post
Interested in this game
@ JAyg2015 Do look forward to it!!


Meanwhile, after some assistance and pointers from a couple of gfx designer friends, I have finally settled on a art style !! We have a winner. I will still need to work on polishing some little details here and there. Will be posting some videos... actually, i'll post gifs if i can figure how to make those really nice ones. Still images probably wont do these flowers justice...

Will be making Zen mode to be more.... Zen worthy.


Last edited by unexpect3rd; 10-20-2015 at 12:37 PM.
10-20-2015, 04:16 PM
#10
Joined: Jan 2015
Location: Liberty city
Posts: 2,747
That was the best screenshot. Anyway I could beta test this brilliant game