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CORPORATE SALMON - Fish in Business Suits Climbing an Escalator.

07-19-2017, 05:28 AM
#1
Joined: Nov 2016
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 28
CORPORATE SALMON - Fish in Business Suits Climbing an Escalator. [NOW BETA TESTING]



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Don your best suit and flop to the top of a fishy financial escalator in Corporate Salmon


Youtube link | Pop Up



Here's the gist of Corporate Salmon...


Get ready for work...


Launch career...


Collect revenue...


Make profits...


Mingle with colleagues...


Get fired...


Buy suits to feel better.


I've been working on the project for 3-4 months (As well as flitting between other projects), I expect this one will be in development for another month or so.

If you hadn't guessed from the format of the game (And my previous projects) this is a game for mobile, I'll be making it free with ads (With the option to pay to remove them). I'll probably also chuck up a version of the project on a flash portal as well!

Any thoughts on what you see so far would be greatly appreciated, as well as any questions you have. There should be more info coming soon in the next few weeks!

I will try and keep this page nice and up to date with what I'm up to, I find posting fixes/updates helps me keep track of where I'm at, particularly in the later stages of development where progress isn't measured in huge leaps and bounds. Twitter is my usual stomping grounds, for super up to date stuff check out what I'm posting on there.

Thanks!

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Last edited by AlexVsCoding; 09-18-2017 at 08:34 AM.
07-19-2017, 10:26 AM
#2
Joined: Oct 2014
Location: NYC
Posts: 226
Really enjoying the graphics, also the idea (and visual) of a salmon climbing an escalator is cracking me up. Not gonna be able to look at an escalator the same way Looking forward to more updates.

07-20-2017, 02:09 AM
#3
Joined: Nov 2016
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 28
Hey Folks,

These posts are quite useful for keeping track of lists and gauging progress on projects, and I recently decided to add it to Touch Arcade after being advised by another dev. Compared to other Forums out there, it has an active community (600 views on the forum post in a day seems to suggest so!). The next couple of posts will be getting you up to speed with my development process so far from previous logs, then the final stages of development as I enter the final month on this game. This should explain some of the time dilation in the posts. I hope you find it useful and that it provides an idea of the path the project has taken. Thanks!




Hey Folks,

So it's been over a month since I updated this devlog, for good reason; literally the day after posting it, I moved into a new flat. Finding, negotiating and moving in wiped me out for two weeks, where I just needed to focus on rebuilding my routines and resting. After that, I've been slowly tinkering on the project and doing other various events.

A lot has moved forwards!

Here's the major changes:
1. Rather than having the escalator restricted to the screen space, I've made amendments so that you can actually climb the escalator (Rather than just getting pushed back down). This was a big undertaking (And basically required gutting a lot of functions), but has definitely been worth it. Gameplay has a better flow now and a tangible end to the game rather than just a slow point grind.
2. Colour revamp: Whilst I am able to draw stuff, I am utterly incompetent with colour grading and theory. If you've seen some cohesive themes in my games, I do enjoy pink and green as a palette, but in the case of Corporate Salmon, there was a lot of colours that clashed in awful ways. So, I enlisted the help of the NES palette to remaster the game visuals with. Just having a palette to work with that just compliments across the board is super fun.
3. UI revamp: Like with Narcissus previously, one of the elements of my games that gets the most attention during development has to be the user interface. After 4 revamps, I decided to hack out all of the original gimmicks such as the line graph, profit/loss chart in the corner of the gameplay screen and in turn simplified the progress meter and final score listings. The setup is a lot cleaner now which I'm just about happy with (May still make some amendments yet!). As for the main menu, I replaced the text in there previously with the 3 main buttons of the restart screen.
4. More tangible progression in game: I've added an actual visual progression in game so as you move up levels, the colour of the escalator changes as well as the background to reflect moving between floors. The aggressiveness of your fishy colleagues as well as the frequency of money increases as you get higher and higher up. To level up in game as well, you can either reach the top of the escalator for that floor OR get the required amount of coins (Both is possible as well which is pretty cool!)
5. Staggering the gameplay: Upon loading up the game for the first time, all UI elements are cut except what you need to progress to gameplay (The play button), then slowly gameplay elements are introduced with each death. It's a much smoother transition into what's happening, particularly after watching a lot of people scratching their heads initially to even start the game or even know what was happening.
6. Boss level at the end of the game with a floppy ragdoll bear. Was a stupid amount of fun to work on, still a lot of amendments to sort out.
7. A LOT of tiny refinements and fixes.

SO

What are the major things that I'm needing to tackle from this point?
A. Finish the end of game scene: Since updating the camera movement for the rest of the game (Allowing the player to advance at their own speed), I need to do the same for the Boss. I also want to do one final layer of polish and refinement on the level itself and finish the ending.
B. Shop Refinement: Whilst the majority of the functionality is there, I need to create at least 25 different suits of varying prices for the final game. I also have an itch to update the visuals of the store, as there's something still off in my eyes.
C. Font design: I've struggled up to this point to pin down the fonts I want for the game, and as I've updated the UI for the game I've changed the font to various designs. I need to pin down the specific sets for example the monitor screens versus the general gameplay UI, then update the rest of the game UI to match.
D. Refinements to currencies and scores in game: Whilst the coins in game are a good currency, the profit and loss function is consistently lost on people. I'm going to be figuring out whether cutting it back to purely coins works or whether I can save the multiplier function somehow.
E. Profit/Loss line positioning: One of the big complaints I've had so far is people being unable to jump past the loss lines when they're in a certain position. For this, I'll be experimenting with what collecting them means, whether there's a better way to do it and trying to make their positioning more uniform.
F. Streamlining the gameplay loop: Currently the player must wait for their coins to be counted before restarting the level. I recently played an App that forced you to watch these figures rise without offering the option to skip the "OOOH look how many points you scored" section. It kills the pacing and I'd like to be able to left people watch that if they want, but be able to skip it and still have their currency counted.
G. App functionality: Adding in stuff like the AD functionality, iAP to disable Ads, leaderboards, reward ads (And getting coins to buy suits).
H. Produce press materials and contact content producers
I. Produce App Store materials (Trailer, logo, banner).
J. Look into the possibility of localising the game.


I think as well on top of all this, I'll be looking at putting out a flash build in a couple of weeks to test the functionality and gauge interest. Keep an eye out for that!

Thanks for your patience, I'll be aiming to update this on a semi-daily basis; I'll be taking the game to an event this weekend so I'll hopefully get some more feedback from there!
07-20-2017, 02:18 AM
#4
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: On the toilet
Posts: 4,605
I think I'm going to have to download this game once it comes out. It's just too funny

My screen name is misunderstood. I am not some arrogant person who thinks he's so cool. Cool, because I like cold weather and Pepper because I'm hot.

Game Center: BakedCracker
07-20-2017, 12:31 PM
#5
Joined: Nov 2016
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 28
Hey Folks,

Here's some GIFs of Corporate Salmon showing 2 levels of gameplay!

Corporate Salmon is structured in an office building, where over the course of gameplay you rise up the floors to the CEO office at the top. Not only does the colour of the level change, but also a couple of subtle variables:
1. Initial speed of escalator
2. Frequency of rival employee fish spawn
3. Frequency of coins spawned (Timing remains the same, just the burst increased)
4. Rival fish jump power put also frequency of jump increased, meaning they can keep up with the accelerating escalator.










From the event I attended on the weekend, folks enjoyed the game but a couple of issues arose:
1. The play button is still not clear enough for first time players (Admittedly I need a tutorial reset function as many people played the App without the tutorial that removes other icons from the screen).
2. The green/red jump lines were mistaken several times for just markers/signs rather than something that could be interacted with, so I need to create some kind of visual indicator that you should jump on them, whether that's a little tutorial pop up or text above the objects for the first couple of rounds they are in the game. May also require more revising of the design - If any of you have any thoughts for an alternative or examples of jump bars done right, let me know.
3. Spamming - Currently some people who played the game just repeatedly pushed jump to launch the fish up the screen. To counter this, I'll be adding in some variables that will make the level harder if spamming occurs. Examples of this might be increasing the frequency of red lines on the screen (You don't want to jump on those), possibly look at a subtle additional increase of escalator speed or volume of fish launched at player. I was thinking about having a stamina function, but I'm wanting to keep clutter on the screen as minimal as possible and don't want to create scenarios that can't be beaten or escaped from.
4. One other thing I'll be looking into to control spamming is collision detection. For example, should a salmon be able to jump on the side of a step to climb it or just the flat top of the step? I'll be experimenting with that now.


I've also got another feedback session in 2 hours, so I'll gather some more feedback there.

Things to fix in the next 2 hours:
1. Add a simple factory reset function to make a clean test easier
2. Experiment with designs for pop up tutorial screens
3. Tinker with the collision detection for the escalator steps.

That's all for now, stay tuned for more soon! I'll likely be putting up a longer playthrough in the next couple of days, as most have just been quick excerpts. Thanks for all your comments by the way, always helps!
07-21-2017, 04:26 AM
#6
Joined: Nov 2016
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 28
Hey Folks,

So I got a bunch of really useful feedback for Corporate Salmon yesterday, and in turn I've been spending some time developing the shop.


Here's what I fixed!
1. Because of complaints mentioning the suits being too small to see, I doubled the size of the salmon and the suits on display.
2. Added some wiggle to the suit hooks to make them feel more natural.
3. I had someone mention the suit bags looked like hunks of meat in a butchers freezer, so instead of having generic red bags for the suits I've let them keep their unique designs with a padlock imposed over the top to indicate whether they're unlocked or not. As you can see in the pricing on the right, I also indicate whether they've been purchased or not.
4. For an extra bit of flair, the suit origin points are the top corner, so they not only wobble from that location but also scale slightly as they exit the screen.
5. Have started experimenting with a better system of documenting each suit as I'll be adding at least another 10 for the initial release so want a smooth workflow of introducing more.
BONUS Fix: I made it so the jump/fall lines only spawn in the middle of the step now so that the player can always dodge them.

Here's the list of other feedback I received that I'll be adding/amending tomorrow:
1. Disable enemy fish spawn after death (As they continue spawning until the app literally crashes after 5 mins) DONE
2. Put the stats sheet graphic in the main menu atlas since it is only in the gameplay area currently DONE
3. Look into having some visual indicator other than the promotion/colour change to show switching floors.
4. Along with the profit and loss lines, I'm going to look into having a couple of different variations of jump booster in the form of Bubbles and Hoops (Financial bubbles and loopholes) to accompany financial margins.
5. A visual indicator of what to do with the profit and loss lines in game.

I'm going to do one or two amendments tonight then aim to update my app build, failing that I'll export a windows version and get some footage from OBS. Either way, there should be some extended gameplay footage up tonight!

Stay tuned for more soon!
07-22-2017, 02:00 AM
#7
Joined: Nov 2016
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 28
Hey Folks, I've uploaded a video of gameplay if you fancy giving it a look!




It's not super swish quality but I'll upload a video from my tablet tomorrow (Once I've updated the build).

I'm also going to be updating the Gifs in the first thread which I'll be storing here for comparison against the current progress. Looking back it's comforting to see the change, as I've been doing a lot of remaking the same assets over and over again so from my perspective progress is unnoticeable.

Thanks again for giving this a read, I'm signing off for tonight once I've switched the gifs.

OLD VS NEW













07-24-2017, 07:13 AM
#8
Joined: Nov 2016
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 28
Hey Folks,

Had a weekend off from the project, which has given me some time to consolidate my thoughts on the project but also do some play testing!


Here's some updated footage of Corporate Salmon on Tablet!


Here's the list of amendments and improvements:
- Fix boss sequence DONE
- Profit and loss line system still not clear
- Swipe to scroll within the shop DONE
- Look into extending the level
- Finish the end cinematic DONE
- Review the lose state underlay DONE
- Add upward arrow at the top of the escalator DONE
- Update logo and splash screen
- Possibly update font/colour for stats screen
- Set up Ads, rating system, iAP and leaderboards.
- Update Ad reward graphic
- Purchased rather than owned? DONE
- Price window should scale to match length of string DONE
- Redo backdrop for Suit Yourself DONE
- Come up with list names and appropriate prices for the suits recently designed
- For the BUY button for Suit Yourself, have the alternative option of WEAR for purchased items DONE
- Look into variations of stairs for the escalator (Wobbly/Tiny/Huge)
- Extra/bonus backdrop designs?
- Anti-Spamming mechanics
- Update bear portrait DONE
- Finalise tie fastening animation for menu
- Possibly add accompanying animation graphic for the tutorial for "tapping the screen to jump"
- Switch metres for feet (Because 32m looks too much like million beneath the currency display) DONE
- Add "Paused" text to pause screen. DONE
- Disable display of pause icon when recording footage
- Hard reset function under settings
- Experiment with making jump angle and speed more consistent DONE
- Figure out how to display a nicely animated score at game over whilst also recording the outcome if the player decides to skip that
- Dabble with opacity of escalator glass DONE
- Update record button graphic DONE-ISH
- Experiment with updating coin designs (Higher resolution since the current version is scaled up from a smaller resolution)
- Try designing lower resolution profit and loss bars then scale up instead.

Apologies if this appears somewhat rambling, just copied it from my notebook and in time I'll be elaborating on each point as I address them. At the very least, I'll try and group them into either priority or subject, as there is definitely some overlap on these fixes.

Stay tuned for more updates soon!
07-24-2017, 09:20 PM
#9
Joined: Jun 2017
Location: Beijing, China
Posts: 45
oh sooo tricky... would like to give a try
07-28-2017, 10:48 AM
#10
Joined: Nov 2016
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 28

Hey Folks,

Managed to get a bunch sorted today, been chipping through the list, most of my focus today has been on getting the shop sorted.

Main thing I'm going to try to get to the bottom of tomorrow is how I want the suits to be selected and how the player transitions between suits (Whether they perform one swipe and it moves a set of the suits along in one swipe or a sustained swiping).

Here's a glorious gif of the Corporate Salmon wearing a hotdog bun for a suit.


Signing off for today, keep an eye out for more progress tomorrow.