What’s Up?

November 18th, 2011

Development has been slow the past few weeks mostly due to our other jobs and some minor computer issues. We may be releasing a small game or two, most likely for android, before In The Dark is finished. This will help us with our funding issues, and in the long run should speed up development.

We’re also trying out a different level creation pipeline that should be a little bit quicker and hopefully result in better levels.

We finally got the Tshirts in! I was going to upload some photos of them, but it turns out glow in the dark stuff doesn’t photograph very well. We’re really happy with them, and I think everyone we’re sending them to will be too. Initially we were planning to sign them, but it doesn’t look like thats going to work very well, and that would discourage wearing them, so instead we’re going to send them with a signed print. We still have to get something printed up, but hopefully we’ll be able to get them shipped by the end of the month. We also have a few extra shirts, which we’ll be selling at future conventions and possibly online for anyone still interested in one.



Making an Endless Boss Level

November 3rd, 2011

One problem I ran into recently while working on the demo for ITD (which hopefully will be done soon) was making the boss level physically long enough. This boss chases Bump until you beat him, so the level needs to vary in length depending on how much time that takes. In The Dark wasn’t really developed with this sort of level in mind, but luckily there is a fairly simple way around that. The test version of this level looks like this:   
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Player Movement (or Why You Should Never Rely on Physics Engines)

October 26th, 2011

Making Bump move 100% the way I would like him to is impossible. But by the time In The Dark is finished, I hope that he will move how I want him to at least 99.9% of the time. In The Dark only relies heavily on physics because it has to, if I were making a traditional platformer or something I would write my own collision system. I’m stupid for relying on the physics any more than I absolutely necessary,  but over time I’ve removed almost all of the physics properties from bump, and really just rely on it for collision and as a means to consistently propel him around.

So why are physics engines so bad for handling characters in games, or really anything in games other than crates and barrels? (sure see a lot of those in games nowadays, huh?) The problem stems from classic games, you can lay most of the blame with Mario. In classic games (this applies to 3D as well as 2D) there wasn’t really any processing power to handle realistic momentum, collision, or even acceleration so games cheated. At the same time, speed and scales were exaggerated to make the games more fun and skill based. Everyone started copying the early games that did this, and now it’s so ingrained in most gamers that when a game attempts a realistic simulation it “feels wrong.”

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Putting Together a Demo

October 20th, 2011

We were trying to get a short demo ready for IGF this year but we didn’t make the deadline. Rather than let the effort go to waste, we are going to use it as a sort of alpha for our beta testers.

We are currently trying to get it ready (better controller support, data logging of a few things, more Mac / Linux testing, a boss monster which you’ll have to wait to see in action) but hopefully we’ll be able to send that out in a few weeks. After we get feedback and make any needed changes we’ll see about releasing it publicly.

I see that people seemed to like my write up on Bump’s footing detection, so I’ll write more posts like that in the future. I’m sure some of you might be interested in how the level editor or the lights actually work.

In other news we are in the process of ordering the shirts and posters. Because they are small bulk orders they may take a little while to get to us. Thanks again everybody! and don’t forget that you can still preorder or donate! Every dollar allows us to spend more time working on In The Dark.

Footing Detection and Wobbly Bump

October 8th, 2011

Recently we added this wobbling animation for when Bump is in a precarious position:

The only problem is our existing footing detection for Bump wasn’t really capable of the kind of precision to make the animation play at the right times. Traditional platformers have very simple systems for making these decisions, most use grids and have no support for rotation. Obviously when using a physics engine and having dynamically generated platforms like In The Dark’s lights, things get more complicated.  Bump’s footing detection has gone through five different major versions since we started.

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Thanks Everybody!

October 1st, 2011

We raised over $2500! We will be ordering the shirts and posters as soon as we get some people’s sizing information and verify some addresses. We will continue to accept PayPal for a little while with all the other rewards, but the shirts will no longer be available after we’ve placed the order for them.
In other news, we’re working on getting a demo ready for beta testers and IGF, our schedules allowing. We’ll post more news as it happens.

Thanks again everybody!

We’re still here!

September 29th, 2011

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted an update.

We’re working hard on In The Dark but are still short on funds so progress has been slower than we would like.

The past week has mostly gone into getting the map editor to be more usable, with features like copy / paste, undo, and recovery of maps from close / crash without saving.

In other news, only 2 days left if you want to support us through Paypal , thanks to everyone who has already preordered, we couldn’t do this without you!

New Light Stuff

September 15th, 2011

I rewrote a lot of the lamp code recently to add some new features. Most obviously, In The Dark now has colored lights! These probably won’t have any effect on the game play (at least, they don’t right now) but it means we can include much more variety in light sources. Less obvious is improved scripting for lamps, it was needed for things that show up in later levels like stoplights:

Also we will be at Intervention in DC this weekend. We are mainly going because of Kerry’s comics but we’ll all be there, so stop by and say hi and maybe we’ll have a demo you can play.

Finally, we’d like to thank everyone thats supported us so far, we’ve raised over $2200! Thank you so much!


Monster Contest Winners

September 9th, 2011

A couple of weeks ago we ran a contest on Deviant Art for people to come up with their own monsters for In The Dark and we got some great entries!

It was tough to narrow it down to our three favorites but here they are:

Pinappleapple’s entry was animated! We liked that
it actually has some potential for creating more
intricate puzzles and its overall ridiculousness.



And the entry that will be in the final game is APPUL’s!


Zazz96’s entry Cappie has a great awkwardness to him and
manages to be threatening and cute at the same time.



It’s simple, silly, and immediately gave us some fun ideas to play with.
We liked its kind of terrible teeth, and its suction cup like feet.

So it’s going to be in the game! All three will receive copies of In The Dark when it comes out. We’d like to thank everyone who participated and you can check out the list of entries over here.

Amazon Payments

September 2nd, 2011

We realize not everyone is comfortable with using Paypal, so we added Amazon payment buttons for standard preorders.

The final retail price for In The Dark will be $20, and the special edition will be unavailable so order now!

Preorder In The Dark!
Save 25% by Preordering!

$15 Standard Version:

$20 Special Edition:
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