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Author Topic: Kometen  (Read 36590 times)
Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2010, 07:22:43 PM »

How was the response to Vanitas and The Graveyard on the iPhone? (or anyone else who has made a game for those devices)

It wasn't spectacular. I think Kometen is better suited for the platform because it is light-hearted and fun.
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Erik Svedäng

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« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2010, 12:51:27 AM »

Thanks a lot Jorge!

I'd like more interaction, though. It's nice to find special "characters" going around the same way as you, but I found myself wanting to comunicate or interact with them apart from the fact of just finding them. For example, it would be nice to see some space shuttles inviting you to follow them to show you something, or just asking you to guide them to a certain place.

Interaction with other things is something I've wanted to have in the game but it's just hard to get right. I don't want the comet to talk or write to others, I'd like some kind of wordless communication. I'm working on something like this now, hopefully it will be good enough to put into an update.

Oh! And I'd like to ask something. Have you been inspired by Keita Takahashi's works (Katamari Damacy, Noby Noby Boy)? I think his games have a similar spirit to yours.

Yeah I guess so... not in style or ideas so much as in his attitude towards games which I find very encouraging. He's kind of a notgame-creator, right? He should go "indie" though; Katamari would be so much better without the time limit on the levels and I'm sure that was put in by some suit (or other game designers).

It wasn't spectacular. I think Kometen is better suited for the platform because it is light-hearted and fun.

Ok. Someone was very upset about how depressing they found our game though Smiley And I think the way Vanitas turns your iPhone into a box is very clever and well suited to the whole device. I feel that it's possible to create a very special relationship with an object that is so small that you can hold it in your hand. Vanitas clearly uses this to its advantage and we tried to do it in some small ways with Kometen; for example you can flip the device around and see your comet adapt to the new order of the world.

My original thought was if the iPhone is a good way to reach more non-gamer people than through the PC. I guess it's impossible for anyone to answer but maybe someone more qualified could make a guess?
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2010, 01:27:13 PM »

My original thought was if the iPhone is a good way to reach more non-gamer people than through the PC. I guess it's impossible for anyone to answer but maybe someone more qualified could make a guess?

We chose to release Vanitas for the iPhone to test this theory. But I have a feeling that, while the audience may be more diverse, the desire for -relatively deep- entertainment is not wide-spread. When distributing through PC, it's almost impossible to reach non-gamers. But among the gamer audience, there's a small niche that is very interested in the kinds of apps we want to make. And in the end, it seems that that small niche of the PC gamers audience is a lot bigger than the small niche of interested non-gamers in the diverse iPhone audience. This is just guesswork based on superficial observation. I'd like to hear examples that contradict this.
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Erik Svedäng

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« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2010, 08:04:23 PM »

I see.  I know that a huge part of the iPhone gamers actually are kids on iPod Touch so that might explain their taste in entertainment. Oh, and the only game I actually see people play on their phones at the train/bus is the card game Solitaire.

I guess the potential for PC games must be bigger in the end since almost anyone (in the western world) has access to a PC in some way. I like the focus your game gets on the beautiful screen of an iPhone or iPad though, so I think I'll make some more stuff there mainly for the pure joy of it.
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Jorge

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« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2010, 01:46:24 AM »

Thanks a lot Jorge!

Thank you for gifting us with your game Smiley.

Quote
Interaction with other things is something I've wanted to have in the game but it's just hard to get right. I don't want the comet to talk or write to others, I'd like some kind of wordless communication. I'm working on something like this now, hopefully it will be good enough to put into an update.

Oh, don't mind me. I really was just saying the first things that came up to my mind, I didn't truly give it a deep thought. What I was trying to point is that the game is nice, but -maybe because it is so nice- It really makes you desire "I want more!". More things to do, more ways to interact, more mechanics, I don't know what it should be, but it is clear for me that I want more interaction Grin.

Quote
Yeah I guess so... not in style or ideas so much as in his attitude towards games which I find very encouraging. He's kind of a notgame-creator, right? He should go "indie" though; Katamari would be so much better without the time limit on the levels and I'm sure that was put in by some suit (or other game designers).

In Noby Noby Boy he quite abandoned the goal-oriented scheme. It is true that in the last place you have to stretch yourself to make Girl go further, but the game really makes clear that the most important thing in it is to have fun.

We chose to release Vanitas for the iPhone to test this theory. But I have a feeling that, while the audience may be more diverse, the desire for -relatively deep- entertainment is not wide-spread. When distributing through PC, it's almost impossible to reach non-gamers. But among the gamer audience, there's a small niche that is very interested in the kinds of apps we want to make. And in the end, it seems that that small niche of the PC gamers audience is a lot bigger than the small niche of interested non-gamers in the diverse iPhone audience. This is just guesswork based on superficial observation. I'd like to hear examples that contradict this.

Now I have read this I'm thinking the magnitude of this problem is bigger than I thought. It seems like we don't really have a place, I mean, we are somewhat between games and art. Or maybe we are just art but still people see all this too related to games because of its origins. Maybe we should start wondering about of in what "circles" we want to be and start to make moves in that direction. If the objective is to let all this be known by audiences interested in aesthethics and artistic expression something should be done.

One of my teachers is a person very concerned and interested in this. She likes a wide amount of kinds of artistic expression and she didn't knew what was being done in the interactive medium. When I told her she seemed very excited and wanted to check it out.

I know it is maybe too soon, but this makes me think on all the people that would find all this attemps and projects interesting and they are not enoying it just because we haven't reached them yet.
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JordanMagnuson

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« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2010, 02:43:25 AM »

Gorgeous. I also wish I had an iPhone so I could play it! Can I ask what you made this in? Any possibility of a PC port?
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Erik Svedäng

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« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2010, 07:23:54 PM »

Gorgeous. I also wish I had an iPhone so I could play it! Can I ask what you made this in? Any possibility of a PC port?

Thanks! We made it with Cocos 2D, a game framework written in Objective C (the native programming language on the iPhone). The combination of hard-to-port code and an interface that works much better with touch will probably make the game stay on the iPhone (and iPad eventually). Sorry! :/
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ghostwheel

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« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2010, 02:33:32 AM »

My original thought was if the iPhone is a good way to reach more non-gamer people than through the PC. I guess it's impossible for anyone to answer but maybe someone more qualified could make a guess?

We chose to release Vanitas for the iPhone to test this theory. But I have a feeling that, while the audience may be more diverse, the desire for -relatively deep- entertainment is not wide-spread. When distributing through PC, it's almost impossible to reach non-gamers. But among the gamer audience, there's a small niche that is very interested in the kinds of apps we want to make. And in the end, it seems that that small niche of the PC gamers audience is a lot bigger than the small niche of interested non-gamers in the diverse iPhone audience. This is just guesswork based on superficial observation. I'd like to hear examples that contradict this.

This is an interesting anecdote and one I'm not entirely surprised with. While the niche for "art" games is currently present on the PC, I suspect things will change drastically in the next 5 years. I feel that home computing is going to move away from desktops to slates (like the iPad). Affordable desktop/workstations may very likely disappear except for business and technology use. Consequently, the price of desktops will go up. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple eliminates their consumer computers and only sell their Pro machines. And the iPad can't be used for development. The price of development is going to climb.

Unfortunately, gaming consoles aren't that great of a choice for alternative types of gaming either. And like the iPad, they are closed systems and to a certain extent, even more so than the iPad. Slates with Android, webOS and similar systems may be a more viable option. Some professional indie developers will survive of course. But again, if you don't have access to low cost hardware you're not going to be developing indie games in your bedroom. The current, active and exciting indie game scene will evaporate.

It sucks, I'm not happy about it and I hope I'm wrong. Maybe I'm just being a pessimist.
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2010, 08:32:06 AM »

It's funny how humans always keep making inferior technology more popular.
With the kind of work we do, we need computers to become 1000 times faster, not slower. But that's what happens when computers become mobile: they become slow. Sad
I'm sure this will not affect most independent developers, since they work in 2D and mostly make games that, frankly, could be made on the computers of 20 years ago. But the research into immersive 3D may indeed completely stagnate and humankind will have lost one of the most powerful media it ever created.

However, good entertainment made with this technology would give the public a reason to hang on to it, and support it and demand it. That's where we come in! Smiley
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ghostwheel

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« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2010, 01:01:45 PM »

It's funny how humans always keep making inferior technology more popular.
With the kind of work we do, we need computers to become 1000 times faster, not slower. But that's what happens when computers become mobile: they become slow. Sad
I'm sure this will not affect most independent developers, since they work in 2D and mostly make games that, frankly, could be made on the computers of 20 years ago. But the research into immersive 3D may indeed completely stagnate and humankind will have lost one of the most powerful media it ever created.

However, good entertainment made with this technology would give the public a reason to hang on to it, and support it and demand it. That's where we come in! Smiley

I think you might be overlooking why the iPad is becoming so popular - ease of use. The iPad represents the beginning of the sort of computing we were promised at the dawn of PC computing in the 70's: computers anyone can use. A 1 GHz processor is more than enough to run 3d games. Perhaps not the latest and greatest hi-def, normal mapped, bloomy stuff but it can do it. But very very few developers are doing the sorts of games I'm interested in with the latest and greatest 3d tech. Cyan Worlds and their clones have all but disappeared. In fact, the only companies I can think of off the top of my head trying to create photo-realistic 3d experiences that aren't shooters are Frictional Games, Ice Pick Lodge and to an extent, your company. Though your stuff tends to be more stylized and not so much photo-realistic. I'm rambling now. Tongue

Sorry for hijacking your thread Erik!
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Kjell

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« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2010, 03:23:59 PM »

Quote
we need computers to become 1000 times faster

.. if you want to be 1000 times lazier when it comes to being creative with code Cheesy
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2010, 05:45:40 PM »

A 1 GHz processor is more than enough to run 3d games.

That strikes me as an odd thing to say for someone who recently needed to switch authoring environments because his game ran too slow...  Grin
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2010, 05:46:45 PM »

Quote
we need computers to become 1000 times faster

.. if you want to be 1000 times lazier when it comes to being creative with code Cheesy

If you have a good look at the time we spend on programming these days, you will see that most of that time is spent on getting the computer to run the things that we want to make. I wouldn't call wanting to reduce this time laziness. On the contrary. Faster computers could liberate us from many mundane tasks -work that the computer should be doing for us in the first place. The kind of creativity required to negotiate with a machine is not the kind I am interested in. I want to communicate with people instead. And put all my energy in that.
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Kjell

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« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2010, 07:27:20 PM »

Smiley

Quote
If you have a good look at the time we spend on programming these days, you will see that most of that time is spent on getting the computer to run the things that we want to make.

Increasing processor speed doesn't change the amount of time it takes to write code.

Quote
Faster computers could liberate us from many mundane tasks -work that the computer should be doing for us in the first place.

Computers don't do anything by themselves .. but I guess you're referring to more powerful / higher-level tools.

There's a certain danger to this though. When you for example take a typewriter, it will let you create text faster compared to pen & paper. But it comes at a cost, a typewriter is far less versatile then a pen. Sure you can "hack" a typewriter to do things other then it was originally meant for, but it will control the direction of your product to a degree

I know what you mean though .. you just want to tell a story, but instead you're messing around with empty ink ribbons & jammed type-bars Tongue

+ Snyggt game Erik ~
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JordanMagnuson

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« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2010, 12:02:32 PM »

Quote
If you have a good look at the time we spend on programming these days, you will see that most of that time is spent on getting the computer to run the things that we want to make. I wouldn't call wanting to reduce this time laziness. On the contrary. Faster computers could liberate us from many mundane tasks -work that the computer should be doing for us in the first place. The kind of creativity required to negotiate with a machine is not the kind I am interested in. I want to communicate with people instead. And put all my energy in that.

Hear hear.
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