Author Topic: Stranded Worlds (working title) - Demo Available  (Read 1412 times)

Hello,
I would like to introduce the passion project of mine,
Stranded Worlds

Humanity was once interstellar civilization living in habitable planets scattered all over the galaxy and connected via single hub accessed through portal gates.

They developed AI located in said hub which helped them make strides in communication, technology and understanding of physics. AI was self-improving and controlled everything. System maintenance, energy control, managing the portal gates, scientific exploration, technology production and more. Humans, no matter how well organized can not follow billions of decisions that AI makes in a single second and in time they completely relied on it. AI optimized itself for peak efficiency and people weren't able to understand the inner workings of such a powerful AI.

Disaster struck. AI shut down. No matter how hard people tried, they were not able to bring it back to life. With it all the production stopped, all advanced scientific discoveries lost in a second and all portal gates shut down, people were stranded on their own worlds left to manage on their own.

Around 20,000 years passed. Civilizations crumbled. Some degraded to stone age and built themselves up, some flourished and some perished.
One of the least affected civilizations finally managed to find a way to open the gate and enter the main hub. There they found thousands of closed gates and a barren world. They also find "vehicles" capable of moving through space without being affected by restrictions of known physics.
You play as a nameless starman discovering stranded worlds and connecting them back to the main hub. Connecting the civilization back... What's left of it.



The game starts in a second view perspective and you play as a wildling living in one of those stranded worlds and meeting the starman.





I want to keep it episodic, optimistic, amusing and (more-less)light.

Simple demo can be downloaded from https://drive.google.com/file/d/1P7XSoC2e1tXhjmMOsE_UaFVcmAn2qjkX/view?usp=sharing
This demo is planned to be something like a tutorial section to introduce the player with core game mechanics, that's why there is a lot of hand-helding.

I have a full time job and this is a side project. It means there will be long periods without an update unfortunately.

Graphics: 20%
Sound: 0% (music is a placeholder made by our Eric Matyas, downloaded from www.soundimage.org)
Puzzles: 20%

Thank you!

Re: Stranded Worlds (working title) - Demo Available
« Reply #1 on: 15 Feb 2021, 20:25 »
Looks good! Promising story. I finished the demo, nice. But you forgot the winsetup.exe - I copied one from another game (and renamed the executable). Problem is that the full screen setting in this demo messes things up on my computer.

Re: Stranded Worlds (working title) - Demo Available
« Reply #2 on: 16 Feb 2021, 04:58 »
Thank you.
I updated the zip file with winsetup.exe

Re: Stranded Worlds (working title) - Demo Available
« Reply #3 on: 17 Feb 2021, 05:15 »
Beautiful backgrounds! Good story ideas. Even though the demo was brief, it shows a lot of potential. Good luck on development!

Re: Stranded Worlds (working title) - Demo Available
« Reply #4 on: 17 Feb 2021, 11:41 »
Thank you, I appreciate it!
It took surprisingly long time and unexpected number of itterations to make these backgrounds!  :shocked:
But, I am glad the way they turned out. They are still rough around the edges and lack finer detail, but I will fix them as I polish the game.

Re: Stranded Worlds (working title) - Demo Available
« Reply #5 on: 17 Feb 2021, 18:05 »

Those tents looks mongolian!

_

Re: Stranded Worlds (working title) - Demo Available
« Reply #6 on: 17 Feb 2021, 18:45 »

Those tents looks mongolian!

_
That was the inspiration since they live in a stepe and move a lot. Good catch!

Re: Stranded Worlds (working title) - Demo Available
« Reply #7 on: 19 Feb 2021, 01:35 »
Great demo! The character sprites are smaller than most other games but this highlights the beauty of the backgrounds. I like your story and the concept of multiple short episodes is a good idea. I look forward to episode 1.

Re: Stranded Worlds (working title) - Demo Available
« Reply #8 on: 23 Mar 2021, 05:46 »
Little update  :-D


Re: Stranded Worlds (working title) - Demo Available
« Reply #9 on: 23 Mar 2021, 20:13 »
Hi isatche!

I have just finished the demo and I hope you can make the time to see it finished as soon as possible!  :-D

I really liked the graphics, it has a very strong visual imprint (the sprites of the characters reminded me of fire emblem for gameboy advance, ahhh, nostalgia). I like that the cursor changes when it's over something you can interact with and over passages to other places, I didn't get used to using only one click to look and interact, but I don't think it's a gameplay problem but something of mine haha.
The portraits of the characters and their expressions are georgeous, as also the backgrounds are! Congratulations! This game have so much potential!

Here are some sugestions that, IN MY OPINION, could be reviewed to improve the experience.
WATCH OUT! SPOILERS!
Spoiler: ShowHide

* The contact point of the mouse to display the object menu is too high (at the top of the screen) and as soon as you move a pixel away it disappears:
I found it a bit uncomfortable the distance that you had to travel between where most of the interaction points were (Which is at the bottom of the screen) and the menu. It could be that the inventory is displayed when the mouse is lower and not at the top of the screen.

* The hotspots to go to the temple could be bigger. Right now they are placed on the path that goes to the temple (when the first impulse is to click on the building to go to it) and on the entrance stairs (when the impulse is to click on the door and/or stairs). I think that expanding that would improve the gameplay a little bit.

* In some places the signaling is somewhat strange. Like for example, you can click on a bottle that is near some characters and it refers to them instead of the bottle, which is what one would expect.

* The texts also seemed to me very high, as well as the menu, the route from the place where the actions happen to the end of the screen to read the dialogues was a little uncomfortable. Lowering them a little I think they would be fine (the portraits too, not just the text). The only place where it seems to me to work perfectly is in the tent, where the background is much higher than any other in the demo.


Screenshots to illustrate my point - SPOILER
[spoiler]Distance between focal points
    *In the tent

    *In other places


According to the rule of thirds


My sugestion (Move it a little bit closer to a strong point on the frame)

Re: Stranded Worlds (working title) - Demo Available
« Reply #10 on: 25 Mar 2021, 07:23 »
Thanks Chomba.
I really appreciate the effort you put in your post.

I agree with all your points. There are some things that are still looking for it's place and some things that are not decided yet.

My original idea was to have a screen without any HUD elements so a player can get immersed in the illustration. Menu on the top is not ideal, but I worry it will cover half of playable area if it's on the bottom. I don't wish to bring the playable area to the middle of the screen because I wish to present the scale of the environment. That's also one of the reasons characters are smaller than usual. I guess I have to think of some way to make it comfortable for the player to interact with menu without compromising the initial direction. Maybe I can call it on right click and it will appear in the middle of the screen?

During the larger walking distances, the player will be able to run. This is something I plan to implement in the next iteration.

You are right about the dialogue position. I was thinking the same thing but I didn't know how to adjust it so I was working on other things until I come back to it :)

Thanks again, I really appreciate it!

Re: Stranded Worlds (working title) - Demo Available
« Reply #11 on: 25 Apr 2021, 04:51 »
Chomba seems to have already pointed at the points for improvement, so I'll just heave some praise your way.  ;)

This looks and plays very well! The characters already have personality after just a few minutes of play. The portraits and backgrounds are gorgeous, and the music sets the mood, especially in the temple. The plot also sounds like it will be interesting. If you manage to stick some nice puzzles into the mix as well, this is very promising. (nod)

Matagot

  • Meow - Roar - Hiss - Spit - Purr
Re: Stranded Worlds (working title) - Demo Available
« Reply #12 on: 27 Apr 2021, 17:40 »
Fantastic pixel art! This looks truly imaginative. Keep going!  8-)

That creature Fluffy looks really cute. I want one  :grin: