21. April 2013 § Leave a Comment
First Enemy Encounter: !SPOILER ALERT! This gameplay video is showing how to survive the first enemy encounter in level 6. MOTHER has just arrived on Mars and is sending her minions to disassemble Clark’s friends and home. As Clark has no weapon and no fighting routine, his only option is to run for his life. The main objective in this action loaded puzzle is to dodge the deadly beams shot by the hostile Tankbot. You will have to play hide and seek for the (long) time that your friend the Fuse-Drone needs to reach the switch opening the exit door. Unfortunately the drone gets stuck halfway for her way is blocked by a barrier. So while escaping the enemy you will have to move on a switch opening that barrier and allowing the Drone to continue. If you are skilled the Tankbot will do the job for you and move on the switch himself.
Story: MOTHER is a supercomputer embeded in a gigantic spaceship. Howering above Clark’s factory she launches landing capsules for her robotic army. On arrival the Tankbots immediately start the recycling routine. They will search and destroy any “disfunctional” (in other words: partying”) Workerbots.
Tactics: The Tankbots move very fast and and will often use their laser beams to shoot orthogonal to their movement direction. We designed them like chess tower pieces: They are moving on one grid axis and kill everything on the other axis using their beams like a moving line of destruction. Fortunately they need more time to rotate their heavy chains. Therefore they are not able to change their movement direction very quickly. If you keep that in mind and hide behind corners it is much easier to outmaneuveur them.
The diagram above shows that the position Clark is currently standing on is not secure: The enemy will instantly move to position A and shoot. However, if Clark moves to position B and hides behind the obstacle the Tankbot has to rotate his chains first before moving on to position C. This pause will give you enough time to race around the corner and hide again. So the fun is to keep an eye on the enemy and his base rotation and choose your hiding spots accordingly. That’s how you survive until your friend, the Drone, has opened the exit. So even the action scenes in CLARK are tactical puzzles – puzzles on speed that is.
Time to strike back: Despite of having no weapon Clark will find ways to defend himself. The laser beams of the Tankbots work like all beams in the game. They are an energy source that Clark can use and manipulate by positioning beam-bending boxes. We have developed puzzles where you need the enemy’s laser energy to open doors or trigger other mechanisms. The task is how to convince him of working for you. In level 8 we designed a situation where Clark can bend the attaking beam in such a way that the Tankbot actually kills himself. Clark has no aggressive behaviour modes but can’t prevent enemies from comitting suicide, right?
9. November 2012 § 1 Comment
All new level design! During the last two months we have developed a new puzzle flow for our first five introduction levels. This change was motivated by the results of our last testing session and the wish to implement more narrative elements. The new levels now have distinct atmospheric sub-themes and contain event scenarios that are used to give more details about Clark’s motivation and the background of his world.
- Level_01 Tutorial Move Controls & Basic Box Interaction: As Clark messed up his daily work he is now forced to do a nightshift. An overseer-bot commands him to search the basement for some machine parts and bring them back to the central conveyer room. The puzzles allow the player to learn the basic movement controls and to complete some simple tasks by putting heavy boxes on switches.
- Level_02 Tutorial Energy Flow: The second part of the nightshift tutorial explains the factorys basic energy system. The player (hopefully) will understand how switches power susequent factory elements. Each puzzle is based on the major goal to connect the energy wires in order to activate the interactive elements of the next puzzle. Clarks actions power up the factory. The glowing energy wires serve as a guiding system and core game mechanic.
- Level_03 Junkyard-Bar: As dawn approaches Clark enters the main production facility and receives his daily task. He is asked to visit the junkyard-bar where a drunken (broken) drone needs to be picked up. Unfortunately the way to the bar proves to be rather dangerous as the whole factory suffers from the carelessness of the partying worker-bots. Clark has to avoid all kinds of industrial accidents: hot laser beams, exploding drones …
- Level_04 Drone Repair: The broken drone now has to be carried to the drone repair station. This makes passing through the dangers of the chaotic factory even more dangerous: Avoiding oscillating laser beams and solving spacial puzzles becomes more difficult as Clark not only has to protect himself but also the drone. Thanks god that this liddle bugger is broken and does not run around headlessly.
- Level_05 Drone On Rails: Did I say, the drone does not run around? Well as it is now repaired it does … and the unfortunate Clark has to escort her to the drone socket room. The only way to achieve this task is to put the drone to an automatic guide system. As long as the drone has the right program it will stick to the rails and walk on a fixed path. However this path is not save either. Clark needs to remove certain dangers in time in order to allow the drone to pass.
SHUTDOWN: When Clark finally arrive at the socket chamber, he witnesses the arrival of evil cleansing-bots. The Main-CPU has desided to make an end to the chaotic and inefficient production facility. All lazy drones and worker-bots will be exterminated and replaced. Wait, what about Clark?
12. May 2012 § 1 Comment
Last week we invited some friends to test the first 3 levels of our game. First of all I want to thank everyone who participated in these sessions – Your feedback was very important for us! We are now trying to incorporate all of the ideas and remarks into a new improved sneek-peek-version, that we can upload to this blog and to our discussion site on >> IndieDB. If you want to see how we are going to change the game after these tests, read >> the complete changelog.
The next SNEEK PEEK is open for everyone – you will be able to download this test build without registering. We would very much appreciate any comments and invite you to send us an e-mail with your points of critique >> email@example.com. Of course, you can also post any remarks as replies to the existing blog entries here.
2. May 2012 § Leave a Comment
While exploring the gameplay we continously changed the position of our game camera. We noticed that in order to develop complex spacial puzzles we needed the player to see as much of his surroundings at a glance as possible. That’s why we dumped the more immersive third-person perspective close to Clark’s “shoulder” for an more or less isometric overview. We are now thinking to add some dynamic camera movement shifting close to Clark’s own field of view from time to time. This would be used for cut scenes or just moments of tense action. It might become quite a task to get the performance right though; at the moment we completely do without any occlusion culling, but that might become necessary in the future.
(It’s really funny to look at these old images again. This whole endeavour feels like quite a journey already …)
2. May 2012 § Leave a Comment
During our last testing session we got lots of comments concerning controls: A touch screen will never really live up to a good old GameBoy. Still we developed a control concept using virtual buttons instead of touch gestures or single touches into the game world. Most of our testers understood this concept intuitively but as this topic is so crucial we want to give you some insight about the other variants we experimented with. We also would like to profit from your experiences with touch devices. Probably you have discovered some innovative designs which would fit to our game – or maybe you just have some great ideas how to improve our current controls.
24. April 2012 § Leave a Comment
Screenshots of the current development build of CLARK:
CLARK is our first shot at developing a mobile game. We are currently testing the first playable levels and want to show you some screenshots of the game running on actual devices.
In the middle of the screen you can see a small yellow figure… that’s Clark our main character, a simple, hard-working industrial robot. Clark loves boxes – and order. The only thing he did during his entire existence is putting boxes – in order. He would probably have continued his well-structured work for another 200 years, if the factory’s core control unit hadn’t decided to shut down the inefficient production plant. Trying to repair the disassembled parts in his close environment Clark suddenly finds himself fighting a much greater chaos. As he continues his sorting routine our small forklift bot unknowingly initiates a revolt against the ongoing recycling of his generation.
Help Clark to survive the dangers of a collapsing factory. Try to escape the next-gen cleansing bots and to rescue his fellows from the trashyard.
If everything works out we will release CLARK for smartphones and tablet for both iOS and Android simultaneously. But there is still lots of work to do… We will keep you updated.
Matthias (Coder for Golden Tricycle)