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Narcissus
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Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Languages: English
Posted:
Updated:
Apr 2, 2014 @ 4:49pm
Mar 4 @ 11:19am
Recent Announcements View All (10)
Narcissus at Ga Ma Yo and the Market
IGF, GAMAYO, INSOMNIA 53, moving to Huddersfield and a quaint Christmas market.
Description
Release date: june 2014
"If you love games like Super Hexagon, you owe it to yourself to play Narcissus. Note: the Soundtrack is also fantastic." ~ Top 6 Games to Watch Out for from EGX Rezzed 2014, gamrReview

"Player one jumps with the up button, player two the down, and then you tap and swear until you're not friends anymore." ~ Kotaku UK

"Johansson has produced a unique, multi-faceted game offering two different but equally appealing experiences well worth your time. And maybe an upvote on Greenlight, too." [/b]~ DESTRUCTOID [/b]

Narcissus is the perfect game to put any healthy relationship to the test. A platformer in which you, the player must control two characters simultaneously with two different keys moving through increasingly mind-melting levels. All to a smorgasbord of electronic music.



Please give the 25 level flash version of Narcissus a playthrough!

[gamejolt.com]

Try the windows version to see how the game has improved in the past months:



Give the music a listen to see what to expect from the final game soundtrack!

[soundcloud.com]

Origins

Narcissus was an idea inspired by watching my brother jumping between stepping-stones on the river Don near my home on a bright Autumn’s day. I could see his reflection in the water doing the same as he was and thought it’d be a neat mechanic to build on. Unfortunately at the time, I had no idea what I was doing programming-wise.

I went to Eurogamer in 2011 and met Alistair Aitchenson, a gamedev in the Independent stands. Really awesome bloke who empowered me to start making my own stuff by pointing me towards software such as Stencylworks, Flashpunk and Flixel. I had just started my second year at University and with the simple idea I had for Narcissus, I slowly began to put a prototype together. After a plethora of playtesting and visual tangents for the project, the end for Narcissus is finally in sight.

Gameplay

The basic premise for the game is you have two characters that you control separately. Each must reach the end of the level to proceed. This is achieved by coordinating jumps between the two players. Whilst the controls are simple, the level design is not.

I wanted to build a game that encouraged interaction, as I love the social atmosphere that comes from going to arcades. Most cabinets were by default built with multiple players in mind. For one reason or another, this seems to be degrading, with fewer platforms providing split screen support and many phone games being primarily designed for single player. With Narcissus, you have a choice to make – you can either play the game with a friend and make it easier, or step up to the challenge and play alone.

To give you an idea of the difficulty you’d be facing; so far, the game has 50 levels finished, all hand crafted to be ruthless but fair. On normal, each level takes approximately 16 seconds IF completed in one go. You can die as many times as you like, but each time you return to the start of the level. The average playthrough with 2 people is around 150 minutes. As the developer, I’ve been playing Narcissus for around 3 years and I still manage to slip up whilst playing (Yet to complete Narcissus without dying at least 20 times).

The level design for Narcissus could have been done though randomly generating levels, but my competence as a programmer at the time restricted this. Instead, each level is designed by hand. Despite this disadvantage, it definitely adds that extra level of satisfaction when players eventually solve the level you created, even more-so when something completely unpredictable occurs.

Since Narcissus is a mechanic-heavy game, it’s impossible to judge the quality of the game for Greenlight without giving it a go. If you’re reading this on Greenlight, PLEASE give the flash version a try OR download the 10 level windows demo before voting. I’ve talked to a lot of people who’ve down-voted without trying the game – please don’t be one of those as I guarantee you’ll have a blast.

Visuals

The game is split into the seasons, so the characters seasons contrast one another not only in their colour but also the environment they're in. The colours also correspond to what platforms they can jump upon based on which coloured trail they have. Each side of the platform has a selection of vibrant flora that matches their inverted counterpart in structure, but not in colour. I really enjoy drawing trees and am constantly trying to add in more that I spot growing along rivers.

Music

The music of Narcissus is produced by Luke Smith and provides a mix of electronic tunes to bring back those memories of the arcade era. So far, the game has 5 tracks with the potential to expand these to a full album. You can listen to the tracks on Soundcloud now (can even lifehack it and play the music on there and mute the in-game music so you can hear what the final soundtrack will be like!) The soundtrack will be available for download with release. He really has done a cracking job on the project and you can follow him and the work he does at the link below.

https://soundcloud.com/lethalbadger/sets/narcissus-ep

Narrative

The tale is quite brief and is intertwined with the myth – Narcissus fell in love with a reflection of himself, spending the rest of his days pining to embrace his mirror image. The two main characters are unable to interact with one another yet are connected by their dependency on one another to survive. Keep pushing forwards in the hope that finally you may be at peace.

Features:

50 vibrant levels
5 intense soundtracks
2 games for the price of 1 - A single player multitasking epic and a co-operative experience to treasure
Ramps, speed boosts, direction switchers, bridges and a slew of other mechanics.
3 different speeds to make sure nobody gets left out!
4 seasons of colour and 30 different pixelated flora.
Timer to challenge your friends with, or disable to enjoy the game at your own pace.
Quick to learn, eternity to master.

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Who made the game?

Game Design / Art / Programming - Alex Johansson

Soundtrack Production - Luke Smith
Popular Discussions View All (2)
7
Nov 22, 2014 @ 1:10pm
How much would you pay for Narcissus?
AlexVsCoding
4
Nov 22, 2014 @ 1:12pm
Narcissus wish list
AlexVsCoding
101 Comments
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Clem Fandango ☃ Mar 9 @ 4:13am 
Good job Alex, You have worked so darn hard on this little baby!! Keep up the good work and many congrats to you!!
Pseudonymous Feb 18 @ 5:43pm 
can't wait for a longer version, played it first on Flash and I want more more more!!!
Mrbebob1 Feb 8 @ 11:09am 
This game was great, I first tried this game at a convention, the visuals are beautiful and the gameplay is addictive and enjoyable to play. Honestly I would recommend this to everyone, not only can you play as a pair but you can try the challenging method of playing both characters at once.
BentFingers Jan 28 @ 11:04am 
This looks super good, it would be a super kawaii couple game! ^w^
Eats by Dre™‎ Jan 28 @ 10:04am 
This needs to be greenlit, this is a very engaging puzzle-platformer.
moldyhoumas Jan 18 @ 12:11pm 
It's a great beautifully simple game that needs to be Greenlit ASAP.
Mechabit Nov 23, 2014 @ 12:33am 
Been following this for a while now. Good catch up at Insomnia.
PCUKThomas Nov 22, 2014 @ 2:45pm 
Played with Becticcyn at Insomnia 53, I agree, its a great game, With an amazing soundtrack, and even though I lost it, the prize was cool :) It's a very addictive game and it's annoying the demo back home only goes to 12, NEED MORE! And also having the game dev to behind us to help is was very handy :) 10/10!
Becticcyn Nov 22, 2014 @ 1:04pm 
Played with a friend at Insomnia 53, Great game and even better soundtrack, Got a little prize for reaching level 10 aswell :) It's very addictive and having the game designer behind us to give us tips was very handy :) A Must play with friends. 10/10
ProfessionalRainbowVirgin Oct 30, 2014 @ 5:35am 
Played with strangers for ages, great game, really nicely tuned difficulty.