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Narcissus
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Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
Languages: English
Posted:
Updated:
Apr 2 @ 4:49pm
Jun 4 @ 4:18am

Would you buy this game if it were available in Steam?

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Recent Announcements View All (7)
Update on Narcissus/Life/Visuals
Narcissus at EGX Rezzed 2014!
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." ~ DESTRUCTOID

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)
3
Jun 3 @ 12:34pm
Narcissus wish list
AlexVsCoding
3
Jul 27 @ 12:07pm
How much would you pay for Narcissus?
AlexVsCoding
84 Comments
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Integrity Aug 20 @ 10:50pm 
Played this on gamejolt and was sort of mesmerized by the experience. Hope your greenlight is successful!
AlexVsCoding  [author] Aug 20 @ 1:02pm 
Hey Colenzo! I'm in the process of updating the visuals for the game - currently working on another project that's soaking up a decent amount of time. Hope you'll consider changing your mind!
Hey WaWo, unfortunately with the software that I use to build the game with, online functionality isn't possible yet. I never planned to have online play as I prefer people playing the game in the same room, but maybe if there's enough interest I'll look into it.
Colenzo Aug 17 @ 10:55am 
ugly. Downvoted.
Give us online co-op, AND I'M SOLD.
Scarperr Jul 27 @ 12:04pm 
Man, I played this at Eurogamer, got hooked. Couldn't complete all the levels because we ran out of time as the venue had to close and the iPad we were using died on us. Damn I hope this gets greenlit as Alex is a really nice guy. We met him on the train getting there and helped us find our way there. Good luck, and you'll get on the store soon.
[404] Dkyde | The Scatman Jul 12 @ 6:09am 
Looks intersting, upvoted!
AlexVsCoding  [author] Jul 8 @ 8:45pm 
@IAMCRAIG & Gamphar - Thanks for the comments! I'm currently experimenting with the visuals for Narcissus. The most recent development has been softening the colour and lowering the opacity of the platforms so they're not as grey and ugly. The characters and the colours of the ground remain sharp so that the player has a clear indicator of where they are meant to be jumping. Keep an eye out for updates coming soon!
Gamphar Jul 7 @ 2:20pm 
yeah, my eyes!
IAMCRAIG Jul 6 @ 7:43pm 
"My head hurts, this rocks!" I think that's just the background destroying your eyes.
ilofilo Jun 11 @ 9:15am 
More desincronization levels! MOAR! You dont have to do much multitasking anywhere other than on level 4. And variety! EVEN MOAR! Levels that can be played in multiple ways with much more space is what is needed. More mechanics would be awesome, too, things like forced jump spots or obstacles that force you to desinc.

Mastered it in 30 mins.