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Narcissus
November 19, 2014 - AlexVsCoding



Hey Folks!

So I got the builds done in time for Game Makers Yorkshire and had a blast at the event! Talked to a bunch of awesome people on the evening and handed out plenty of coins.
















I also did the Christmas Market in Huddersfield which was good fun and although a slow start (due to the late stirring hours of students) there were plenty of people playing it throughout the day, even coming back to try and beat their score!









I've also discovered the wonders of Makey Makey and will getting one for Christmas to have a tinker around with! I'm thinking of doing a dance dance revolution style control system for Narcissus to accompany the arcade box I have.

Stay tuned for more updates - I'll be posting up the photos from INSOMNIA 53 this weekend.

November 8, 2014 - AlexVsCoding

Hey Folks!

So here's what I've been up to:

Narcissus for PC/Mac has been finished and has been submitted to the Independant Games Festival! I'm incredibly excited for the outcome and hope that something good comes of it. Best of luck to any developers who entered who are reading this!

This month I've got a busy schedule lined up!

I'll be exhibiting at Games Makers Yorkshire on the 13th of November in Leeds! I'm super excited for the event as the version I'll be taking (if all goes to plan) will be the finished build of the game! A massive thanks to Andrew Crawshaw for letting me get involved with the event. I'll be taking the arcade machine along and a bunch of merch!

Due to finally getting a steady income, I've been able to move to Huddersfield and kick games development into the top gear. I've got the office space that I've got access to for the next 10 months, so I hope to create a variety of wonderful things in the time I have. As part of this, I've been invited to exhibit at a christmas fair in the centre. Whilst Narcissus is not exactly your traditional thing to have there, it should still be good fun!

Finally, I've going to INSOMNIA53! Should be good fun, especially since the game is so close to the end of production. Luke (if he can make it along) will be bringing a big TV to play the game from and once again I'll have the arcade box! I hope you'll make it along! Also loved playing Halo 2 multiplayer the last time I was there, so if you do see me there ask if I want a game. We'll be in the Indie Zone.

Hope to see you there!

October 17, 2014 - AlexVsCoding

Hey Folks! So as you can tell, I've been out of the loop for a while. Here's what I've been up to and what plans lie ahead for Narcissus!

So this summer I returned to the place that I usually work (summer camp in upstate NY teaching kids how to build video games) and whilst there had the opportunity to get on board with another project - working with my good friend Tyler Giordano.

This absorbed a huge amount of the time I had available to develop games, so for a majority of the summer, Narcissus was put on the back burner.

Despite this, In the weeks before I left, I did a series of crunches on Narcissus and all of the levels for Narcissus are complete! All I've got left to do are some technical fixes, looking into controller support and finding an easy method of adding in multiple languages.

Now that returned to the UK and have had the last few weeks to re-establish myself, it's time to get Narcissus done!

I'll be showing Narcissus at GaMaYo in November, and I'm aiming for that to be the final build.

Thank you all for your patience and I share the anticipation for release!

July 8, 2014 - AlexVsCoding

Hey Folks!

So I've been slightly off the grid at the moment. This falls down to the primary factor of me moving abroad to the US for the summer months to work in upstate NY. Despite the workload (teaching kids aged 7-17 how to build video games), I'm still finding the time to develop. Sorry that it's taking longer to get things done! I'll try to throw on updates more often.

The primary thing that has been bought up on here and at expos are the visuals of the game. Whilst I believe that the heart of a game lies with it's mechanics, it would be ignorant to simply carry on without listening to the thoughts of the community.



I won't be remastering the visuals. I've experimented with high detailed painted tiles and whilst concept art looks lovely, getting them to tile is more trouble than it's worth. Instead, I've made a variety of alterations to the current visuals to increase their appeal.

This has involved the following:
1. Softening the colour of the backdrop to something less painful on the eyes (e.g. not eye melting purple).
2. Ditching the grey blocks by setting them to black and lowering their opacity to 30%. This way they are still visible but less in your face. Also, they change colour with the background.
3. I've linked the hue of the level to the current time that the player has. This way, the level changes colour slowly, similar to a sunset.
4. I'm currently designing more ground blocks for each season to throw in a bit more variety into the level designs. I'll be mixing in subtle changes in colour to decrease the flatness of the plants.
5. I've kept the colours of the seasons/player sharp and in the foreground at 100% opacity so that it's clear which surface the characters need to run on.

I'm going to have a tinker around some more and should post up a new build soon.

Stay tuned for updates!

May 19, 2014 - AlexVsCoding

Hey Folks! I finally got the time to sit down and write some articles about the events that I went to. It's been a stupidly hectic few months and I've really had a great time at some events. I did a post about what I'd be going to go to a month or so you can read here! :D http://www.indiedb.com/games/narcissus/news/narcissus-on-tour-expo-dates-locations-and-what-were-showing

TOUR STOP 1: REZZED



Man. MAN. MAAAAAAAAAAN. Rezzed was insane. Had such a good time. Wasn’t much that could’ve prepared me for that event (with the exception of investing in some extremely comfortable shoes). Spent 3 days neighbors with a bunch of Devs in the Leftfield Collection, who all had a fantastic variety of different projects. Handed out a bazillion business cards, did a bunch of interviews and made a lot of people yell at each other over the course of the weekend. Birmingham was a great city to have the event in (with the exception of the Custard Factory) and the developers who went were awesome for getting involved with the nights out.

Here were my favourite games of the show:

Narcissus – Hehe, just kidding, that'd be awfully narcissistic of me.



Monstrum – Call of Chuthlu meets Alien Isolation with Oculus support. With games such as this, I’m always a cowardly custard and this game catered to that by letting me hide under tables, inside of lockers and behind practically anything that would put me in between me and that absolutely terrifying beast that walks the corridors of the ship. Basic premise is you have a series of things you have to do around this abandoned ship and stopping you is a huge glowing monster that staggers the corridors. Headphones are a must for this and whilst I didn’t get chance to give it a go, Oculus looked crazy fun.

Monstrum Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wISOWd0O5Ws


TinyKeep – I must admit, whilst Phi is an awesome guy who I’ve known for months, until I’d been to Rezzed, I hadn’t fully invested myself into playing TinyKeep. Getting lost in the crypts and caverns of the dungeon got me crazy anxious (I didn’t realise there was a map). There were so many scenes that felt handpicked out of the cinema – facing hordes of enemies as I back through a door only to find the room I’ve entered filled to the brim with more enemies. Leading huge numbers of skeletons and wobbly soldiers over spikes is thoroughly satisfying and the weapons feel great to handle. Soundtrack was awesome and the voice acting was fantastic (wouldn’t expect anything less Kathryn!)

Here's a video of me failing miserably at TInyKeep - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTYq4AZPqcg


NotGTA – Whilst the name is a bit of an IP hot potato, the story behind the team on this project is well worth investing in. A member of their team approached me on the weekend and asked me to check out their game. The team behind the project built the game as a last ditch effort to fund their charity for a year. Peer Productions visit people who’ve suffered from problems such as substance abuse, domestic abuse, underage pregnancy and homophobic bullying and document their stories in the form of theatre performances to show in schools and events around the UK. Unfortunately their government funding was cut so this is their backup plan. The game has a clever use of the snake mechanic (the higher your notoriety, the more people who chase you). The visuals are simple but charming, sound effects/music are cute and has some great humor. All profits go to the charity. Great cause, great game!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRxvRPpjj3A

[size=15pt]Here are my highlights from my own stand:[/size]


Messages on the walls – When I realised that I’d forgotten to bring a poster, the alternative of drawing all over the walls popped into my head. Got some fantastic feedback and hilarious comments written all over my wall segment. Here’s a sample of some of my favourites:

Dedication – Some people are very persistent! There was some hardcore fans on the day who played the game through from start to finish, taking as long as 2 to 3 hours to finish the game! Those who undertook this almighty task will be immortalized in the game as the “Green Fiends’”, the pioneers of the new levels of Narcissus.

Things I hadn’t seen before – There was one particular pair of players that stick in my memory. Basically, in the later levels, they paused the game in order to plan out their route through the levels. Never thought I’d see such a tactical approach to playing Narcissus and that really was my highlight of the event. So cool to see them discussing the game as if it was something like a board game across the arcade machine from one another.

An absolute howler was when a pair got to level 44 and the power to the iPad cut out.

The event was a fantastic opportunity to make some amazing new friends, network, drink and really re-invigorate me to finish the game. Thanks go to David Hayward who chose the game for the show and Luke Smith, who was enthusiastic right down to the end where I was lingering at the end in nostalgia mode.

Thanks for Reading this and I'm going to try and blast out these articles for the rest of the events I've been to as soon as I can (going to Austria on Wednesday so is going to be a narrow window to get it sorted in time!)

Stay Tuned!

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