We’ve been working on Razed for nearly 2 years now and one of the questions we get asked most often is “when can I play it?”. Usually we mutter something about hoping to have it ready soon and then go completely quiet for a few months.
This is not an uncommon situation with self-funded Indie games as they generally benefit (suffer) from not having any external stakeholders and therefore the developers are not held accountable for missing deadlines (or not having any in the first place). In addition to this the games are often worked on in whatever time is still available after doing things like seeing your family, earning a living, and getting the occasional bit of kip.
These factors can cause progress to be slow and sporadic. They also leave plenty of room for feature creep and frequent redesigns.
After two years of dealing with (or failing to deal with) these problems, we’re happy to announce that the end is in sight! We have spent the last couple of months working towards an alpha version of Razed that is due to be finished next week. The alpha version will be available to a small group of people on the 11th June to give us some detailed feedback on the gameplay and overall look and feel.
The alpha release is a daunting prospect as this will be the first time that anyone beyond close friends and family have had a go of the game. So we are preparing ourselves for some brutally honest feedback.
Further down the line (hopefully not too far), when we get to Beta stage, we will be letting a lot more people have a go of Razed. So if you think you would be interested in helping us out with that then please lets us know @warpfish on twitter.
Thanks for your patience so far. Stay tuned!
Razed is the bastard offspring of a 3D platformer and a racing game. Fairly late in the process of nailing down the gameplay (and after much Mario Kart) we decided a drift mechanic was a must, and our initial implementation was heavily inspired by the aforementioned plumber’s racer.
Risk-Reward are words banded around a lot in game design for good reason.
Drifting which was difficult to control (risk) built up a a speed boost that was triggered when the drift button was released (reward). However, it really didn’t feel right for Razed, it was so overpowered that we couldn’t predict where a player might end up, and outside of dropping invisible walls everywhere we had to make a change.
Our solution was to reverse the Risk-Reward. We drastically reduced the difficulty of performing a drift and gave the player tighter turning (reward), but now performing the drift fills a gauge which causes the player to explode when full (risk). Once the player stops drifting the gauge slowly empties.
This fits both our story and gameplay better than our initial implementation and, as a bonus, the plumber can’t blue-shell us for pinching his idea!
2016, how is it 2016 already? We were only supposed to be polishing up and adding a few levels to Razed!
We’ve been making some pretty whopping changes in recent weeks, which I’ll post in some upcoming blogs, but today we wanted to show work on the menu. Admittedly not the most exciting thing, but an important one as it’s where we’ll set the tone for the whole game.
After flipflopping over Razed‘s tone we finally settled on something of a fast-flashy-punchy theme that fit the arcade-style gameplay nicely. We interpreted this theme by creating a flashing/glitchy UI transition style. A side effect is it makes transitioning UI elements much simpler than our previous efforts.
The included video shows a WIP of Razed‘s main menu viewing worlds and levels. When we have audio and further polish we’ll post updates showing those off.
I seem to remember thinking I’d try and do a weekly update…
We got a first build of razed out to a few friends! Feedback has been super helpful and very positive and were working at addressing the point raised which are mostly “its a bit too hard” and “it’s really a bit too hard!”
World count currently stands at 6, 2 of them are not far off being level complete, the others still have a good few levels to go each. We’ve still got a whole pile of mechanics left to experiment with.
There is one big element to implement before we move to full time level design and asset creation. menus are still a bit of a mess and will be until we know how many levels will be in each world.
Heres a new screen shot to tide you over for the next 3 months!
First update in far too long! Lets see how long we can keep this up,
This week we decided to change the structure of worlds in Razed. Our initial plan was to have worlds that contained about 25 levels each. In theory this is fine, but in practice 25 levels of similar scenery, the same music and constant colour scheme makes for a bit of a repetitive experience.
To counter this we’ve decided to break these hefty worlds full of varying mechanics into smaller focused level sequences that can be any length we feel works.
Balancing will be much easier than before. Situations like realising level 16 is easier than level 9 but uses mechanics not introduced till level 14 were becoming troublesome. Introducing a new mechanic in the middle of a world also presented problems because we couldn’t introduce it in an unthreatening way without ruining the overall difficulty curve of the world.
Personally I’m feeling much better now as we still hadn’t got a single world fully completed, Now theres 4/5 that could be called finished at any time. We can add more levels to a world if we have good ideas for more or if a mechanic is only fun for 3 levels then thats the size of that particular world.
Until next update heres a shot from one of the new worlds.
Over the past few months Outcry has undergone a number of radical changes from its original form as an entry into the Edge Get into Games Challenge. It’s not an entirely different game, but the play style and the look and feel have evolved to a point that its just not the same game anymore.
We loved the name Outcry but, as it turns out, so did another developer – 7 years ago. Doing an all important Google search has our Outcry listed on page 3 which no one is going to see anytime soon. So without further ado we present the evolution of Outcry – Razed
Here is a pitch which we used recently to try and get Razed into a show. We feel it gives a good idea what to expect from the new game:
Razed is a fast paced platform racer about finding kindred spirits in a lethal developing world. The controls are simple because the player has just one ability, a shout. The player must learn to use their shout creatively to collect sympathisers and interact with the evolving world around them.
The abstract levels are filled with a wide variety of threats and obstacles which the player must navigate in ten seconds or less in order to reach the goal and prevent the wrecking ball from finding its target.
Although the levels are challenging and deadly, the ability to restart instantly with no load times gives the game that ‘just one more go’ quality.
The game is still early in development and we are planning to expand it with many more levels and uses for the shout, as well as add things like online leaderboards, collectables and a host of other features.
Unfortunately we have no idea how well this pitch sells the game because the show we were planing to enter the game into never received it. We finished preparing our entry approximately 26 seconds after the deadline. Let this be a lesson to indie devs everywhere, don’t leave important stuff like that til the last minute! It’s a mistake we’ll never make again (probably).
After a glorious start of 2 posts from the front page followed by weeks of silence you’d think we must have discovered [insert latest super engrossing game here], but you’d be wrong!
We’ve actually spent the last couple of weeks polishing up a test level to a decent standard in an attempt highlight any major issues the game might have. There were plenty of things with the original that needed attention and over the next few weeks I’ll attempt to cover the various changes that we’ve made since the original release. We’re still making some fairly monstrous changes but are at a stage now where actual level design can start happening! Which should mean more blog updates!
In the mean-time, here’s a new screenshot showing some of the latest progress with Outcry!
Since coming 2nd in the Edge Get Into Games competition and being awarded a Unity Pro License, we were undecided about what to do next. We now had the best software an indie game dev could hope for and a backlog of projects we wanted to build.
Although it had been submitted and called finished, Outcry was really just a half polished concept. After some deliberation we decided it couldn’t be called done yet, not when there was so much potential left unexplored. Besides, Outcry had just featured in one of the most prestigious gaming magazines in the world!
Since the end of the competition, work is continuing on the game and we will be documenting our progress as best we can through as many social channels as we can manage!
To kick things off, here’s a super shaky vine of a new mechanic and some shinier visuals (They are super shiny, trust me. Capturing video of a monitor using your phone is never going to be the 4k experience you deserve!)
We’re over the moon! Our Unity game, Outcry, is a runner-up (pun intended) in Edge Magazine’s Get Into Games Challenge 2014!
“It’s beautifully presented, with much-appreciated controller support,” Helgason says. “It’s a curious way of interpreting the brief, which I liked. And it was also nice seeing a fresh approach to the platform genre. The controls were unforgiving, and it needs some fine-tuning, but it could be something special.”
That’s some great feedback that we will be keeping in mind as we develop the game further.
A big congrats to the other runner-up, Mike Chambers, for a lovely looking game about sailing. Do go and check it out over at edge-magazine: Edge announces Get Into Games 2014 Competition Runners Up
Both runners-up and the winner will be in tomorrow’s Edge-Magazine…we’ll be posting photos!
Outcry, our competition entry to the Edge Get into games challenge 2014, is available to play right now!
Play Outcry in your web browser (requires unity web player plugin)