a) Would it be correct to imagine the game to be a bit like NiGHTS into Dreams, where the gameplay is essentially 2D, but the character is stuck on a rail that doesn't necessarily move in a straight line? The prototype seems to work that way, the rail the camera is attached to is actually a circle instead of a straight line.
I think Nights is a good comparison but that POV/Control scheme was too restricted. If you remember the player character was rigidly stuck on a curvy 2D plane.
Our creatures won't be stuck on the "ribbon" but will loosely follow a path. For example they will swim in or out of the Z plane to avoid something in it's path.
What do you think about all those "share" functions which are now getting into games? Like the Vita has something similar. And in Japan the 3DS is getting a screenshot share function for Animal Crossing etc.
Don't you think that would be great for the Little Blue too? If people could upload their pictures to Twitter and Tumblr?
I can imagine that this would work great for a game with such a unique environment ^^
Yeah I like that idea a lot. Of course adding the virality of the game is good from a business perspective. I just want to be sure what a player will share will be interesting to people s/he shares with.
I love the idea of having RARE creatures in the game, where an image of that creature, even if blurry or from far away would be interesting.
Thanks for the reply. Another question I have is regarding PlayChemy itself. Unlike with most other Kickstarter projects, we never got to see the team or the Playchemy office in videos/screenshots. Playchemy was just a name, not a team of people, and that's one of the reasons the Kickstarter failed. Seeing other people involved or working on the game makes it easier for people to pledge. I never got an answer to my question on the Kickstarter comments regarding the various companies you founded or worked for and how they're tied together. This kind of thing should really be explained in the Kickstarter "Risks and Challenges". For example, you mentioned the team was currently finishing work on Smashpin Rage. But why isn't that game listed on the Playchemy website, and why is it tied to TwoFish? Also, I read Playchemy was sold to Iddiction at one point. Is that correct? Because it begs the question of whether or not they have anything to say over what Playchemy does if you would get the funding for your game through Kickstarter. If they're in any way involved then I think the backers needs to know about it. I realize I'm taking this a bit far but it's something that I really think needs to be cleared up for the second Kickstarter.
I'm glad it's going to be a 2D game. Defender of the Future was an excellent game, but the 3D world was a bit frustrating to navigate at times. Fighting sharks had you constantly battling with the camera as well so you could see things.
and navigating those fast paced tunnels was often frustrating. There were a bunch of times that I got my self wedged in a rock or a clam with no way out but to wait until I drowned so I could start over.
That era of frustration is behind us, I think.
Q1: I'm curious about these Gyreforms I heard about in a related article.
This is a world without humans -- so if humans are not here, then surely plastic would not exist. Its just a curiosity of mine. How are they formed/created?
Q2: I am a fan of Endless Ocean on the wii (something that my fangame was slightly influenced by), will there be anything like this in Big Blue? It was quite enjoyable to swim around at different times of the day and search for the different fish and other creatures.
Q3: Will you have a zoom-in function? What I mean by this are points in the sea that be observed closer to see smaller creatures or treasure that is hiding.
Other than that I'm glad that you are pushing Ecco further. Don't let fangames be all that continues Ecco :) (though fangames are fun to create).
@James, This is a world AFTER the existence of humans. All of our trash is still left behind.
The gyreforms manifested as a result of these patches. (At least, that is my understanding of it).
If there is an arctic environment, I think it would be interesting if there are polar bears waiting for you to surface through the holes in the ice. I've heard they hunt prey like that in real life.
#5 Will there be a warm/cold, salt/fresh water mechanic?
#6 Will all the music be orchestrated, or will you maybe include some "chiptunes" ?
I started thinking about how, back in the Ecco games, if you held down the sonar button, it would open up a map of your surroundings. I thought that was a brilliant way to use Ecco's abilities to get a kind of mental image of what he might actually 'see' instead of just pressing a 'map' button. It also helped me to become more immersed in the game. I could see that working the same way in the Big Blue with animals that use echolocation.
But what about creatures that don't have that ability? I was thinking sharks, for example, have super-sensitive electroreceptors (ampullae of Lorenzini) to help them find fish and other creatures to eat at night. It also enables them to sense Earth's magnetic field which may be useful as a sort of map or compass, like night vision maybe, or at least finding super secret items hidden in deep, dark places. But i suppose if you were in control of something like a sea slug, you probably wouldn't have much use for a map. But who knows?
This project really has me thinking of all the possibilities. I'm really looking forward to it!
Like real sea life, not every creature is advanced enough to have built in radar. :)
Besides, who needs radar and such when you're a jellyfish!? :)
This Jellyfish is having a bad day.
I have several questions about your planned PC version of the game. I am asking these questions because PC is the only platform I have that you are currently developing for. The following are some of my concerns about modern PC games and I would like to know your stance on the issues?
One of the things I hate about modern games is the "This product is licensed to you and not sold" business. If the game data is not played off the disc and the consumer does not "own" the game, how can you expect anyone to pay for what is essentially a glorified and expensive rental? Licensing is understandable for a digital copy, but legally purchased physical goods should be the consumer's private property.
The other issue is DRM and how some companies force you to have an internet connection for an offline game. While piracy is a legitimate concern for small companies such as yours, even the most popular games get hacked and are on the internet within a week. I believe that DRM only ends up hurting and alienating the consumer. For games that require an internet connection for verification, those games will not be playable in 10-20 years when the servers go offline or if the company disappears. If Genesis games required a SegaNet connection to even boot up, no one today would even be able to play them anymore. I am fine with having copy protection like an activation code in the packaging, that was fine back in 1998. However I do not believe that legitimate consumers should be punished with overlording internet verification processes that are not necessary for an offline game. I also do not think that a game having multiplayer/online features should be used as an excuse to force internet verification procedures on a game that can be played entirely offline.
I am also concerned about how many companies only allow a limited number of installs. If my hard drive crashes, I have no way of de-activating the game. Again, when the servers or the company disappear, I will have no way of regaining the lost number of limited installs and the game will eventually be unplayable.
@Icedolphin The license thing is basically a given in the current industry, I don't think it's up to Ed to change that. You ask how anyone is expected to pay for that, but the fact is that everybody already is paying for it. Nobody cares because in practice it simply doesn't matter. What does matter is the DRM, so I do agree with you there. The good news is that most Kickstarter projects promise to release their games without DRM. Most developers aren't interested in DRM anyway. And to get people to fund the game, I think it's in their own interest not to include things that would make people hesitate to fund it (such as micro-transactions and DRM). That said, I don't think anything was said regarding DRM for The Big Blue (I imagine The Little Blue not having any since it's free anyway), so it's definitely a valid question.
@Draikin All these issues are the reasons why I refuse to buy PC games or digital copies. The reason the trend is to only "license" games is because of greedy companies wanting to be control freaks like Apple and take power away from the consumer. Not to say anything bad about PC gamers, some of them may not mind it but the only reason they accept it and pay for it is because they have no other choice, or they're not thinking down the line in the long term. As a retro gamer, I want my games to be playable in the future, and if they had the issues modern games do, I wouldn't buy them. I do not think companies are forced to "license not sell", but they do it because it benefits them. I'd love to support Ed, but I'm simply not going to throw money at the air for something I'm not going to actually own. The same practices are starting to sneak into consoles now, and it will destroy them and lead to a huge increase in piracy.
KJ, I love the idea of giving some of the creatures different ways to view the world as we can imagine. Like the Shark seeing the nerve impulses of a wonded fish as a bright light in the darkness. And yes I would be equivilant to making an sonar map but with different visual effects and granularities. All yet to be designed but very cool ideas.
I'm not ready to weigh in on the DRM question.
Here is what I will insist on:
- Big blue will be connected to servers for updates, new content and live parameters, etc.
- I will focus on growth to get as many people playing it and loving it as possible - so the game will likely be free for a long time.
- I won't let it just burn out, I want to BOOT the Big Blue so it can support itself and grow - this requires on going revenue.
I'll watch this issue, if it needs its own topic created I'll do it.
So will the game need an internet connection to even start up, or will I be free to play an older version of the game offline?
I live in Canada, and even cell phone service is not available in many places outside of cities. Which means that I will not be able to take this game to the cottage because we only have dialup there, it would require using up the phone line all day, which is not practical at all. Not to mention dialup won't be fast enough to keep up with a server, it takes 5 minutes just to load the home page of Google.
Even in the city, my internet connection is not constant and stable, it can go out for hours at a time. It is not going to be very fun to play a game that requires me to be hostage to my internet connection. Furthermore, in Canada we do not have unlimited monthly internet (such as in the USA) and instead pay per data usage. This is something you should also take into consideration.
@Draikin - this forum software doesnt let me answer individual posts directly. Here is your original post with your 10 questions, I'll answer each inline:
Thanks for the reply. Another question I have is regarding PlayChemy itself. Unlike with most other Kickstarter projects, we never got to see the team or the Playchemy office in videos/screenshots. Playchemy was just a name, not a team of people, and that's one of the reasons the Kickstarter failed. Seeing other people involved or working on the game makes it easier for people to pledge.
ED>> That was a good point. I thought the 4 of us was enough, but the next KS will include the team as you suggested.
I never got an answer to my question on the Kickstarter comments regarding the various companies you founded or worked for and how they're tied together. This kind of thing should really be explained in the Kickstarter "Risks and Challenges". For example, you mentioned the team was currently finishing work on Smashpin Rage.
But why isn't that game listed on the Playchemy website, and why is it tied to TwoFish?
ED>> that was part of the deal when I sold the game to Iddiction. They will pubish the game NOT Playchemy. We got the twofish credit as a developer. Twofish is my development studio, founded in 2007 (I am one of the fish.)
Also, I read Playchemy was sold to Iddiction at one point. Is that correct?
ED>> NO, I sold some games to Iddiction not the company, SmashSpin is one of the games sold to iddiciton. There are 3 others...
Because it begs the question of whether or not they have anything to say over what Playchemy does if you would get the funding for your game through Kickstarter.
ED>> No they don't. But I hope they will help with publishing when the time comes. I believe in Iddiction and the people who run it.
If they're in any way involved then I think the backers needs to know about it. I realize I'm taking this a bit far but it's something that I really think needs to be cleared up for the second Kickstarter.
ED>> Good advice!
ED>> I founded companies along the way. I've been in the business a LONG time so that happens. Playchemy created several original games since founded in 2010. SmashSpin Rage is one of them. The game once completed was sold to Iddiction who intends to publish it. All engineering and production is done by twofish. We all have been working together for 20 years! All design, IP creation, and publishing is done by Playchemy. Its just how it all came together over the years. Sorry it confuses you.
Playchemy will publish the Big Blue.