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Parasite, a non-linear retro platformer

  • Hi all,

    I'm here to talk about Parasite, a small project I've been working on my own for some time. The game is currently playable but not available publicly as it requires a bit more testing.

    ***UPDATE 06/11/2015*** Final demo

    • Core mechanics update (energy, morphs, etc.)
    • More content (x2 playable area)
    • Additional story elements
    • New enemy types
    • Improved resources
    • Keyboard configuration
    • Customisable visual style (scanlines, bulge, etc.)
    • Endless list of balancing and level design tweaks, plus various bugfixes

    Previous focus test demo is no longer available

    New demo shows ~15% of the game content (tutorial area + 1 out of 8 modules)

    Browser demo

    Recommendations : up-to-date Chrome + Xbox360 compatible gamepad

    Desktop demo

    Recommendations : Windows 7/8/10 + Xbox360 compatible gamepad

    OVERVIEW

    Parasite is a non-linear retro platformer with a mix of action and puzzles. The player controls an alien worm wanting to get rid of a human space colony on his planet. There are multiple shapes to unlock and to switch between to facilitate the navigation and sabotage the complex.

    SCREENSHOTS

    KEY FEATURES

    • 4 unique environments with their own specificities
    • 4 shapes to unlock, each providing an exclusive ability
    • Non-linear level design allowing for routing choices
    • Use health as a resource to change shape and work around obstacles
    • Integrated timer, for the speedrun enthusiasts
    • Deactivate all 8 station modules before too many humans can escape !

    FACTS

    • Estimates play-time : ~2h for a first playthrough (complete game, demo is ~15%)
    • Playable area : 1 giant level, ~250 accessible screens
    • Variety : 20+ types of "gameplay" entities - enemies, traps, interactions, etc.
    • Development time : ~3 months
    • Team : myself
    • Development tools : Construct 2, Tiled, PyxelEdit
    • Production tools : Trello, Toggl, SmartGit, BitBucket, OneDrive
    • Technology : HTML5, playable in a browser or on a variety of platforms after export

    CREDITS

    Adam "Atomic" Saltsman

    Environment

    Christopher "Oryx" Barrett

    Characters

    Vesa "Master484" Vanhatupa

    Visual effects

    Victor "Snabisch" Navarro

    Music

    Jesús "Jalastram" Lastra

    Sound effects

  • Also, if I have time I'll try to write a couple of articles regarding C2 development ; especially one about what I would call "EOES" (Entity-Oriented-Event-Sheets) to help organise the gameplay logic, and another one about using Families as "abstract interfaces" to promote and factor common code while keeping maximum flexibility.

  • looks cool - would love to see some larger screen shots!

  • mudmask : fixed ! All image links clickable for bigger versions. Sorry for that :/

    I will also try to record a video and make a short montage ; the very low resolution (160x88) makes static screens feel less "legible" than it really is in motion.

  • Loving the 8x8 sprites! Gives me some serious Pico-8 vibes. Diggin' the scanlines too.

    Stoked to see it finished!

  • ah there we go. looks great man.

  • looks so retro with 8x8 pixel per tile

  • Thank you for the first impressions -

    The lovely visuals are courtesy of a couple of great talented pixel artists. Having received confirmation from most of the respective authors, credits go to :

    PIXEL ART

    Adam "Atomic" Saltsman

    Environment

    Christopher "Oryx" Barrett

    Characters

    AUDIO

    Victor "Snabisch" Navarro

    Music

    Jesús "Jalastram" Lastra

    Sound effects

    My initial focus test group provided sufficient feedback for an initial iteration ; I will implement a collection of changes (mostly balancing, legibility, etc.) before widening the tests.

    More to come very soon

  • Looks very cool

    Is it a metroidvania?

  • As a non-linear platformer in a single large world, Parasite definitely shares a certain amount of core gameplay mechanisms with the Metroidvania genre ; though I would also mention that the player abilities are all unlocked reasonably early in the game, making the "skill hunting" phase much quicker. It is then up to the player to use his abilities to navigate the environment, progress in the various available areas, collect bonuses, find secrets, etc.

  • this looks promising, would you mind sending me a test build so i can review it for you ?

  • love the look of this. very ol'school. looking forwrd the demo!

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  • Thanks for the comments - I am in the process of implementing a collection of small changes (mostly balancing, legibility, etc.) based on the feedback of a first targeted focus group.

    I am almost done with this iteration ; expect a demo within a couple of days !

  • And here is the demo !

    I've integrated the feedback of a first focus group, which should make the overall gameplay experience better.

    An up-to-date browser and a gamepad are recommended ; typically Chrome + 360/xbo controller

    The game mostly lacks options (visuals, keys, audio, etc.) and content (more areas, boss fights, etc.) but all the mechanics are in place and there's enough to do in the demo to last 1 to 2 hours for a first playthrough.

    Please do let me know what you think ! There's also an online form/survey accessible from the game menu to submit detailed feedback

  • Thanks to all the feedback, the game is pretty much finished now !

    I have updated the initial post with some new screenshots and links to the latest demo.

    Key changes :

    • Core mechanics update (energy, morphs, etc.)
    • More content (x2 playable area)
    • Additional story elements
    • New enemy types
    • Improved resources
    • Keyboard configuration
    • Customisable visual style (scanlines, bulge, etc.)
    • Endless list of balancing and level design tweaks, plus various bugfixes

    Previous focus test demo is no longer available

    New demo shows ~15% of the game content (tutorial area + 1 out of 8 modules)

    Browser demo

    Recommendations : up-to-date Chrome + Xbox360 compatible gamepad

    Desktop demo

    Recommendations : Windows 7/8/10 + Xbox360 compatible gamepad

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