Artificial Elemental Expedition Prototype

You were just enabled. Your name is #42. Your apparently the 42nd attempt at recovering the 4 elemental gems. Your mission is to recover the 4 elemental gems, learning what ever magics needed along the way.

I haven't had the controller mapping tested on Windows/MacOS yet (I wrote a better system then what I was using before), so if you get any strange controller mapping issues, let me know.

Controls - many of the controls are indicated on screen, however the common 3rd person controls are not.

  • KB/Mouse

    • WASD - Move
    • Mouse - Camera
    • Space Jump
    • Right mouse - Use Ability
    • ESC - pause menu
  • Controller (XBox)

    • Left stick - Move
    • Right stick - Camera
    • Y - Jump
    • X - Use Ability
    • Start - Pause

NOTE: Change graphics settings to at least High to get shadows

Voting results

Overall
15th
6.000
Graphics
25th
4.636
Audio
14th
5.727
Gameplay
11th
6.091
Originality
21st
5.864
Theme
26th
5.591

This game entered in the Solo competition (37 entries).

Comments (25)

Odrez
8 months ago

It couldn't get more prototype-y as this, with missing animations, placeholder graphics and a general feel of proof-of-concept over polish, but I actually really enjoyed this. It got repetetive after getting two of elements though, so I have to admit I didn't finish collecting the elemental orbs.

However, to emphasize on why I still enjoyed this entry a lot - it just feels like a cool game, despite it's rawness. You start in a cool starting area with shopkeepers and a few starting coins and hop into your starship. And it's actually a flyable starship! Again, probably the most basic implementation of one, but you can fly around manually and dock on other areas. You enter those that look like you can solve them with your current abilities and hop back to your ship to explore further. The sense of exploration and general roundness of the execution of its core idea makes this actually a really cool prototype for something that might be a very fun puzzle-platformer.

As someone who has release a 3D platformer in the past, one tip - make the collider boxes of collectibles noticably bigger than the object itself. Players tend to jump towards them with an expectation of when they should have hit the object and if it's too tight, they'll miss it a lot.

Cool entry!

AdroitConceptions
8 months ago

@Odrez,
Thank you for the feedback. I definately overscoped. Art/model wise, that is about my skill level, I doubt I could have pulled off significantly better models in that timeframe.

And your response made me realize I need to stop using the word 'prototype' in game titles. Especially for game jam games. The bot you controll was ment to be the protoype, not the game ;)

inacho_
(@thesunda) • 8 months ago

Just finished playing! What I most enjoyed in the game is the music, definitely.
I loved the feel of the Hub music vs the World music. Kinda reminds me that old RPG-fantasy themed original score where the music played at Base and World do really grasp the player's attention.

What bothered me the most is the repetition. The whole dynamic feels the same. Go to some random sphere, collect coins, buy the spell to unblock the next sphere. I still had a really good time playing.

Next time try to put some more juice on the animation/modelling, even if this is not your strongest skill. Awesome job, man!

AdroitConceptions
8 months ago

@thesunda,

Thank you for the feedback.

The repetion in the levels was me runing out of time and making an odd choice that required as many levels as I made to make sure the game was completable. Had I had some forsight, I could have made the levels able to have more coins and then needed less levels. (I had to make sure you couldn't purchase the non-jump abilities until after you got jump, so you couldn't soft lock yourself with a bad choice).

AdroitConceptions
8 months ago

oh… and the music was like 10-15 minutes to create and implement. I get mixed feedback on that at times. (procedural music generation code -> midi files -> LMMS -> final music). I usually put a few minutes into picking out better instruements, but I was to short on time this time.

neverix
8 months ago

Wow, this actually turned out to be pretty fun! It certainly lacked some polish and variety, but I enjoyed the game.

Ztuu
8 months ago

Apparently 42nd time is the charm.
So I found this game really fun. It took me a while to work some things out. I actually completed the game without earth magic by jumping across the blocks so I got the first gem without buying anything. That was when I realised I could buy other types of magic than just jump. After that it was smooth sailing!
Fun little game, I appreciated the music changing and the little models were cute even if they were basic.
All round a fun little game to play, well done!

ValdeTheAssetMan
8 months ago

I don't know what makes this little simple repetetive 10 minute game so fun, but it just is. Something about how casual and laidback it is, and that it doesn't promise more than it delivers. It doesn't take itself too seriously. The music was a bit janky, but listenable. My only graphics complaint is the spells. It was just a simple particle effect and i feel like maybe having some 3d models or something would make them more exciting. But i understand the time contraint. The levels (of which there are 10, but in reality 3) are repetetive but the game is so short it doesnt matter. Very wholesome and enjoyable.

AdroitConceptions
8 months ago

@ztuu,
Thanks for the feedback - am am curious how you pulled off that jump, I thought I made the gap larger then you can jump. Did you use the earth block as a steping stone?

@ValdeTheAssetman,
Thanks for the feedback. Yes I ran out of time, which means most of the levels didn't get passed the 'stubbed in' level, and with how the shops/coins work, I couldn't simply cut out levels.

Ztuu
8 months ago

@AdroitConceptions Yes I used the earth block and jumped from it!

AdroitConceptions
8 months ago

@Atuu,

Thanks, I will start my bugs list with that ;)

KeithorKeith
8 months ago

Ok so firstly i have to say the flying on my spaceship msic was fun at first but made me wanna rip my ears of after two or three ventures out into the wilds! that being said the music was good just impleimented poorly i think.
Gameplay was basic but it had me hooked, a little metroidvania-ish i liked it a lot. That being said i would have preferred some variations to the levels. And a boost to the rocket, very good game overall man i was hooked until the end, i love collectathon games.

havana24
8 months ago

I didn't expected to get this type of games. The sense of adventure, even if it's clearly a prototype is huge considering the time you had.
I don't know why the ship kinda reminds me the gummiship from kingdom hearts 1. XD

One little problem: I think you didn't set the "dead zone" of the stick controller… It seems like my stick is a bit offset and the player constatly moves even if I don't touch it.

Good entry!

Huliandos
8 months ago

I liked the idea of the game and how you tackled the theme of the game Jam.
The music was a nice touch, but wasn't memorable enough for me. The graphics and animations were pretty basic, but I understand that its not much time to create good animations and graphics in such a short period of time.
The gameplay was interesting and fun at first, but fell of as soon as the elements all felt the same, because you just had to spray on the corrosponding blocks.

All in all I think its a good idea with room for improvement.

AdroitConceptions
8 months ago

@KeithorKeith,
Thank you for the feedback. Those are some good points. I did run out of time, which is why many of the levels were almost the same.

@havana42,
Thanks you for the feedback. Sorry about the dead zone on the controller. I do have a deadzone setup in my code, but the size isn't configurable and from some discussions/research I have had before, it is smaller then some controllers need (but big enough for my test controller). I have it at 0.1, but from my research some need it as big as .25. I have a few ideas about solutions, but haven't tried implementing any of them yet.

AdroitConceptions
8 months ago

@Huliandos,

Thank you for the feedback. I agree, I overscoped and ran out of time to make intresting levels.

smbe19
8 months ago

Interesting game, but a bit repetitive. There was a bug with the graphics where almost everything was black, but there is probably not much you can do about it (running on Linux, probably an issue with the graphics driver).

AdroitConceptions
8 months ago

@smbe19,

Intresting that you had an issue on Linux given that I developed on Linux. I have no idea what might have happened. I have an intregrated GPU and didn't have any problems. A screenshot of the problem might give me an idea on what is happening.

smbe19
8 months ago

AdroitConceptions
8 months ago

@smbe19

that is intresting. I have no idea at the moment why that might be happening. What quality setting did you pick?

That looks like a massive shadow over everything, but there isn't anything above the level in that scene that could do something like that.

smbe19
8 months ago

I think it appeared on several quality settings I tried. When moving it looked more like a reflection rather than a shadow, but it's hard to say. But I wouldn't spend too much time on this, I doubt many other people have this problem.

n!ghtmare
(@josefgazdos) • 8 months ago

I liked big ammount of levels created. The animations are missing, but music squared that out.

I liked interactions with npcs, save system and buying stuff + open gameplay path of choosing what spell I want to buy first.

You could do some great designer in the future, stick to it..

AdroitConceptions
8 months ago

@josefgazdos,

Thank you for your feedback and kind words.

thomastc
8 months ago

I only tried the 1.0 version, so I suppose I got to see the placeholder levels. Indeed all 8 of the outer levels are very similar and rather boring. That said, the rest of the game feels fairly complete: there's a clear objective, some obstacles to overcome (in an order of your choosing) and an ending.

What I mainly like about this game is the sense of freedom. Especially the skyboat feels good. Some particles and engine sounds, and maybe a wider fov, would make it even better.

It doesn't really fit the theme. There's not a lot of spellcasting involved here, and why would robots be casting spells anyway? Perhaps you were hoping for the theme "Floating Islands"? Or missed out on "Alchemy"?

I seem to be saying this a lot lately: yay there is music, meh it's generic, boo it doesn't fit the game's atmosphere at all. Still, it's better than silence!

AdroitConceptions
8 months ago

@thomastc,

Thank you for the feedback. Why wouldn't there be magic using robots in space or other places? I know it isn't the typical trappings of a 'magical world,' but many things - espcially in games- are just trappings.

Most media has an apparent split between fantasy + magic vs Future + science, however the magic and science are both just trappings for "things we can't do today", just described in different forms.

Yes, 'spellcasting' wasn't on the top of my idea list, but mostly due to some of the ideals that can come with that. Look for a way to use the them without getting into some of the darker aspects of it, Mix that with robots being easy to model and that is how I got to what I made.

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