is running a Kickstarter.
is running a Kickstarter.
So yesterday I posted a fresh Faucibus image on twitter, and those who have been following the game might’ve caught that there’s been somewhat of a graphical overhaul going on.
(scroll down to the previous post to see the “old” Faucibus)
Since I’ve been teasing the game for a while, I feel like I owe an explanation as to why exactly this change had to happen. And it comes down to this:
Balancing the visuals for a video game is hard.
Faucibus is meant to be a masocore type platformer that presents itself as an atmospheric one. To a certain degree, I want the visuals to be almost like an extra level of difficulty- lush and distracting. There’s something really powerful in the divide between skill-based platformers that focus on speedrunning, and atmospheric (usually puzzle-based) platformers… that’s what I want to tap into.
Originally I felt I had a good base to make this happen. The noise overlay really added texture to the game, the whole thing was really fun to get lost in. But when I started actually making levels, something felt wrong. As far as hardcore platforming goes, you want to feel like you lose because you did something wrong, but Faucibus didn’t convey the visual elements in a way that offers players all the information they need to utilize their skills to succeed.
It was really frustrating, and not in the good way.
So I set out to address these flaws, and came up with a much cleaner look without having to sacrifice the lush imagery and details. The difference is, despite the immersion I’m trying to shove down players’ throats, you can focus on the obstacles and -most importantly- dying feels like the player’s mistake rather than the game failing to give the player what they need.
Having to redraw the game didn’t slow me down much; I think I may have lost one day doing it which isn’t a big deal.
Alright! That’s a whole bunch of words about video game art, so let’s end this with a closer look at Faucibus herself.
That’s right, Faucibus. What is Faucibus?
It’s a metaphor for the normalization of oppression.
It’s being a minority.
It’s a video game.
But it is though.
It’s dying over and over again.
It’s a story that might not resonate, but I hope it does; I hope it breaks your heart and I mean that in the nicest way possible.
It’s 50 levels of masocore platforming that tries to trick you into thinking it’s not 50 levels of masocore platforming.
It’s a thing, by Sets and Settings, and it should be done by the end of Juli. I don’t know if it will be released at that time, but it might. You’ll be able to play it, somehow, in your browser.
We hope you’ll like it.
I’ll tell you what the haps is, blog!
Alright, so video games. Sets did Ludum Dare again last month, and it was a blast! We ended up with Huoheian, a survival-based arena shooter where all the enemies you kill turn into spikes, making it increasingly difficult to survive (a neat mechanic that turns out to be very elevator-pitch friendly, as the first half of this sentence demonstrates).
Check out the game right here. There’s a compo version that has a completely broken balancing issue and a state of the art post-compfaux edition that addresses that completely broken balancing issue.
Bonus: Huoheian is the first game to use our new and improved splash screen:
After that, a NES game jam going on at GameJolt caught my eye, and with 3 days left until the deadline I set out to create the most NESlike of NESlike experiences, which resulted in the absurdly named and absurdly short Steel Novella 2083.
For reasons beyond my understanding, SN2083 has been extremely well-received and kinda blew up when I released it? I’ve seen it pop up at indiegames dot com the weblog, IndieStatik, PCGamer, and it was frontpaged at Newgrounds within minutes of uploading it, somehow.
So that’s the recent past for you… but what about the recent future?
Well I’m glad you asked! Valence is still being worked on albeit slowly, I’m working with Glass Bottom Games to bring the world the best noir-style game to ever have existed, Hot Tin Roof, and I’m working on a followup to SN2083.
Yeah. We got dat work.
Hey everybody, Folmer here. Been a while since we posted anything so I figured I’d talk a bit about what’s been going on with Sets.
So aside from our usual messing around with whatever insanity we feel like doing at any given time, we’re still gearing up to do Valence- our roguelike platformer based on an old LD entry we did once - and we want to do it right. Someone on twitter (good lookin’ out, @seemo!) let us know about Bundle In A Box and their Indie Dev Grant, so we thought it would be a neat idea to throw it over to them to see how people respond to it.
We’ve also started a devlog for Valence which you can check out right here right now. At the moment it’s a collection of the fragments of screenshots and info we’ve leaked so far, we’ll keep it fresh as development of this freaking monster of a game goes on.
Secondly, there is a folder in the Sets and Settings dropbox full of 8x8 sprites. Just sprites everywhere, walkcycles and monsters and tiny tiles and everything, as far as the eye can see.
That’s my doing; I did that. What’s NOT to be found in that folder is an .swf, any code, or anything even resembling Andrew’s doing. I humbly suggest everyone yell at Andrew (@ambushsabre on twitter for easier yelling, you’re welcome) to rectify this situation.
Keep it thorough,
Yo! Andrew here. So I took some of the more interested and not-terribly-coded games and put the source on my github. The games included so far are K.O.T.S., Gravnav, and Irrupt. I encourage anyone to take a look at it and use the code in their own projects, but I have to put this disclaimer on there: I may have done some things horribly wrong, or committed some coding atrocity. If you see something like that, feel free to let me know, but I really do hope someone might find something useful in there. My only request is that if you do end up benefiting from it, that you send me a quick email, I’d love to know!
2012 was a great year for us, so we wanted to kick the new year off right the only way we know how: By making video games.
Last week, we decided to have what we’ve dubbed the WEEKEND OF SETS, which spawned 3 games:
First we released Kastle, a one-button auto-runner about modern day (or possibly futuristic) castles. It was our #1GAM entry for Januari.
Then, Andrew unleashed the 4 player K.O.T.S. The game is about tiny gunslingers with big guns to sling, trying to take control of a saloon. First player to capture the flag wins (and will probably have to take a drink. Losers must always take drinks, by the way. Them’s the rules).
Read more about K.O.T.S. here! Includes download link.
As the final game of WEEKEND OF SETS, we put out Alaska, a game we can only define as a “micro-SHMUP”. Alaska is about the player, the final boss, and the end.
These 3 games are our way of saying “thank you you’re awesome” to the players and fans and indie game devs who’ve supported Sets and Settings throughout 2012, and we are extremely excited to make more games in 2013!
High fives all around.
- Andrew & Folmer