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Wooplex

Upcoming mobile physics puzzle game

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Wooplex Development Update: We are back!

Break is over, Wooplex is back. We moved from blogspot to our wooplexgame.com.

Having a lot of things to share with you, we plan to post much more often than we did previous year.

Stay tuned!

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Wooplex Development Update. MassDiGi Grand Prize Winner 2015.

We are back from our winter break now and we have something cool to share with you!
Yesterday we attended MassDiGi Game Challenge. People there were awesome and a lot of interesting games were pitched. I really enjoyed being a part of it.Despite the fact that our team was not in a full squad because Ostap is in Ukraine we managed to get our first two rewards!

Wooplex won the Grand Prize and became Winner of the Indie Beta/Near Release Category.

Here is the gameplay video from the pitch presentation. It got a lot of positive reviews from judges and audience and we would like to share it with you.

Continue reading “Wooplex Development Update. MassDiGi Grand Prize Winner 2015.”

Wooplex Development Update. Story time.

Weekly Summary.
Listening to people’s feedback on the game is very important. Because of this, right not we are putting a lot of efforts working on improving game controls. Previous week we decided to create 3 different types of control and the next week we are going to test how people like it. I hope it can change the overall experience of the game in a good way.

Story time.
We think it is time to reveal a little story that is hidden behind Wooplex. This game is influenced a lot by the 34 year old Ukrainian cartoon called “Kapitoshka“.

Kapitoshka and young wold
Kapitoshka and young wold

Kapitoshka is a drop of autumn rain, everywhere he goes, flowers, grass and leaves start blooming. Meanwhile, young wolf thinks that every wolf should be angry and crafty, but he is not. While wolf is trying to fix this, Kapitoshka is making his best to make him kinder.

The idea of how the world can become brighter and nicer by a drop of rain reflected on the game. Even though, we do not try to make Wooplex game copy of the cartoon, if you look closer at our game you can find something similar.

Visually Wooplex reminds Kapitoshka. They both have similar shape and drops flying around. When wooplex is traveling everything he touches restores color and becomes alive again. World in Wooplex is going to be full of different flowers. By touching spoiled flowers Wooplex will fix them too.

Wooplex also inherited some of the abilities that Kapitoshka has. One of those is turning disappearing and appearing in different positions. That reminded us of some kind of teleportation. Wooplex can use his drops that are flying around and do something similar!

Wooplex Development Update. What not to do on game showcases.

Previous week we worked a lot on the game. Deadline did its job pretty well. On Thursday we had a chance to show Wooplex to people from WPI on a little indie games showcase.

We learned a lot from that event and we would like to share some of the mistakes we made.

1. We created a “nice” demo that had 20 levels.
The difficulty of the levels is growing just like the level design teaches you to do. We cover all the mechanics gradually, showing them one by one not to confuse people. So you may ask what is wrong here?
Some of the things that people like the most start late in the game (on the level 15 or so). That means nothing but the bridge of 15 levels between the player who takes the device and enjoys those mechanics. The atmosphere of such events is always a mess. People are walking from table to table and they cannot play the game for more than 5 minutes for a lot of reasons. Sometimes there may not even be a place where to sit and they will play it standing. It is very disappointing to see people going away without even seeing something that you were doing and polishing for so long.

2. Attracting people to your table is important.
Take some air balloons and clown’s costume and that will do the job! Just kidding, but still having just a game you would like to share is not enough. You should think how people walking by are going to see your phone laying on the table ready to play. Broadcasting what is going on the phone on bigger screen is a great idea. Having several devices to play the game is also a great idea.

3. Our first level was the most difficult level.
Yes. Level “Who am I?” that is on youtube and looks so easy is actually not. The amount of time to complete it for a newcomer is unbelievably huge. People do not get the controls of the game when they just take the device and that is the problem.
One of the reasons why that happened is because we decided not to stick with regular joystick. We think that it just ruins the atmosphere and it is not necessary. We’ve failed to make it intuitive to control, also we haven’t made a tutorial.They were tapping it, swiping it, turning the phone around, only a few managed to control it.

Controls are simple. There is invisible floating joystick pretty similar to Limbo on the iPhones. That’s it. Everything else is controlled by touching it directly.

We decided not to change the control system but to visualize it in the correct way. We hope it won’t break the atmosphere 🙂

Check it out and please let us know in the comments what do you think about it. Thanks!

Meet the team. Wooplex Development Update

One more screenshot from the game.
One more screenshot from the game.

Some people already played Wooplex and we have that very very valuable feedback. Thanks to everyone who helped us with it. We really appreciate it.

Next week (Thursday, December 11th) we are coming to the GDC Games Showfest 2014 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. It is going to be our first public appearance. We were waiting for this moment for so long.

GDC Games Showfest 2014
GDC Games Showfest 2014

In previous update we already showed a very little of the gameplay. Now I think it’s time to tell few words about us, people who are making this game.

There are 3 people making Wooplex.

Oles
Oles

I am writing code. To be more specific, writing shaders, adding particles and other effects which make the game more visually attractive. I am trying to make Wooplex mechanics more atmospheric.


Ostap
Ostap

Ostap is writing code too. He is responsible for the game mechanics. He makes everything that at first looks ugly but runs smoothly and beautifuly. If you see something jumping, flying, teleporting in game, – that’s his job. For bugs in those things blame him 😀


Igor
Igor

My father. He is drawing textures for Wooplex. He is not a professional artist but he really likes photography and painting. We showed him some basics in computer graphics, and now he is doing very well!


.

The idea for the game appeared to me when I was having a scholarship at the outsourcing company Interlogic in 2012. I was very interested in making shaders and somehow ran into making metaballs.
I would like to say special thanks to my friend Oleksandr Voietsa who helped me a lot during that time of scholarship. With Oleksandr we developed first ever “prototype” of Wooplex.

We all come from Lviv, Ukraine. We started developing this game together in July 2013.

All previous year (July 2013 – July 2014) we were making this game at home in the evenings after work. Wooplex was never funded by anyone. Staying completely indie we were not able to develop it full time. Right now things got a little more extreme. Fulbright gave me the opportunity to continue studying Game Development in the US. In August 2014 I moved to the US. I am very glad for that, of course, but it made 7 hours difference in time between Ostap and me.  For the previous three months we successfully have been fighting with the time barrier. To write the code together one of us should always stay awake at night. Ostap is still working at International Clinic of Rehabilitation making games for disabled children, so usually he is staying awake at night :D.

Wooplex Development Update

We missed previous week development update. We are really sorry about that.

But still we have something cool to share with you!

We are one step closer to the first demo. It is right the time to show you something from it! 🙂

Remember that first level sketch? (hint : Who am I?)

Wooplex and his three minions are now alive!
Making the world around them better!

From sketches to levels. That’s how it goes 🙂

Drawbacks of RGB. Wooplex Development Update.

We are all used to RGB color scheme. It seems very logical from the first sight. But this week we ran into a little problem with that. And the solution for the problem was quite phenomenal for us.

Imagine that you have a game world originally painted in blue color scheme. Later you decide to create another world that is different and the main color there is red. Is there an easy way of doing this reusing old graphics to have it in different color that feels the same as original one? Of course, you can ask artist to make another set of textures. That means a lot of duplicated textures in different colors, more work for artists, almost no flexibility at runtime and bigger game size.

So where is the problem?
Any pixel in RGB is represented as Red, Green and Blue respectively. Blue color is (0, 0, 1). Pink color is (1, 0, 1). Changing from blue to pink is easy (0, 0, 1) + (1, 0, 0) = (1, 0, 1). That’s fine. But almost always textures have different variations of blue color and you cannot just simply add (1, 0, 0) to the whole picture. (blacks will become blue too! (0, 0, 0) + (1, 0, 0) = (1, 0, 0) )

Solution?
Use HSV(Hue-Saturation-Value)! When you want to change the color of any texture, convert the color of each pixel to HSV, modify Hue value, convert it back to RGB and put it on the screen.

The idea is that the Hue value is like a base color of your image. When you change it, Saturation and Value (level of black) remain the same. There you go. You have a texture that is the same feels the same as original but in different color!

HSV model was formally described by Alvy Ray Smith the cofounder of pixar in the August 1978.

WARNING: Shaders ahead.

Here is the example of the shader that uses this method.

half4 frag (v2f i) : COLOR{        
   float4 textureColor = tex2D (_MainTex, i.uv);
   float4 resultedColor;
   float3 textureColorInHSV =

   rgb_to_hsv(float3(textureColor.r, textureColor.g, textureColor.b));

   textureColorInHSV.r = ColorHue;
resultedColor = hsv_to_rgb(textureColorInHSV);
        
   return resultedColor;
}

Wooplex Development Update

Previous week was all about the particles. We added some cool looking effects to the game and can’t wait to share it with you when the demo is ready!

Sometimes testing goes wild and that is right the time when cool things happen!
26 k particles is a lot right? 😀 Just enough to make it realtime!

Check it!

Who am I? Try to guess! 😉



Trying ourselves as artists. Realized that in coding we are much better 😀

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