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Play as an alien plant and escape from a scientific facility, full of secrets and dangerous experiments. PC/Mac/Linux/Wii U/Ouya
Play as an alien plant and escape from a scientific facility, full of secrets and dangerous experiments.
Play as an alien plant and escape from a scientific facility, full of secrets and dangerous experiments.
5,953 backers pledged $144,960 to help bring this project to life.

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Development state and new project: GOTY


As we informed you a week ago we were working extra hours to launch a campaign for a new project and here it is. We think that transparency is key and that's the reason we wanted you to know about this new game since day one... For us is extremely important to keep being crystal clear about all things concerning not only Paradise Lost, but all the stuff we are working on.

The story so far

Taking a look back at last year from the perspective of development, we didn’t stop fantasizing about how things would have been if we had made different choices. 2014 was going to be a major step for us. Our project obtained financing and we were able to devote to full time development and bring PLFC to life. We engaged in a work schedule that filled us and we loved it. Working on what you really like is a luxury, but nobody tells you about the sacrifices you must do to fulfill your dreams.

Communication problems and the lack of a common goal led us to rethink the initial formation of the team and so we lost a friend, colleague and partner. It was a blow, but the worst part was having to let go all the game’s code: A year of development to the trash. All our hopes were suddenly gone and having to watch how an important part of your project dissapears was pretty fucked up. We had to rise above that and continue making the game. We made a promise to all of you, and that’s not gonna change.

With the things learned and the hard work made by our programmer Carlos we were able to improve a lot of features, like AI and certains aspects of gameplay. We even managed to add stuff that we thought impossible like pixel art rotation, which became a featured asset on the Unity store.

This doesn’t mean that everything is done and lot of stuff is yet to be made, plus working so long in a game that had an initial forecast of a single year burned out both Sigrid and I. The frustration of starting all over again is something that is there, like a thorn.

Summer arrived and we felt that more than a good rest we needed an outlet for our creativity, avoiding to get stuck and stay fresh with new concepts, so we started to create GOTY from time to time outside work hours. After a while we realized that this pastime could become something more, so we decided to polish it. The game seemed fun to play and we decided to give it a chance on Kickstarter.

Why now? Because this project is a way to reflect our current experience as game developers and also address from a positive perspective the problems that happen frequently in game development, specially if you are an independent dev. We felt the need to see if we are still sharp with original concepts.

If the project has any success, we’ll promise all of you that it won’t have a negative impact regarding Paradise Lost. As far as GOTY goes, it’s an already-made project. Even with all the setbacks that have happened so far, we’ve given you constant info and material to back our words, and we’ll continue to do so month after month. PLFC is our beloved child and we are working hard on it to give you a playable sneak peak ASAP.

Release date and gameplay material

So far we were contrary to give you a certain release, because we know what is going to happen… give you a date and then have to delay the project, like most of Kickstarters out there. Our first priority is to finish the level editor and send to backers a preview build as soon as possible. From that point will be able to establish a realistic timetable, but expect a year from now.

Well, with all things said we present to you our new project:

GOTY the card game

GOTY is a tabletop game where you can experience the process of making video games, trying to avoid setbacks and bizarre situations like deleting work by mistake, losing a partner, receiving a lawsuit or even survive a flood in the studio.

Besides all of this, you have to create your project by completing the tasks of the different categories that take part of a game. In order to do so you must bring together the best professionals, collecting assets and gathering a set of abilities to take advantage over the rest of players.

If you want to know more about the game and also help us bring it to life, you can check here the Kickstarter campaign. We hope that you like it and don't forget to stay tuned for more info (but next time only Paradise Lost related) ;)

Thanks in advance for your support and understanding!

Focus on graphic design + new project


Hi plant lovers! We’ve been busy as hell this last months and because of that it took a little while to make a new update, sorry! As I stated other times, we prepare these posts outside work hours and the process of exporting pixel art animations + in-game gifs is sometimes a pain in the ass. We could make them without so much gifs or images but it wouldn't be the same updates you love. Also, writing down all the text in Spanish and having to translate and check the grammar repeatedly doesn’t help with the times! X)

Besides all of this, we were working on a new thing but you must wait till the end of the post to know more about it.

On this update I wanted to show you some design processes, but this time I’m not talking about game mechanics or animations, today is all about graphic design.

Iconography and color

As graphic designers both Sigrid and I feel the irresistible urge to give extra attention to every resource that conform visual and textual significance. Any type of graphic that merges within the game content is carefully designed, so we always strive to find the balance between an artistically elaborated result and a user-friendly experience.

To this effect, we wanted to define an interface that avoids text explanations as much as possible, trying to represent ideas and concepts exclusively with graphic elements. This is where the iconography takes importance.

We start sketching concepts of each icon that needs to be represented, considering that all of them must have a very specific and understandable meaning.

To have an homogeneous yet impactful look we leave aside contours and gave them a solid/filled finish to the forms on the final stage. Through the process some designs are modified, giving priority to the international meaning of the icon above its look. Yeah, it’s cool to put a thorny nutshell to represent the defense ability, but the icon suffers a lost of detail on minimum sizes and can be confuse. On the contrary, a shield image is easier to represent and more recognizable.

Status bubbles

This is a game were players must study carefully the routines and reactions of every character. We have endeavored to create realistic and complex animations that show the mood and behavior of the enemies, but we also needed to include status globes focused on their interaction with the plant and its environment.

These globes are constantly displayed in real time, so we decided to conceive a pixel art iconography for them, different from the vector graphics used for the rest of menus. This way every graphic component that appear inside the game world fits perfectly and doesn’t look out of place.

With this in mind we integrated the communication elements within the game graphics avoiding to outshine the backgrounds or the character’s main animations, so they are not bigger than the width of an enemy's head.

Also, the use of color-blending transitions helps to spot the characters without the use of shrilling effects. This way the player can easily take note of various situations inside a room at the same time. The different tones selected for the bubbles represent distinct emotional states.

Usually, the red color suggests action and impulsiveness and fits perfectly for the enemy’s alert state.

Orange is linked to emotions like anticipation and ecstasy. Based on that we assigned it to the evasion state. During this state the characters stay in surveillance mode and are able to transition from/to alert anytime.

Violet and blue are calming tones and help us represent the toxicity of the gas spores and the knockout state respectively.


Developing our own typefaces is another way to add detail and depth to the game. The facility is full of elements that incorporate lettering such as info panels, advertisements or displays with minimum text details. To this purpose different fonts were designed and edited depending on their use and scale.

Defining a corporate identity

If a real life company should worry about having a good brand and bothers to design a communication strategy through the use of colors, imagotypes and ads... Why not develop a corporate identity for the company that is behind the events of our adventure? In Paradise Lost G.E.R. is represented as one of the most important research + development companies in the world, so it’s completely logic to think that they care about corporate image and marketing.

For this purpose, Sigrid conceived a modern and geometric logo that could be easily represented at pixel level into the scale of the game. The color scheme used helps to stand out from the backgrounds, differentiating from the overall hues and the sterility characteristics of scientific laboratories.

To capture a realistic corporatism and bring credibility to the company, we applied the logotype to tons of objects and graphic elements. In addition, the color scheme is constantly present, giving personality and realism to the facility.

Here is an example of a dinning area within the complex. As you can see the menus, furniture and other decorative elements follow the same line of design and color.

Off Topic: pixel art master class baby!

Few weeks ago took place the first video game festival of Cantabria, the Culture Game Fest, and we were invited a pair of days to show the game and give a pixel art class (look how the chair by my side create a funny effect on my back XD).

The workshop was quite a success and a lot of people seemed interested to start developing their own games and give a try to Aseprite. I never get tired of recommending this powerful (and cheap) program, and if you already use it you can give new ideas and help the community to improve the software on Github.


As a curiosity here’s the example of a PLFC enemy with different art styles that I drew for the assistants. The Nes version (second from the right) is lovely vintage.

If I have some spare time (year 2020 aprox. XD) I could record a tutorial of how to work with the program and make animations step by step :)

PS: our new project

As I said earlier, these last two months we were a little bit overworked. The reason is that we’ve been creating another project in parallel with Paradise Lost. First of all, let me be clear, if you think that the development of Paradise Lost is freezed/canceled or may resent because of this don’t panic, This work is not another video game and it’s already made.

During the little spare time that we had between August and September we came up with a fun game card, just as a hobby for a friend’s party. Everybody liked the concept and had a good time playing it, so we realized that we could turn it into something real.

With this in mind, we polished the rules and designed all the graphics on weekends till we had a well-defined version of the different cards. These last two weeks we were preparing a Kickstarter campaign to see if people are interested on the idea and send it to production.

The project will be uploaded very soon, so at the moment the campaign is active we’ll publish here another update so you can check it out :)  

Keep an eye to your mail inbox!


Graphic and behavior improvements


August has flown by and we didn’t even notice! We spent most of the last month testing the mechanics and polishing endless things. The design of some levels has been made with block sets -rough stages with no final art/tiles-, checking that everything runs smoothly and enemies work as they should in all kind of situations.

Among debugging and many other things, we also made other improvements regarding visual elements and animations. Wanna take a look at them?

New reactions for a single state

On the last update we posted a set of poses for the guards, giving variety to a unique behavior through different animations. Following this idea we’ve made new stances for the scientists in situations where they may overlap. In this example you can see all the possible animations for a scientist going from a panic state to a relaxed one.

This prevents that all the scientist in a room execute the same animation once an alert ends, adding realism to the game.

Natural dialogue system

Another behavior added to these characters is the possibility to execute completely randomized dialogues. To do this effect, we have developed a script that choose an animation depending on the role and pose of the interlocutors. 9 different dialogues were made, each with 3 possible gestures and another 3 switches from one stance to another.

To get a better idea of how this works here’s a simplified diagram:

Now if two characters are assigned to talk several times, their conversations will never be identical, just like these two below.

Gameplay adjustments

We’ve also been working on key elements of the gameplay as we test the levels with interactive assets, gradually balancing the core mechanics. This is extremely important in order to obtain a well-designed system, even more if you keep in mind that the player has different paths to advance through the map and can decide whether to go unnoticed or face the enemies with his abilities.

One of the things that we changed is related to the hearing distance and sight of the scientist. Previously, these characters were able to detect sounds no matter what they were doing, even focused on their tasks. This carried several problems like this one: anytime you made a noise in a crowded area ALL doctors stopped working on their tasks and went looking for you, which end up in a weird proceeding. It was extremely difficult to go unnoticed.

Now they aren't able to spot you if they’re at work (as if they were “in the zone”), wich made them look more natural and also allowed us to create a wide variety of stealth strategies.

A lot of interactions between characters were added too, making the NPCs react to a greater number of factors depending on the scenario, objects and characters around them. Here's an example of the actions made by a guard when he discovers a fallen comrade.

We have also taken a great step forward by developing our own collision script that automatically crops every frame from a sprite sheet, avoiding to manually adjust each box collider per animation and saving us a lot of time.

Now that the colliders adjust themselves to the sprites it’s easier for us to attach external elements to relative positions. For example, the status bubbles are positioned automatically two pixels above the enemies without us having to adjust them manually in every frame.

Time to scold us: graphic enhancements

Wait! Before you think that we’ve lost hundreds of hours polishing stuff, I must say that some elements were made long before the Kickstarter campaign and showed a lack of detail in comparison with the rest of the enhanced sprites. We remade a few graphic interfaces for larger monitors, displaying more elaborated menus with animated graphics and visuals.

We upgraded a pair of scenarios too, like this one that act like a checkpoint/save-state. These natural enclosures were designed as chill out areas for the people inside the facility, but our green friend can use them as shelters to plant its seeds. If W is killed during its getaway its pollen spreads through the air, pollinating the seeds in the nearest garden and resurrecting it.

As we continued to develop new stages and situations, we were feeling that this shelters looked a little bit outdated in comparison with the rest of levels and needed some improvement. We've also added more depth to some stages to make it easier to follow the plant. As you see right here W is hard to spot from the background.

To give a striking look to this areas we looked for examples of natural landscapes with a more refined aesthetic, taking inspiration from the colors and composition of traditional Japanese gardens, with its bright colors and strong tonal contrasts.

With some pics selected, we reduced different images into the game’s resolution, isolating the dominant colors and creating a set of harmonic palettes.

Preserving the structure of the stage we drawn a garden with different heights over the planter where we’ll distribute the main elements. To provide a “Zen” touch to the stage we've also added an artificial waterfall behind a glass.

A great variety of trees and shrubs have been designed so every shelter room looks different from the others. The color ranges degrade from red to green with intermediate brown tones that helps to blend the different shades.

Lighting also plays an important role in the composition. To give an overwhelming feeling we focused the attention on a single luminous point in the center, using the same energy source as the special lamps where W recharge its skills. To create a higher contrast the overall brightness has been reduced, adding more depth so the character stands out.

This is the final look of the stage (click on it to have a better look). The tonal difference and the glowing sparks bring out the colors, giving an odd yet outstanding look to this levels. The combination of these elements also serves to represent, somehow, W’s home in the stars.

That feeling of tranquility and comfort is enhanced by the soothing sound effect of the waterfall along with the theme composed for this end.

Extra: art from a different perspective

I can not lose the opportunity to post a couple of drawings made by Carlos to explain the enemy behaviors. It looked so adorable that I needed to redraw them. I present to you Neckboy and Longmuscle. Sorry Carlos, we love you anyway.

PS: and now a really good piece of art sent by one of our Paradise Lost fans, Blake Stevenson. You can check more of his fun work right here.

We love to see how different people represent Subject W, so feel free to send your drawings to

Hope you like all this stuff and, as I always say, thanks for your patience with the project, we are doing our best to not let you down.

Enol Martínez

Animations & states + new alerts + robots!


Hey people, how is the summer going? We've been working on new enemies and actions aside from the scene/level editors (it seems that we aren't going to have holidays in a while xD).

Want to take a look at some of the stuff we did?

New guard behaviors

Although the enemies are almost done and work without any apparent problems, we've created a pair of animations like new stand poses for the guard patrols. If you're worried thinking how many time we have lost doing the new anims don't panic, this set of actions are based on the static idle pose and some of them take frames from other sprites already made. We think that they provide more variety and dynamism to the characters, which in the end results in a more realistic aesthetic.

No escape

We've also added a new state to the guard's AI.

Now if these enemies have you in their visual range while you escape through a vent/tunnel, they can throw a gas bomb that damages -and even kills- the plant.

It was relatively easy to run away from the guards escaping under the floor, but now the player will have to plan more carefully its movements in order to survive. This new element slightly increases the difficulty of the game and provide an extra component of strategy to the core mechanics.

Animation improvements

One of the things we couldn’t do before was to change the speed of any animation in the middle of it (Unity doesn't allow this by default), so Carlos developed a practical script to set different framerates, accelerating or decelerating certain ranges in the timeline. Here you can see the difference between unique timing and variable pacing.


Only certain stages of the main story included active alerts, setting these scenes into an emergency state. To expand the gameplay variables, we decided to add the emergency panels to more levels. The doctors can activate them when they discover the plant, alerting the facility and drawing the attention of other guards outside the stage (to prevent this you must knock them out before they reach the lever!).

Now that this gameplay element will be a constant during the game, we decided to improve the lighting effects of the scene when an alarm is activated. First of all, we slightly modified the upper bar of the scenarios, including tileable red-light bulbs that focus the attention on certain spots.

The old alarm system only applied a red layer that multiplied its hue with a fading effect.

With the new improvements, when a doctor pulls the emergency lever the room enters into a shutdown mode, deactivating all the electronic devices and main lights. Different layers reduce the overall luminosity (maintaining the background original tones) and the red spotlights show a volumetric and more realistic effect.

Bipedal observers

Since we're always posting things about human enemies, for a change we bring you a sneak peek of the robots produced in the technological area of GER: the cervids.

These prototypes have mechanical bodies that allow them to perform actions impossible for humans. For example: they see in 360 degrees -even when they walk during a patrol- so you must be careful when you sneak around them. They can also release electric whips within their torso, spinning the body and generating a circular attack difficult to avoid.

We tried to design a less sci-fi and more realistic look, full of cables and exposed pieces. Most of the real-life robots avoid an anthropomorphic look, and their creators focus in the develop of more animalistic appearances like the Big Dog or Cheetah (both produced by Boston Dynamics).


These kind of physiologies allow them to walk through different terrains and achieve incredible stabilization and speed rates (and lets be clear, seeing a robot running like this to you will make you s*** yourself!).

We wanted to translate all this ideas into a human/animal hybrid look for our cervid models. Hope you like their design (and all the things we posted so far :D).

See you in future updates and don't forget to comment/ask anything you want  ;)


Conundrums ~ AI progress ~ Unity asset ~ Music


Almost alive

Hello backers of the world! It's been a long time since the previous update (We were recently rapped on the knuckles in the comments for this reason) so the first thing we wanted to do is apologize for not showing signs of life in the last two months. We have been extremely busy with the game and, in addition, both Sigrid and I were forced to present our respective final career projects (it was the last call to submit them) so we used all of our little spare time to make them.

Usually we prepare the Kickstarter posts aside development hours to save as much time as possible, but making an update can take several days between preparing images/animations (export pixel perfect elements requires to scale each picture by a certain factor to maintain a proportional ratio) and the translation of texts from Spanish to English, checking it several times to make sure everything is fine.

Some of you may be bothered about the fact that we spent "extra" hours on those specific tasks, but we really needed that time. Anyway, we’ve always advocated to be completely transparent about our working methods and show all of you the bumps that appear in the road of this development... all we ask for is a little patience while we get things done  ;)

Well, after this brick that probably bored you let’s cut to the chase.

Lost in puzzles

One of the things that we wanted to show you is how we design puzzles for Paradise Lost. This is an intricate process that requires hours of thinking and trial & error testing, in order to obtain gameplay experiences that flex the players mind. To make a problem resolution that is both entertaining and challenging it’s necessary to take into account a number of factors that, correctly aligned, manage to convey an immersive experience within the game universe. The use of the plant skills, the interaction with the environment and the addition of narrative clues are elements that we kept in mind to design these enigmas. Before developing each puzzle, we created an initial diagram with the “key” concepts, situations and mechanics categorized by the type of abilities required to solve them and the way that the player interacts with the environment.

(You can view the scheme on detail by clicking on the image -sorry, it was written in Spanish :/ )

Design every puzzle individually is not feasible because it would require to code each challenge from scratch, increasing its possibility to crash and requiring more time for test and debugging. Using the previous framework as a design guide help us delimit the number of gameplay elements, simplifying its deconstruction and avoiding a more complex development.

Does this mean that all the puzzles are the same? Of course not; the exploration and use of your surrounding area makes every challenge unique. Besides this, some of this conundrums can test different mental skills at the same time, mixing different categories like pattern recognition or sequence solving on a single brainteaser.

To give more complexity without risking the core mechanics we also added variations on each design, expanding and evolving the game experience. For example, imagine a scene with a transport arm that displace boxes where you need to open a path, creating a stairway to advance. The following ideas show how to "improve" the performance of a basic problem with a pair of modifications:

  • one button moves the hoist 2 columns (always to the left till the last column, then return the same number of positions)
  • a second button moves the hoist 3 columns (same performance)
  • the third button of the panel change the polarity of the claw. There are two kind of boxes to interact with, each with a different pole.
  • The arm grabs a box after the movement. If is not of its polarity the hoist doesn't pick it. You can't stack more than 3 boxes vertically.

This way we can make one complex challenge composed from 3 easy principles, suitable to multiple challenges.

Once we decided the type of game mechanic to use, we translate this concept to a Lego play set. Manipulating the physic cubes that represent the puzzle components give us a deeper and more “visual” understanding of the enigma resolution. It also makes the deconstruction process easily.

And voila! Here's the puzzle translated to the game engine (it seems that W has some troubles with the control panel).

AI progress

Good news! the main AI modules are almost done and fully functional; from this point we only need to incorporate new animations to the Mecanim state machine system.

To have a deeper understanding of how it works, take a look at the Security Forces behavior diagram:

Each animation is linked to a state or transition (the rectangular boxes) which, in turn, interacts with other states. This interlaced groups are gathered in submachines (those hexagonal frames) to maintain an organized/understandable workflow. The next picture shows the patterns attached under the Attack state machine.

From this point Carlos started to develop specific scripts that assign those behaviors to  in-game characters within a "easy to use" control panel. This allows us to design the enemy routines in real time without going through the state machine.

Sharing our work with other developers

Last update we posted about the new pixel art rotation technique developed to obtain a smooth/pixelated aiming for the characters. Unity didn’t include any standard tools to represent this effect, so we decided to publish this gadget on the Unity Asset Store, allowing other game designers to use this kind of rotation in their pixel art games and, also, help finance Paradise Lost.

So if you are designing a project with pixel aesthetics too and want to preserve that edgy/pixelated look on motion elements, you can check our asset right here.

Running out of time...

Finally, we leave you with another immersive composition by Pablo J. Garmón for the game. Since we've been talking about puzzle challenges, here you can enjoy a piece representing a dramatic situation that W must solve in a race against the clock.

 (This is a preliminar theme. Some arrangements will be made to the final version):


PS: Next month we’ll contact some of the backers whose tier are related with the design of bosses and scenarios, in order to start with them as soon as possible.

Green hugs to all of you!,

Enol Martínez