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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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GUI elements and progress

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Here we are with the first 2016 dev report. We practically spend the entire month fixing issues and working on new designs. In gameplay terms, some things were slightly changed -now that we can play with fully-implemented mechanics-, balancing skills, movement sets and behaviors of both Subject W and the enemies.

Besides the tech issues, we wanted to share some designs choices for the GUI, seeing that some of you are curious about the kind of graphics that we use to represent key elements such as the HUD, the skill tree, prompts, etc. Let’s take a look at them and don’t forget to share your opinion, ideas or concerns in the comments, we always listen and learn from all of them :)

Defining an art style

As some of you might recall, we stated from the beginning that User Interface graphics were going to be vector based instead of Pixel Art. We took this decision to have a particular style and create a visual contrast between the game world and the player “tools”.

Our original idea was to conceive a minimalistic design scheme, based on the use of lines and curved forms that resemble organic paths from the nature such as roots, midribs and plant veins.

 HUD design

show Health Points (HP), Energy Points (EP) and the currently selected skill. The HP and EP are represented by the upper and lower leafs respectively. This elements have been changed over time as we experienced different playable situations, trying to find one that was both simple and intuitive.

In the first concepts you can see that the HUD was based on the use of bars. The problem of this kind of HUD is that you need to make a bigger/intrusive design in order to see your status. We wanted to have a simple yet functional game element so we decided that a point system will fit better and give players the possibility to identify the damage inflicted by different enemies/situations and create their own strategies in advance.

For example, if I know that a certain enemy’s attack take away 2 HP, I can put the SHELL skill, exchange HP for EP and avoid being killed.

New skill selection

We showed you in earlier updates the skills wheel that allows Subject W to freeze time and select a certain ability to use. Unfortunately we experienced some functionality problems with this GUI element:

As you can see, the wheel gets cut at the ends of the stages and overlaps with the HUD when the character is inside vents or high grounds.

We came up with this solution, integrating the selection panel into the main HUD and showing the skills available right below the current ability (avoiding overlapping problems with other gameplay elements). Also, when the player is in this mode, the enemies are highlighted so you know their position in advance and determine which ability is better for each situation. It’s still a work in progress, but it will probably remain like this in the final version. Anyway your ideas are welcome too  :)

Skill tree

Players will be able to enhance their abilities thanks to the skill points collected along the getaway. For this feature we designed a tree that reflects the evolution of each skill.

The original concept shows how we visualized the different ramifications emanating from Subject W’s roots. In further versions we’ve simplified the skill tree, coming up with a clearer/understandable version.

In the center of the tree will appear the skill points collected to spend on an already acquired ability. Around the central seed you can see the skills with their ramifications and the leafs that represent the LVL of each ability. The skill points used are shown under the leafs. An info box is displayed at the bottom of the tree, where players can see the action assigned to that level and decide whether to spend points on it or not.

Interaction markers

Some of you are concerned about the inclusion of pop ups and pointers to show interactive areas. First of all, for those that want to have a more hardcore experience, we're going to add an option asking (at the beginning the game) if the player wants visual helpers along the game -If you regret this decision you can change it again inside the game options menu-.
With that said, we designed markers to show interactive objects when Subject W is near them. A button marker has been added above the plant's idle position even if the object is below the plant height, avoiding graphic overlapping of the character with the button. Here are some examples:

I hope that you liked the result  :)
Now I'll leave you with Carlos that will get into detail about gameplay-programming issues.

Demo aftermath

After finishing an stable demo a lot of features were added but were left unpolished, so our priority was to fix all these things before start making progress on other areas. Since then we’ve fixed a lot of problems and I’m going to talk about a few of these, which I think are the most interesting ones.

Fixing broken things

Falling

While building the demo we noticed that SubjectW falling from big heights looked really jerky. To fix this we tried changing the animation first, but it didn’t work. Anyway we left the new animation in there because it looked way better.

After this I changed a little bit the camera, thinking that maybe its movement produced the effect, but that didn’t work either.

After wasting a lot of time I finally found the solution, apparently we needed to tweak an option in the Rigidbody2D component called Interpolate, this option when set to Interpolate calculates the next position of the entity based on the current position, making the motion smoother. When we started the game we set this option to None because it interfered with walking and running, so now the option sets itself to Interpolate when jumping or falling.

Passing through doors

In order to detect the ground and other accidents in the scenery we attached a bunch of GameObjects as children to SubjectW, those GameObjects act as key points for those calculations.

While passing through doors these GameObjects ended up in wrong positions, which caused several problems, like clipping through the floor, and eventually made the game unplayable.

Turns out the problem originated from moving these GameObjects in different animations, a method we avoid as much as we can because it’s a pain to maintain. Deactivating SubjectW mid-animation, to reset parameters and set him on the next room, caused the movement in these animations to stop working and retain the last position they had before deactivating the entity.

Now every time a room is loaded SubjectW is moved to a limbo platform where all the proper parameters are reset and then it’s placed in the new room. This may change in the future if I find a better solution.

Recovering

When SubjectW fell into the ground it used to run an animation for recovering, while this animation was running you couldn’t move at all. After the demo it was clear that, while it was a nice touch, stopping the player completely for such a long time wasn’t a good idea.

Stopping recovery

Recovery while moving

So now we allow the player to move through the recovering, though movement is still halted for a few frames at the beginning to give some weight to the falling and make it more realistic. We also changed the animation, to reflect the ability to move when landing.

The amazing world of cameras in 2D

When talking about side-scrolling 2D games you don’t hear much about cameras and how are they built, at first it seems simple enough, you smooth out the movement of the camera as much as you can and make it follow every single move of the main character until you need the camera to change its location for a cutscene or something similar.

But, like a lot of aspects in game development, the camera is much more complicated than I thought, “smooth and follow” certainly didn’t work for us at the beginning.

To give you a basic idea, these were the obstacles we faced:

  • SubjectW seems to be moving or static for a lot of animations, but in reality it’s the other way around, which caused the camera to be static or moving when you don’t want it.
  • Moving platforms messed with the camera if playing one of the previous animations as well, causing some movements that felt weird and could cause motion sickness. 
  • Moving the camera every single pixel that SubjectW has moved caused small jumps and made the camera stutter too much.

I started searching for proper solutions and to see how other game developers did the cameras on their own games and then I found this video, which saved my life and I strongly recommend if you wanna tackle this issue on your own: http://gdcvault.com/play/1022243/Scroll-Back-The-Theory-and

So how do we fixed it?

For the problematic animations I had to do two things. For most of these animations I made the camera follow a secondary collider attached to SubjectW, which is a box collider that fits itself to the shape of the sprite, not counting completely transparent pixels. The rest of these animations needed a helper to take the place of SubjectW when I wanted the camera to stay in one position.

For the stuttering of the camera I made a window of movement, SubjectW must be a predetermined number of pixels away from the center of the camera for the camera to start moving, this way if SubjectW has moved only one or two pixels the camera won’t follow.

As for the moving platforms, they seemed to solve themselves after the previous solutions, so that’s nice for once.

___

Well, those were some of the things that we've been working on since the last update. Keep tuned for more and don't forget to comment. Bye!

Pre-alpha footage and tech issues

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Well it took us a little more than expected to make a proper gameplay presentation, but it's finally here:

_

We wanted to show you a sample as close as possible to the final version of PLFC, and for this we had to include elements that we planned to address later like the transition between stages or the inclusion of sound elements.

Graphic issues

You will probably spot some misalignment with the camera or graphic errors like half-pixel lines next to characters and objects, the half-pixel line is a known error and we’re searching for a solution right now.

As you can see, there are only 2 type of characters with no diversity. We already made the rest of skins (as stated in a previous update) but we are working on a system to integrate the sprite sheet of each skin automatically. This system is not yet implemented, but goes along the lines of using the AnimatorOverrideController component to modify the animations given by a mecanim instance.

Another pending task is the use of shaders to tint characters and blend their tones with the backgrounds and the rest of elements. As simple as it sounds the use of curves and visual fx consume resources, and we need to find their correct application.

In addition to this, user interface elements will be added in the next version. When the player walks near an interactive object a pop-up will appear, making easier to recognize interactive object like levers, hideouts, etc.

Many of you have asked for a more technical update, focused on the coding issues of the game, so I’ll let Carlos do the rest. Also, this won’t be a one time thing, you can expect a technical section on following updates.

Building the demo

Hi everyone, I’m Carlos, programmer of Paradise Lost: First Contact, I know it’s been awhile since the last update but we’ve been hard at work to bring you a very exciting one.

On November we decided to build a demo, one large enough so you could see the things we have already done or are almost finished in the game. Unfortunately this build is still too unstable for release, so apart from the video I’ll talk a little bit about how we built this first preview, and maybe get a little technical as you have asked many times before. 

Entities: characters and objects

As you know we’re building this game in Unity and we’re using the Entity-Component design pattern to build the code, because Unity is basically a huge Entity-Component pattern itself, if that makes any sense.

All the characters and objects that are interactive in the game or that posses any logic that reacts to your input or simply are running on the background are classified as entities.

Theses entities are usually built with one main script, which for example in the case of our protagonist Subject W is named SubjectW, this main script usually gives each entity specific logic that only belongs to it. Apart from this script we have several other scripts that are called components, these could be very important aspects of the entity like a movement component or a vision component, and gives the entity different abilities.

 With this pattern it’s easier to build different entities with a few reusable scripts, though many times making these work together has proven trickier than expected.

As I told you before all entities usually have a main script, well both Subject W and the enemies are considered Actors, a subtype of Entity, which are entities with a Finite State Machine (FSM from now on) that in the case of Subject W controls some behaviours and in the case of the enemies is basically the AI. This means that an Actor is very much like a really complicated entity, it needs a main script and a FSM, which is divided in a class that defines the FSM and another class that manage transitions. The main script for these Actors is also divided between the real main script and a script to handle the information received by components related to senses, like vision and hearing, this division was only made to keep things tidy and neat into small classes.

Apart from this all the behaviours used by the Actors are separated objects that run a particular piece of code, of these behaviours only a few of them could be reused on every type of Actor.

I hope this gives you a good idea of the amount of work creating one entity involves. And the more clever this entity is, the larger amount of time needed to complete it.

Now I’ll cover different entities that I consider to be interesting, some of them you may have already seen on previous updates.

Subject W

Subject W hasn’t changed much for this demo, almost everything you see on the video was already done months ago. Basically we have added a few animations, sounds and behaviours, that are not that big to mention.

Enemies: Guards and Scientists

Guards and scientists proved to be more complicated than we initially thought, the amount of interactions of these enemies with the objects and characters that surround them is huge, this interactions result on what we think are very intelligent enemies, but it also means that for every new situation or object added to the game new problems could arise with them if I’m not careful enough.

For this demo though only the scientists gave us problems, they were not as thoroughly tested as the guards were so they needed a few more behaviours added and tweaks made to work properly.

Doors

Transition between different rooms was something inexistent before we began working on the demo, as of now we were working with isolated rooms for prototyping, and was one of the first things to be accomplished. Obviously with the addition of these transitions we needed doors.

There are three types of doors, regular doors that have a physical object that needs to be open, abstract doors that are basically triggers that teleport you to another location and conduct doors that require an animation to pass through. Even though they sound very different all of them use the same main script, and the differences are given by additional objects attached to them.

Security cameras

Security cameras were also added for the demo, they are one of the first objects to use Pixel Art Rotation, the asset we released a few months ago.

When I tried to attach the long laser trail you can see in the video, so the player could see where the camera is pointing, I ran into a really big problem, Pixel Art Rotation wasn’t meant to be used on big images because the computational cost of applying pixels to the entire texture in Unity is too big to be efficient. So I decided to create a Pixelated Line Renderer to draw the line on screen with the right pixel size.

Camera movement

The main focus of this issue was to make the camera follow the player.

At first we thought that it will always follow the player position after he passes the horizontal or vertical threshold that glues the camera to the edges of the rooms, but this solution wasn’t enough for two reasons, one, the player moves through animation a lot of times, which means that he’s not actually moving its position, and two, the movement of the camera was jerky sometimes.

To solve the “movement through animation” problem I attached a Box Collider Fitter, which is a script we have shown on a previous update that adapts a 2D box collider to the shape of a sprite without counting transparent pixels, and make the camera follow the center of this collider when these animations happen.

But the problem of the jerky movement persisted, so I decided to avoid following the player if it wasn’t necessary, which meant waiting for the player to move away from the focus of the camera enough so the resulting movement isn’t jarring, and I made the camera move through SmoothDamp, a nice function that comes with Unity that it’s actually advised to use with cameras.

Other neat things

What I’ve told you so far it’s a meaningful part of the game, but there are still lots of things I could talk about and problems I’m facing as we move forward with the game, like for example how to better control the flow of the game, perhaps adding asynchronous operations for some routines or managing persistance between rooms.

There are also other aspects you can see in the demo which aren’t fully done yet and we’re still researching, like the audio, so I think we’ll left these ones for another time.

Bear in mind that everything I’ve talked about could change in the future as we try to improve both design and coding as much as we can.

Thank you for your patience, see you on the next update!

Development state and new project: GOTY

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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

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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.
 

Typography

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!

Enol

Graphic and behavior improvements

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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 info@asthreeworks.com.

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