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A beautiful 2D sci-fi metroidvania about love, hope, and redemption. Gameplay influenced by Super Metroid and Dark Souls.
A beautiful 2D sci-fi metroidvania about love, hope, and redemption. Gameplay influenced by Super Metroid and Dark Souls.
3,014 backers pledged $54,007 to help bring this project to life.

New year and new screens


 I feel like I've turned a bit of a corner lately. There was a bit of a "mushy" time in the process for a while, where ideas weren't 100% baked and everything wasn't totally gelled -- But over the past couple of weeks, everything has really come into focus. I've figured out what's in the game, what's not, where everything is, and ironed out all the details that were a bit mushy in the past.

Crash site art, click for big
Crash site art, click for big

 I want to have new video materials as soon as I possibly can, so I've turned my attention toward working on environment art. All of the art in the game is new (basically almost nothing carried over from the old game -- just a couple tiny odds and ends) and made natively for 1080p. Incidentally, I have a 42 inch TV hooked up to my workstation and I frequently use it to test assets or test the game itself to continuously have a feel for how things look on a big TV screen. It's going to be really cool!

Please see these screens. The usual disclaimer... The game is still considered "pre-alpha" and therefore everything is subject to change. Incidentally, if you have been following me on twitter, you may have seen these because I tweet things in advance on some occasions.

Click for big versions.

Crash Site. The flowers will move and emit particles
Crash Site. The flowers will move and emit particles
This guy is in a deep sleep, but can be awakened if you're not careful. The flowers here will also be move-y
This guy is in a deep sleep, but can be awakened if you're not careful. The flowers here will also be move-y
Meet Saymund, well of knowledge and study-er of interesting things
Meet Saymund, well of knowledge and study-er of interesting things

One of my core tenants of visual design for the game is motion. This was true in the old version of the game, and even more true now. So -- Imagine layers of fog, staticy overlays, particles floating, and flowers waving gently. A thick atmospheric effect is paramount to the presentation. Nothing should appear too "static".

Why stop at screens? Well, I wish I could show you full video materials, but as things go it's just not quite ready yet.

Zombie kill. (Usual disclaimer, test case in a test environment, don't pay too much attention to the surroundings. In fact, don't pay too much attention to any of it! :))

Oh, one last thing... I've been going through a certain degree of uncertainty about the game's title logo. You may all remember this from the campaign:

There were others, though, including sort of a more "distressed/horror" style series of logos, such as this one and many variants of it: (In either case, the backwards G will NOT be in it, I've decided against that completely, don't worry)

Don't think too much about the background, but think about the logos themselves -- Do you like the old one, or something more like the new one, or do you like neither at all?

Anyway, happy new year to all, and hopefully in coming weeks/whatever I'll be able to show you the game in video form, and at that point I'll have some new things to discuss as well.

Twitter! Facebook! I post things early on those sometimes! Store!

Peace out!


Erik de Vos, SilverLimit, and 35 more people like this update.


    1. Creator enthralled on January 12, 2014

      In my opinion, the new logo is too modern looking for your game (not too bold, thin strokes, weak gradient...). Your old logo is much more pronounced, and totally fits the atmosphere in your screenshots.

    2. Creator Tyrell Miller on January 11, 2014

      I prefer the old logo. Reminds me of my childhood!

    3. Creator dirtywhirlwind on January 10, 2014

      The old looks timeless and the new looks like something stuck in a bad decade.

      But damn, this game looks beautiful. Didn't even know I backed it but now I'm happy I did.

    4. Creator Lukas Daniel Klausner on January 8, 2014

      I prefer the old one.

    5. Creator Craig Benetz on January 8, 2014

      I'm voting for the old one, but I think I see the potential in the new logo. Perhaps with some tweaks it can be made better?

    6. Creator Saif on January 7, 2014

      I like the idea of the new one, but not necessarily the execution. Alien, and Metroid for that matter, have this amazing blend of sci-fi and horror, and its reflected in the logos.

      Perhaps you should do a backer vote for which logo to put for the final game? That way the backers can be involved and you'll have a gauge for what people want. Thanks for the update!

    7. Creator Bryce Alexander Sayers on January 7, 2014

      As usual, I am very impressed with what I am seeing. At the moment I only wanted to say that I prefer the logo style with the more stout and compact font, plus the sheen effect or some elaboration of it, and would rather not have any of the letters reflecting at the end as we see in the second logo. Thank you for the updates, best of luck as this goes forward in the new year!

    8. Creator S.D. on January 7, 2014

      Here's an idea. Regarding the sheen/reflection that plays across the logo in the original animation, perhaps the first "pass" of that lighting effect could "reveal" an aged, dingier version of the logo and the crescent element. As the next "pass" of the sheen strikes across the logo, the dents/rust/grime/age is "wiped" away.
      It could be a metaphor for the surface beauty of the moon juxtaposed with the decay that lies below; and an allegory for the lead character's armor (starting in pristine condition) becoming worn and damaged during the course of her (or his) journey. There is precedence for such an effect, esp. in horror (lightning flashes over the logo; something unexpected is revealed). I think it could work really well here.

    9. Creator Ian Chamberlin on January 7, 2014

      I think I like the new one best. I feel like it has more personality, if that makes sense. Not that I hate the old one, mind you.

    10. Creator S.D. on January 7, 2014

      Definitely the old logo, personally. Though, the translucent crescent moon in the new one is cool. Perhaps it can be introduced into the old design somehow.

    11. Creator Webster Massingham on January 7, 2014

      I like the old logo, but maybe if the letters were taller?

      Additionally, I wouldn't be afraid to make some areas completely static until interacted with (e.g. walking past flowers), especially if they're "dead" areas.

    12. Creator Jason Swearingen on January 7, 2014

      I like the new logo over the old one, but that could be just me.

    13. Creator Sector94 on January 7, 2014

      I like the kinda old school vibe I get from the 1st logo.

    14. Creator Dominik Schütz on January 7, 2014

      Agree with Andrew and Rafe :)

    15. Creator rafe on January 7, 2014

      agree with andrew - old logo and possibly a semi-transparent moon.

    16. Creator Andrew on January 7, 2014

      I'd go with the old logo, although the semi-transparent crescent might be better.

    17. Creator Tiago Morelli on January 7, 2014

      i prefer the old logo. the new one just looks like text with a reversed G.

    18. Creator Tim Hardeman on January 7, 2014

      As the armor of the protagonist appears relatively shiny and unworn (bar the cape), I think a relatively shiny and unworn logo would fit.

      In general I prefer the first logo. I do not, however, like the gradient, the moon, or the fact that the 2 'O's are different.

      The gradient is too strong. Perhaps try incorporating the armor colors into it?
      The moon is too bright, so it ends up conflicting with the wordmark. I would suggest darkening it, to put it 'behind' the wordmark. Perhaps the darker cape colors could work here?
      As for the 'O's, they would work fine if the entire wordmark was built around unique characters. However, the 'G's and S's are the same in both cases, so it feels... half-arsed?

      As much as reversed characters is overplayed and tends to irk me, I actually feel like it might be an option in this case, because G*OS mirrors at the symmetrical T to make SO*G. H and N can relatively easily be made mirrors.

    19. Creator Nicolas Leonard on January 6, 2014

      Currently I prefer the old logo, but I think the new one would look quite good without the reverse G (as you've mentioned it would be removed). As others have suggested, combining the worn look of the new logo with the general style of the old one would probably be pretty great. Though, is there a reason why the two O's look different in the old logo?

    20. Creator Christopher Vaughn on January 6, 2014

      Definitely prefer the new logo. Keep it up! Can't wait to see the finished product.

    21. Creator Matt White on January 6, 2014

      thanks :D @bevan I have no idea what font it is, usually I'll combine elements from my font library or customize lettering that started with a font from my library... and honestly I don't even remember. I think I should probably remake it in a similar way but make sure to use 100% my own letters from scratch, or perhaps start from a font I'm licensed to use.

    22. Creator Mark Shaun Rushow on January 6, 2014

      depending on the music and timing the old one could work

    23. Creator Bevan Anderson on January 6, 2014

      Always look forward to your updates.
      I prefer the old logo- what font is it?

    24. Creator Aaron on January 6, 2014

      This art still looks absolutely beautiful. Also, apparently some people didn't bother to read that you already decided against the backwards G. Personally, I prefer the style of the old logo in general.

    25. Creator Matthew on January 6, 2014

      In the zombie gif, could the impact of the gun appear on the chest rather than on the zombie's arm? And it would be nice to see some reaction to being shot even if it is only due to the momentum of the bullets.

    26. Creator Matthew on January 6, 2014

      I also prefer the old logo font and the stylised O. I do not like the backwards G in the new logo

    27. Creator Jason on January 6, 2014

      I prefer the old logo as well. That backwards G just looks silly.

    28. Creator Jens mogensen on January 6, 2014

      I prefer the old logo. Giving me a Turrican vibe which is a good thing.

      Loving the new screens!

    29. Creator Christopher DiNote on January 6, 2014

      Maybe it's for the retro vibe, but I like the first logo better too. I think it's just a better fit for the theme, the milieu and the style of the game.

    30. Creator Godewijn on January 6, 2014

      Really like it, cool :)

    31. Creator Brian on January 6, 2014

      I like the old logo better. Maybe make the moon wavy/transparent, but I like the text from the old logo.

    32. Creator Kyle Ryan on January 6, 2014

      My vote for the old logo!

      Perfect update, as usual. This very well may be my new favorite game! Metroid and Castlvania are games I never get tired of. Ever. The artwork for the backgrounds is beautiful. It is nice to see something with some color and atmosphere! When this is done. I will buy a copy for every. person. I know who plays games!

      Thank you!

    33. Creator Nathan Hill on January 6, 2014

      The original logo from the campaign video wowed me with it's retro vibe and i'd LOVE to see it and its font/style implemented in the game!

    34. Creator Sirio Martini on January 6, 2014

      The old logo is superior in every aspect for me.

    35. Creator Matt White on January 6, 2014

      zach: enemies stumbling and stuff when being hit is long something I've wanted to do, and that may be put in, but with the variety of enemies we're going to have, it adds a lot of extra work to draw all those frames and design their encounters and stuff. but stay tuned, I think it'll keep improving

    36. Creator Matt White on January 6, 2014

      thanks guys, feedback is well received, @evan don't apologize for not liking something, if you don't. :)

      I had a little discussion on twitter about the zombie and his head popping off like a champagne cork, but had a hard time giving my thoughts because of the character limit. Basically, the idea that the zombie death is a bit comical or over the top is well received, and indeed it may be. Those gibs and body parts were sort of placed in with little thought put into their initial values, like the force and direction. The desire is that there's some element of spontaneity to how things play out when an enemy is killed, so a random aspect to the forces. We'll see what happens.

      The game is made in the legacy of old school 2D games, like Metroid and Castlevania, where despite a dark tone and atmosphere, and rather mean and serious looking enemies, they tend to die by just sort of exploding. My attempt is to take it to its next logical step -- Things explode, but there are also things falling to the floor, and maybe body parts, that kind of stuff. I want that satisfying feedback.

      My belief is that exploding enemies don't degrade the serious tone of the game, but as with anything else, I'm open to feedback.

    37. Creator zacH on January 6, 2014

      Also, in the zombie kill gif... I wish we could see some feedback from the enemies that they're being hit, some staggering movement or something. I'm sure that would be tough, because you'd have to add extra animation for all your enemies (even moreso if they reacted differently to more powerful weapons). Maybe you could just add a bit of pushback when an enemy gets hit? Too much and it might affect them being on platforms, but it might be worth looking into. Something more than them just standing there would be quite immersive. I think of some of the enemies in super metroid that would hold their hands/claws up when hit by the wrong weapon... totally awesome looking. :)

    38. Creator zacH on January 6, 2014

      I think I like both logos... If you were going to use the new one I'd use a normal G (which you said would happen anyway), and put those little circles in the Os, as you did in the old logo. I like those. :)

      Also just googled Roger Dean, and WOW. Sweet stuff. I've definitely seen that stuff before, but I had no idea it was all that one guy. Amazing!

    39. Creator jon bossuyt on January 6, 2014

      I think the original one looks more old school and suiting for the game!

    40. Creator Sofa_Tr0n on January 6, 2014

      old logo!

    41. Creator Perplex on January 6, 2014

      I for one like the direction of the new logo better. The thinner letters fit the title and the overall tone of the game more. The old logo is too cheerfull

    42. Creator Evan Campbell on January 6, 2014

      Man I really enjoy the style and the way this game is looking. Didn't think about the logo before...but now that I think about it doesn't really seem to fit. the metallic look and futuristic font make me think of a space sim or a different type of game all together. I imagine most of the game takes place on the planet...maybe something that invokes those colors or tones...not trying to be harsh just my gut reaction.

    43. Creator HyperNexus on January 6, 2014

      Artwork is STUNNING. Cannot wait. Really, my no1 game of 2014. Will there be other lasers, blast effects , weapons? The one we have seen thus far is a bit of a pee shooter(guessing early game gun). Do you have some sexy more powerful/cool looking blasts coming our way?(I realsie the arm is the arm-I'm talking about the weapon effect)

    44. Creator Shevai Asan on January 6, 2014

      I like both to be honest. Maybe keep the cool metallic look of the first; but add the kinda 'marred/worn' look from the second; it kinda gives a good vibe of something that was once pristine having gone through or standing the 'test of time' as it were.

    45. Creator Greek Winter Media on January 6, 2014

      The old logo is MUCH better than the new one.

    46. Creator Matt White on January 6, 2014

      I think what I'll likely do is keep the overall idea of the old logo but perhaps put in some adjustments or tweaks.

    47. Creator Michael Mc on January 6, 2014

      The old logo is fine for me :) !! I really like it !!
      Amazing screenshots also and happy new year ;-) !

    48. Creator Adam Glazer on January 6, 2014

      Tossing my vote in for something more like the old logo! I think it fits with the game's atheistics more :D

    49. Creator Matt White on January 6, 2014

      thanks guys -- Samuel: the Roger Dean thing is a great suggestion, I really like his retro looking logos.

    50. Creator mabec on January 6, 2014

      Also prefer the old logo, but perhaps with something such as transparent?