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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.

Recent updates

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Progress update + New media

33 likes

There's no beta demo yet, I apologize if this notification made you think so. But I feel like it's nice to keep you guys at least somewhat appraised of what I've been up to.

As mentioned before, I'm working on doing a new video soon that demonstrates some of the progress and changes the game has undergone. This will be a more casual video, where I'll play the game and talk about it. Basically I just need to finish up a few more assets before I can record it.

In it, we'll see more of the new screen orientation, we'll also see some new enemies and learn more about how the map system works. I'll also give a rundown on how the game controls on a gamepad.

Speaking of gamepad, it was only in the past few weeks that I've gotten this working properly. The game's controls were designed using an Xbox 360 gamepad, and the controls map perfectly onto it if you have one plugged in without you having to do anything. Other gamepads haven't really been tested yet, but I plan to implement a feature where you can map your own buttons should all else fail.

Following the video, the next milestone I'll be working towards is a playable demo build for beta backers to play. The first build will be limited in scope and may potentially be buggy for some users, but it'll be important to start to get some feedback on the game in both a technical sense and a gameplay sense. As I said, when this happens I'll put up a private forum for us to use to discuss the game, and I'll roll out new versions onto that forum and people who are interested in doing so will be able to test and provide feedback.

Thanks for backing. Here are some new images for you guys to look at until the next update. These thumbnails link to higher resolution webm videos, so click them for the full experience.

If you follow me on twitter sometimes you'll see images like these ahead of time, as I occasionally tweet out images and clips of what I'm doing.

Thanks!

Matt

Updated screen dimensions

36 likes

Hey guys! Just a small update today to keep everyone in the loop of what I'm up to and how the game is shaping up.

After a lot of reflection about the game possibly feeling a bit "cramped", I decided, on a whim, to try extending the screen boundaries for an overall more "zoomed out" appearance.

Turned out rather well! It plays better this way, I feel, and the game also has a higher native resolution, so in effect it looks sharper when full screened, and any concerns about it looking "blurry" when full screened on a big TV are pretty much over with.

Here are some examples:

http://gfycat.com/BlondInconsequentialApatosaur

http://gfycat.com/IdleDeliriousHowlermonkey

http://gfycat.com/IckyUniformFairybluebird

Pretty excited about this change, and that it went over so painlessly. I think once you guys get the game and play it full screened you'll feel very good about how it looks.

Right now I'm in the process of tinkering around with Spine 2D in hopes of getting it integrated into the game so we can properly do up some BIG badguys!

My next milestone is having a beta demo for beta backers to play. I hope to have it by end of summer. It may be a bit rough around the edges, but I'd like to include those who backed that tier in the process as soon as I can. We'll have a little message board to talk about the game amongst ourselves and everything. :)

'Til next time.

Matt

Ghost Song has been Greenlit + Other news

33 likes

Greenlight

Ghost Song has been officially Greenlit, and the Youtube gameplay video has reached over 30,000 views. We reached #11 out of 1,717 games just prior to being put through. I'd like to thank everyone again for your kind words, support, votes, and backing!

Release date?

I think it's probably time to talk a bit about release date. This seems to be the elephant in the room, since the Kickstarter states May 2014.

The first thing to understand about that date is it was set back around July of last year, before the Kickstarter even launched, simply because in the project submission you have no choice but to estimate a delivery date. At that time, I really had no way of knowing, and it was a pretty wild guess. I've gone through a few phases and growing pains since then, and while things are going smoothly now, I had no way of knowing last summer what all I'd face.

While I have help and support here and there from talented people, the majority of the game, tasks large and small, are currently being done solely by me. I'm wearing more hats than a thing that wears a lot of hats, in Phoenix, in the summer. I'm trying to find a way to hire an artist, that remains something on the table, and Roger does great music and sounds, but aside from that it's mostly just me.

Gel Bomb
Gel Bomb

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, and I enjoy the process and feel more confident than ever in the game. I've made more progress in terms of solidifying mechanics, scoping the game, and bringing the project into focus over the past two months than ever before. It's only very recently that the project has really felt like it's coming together. A lot of credit goes to Stencyl and Jon [the owner of Stencyl] for making this all so much less painful than it could be. A toolset like Stencyl gets a lot of the technical tedium out of the way (though there is always some technical tedium) and lets me more efficiently spend my time on game design.

In short, I'm making great progress, but suffice it to say, a May 2014 release is not going to be reality.

So let's talk turkey. When are you going to be able to play this game? My current goal is to have the game done in 2014, which would likely mean Fall or Winter. This will not be easy, but I do think it's possible, especially given how much progress I've made lately. This also isn't a promise, though, and while uncertainty around the release date bothers me, and it pains me if any of you are upset about this, the ultimate goal must be delivering the game that I promised and making it good enough that no one regrets backing it. I think most of you will forgive me for overshooting a release date, but most of you wouldn't if the game was a stinker. I have to set priorities. My reputation is at stake, and finishing the game and finishing it well are all I care about at this point.

Over the next couple months, I do hope to have a playable beta out to beta backers. I'll put up a private forum for us to discuss the game together. This build will likely contain bugs and won't include all of the game's content, but hopefully those who want to get more into the process or just check out the game will have that chance this Summer.

Since I know you'll ask, I have nothing to announce on console ports yet, but understand that I identify myself as a console gamer and that fascination with consoles remains a motivating factor in my decision making. I have heard little things here and there, and I think a Wii U port is completely possible, but, again, it's not anything I can really talk about publicly yet.

Thanks for understanding, and if you have questions I'm always a click or two away.

Matt 

Twitter

Ghost Song

Top Secret Spin Jump

First Look: Ghost Song gameplay

37 likes

The video link is down below. First, a call to action: 

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Please vote for Ghost Song on Steam Greenlight!

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I'll lead off by apologizing for neglecting the updates a bit. Honestly, I've been through a few transitions in terms of how I'm doing the game, and, for a time, I wasn't sure what to update with that would be concrete.

I'm gonna try to get you caught up on what's been going on. If you don't care, just scroll down and look for the youtube link. :)

Over the past months I've done things like evaluate and re-evaluate the combat mechanics and pace of the game -- Eventually coming back to the idea that the combat should be pretty fast, with twitchy dash moves, as portrayed in the original Kickstarter videos. It was always a challenge figuring out how to properly balance this, but with a little more experience comes new ideas and new approaches to things. The balance is in a pretty good spot now -- You can dash about pretty easily with "L1" and "R1" (or equivalent) buttons, avoiding damage, but doing so costs "armor" -- There's a resource in the game tentatively called "armor" -- But in effect it's more like armor and stamina together. It regenerates on its own, it's used to defend against damage and also consumed by your abilities. You can be fast and aggressive, but, as you'll see, so can enemies. The game is challenging.

Also not discussed in updates was the engine switch. I know I talked a lot about Unity during the Kickstarter period, and, indeed, an early Unity build of the game exists. The problem was it was just far too hard to be hands on. As someone trying to design a game down to exacting details, with a very specific vision, I longed for the freedom I enjoyed back in the early days with Stencyl. To those of you who aren't acquainted with me, I'm primarily an artist and designer. I just lack the knowledge, experience, or even the disposition to program a game on my own without the assistance of a scripting tool.

Some months ago Stencyl made an internal library change, from NME, to Open FL. As a subscriber, I have access to beta and nightly builds, so at some point I decided to try some experiments in the new Stencyl engine to see what was possible. I also reached out to Jon, creator of Stencyl, who has been very helpful.

Suffice it to say, after much testing and discussion internally, I decided to move the game back to Stencyl as a Windows/Mac/Linux release. The game looks and plays well, and my increased control and freedom compared to designing second-hand has improved productivity greatly. This wasn't a decision made quickly or rashly, it was made in the best interest of the game and my own sanity.

For historical purposes or for more details, you can check the original announcement I made about this matter on the Stencyl forums.

Onto the video. When it came time to decide how to go about the video and what to include, there were many ways to go about it. I ultimately decided against a tightly edited approach, because I wanted to show you all what it's like to play the game. For that, I really needed one long unedited gameplay take.

I'm one of those people who has been bandying about the "Dark Souls inspired" tag since the beginning. Super Metroid and Dark Souls. I think the Metroid influences have always been self evident, but with this video I hope to show you that I really meant it on both counts. 

This is a love letter to my favorite games of all time.

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VIDEO LINK

Please understand that while I have put effort into the presentation of the game, it is still very much a work in progress, and I am quite acutely aware of some minor sound glitches and a couple of ugly placeholder sounds. Please don't bust my chops too hard over it. :) That said, let me know what you think!

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House cleaning:

Ghost Song website has been revamped to be more useful and less of an eyesore.

Heart Forth, Alicia This is a game made by a guy I've talked to on Skype over the past four months or so. I've followed the progress of his game and I am delighted to see that his Kickstarter is doing phenomenally well. He doesn't need my help at all, but I'm happy to give it all the same. This is a quality 'vania by a serious person, and soon persons. If you already backed GS and feel the intense urge to back something else, then I strongly recommend it. I've backed it as well.

Greenlight As mentioned, Ghost Song is now on Greenlight. Please vote for it so we can get this Steam thing finalized.

Stencyl The video you see is of the current build of Ghost Song, which was done in Stencyl. If you are a visually oriented person or new to programming it might be just the ticket.

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Thanks again, guys, and feel free to hit me with your questions or comments, I'll field them as best I can. On the extremely off chance that someone will ask about XYZ console port, I have no information yet but it remains something I'm interested in!

Matt

Quick note to Paypal backers

14 likes

If you donated by Paypal through our website, and your contact email address is different from your Paypal email (ordinarily I recorded the Paypal email address in my records as the contact address unless otherwise specified), please contact me at twotimingpete@gmail.com asap and let me know. Be sure to tell me what your Paypal email was as well as what your desired contact email is.

Incidentally, on a related note, in the near future the Paypal backing option will no longer be offered. Just a heads up.

Thank you!

Matt