Game: Path of Veins

Get to the tower to escape hell. When your heartbeat is strongest, click to create a safe path to a nearby tombstone. The better your timing, the longer this path of veins can be. Keep vengeful spirits at bay using your secondary ability (right mouse click, or alt)

Diversifiers

Backwards: One or more aspects of the game works the opposite as would normally be expected: maybe the controller is reversed (left is right, right is left), maybe you win lives every time you die, maybe it scrolls to the left and your character moonwalks.

Executable or Installer

Platforms

Windows
Mac OS X+
Web browser with special plugins (Unity player, Torque,...)

Tools and Technologies

Unity (any product)

Updated

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 01:40

Team

Daniel Hulst
Dax Erken
Vincent da Silva
Laurens Mathot
Koen Deetman

Credits

Koen Deetman - 2D art and Team Lead (http://keoken.nl)

Daan Hulst - Programming and Story

Dax Erken - 3D Modelling and Animation (http://3daxdesign.com)

Vincent da Silva - Programming and Design (http://digitalforest.nl)

Laurens Mathot - Programming, Technical Support and Visual Effects (http://codeanimo.com)

Buggy site (anchors are supposed to work): <a href="http://globalgamejam.org">Global Game Jam</a>

Comments

VDZ's picture
Submitted by VDZ on Mon, 01/28/2013 - 20:22

The game is pretty interesting, and moving from tombstone to tombstone quickly enough is very exciting. Unfortunately, that makes it all the more frustrating when you shoot a vein and it just refuses to move forward, causing you to take damage even if the target tombstone is right in front of you because the veins don't reach it due to bugs. I want to replay it until I manage to reach the tower, but the bugs drain my motivation to try again.

 

(If the veins not reaching tombstones is not a bug but a feature, then that element isn't explained adequately. I was unable to find any cause to the veins not continuing, only some correlation to height differences; it feels like a bug.)

 

RC-1290's picture
Submitted by RC-1290 on Mon, 01/28/2013 - 20:44

It is indeed intended as a feature, but I think we forgot about communicating that correctly to the player.

The distance the veins travel depends on when you click. Listen to the heartbeat and look at the heart the main character is carrying. If you click when the heart is pumping blood, the vein should reach a lot further.

I think we explained too much to early playtesters to discover the importance of explaining this correctly.

VDZ's picture
Submitted by VDZ on Mon, 01/28/2013 - 23:47

Thanks for the quick explanation! Though it took several more tries, I managed to reach the tower (it's a pretty difficult game). The ending was kind of underwhelming, though...

 

(Possibly useful feedback: I initially walked around the tower for a bit in search for an entrance. I didn't try just touching it until I got in a position where there were no tombstones in sight I could connect to quickly enough to survive.)

RC-1290's picture
Submitted by RC-1290 on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 01:08

Hmmm, interesting. We all thought the ending was hilarious, because of the futility of the whole situation. This guy is litterally dragging his heart across a desolate wasteland in search of a better life, and all he gets is a bunch of flowers. Many of these tombstones are you in your previous lives.

Perhaps we just thought that way because of the sleep deprivation :P

It makes sense that after such a difficult game, you'd want a better pay-off. Thanks a lot of the feedback!

VDZ's picture
Submitted by VDZ on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 02:36

Well, it's not that the idea of the ending is bad per se, it's mostly the underwhelming way it's presented. After many tries you finally reach the ending, and you only get a simple static image with text overlaid presented with no fanfare. Even simple additions like stating 'you finally come back to life...', then fading in the image and then displaying 'but it's boring!' would feel more rewarding.

 

Perhaps the fact that I played it in low-quality mode to reduce lag and the images look terrible in low-quality mode (image: http://i.xomf.com/bvqrr.png) may have had something to do with it. This problem also makes the in-game explanation unreadable in low-quality mode, and it can be solved by adjusting the texture settings in Unity: go to the texture asset in Unity, set its type to 'Advanced' and disable 'Generate Mip Maps'. This will cause the texture to be rendered at full quality regardless of distance to camera or quality setting.

For comparison...

Mip Map enabled: http://i.xomf.com/yycxg.png

Mip Map disabled: http://i.xomf.com/znngj.png

RC-1290's picture
Submitted by RC-1290 on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 15:59

Hmmm, fading to "but it's boring", might indeed sell the joke better.

I only did one quick cleanup round on the machine we demonstrated the game on, a few hours before the deadline. As a result, most asset settings are still at default. It doesn't run all that well on my own machine either
It would have probably been better if I'd done at least one optimization run on my old laptop to spot problems like these. Thanks for mentioning them.

I guess disabling MipMapping for these full screen textures would make sense since they're not really displayed far below their actual resolution anyway, and the undersampling artifacts are a lot less problematic for the readability of the text. But ideally we shouldn't have used textures to display vital gameplay information.

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