November 24, 2012

Weekly Update and puzzle solution

by Niklas Hansson

So it’s that time of the week again, Sadly we are a day late with this update but that happens. For today we are going to talk about what we have done the last week and of course the solution to the puzzle in the last post. It seems people overall wasn’t that interested in that compared to the amount of response we have gotten on other posts so we probably won’t do anything like that unless you tells us you want us to.

At the moment we are working very hard with creating 2 entirely new environments for the game, most of the material you see here is from our demo for this years Dream Build Play ( that sadly contained a weird last minute crash bug after around 10 minutes playtime on a single level due to being compiled with the wrong settings) Since then we have done a lot of work, we have updated our lightning model to use properly cosine weighted blurring for cubemaps (in laymen term this means that the blurriness of the reflection always correctly matches the blurriness of the specular highlight which basically makes it easier to make materials that looks real a basic thing about physically based shading (which incidentally will be a subject for further discussion at a later stage), Made various upgrades to our lightning function and how our material system handles specular and due to this we have had to go through every material in the game and tweak and adjust it. However with the exception for the God Rays Screens all the images we are showing this far is from the Xbox360 version of the Dream build Play demo.

This however is soon about to change this week we are putting the finishing touches on levels built in the new environments and during the next week or the week after that we will finally be able to share them which we are looking forward to because they are shaping out to be absolutely stunning. Besides that we are working in preparation for launching the game on steam green light so we are making sure we will have a ton of new and interesting material to share. Including a bunch of PC only features that will allow us to use the superior strength of the PC graphics card to improve the visual quality on a number of effects. We are also hard at work creating new devilish puzzles for the final stages of the game.

If you look at the image above and feel it seems familiar it’s because this is the room of this weeks puzzle question but seen from the players perspective this time so we promised you a puzzle solution last time so here we go. for ease of reference we readd the image.

You enter this room that is blocked in the middle by a big hole you have a closed door to the right. The middle of the room is cut off with a laser. High on the right side is a key to the exit .A clock is counting down a timer at the top of the screen.

You go and stand on the button that rotates the laser and rotate it until it hits the mirror.It now follows the dotted line. Now you have a path to walk around the hole, except that you are stuck because the reflected laser cuts of your current path so you can’t move past it. You have to rewind time then create a clone that manipulates the laser so that the real you is not trapped by the reflected laser.

After this you need to go forward and rotate the mirror so that it won’t block the path to the exit. If you do it like this and then run for the key, time will run out so you rewind time till the point the laser hits the mirror and starts a new time line that will run for the key while the other time-line rotates the mirror so that you can pass out before the door closes permanently due to failing the time limit.

You could add to this puzzle by making the last room not a key to collect but a button that needs to be pressed then you would need to manage more time lines. But due to time points(the points that allows you to manipulate time) concerns that would have made the level impossible. The puzzles in project Temporality is often full level puzzles where you have to find not only a solution but an efficient solution for every puzzle to have enough time points left to manage through the entire puzzle. Sometimes the obvious solution uses too much time points and an alternative needs to be found.

Working with multiple time lines like this and cooperating with yourself to solve problems are the basis of the game-play in Project Temporality.

We hope to have a lot more to share with you during the coming weeks.

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November 20, 2012

A simple puzzle in ProjectTemporality

by Niklas Hansson

So for this midweek post (not sure if we will be able to keep it up with two posts a week but hey we can try at least) we want to look again more to the game play of Project Temporality in the coming weeks we will talk about some of the core ideas and concepts that formed TP, we will also talk about our design philosophies and what we think will make a game fun, why pacing is so important to a game like PT and what we are doing to making it perfect.

But before all of that we just wanted to try to paint a clearer image in your mind about what PT is all about, it is kind of a hard game to explain in a way that allows people to really grasp it. Unless you actually play some levels it might look a lot simpler than it actually is. A big part of the basic idea of Project Temporality is freedom since you can manipulate time in a very flexible time different people will find different solutions to the problems with different usage of your time points. To make a simple analogy if you played the two portal games in the first portal game almost all walls where portal able surfaces which meant there was a lot of different ways to traverse the maps you had freedom in how you selected to solve the puzzles however in portal 2 the amount of surface you could place a portal on was often very limited which meant a lot of puzzles just involved finding portal-able surfaces first and then you could quickly figure out what to do. For me that felt boxed in I was walking through the steps someone else placed before me instead of finding my own way and my own solutions (btw I do love Portal 2 too of course). Thats the feeling we want to capture with Project Temporality it’s your world and your solutions we just create the puzzles. And during our focus testing it has happened quite a lot of times that testers solved a puzzle in a way we haven’t imagined.

Of course not all puzzles are like that, especially not since we showed you the solution. Which is why that first time experience is such a important part of the game and it is also the reason we don’t want to show of to many puzzles or to much about them here because then you will loose that wonderful step of discovering the world and how to manipulate it by yourself. However we want to show something here.

This is an top down image from the first puzzle involving lasers and mirrors. We have marked the entrance and the exit to the room for you we have also marked a key in the upper right room that needs to be collected and carried to the door by the exit to open it. We have a laser that shoots a beam that you can’t pass through and a mirror that would reflect the laser if hit (like with the doted lines) the two buttons rotate the laser clockwise or the mirror counter clockwise but only while you are standing on them. If the laser hits you it pushes you away and might push you down the hole. If that happens you die.

So what we’ll do is that you post your ideas for how you would solve the puzzle (using what you know about Project Temporalitys Game Play) and then in a day or so we post how we would have done it and how the mechanics to solve it works in PT. Remember that a good puzzle is trivial once you know the solutions so we believe it will be more fun for everyone involved this way,

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