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  Astronaut - a light puzzle game with a powerful twist  (Read 1744 times)
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Offline VaPS
« Posted 2014-06-29 05:44:06 »



Astronaut is a light puzzle game with a powerful twist. It's my first serious game, the result of learning Java on and off for two years.

This game is short, yet concise. For a beginner, it might take roughly 15 minutes to beat all 40 levels. I never wanted the game to feel dull or dragged out. One mere level could take hours of creative process.

Astronaut is simplistic. This allowed me to focus on my goals of this project:
  • Meaningful mechanics which keep the game fresh while not being overwhelming.
  • A light feel that invites the player to progress at his own pace.
  • "Good level design is organic" - Myself, in this thread. You are taught how to play by playing, not by a tutorial.
  • Proper feedback that ensures the player what his actions do.
  • Pleasing visuals which are easily readable from a gameplay standpoint. (This is no excuse for my lacking knowledge in graphics however.)
  • Responsive controls that make for less frustration.



Download Astronaut - PC (and Mac?)

Thank you for trying my game! Also thanks to this very forum for the development help!

Offline Rayvolution

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« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-06-29 05:56:32 »

The graphics style reminds me of "Adventure" on Atari Cheesy



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Offline vbrain
« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-06-30 19:07:07 »

Very very very good game. I absolutely loved it. Kept me entranced from beginning to end.
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Online Drenius
« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-06-30 19:24:16 »

Yep. It's a nice fun little game.
But how did you handle levels that it takes you so long to create one of such a simple type?
Offline Bearded Cow
« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-06-30 19:38:10 »

Completed, well done sir!
Offline VaPS
« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-06-30 22:34:59 »

Very very very good game. I absolutely loved it. Kept me entranced from beginning to end.
Completed, well done sir!
Yep. It's a nice fun little game.
But how did you handle levels that it takes you so long to create one of such a simple type?
Thank you everyone!

About the levels, it's justified to think the time invested in one single room might be excessive. I have difficulties keeping my reasoning behind that short while not looking pretentious and dumb. Anyhow, I will attempt to explain it here.

Consider in how many ways you are able to design a Super Mario level. Now, consider in how many ways you are able to design an Astronaut level.
It's a rough comparison, but I hope my point gets across. Excluding the conventional movement system, my game contains only four mechanics. In Super Mario there are power-ups, pipes, coins, goombas, koopas, coins, water, moving platforms, etc.
When I came across most level design problems, I would have to redo the entire map. This was not due to some kind of limitation, rather because the solution meant too much complexity. I wanted to keep the levels game geometrically simple yet unique. On the other hand, Super Mario contains a bunch of tools to make a level engaging.
My philosophy resulted in a lot of ideas being scrapped because of feeling bland or shoe-horned in. I did it for personal reasons, I wanted a meaningful game that didn't waste your, the player's, time.

Smaller "indie" titles tend to resort to few mechanics that change the game in a big way. Although it's harder to be creative with less tools, the reward is often worthwhile. This is partly why they tend to be a lot shorter too. It means a lot to me if Astronaut even came close to this reward. I guess the lesson here is that less is more.

Offline J0

Junior Duke


Medals: 1
Exp: 4-6 months


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« Reply #6 - Posted 2014-07-03 16:22:27 »

Nice game ^^ Finished it in 3 minutes second try Grin
    J0-
Offline QuicK

Junior Duke





« Reply #7 - Posted 2014-07-15 04:52:38 »

Awesome! Very cool concept!

If a few more game-play elements were added (possibly enemies), and more difficult levels were designed, this would be 5 stars (in my opinion)

The jumping sound was a bit annoying to me Sad but other than that, I have no complaints! Smiley
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