Let’s get this show back on the road

Ok, I think we’re ready to start back up again. Thanks for being patient, we’ll have some more substantial updates coming your way soon!

Properties are AMAZING

I just started using C# Properties - something totally new to me! Either way, using them everywhere. Fuck you, appropriate context!

Updates

Hey there, lovely fans! We’ve been quiet lately, sorry about that. We’ve been working on the game in our own time for a fair while now, and we’ve been on a break for the past few weeks so the team can pursue other projects. We all still very much intend to finish Vectagon, and how we do so really is affected by your feedback. You want us to plug in sounds and a leaderboard and to release it ASAP? Can do. Want lots of extra content and secrets? Let us know.
We’ll be back soon.

powwell:

Been working on a clean little font for a while. Vectagon originated from an attempt to create a visual identity for an indie game. The game focusses on geometry, so does the font!

You can just about see the tunnel splitting on the right hand side.

You can just about see the tunnel splitting on the right hand side.

High FOV makes the geometry fall into line. Pretty unplayable though!

High FOV makes the geometry fall into line. Pretty unplayable though!

Ilinx

Time for some more theory! Today we’ll be looking at one of the 4 categories of play set down by Roger Callois; ilinx. Let’s start with a quote explaining just what this is.

"Ilinx creates a temporary disruption of perception, as with vertigo, dizziness, or disorienting changes in direction of movement." - Wikipedia

Some examples of Ilinx play might involve spinning around on the spot, riding a rollercoaster or eating some special mushrooms. Vectagon fits pretty nicely in this category. In fact, it’s almost defined by the category. Mechanically, Vectagon does very little to separate itself from the crowd - Super Hexagon, Temple Run, Doodle Jump all use twitch responses and rely nearly entirely on skill (ludus).

- Fotonica uses a strong sensation of speed to create ilinx.

It seems intuitive that ilinx leads to higher player engagement (and if not, I recommend you look at this), but why? I don’t actually have to answer that, because Chris Bateman already did

"Ilinx, therefore, can best be understood in the context of videogames as an experience enhancer.” (Beyond Game Design: Nine Steps Toward Creating Better Videogames, p87). 

Vectagon stands apart from the crowd because it’s a game designed around ilinx, using dizzying visuals, warping geometry and a strong sense of speed to draw the player in a hypnotic space that can fixate them for long periods of time - longer than if I hadn’t put focus on ilinx.

Small FOV results in some tidy Playstation dashboard effects! 

Small FOV results in some tidy Playstation dashboard effects! 

Happy Sunday! Here’s another funky experiment from Vectagon HQ.

Happy Sunday! Here’s another funky experiment from Vectagon HQ.

Feeling good on MDA

For the last few days my works on Vectagon has been fine tuning the “feel” of the game. It’s hard to pin down how any game feels, but we often describe specific elements as feeling “heavy” or “slippery”, especially in games where you’re controlling a vehicle. We want Vectagon to feel “fast”, “alive” and “responsive”. 

So let’s talk theory. A while ago three big name game theorists came together with a framework for approaching game design called MDA: Mechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics. The mechanics are the hard-coded rules of the game, the dynamics are how the mechanics come together in play to create a system, and the aesthetic is how the dynamics of the game feel to the player. Their point was that players and designers start at opposite ends of the framework, and by looking at the game from a player point of view we can better create experience-driven games rather than feature-driven games.

This is helpful to us when trying to nail down a feel because we can use an aesthetics lens to help define the nature of the problem (turning feels “unresponsive”). Now we understand the problem is to do with the sensation of play, we can consider how changing the dynamics will change the aesthetics for the better (increased player control over turning). Lastly, we change mechanics to create the intended dynamic (pressing the rotate key for shorter/longer will affect rotation speed).

So what have we been doing to create the feel we’re looking for? We’ve added early camera banking, a field of view tied to player speed, subtle visuals to give a greater sense of space and some near-miss effects. And plenty more!

If you want to get involved with testing the latest version of the game, send us a message!