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Mushroom Men = more and more intriguing

KevinCow

Banned
Oct 6, 2007
23,358
0
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Looks pretty interesting. I like the ways you guys are using the pointer. Grapple hook and telekinesis are two of the best uses for it, I think.

This is the kind of stuff that's starting to get me excited about this gen. The kinda weird, quirky, platformery, action-adventurey games from smaller studios. Some of my favorite games last gen were I-Ninja, Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy, and Metal Arms. With games like this, De Blob, Deadly Creatures, and LittleBigPlanet, it looks like we're finally starting to get those this gen.
 

ecosse_011172

Junior Member
Jul 20, 2007
1,382
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Julio, what will the rest of the development time be spent on?
What are Red Fly most proud of in the visual department?
 

Billen

Banned
Aug 15, 2007
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twitter.com
Showed the trailer at http://www.shackvideo.com/?id=12486 to my son, a ten year old gaming freak, and he said the following (in the order mentioned):

"It's the grappler from Ratchet and Clank".
"Looks like Rayman."
"This looks cool. I want to play it."

Then he went back to Tekken on his PSP. So in other words the kids are liking it, which is a good thing if you somehow missed it.
 

pulga

Banned
Sep 24, 2007
24,185
724
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Billen said:
Showed the trailer at http://www.shackvideo.com/?id=12486 to my son, a ten year old gaming freak, and he said the following (in the order mentioned):

"It's the grappler from Ratchet and Clank".
"Looks like Rayman."
"This looks cool. I want to play it."

Then he went back to Tekken on his PSP. So in other words the kids are liking it, which is a good thing if you somehow missed it.

Must be proud of the little smurf, being all game savvy and the works.
 

Eric_S

Member
Jun 20, 2005
991
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@JulioConQueso

Congrats on a job well done so far. The trailer showed off good music and art design IMO. I'm hopeful that you get the combat and platforming to where you want it.

And pat the person, who came up with the idea that you should fight eeevil bunny rabbits, on the back. Made me chuckle.
 

Haunted

Member
Nov 16, 2006
78,227
20
965
Just saw the trailer, and I like what I'm seeing. More Action Adventures are a good thing.

That said, many of the places in the trailer looked really dark. It's a good looking game, you should show it off, not hide it :/

Hope that was a false impression and there are brighter, better visible areas as well.
 
Sep 13, 2007
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Haunted One said:
That said, many of the places in the trailer looked really dark. It's a good looking game, you should show it off, not hide it :/

Hope that was a false impression and there are brighter, better visible areas as well.
C'mon, you're playing as a fungus for Christ's sake. Everyone knows dark and dank is where it's at.
 

_Alkaline_

Member
Sep 25, 2006
13,032
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Australia
I'm still not totally sold on the idea, but it's good to see improvement being made. There's never such thing as too many platformers.

When's the game supposed to come out?
 

The Hermit

Member
Jan 13, 2006
12,896
74
1,350
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Hey good work guys about the game... I wasn´t very atracted about the name but now that I´ve seen the screens and the video I have very high hopes!

I´m getting a Rayman vide btw, which is cool! :D

Just 2 quick question: are you enjoying working on a Wii game? How is the montion gestures being implemented and how acurate are they?
 

JulioConQueso

Member
Dec 14, 2007
67
0
0
Austin, TX
ecosse_011172 said:
Julio, what will the rest of the development time be spent on?
What are Red Fly most proud of in the visual department?
It's close to the wire for us, so the rest of the time will be focused on polish and bug fixing. There are other strike teams focused on player direction and special interactions/boss fights.

Red Fly is an art dominant studio. The owners are artists by trade, and so that was one of the game's core values from the start. From environments to items to particle effects... hard to tell what they are most proud of. I mainly deal with text files, all day.
 

JulioConQueso

Member
Dec 14, 2007
67
0
0
Austin, TX
Billen said:
Showed the trailer at http://www.shackvideo.com/?id=12486 to my son, a ten year old gaming freak, and he said the following (in the order mentioned):

"It's the grappler from Ratchet and Clank".
"Looks like Rayman."
"This looks cool. I want to play it."

Then he went back to Tekken on his PSP. So in other words the kids are liking it, which is a good thing if you somehow missed it.
Looks like the seeds for the next generation of game developer :)
 
Sep 13, 2007
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Just watched the escapist video and it's looking really nice. The environments and emphasis on exploration look right up my alley. Mushroom Men fits perfectly into the genre I'm most interested in, so it's quickly climbing my list of anticipated Wii games. Based on what I've seen I'm sort of surprised it hasn't been getting more press. Here's hoping it reaches its full potential. *fingers crossed*
 

Dash Kappei

Not actually that important
Apr 8, 2005
15,737
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1,500
twitter.com
Mhhhh... I'm still not sold on the idea but it's nice to see this kind of effort going to a Wii exclusive, too bad I don't like the art and the color palette vibe I've seen so far... controlling a mushroom man doesn't seem to appealing to me either.
I'll wait for reviews and Gaffers, is there a release date set already?
 
The Wii is really benefiting from smaller studios like High Voltage and Red Fly, I like how they are open to showing us whats what with their games. Unlike a lot of higher end companies who throw some screenshots and could care less what is released

I look forward to this game, been on my radar for some time!
 

thestopsign

Member
Jun 2, 2005
7,839
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Considering the relative lack of other Wii games this fall, this has a pretty good chance on making my buy list right behind Little King's Story.
 
Sep 13, 2007
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Phife Dawg said:
I just hope they fix that framerate - too "nextgen" for me still.
The framerate is definitely a sticking point for me as well, but the game still has a few months of development to go. Hopefully they'll iron out the kinks by then.
 

Arde5643

Member
Aug 18, 2007
6,819
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Hopefully the build and customize your own weapons and gadgets from trash objects is fully realized with different effects and visuals.

Hopefully, as well, the enemy AI at more advanced levels get smarter and more aggressive so that players will have to use custom-made gadgets or their powers to defeat or run away from them.

The game's visuals and environments remind me of Pyschonauts so that's definitely a very good thing.


Question for Julio:
1) Regarding the build and customize feature, can you give a short summary of how the different combinations will affect the gameplay or combat?
For example, is combining items to build weapons only affect the damage of said weapon, or is there other attributes as well? Or perhaps does it also grant specific weapon abilities or so on?

2) Is item customization only specific to weapons or can we also build different non-weapon tools/gadgets from items?

3) Is the storyline linear or can you actually join up different shroom clans/families to go a different path? I have no problem with one or the other, just curious.
 

bdouble

Member
Sep 5, 2007
3,151
0
0
Looking real good. The textures are clear and hopefully the combat is up to what Julio says and the framerate gets fixed.
 

Hatchman

Member
Oct 9, 2006
208
0
0
Arde5643 said:
1) Regarding the build and customize feature, can you give a short summary of how the different combinations will affect the gameplay or combat?
For example, is combining items to build weapons only affect the damage of said weapon, or is there other attributes as well? Or perhaps does it also grant specific weapon abilities or so on?
From what i'm led to believe each weapon will have different damage abilities and different animations. Some will be good for defeating flying enemies, others against 'crawlers' etc. By all accounts you'll be able to finish off any enemy with any weapon, just some will do it quicker than others.

Arde5643 said:
2) Is item customization only specific to weapons or can we also build different non-weapon tools/gadgets from items?
I think there are 'special' weapons that can be built.

Arde5643 said:
3) Is the storyline linear or can you actually join up different shroom clans/families to go a different path? I have no problem with one or the other, just curious.
it's going to be relatively linear (correct me if i'm wrong Julio!), but the environments are massively expansive and can be finished in multiple ways.
 

djtiesto

is beloved, despite what anyone might say
Jul 26, 2004
28,051
7
0
Long Island, NY
Definitely one to watch, always good to see some smaller, 3rd party teams, actually put in an effort with the Wii.
 

JulioConQueso

Member
Dec 14, 2007
67
0
0
Austin, TX
About the item creation system... designwise, it started out as a complex matrix of items that rewarded experimentation and expression to create unique items that users could feel good about discovering... somewhat similar to item synthesis in Dark Cloud. During development, we struggled with a lot of intentionality problems as it was a fine line between making the user feel good about MacGuyvering stuff together and umm... wasting the user's time with pointless fruitless work. This was a hard balance to achieve, so we decreased the size of the matrix. Eventually, we got to a point where we just were not satisfied with the item creation system because it felt too much like pointless work. We spent a lot of time refining the other design aspects of the game and sadly, item creation took a backseat to things like combat, player direction, movement, camera, metronome, and special interactions (minigames and bosses). So towards the end of development, we simplified this system to something that won't annoy people. I personally think it is a better system than what we had originally planned.

As for waggle... yeah.. waggle. I really hate waggle! I happen to agree with IGN about that issue. Don't developers realize that people's arms get tired after swinging that wiimote for an hour? YES, they do. During one point in development, there was no waggle in the combat system. Attacks were done with a button. A combination of focus testing and feedback from various sources found that a higher percentage of people would rather waggle than button mash. Also, we ran out of buttons. Think of it like this... look at your wiimote+nunchuck. Now imagine the actions we have in the game: block, roll, move camera in four directions, shoot, jump... all of these actions need to be reachable by human hands in combat situations. The + and - buttons are awkward to reach, so that leaves B, A, dpad, c, and Z. In the end, a combination of focus testing and the button situation along with overwhelming pressure from a lot of important people forced us to go to a waggle control scheme. This personally made me very sad. IGN's article only confirmed my feelings about the matter, but it is late in the project and changing things now would be a huge risk to finishing the game within our budget. But here's the deal: as somebody who hates waggle, a lot of devs on the team made it a point to minimize the impact of that:
1) Combat is strategy based... The AI can be relentless. if you play the game like Dyanasty Warriors, you will die a lot
2) There is a three hit combo in the game... you only need to swing the wiimote once per hit... there is a generous input window that will accept your swing and buffer that input as feeding the next swing in the combo.. similar to buffered attacks in Tekken/Street Fighter/SoulCal. Swinging once per about 0.8 seconds is sufficent. Any faster and you are wasting your energy.
3) You have options other than melee. This is specifically because we don't want you to waggle all the time. Your wiimote's reticle is intended to be a major part of your combat repertoire. In fact... your reticle-based attacks are what separate Mushmen's combat system from most platformers out there. Most people will not notice or care about attack cancels and such, and the reticle-based combat was made for most people.

About framerate... yeah, few Wii games are packing in the amount of texture/geometry/animation/AI/physics/particle/lighting density that we are... We're really utilizing every aspect of the Wii's hardware and a lot of effort is being spent on optimizations at this point in development. Take a look at the environmental detail on most Wii games and compare that to what you've seen in Mushroom Men. There is a reason people use really simple textures and models on most Wii games. We decided to push that reason, and it's pushing back. That being said, framerate is not an optional thing for us. We will get our framerate to 30fps minimum by the time we ship.

The game is still in development, and we are burning it close to the wire. I hope you'll be happy with the final outcome. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears were spent on this game, and I hope that people do not take their biases against Gamecock out on us. We are our own entity separate from Gamecock, and Mushroom Men is our baby, not theirs.
 

CTLance

Member
Jul 21, 2007
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JulioConQueso said:
interesting stuff
Hm. Really good read right there. Thanks.
Heh. That first sentence reads like right out of an official design doc. Nothing wrong with that, mind you.

Two things that kinda stuck with me:
Focus tests should not be permissible in any Wii games' development. EVER.
There will be minigames. Panic attack commencing in 3..2..1.. ... OK, I'm fine again. ;)

Keep on trucking, you guys seem to be doing a great job.

Oh, and please, improve those fps.
Nothing is more annoying than an unstable framerate. I don't really care about 30 vs 60 fps, just make it rock solid please. I can live with Gamecube-level graphics as long as it's fluid and playable.

Also, new word get: "Mushmen". I like it.
 
Sep 13, 2007
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Thanks for once again lending some insight JulioConQueso. Frank comments from someone working on a game are worth a 1000 times more in my eyes than the useless pontificating of a marketing department, and I appreciate you taking the time to fill us in.

The waggle situation is a bummer but it's probably not a deal breaker for me as long as the exploration elements are strong and combat isn't too sloppy or overemphasized. Design via focus testing strikes me as lame in general, although I'm sure in some regards it's a necessary evil to ensure a game isn't being developed in a total creative vacuum. I just hope the motion stuff doesn't ultimately become the banner complaint among reviewers and hurt sales. I'd really like to see more 3rd party games in this vein succeed on Wii and set an example.

Anyhow, I'm keeping my eyes on Mushroom Men as always. Let your work buddies know all the blood sweat and tears aren't for naught. The more good traditional titles for the Wii the better.
 

Hatchman

Member
Oct 9, 2006
208
0
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I'm guessing that waggle will be kept to a minimum similar to SMG in order to allow proper gamers the chance to play it properly and not get a sweat on after 15 mins :lol
 

JulioConQueso

Member
Dec 14, 2007
67
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0
Austin, TX
Just to be clear, we do not use focus testing to design the game. Focus testing basically does two things:
1) Confirm or disprove our suspicions about certain things
2) Provide fresh angles of perception from a more heterogeneous audience than the dev team

By definition, focus testing addresses parts of the game (80% complete) that are already designed and implemented with specific intentions. It is an expected and important part of the iteration process of a game's design.

It's similar to asking people on a forum what they want, except with a better scientific sampling. Forum people are surprisingly homogenous compared to actual consumer samplings who do not carry the same umm... sickness that we do.
 

JulioConQueso

Member
Dec 14, 2007
67
0
0
Austin, TX
Arde5643 said:
Question for Julio:
1) Regarding the build and customize feature, can you give a short summary of how the different combinations will affect the gameplay or combat?
For example, is combining items to build weapons only affect the damage of said weapon, or is there other attributes as well? Or perhaps does it also grant specific weapon abilities or so on?

2) Is item customization only specific to weapons or can we also build different non-weapon tools/gadgets from items?

3) Is the storyline linear or can you actually join up different shroom clans/families to go a different path? I have no problem with one or the other, just curious.

1) There are four weapon types. One of them takes ammo. The other three define your attack style and have completely different animations and attributes:
Bash: vertical and strong, good against the few and durable
Slash: horizontal but weaker, good against many weaker enemies
Thrust: This weapon type is for masters only, specifically good against flying creatures

2) It's pretty much specific to weapons... there might be story-related assembly somewhere (can't remember)

3) Linear... but as homage to the NewGame+ feature... you can revisit any level you've beaten with your latest inventory of weapons and pick up items that you may have missed the first time around. So if you find the game getting too hard, maybe you need to revisit some older levels to get the parts you missed to make better weapons... maybe you need to get some meteors you missed to upgrade your HP and SP. I absolutely love this aspect of the game.

===
I wanted to add one more thing to what I said earlier about reticle based combat... Passive co-op: We support player 2's reticle in the game... as in player 2 gets their own reticle with all of the reticle abilities (telekinesis and spells) that player 1 has. Griefing P1 with telekinesis was a lot of fun, but helping P1 was fun, too. I haven't seen previewers mention this at all even though we had this implemented since last year.
 
Sep 13, 2007
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I worded it badly I guess. I didn't mean to imply that focus groups were literally designing aspects of the game. I should have tacked the word "choices" in there after design.
JulioConQueso said:
3) Linear... but as homage to the NewGame+ feature... you can revisit any level you've beaten with your latest inventory of weapons and pick up items that you may have missed the first time around. So if you find the game getting too hard, maybe you need to revisit some older levels to get the parts you missed to make better weapons... maybe you need to get some meteors you missed to upgrade your HP and SP.
Awesome. :D
 

JulioConQueso

Member
Dec 14, 2007
67
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Austin, TX
CTLance said:
There will be minigames. Panic attack commencing in 3..2..1.. ... OK, I'm fine again. ;)
Heh, it's not what you think. I know what might be inducing panic, and I would too if I were playing a game and then suddenly, the action in the game stopped and I was forced to play something completely different with a different set of game mechanics that I had to trudge through just to move on.

The minigames in MushMen do not change the rules of the game, just the camera. The simulation continues to go on while the "mini-game" is happening. The only minigame that might feel like it takes you out of the game is mounting turrets. It is essentially a shooting gallery mode not unlike what you would expect from a turret in a game that supports the Wiimote's reticle for aiming. So that feels different from the rest of the game, but hopefully people won't mind that one.

Surely we can't ship a game where all you do is go to one room, do combat, and then go to the next room for more combat, can we? There's gotta be something to mix it up. MushMen is half platformer, not just hardcore combat... certain members of the dev team remind me of that from time to time :)