Mushroom Men = more and more intriguing

CTLance

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Jul 21, 2007
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JulioConQueso said:
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.
You guys are the heroes of all gamers with non-gaming friends/wifes/parents/kids. Reminds me of Super Mario Galaxys pseudo-coop. I had a bunch of non-gamers just pick up a second remote and bullshit around in SMG, limited as it was. This sounds phenomenal though (and potentially gamebreaking - or do enemy HP scale approprietly?).
 

NR1

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JulioConQueso said:
The idea was there before I was hired. I asked that same question to the owners of the company (Dan Borth, Kris Taylor, and Frank Teran - who is actually an alien who decided to take a human name) ... and as far as I could tell, they just thought it was a cool idea, and so the team just ran with it. "The boss thought it was cool... whaddayagonnadoo?"
These names sound very familiar... weren't they concept artist at Retro Studios in the early days that work on Raven Blade and Car Combat?

Thats a good sign!
 

VAIL

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Day 1 for several reasons.

1. Les Claypool
2. Interesting concept, and a studio that needs support and it making a genuine effort
3. Les Claypool
 

JulioConQueso

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CTLance said:
You guys are the heroes of all gamers with non-gaming friends/wifes/parents/kids. Reminds me of Super Mario Galaxys pseudo-coop. I had a bunch of non-gamers just pick up a second remote and bullshit around in SMG, limited as it was. This sounds phenomenal though (and potentially gamebreaking - or do enemy HP scale approprietly?).
Thanks! :)
Enemy HP will not scale. The game can be hard enough for P1 managing the camera and blocking enemy attacks. P2 will have a tough enough time as it is aiming at things without any control of the camera (we didn't want P2 to steal P1's camera control). So yeah, there's a chance that balance will be skewed in favor of the easy, but not to the degree of Galaxy's P2 support. Super Mario Galaxy's P2 support (rendering enemies unable to attack) was a downright exploit, P2 support in MushMen forces player 1 to continue playing the game the same way. If anything, it does allow P1 to focus on close melee combat while P2 focuses on ranged combat.
 

JulioConQueso

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NR1 said:
These names sound very familiar... weren't they concept artist at Retro Studios in the early days that work on Raven Blade and Car Combat?

Thats a good sign!
Wow, who are you? Yes, Dan and Kris both worked at Retro in the early (Pre-Metroid) days and made a name for themselves amongst game artists enough to eventually form their own studio. They've been in the industry for over 10 years. Because they are the owners of the studio, Red Fly essentially became an art-dominated studio. Programmers like me are slaves to their art-focused imperatives.

Dan Borth:
http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,8892/

Kris Taylor:
http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,35762/
 

NR1

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JulioConQueso said:
Wow, who are you? Yes, Dan and Kris both worked at Retro in the early (Pre-Metroid) days and made a name for themselves amongst game artists enough to eventually form their own studio. They've been in the industry for over 10 years. Because they are the owners of the studio, Red Fly essentially became an art-dominated studio. Programmers like me are slaves to their art-focused imperatives.

Dan Borth:
http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,8892/

Kris Taylor:
http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,35762/
LOL! Yea, I thought I remembered those two guys. I used to be a writer for a video game website.

I wrote an article about Retro Studios a number of years back.

I knew about these guys from talking with some other guys that worked with them on those projects. One of the guys I talked to told me all about the art department and who he worked with on those games. Kris and Dan were two names that popped up. As I recall, he had nothing but high praise and glowing things to say about them.

Anyway, he provided me with a ton of insight into early Retro Studios that never even made it into that above mentioned article. :D
 

Scrubking

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JulioConQueso said:
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.
So if you hate teh "waggle" why are you developing a game for a console whos primary feature is motion control? Or is it just part of the job and you don't really want to be working on the Wii?

Daemon Hatfield's comment was very ignorant and expressive of a point of view that is rooted in I-don't-like-change-give-me-my-HD-gaming-with-lots-of-buttons mentality. The Wii is about motion controls and as such games should have them. Complaining about Wii games having too much motion control is like complaining that PS360 games have too much HD. It's ridiculous and people need to get over it. The Wii is about motion controls - It always has been.

No one is saying you have to like motion controls, but if you are playing/making a Wii game then it should be expected as - again - that is what the console is all about. Things would be a lot easier and less frustrating, if people (like IGN), simply came out and said "this game has motion controls and I hate motion controls" instead of trying to express their opinion as some sort of factual argument (which they will never stop doing because they need to make people believe they know what they are talking about).
 

Hatchman

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Scrubking said:
Things would be a lot easier and less frustrating, if people (like IGN), simply came out and said "this game has motion controls and I hate motion controls" instead of trying to express their opinion as some sort of factual argument (which they will never stop doing because they need to make people believe they know what they are talking about).
i applaud you :clap:
 

Affinity

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I can't wait for this game. I don't know why I'm so excited about it, but ever since seeing it covered at E3 I've been crazy for it. It seems to go back to Banjo-type action/adventure games. Its new IP, it looks good and they present it well. I can't wait!
 

jay

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Scrubking said:
So if you hate teh "waggle" why are you developing a game for a console whos primary feature is motion control? Or is it just part of the job and you don't really want to be working on the Wii?

Daemon Hatfield's comment was very ignorant and expressive of a point of view that is rooted in I-don't-like-change-give-me-my-HD-gaming-with-lots-of-buttons mentality. The Wii is about motion controls and as such games should have them. Complaining about Wii games having too much motion control is like complaining that PS360 games have too much HD. It's ridiculous and people need to get over it. The Wii is about motion controls - It always has been.

No one is saying you have to like motion controls, but if you are playing/making a Wii game then it should be expected as - again - that is what the console is all about. Things would be a lot easier and less frustrating, if people (like IGN), simply came out and said "this game has motion controls and I hate motion controls" instead of trying to express their opinion as some sort of factual argument (which they will never stop doing because they need to make people believe they know what they are talking about).
I agree with a lot of this but the Wii isn't necessarily only about motion control. It is also about a pointer, and a mindset that gameplay trumps graphics. Nintendo wants it to be a viable option for smaller developers who don't have 40 million to spend on HD games. Maybe I'm wrong, but to me the Wii is about that as much as motion control.
 

birdchili

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"running out of buttons" isn't really a good excuse to add motion in a designed-for-wii game, is it? shouldn't the game design take the controller into account from the start?

i hope the focus testers who want a once-every-0.8-seconds remote jolt played the game for quite a while in one sitting.

this looks nifty - i *do* hope it turns out really well.
 

JulioConQueso

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Scrubking said:
So if you hate teh "waggle" why are you developing a game for a console whos primary feature is motion control? Or is it just part of the job and you don't really want to be working on the Wii?
Heh, nice.

Personally, I hate waggle. But if I made a game with only the things I liked, then it would be a game that only people like me would like. I acknowledge that my taste in games has a bias towards the hardcore. I am not making this game by myself; I just happen to be the one to post here against my better judgement. There is an entire team of very smart people working on this game, and they also get a say in what should be done. People get very strong opinions about things, and at the end of the day, we all just want to make the best game and that means acknowledging that our strong opinions about a feature may be in the minority.
 

Fredescu

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JulioConQueso said:
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.
Fuck. Yes.

For a supposedly social console, the amount of local co-op games is abysmal. There is no greater excuse for picking up a game at full price on day 1 than "But we can play it together honey!"
 

Hatchman

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Did you guys read this?

http://www.omgnintendo.com/article/98773/the-11-best-nintendo-games-of-e3-2008/

omgnintendo

There is a certain quality that the developers and publishers at Gamecock appear to have in abundance. Whether you call it moxie, chutzpah, or good old-fashioned testicular fortitude, this quality always seems to result in games with stand-out concepts and art direction. This is especially appreciated here in the Nintendo enthusiast's corner, where sometimes it feels like we see precious little that isn't a sequel, clone, or outright shovelware.

It's that maverick spirit that makes Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars notable. Few developers put serious effort into 3D platformers anymore, and the ones who that don't employ Shigeru Miyamoto frequently fail to bother with crafting quality stories, art direction, or sometimes even hit detection. What Red Fly Studios appears to have done with Mushroom Men is create an excitingly original and consistent world from the ground up, beautifully realized and fully integrated with its much-touted Les Claypool soundtrack.

While there are some fantastic abilities like your mushroom telekinesis, what's impressive about Mushroom Men is the way it uses the protagonist's diminutive scale. Most of the objects you find and use to construct weapons are convincingly rendered pieces of real-world junk. The object you use to grapple, a vital platforming mechanic, is nothing more than one of the "sticky hand" toys you could once get at any supermarket vending machine for a few quarters.

Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars brings a real sense of wonder back into platforming in much the same way Super Mario Galaxy did, by bothering to construct a world worth exploring and a character who's fun to explore it with. This is an impressive feat by itself, and even more impressive for a small developer like Red Fly Studios. I've expressed concerns about the game shipping in finished state, and, well, I do still have them. Polish is the question mark that hovers over virtually all indy games on virtually all platforms, even a humble one like the Wii. That said, I do believe that if Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars goes onto store shelves in truly finished state, as the game Red Fly envisioned when they started the project, it's going to be brilliant piece of work.
 

JohnTinker

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Sep 14, 2006
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I will be buying this game/adding to my Christmas list because of reading this thread and the effort put into it.

I think because of this thread you guys may have earned respect enough to garner a grassroots movement for this game's support.
 

Tab0203

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JulioConQueso said:
The + and - buttons are awkward to reach, so that leaves B, A, dpad, c, and Z.
I find dpad-up harder to reach than + or -.

MP3 controls:

Visors: -
Screenshot tool: d-pad-up

Do you mean awkward to press? (lowered buttons)


JulioConQueso said:
As for waggle... yeah.. waggle. I really hate waggle! ... Don't developers realize that people's arms get tired after swinging that wiimote for an hour?
The only game I can think of is Boom Blox's throwing mode (power throws). Jenga mode is less tiring than any game with two handed "traditional" controls.

Shape/form, pointer and freehand controls/nunchuk ≠ waggle.
 

Arde5643

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@Julio:
What are the marketing team in Gamecock doing to promote this game other than just going to the regular hardcore gaming news site and forum boards?

I think the game has a pretty good chance of being marketed to people who also like cartoons a la Invader Zim, Courage the Cowardly Dog, or Billy & Mandy.
And since casual gamers are most likely to have the Wii, cartoon watchers like this seem to be a pretty good bet.

The game's theme seems to be pretty dark and yet humorous enough for different age ranges.
 

Gwanatu T

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This is a wonderful looking game, and I remember cracking up at the concept when it was announced a year ago or whenever. The game itself really gives me a Rayman 2 vibe, as someone else in here said, and that's a very good thing. Day 1 for me, I'm happy to see such great looking titles in development for the Wii.

GrotesqueBeauty said:
New hands on impressions at IGN:

http://wii.ign.com/articles/896/896860p1.html

He seems less than thrilled about the waggle combat. :p
He didn't say much about the combat other than that it could be handled with a button press, but honestly I don't have a problem with it if it's like Twilight Princess.
 

Shaheed79

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The game looks like it could be a great replacement for a real Rayman game but the combat needs some work imo. The animations seem nice and fluid but they aren't reactive and there is a lot of clipping. The enemy will swing his weapon and you'll go into an animation and be unaffected or you'll hit an enemy but he'll be in his animation and be unaffected and sometimes there is no indication of whether you hit your target successfully or not. They should delay it to get the quirks worked out because it has a lot of potential and I love the art style.
 

ampere

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VAIL said:
Day 1 for several reasons.

1. Les Claypool
2. Interesting concept, and a studio that needs support and it making a genuine effort
3. Les Claypool
This post makes me smile :D
Mostly because I feel the exact same way. Oh and the Mushroom Men themselves are pretty awesome. :)

Linkhero1 said:
Is this game going to support 16x9 widescreen?
I have yet to play a Wii game that doesn't. So I'd say 99% yes.
 
Oct 11, 2007
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Shaheed79 said:
The game looks like it could be a great replacement for a real Rayman game but the combat needs some work imo. The animations seem nice and fluid but they aren't reactive and there is a lot of clipping. The enemy will swing his weapon and you'll go into an animation and be unaffected or you'll hit an enemy but he'll be in his animation and be unaffected and sometimes there is no indication of whether you hit your target successfully or not. They should delay it to get the quirks worked out because it has a lot of potential and I love the art style.
I came in to post this exact same thing, especially the reactive and indication piece.
Great job so far guys, its really looking good.
 

Shaheed79

dabbled in the jelly
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abstract alien said:
I came in to post this exact same thing, especially the reactive and indication piece.
Great job so far guys, its really looking good.
Damn if only I would have waited another 20 minutes I could of avoided having to say something lol. I'm usually a lazy poster when it it comes to critiques but whenever I see a small development house with talent and ambition I'm more than willing to offer up some constructive input as a veteran gamer. I'm glad I wasn't the only one to notice these problems of an otherwise visceral and potentially fun looking game. I feel validated.
 

maliceonthecob

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dang...thanks for all the enthusiasm in this thread,it's very encouraging...tho i have to say..i also embrace any skepticism and pessimism as well,since it lights a fire under the arse to work to win yall over in the end-we shall see, i suppose...
i'm the slouch that did all the concept crap you had seen in the very initial stage of the mushroom men announcement and in dribs n drabs along the way.
mr. queso is a guru...his work, as well as everyone on the team, floors me on a daily basis and it helps me do my job.
i'm just happy red fly's being given a chance to throw our hat in the ring.
 

Metaphoreus

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Feb 15, 2006
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maliceonthecob said:
i'm just happy red fly's being given a chance to throw our hat in the ring.
As happy as I am to see more actual members of the video game industry participate in the discussions on this board, I really don't think a development studio can run for president. At least not until it's 35.
 

Arde5643

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maliceonthecob said:
dang...thanks for all the enthusiasm in this thread,it's very encouraging...tho i have to say..i also embrace any skepticism and pessimism as well,since it lights a fire under the arse to work to win yall over in the end-we shall see, i suppose...
i'm the slouch that did all the concept crap you had seen in the very initial stage of the mushroom men announcement and in dribs n drabs along the way.
mr. queso is a guru...his work, as well as everyone on the team, floors me on a daily basis and it helps me do my job.
i'm just happy red fly's being given a chance to throw our hat in the ring.
Concept/art-wise, atmosphere-wise - everything seems to be awesome.

I'm still a little worried about waggling for regular combats though - I'd like to see waggle preserved for more immersive events (a la deathblows in NMH) than just some hack n slash routines.
 

Hatchman

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Oct 9, 2006
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Arde5643 said:
Concept/art-wise, atmosphere-wise - everything seems to be awesome.

I'm still a little worried about waggling for regular combats though - I'd like to see waggle preserved for more immersive events (a la deathblows in NMH) than just some hack n slash routines.
i wouldnt worry.
 
Oct 11, 2007
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Arde5643 said:
Concept/art-wise, atmosphere-wise - everything seems to be awesome.

I'm still a little worried about waggling for regular combats though - I'd like to see waggle preserved for more immersive events (a la deathblows in NMH) than just some hack n slash routines.
How exactly does the combat work?

It just just waggle waggle = combo?

or

Is it like soul caliber legends waggle combos(very well done and responsive)?
 

Hatchman

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Oct 9, 2006
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maliceonthecob said:
dang...thanks for all the enthusiasm in this thread,it's very encouraging...tho i have to say..i also embrace any skepticism and pessimism as well,since it lights a fire under the arse to work to win yall over in the end-we shall see, i suppose...
i'm the slouch that did all the concept crap you had seen in the very initial stage of the mushroom men announcement and in dribs n drabs along the way.
mr. queso is a guru...his work, as well as everyone on the team, floors me on a daily basis and it helps me do my job.
i'm just happy red fly's being given a chance to throw our hat in the ring.
Man, you've done an awesome job and the studio have done a similarly awesome job at recreating that conceptual vision in the game.

The game looked very good at Leipzig.
 

JulioConQueso

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Dec 14, 2007
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Thanks, Hatchman... I'm assuming you've played the game at Liepzig?

It's good to hear a positive response from somebody who has actually held the controller.

We will be showing a more recent build at Pax... which is ironic, considering the main character's name is actually Pax.

***
I'm taking a hiatus from responding on forums since there's not much more I can say at this point without going in circles. A lot of folks have made assumptions about the game based on bad experiences with other games. All I can say is that Mushroom Men plays like no other Wii game out there. It is not like Zelda, nor is it like Mario Galaxy. The comparisons I've heard are mostly to Psychonauts and Munch's Oddysey but that is mostly on vibe. The mechanics are entirely different.

I'll leave this thread with the following points until the game is out on shelves:

*The last thing I'll say about combat before we ship is that it is specifically designed to be strategic, yet accessible. You will need to think about what you are doing, what your enemies are doing, and what tools are available in the environment. In addition to 4 completely different types of weapons. Your choices of attacks include telekinesis and spore punisher. If all you do is waggle, then you will die often in the game.

*Being player 2 is a lot of fun. Fights go by a LOT faster and you die less if P2 knows what she/he is doing.

*I am in love with telekinesis as a weapon! My favorite moment with this is picking up a shoe and throwing it at an enemy to hurt them. Shoes are funny.

*In addition to the Claypool tracks, the audio design in the game is going to be very special. Those guys (Gl33k) are amazing, and I have never played a game with audio this good. They play games, know games, and know just how to make moments absolutely magical.

*The team has a pretty strong sense of humor, and you'll see it in subtle ways throughout the game.
 

aeolist

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Oct 31, 2006
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I've never seen enough of the gameplay to have any real interest generated here. The audio stuff sounds nice but how does it play? Have they even gone into how the mechanics will work?
 

Hatchman

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Oct 9, 2006
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Not sure if anyone picked up on the DS trailer that was put out recently: http://www.gametrailers.com/player/38412.html

@ aeolist: As far as game mechanics go, what do you want to know? It plays in the style of an old school platformer with enough in the environments to encourage you to explore, or as Edge says

Edge Magazine
plotting the route to your goal holds the kind of pleasure it did in Crackdown
 
Jun 7, 2006
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I read a preview on Puissance-Nintendo.com and they said that it is one of the most promising games in development for Wii. Before that preview I was ignoring the game, but I suppose that I should keep an eye on it.
 

DustoMan

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Mar 25, 2008
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I had no clue about this game until I saw the trailer at PAX. My wife gravitated to the game for some reason, I'll probably end up buying it for her whenever it comes out.
 

_PsiFire_

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May 24, 2005
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2 of my 3 anticipated '08 Wii games have been getting good previews.

This and de Blob.

C'mon Deadly Creatures (main complaint @ IGN is the framerate)!! It's just a shame it got delayed until December/January.