Iterating on Specter

Over the past year, I’ve been iterating on the Specter prototype. It’s very much a casual hobby for me so it’ll be a while before I release a new build. Thanks to everyone who has sent me feedback. It’s all been very helpful.

My goal with this project is to give players experiences that dramatically warp their consciousness. I want players to discover and hone mental faculties they didn’t know they possessed. I want to give players a game world that introduces them to spacial-temporal abstractions that tell them things about the real world.

A guy sent me this piece of feedback about the first prototype. It’s exactly what I’m aiming at.

“Wow, that game touches some areas of the game-mechanic part of my brain I didn’t even knew existed. I need a cigarette…”

By the way, if you’re interested in other stuff I’m working on you can hit up my personal website: http://about.me/kengrafals

What a popular little experiment!

The last few days have been wild. Specter Spelunker Shrinks was really just supposed to be a prototype. I just wanted to experiment and get some feedback about the design. Boy, did I get feedback! Here’s some of the press and what people are saying:

EDIT: Also on Bytejacker!

The message is very clear: people like the concept. I have a ton of ideas for the full game but I have yet to decide what platform I’m going with or what exactly the scope will be. There are also many possibilities for how the gameplay might grow. Scaling works well when it’s put beside almost any other spacially related gameplay mechanic.

If you have any ideas, lemme know. I’m very open right now to new ideas. It’s also just a very fun thing to talk about! So don’t be shy to drop me a line :)

For the record, guys at CrudePixel, it’s “Grafals” like “Niagara Falls”. Only without the Nia-. So it’s just -Gara Falls. But without the extra ‘a’ and the ‘r’ is right after the ‘g’… Oh forget it!

GameJolt: This is Indie

I might have found a home in GameJolt. I dig this indie gaming portal. It’s a perfect place for the type of stuff I work on. I recently put up my new game, Specter Spelunker Shrinks, and I’ve been ecstatic with the feedback I’ve been getting. The game immediately got a bunch of attention.

I got to talk to lot of indie devs about my new release through the GameJolt chat. On the release day I casually replied to a “Hello”. He asked me what was up. I told him I had just put up my game on the site a few minutes ago. He told me he was going to give it a try. After checking out his profile I found out that he’s actually Aski from Tower of Heaven — one of my favorite indie platformers of last year. He came back and told me he really liked the game and gave it the highest rating on GameJolt. Only about 30 minutes into submitting my game I felt like my little experimental project was worth it.

Since then I’ve been getting a bunch of positive feedback from the community. They’ve got me hooked so I’ll be participating for sure in trying out some of the cool stuff on that portal and talking to more people about their stuff. The last few days have been a ton of fun.

Specter Spelunker in 3D

PLAY HERE!

Specter Spelunker in 3D is 2½D platformer with tight controls. You play a little blue guy who runs real fast and jumps real high. If you run into evil red geometry you die. Lucky for you there are checkpoints littered everywhere so you never lose a lot of progress.

If you’re good at platformers you can get through it in just a few minutes. I found that people who had the most fun were newbies. They played for a lot more time.

It’s made using Unity 2.6. The music is from my GameMaker game specter spelunker. The sound is borrowed from Knytt Stories. I’m going to justify ripping the sound by saying that this game is kind of an homage to Knytt!. I’ve also modeled the character physics around Knytt’s physics.

About Me

This is a picture of me saying something very important. Though I can’t tell you what it is. The people to my right are not part of FallDamageGames.com. In fact, I don’t know them. I think they look like unkempt college professors.

FallDamageGames.com isn’t the name of a game company or anything. It’s just me, Ken Grafals. I’m one of those avid indie gamers that produces a game every now and then but spends more of his time gobbling up all the neat little indie games out there.

Blogging is totally hip these days so I’m doing that too. I’ll blog about what I think about some of the cool stuff I find out there and I’ll blog about my own projects in development. The indie gaming scene is pushing the whole medium forward into something we’re going to be proud of. Anyone who has an interest in it should be a part of it.

website: www.kengrafals.com
twitter :@kengrafals
email: ken@grafals.net