So this is a belated happy new year to everyone. Last year we made a game for the New Year Game Jam (2013-2014), and I’ve finally uploaded it to another place where people can play it. A few months after the jam had finished, the free download link for the game was gone. Now, you can play it for free on gamejolt instead: Play Unseen
Have a great day everyone, and here’s a game I did real quick: North Pole Wormhole
Working on Signal to Noise from the very beginning has included a lot of changing things dramatically while still striving for a certain feeling. We began development of the game as a 2D shmup that had enemy spawning based off the music. Then it became 3D like Starfox. Then there was influence from Tempest, on and on and on.
From the beginning on though, the game was meant to focus around the word “Intense” and to give “moments” of some kind of overwhelming rush that few games do these days but classic games did a lot.
All along the way we’ve gotten mixed opinions. Some people thought it was incredible, some thought it was totally going the wrong direction, and some just didn’t care one way or the other. One thing we decided on upon realizing how polar the opinions were: don’t water it down just to accommodate more people. The game is meant to be a certain way, and some people love it. The reasoning behind the concept of not watering it down is that we feel if it’s watered down that we might have a bigger audience, but they won’t LOVE the game, they’ll probably just like it a little bit because they know it was made to accommodate everyone, even those that don’t match their tastes.
This game is for people that like what it is already. However, just for those that want to “fix what we’ve done wrong,” I’m going to outline some more about the modding of Signal to Noise… Remember, all of the following is in the works right now and may not be the same upon release of this content.
If you’re not happy with the graphics, you’ll be able to modify/skin almost all the artwork in the game with what you want. If just the colors aren’t what you want, you can easily change the colors of many things as well.
If you want to make your own music-driven and/or procedural game, we hope you’ll give Signal to Noise full modding a try. I’ve been personally working on the side on a system for Signal to Noise modders to be able to change practically everything about the game to their liking, even down to objectives, how things react to music, how everything moves, the scoring, etc., so that they can make and play the game they imagine without starting from scratch.
Another way players can mod Signal to Noise is with an XML document in which they can change a huge variety of attributes of the game. This can also optionally be done in combination with the VM scripting and even with the skinning of graphics.
I’m not sure if the API will be completely open so that other people can make SDKs, but I do know that we’re hoping to be able to support playing mods cross-platform as long as you have the planned modding DLC. If we can get the modding process itself to work on console (not tested yet), you will even be able to make the mods directly on your console version of the game without using a PC.
The full modding system is not even close to being done, and I unfortunately don’t think it will be available upon initial launch of the game, but I personally feel that it could be one of the best things about Signal to Noise. Keep on the lookout for more updates on that.
We’re trying to buckle down now with the game to get it out the door before the century ends and then heavily push the moddability when that’s ready later. We’ve decided that any new ideas without hardly any exceptions will be brought later to the game as mods, moddable options, or new modes. Don’t worry, the game we release will stand on its own without the later additions.
I said earlier today on twitter that I’d be making a post today about Signal to Noise and how it’s been this week. So here’s the post!
This morning in the office I said that Signal has become a sort of weird but highly intriguing thing to work on: some kind of an emotionally expressive, abstract, music-driven, procedural, choose-your-own-adventure-ish, flying and shooting arcade game… for both the people that are looking for something specifically deep like that but also for those just looking for a fun game to play. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve gone over lots of concepts that I’ve been playing with, and have changed some important things while keeping the core at the same time. I look forward to having a build ready for everyone to play, and we’re planning on doing some in-person testing with people locally very soon as well. It’s going to need lots of playtesting after we finish implementing the things that were finally decided on today.
For now, I’ll leave you with the following thoughts and things to check out that will act as sort of cryptic teasers for what we’ve done with Signal to Noise:
- Check out the concept of the Nomic game (available on wikipedia)
- Also, check out Conway’s Game of Life if you’re not familiar with that (also on wikipedia)
- If I become successful, there are not a great lot of people I will thank. However those that I do thank will be rewarded greatly.
- This too shall pass.
- Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine. ~Nikola Tesla
Just wanted to let everyone know that we’ve been working on dramatic changes to Signal to Noise, and it’s turning out better now. We’re focused on core gameplay right now. Right now it looks like the delays after “upending the tea table” will not be as bad as we originally thought, but they will still be there. We’ll have a brand new build available when the new core gameplay is ready, and we’ll always still have the old game mode, which we’re currently calling “Old Alpha Mode.” If you like the original game, you’ll like this new Signal to Noise. If you didn’t like the original form, we’re confident that we understand what was wrong with it and hope that you’ll like what we’re working on now!
Thanks to everyone for their continued support. You’re the best.
This is David, the founder of Solanimus.
It’s with a heavy but sure heart I’m announcing that we’re “upending the tea table” on Signal to Noise. We appreciate all the yes votes, and hope that everyone that has voted yes will just go ahead and buy the game directly from us so that they will get all the updates we send out. Seriously, just buy the game if you like it, and if you don’t like it, please keep on the lookout for what we do with the game. It’s cheaper right now than it will be in the end, so it’s this scenario: buy the game cheap, support the development, have early access to the game, follow and influence the development, and avoid paying full price when the game comes out.
Upending the tea table is a saying in Japan. In terms of the game industry it’s famously used to describe overhaul situations during the development of many of Shigeru Miyamoto’s greatest games. His quote is, “A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever” …or something like that (that might be paraphrased; it was probably translated Japanese to English anyway). Some of the best games ever made were the best because they upended the tea table; often more than once. My favorite example is actually not a Miyamoto game; it’s Resident Evil 4: that game’s development was literally restarted four times, and it turned out to be an amazing game to millions of people.
So why are we doing this? We want to give you a better game. No, we’re not just thinking, “Oh we’re so much better now, why not restart and do it over??!?” We’re doing this because Signal to Noise deserves to be a much better game, and it would be a mistake to release what we have right now when it has so much more potential. We’re not scrapping absolutely everything we’ve done, lots of the code and assets will still be fully intact, but a ton of things are going to be redone to make a glorious game in the end. I’ve gone over this decision with several partner developers here in North Carolina, and it seems to be the best.
So it’s time to go back to Version 0.01 alpha of our game. Please check out our website and subscribe to us on there and follow us on twitter for all updates regarding the development of Signal to Noise. Please also buy the game, and you’ll receive all updates for free, even after the game goes up to full price.