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file Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game

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26 Feb 2017 22:23 - 04 Apr 2017 18:02 #1 by Judd
Hi!

I hope this is the right forum to post this. For the past four years or so, I've been working on a Marble Blast-inspired game called Geoid. This is a nearly finished game, and I'm planning to release it in the next month or two.

It's on Steam Greenlight now, so it would be awesome if you guys could support me and vote for it!
Geoid has been greenlit! Thanks everybody for your support!

Greenlight link: steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=870823337

I'd be happy to answer any questions about it. I'd also be willing to look at adding features the community has a lot of interest in.

Trailer


Features
  • 12 Easy levels, 20 Medium levels, and 10 Hard levels
  • Every single level has a unique art style
  • Singleplayer modes: Normal (untimed), Challenge (timed), and Nightmare (restart level on failure)
  • 12 Arcade Challenges (short, simple, (but difficult) timed levels)
  • 25 unlockable ball styles hidden throughout different levels
  • Global and local leaderboard systems
  • Built with Unreal Engine 4

Download Beta

The beta period is over - thanks everyone for helping test Geoid!

Testing Notes
  • This is the full game, however the build is set to expire on March 21.
  • The game sends gameplay metrics to a server for the purposes of polishing the game. It's only gameplay-related data (so I can detect if lots of people aren't completing a particular level, for example), as well as some system specs. No personal information is collected or sent.
  • There is an in-game feedback system you can use. The game will ask for (optional) feedback at the end of each level, and you can also submit feedback from the middle of any level by pressing the green feedback button in the pause menu (your current level and location will be included with this type of feedback). The feedback system will be removed for the final release.

Changes since Build 56/57
  • New feature: added double-jumping
  • New feature: field of view slider in settings
  • Increased ball torque and acceleration curve at lower speeds to improve ramps (on a 22 degree incline, the ball now moves at about 2.25 m/s, up from 1.35 m/s)
  • Recalculated all level times for challenge and nightmare modes to account for the player movement changes
  • Doubled the size of Surfaces to make it more exciting and reduced its triangle requirement from 3 to 2 (same as Basics)
  • Fixed bouncers to always follow the path they're supposed to
  • Fixed the hub world entry for Bending so that the level portal is actually accessible
  • Improved Forces skybox to be less dark, and fixed the space under the Cannon so you can't get stuck anymore
  • Made hexagons in some levels a little less obvious
  • Tweaked areas of some levels to work better with double-jumping
  • Added some subtle hints on where to go next in Cube
  • Fixed Towers so the skybox doesn't attack the player
  • Added a small new segment to Town near the end to improve flow
  • Tweaked the long conveyor portion of Vacillation to make it less boring and a bit more difficult
  • Made the spiral section in Twist slightly easier without allowing jumping over the bumpers with double-jump
  • Improved collision issues in Blue Square and centered the righthand path a bit
  • Redesigned bumper/projectile launcher section of Dark, and simplified the cascading trampoline section
  • Redesigned about a third of Factory

Known Issues
  • When the ball is falling very fast and hits a non-moving platform, it sometimes flies off in a random direction. This was tracked down to a PhysX bug . The fix is non-trivial, so this likely won't get fixed until closer to release.
  • Music sometimes doesn't loop correctly
  • (Windows-only) When you double-click the installer, Windows will take a good 10-20 seconds to scan the file before showing a UAC prompt and letting you install. This takes a while just because the installer file is 1.7GB and I'm not really sure there is a way to fix this.
  • (Mac-only) The resolution and fullscreen settings are... quirky.
  • (Mac-only) Auto-detect graphics settings (which runs automatically the first time the game starts) is giving medium settings for all Macs regardless of hardware. You'll need to manually turn up or down your graphics settings until I can get this resolved.
  • (Mac-only) You may have to right click Geoid.app and click Open to circumvent Apple's App-Store-only requirement

Screenshots




Gifs
Ball style that changes color based on speed
Hanging lamps
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Last edit: 04 Apr 2017 18:02 by Judd. Reason: Converted gif image tags into links
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27 Feb 2017 07:15 - 27 Feb 2017 07:37 #2 by HiGuy
Replied by HiGuy on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
Hey, welcome to the forums!

It's quite impressive that you've managed to create that entire game solo, and the graphics are pretty neat too. Although this is clearly Marble Blast-inspired, it seems at least from the physics that it has a considerably different play style. I'm kind of curious to see how the levels play, in terms of the momentum/shortcuts that are fundamental to MB. I would be in favor of a demo/beta version to see how it plays, as it seems now more like a platformer game played by a marble (although that's not necessarily a bad thing).

Whatever the case, it looks good from the trailer; good luck with Steam and Greenlight.

PQ in a nutshell
function clientcmd12dothepq() {
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}
Last edit: 27 Feb 2017 07:37 by HiGuy. Reason: Didn't notice you mention posting a beta

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27 Feb 2017 07:23 #3 by Kalle29
Replied by Kalle29 on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
Hey, I voted on steam just because it's a ball game. I'll likely try it as well and see how the physics are.

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27 Feb 2017 07:35 #4 by Derpking
Replied by Derpking on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
Looks pretty interesting. Gave you a thumbs up on Steam. I'd love to try it.

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27 Feb 2017 15:21 #5 by Nockess
Replied by Nockess on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
Wow, that looks really good. I'm quite impressed.
Thumbs up for me.

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27 Feb 2017 19:18 #6 by MBCollector672
Replied by MBCollector672 on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
Upvoted. I'll buy this when it comes out for sure.

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27 Feb 2017 22:59 #7 by PacPlayer
Replied by PacPlayer on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
I've been looking forward to something other than PQ! Looking forward to seeing it on steam! :D

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28 Feb 2017 02:49 #8 by eblu
this looks rad, but i do have to argue there's a ton of black in the color palette

is this open world?

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28 Feb 2017 08:45 #9 by Lee
I really love the mechanics showed in the trailer. Will buy this for sure!

lee is awesome

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28 Feb 2017 10:27 #10 by Judd
Thank you all for the kind comments. I'll try to get that beta build posted here later today - I want to make sure the build I post is stable and polished enough that you can focus on testing gameplay :)

And to answer some questions:

HiGuy wrote:
Although this is clearly Marble Blast-inspired, it seems at least from the physics that it has a considerably different play style. I'm kind of curious to see how the levels play, in terms of the momentum/shortcuts that are fundamental to MB.

This was actually intentional on my part. When I was working on the ball physics, I went out of my way to not play any MB game at all until that part of the game was pretty much complete, because I think it's important that Geoid have its own identity and play style and not just be a direct MB clone. I'd like to think I captured the fun of MB, but you'll have to judge for yourself :)

eboyblue3 wrote:
this looks rad, but i do have to argue there's a ton of black in the color palette

is this open world?

The color palettes shift as you get into more difficult levels. The easy levels are bright and cheery, the medium levels have a bit more muted tones, and the hard levels are darker and more saturated.

It's not open world, the levels are comparable in size to a typical Marble Blast Ultra level. There is a hub world that works a bit like the Mario 64 castle, where completing levels earns you Golden Triangles, which you can use to unlock new areas that have more levels.

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28 Feb 2017 15:57 #11 by Ralph
Replied by Ralph on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
Is it possible to include a Platinum marble in this game? That'd be so cool!

And this game looks gorgeous! I hope I won't get confused with those new physics...

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28 Feb 2017 21:41 #12 by Judd

Ralph wrote:
Is it possible to include a Platinum marble in this game? That'd be so cool!


I'd be happy to include community created content in the official release as long as the authorship and licensing is clear. That means that all submitted content files need to be entirely an original work (meaning submitted by their original author, and not derived from any files from an official MB game) and using a license that allows commercial use. A Creative Commons license would be a good choice.

To add a ball style, I would need a UV-mapped model file (in any format that can be imported by Blender) and any associated textures.

This only applies to content that I would ship with the official Geoid release. Modding is a bit tricky to support with Unreal Engine 4, but it is doable, and I'd be happy to support that post-launch if there is any interest.

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28 Feb 2017 22:17 - 04 Apr 2017 18:03 #13 by Judd
As promised, here's a beta release of Geoid.

Beta-Testing Notes
  • This is the full game, however the build is set to expire on March 21.
  • There is a "Medium Mode" button in the New Game screen that allows you to skip the easy levels, but I'd recommend not using this for a first playthrough. As someone who played tons of MB and Geoid, I can complete all of the easy levels in something like 15-20 minutes, so it won't take you very long :) This button is only there for beta-testing purposes and will be removed in the final release.
  • The game sends gameplay metrics to a server for the purposes of polishing the game. It's only gameplay-related data (so I can detect if lots of people aren't completing a particular level, for example) and some system specs. No personal information is collected or sent.
  • There is an in-game feedback system you can use. The game will ask for (optional) feedback at the end of each level, and you can also submit feedback from the middle of any level by pressing the green feedback button in the pause menu (your current level and location will be included with this type of feedback). The feedback system will be removed for the final release.

Known Issues
  • When you double-click the installer, Windows will take a good 10-20 seconds to scan the file before showing a UAC prompt and letting you install. This takes a while just because the installer file is 1.7GB and I'm not really sure there is a way to fix this.
  • (Mac-only) Auto-detect graphics settings is giving medium settings for all Macs regardless of hardware. You'll need to manually turn up or down your graphics settings until I can get this resolved.

Performance Notes
I develop on an Intel Core i5-4670 @ 3.4Ghz with 16GB ram and a GeForce GTX 970. I've done very little testing on slower computers, so it would be helpful to know what kind of performance people get, the kind of hardware they have, and the graphics settings they're using. I'd strongly recommend prioritizing framerate over graphics quality, as the physics can get quirky at lower framerates. 60fps is the sweet spot. In the advanced graphics settings screen there is a "Toggle Framerate Display" button if you want to know what you're getting. I was able to get 60fps on an Intel-Integrated GPU the one time I tried it, but I had to turn the graphics settings down to the bare minimum.
(link removed)
The beta period is over - thanks everyone for helping test Geoid!

Warning: All Geoid development and testing to date has been done on Windows, so I don't even know if the game is completable on Mac. I was able to make a functional Mac build without too much difficulty though. It's very quirky with fullscreen support, and you may have to right-click -> Open the application to get around the mac-store-only requirement Apple has added recently. I'd love some feedback about what kinds of macs its being run on (both hardware and OS version), how well it runs, and what kinds of issues you run into (if any).
(link removed)
The beta period is over - thanks everyone for helping test Geoid!

Happy rolling!
Last edit: 04 Apr 2017 18:03 by Judd. Reason: Updated builds
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01 Mar 2017 00:03 #14 by Trace
Replied by Trace on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
It certainly looks neat, and I'll pick it up assuming it has no game-breakingly bad issues like Marble Void had. Quick question tho, why does the marble/cube thing have motion blur? Just looks off considering the rest of the game.

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01 Mar 2017 01:47 #15 by Nockess
Replied by Nockess on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
Is there a possibility you can create a Mac download?

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01 Mar 2017 01:47 #16 by Nature Freak
Replied by Nature Freak on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
Wow this looks AMAZING and I would love to play it but is it available for Mac? Thanks.

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01 Mar 2017 03:06 #17 by HiGuy
Replied by HiGuy on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
I'd also be in support of a Mac build, especially considering it won't start in my Windows VM.

PQ in a nutshell
function clientcmd12dothepq() {
    commandToClient(LocalClientConnection, '34onthedancefloor');
}

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01 Mar 2017 04:16 - 01 Mar 2017 04:20 #18 by eblu
i like it, but conveyor challenge 4 is way too hard since the ball keeps bouncing

since i'm running an ivy bridge i7 with a HD graphics 4000, i can safely say that the game works at around 45-55fps on lower end machines if you set a lot of the settings close to minimum

i hope you do get all this feedback!

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Last edit: 01 Mar 2017 04:20 by eblu.

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01 Mar 2017 04:20 #19 by Frostfire
Replied by Frostfire on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
Wow! I played two levels of this and I will definitely be returning to test some more. Really awesome graphics! The ball moves a little slow for my taste but nonetheless extremely cool stuff here, especially impressive that this was built solo.

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01 Mar 2017 06:50 #20 by Derpking
Replied by Derpking on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
Played for around an hour so far and I've seen some pretty good stuff! I'll post my thoughts on the gameplay later, but there are a few technical issues that you might want to take a look at:
  • You didn't disable the Oculus and SteamVR plugins even though your game doesn't use VR. This causes the VR compositor to start when I start the game, and audio gets routed to my HMD. I have to use audio mirroring in order to be able to hear any sound through my headphones. Please disable all VR-related plugins before you release.
  • Please add an option in the settings to change the field of view, and allow it to go up to at least 120 degrees.
  • Consider adding a key binding which instantly respawns you at the latest checkpoint. Waiting to go out-of-bounds when I fall sometimes can be a bit annoying.
  • Consider releasing a Mac build. If you don't have a Mac to test on, you could try setting up a Hackintosh.

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01 Mar 2017 07:49 - 01 Mar 2017 18:32 #21 by Judd

Derpking wrote:
Consider releasing a Mac build

Done (link is under the Windows download), although it needs a ton of testing. It seems to work well on the two Macs I have access to.

Derpking wrote:
You didn't disable the Oculus and SteamVR plugins even though your game doesn't use VR.

Or does it? ;) I'll have more to announce about this later. You're right though, I'll make sure that plugin gets disabled.

Derpking wrote:
Please add an option in the settings to change the field of view, and allow it to go up to at least 120 degrees.

Easy enough. Sure thing.

Derpking wrote:
Consider adding a key binding which instantly respawns you at the latest checkpoint. Waiting to go out-of-bounds when I fall sometimes can be a bit annoying.

I don't disagree with you that the fall time can be slightly on the long side, but I'm not sure that adding the complexity of another keybind is the right solution. I'm also concerned that giving the player the ability to do that would make balancing challenge/nightmare mode times much harder. I think a better solution might be to move the death trigger volumes up a bit so the fall times are shorter.

Frostfire wrote:
The ball moves a little slow for my taste

I looked up the metrics for the levels you played, and you were getting around 30fps. If you already have your graphics settings on low, try lowering the "Resolution Scale" setting on the Video tab of the settings screen to improve your framerate. I've noticed some very subtle, hard to track down physics bugs that only happen at framerates of 40 or less. In addition to that, I've noticed that subjectively, the ball feels slower at 30fps versus 60fps (even though I've measured speeds and there's no difference).

eboyblue3 wrote:
conveyor challenge 4 is way too hard since the ball keeps bouncing

What do you mean by bouncing? That particular challenge level is intended to be the hardest one. In that level, if you don't nail each jump flawlessly, the ball hits the front of the next conveyor piece and bounces off of it. Is this what you mean? Or something else?

Trace wrote:
why does the marble/cube thing have motion blur

In my opinion, motion blur on the ball (when it's moving fast) is a really nice way to give the player an intuitive sense of speed. I appreciate that it's not for everybody, so there is a setting in the advanced graphics settings to disable it if you'd like.
Last edit: 01 Mar 2017 18:32 by Judd.
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01 Mar 2017 15:36 #22 by Frostfire
Replied by Frostfire on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
Thanks, I fixed the lag by both lowering the reso scale and the resolution itself.

I enjoy the motion blur myself, but that's just a personal preference.

Do all levels have 6 hexagons? And if so, how can I tell which ones have already been completed?

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04 Mar 2017 06:17 #23 by Judd

Frostfire wrote:
Do all levels have 6 hexagons? And if so, how can I tell which ones have already been completed?


Sorry for the delayed reply, I've been working on the next build based on the awesome feedback I've been getting :)

Not all levels have 6 hexagons. I'd like to add a menu somewhere that lists which triangles and hexagons you've collected for a particular save slot, but I don't know if I'll have time to do that before release.

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04 Mar 2017 12:07 #24 by Frostfire
Replied by Frostfire on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game

Judd wrote:

Frostfire wrote:
Do all levels have 6 hexagons? And if so, how can I tell which ones have already been completed?


Sorry for the delayed reply, I've been working on the next build based on the awesome feedback I've been getting :)

Not all levels have 6 hexagons. I'd like to add a menu somewhere that lists which triangles and hexagons you've collected for a particular save slot, but I don't know if I'll have time to do that before release.


Seems like a good idea per level, kinda tedious to have to check each one and see if you've collected them all yet.

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04 Mar 2017 16:17 #25 by Nathan125
Replied by Nathan125 on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
This doesn't seem that bad mate. This could be the next stage in Marble Blast's Evolution which sound pretty AWESOME to me :3

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07 Mar 2017 08:39 #26 by Judd
Hi all!

I just posted a new build (57-windows and 58-mac) that hopefully fixes most of the bugs and issues you all found. The changelog and download links are up in the first post in this thread. I think the main thing of interest (other than the many bugfixes) is that I added double-jump, and bumped up the ball's torque at low speeds, so going up hills is almost twice as fast.
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09 Mar 2017 02:38 #27 by Trace
Replied by Trace on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
Just as a heads up, you can skip a bunch of the doors in the final area just by jumping around them and being respawned behind them. I got to the area that has the Moon level with 33 triangles.

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09 Mar 2017 02:45 #28 by CylinderKnot
Replied by CylinderKnot on topic Geoid: A new Marble Blast-style indie game
I'm absolutely drooling in amazement at this. Based on what I've seen, this appears to have quite the difficulty in the harder levels.

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09 Mar 2017 06:57 #29 by Judd

Trace wrote:
Just as a heads up, you can skip a bunch of the doors in the final area just by jumping around them and being respawned behind them. I got to the area that has the Moon level with 33 triangles.


Heh, these sorts of bugs are inevitable after making such a big change (adding double-jump) this late in the development process. I hate using invisible walls, but I might have to in the hard part of the hub world.

Report any place you can skip stuff with the feedback button and I'll take care of it :)

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04 Apr 2017 21:09 - 05 Apr 2017 01:31 #30 by Judd
Big news: Geoid has been greenlit! I'm looking forward to releasing in the next month or so, depending on how quickly all the remaining bugs get ironed out.

Thanks everyone for beta testing Geoid!

Here are some stats from the beta test:
  • Number of unique players: 23
  • Number of new games created: 56
  • Complete level runs (all modes): 532
  • Complete level runs (challenge/nightmare mode): 91
  • Total number of deaths: 1640
  • Average level run time: 140 seconds
  • Number of hub world level loads: 735
  • Number of hub world doors unlocked: 248
  • Number of triangles collected directly: 417
  • Number of triangles collected from getting six hexagons: 32
  • Number of secrets collected: 34
  • Number of unique secrets collected: 13
  • Number of secrets not found: 12
  • Highest number of triangles collected in one save slot: 46

Here's a sneak peak at a new level that I added since the end of the beta test:



I've also been working on a split-screen competitive co-op mode. Not sure if I can get this done in time for release, but if not it'll be in a patch soon after.
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Last edit: 05 Apr 2017 01:31 by Judd.
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