This game caught me by surprise!! Amazing graphics! Keep up the amazing work.
A downloadable game for Windows
You have travelled far and wide for the perfect planet. Have you found the sublime place to plant yourself?
Travel 'Down to Earth' in this third person platformer, vividly rendered environments test your ability to reach what could be the best place you have ever planted yourself.
Created by the following 5 for the Epic Mega Jam 2019:
Controller partially supported (In game, not menus).
Keyboard and Mouse.
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Although this may seem harsh, it is not really. Not on you as a team. It may be harsh on the Epic Games judges, but not on you. But my honest opinion is that I do not agree with your game being the winning entry. The art is well done, and that is all; apart from the art, you have little more than a third-person character running and jumping and some basic enemies that does nothing but chase the player. Since your game won, I am now of the strong opinion that the judges gives much more credit to art, than to anything else. And to be honest, in a game jam, which is at least as much about software development as it is about art, I think this is not appropriate.
Note though, that you are clearly very good artists, and I commend you for that. It is a skill that I envy!
I do however think that given that your game is little more than a third-person character running and jumping, and even for the running part you used Dynamic Locomotion and not something you wrote yourself, that this is not a technical accomplishment at all. An artistic one sure; but this game screams 'art' where I think, in a game jam winning entry, the entry should scream 'technical accomplishment' or 'gameplay' first and art a close second, close but still second.
Anyway, I just wanted to share my view on this. A win is still a win, and I congratulate you on winning! I am sorry if it feels like I am saying 'you did not deserve to win', which, to be honest, I guess is what I am saying :). But I am not saying it against you. My entry to the jam was such a waste and junk, I did not deserve to win either, not nearly as much as you did, it was junk. Your game is orders of magnitude better than mine. So, I guess all I am trying to say is that I am disappointed in Epic for being blinded by the ability of 5 artists to push out large amounts of good looking art, and them losing sight of what a game jam is all about.
By the way, I think that your game would have been a worthy winner with just little effort. Interesting dynamic puzzles, some basic mechanics, just a couple of things to demonstrate that you can develop more interesting gameplay elements, and I would feel you deserved to win. I just really struggle to consolidate your winning against many other entries, and good ones, when your game is little more than an empty dead world with nice art.
If you are going to develop this game further, which I hope you do, I recommend you focus on story, and gameplay (maybe puzzles or a more dynamic world with crumbling cliffs or things like that). And as beautiful as it is, the world seems very static, I recommend you make it alive.
My rant is over now. Let me end with saying this is still a great artistic accomplishment in the little time you had. So good work, very good, despite my belief that you should not have won. And you did so, congratulations! I hope you continue working on this game and making it really amazing, I can see that being possible!
Wow, we really do appreciate this much breakdown of our game and we do totally see that perspective.
We were Art heavy for sure and Art does sell games (in both vision, quality and marketing). Art doesn't make it a good game and isn't essential to have a fun game.
I have seen comments like this and we have had similar thoughts but I do think you have to keep in mind the complete package.
There is a start and ending cutscene in our game, there is design through steering the player through the environment with hand placed orbs, there is a difficulty curve and the movement did have quite a lot of dev time to ensure it felt as good as it could. There is tutorial onboarding, designed gates to prevent you from progressing too fast, enemy patrol routes that had to be thought through. There are also elements that aren't obvious such as a semi complicated FOV shifting system based on velocity and a ton of stabilisation/bug fixing around using physics with the jetpack. Main menu/pause system, death, collision blocking volumes over the entire game and a sneaking mechanic. During development we had items to unlock such as a jetpack and a Spiderman like swing rope but the progression didn't fit with the game. Our average completion time is 40 minutes, level design is one of our weaker areas.
My point here isn't to disagree with you but to put a different perspective on the game which is difficult for players to see.
From our perspective we don't feel undeserving of the conclusion that Epic came to as we did work our butts off and managed to achieve a lot. But our design was lacking behind other entries and we didn't have any innovative creative designs that a lot of people strive for. We played it safe, made a cool character with a story objective for the game and tried to make it feel fun, good and interesting to play.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this, if it's changed the way you see the game or if you stand by you original post, we are very interested!
Thanks for your time!
Thank you for your both understanding and detailed reply. I was expecting that my comment would be seen as negative, and it was not meant in a negative way towards you guys; it was just meant to say that I feel that clearly, art sells games, as you say. I am impressed at your reply and your understanding.
And I do understand that your game is not JUST art with almost no other work, I know that everything is a lot of effort, even simple things. Especially in programming, every little thing was someone making it work. I know you worked hard on this and for that effort, especially the art, I can say I am OK with you having won. I definitely do not want to take the win away from you - I just feel that your game probably won on one true merit - the art - alone, which to be honest I feel is something the Epic Games judges should perhaps change slightly. I was just saying that I think the question that the judges of the ultimate Epic game jam should ask themselves about the number one game, is "is this game the best technical achievement", and not "is this game the prettiest".
Again, NOT that your game is just art and nothing else, I understand that. I just feel out of all the submissions, your game was not the best technical achievement.
That said, I accept that you won and I appreciate that you did a lot of work, not only with art but in general. Well done, and keep up the good work. I hope you can use this win, to take your studio to great heights and successes.
Happy new year as well!
Is there a trick to add a config file within Unreal Engine without you having to setup a whole menu to set a custom resolution AND/OR disable aa, postprocess & co ?
My potato PC can't handle (almost) it but I really like to play it ;)
Oh, nevermind, it's here : C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Local\PXC_MegaJam2019\Saved\Config\WindowsNoEditor\GameUserSettings.ini
I love this project! you did an awesome job, the only thing that threw me off was the jump delay made it harder to navigat
This game is beautiful, the colors, the lighting, all of it. I found myself more then once panning the camera around to admire everything. I'm not the best at platforming, but I honestly found myself loving every second of it. I think it's a really neat idea and I hope to see more like this. Check out my video of it below:
We really appreciate all the kind words and awesome play through of the game. Definitely saw some parts to improve on while you were playing! Glad you enjoyed it :)
Hi!! Are you open to talk about your creation process of your design and your gameplay? Im a video game student from Montreal, Canada and Im doing a research on video game design. We can chat about your game and give it some visibility in the database of my research group for others who want to learn more about original design!
We were primarily a team of artists, the design is not something we held to be a focus or that great, it could have definitely have used more love. If there is anything specific you would like to know then please feel free to ask :)
Perfect !!! It could be great to know about your artistic visions about your creation. How did you get this idea? Can you tell me more about how your artistic thinking influenced the conception ?
The Theme for the gamejam was 'Down to earth' which kicked off the thought of being tiny in a big world. We naturally looked at Alice and Wonderland for inspiration and started to model big mushrooms, leaves and the vine forest.
The plant in the astronaut helmet came about when thinking of a reason why you are on this journey, it came from story generation; You arrive in orbit, you go 'Down to Earth' and you have an objective, a plant in an astronaut suit made a lot of sense (In reflection, that sounds weird).
Filling in between the lines was just letting our creativity take over while we developed (Such as the interior/ruins area and the final sequence).
Great! I understand more the context of your game! Can you describe more the thinking behind the quests and challenges created in the game behind the exploration of your art? What kind of challenges you wanted to create for the gamers?
A few things to polish but overall this is one of the coolest entries I played. Damn those mushroom people, waiting for a sequel when we'll get some plan weapons to take them all out! :)
All of the team watched your run through, very entertaining and frustrating at times, surprised you stuck it through but glad you did. Awesome.
Really appreciate the coverage and video, it helps us make improvements and we do plan to have a streamlined build that fixes and addresses a lot of the issues you found!
Ok, aside from HATING the range and collision size on the Mushroom monsters, This game was great. The atmosphere and lighting was amazing. Who knew those megascan objects could still look good that blown up to size. and the platforming felt really nice. Definently in contention to win this megajam.
Appreciate it! Yeah the Mushroom dudes were a quick attempt at adding more difficulty to the game, but ended up adding to that unfair feeling which isn't great.
We only used megascans for the mushroom dudes head, all other meshes were made during the Jam :)
There are a lot of great entries but we had a ton of fun seeing how high quality we could get and how much content we could churn out.
Thanks again for the kind words and really appreciate the feedback.
Woah! all the other meshes were hand made? I swear the way your description read was "Megascans used", which makes it sound like it was used for everything. You should totally make it clear that it was only for the mushroom head because thats a shit load of other work that will be glanced over if people think it was just scaled up megascans. Great work then on all those assets :)