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  #1  
Old 04-17-2012, 08:44 AM
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Default My upcoming "Metroidvania" indie game, Axiom Verge

Hello talking time people, my name is Tom Happ; I'm a game developer at Petroglyph Games, but in my spare time I've started developing my own indie game, Axiom Verge, that I hope to release for XBLIG and PC sometime next year.

Here's the trailer for your youtubing pleasure:
http://youtu.be/9FNZTmLwm7I

And my site: http://www.axiomverge.com

And a random screenshot:


Comments and criticism are welcome!

Thanks,
Tom
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  #2  
Old 04-17-2012, 08:53 AM
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It looks neat! My only thought is more of a marketing one. There's a few moments in the video where the beat of the music is aaaalmost synced to the action of the main character. It's a little jarring!
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin View Post
It looks neat! My only thought is more of a marketing one. There's a few moments in the video where the beat of the music is aaaalmost synced to the action of the main character. It's a little jarring!
Ah, yeah, I did my best, but I gotta say - it's really hard to make captures and get them to line up! Some of these I had to play over and over just to get what I thought would be an ordinary shot. The thing is, I believe it breaks the youtube link if I try to update it, so it's kind of permanent, now.
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:17 AM
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The main character seems rather tiny, but otherwise I'm really impressed. Its rare to see spritework of that quality out of an XBLIG.
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  #5  
Old 04-17-2012, 09:26 AM
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This seems less like a Metroidvania and more like a Controid, but either way it looks pretty sweet. I don't have an XBox, but I don't think it'd be hard to convince me to pick up the PC version.
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  #6  
Old 04-17-2012, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxiomVerge View Post
Ah, yeah, I did my best, but I gotta say - it's really hard to make captures and get them to line up! Some of these I had to play over and over just to get what I thought would be an ordinary shot. The thing is, I believe it breaks the youtube link if I try to update it, so it's kind of permanent, now.
I wouldn't worry about it! Your game looks neat enough that it doesn't matter
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  #7  
Old 04-17-2012, 11:04 AM
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This looks really cool. It's got a lot of atmosphere, and the sprite work looks super slick.

The only real piece of advice I can offer is that it looks like it wears some of its influences a little too prominently on its sleeve. Those structures in the floor tiles in the screenshot you've attached look just like Zebetites from the Metroid games, there are those bubbly-looking tiles in the trailer that look like they were pulled from Norfair, and the flying enemies look like they were taken straight out of Metroid as well. I think it's awesome to be proud of your influences, but I think those specific examples cross the line from "inspired by" and into "ripped straight out of."
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  #8  
Old 04-17-2012, 11:15 AM
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Looks really good. The only bad thing I can see is that I'm already hating the short range weapons. I don't want to get close to baddies ewwww >:(

I'm looking forward to this.
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  #9  
Old 04-17-2012, 11:15 AM
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Looks a bit like Dark Void Zero. Do my eyes deceive me or is there a connection?
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  #10  
Old 04-17-2012, 11:29 AM
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Looks cool. Let me know when you put it in playtest/peer review and I'll check it out.
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  #11  
Old 04-17-2012, 11:30 AM
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I will buy this. And then I will play it.
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  #12  
Old 04-17-2012, 12:08 PM
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I concur with Spoony, this looks about 2/3 Super Metroid, 1/3 Contra. Which is not a bad thing by any means.

Unfortunately I have no 360/PC, so I'll just be over here waiting to see if it's successful enough to warrant further ports.
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  #13  
Old 04-17-2012, 12:12 PM
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It looks like something that'd run on my laptop, so consider that a plus. I dig the limited palette used for the backgrounds, although some of the tilesets do resemble those from Metroid a bit too much. The playable character looks completely uninteresting though.

Also, and this a stupid pet peeve, there don't appear to be any Castlevania influences, so why refer to it as a "Metroidvania"? I mean sure, it sounds snappier than "retro-styled action adventure game", but that would at least properly describe for what you appear to be making.

Anyway, seems like this could become a fun game, so keep up the good work!
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  #14  
Old 04-17-2012, 12:17 PM
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Metroidvania is practically the standard terminology, especially around here.

The graphics don't seem copied from Metroid to me.
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  #15  
Old 04-17-2012, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victory Peak View Post
Also, and this a stupid pet peeve, there don't appear to be any Castlevania influences, so why refer to it as a "Metroidvania"? I mean sure, it sounds snappier than "retro-styled action adventure game", but that would at least properly describe for what you appear to be making.
Metroidvania is a word that Parish coined, it basically means games influenced by Super Metroid and Symphony of the Night. Anything with a non linear map and ability-upgrade based progression fits.
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  #16  
Old 04-17-2012, 12:52 PM
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Ya'll can argue terminology all you want, but I'ma still call this a Controid. It's catchier, and seems to fit the style of the game better.
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  #17  
Old 04-17-2012, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victory Peak View Post
Also, and this a stupid pet peeve, there don't appear to be any Castlevania influences, so why refer to it as a "Metroidvania"?
It's basically so people will know what it is, and then click on it. Controid might be a better description, but then there would be the inevitable "conterrhoid" jokes.

Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpoonyBardOL View Post
Ya'll can argue terminology all you want, but I'ma still call this a Controid. It's catchier, and seems to fit the style of the game better.
Or maybe not?
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  #18  
Old 04-17-2012, 12:55 PM
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I did not coin the term, and actually I've been trying to distance myself from it since I keep getting false credit/blame for it.

The game looks pretty fantastic, though! I even wrote about it.
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  #19  
Old 04-17-2012, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
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I did not coin the term, and actually I've been trying to distance myself from it since I keep getting false credit/blame for it.
You didn't make it, you made it your own.

Like Johnny Cash playing Hurt.
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  #20  
Old 04-17-2012, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parish View Post
I did not coin the term, and actually I've been trying to distance myself from it since I keep getting false credit/blame for it.
Whoops, my bad. Does anyone know where it actually came from?
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  #21  
Old 04-17-2012, 01:19 PM
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Looks cool, I like the Metroid influence with the art and music. Personally, it looks more influenced by Cave Story than Contra.
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  #22  
Old 04-17-2012, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parish View Post
Thanks, you have no idea how amazing it feels to see my game on a major site like that. I noticed you even gave me a nod in the cover image for the article!
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  #23  
Old 04-17-2012, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victory Peak View Post
Also, and this a stupid pet peeve, there don't appear to be any Castlevania influences, so why refer to it as a "Metroidvania"? I mean sure, it sounds snappier than "retro-styled action adventure game", but that would at least properly describe for what you appear to be making.
It doesn't say so on the video, but the aliens are actually about to resurrect Dracula.
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  #24  
Old 04-17-2012, 01:45 PM
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That's a pretty smokin' soundtrack, the nastily organic artwork is giving me warm fuzzy memories of (of all things) Abadox, I'm happy to see you're trying to get it on Steam, and I am deeply intrigued by the "Glitch Gun" you mention in your press kit.

U buzz-marketin' COOL !
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  #25  
Old 04-17-2012, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpoonyBardOL View Post
Ya'll can argue terminology all you want, but I'ma still call this a Controid. It's catchier, and seems to fit the style of the game better.
I concur.

Also, niiiiice try, Mr. Verge, but we already have a game-makin' guy named Tom. But he spells his name wrong, so I guess we can let in another.

If we have to.
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  #26  
Old 04-17-2012, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpoonyBardOL View Post
This seems less like a Metroidvania and more like a Controid
Quote:
Originally Posted by MagFlare View Post
the nastily organic artwork is giving me warm fuzzy memories of (of all things) Abadox
Yeah, it's definitely nice to see someone revisiting the whole drippy goopy red bubbles and Giger-walls aesthetic.

I'm really not big on the look of the main character though. Aside from the fact that I've never been a fan of the whole realistic, muted colors, everyman look (and is he wearing a wool cap?) he really just blends into the background way too much. All you can really consistently see is your giant gun, and maybe a leg or two.

I would seriously suggest throwing some bright, high-contrast colors on him. At the very least, I'd go with something like blue pants and a light-colored shirt so you don't just have a couple limbs floating in space at the beginning there, but honestly, nobody's ever called the appearance of any videogame character too outlandish, so if it were me, I'd go even further, get some bright neon sneakers on there and maybe a crazy green mohawk.
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  #27  
Old 04-17-2012, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Googleshng View Post
I would seriously suggest throwing some bright, high-contrast colors on him. At the very least, I'd go with something like blue pants and a light-colored shirt so you don't just have a couple limbs floating in space at the beginning there, but honestly, nobody's ever called the appearance of any videogame character too outlandish, so if it were me, I'd go even further, get some bright neon sneakers on there and maybe a crazy green mohawk.
Make him a radical dude with a radical 'tude.

No, seriously.

I agree, the game looks phenomenal, but the main character should have a little more personality. The whole 80s/90s punk aesthetic would fit well, especially since the game looks like it crawled right out of that cultural epoch. Mohawk, shades, jean jacket, something like that.

I'm totally buying this game and I've already told other people about it.
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  #28  
Old 04-17-2012, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick View Post
Whoops, my bad. Does anyone know where it actually came from?
I could be wrong, but I feel like it was coined specifically to refer to SoTN in order to communicate how it was stylistically different from the rest of the series.

"Castlevania? More like Metroidvania!"
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  #29  
Old 04-17-2012, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Googleshng View Post
I would seriously suggest throwing some bright, high-contrast colors on him.
It wasn't really clear to me that he was going to blend in perfectly with the background until after I had him animated and running around in it, and then realized I couldn't tell what he was standing on I'm going to recolor him, just been putting it off because of how many frames of animation I have to retouch.
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  #30  
Old 04-17-2012, 04:14 PM
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This looks and sounds rad as hell, and it's interesting that it looks like the weapons themselves are your tools.

If you've got some of the tracks of the score in a state where you're pretty happy with them, you might try allowing people to download them for free as a marketing ploy - I know Fez helped me remember it was coming out from the little demo EP they put out a few years ago.
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