Dive off a skyscraper. Spraypaint buildings. Flip off protesters. The jumps you make off buildings floating above Boston, Massachusetts are all about style and timing. You perform stunts, weaving around the bustling City for points, making split-second decisions: do you snake around those girders to earn a dozen "kisses," or glide along the side of that steel super-skyscraper for massive "hugs"? AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! then throws in the spectators — as you fall, give fans the thumbs-up and protesters the finger.

Report article RSS Feed The Details are in the Devils are in the Details are in the Debbbbbbbbbils

What is it about small details that grab our attention? Whether it's an easter egg in a game or the scene from the movie Magnolia with frogs raining from the skies, it's often the details in a game, a song, a movie, or even a sandwich that make it memorable. What would the Big Mac be without special sauce!? This entry relies heavily on media from the soon-to-be released playable alpha to show you some of the flavor we added to the prototype to make it a game that people must play.

Posted by RoRoDejobaan on Apr 30th, 2009

The Details are in the Devils are in the Details are in the Debbbbbbbbbils are in the Details are in the Devils are in the Details.

What is it about small details that grab our attention? Whether it's an easter egg in a game or the scene from the movie Magnolia with frogs raining from the skies, it's often the details in a game, a song, a movie, or even a sandwich that make it memorable. What would the Big Mac be without special sauce!? This dev diary entry relies heavily on media from the soon-to-be released playable alpha to show you some of the flavor we added to the prototype to make it a game that people must play. Comments? Questions? Tell us what you think here or on our facebook page.

What are 5 details in this image that make it interesting to you? (You know you want to add a comment!!)

Details

The first 15 seconds are key to grabbing the player's attention, especially if you are a relatively unknown independent studio. Five minute video sequences with slow motion contortion and logos splashed all over are only fun the first time -- maybe. After that, most gamers want to just get to the game. We give you the menu options up front -- here's the mockup:

Play the game

We are still working on the title song, but really want this one from the Phenomenauts -- it's catchy, interesting, and wildly energetic (just like the game). Whatever we go with, the music and imagery needs to convey the EXTREME nature (and fun) of this sport through bone-crushing jumps! Here's the title screen, complete with EXTREME motion blur:

opening screen

Next up is level selection. The finished game will have many levels with different structures to jump from -- we figure at least 30. But even if it's 10, 50, or 100, how do we present this to the player? For our prototype, we used a flat list:

Flat list

That was about as exciting as playing word processing software. What about using a globe, instead?


Our first attempt looked nice, but proved too difficult to navigate, and provided the player with no structure. What does the Boston, MA level look like? Does the LA arena come before or after it? The globe didn't work. What about a fictionalized map of Boston (where most of the game takes place)? What about a randomly-distributed network of level icons? There were dozens of ideas, but what we finally decided was this: Let's keep it simple for the alpha test -- usability is key. The window dressing can come later. For now: select a cube, and go. It's usable, it's attractive, and it works:


Recall from our last entry, we talked about the "luminous" aesthetic. Strictly speaking, an aesthetic doesn't have much to do with gameplay rules, but it exists to enrich the gaming experience. These are details that must exist to draw players in. We could remove them, and the game would play the same -- but the experience would be poorer for it. These glowing things don't necessarily do anything (that the player knows), but they dress the game up:


Even small elements such as the in-game ads are important to us. These are for a make-believe jeans company, and mock real advertisements:

ads

Hell, while we were at it, we also created a number of mock-ups of the in-game interface; here's the one that exists in our alpha. We actually took the tinting from an interstitial image (on the right) for our in-game HUD (on the left):


Once you get past the menus and the general aesthetic, it is important that the gameplay actually be fun. How can we focus on stretching the reality of base-jumping to turn it into a great game? For starters, we made it so that you can fly close to buildings ant "kiss" them, giving you points. Yes, you might lose you lips. And your nose. And your face. And your skull. You might abrade away your forebrain -- but isn't that why this is an extreme sport? You can also use a special glove to flip spectators off for extra points. Double fingers. British-style. The item selection menu below shows you some of the items you can unlock during your jumps. The jellyfish does nothing. Honest.


Attention to detail is what we've learned over the past 10 years, and in the alpha test, we're just beginning to put that to work.

If you are reading this, your oxen have died of dysentery.

Twitter:
Dev Updates: Dejobaan
Gaming News and more Dev Updates: RoRoDejobaan

Blog: Right Here!

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Post comment Comments
Whizzard
Whizzard May 1 2009, 3:49am says:

Oh boy, that got me hooked. And I have no idea what this is about. :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
blackmodeler
blackmodeler May 1 2009, 7:32am says:

those in-game adds are very nice, im sure it will definitely spice up the game. nice work

+1 vote     reply to comment
gamechaser002
gamechaser002 May 1 2009, 8:28am says:

as long as i don't have to pay for it, i'm in

-1 votes     reply to comment
cW#Ravenblood
cW#Ravenblood May 1 2009, 8:32am says:

The Details are in the Devils are in the Details are in the Debbbbbbbbbils
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhh!!!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
SinKing
SinKing May 1 2009, 10:01am says:

Man, this could be a hell of a funny game with incredible power-up. Have you ever thought about making it multiplayer, so you can see your opponent in the air? Perhaps you could enter air battles for better positions on the drop.
This is a cool and fun concept!

+2 votes     reply to comment
NullSoldier
NullSoldier May 1 2009, 10:24am says:

Heh, this mod came out of nowhere but have easily made this into many mod players watch lists. Congratulations half of your popularity is in the beauty of which you present the mod.

+2 votes     reply to comment
bomblol
bomblol May 1 2009, 9:20pm says:

Yeah, time trial mode with ghosts of people would be pretty awesome

+2 votes     reply to comment
Silverfisk
Silverfisk May 3 2009, 6:05pm says:

All your updates are super awesome! Keep it up!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Six_Ways
Six_Ways May 4 2009, 9:32am says:

Ace, loving the sense of humour - especially the jellyfish!

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Aaaaa! -- A Reckless Disregard for Gravity
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Released Sep 2, 2009
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Dejobaan Games, LLC
Dejobaan Games, LLC Developer & Publisher with 10 members