The End Of An Era

tl;dr: It is with a heavy heart, that I have decided to stop doing regular Twitch streaming. Thank you to all those who’ve supported me for so long.

Four and a half years ago, I decided to try my hand at streaming. I started off streaming on a shared channel with a group of my friends known as the Community of Chaos. My first ever stream was a combo-stream where I played “Hotline Miami”, and “AaAaAA!!! – A Reckless Disregard”, while discussing the merits of their game design. That night, two things happened. Nobody watched the stream, and I fell in love with streaming.

Twitch streaming has done a lot to shape who I am today. It’s introduced me to some absolutely amazing people whom I’m proud to call my friends, It’s gotten me to look at video games more critically, and it’s gotten me to make my own mark on the video game scene, by creating games and even hosting a game jam! There is no doubt in my mind, I would not be where I am now without Twitch. That’s why it is with a heavy heart that I am discontinuing my regular Twitch streaming effective immediately.

My life has changed drastically from what it was nearly 5 years ago now. I was fresh out of college, I had no major ambitions, and I had a ton of free time to dedicate to streaming. These days however, my life has changed dramatically. I have a full time job, a game of my own in development, a girlfriend, and other responsibilities that require my undivided attention. The truth is, I just don’t have the free time I once had to dedicate to putting on a good, high quality show.

The vast majority of my free time has gone into my game Bonds of Terra, my current pride and joy. Those of you that have been watching for the past few months know that development of the game is pretty much exclusively all that I’ve been streaming. I’m so proud of how far this game has come, and I can’t wait until the day all of you can try it for yourselves, that being said, I know that development isn’t what most of you signed on for when you came to watch me originally. I’ll still be working on this game with everything I have, I just won’t be streaming development of it anymore.

This doesn’t mean I’m going away completely! Now that I’m not streaming the game all the time, I’m going to try to make an effort to be much more active on my Twitter and I’ll continue to put out weekly updates my progress for Bonds of Terra on my Patreon and of course, you’ll always be able to find me hanging out on my Discord.

I’d also like to do occasional streaming events every now and then. Things that are planned out ahead of time, such as another Highjam, or more competition streams. Events such as these will be announced on my Twitter and Discord, so keep an eye out there for details.

I’ll be doing a “going away” stream this Saturday (7/28) at 8PM EST as a chance to say goodbye to the community who’s impacted my life so heavily. I’ll be taking viewer game requests while I inevitably lose my shit about how much I’m going to miss all of you.

Thank you all so much for supporting me for so long in this crazy journey. It’s easy to be sad about the end of my streaming. Instead, I’m choosing to be overjoyed that I was able to have such a great time with all of you for so long. This isn’t the end, it’s just a new beginning, and I hope to see you all on the other side as I switch gears to making a fantastic game that you can all enjoy.

Thank you all so much for the good times,
-Highsight

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Typoman Review: Fleeting Wordplay

Typoman is a beautiful game. Like a lover, it lures you in with its seductive charm and intriguing features. You’ll find yourself enamored with the promise of engagement, finding it hard to pull away. Sadly, the passion fades quickly, and you’ll find the promises to be hollow, leaving you with nothing but a cheap one night stand.

The striking aesthetic really does sell this game.

Typoman is a story-driven puzzle platformer, drawing inspiration from Limbo and Braid. You play as the Hero, who is literally the word “HERO” spelled out in letters. You are dropped into a world made up almost entirely of letters, and it is your job to make your way through this world forming them into words. For example, Hero can find the letters “ARSIE” scattered across an area and sort them into the word “RAISE”. Doing so will create a bubble around the word, causing any platforms around it to elevate upward if able. The opening presentation and ways in which the game teaches you these mechanics are top tier, truly one of the best tutorials I’ve seen in a long time.

When I first came across this mechanic, my mind raced at the possibilities of what could possibly come next. I immediately thought of Scribblenauts, and how many crazy ways I may be able to solve really creative puzzles! Sadly, for the most part, this never comes to fruition. By the game’s design you are never really given the freedom to go crazy with this mechanic, as you are limited to whatever letters they give you for every specific puzzle. Usually the letters given are enough to spell only the words they are looking for. Sometimes you can make other words, but they will either be ignored by the game, or will give you a one-off joke that doesn’t help you proceed.

Typoman is a very linear game, baring small secret nooks for “quote” collectibles. You are going to find nearly all of your time spent walking to the right, while jumping occasionally and maybe climbing a ladder or swinging on a vine. This is not really a bad thing though, as through its linearity, the game does tell a story, utilizing its beautiful environments, as well as some clever, dialogless cutscenes. The story the game tells is pretty standard, but the way in which it’s presented is what keeps you going. Sadly, I found that the story completely falls apart in the 3rd act, taking everything it worked towards and turning it on its head. What felt as though it should have been a story of overcoming major adversity instead devolved into an annoying and poorly designed boss battle at the end.

The solution is obvious, but getting to it is the trick.

Puzzles in the game are limited to cordoned off sections of the map. The Hero is almost always trapped with a few letters scattered around. They need to find the letters, bring them together and spell out a specific word to move on. There are some exceptions to this formula, and when those exceptions come up you get a glimmer of hope again that the game may be moving in a new, fun direction. Sadly, those glimmers don’t last long, as at its core the game will always be about finding one specific word to moving on to the next one.

Outside of the puzzles, the game occasionally throws challenging platforming sections at you. Some of these are “chases” in which you need to avoid falling too far behind or be forced to do it all again. I found these chases in particular to really drag the game down, as before these points the game is a slow, methodical puzzler. Sure, you have infinite lives, but the chases are meant to blend into the story, forcing a sense of urgency on the player. If the player is having trouble with these sections, then they find themselves replaying them over and over, completely destroying that initial sense of urgency.

Things aren’t always as safe as they look…

Typoman seems like a game with an identity crisis. It’s not quite a platformer, but it’s not quite a puzzler. It’s not quite a narrative game, but it’s not quite an action game. It’s not quite a bad game, but it’s not quite a good game. It has it’s moments, and at times those moments can really shine through, but they are gone in a flash leaving you mourning what could have been. The game can be completed in about 2-3 hours, with a couple of minigames available after the fact. For $12.99 on Steam, the price is right, even if the adventure leaves something to be desired. In retrospect, I think Typoman would have made a great movie. Instead, we have a game that wears out its welcome, if only slightly.

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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: I am now Lead Game Designer for Field Of Heroes!

I am proud to announce that I will be taking over as lead game designer of Soccer MOBA game, Field of Heroes! This all came about after much discussion with good friend and great game developer Gamieon, who designed the prototype for the game and is now looking to expand it into a full release. The best part is, Gamieon is 100% cool with me streaming the creation of the design document, allowing all of you to join me on this wild ride. I will be working on every single aspect of the design of this game, everything from menu flow, to characters and their skills, to the audio-visual aesthetics of this game. We will be writing a very comprehensive design document for this game, and I will be streaming it live starting this Wednesday (2/15/17) at 8PM ET! Join me as we theory craft and work together to make this game a ton of fun!

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Immersive Movement 0.8.7 Update/Demo

Download Demo Here | Get the Unity Asset Here

What’s New?

  • Unity 5.4 Support
  • Smart Head Decoupling (Look Left/Right/Behind without changing direction)
  • Optional Trackpad Controls (Not Enabled In This Demo)
  • Better climbing methods (Now works on ALL colliders)

Controls:

To move forward, hold down the “Application Button” (Above the Track Pad) on the RIGHT hand Vive Controller. While holding the button, walk in place, and you will move forward in the direction you are moving. The more you move in real life, the faster you will move in VR.

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Immersive Movement 0.8.5 Update/Demo

Download Demo Here | Get the Unity Asset Here

Controls:

To move forward, hold down the “Application Button” (Above the Track Pad) on the RIGHT hand Vive Controller. While holding the button, walk in place, and you will move forward in the direction you are moving. The more you move in real life, the faster you will move in VR.

What’s New?

This version if Immserive Movement is all about the collisions and climbing! Your player can now climb up stairs, crouch under low areas and fall off of heights with the use of gravity. The Player Body system is completely optional, and very customizable. Add it to your VR project today to get started in interacting with your world!

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