Blog

September 2016

Workshop ALPHA is live!

22nd Sep, 2016

Hello fellow Humans.

It is exactly two months since the game was launched and it is the first day of our journey together. Because today, I am super excited to bring the long awaited workshop functionality to Human: Fall Flat.

Let’s start with the basics. The goal of this initial build is exposing a limited but complete functionality together with guides that will enable you to create rigidbody based parkour levels. A few assets from the actual game are included: buttons, pressure plates, automatic doors, indicator lights and the beloved exit sign! When combined with Unity primitives and custom models you can create levels similar to Mansion, Train, Carry or the Mountain.

Eventually, more functionality of the game will be exposed consisting of motors, ropes, breakable things, etc. as well as the tools to create the soundscape. Also the library of props will be expanded to empower those of you who have no modelling skills creating fun and good looking levels.

I’m rewriting all the components for Workshop use as they are quite user unfriendly in the actual game, meaning you have to tweak all the settings to get them right. And they have A LOT of settings – some redundant, some working totally opposite to how you’d expect, others make no sense unless you know how the algorithms behind those components work.

For this release I have focused on the following areas:

• Making it very fast to create and iterate a level, and then test it out in the game. I wish I had the tool when I created the original content. For example, after adjusting some gaps I had to rebuild the whole game, get to correct checkpoint and navigate to the area in question. Now I can simply select “reload level” from the pause menu and it replaces the level around you.
• Exposing essentials like a level, checkpoint, fall triggers, level pass triggers,
• Make very clean and intuitive API for things that get exposed. Again rigging a button is super simple – you choose its behaviour, how much force it will provide as feedback and its travel distance. In original game I was tweaking every type of button and door by manipulating joint properties and trying to get these parameters right by testing forever.
• Getting a solid signal framework – levels are rigged using a signal framework that communicates between components. As the framework evolved, I totally changed the architecture a couple of times, and was adding more things without trying to be overly consistent. So I have like five different behaviours for different buttons each suited for a particular need, and you don’t want to know how many different servo motor implementations there are (loads).
• Based on that framework, exposing the most essential components – interpolation for light intensity, interpolation for emission textures, automated doors and the buttons (wall buttons, pressure plates, or custom buttons) which can interact with physics and/or touch, and expose different behaviours like switches (one button switches the signal and on another off), activate while pressed (e.g. pressure plate), or toggles (e.g. elevator buttons in the current game).

I will try making the new levels using the workshop tools – in the end you should be creating at least as good levels as they are in the game, and using your imagination even better ones.

To take part in the Workshop beta, you will need to enroll in this group: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/humanworkshop – further instructions and guides can be found there.

I can’t wait to see your dreamscapes. Have fun!

Tomas

Human: Fall Flat blog update #1

9th Sep, 2016

Hello, and welcome to the first in a series of blogs which will hopefully keep you informed as to what’s happening behind the scenes with Human: Fall Flat.

First of all, can I thank each and every one of you for your support so far. Human: Fall Flat was a completely solo project – from visuals, music, level design, puzzles – everything was created by me. Developing games can be a lonely business at the best of times, but when you’re solely responsible for everything… well, it can be a tough challenge.

Of course, when the game is released and you see so many people playing and enjoying it – well that’s the greatest reward. I’m still surprised by how some of you are solving puzzles and having fun. It continues to bring a smile to my face.

The launch itself was really exciting. I’d basically locked myself in a room for two weeks beforehand, working long hours in order to finish the game ahead of release. On the day itself, I travelled to my summer house here in Lithuania where my friends and family were already holding a launch party. The game launched at 8:00pm Lithuanian time – everyone cheered when we saw the game up there in the main capsule. It was so exciting watching the numbers tick up – we celebrated a thousand sales pretty quickly. I went to bed buzzing.

The prototype had enjoyed some success on itch.io – but you never know how a game will do. I used to enjoy architecting business software, but after spending a year with Human Fall Flat I finally found my true passion. Thankfully, it looks like Human: Fall Flat has done well enough to sustain me in games – it’s a really exciting time.

For the first week or so I spent virtually all my time reading reviews – from both players and press – and watching videos. I was eager to get feedback from a much wider audience. It was great to see people really enjoying the game – I didn’t make the game for myself so it has been brilliant seeing how people solve the puzzles in ways I never could have predicted.

That said, when you’re making games, no matter what you do – there are things that you miss, things you only start seeing when a bigger audience starts playing.

With Human: Fall Flat, there were initial issues with some of the gadgets in the later levels. Additionally, there were checkpoints missing. It was really humiliating seeing people get stuck and trying to work around – missing half the level. We’ve fixed these issues now – but it was tough to watch some people getting frustrated.

Once we’d tweaked the game here and there, I started looking into ways of how to address some of the most requested features.

People have been clamouring for more content and Steam Workshop integration in order to be able to create their own levels. After a couple of weeks researching the best way to go about it, I’ve actually now got it up and running. So I’m 100 per cent confident we will be introducing Workshop support soon – and then I’m really looking forward to seeing what the community creates. If the desire is there, I’m happy to open up the game even further. Look out for more news, soon.

I’m now beginning to think about new levels for the console versions – which, of course, will also be integrated into the PC build. I hope to share some thoughts with you next time.

Tomas