Quick to anger and relentless in his pursuit, the Mover tends to strike fear not only in his enemy, but his allies as well. Beneath his gruff exterior, the Mover is actually soft-hearted and kind. He gets nervous easily around others and covers this up by trying to act “tough.” In fact, he’d rather sit in a flowery field and write poetry. When action calls, however, he dons his tough guy persona and puts his all into the task at hand. He is good friends with the Lil’ Blob, seeing him more as a little brother than anything else.
As the first boss, the Mover doesn’t have any particular tricks or special moves up his sleeve. Instead, he prefers a more direct approach of attack. Using his long arms, he attacks anything that gets close enough and will follow those in his direct line of sight.
Tiny, cute and a bit of a pacifist, the Lil Blob won’t outright attack his enemies. Instead he prefers blocking their path as best as he can if only to slow them down a bit. While he doesn’t fight back if being attacked, he positions himself in places where his enemies might accidentally land or run into him in order to deal damage. Whether this makes him non-aggressive or simply lazy is anyone’s guess. Although he might not be as active as other blobs, Lil Blob is one of the most loyal and a true supporter of the Blob Freedom Front (BFF). He is always ready to jump into the fray and help others when necessary.
Lil Blob Basic Facts
HP – 5
Comes in three varieties: Red, Yellow and Blue
No special move required to damage
As the most basic enemy type, Lil Blob appears from the very beginning and continues to be an enemy throughout the various paintings. Although he isn’t as intimidating as the Giant Blob nor as strong as the Knight Blob, all the paint blobs consider him the mascot of their cause thanks to his unwavering spirit and perseverance in the face of adversity. As the smallest member of the BFF he is often coddled by his peers. He pretends to dislike the special treatment, but in truth he enjoys being the little brother of the group.
One of the biggest challenges of The Painter’s Apprentice has been designing the color wheel in a way that is fun, quick and easy with still an element of challenge. We tried a lot of different layouts from a slide out color picker option to tapping a button to cycle through the color wheel. All of them were a bit too clunky and slowed down the gameplay significantly. Whenever we showcased the game, the color wheel was the biggest complaint among all of the players. Finally, we think we’ve come upon a solution. At least for the most basic aspect of the color picker method. As you can see from the image below we’ve reduced the amount of colors to three and always have them available on the screen for players to tap.
If it seems too simple, we’re just getting started. We’re looking at ways to incorporate color mixing for the other three colors or, perhaps, introduce color inspired special moves. We want to add a bit more depth to the game than simply pick the color of the enemy to attack so we’re coming up with some other ways we can have the color interact with the environment and player abilities. If you have suggestions, let us know!
If you’re not a mobile gamer, never fear! We’ve actually implemented controller support now too, which means we’ll definitely be releasing the game for PC. Maybe Steam Greenlight is in our future? If not we don’t get Greenlit we’ll still have a PC version available so stay on the lookout for that announcement. And if you’re looking to beta test it, let us know by emailing contact [at] luminositymobile [dot] com.
Meet Luminosity Mobile
We attend a lot of events so there are plenty of opportunities to meet the people behind the company! If you’re in the DC area, check us out October 3-4 at VGU-Con. Future events will likely include:
Pax South in San Antonio in January
MAGfest in Baltimore in February
Pax East in Boston in March
We also attend a lot of the Playcrafting events in New York City so if check out their page for their event schedule. If you can’t attend any of these events you can always catch us on Twitch at 7pm ET every Saturdays.
We mentioned it in our previous post when we talked about the Summer Expo, but we’ve finally implemented loading screens! Previously we had no loading screens so when people pressed start on the level select menu it seemed like the game froze. Players would then frantically press the play button in the hopes of getting the level to load. All to no avail. The thing is, it takes the unity engine some time to load the levels because of all the assest like the tiles and enemies. Rather than have people tap the play button futilely, we’ve incorporated a dynamic loading screen. We’ll offer some tips on some of the game mechanics and enemies and the Apprentice performing different animations. It won’t be super complicated since we wanted players to know they were on a loading screen. Even still we want to make sure all of the scenes we have add some kind of value to the players, thus the tips. We’re excited to show it off. You can see an image below.
Luminaut Dev Log
Besides the loading screens, we’ve been tweaking the menu system some more and working out the color picker method and button layout so the user experience is as intuitive and flawless as possible. This might mean we need to make some changes to the gameplay if it doesn’t pan out, but we’re still testing a couple things out before we go down that route. We’ve also found out that the Smithsonian Art Museum is hosting an Indie Arcarde in 2016. This will be the third year they highlight indie game developers. Submission is due September 1st so we’ll be working extra hard this month to make sure the build we submit is polished.
Which leads me to my next point: websites for our games. We currently only have a simple page dedicated to our games, but in order to attract more people we decided to create a completely separate landing page for both Once Upon a Runner and The Painter’s Apprentice. The layout and design of the site will fit the theme of the games themselves and they’ll be fairly self-contained. We’re looking forward to unveiling this project so keep an eye out in the near future for any news and updates.
Also, if you’re interested in being a beta tester, subscribe to our newsletter! We’ll be sending out a request for testers in the next couple months to people in our mailing list first. This is your opportunity to really affect the outcome of The Painter’s Apprentice. All you need to do is enter in your information in the subscribe box in the sidebar and that’s it! If you’d like to keep up with us on other channels you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Twitch.
When not in painting mode, the Master Painter tends to be scatterbrained and flippant. He rarely pays attention when people are talking and won’t be able to recall a conversation he had with someone just five minutes ago, to the Apprentice’s chagrin. While well into his 60s, he still often acts child-like, pouting and sulking when he doesn’t get what he wants. Often, the Apprentice feels like a babysitter despite the Master Painter being five times as old as him. Despite, or perhaps because of, this lackadaisacal personality, The Master Painter has many friends. He rarely has to go out shopping as his friends bring over food and wine almost daily. Many stay to listen to stories of his youth, which are always full of adventure and magic. In fact, one of his favorite stories is how he got his paintbrush.
During his own Apprentice years, the Master Painter saw a beautiful girl with jet black hair and rose red lips collapsed in a forest. She was covered in scratches and her hair was a tangled mess. It was obvious to him she had been wandering the forest for quite some time. Despite her ragged appearance, she still looked divine sleeping beside a trickling stream. The sunlight filtered through the leaves gave her an almost angelic glow. His painter nature took over and he immediately pulled out his pad, brush and paint and tried to capture the moment. No matter how many drafts he went through though, he could not create one that satisfied him. After a few hours, she awoke from her slumber and jumped at the sight of him. Before she could run away, he explained what happened and his conundrum. “How I wish I had the ability to truly render the spectacular scene,” he moaned. With a smile, she conjured up a paint brush for him and said, “This paintbrush will allow you to create whatever it is you desire by giving you the ability to tame the paint. You can create anything you see or think of with this.” After he took it, she disappeared and he hasn’t seen her since. He has never told the story to The Apprentice for fear the teenager would lose respect for him.
When he is painting, the Master Painter becomes a completely different person. He is focused and serious, barely speaking unless to ask for more paint or a new canvas. His concentration is so great he will often go days without sleep.
Master Painter Information
65 years old
Favorite food: everything except for rhubarb
Created 500 paintings ranging in style from Impressionism to Neo-Expressionism
Wears ear plugs when painting
Owns 5 sets of the same outfit with identical paint splatters
The last time we showed off The Painter’s Apprentice at a Playcrafting event, we didn’t have it on mobile devices and there were a lot of problems with the responsiveness of our jumps and UI. After showing it off at the summer expo, we’re a lot more confident in the direction of our game thanks to the positive reception and constructive feedback we received. Many of the problems that stood out to players we haven’t even noticed, especially since we have been playing the game for so long. Some of the issues people noticed are:
Jump button registering upon release of jump button not on tap – leads to feeling of lag and unresponsiveness
Dash button shouldn’t be attached to directional arrows as people often dash to their death when edging to the corner of a cliff.
Loading screens need to be implemented (we’re already working on this one)
Updating color picker method (we’re already working on this one too!)
Overall, most people really enjoyed the overall concept, artwork and general gameplay. We’re getting much closer to perfecting our user experience. Once we implement and test out some new UI, we’ll be ready to start a closed beta testing. Speaking of which, we’ll likely be ready in a few months so if you’re interested in being a beta tester and shaping our games and level design email contact [at] luminositymobile [dot] com.
We also found some other really cool games at the Playcrafting Summer Expo that you should keep an eye on including:
Heart Catcher – by Emma Larkins. A two player card game based on bluffing. Release date Q1 2016.
Cultus – by CRAM Games. A card building game where you built up your cult to gain credibility. The person to get to 12 credibility wins.
Playcrafting has been one of the major indie game supporters in the past few years, so we were super excited to hear other groups are picking up the mantle to support indie devs. One group we found was Kill Screen. They do events every couple months at the Ace Hotel in New York. Hopefully we can show off The Painter’s Apprentice there as well to increase our reach.
This past week we’ve been experimenting with the UI and cleaning up a couple issues. Our biggest hurdle is still finding the perfect color picker method that is both intuitive and fast. I We’ve finally come up with an option that I think will definitely make the gameplay much smoother. We’ll be posting screenshots of these in the near future on our social media sites, so be sure to check us out on Twitter and Facebook!
These past couple weeks have been full of updates and changes and we’re pretty excited about them. We’ve made a lot of small changes to the UI, which will hopefully make the overall gameplay experience that much better. Most of these changes were to add some subtle animations to the menu so they “fade in” instead of simply appearing on the screen. It makes the menu system much more dynamic and fluid. As well we’ve darkened the icons for the menu and level select so you know when you have clicked a button. These small changes really have a huge overall impact on the look and feel of the game. We’re still working out a couple other things but you can check out the new system in the gif below:
We mentioned in a previous post that we have gotten a new tile artist and we’ve switched over a lot of our old worlds to the new tiles. It’s made a huge difference in the way the game looks and for the better. On the design side, we have a lot more flexibility with our level design and can pretty much create almost every design we dream up (with a couple caveats of course). And since we have multiple tiles on a sheet, our game size should be much smaller than our previous method. Aesthetically, the levels are much more visually pleasing. There’s just the right amount of contrast to the background to really make foreground pop. You can check it out below.
If you’re in the NYC area, you can play our new and improved game on 7/29 at the Summer Expo. We’re still cleaning up a couple UI things but we’ve made a ton of improvements too so we’re super excited to show it off. As well if you’re in the DC/Baltimore area we’ll be at VGU convention August 1-2.
Luminaut Dev Log
Besides these UI changes, we’ve also completed some loading screens for the levels and we’ve updated some icons to keep with the painter theme more. We’ve finally fixed our double jump issue and now we’ve also added in the ability to jump once after you fall off a ledge so you can still save yourself. This makes the overall jumps feel much more responsive as previously if you tried to jump while falling off a ledge nothing would register. Plus, we’ve finally gotten the paint brush tip in-game to match the color you’ve chosen. It’s pretty great and serves as a great reminder of what you have “equipped.”
We’ve got a lot more updates coming your way. If you’re interested in testing out the build, subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll contact you first for closed beta testing.
After working furiously on our demo for the Very Big Indie Pitch this past week and watching others play the game, we realized there was a significant lack of enemy types in The Painter’s Apprentice. After one of the programmers also pointed it out, I took a look and realized we needed to make some additions before moving forward. Right, now most of our enemies either patrol back and forth or will follow and attack. They all are also ground enemies. We’ve made some changes to one of our planned enemies to simply act as a kind of “turret” enemy that stands in place and shoots boomerang paintballs once players are in its line of sight, but it won’t follow. As well, we’re adding in a few flying enemies to mix up the gameplay a bit. Some have horizontal attacks, others will have vertical and still others will drop other enemies. There might be other enemies we add along the way, but for now this should hopefully add a good amount of variety. Do you have any ideas on obstacles or enemies you liked in other games? Let us know in the comments!
PG Connects and Very Big Indie Pitch
As you know, we attended the Very Big Indie Pitch at PG Connects over in San Francisco on 7/7. It was pretty hectic and a bit nerve-wracking (holy crap I had to speak with people from Samsung, Amazon and 148apps) but ultimately it was a very rewarding experience. While we came in still with many issues that had plagued our previous builds, we received some valuable feedback on how to improve the game for the future. Our main issue was with the UI. We have tried to come up with more fluid controls and, after speaking with several top-ranks mobile journalists, have decided on two methods:
Have a slide out menu from the attack button and have the colors come out in an arc formation leaning to the right.
Slide out menu but players press and hold the button to select the color.
We’re going to try out both options to see which one feels the smoothest and hopefully we’ll have that updated in the near future! Besides game journalists we also met with some great ad networks like appsholic and seed and also met with some China localization experts. We’re definitely picking up some steam and can’t wait to meet others at our next conference in DC.
Sadly, we didn’t win the pitching contest, that honor goes to the fine gentleman of Shovelware who created a zombie, match three, tower defense hybrid game. I was able to play some at the event and it was a lot of fun. I would describe it as a match three Plants vs. Zombies type game. It’s currently in beta testing so if you’re interested, sign up!
Luminaut Dev Log
While we’ve gone a bit slower in recent months, we’re starting to pick up the pace now that we’ve brought on another programmer. A lot of our fixes are mainly aesthetic and we’re moving along at a comfortable pace. If all goes well, we should have a very polished demo in another month.
After showing off the game at PG Connects I noticed load times were quite long when going between levels. At the same time one of the programmers noticed the same thing and we are now working on loading screens so players don’t think the game crashed. We’re editing some artwork we used for our postcards for our splash screen as well.
As well, we’ve implemented a new enemies: the the bludgeon blob. He’s our next attacking enemy and while he might be slow, he definitely packs a wallop. We used Clayface from Batman as a reference point for the character design.
Besides this, we’ll be streaming on Saturday at 7pm ET another level that we’ll be creating, this time for the Surrealism world. As we want to incorporate the overall themes of the art style in our game design, the surreal level will be very meandering with numerous dead ends. Don’t worry, we’ll have checkpoints.
We’re gearing up for the Very Big Indie Pitch in San Francisco so most of the work is fixing some bugs and making the game look and sound prettier. Not necessarily exciting stuff so we figured we’d introduce you to the main character of the game – The Apprentice.
14 years old
Started apprenticing for the Master Painter at the age of 10
Has an older sister
The Apprentice has been painting for as long as he can remember. He likes to tell people he was born with a paintbrush in his hand. While certainly an exaggeration, even his parents can’t remember a time when he wasn’t creating some piece of art. By the age 5, he was entered into a prestigious art school to hone his skills and give him more competition. Only 5 years later it was clear to the teachers his talent and work ethic far exceeded his peers, so they arranged his apprenticeship with the Master Painter. Generally these apprenticeships go to older children, but The Apprentice was such an anomaly the teachers wanted to see how far he could grow. Since that time, he has been learning new techniques from the Master Painter, helping him restore old paintings, arranging the still life references and scouting out locations for landscape paintings. While he respects the Master Painter’s talent, The Apprentice is easily annoyed with his devil-may-care attitude. Still, he continues studying under him in the hopes that the Master Painter will acknowledge his talent and allow him to create an original painting.
Art might be his number one passion, but The Apprentice is also fairly athletic. On his days off he plays pick-up soccer with a local team and practices some martial arts. Although he isn’t as naturally talented at sports as he is with painting, his teammates and martial arts instructor consider him in the top 30 of his age group.
It was a spur of the moment decision and, let’s be honest, last minute but with two days left in the competition Luminosity entered the Very Big Indie Pitch hosted at Pocketgamer’s PG Connects convention. And, what do you know, we were invited out there! We’re super excited to take part in the pitch. Not only because it can potentially lead to some very big ad spend on Steel Media (one of the leading online journals for mobile games and apps) but also because we’ll be pitching to other publications and journalists. It’s both exciting and a bit nerve-wracking at the same time. So if you’re out in San Francisco on July 7 and happen to be attending PG Connects, let us know! We’ll be more than happy to chat.
With this new upcoming deadline, we’ve decided to bring on another programmer to spread out the workload a bit more. We’re still looking for people so if you’re interested in working with Luminosity on The Painter’s Apprentice please email jasmine [at] luminositymobile.com [dot] com for more details. Overall, things have been a bit rough lately with people moving, starting new jobs and generally being busy but we have been making progress especially with the game design ideas. In our latest Twitch stream we discussed ways to make the levels match the different art styles not only for thematic purposes but also to keep the levels from getting stale. We came up with some pretty great ideas and we’re very excited to implement them. For example, in the Surrealism world, we can have the paths meandering with many leading to dead ends. In the Cubism level we can have alternate paths players can take to beat a level. You see where we are going with this. Plus now with the new tiles we can really make the levels exactly how we want.
Besides this, there hasn’t been too much going on. We’re still plugging along and with our programmers getting settled into their new abode, we should be making some headway in the upcoming weeks.