Moon Hunters Feedback, Clouded

We took all of the comments from the Moon Hunters Square Enix Collective project page and made a word cloud with them, to find out what people most cared about, for better or for worse. Some of it was semi-obvious — graphics and art, for example… but some might surprise you!

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We excluded the words “game” and “really”, but everything else is there! We’re really happy with the reaction so far.

I think it’s clear that the aesthetic we’ve chosen resonates with some people but puts others off. And that’s okay! We’re not interested in making a middling game for everyone — we’re interested in making a best-game-ever for one slice of gamers. So we’ll just have to accept that our taste is different from others’.. as long as SOME people out there love what we’re doing, that’s ideal. Pixel art isn’t for everyone, but neither is poutine.

We’re still collecting all feedback, suggestions, and ideas, so do leave comments anywhere and everywhere and we’ll be sure to consider them seriously. And if you haven’t signed up for the Moon Hunters newsletter yet, make sure to do so soon, or you might miss hearing the first bit of a song being composed for the game…

A Long Screenshot: Chillin’ in the Desert

Tanya here. Yesterday, I was working on the game, fixing up some spreadsheets and texts and so forth, and realised that I had been listening to the same cool song for about 30 minutes. I went to find out what it was… and it was Shattered Planet!

So here’s some flutes to make your day (or evening) more mellow, and maybe more mysterious? All praise for the music, of course, should be directed to Ryan Roth. The soundtrack will go on sale simultaneous with the game, so keep a few bucks earmarked!

Environment Design: The Shattered Desert

Hi guys! Tanya here!

Today I’ll go into some detail on our environment design, using the Desert as an example, since we haven’t shown it off much yet and it’s the first area-type the player encounters. I’m actually from the Mojave Desert of southern California originally. I spent most of my childhood chasing lizards, catching kangaroo mice, and climbing the Rocky Mountains… when I wasn’t allowed to play NES, anyway.

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An environment’s atmosphere comes from every element — the landscape, the colors, the wildlife and lighting. Xin, our artist, starts by painting the terrain we need. For the Desert, we knew we wanted basic tiles of Dirt, Sandstone, and Brush. We want the Desert to feel desolate and dry, but not lifeless.

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Now, before you think, “those aren’t very interesting! Where’s the life, the juice, the oomph?” … we started out going super-detailed, with intense painterly details on each tile…

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And yes, they were beautiful! BUT when they’re tiled all together, 10×10, it looks terrible. Dirt starts to look like meat!

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We might still sprinkle details like these throughout as a rare treat, but for now, we’ve had to forcibly tone down the contrast and details of any one basic tile, for the betterment of the whole.

Next, he paints combinations of each tile-type with another, so that the world generator can smoothly transition between regions. For example, a half-Brush, half-Sandstone tile should always buffer between Brush and Stone areas.

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The final terrain layer is composed of “crumbly bits”, as we call them, which help reinforce the idea that you’re on a shattered planet. They match at least half of the tile-type they’re generated next to. For interior levels, these take the form of metal struts and frames. For exteriors, they’re more like chunks of earth and rock.

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And then, at long last, the fun part — we can add gameplay! Bushes and rocks are obstacles that get in your way and help with the ambiance. As for enemies, you might have seen our Hatchling and Nest Guardian back when we first concepted them in July, and now they can finally romp and hunt in their natural desert habitat. Combining all of the elements together gives us a flavorful, unique Desert environment that feels significantly different from the others.

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So, with no photoshopping or other trickery, here’s a screenshot taken directly from the game while it’s running:

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The next step will be adding in a flavorful background for each environment. We want to keep the lonely, dark feeling of the desert at night, but something a little bit more interesting than plain black.

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Unique story encounters can also happen in the desert — finding unearthed skulls, old campfires, lost hatchlings, or even strange stones can lead you on mini-adventures into the unknown. Just like home?


If you’re interested in playtesting Shattered Planet or just receiving our monthly newsletter, be sure to sign up on the right-hand sidebar!

Free Game: Sculptorgeist

As a mind-refresher, the Kitfox Krewe took a weekend off from Shattered Planet and decided to do a game jam! If you’re not familiar, the purpose of a game jam is to make a game within 48 hours. And so… we did!

Behold, the glory that is Sculptorgeist:

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The official game description: “In Sculptorgeist, you are a poltergeist haunting a clay house. You can only effect the inanimate objects, not the easily frightened clay people that are trapped in the house. Try to get the highest score! Happy haunting!”

Pro tip: Click and drag for maximum scaring… and if you are a MASTER OF FRIGHT, perhaps you’ll earn a secret ending!

If you want to play it, click here and get started!

Furthermore, as you’ll notice in the link, we did it as part of the Indie Speed Run, which is a contest … so if you leave a rating, maybe we’ll win a prize of some kind? Wish us luck!

What is Shattered Planet?

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What is Shattered Planet?

  • A survival-exploration RPG for tablet and PC.
  • You will die, but don’t worry! Endless clones will replicate your molecules perfectly. Good as new.
  • Procedurally generated maps — every planet is different!
  • Dozens of items with crazy powers, from jetpacks to terraforming to H-bombs to samurai swords.
  • Hundreds of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style mini-narratives let you customise your story and role-play your character.
  • The cutest aliens you ever did see.
  • An ancient evil is creeping behind you, ready to devour everything in the galaxy! How will you stop the Blight?
  • Ridiculous yet accurate obituaries. In what other game could you say, “Here lies kleptomaniac Captain Sofia, vassal of the worm people.”?

For more info, check out our Game Info page!