Tuesday, November 29, 2011

True Valhalla : The Deep Sky

A brief not so brief history: As far as fame goes with Game Maker users, True Valhalla is definitely one of the most prominent members, participating in a variety of other events outside the Game Maker Community. He's done Ludum Dare's, where one designs a game from scratch in 48 hours, and runs the tongue-in-cheek HowToMakeAnMMORPG.com (which, by the way, isn't a joke; it actually has some very good advice. Go check it out). His minimal style is what really makes him stand out; there are no complex shapes or designs. A number of his games (including my favorite of his creations, Volatile) feature circles or hexagons, and the atmospheres speak for themselves. But this is getting wordy, so without further ado...

The Deep Sky was made in 72 hours for the most recent GMC Jam, with the theme "Laws," and placed a nice 5th place out of almost 60. Well deserved, because for the love of Christ this game is beautiful. Music is top notch, consisting of a piano piece by Debussy (Claire De Lune). Reminded me an awful lot of Blueberry Garden, which it definitely matches in quality.

Graphics are nice and interface is very well done but I might as well cut to the chase; what really shines here is the minimalism.  There's hardly any gameplay whatsoever but the music is so calm and the atmosphere so serene that you won't care at all when enemies are surrounding you and your health is dropping to the single-digits.  It's like the boiling frog phenomenon except dying is enjoyable.

The game consists of waves, where you control a circle thing that shoots circle things at other enemy circle things as they circle you and shoot circle things.  There's six powerups at the bottom that aren't incredibly useful but are just sort of fun to spam.  In fact, the game is extremely easy, and you can probably get far without touching any of them.  Enemy design isn't particularly imaginative, nor is anything very unique or interesting.  But the genius here is that it doesn't even matter; the gameplay can be slow as hell and the atmosphere and style would still make it enjoyable.

As some final notes, the game is one of the most professionally made of the jam and really deserved its place.  Would definitely suggest you give it a go.

GMC Topic (includes Download Link)
Developer's Website
Developer's Forum Thread

(Small note: Sorry for taking goddamn forever to write this, been limited on time from school and a lot of other commitments.  makerofthegames, hopefully I'll be able to get yours done this weekend but no guarantees.  Also both videos are done and have been done but they're horrible and I want to redo them so that might be a while.  Sorry again.)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review - it was enjoyable to read. I'm glad you liked the game!