Or: Wherein I toot my own horn.
Here some real player responses to the Phantom Block demo:
- “Great, unique concept that is executed flawlessly.”
- “[Phantom Block] is great and has a lot of potential.”
- “It’s actually really fun and neat. The OST is top tier and doesn’t let you get angry from stupid deaths.”
- “Loved the asthetics and music. The difficulty and puzzles were very intuitive. I really enjoyed it; enough to 100% it!”
- “I liked it. It’s a very polished platformer, and the level design is excellent. The music is catchy, and the visuals are bright, vibrant, and overall very aesthetically pleasing.”
Collapsing Castle is the intended 6th level of Phantom Block (though because of the map system, players can access it as early as their third level). It’s a bit experimental; I’ve tried a different fare from my usual sidescroller zones.
Because the Gum Block’s utility is limited in areas with little height, I’ve decided that levels including it will be a bit more freeform. This has great level design potential when combined with other blocks such as the Weight or Magnet Blocks; I can imagine creating a Castlevania-esque huge level where the main challenge is getting more powers and using them to traverse the zone.
Here, that idea is represented in getting the Spring Block. The player can’t progress unless the crate is on the green switch, but since players can’t grab crates with the Use key unless they’re on the ground, there’s no way to pick up the box and move it. The Spring Block bounces the crate into the air so the player can catch it, but serves relatively little use afterwards – it can be used to bounce the player onto the blocks right above the checkpoint, but it has no other real use.
The main focus of the zone is teaching the player about the Collapsing Blocks and Para-Ballums (in this video, with the simple Ballum sprite because the Para-Ballum sprite isn’t completed yet), the main challenges in the area. I tried to give the player plenty of opportunities to learn them individually in safe and unsafe contexts before they’re combined for the final challenge.
For more clever players, there’s a way to skip the second half of the level – but I’ll leave that up to you to find.
Hi, my name is Dean and I run by the the handle “Creepy.” There’s a small and not so interesting story to it but that’s for another time. I was asked to write a little something here and I’ll be at the front of the line to say I’m terrible at this, so I’d like to apologize before I go further. I’m worse under a camera. That’s also a story for another time.
Anyway, I’m the pixel artist/animator for this project. The primary program I use to push pixels around and make things move is Cosmigo’s Pro Motion. It was sort of what seemed to me to be the standard back when I was producing sprites for a couple of projects in the days when the Nintendo DS was still going strong.
I’m currently tasked with revising the various visual assets as they take a different direction following Michael’s vision. If you haven’t been following the development until recently, the style was heavily influenced by earlier generations of platformers. Now, the art direction has a dash of more contemporary trends but still retains a hint of classical influences from the previous iteration of this game. At least that’s my take on it.
So here we are, a shiny new blog and a little gas in the tank. Let’s see where this road takes us, shall we?
Hello, I’m Ryuno. I’m going to be working on the audio aspect of Phantom Block, currently doing new arrangements of Michael’s original tracks. Retro videogame music inspires me a lot, and I’m bringing that influence to the table.
My DAW of choice is FL Studio, and the main synth plugin I used so far was 3xOSC: the unique free range sliding capabilities of FL Studio’s native plugins via the piano roll are something I can’t get enough of, as they give me freedom to do note bending/portamento-style runs without the need to make new instrument channels. Besides virtual instruments, I currently have at my disposal and intend to use hardware synthesizers such as the Roland SH-201. Korg Poly-800, Novation XioSynth and Korg Monotron.
If you want to give me feedback or suggestions, feel free to send a message!
Hey everyone, it’s Joe (framk). I’m aiding with programming on Phantom Block as well as helping to manage the team and to bring in necessary people and funding to the project. I’m starting work on the map editor that will be integrated into the game. What I hope to accomplish is having a fully-fledged editing tool that fans of the game can use to make exciting levels. I feel this will open up a lot of possibilities for exciting level designs, and give people otherwise unable to exercise their design muscle the chance to do so. I’d love suggestions of what people would love to have in the game, and I’ll be sure to add them.
Hello, my name is Michael Celani, and I’m the lead game developer and programmer on Phantom Block. This development log is where I’ll do most of updates on my game, and I’ll have plenty of exclusive content here, including:
- Demo Releases
- Development Logs
This website will also allow me to collect valuable feedback on the direction of the game and allow me to see what “clicks”. Since the project started last July, I’ve never really had a centralized outpost to put all of these things, so I’ve haphazardly placed them all over the web. I tend to be a laconic person, so blog posts are not my forte; to that end, I hope my content will speak for itself, and I hope you enjoy watching this game grow.