Evil Avatar  




Go Back   Evil Avatar > Daily Gaming News > In-House Content

» Sponsored Links


» Recent Threads
Insidious: Chapter 3...
Last post by Teh Super King
Today 11:54 PM
6 Replies, 649 Views
Fantasy Life anyone?
Last post by brandonjclark
Today 10:39 PM
3 Replies, 150 Views
Here's What Will Happen...
Last post by Evil Avatar
Today 10:34 PM
57 Replies, 3,621 Views
V/H/S Viral
Last post by Evil Avatar
Today 10:08 PM
0 Replies, 116 Views
Late Phases Trailer
Last post by Evil Avatar
Today 09:15 PM
3 Replies, 412 Views
Sony: VR Is Such A Major...
Last post by Anenome
Today 08:39 PM
12 Replies, 1,040 Views
Galactic Civilizations...
Last post by Emabulator
Today 07:08 PM
3 Replies, 1,521 Views
Study Shows Men...
Last post by Agnostic Pope
Today 05:29 PM
45 Replies, 2,846 Views
» Promotion


Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-14-2011, 02:00 PM   #1
gzsfrk
Punch, brothers, punch!
 
gzsfrk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
Posts: 8,165
[PC] - Defy Gravity Review

Defy Gravity Review [PC]

Developed by: Fish Factory Games
Published by: Fish Factory Games
You pay: $5
Release Date: January 9, 2011Matt 'gzsfrk' Williams


Samus Got A Gravity Gun

As I scan the gaming news sites on any given day, I’ve grown more or less numb to seeing headlines extolling the “next big” FPS or the upcoming highly anticipated sequel to a game that was a spin-off from some other series. And every now and then, it occurs to me: Thank heavens for indie developers. I shudder to think where gaming would be today if it weren’t for the innovative contributions of those individuals and small teams who take their ideas for a game and have the freedom to build them without the creativity-suffocating constraints of corporate deadlines, managerial approval processes, or being outright cancelled for not having enough “mainstream appeal”. Indeed, if it were solely up to mega-publishers such as Activision, EA, and Ubisoft, we may well have never seen such amazing titles as Braid, Machinarium, Audiosurf, Darwinia, and countless others. This week, I was able to add another title to my list of notable indie games for which I'm thankful: Defy Gravity.


Defy Gravity is by Fish Factory Games, a development team comprised of students at Tulane University. (In fact, the lead developer, Paul Fisch, is forum member Eats here on Evil Avatar, so be sure to give props to one of our own). The story is pretty sparse, but that’s honestly okay since the focus of the game is really on the platforming action. But to sum up, you play a female astronaut who has discovered an abandoned alien civilization and explores it in the hopes it can be used to save humanity. It plays as a puzzle platformer, although unlike many recent games of said genre where the platforming takes a back seat to the puzzle solving, the platforming involved in Defy Gravity is every bit as demanding as some of the most hardcore games from the NES era such as the old school Megaman or Metroid games. In fact, were it not for the fact that the game gives you unlimited lives and uses a checkpoint system, I may well not have even finished it by now to write this review.

Other than the difficulty, the feature that sets DG apart from other similar games is the female protagonist’s gravity gun. The functionality of the gun is very similar to the one from Portal, only rather than manipulating space, the one in DG--as one would expect--manipulates gravity. The gun can shoot two types of fields: gravity wells and gravity repels. The gravity wells will pull objects (including both the player and gravity-responsive items in the environment) toward them, whereas the gravity repels do just the opposite, pushing the player and other objects away.


There is a limitation to using the the gravity gun, however. Similar to the mechanism in Splosion Man, you can only fire two fields of each type during a single jump. That is to say, if you jump and then fire an attract field, cancel it, and then create another attract field that you fall or boost into, you won’t be able to fire another attract field until your characters feet either land on the ground, a floating platform, or a moving sphere. (This same is true for repel fields.) This means that you can’t just bunny hop safely from field to field throughout each level, but rather have to budget your gravity gun’s shots strategically, especially when you’re trying to work through some of the longer, more sparse traversals.

The astronaut also has at her disposal a shield which can be enabled at any time that makes her immune to gravity manipulating effects, and a jetpack which can be used to augment her basic jump, but has a 2 second recharge between uses (so you can’t just go jetpack boosting around ad infinitum). You can also cancel either type of field at any time--a feature which becomes essential in the more complicated later levels. In fact, towards the end of the game, there will be scenarios when you have to use all of these tools in order to make it across some very long and perilous jumps, balancing the need for a gravity boost against the danger of pulling lethal objects towards your fragile little explorer.


Graphically, the game is nothing special. It’s clean and serviceable, but the lack of variety in the environment and “enemies” makes the game’s visuals a bit repetitive. Of course, given the short length of the game, repetition isn’t really much of a problem; I completed it on normal difficulty in less than 2 hours (although once you beat it on Normal, you're given the option to play through all of the levels again at a higher difficulty setting). The audio likewise isn’t particularly noteworthy, but is clean and fits the mood of the game. However, those are minor quips against a game that isn’t trying to compete against the big budget, triple-A titles for your gaming attention. Rather, it’s the unique blend of gravity puzzles, old school platforming, and devilishly difficult let-me-try-that-just-one-more-time gameplay it offers that make it a worthy investment for five of your gaming dollars. It’s short, it’s sweet, and it’s oh-so-satisfying to finally pull off that last crazy jump.

Defy Gravity is currently available for the Windows PC platform. An Xbox Indie Games version is planned to be made available next month through the Xbox Live Games Marketplace. You can download a demo and purchase the full version of the PC release via the game’s homepage here.



  • Very unique gravity-based platforming gameplay
  • Nice gameplay mix that requires equal parts platforming skill and lateral thinking
  • Deliciously challenging
  • The visuals are nothing special; a bit simplistic and repetitive
  • It’s short
  • You’re going to swear. A lot.
gzsfrk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2011, 02:01 PM   #2
gzsfrk
Punch, brothers, punch!
 
gzsfrk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
Posts: 8,165
Additional media:











gzsfrk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2011, 02:45 PM   #3
lockwoodx
Photobomber
 
lockwoodx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: on tap
Posts: 23,709
Blog Entries: 2
A picture of a woman with her hand on her clevage about to unzip her suit to the cation of "Defy gravity" leads me to believe the game is about how her nipples always point upwards.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by AspectVoid View Post
I had no idea he was posting awesome stuff that would get the ads cancelled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AkumaATR View Post
Lock is untouchable though, he's too cool to be targeted, like ever. He's Detroit's Heisenberg!
lockwoodx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2011, 02:46 PM   #4
lockwoodx
Photobomber
 
lockwoodx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: on tap
Posts: 23,709
Blog Entries: 2
cation = caption. hard to type with a band-aid on.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by AspectVoid View Post
I had no idea he was posting awesome stuff that would get the ads cancelled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AkumaATR View Post
Lock is untouchable though, he's too cool to be targeted, like ever. He's Detroit's Heisenberg!
lockwoodx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2011, 02:49 PM   #5
Agnostic Pope
Evil Dead
 
Agnostic Pope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 17,113
Blog Entries: 23
Whatever I still want a TRUE ZERO suit Samus. :P Does this game...eh nevermind.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by gzsfrk View Post
Another golden AP quote. :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metal Jesus View Post
You sir, are my fucking hero!
Agnostic Pope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2011, 03:04 PM   #6
sixtyfps
Evil Dead
 
sixtyfps's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,132
That cover art is embarrassingly tawdry.



(maybe they'll put a cloud in front of it someday?)
__________________
Cops say "legalize drugs."
___Steam: sixtyfps

Wanting to be taken seriously as a gamer is like wanting to be taken "dessertly" as a potato. óLoTECH
sixtyfps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2011, 03:15 PM   #7
Eats
Developer
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by sixtyfps View Post
That cover art is embarrassingly tawdry.



(maybe they'll put a cloud in front of it someday?)
Yeah it is. We got an artist I found over the internet to do it and I requested it to be the girl putting her suit on, like getting ready to go out and shoot gravity at things. What I envisioned was her putting on her boots or her helmet, but what I got was a picture that looks more like her about to get naked for you than anything else.....you kinda have to work with what you're given though when you have next to no budget.

That said I've seen much worse on game covers than this.
Eats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2011, 03:24 PM   #8
Rommel
International Playboy
 
Rommel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 6,686
Lordkat reference
Rommel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2011, 03:46 PM   #9
Anenome
Autarchist
 
Anenome's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Recursion City
Posts: 41,843
Blog Entries: 59
Quote:
you play a female astronaut who has discovered an abandoned alien civilization and explores it in the hopes it can be used to save humanity.
I like the premise.

Reminds me of the gameplay concept behind Portal almost.

Best of luck, Eats!
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by VenomUSMC View Post
I wonder if there would be enough digital storage space in the world if someone tried to digitize your ego -- I'm guessing no.
Anenome is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2011, 03:47 PM   #10
Anenome
Autarchist
 
Anenome's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Recursion City
Posts: 41,843
Blog Entries: 59
Not the premise. I mean the gameplay itself, with gravity push and pull, reminds me of the dualism of the portal-gun.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by VenomUSMC View Post
I wonder if there would be enough digital storage space in the world if someone tried to digitize your ego -- I'm guessing no.
Anenome is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2011, 04:34 PM   #11
gzsfrk
Punch, brothers, punch!
 
gzsfrk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
Posts: 8,165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rommel View Post
Lordkat reference
A sharp one, you are.
__________________
360 Gamer Card: GzsFrK2
PSN ID: GzsFrK
iOS Game Center: GzsFrK
gzsfrk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2011, 05:00 AM   #12
modeps
Get busy living.
 
modeps's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Zihuatanejo
Posts: 11,985
Blog Entries: 7
Any plans to make it available through Steam or other digital distribution service? Would the gameplay lend itself to iPhone?
__________________
Steam/PSN: modeps XBL: modeps returns Twitter: modeps
modeps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2011, 09:27 AM   #13
gzsfrk
Punch, brothers, punch!
 
gzsfrk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
Posts: 8,165
Quote:
Originally Posted by modeps View Post
Any plans to make it available through Steam or other digital distribution service? Would the gameplay lend itself to iPhone?
They ought to--the controls should work great with a multi-touch device, and the graphics don't require that much horsepower to pull off.
__________________
360 Gamer Card: GzsFrK2
PSN ID: GzsFrK
iOS Game Center: GzsFrK
gzsfrk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2011, 01:34 PM   #14
Eats
Developer
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 138
We are looking at putting the game up on portals like steam, impulse, etc.

We can't easily port it to iphone or mac unfortunately. We would essentially have to remake the entire game to do it. Because of this we are investigating moving away from XNA and over to Unity for our next title.
Eats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2011, 04:24 PM   #15
lost
Like a Dungeon Dragon
 
lost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 7,488
Blog Entries: 2
XNA needs some decent middle-ware. There's way too much grunt work to do.
__________________
st/xb/ps/BabooYagoo
irc/#evilavatar
t/martin_perry
lost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2011, 04:52 PM   #16
Eats
Developer
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 138
Yeah I agree.

I used dpsf for particle effects, but even with that I was still doing math modeling of the effects and writing them myself, it just made it easier(still very time consuming).

I also used some middleware to handle the absurdly complicated saving and loading system on the xbox.

Everything else I just had to roll by hand.
Eats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2011, 05:49 PM   #17
Anenome
Autarchist
 
Anenome's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Recursion City
Posts: 41,843
Blog Entries: 59
So you're a dev team of one? >_>
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by VenomUSMC View Post
I wonder if there would be enough digital storage space in the world if someone tried to digitize your ego -- I'm guessing no.
Anenome is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2011, 06:50 PM   #18
Eats
Developer
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 138
I made about 90% of this game. I did pretty much all the game design, programming, and some of the art. All the art I did is not the best except I think the particle effects are pretty nice. So I didn't make the main sprite, the guns, or the backgrounds/splash screens. The backgrounds I found on deviant art and got permission to use/alter. The sprites I had custom made.

I'm pretty satisfied with the game/gameplay. I really just set out to make a game with fun and original gameplay, and I feel that I achieved that. Moving forward on our next title I hope to combine good game design with good art, so hopefully I can find some artists to work with.

I've found myself really inspired by this lately:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBk3ynRbtsw

So I may try to make something with a flowing style like that.
Eats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2011, 07:29 PM   #19
Eats
Developer
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 138
Why isn't this on the in-house content thing at the top of the site
Eats is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2011, 07:47 PM   #20
Anenome
Autarchist
 
Anenome's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Recursion City
Posts: 41,843
Blog Entries: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eats View Post
Why isn't this on the in-house content thing at the top of the site
Whatcha mean? It's in the:

Evil Avatar > Daily Gaming News > In-House Content > [PC] - Defy Gravity Review

section.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by VenomUSMC View Post
I wonder if there would be enough digital storage space in the world if someone tried to digitize your ego -- I'm guessing no.
Anenome is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
defy gravity, eats, fish factory games, indie, review

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:57 PM.