Spacebar is all you need, good luck getting to 60 seconds!

Song by Similar Outskirts (check him out): https://soundcloud.com/similar-outskirts/amber

Some of the audio effects were not compatible with WebGL, feel free to check out the Windows Version, or gameplay here:

Enjoy~

StatusReleased
PlatformsWindows, HTML5
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(1)
AuthorEthan Zarov
GenreAction
Made withUnity

Download

Download
PolarVortexWindows.zip 34 MB

Comments

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Wait, did I just play a game published by Ketchapp? Nope, because it's better than those! I like how the music *does have an effect on the gameplay, not just plain boring BGM that don't add anything at all. When the game ends, the music slows down, and for some reason I really want to keep the music going so I played again and again. The only thing I could say about it is maybe the difficulty at this stage is quite random... Sometimes I start very chill and easy, and sometimes it's very, very hard. So not good for new comers if that happens.

If you do get a chance to read this, may you teach me how you've made the background move like that? The patterns looked very cool. - Frank

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Thanks for the feedback! I definitely need to find a way to spawn obstacles in such a way that there are fewer random difficulty spikes, while also expanding into more diverse obstacles. I've been obsessed with making seamless loops, so the background was made in After Effects and exported as a png sequence for Unity's animator. I took the image below and added a kaleidoscope effect, then just did a little transition (that circle that "wipes" inward) to have it start over at the beginning frame of the kaleidoscope movement. If you ever need one for a game let me know, they're quite fun to make :)

Thank you for replying! I feel like I learned a lot today, this is a killing technique! I'll definitely let you know if I come across a similar concept to work on  :)

Ethan! First off, just great work with this assignment. From the music, to the visual style and even the tuning of the gameplay, this game has a very clear and polished identity, and it's clear that you put a lot of care into this. One thing I really appreciated was the distortion of the music when you die. Everything is communicated very clearly in the game, like the timer in the center, the white effect around the obstacles that move, and even the player's shape and trail. One thing I did notice was that the changing obstacles like the floating spike balls can phase through the player when despawning which can be very jarring, especially during a tense section. Overall though, really good work! If you told me this was currently available for purchase I'd believe you.

AAAAA! This is amazing it so frustrating yet incredibly rewarding once you learn the controls! The music is absolutely perfect for this type of game as I would sit and play this for hours (which I might have already done) the distortion when you die is a super nice touch to indicate a death! One this was I did encounter some patterns which seemed actually impossible to get out of so maybe adding something to prevent those but it only happened like twice so not a huge deal! Really good game!

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I am honestly so blown away by how polished this is. It's hard to believe that this game only took one week because it really looks like a game I could go and buy on the App Store right now. I love the simple and round art direction, and I'm in love with the animated background as well. The thing that stood out to me the most is definitely the sound design. The fact that you were able to match the music with the actual gameplay so well is amazing. I especially love it when the beat drops and three more circles come into the screen. Oh MAN does it get me pumped. 

This game is damn near perfect, but if I were to point out a couple of nitpicky things, it would be:

1) Having the obstacles disappear when they are right in front of the player feels a bit strange. I understand that the obstacles do not harm you when they are disappearing, but it still gives me a slight jolt when it happens, and I think players would have a more comfortable experience if the obstacles just disappeared when the player was on the other side of the circle. 

2) I don't know if this is a bug or if it's intentional, but when you die while the three other circles are on screen (when the bass drops), all of the circles stop spinning except the bottom left one. Is it supposed to be the only one left spinning? It felt a bit strange but it's honestly such a small thing that I wouldn't care if you left it as it is. 

3) I kinda wish you started the song at the same time at the beginning of every round. I know it might be hard to do cuz of how well the sound is mixed in with the gameplay, but I think having audio cues to know how far you are in your run would be helpful. During my playthroughs, the bass drop could happen before the 10 second mark, or it could happen near the 50 second mark. It would be nice to have it always happen at the same time so I could be like "Oh I hear the bass drop! Now I know I'm past the 30 second mark" or something like that without having to constantly glance at the timer to check up on how well I'm doing. 

I think that's about it, but even while writing this, I can't stop thinking about how good this game is! Please release this on the App Store asap cuz I am so ready to buy it. Phenomenal job! 

Also, if it is okay for me to ask, what song did you use for this game?

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Thank you so much this is some great feedback! And the song is Similar Outskirst - Amber. I meant to link it in the description but I'll do it now. https://soundcloud.com/similar-outskirts/amber

(+1)

A few minutes into Polar Vortex, I was ready to criticize the spontaneous intermittent spinning for making it unreasonable for players to predict the positions of obstacles ahead of time, but I kept at it a little longer. And a little longer. And about twenty minutes later, I'd earned a score of 90.68 and finally felt qualified to leave a comment. I kept playing until I earned a slightly higher score, and now I'm here. 

You don't need me to tell you that this game is incredibly well-polished and thoughtfully designed - the collision detection feels fair, obstructions spawn in with enough time and distance for players to become aware of their presence, and the visual and audio presentation speaks for itself. It took some time to adjust to the pace of the player avatar's movement and the sharp angle of its turn, but once I did, I appreciated how well the obstacles' shapes and positions were tuned around my capabilities. Needless to say, the spinning grew on me. The most satisfying part of Polar Vortex is the process of adapting and reacting and threading the needle through the moving map until the player feels completely in sync with the game. It's awesome, and made even better when restarts are both quick and cleverly incorporated into the soundtrack. This is a critical response, though, so I have a couple of nitpicks.

For one, the timer is already built into the game's aesthetic in such an elegant way that the ever-increasing number in the top left corner feels tacked on, and its hovering in my peripheral vision distracted during gameplay more than once (I started covering it up with my left hand after a while). I think it would've been more appropriate for the number to show up in the center of the screen after death, so as to keep the player immersed until it's no longer necessary. My only other gripe is that when obstacles transition back into the center circle, they can harmlessly pass through the player avatar in a sort of jarring way. Everything else in the play area is so clean and consistent that I may or may not have freaked out a tiny bit when this happened for the first time. This behavior might've been easier to read if they shrank down into nothingness instead. Otherwise, I had a great time with this one. It's got my stamp of approval.