AVSEQ Out, Fallen City On Final Stretch

With AVSEQ having been released last week a few people asked me how we managed to make two games at once (because we are also making Fallen City for Channel 4 Education) and the answer is: we didn’t. Well, not really. AVSEQ was an existing project that Tom had produced before we began working on Fallen City, which he then converted to Unity (our development platform) with a front end menu and some more levels. Then it was down to me and James to offer some design tweak ideas (the precise way notes are unlocked was James’ idea) and then bend the difficulty into an entertaining curve.

Tom, it should be pointed out, is rubbish at it, and can’t get much past Agate. If you’ve beaten that level then you are doing better than the programmer who made it. To be fair, I could probably beat Carmack at Quake, too, so it’s in a fine tradition.

Anyway, the past fourteen months have been focused on Fallen City, which is now just at the final stages of its development. There are just bugs to squash, and then it’s done.

Where AVSEQ is an abstract test of reflexes, Fallen City genuinely is a puzzle game, but not one you’d recognise from any other genre out there, because on the surface it looks like a strategy or Dungeon Keeper or something. It’s a game about making city districts worth living in for their inhabitants, and they will react to their surroundings, like The Sims. But the challenge is more about figuring out the precise solution we’ve set up for the level. Sorting the place out and choosing the correct combinations of buildings unlocks the full level, allowing you to “complete” each level. The levels can be finished without completing them, however, and you simply score a lower percentage.

I should probably stress, for my RPS readers and others, that Fallen City is a free game aimed at provoking younger, school-age gamers into thinking about cities, so it is not a hardcore challenge like AVSEQ, nor a more serious work of procedural cleverness like the Lodestone stuff we’ve been working on. It probably won’t be anything like people would expect from us, but I think folks who follow my RPS and twitterings will recognise a lot of our key obsessions in there. Tea, after all, solves a lot of problems.

Here are some screenshots (click for full size):

Later in the week I am going to talk about what the plan is for the months following Fallen City. The one thing I will say now is that it’s not Lodestone. Well, not exactly. But you’ll be interested. I guarantee that.

Finally, we turned the blog comments off, please head over to the forum to chat to us!

Out now: AVSEQ

Big Robot’s first commercial game, AVSEQ, is here! We thought it might be a good idea to explain what it is…


Windows demo.

Mac Demo.

Buy Windows version for $5.

Buy Mac version for $5.

There is a SLIGHT DELAY in the payment being processed. I am sorry. Please do not hold your breath or you will pass out.

AVSEQ (which we pronounce “A-V-Sekk”) is an audio-driven game based on an installation design by our chief programmer, Tom Betts, who multi-classes as an artist and musician. The idea behind the project was to create a challenging, abstract action game in which you link up atoms to obtain a high score. As you do that, however, you unlock the underlying structure to each level, which is a musical sequencer.

Ah, so now we’re getting to the origins of that strange name. AVSEQ = audio-visual sequencer. As you play through the pretty-looking visual atom-linking element of the game you also activate the sequencer grid, creating musical loops. This process is random, so each level playthrough will create a different loop, based on the grid of sounds you are able to unlock on that level. Each AVSEQ level has 2.2300745198530623×10^43 possible audio permutations, thats 22 tredecillion in total. No, honestly, that’s a real number, we looked it up.

Anyway, moving pictures will help with the explaining, so here’s a new video trailer:

We will look at an iOS version too, if there seems to be enough demand for it.