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Re: Atroxian Realm (Version 1.2 Released)

Posted: Sun Mar 27, 2022 22:11
by Lower IQ than 314
I always assumed that the nonlinear layout in Security Layer was intentional. Gridlock in general does such smart level design that I doubt he left a gaping flaw in this level and just hoped nobody would notice. If you go back to the official games -- especially the Galaxy engine entries -- it's actually rare when a level doesn't have tons of optional branches.

Re: Atroxian Realm (Version 1.2 Released)

Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2022 2:59
by Gridlock
Gridlock in general does such smart level design that I doubt he left a gaping flaw in this level and just hoped nobody would notice.
Lol, I think you're giving me too much credit. I downloaded 1.4, and yeah, it totally is broken right now. The green square switch is supposed to affect both bridges at the same time. You aren't supposed to be able to progress until you hit the switch two floors above, which blocks the way backwards and opens the way forward.

It's been ages since I opened this project (seriously, how has it been over 6 years since I released this!), so I'm not sure when or how this broke. I might be able look into fixing this eventually, though Keen-related projects are unfortunately not a priority for me anymore. I imagine that actually making the fix would probably be very quick, but I'd need to get a project setup going again, which is the more difficult part.

Re: Atroxian Realm (Version 1.2 Released)

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2022 22:22
by proYorp
So there's this pretty big indie game called Starbound. Space-themed open-world exploration platformer, seems pretty cool.

In this game one of the primary alien races is called the Avian. They are a species of humanoid birds. From what I've seen their lore is fairly distinct from what is shown of the Krile, but there is a level centered on them called The Great Sovereign Temple which is aesthetically very very similar to The Great Ziggurat in Atroxian Realm.

Gameplay of it on YouTube:

Obviously the first similarity to notice is the architecture of ancient golden bricks, followed by the abundance of bird-themed artifacts. The level challenges are similar too. Timed disappearing platforms. A region of the level centered around dodging timed fires, and another area focused on water. Tone of the music is similar as well, especially to some of the HD demo tracks Gamebird uploaded.

Looking at the dates on the forum here, it looks like Atroxian Realm was both publicly announced and then released first, though there was a lot of overlap in development time. Still, I was curious and wanted to ask anyway if there was any inspiration taken from Starbound, or a connection of some kind. (Can't say whether the Starbound devs did or did not take inspiration from AR but I can't exactly just go and ask them on a whim like I can Gridlock hahaha.) Maybe both were derived from the same sources? The similarities are uncanny.

(This game also seems to have some things that very well could have been inspired by the original Commander Keen games, but that's another topic. :) )

Re: Atroxian Realm (Version 1.2 Released)

Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2022 1:11
by Gridlock
Oh, that's interesting. This is the first I'm hearing of this game, so there's definitely no connection. As to whether the Starbound devs took inspiration from AR... probably not? AR is still a pretty obscure game overall. I've yet to meet anyone else IRL who has heard of it, even among my game dev colleagues and friends (sometimes just Keen is already obscure enough). It would be interesting if they did, though.

AR's biggest influence is Metroid (particularly Metroid II and Super Metroid), which might account for some of the parallels you're seeing. In some ways, AR was an attempt to blend the gameplay of Keen with the atmospheric aesthetic of Metroid. The Krile have pretty big similarities to the Chozo, and that even applies to aspects like the ancient golden brick temples and bird statues. The styles of environments (highly organic, ancient temples, and hi-tech sci fi) also have a lot in common. Even the Atroxians and "Atroxian Realm" could probably be compared to something in Metroid, like the Ing and Dark Aether from Metroid Prime 2. Not that I was trying to rip off Metroid entirely, you can just see how much that franchise inspired me.

When looking at Starbound, I do see the similarity with the music and Great Ziggurat design, though. At least with the Great Ziggurat, that level's design flowed pretty naturally from the idea that I wanted four challenge floors corresponding to keygem colors. And then the obstacles were pretty apparent based on the color (yellow = acid, red = fire, blue = water, green = energy). Although I think the idea of the Great Ziggurat is fairly unique, I've certainly seen plenty of golden brick temples filled with traps in other indie games (particularly Metroidvanias), so it may just be a coincidence.

Re: Atroxian Realm (Version 1.2 Released)

Posted: Sat Jun 25, 2022 22:27
by proYorp
Ah, I think I read somewhere that Starbound had some influence from Metroid, so that's probably the connection (although now that I'm looking for that info I can't find a source, just ended up finding your post here in the search lol). Never played those games so I wouldn't have noticed.

I know these specific traps are probably pretty common platformer gimmicks, but I was struck by them using the exact same ones in the same kind of level. The fact that it already sort of reminded me of AR and then the similarities kept going further was kinda blowing my mind. I was not expecting another bird alien structure to be a near match for the one that I already knew of, since birds are not well known for building temples in real life, as far as I'm aware. :p

I guess I was imagining if the Starbound devs had taken inspiration from Atroxian Realm, it would've been something pretty casual, like if they were looking for inspiration from other classic platformers (like perhaps Keen) and maybe stumbled upon some in-dev screenshots of AR and thought "oh that's cool we should do something like that."

Anyway, neat trivia. Thanks for responding. It's cool to think that I can just ask directly if I'm curious about something. Don't usually have that kind of access. :)