Alight (in dreams)

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A Quick Study 10 Points

Finish level 4 with a clock that has at least 30 seconds remaining.

Race You There 10 Points

Finish level 2 with a clock that has at least 25 seconds remaining.

Run Home 10 Points

Finish level 1 with a clock that has at least 30 seconds remaining.

Space Race 10 Points

Finish level 3 with a clock that has at least 15 seconds remaining.

Escape Plan 25 Points

Finish level 7 with a clock that has at least 20 seconds remaining.

Gravity Assisted 25 Points

Finish level 5 with a clock that has at least 10 seconds remaining.

Rat Race 25 Points

Finish level 6 with a clock that has at least 40 seconds remaining.

Time Lord 25 Points

Finish all levels with the clock.

Zero Candlepower 25 Points

Finish all levels without using a candle.

Shoot the Moon 50 Points

Find level 8.

Secret Medal ????? Points

Unlock this medal to learn its secrets!

Secret Medal ????? Points

Unlock this medal to learn its secrets!

Author Comments

Alight is a platformer that mixes exploration and reflexes and more than a little story. Move with the arrow keys, fly with the space bar or up arrow. If you find yourself having trouble getting much altitude, trying pressing the space bar at a slower pace until you find the right rhythm. And remember that you can always drop down out of a flock of birds without using a flap of your wings with the down arrow key.

Every time you enter a door, your game is automatically saved, and you can replay a level at any point.

If you're amazed by the music like we were, you should check out Smiletron, who made the song -- he has a web site at smiletron.org and more songs at 8bc.org/members/SMILETRON

Having trouble? Ortoslon posted a playthrough at http://youtu.be/7PxuDEvEp tU


I'm sorry.

While the story was pretty good, the game got repetitive really fast. As for your 8th level, I doubt anyone will ever find it. The game isn't addictive enough, and while the story drove me to get all 3 "endings" (finish each level at least once with every trinket), the 8th level is WAY too well hidden (or hard to access). Leave those kind of secrets for games that are games. For pieces of interactive art like this, the key is not to put something out of reach of the player in a hope someone will, eventually, find it, but to lay clues everywhere as to where it is, leaving it as a mystery to be solved.

Overall, it was way too difficult for the engagement of the story, especially with the mechanics you gave it (Too many times have I been caught by an almost hidden flock of birds or gust of wind and pulled into the smoke. The ravens, too, are completely useless, aside for usage as a metaphor for the regrets of the past.)

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I stopped playing after the second area because the level design wasn't very fun. My fingers started to hurt because I was straining with every jump. My philosophy with platformers is that the game should be lyrical. Playing a good platformer is like dancing or drumming your way through the level. This just involved a lot of waiting for a glide to land just right using a somewhat loose control scheme.

The atmosphere was nice, but there are a lot of games that have done the same thing, so it didn't feel very new to me. I liked the story snippets you did. I wish the game was more fun because I was interested to see where it went.

Good, but not progressive.

Long review incoming, because I feel the game earned a quality response.

Like most other reviews have said, the game began on a wonderful note and then held on to that one note for too long, eventually it bored me. I finished the game thanks to the story baubles, but frankly I could have happily skipped the platforming parts in the last few levels and felt just as content. It would be simple enough to say, "oh you just need to mix up the game play a bit and everyone would have got along dandy." But then you'd miss out on the true latent potential this game has yet to tap. So lets talk about the real problem, integration:

You're balancing two distinctly separate entities in the game: story and mechanics. The story pops up in the little baubles and the rest is mechanics and the two rarely intersect. At first it seems like we can expect them to interweave throughout the game: the level art follows the story to a small degree, the mysterious spouts of smoke hint at the immediate danger, the mechanic of flight work as a metaphor for the protagonist escaping his past. But these connections never really develop along with the game. And since they don't develop, it's difficult to gain a sense of progression or reward or (all important in story structure) change.

Look at level design, for instance. The larger structures (houses, coffee shops, etc) feel significant to the story. But as the game develops they rapidly become austere and infrequent, largely replaced by tiny floating platforms, which are also quickly replaced by windy gusts and flocks of birds. This doesn't only happen per level, but within each level. Even the first house gives way to platforms in a matter of seconds. Eventually the scenery evokes nothing at all.

I assume this was done to produce a quintessential platforming game. But platforms are only a means to an end, it's the question of where they're taking us that becomes important. I would have been far more interested in exploring (or even finishing) a level if I knew it would lead me to new architecture/story within the same level. For example: imagine if the first level began in the childhood house (provides a sensation and memory of security), led you across a series of platforms (danger), towards Lizzie's house (again, security). This structure gives you two big opportunities. 1- goal orientation, it gives the players a more rewarding sense of exploration and movement. 2- a reason to tell the story through the art. Since you'd actually be going places the platforms can become part of the transition towards the destination. The college level is a good example, where instead of basic platforms you used dorm rooms, classrooms, and campus hallways. These are good sets, they just need to lead somewhere else important.

The level doesn't have to lead chronologically, or even logically (it is a dream, after all), to the next place, but it should lead us somewhere. Which brings up the issue of the fetch quest mechanic.

Again, think about this in terms of level and story design. The point of each level, to retrieve a (by all impression irrelevant) choice of three trinkets, doesn't add to the story at all. The fiery return seems, at first, to portend ominous and dire danger. But after it comes and goes a few times it loses significance aside of its place as a barrier between us and the next level. It doesn't convey progression, change, or even introspection. It's merely a senseless obstacle until the last level. I feel that it's another symptom of the level design. Since the player isn't traveling between important destinations then the unimportant space gets used for a fetch quest because, well, you might as well do something with the mechanics you coded in. But even if you followed this structure throughout, a different change in each level would have felt much more compelling. Something other than fire. Or maybe a transition towards fire.

More to say, but almost out of space. It's a good experiment, lots of potential, largely hampered by level/story integration.

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twofoldsecret responds:

Thanks for taking the time to write this -- it's a very thoughtful critique.

Cannot be described with words.

This game speaks to me. I have reason to belive that this game is about the creators life. It has an odd type of INSEPTION which makes you want to play more.

liked it

music went great with the game.
good story.
but the gameplay became really annoying and frustrating in the later levels. please make jump and glide two separate buttons.
seems like i didn't get the "secret" ending, i clicked quit and that was it? well if it's secret then why all the build up describing what's to come and what to do? i assumed the level would start when i clicked the button, instead it ended and i can't go back??! that really sucked, sorry :(
also, the "i'm smelling smoke" is a complete giveaway of what's going on. just leave that out, it's more subtle without it, there's enough smoke in the game.

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Credits & Info

4.00 / 5.00

Aug 1, 2011
6:39 AM EDT
Action - Platformer - Other