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A platformer/shooter with emphasis on exploration, ala the Metroid series. Development began as a test to see what I could do with Game Maker, and expanded from there.

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0 comments by Adjuvant on Aug 9th, 2013

I've been neglecting the hell out of Ex Vitro due to real life (and working on my other game), but I've been thinking about what to include in the next version that will improve the overall experience. This will be stuff that people have been asking for, and fixes to existing stuff that seemed like good ideas but turned out to be stupid. Stuff that will be in for sure:

Gamepad Support

  • Gamepad support will be the number one feature added.
  • A new item that lets you recharge a small amount of EMPs if you run out, as long as you can avoid getting hit for a few seconds.
  • Charging your weapon will suck in nearby pick-ups.
  • Wall-Jumping controls will be easier and less stupid.
  • The basic blue beam will be much faster firing but do slightly less damage.
  • Screen shake effect!
  • Hidden 'EMP singlets' should be more obvious.
  • Improvements to graphics here and there.

If you've played the last version (0.35) there won't be anything new to find; no new rooms, no new bosses, and no new enemies. This will only be a minor update. So unless you're interested in anything on the list above, you're probably better off waiting for the next release.

That being said, I'm trying to decide on a new ability or weapon that will be unique from anything seen in the Metroid series (because Lord knows I've stolen enough already!). While I would love to make a Screw Attack-type knock-off, I think I should try something else. Some ideas:

  • A teleporter beam that instantly zaps you to wherever the beam impacts. I can think of some cool puzzles with tiny openings and sharp angles you'd have to shoot through.
  • A pinball-type bouncing ability that turns you into a ball of flaming death that you can aim with the cursor. A bit similar to the Screw Attack, but maybe different enough in that you could point it in specific directions?
  • Some sort of remote drone-type thing that you can control independently of the main character. You'd use the little thing to fly into a tiny crevice and push a switch that would unlock a door for the main guy.

Anyways, these are just ideas, so none or all of them may appear in some form.

Note: I am starting to understand why game developers generally have a team of people and not just one person...

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Ex Vitro 0.35 Beta

Ex Vitro 0.35 Beta

Jul 11, 2012 Demo 0 comments

A platform shooter with an emphasis on exploration. Battle corrupted robots and mutated creatures while collecting powerful items and weapons. This is...

Ex Vitro Demo

Ex Vitro Demo

Feb 20, 2011 Demo 3 comments

This program was created over the past 8 months by me, a hobbyist developer and game enthusiast. I hope that you enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed...

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Guest Jan 21 2014, 7:38am says:

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Wonderland12
Wonderland12 Feb 20 2013, 7:20pm says:

I hope this gets finished.

+1 vote     reply to comment
OMGbleech
OMGbleech Dec 5 2012, 6:47pm says:

Solid start so far! I have started a similar project in C# and wish I was a decent artist like you! You need game pad support! Not only is your foreground nice but the backgrounds you have created are simple but work well. Great start I hope to see you continue this.

+1 vote     reply to comment
TheMageling
TheMageling Nov 8 2012, 10:41am says:

Hi, I really enjoyed playing the beta! I'm always on the lookout for games like this. I have some feedback for you, hope you don't mind:

The movement controls have some weird acceleration on them that makes it difficult to predict. If I had to guess, you did this to allow for small movements with a digital control scheme (the keyboard WASD). But small movements didn't feature heavily in your level design. I think you could resolve this issue by continuing to avoid the need for it in level design and eliminate the acceleration on movement.

Most enemies in the beginning of the game are in areas that can't be reached by the player, at least not right away. When they drop powerups, they are generally unobtainable. Metroid Prime had an interesting way of solving this problem: when you charge up your shot, it draws powerups in to the player. Another way you could handle this is to give the powerups gravity to make them drop down. Just a few ideas on how to solve this issue that frustrated me when I was low on health and could see the health pickup, but couldn't get it.

The level design progressively gets better in the beta, but it starts off weird. The starting area is really barren, which makes sense if you are teaching the player how to jump or crouch or shoot in a safe environment. However, the length between "teaching moments" is really long and it feels like I am simply walking forward, waiting for something to happen. I think you could cut out entire areas and make it more interesting.

That's all I have for now, keep up the good work! I'm looking forward to seeing the new character direction in action, it looks really cool!

+1 vote     reply to comment
FlyingMonkey59
FlyingMonkey59 Jul 27 2012, 8:55pm says:

This looks amazing! I am SO going to purchase when its complete!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Sanmei
Sanmei Aug 16 2011, 2:04am says:

Overall I liked the demo. I agree that the datalogs should be in by default -- I didn't even realize that's what the option referred to and played through without even knowing they existed. I only have two gripes about the game thus far. First is the pause between shots, which feels a little long, but being able to play with the second gun longer probably would have helped that. Second is the kneel and crawl mechanics -- they feel a little clumsier than Metroid's ball form, especially when trying to jump and crouch at the same time (although Half-Life was worse about that).

Overall, quite looking forward to this being completed.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Adjuvant
Adjuvant Feb 21 2011, 11:04pm replied:

Thanks for the positive feedback!

Yep it's a brand new release! I've been plugging away at it since the summer, so it's nice to finally have some people playing it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Adjuvant
Adjuvant Feb 21 2011, 11:05pm replied:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I'm glad you like it!

Yeah I was aiming for a Super Metroid feel, so I'm really glad you felt it achieved that. I plan to eventually have a cutscene at the beginning, that should hopefully explain a little more about the situation. But I think I'll keep it somewhat ambiguous because I like mystery :)

You're the first person who's mentioned the Datalogs! I was debating whether to make them default, but decided on optional because I wasn't sure if my writing was any good, and some people may prefer to not have walls of text appearing in the game. What did you think of the writing itself? Corny/cheezy, etc? Your suggestion is definitely something I'll consider! Thanks for following!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Reactorcore
Reactorcore Feb 22 2011, 3:22am replied:

I really enjoyed the texts in those Datalogs. Some logs gave interesting emotions, especially those that were about human brutality over aliens and the grim reality of galactic conquest. Other logs added some random humor, like that log about overlapping project names. All were awesome and really enhanced the atmosphere in the game. It felt like there was more to the world than just being a flat shooter. All those little details count and you did them well. I like the realistic vibe in it too.

Btw, is there any particular reason you made the beams be seperately selectable? You could simplify it by having just one beam that upgrades as you go since they're not really that different from each other. Super Metroid did this and you only needed to switch to other equipment if it was radically different in some way (missiles/bombs that use ammo, grapling beam that is a situational tool/weapon ect.).

+2 votes     reply to comment
Adjuvant
Adjuvant Feb 22 2011, 5:19pm replied:

Great! Maybe I'll consider putting the Datalogs in as a default if there's a positive response to them. I had a good time writing them, even if some of them get really grim and unpleasant! But I figure some humour in them would balance that out, so I'm glad you liked the mixture of emotion.

Hmm, as far as the beams go, I think the original plan was to just have one upgradable beam. But I felt that it got kind of boring just vaporizing everything with the same shot, so I added in beams that had different effects. I agree the first two are pretty similar, but some of the future ones will have really complex and powerful abilities, and it would be impossible to combine them.

For an example, if you've got the Entropy Beam in the demo, you'll see what I mean when you combine the charged and uncharged shots. I like having interesting combo effects like that, so future beams will have similiar ways of working. Also, I'm going to have each beam be individually upgradable, so hopefully that will further differentiate them!

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Ex Vitro
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