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Hi!

 

I've created a game called Bokeh, using HTML5 canvas, EaselJS and Box2dWeb. It's available at bokeh.clay.io (also Kongregate, Chrome Web Store and Facebook).

 

The game aims to be meditative and relaxing, and is based on the blurred circles of light you get in an out-of-focus photograph. I also composed the 6 music tracks included in the game (Bandcamp).

 

I'd be very grateful for feedback, but I'd also like your opinion on a particular point: I believe I've taken a risk in developing a game that does not adhere to the typical cute cartoon aesthetic seen in many casual games. Do you think Bokeh's quieter, more cinematic aesthetic has any appeal?

 

There are some screenshots below to give you an idea. Thank you very much in advance!

 

Vince.

 

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I'd be very grateful for feedback, but I'd also like your opinion on a particular point: I believe I've taken a risk in developing a game that does not adhere to the typical cute cartoon aesthetic seen in many casual games. Do you think Bokeh's quieter, more cinematic aesthetic has any appeal?

 

 
I do think is gorgeous and has a lot of appeal, and couldn't agree more with this philosophy. I don't know if "taking a risk" is a real fact, more than a feeling. Since most casual games look the same, one feels that is risking by pushing the astetics and try to do something else. But I do think people appreciate a different and fresh proposal (if it is coherent), and what is more, are eager to see different things. That's the reason of indie games lately, I guess.
 
In your case, congratulations for the game, it's very well done, very clean, did with care and love. I personally love boke effect, so I love it! :)  The gameplay feels a bit slow and dull, but ignore me as I just came from lunch and feel sleepy - the game feels right as it is.
 
Good work! :)
 
PS: Maybe you want to take a look to a game we recently released, Zoi, which also has a 'different' look (not just shameless self promotion, I felt both are related in this matter. Art by Jorge Fuentes).

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I do think is gorgeous and has a lot of appeal, and couldn't agree more with this philosophy. I don't know if "taking a risk" is a real fact, more than a feeling. Since most casual games look the same, one feels that is risking by pushing the astetics and try to do something else. But I do think people appreciate a different and fresh proposal (if it is coherent), and what is more, are eager to see different things. That's the reason of indie games lately, I guess.
 
In your case, congratulations for the game, it's very well done, very clean, did with care and love. I personally love boke effect, so I love it! :)  The gameplay feels a bit slow and dull, but ignore me as I just came from lunch and feel sleepy - the game feels right as it is.
 
Good work! :)
 
PS: Maybe you want to take a look to a game we recently released, Zoi, which also has a 'different' look (not just shameless self promotion, I felt both are related in this matter. Art by Jorge Fuentes).

 

 

Thanks very much for taking the time to look at Bokeh, and for writing up your thoughts!

 

You're right about "taking a risk" not really being grounded in any hard fact, so thank you for your confidence in the aesthetic. I hope the game will stand out from other casual games for all the right reasons - I guess only time will tell. It's interesting to hear that you already liked the bokeh effect - being a photographer, I tended to pay more attention to the effect than a sane normal non-photographer would :). As long as it was lunch, and not Bokeh making you feel sleepy, that's alright then :).

 

Congratulations to you and your friend on Zoi (I've left feedback on another thread). It's interesting to see its unique aesthetic, and how much it contrasts with Bokeh. I particularly like the way Zoi is a very "distilled down" game - there's absolutely nothing there that shouldn't be, and to me, that's elegant. It makes Bokeh seem quite bloated in comparison. All the best.

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wow really original, and relaxing :D

I love the concept.

 

the chosen music fits well with the game theme

 

congrats for such a great job !

 

Thanks, Ezelia, for taking the time to play Bokeh, and for providing feedback. I'm very glad that the concept and the music works for you. When I started out with Bokeh, it was difficult to know whether other would "get" the artistic concept, so it's somewhat of a relief to hear the idea has legs :). Good luck with your own games also.

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Wow, what a beautiful game... :o

I really love the concept.

Great job with this game, it reminds me a bit to "Electroplankton", a NDS game. ^_^

 

People here in these forums has lots of talent. :)

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Wow, what a beautiful game... :o

I really love the concept.

Great job with this game, it reminds me a bit to "Electroplankton", a NDS game. ^_^

 

People here in these forums has lots of talent. :)

 

Thank you for trying Bokeh, and for getting back to me with your kind comments! I'm glad you like the game.

 

I'd never heard of Electroplankton before, but found some YouTube videos of the game. Funnily enough, I'd been thinking along the lines of generative audio for a future game, and it's interesting to see that the concept is far from new, and has been around on very different platforms for a while.

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The esthetic is great, it looks very good. :) The cinematic aesthetic certainly has appeal, although I would use more different colors in the early levels to hook the player early on, like in your "level 8" screenshot.

 

Gameplay-wise is another thing, IMHO it is a bit too slow/unappealing. It's more like a menial task than it is a game.

 

Maybe you could use the same graphics style to create a game like E-motion (see here). E-motion was a zen meditative game from way back in the Atari ST/Amiga days. It had a distinct and clear goal, which I feel your game is lacking. The game mechanic from E-motion would have to be updated a little for touch devices ofcourse. For example you could make it so the player has to just flick the spheres together and he has a limited amount of moves or something like that.

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The esthetic is great, it looks very good. :) The cinematic aesthetic certainly has appeal, although I would use more different colors in the early levels to hook the player early on, like in your "level 8" screenshot.

 

Gameplay-wise is another thing, IMHO it is a bit too slow/unappealing. It's more like a menial task than it is a game.

 

Maybe you could use the same graphics style to create a game like E-motion (

). E-motion was a zen meditative game from way back in the Atari ST/Amiga days. It had a distinct and clear goal, which I feel your game is lacking. The game mechanic from E-motion would have to be updated a little for touch devices ofcourse. For example you could make it so the player has to just flick the spheres together and he has a limited amount of moves or something like that.

Thank you for the feedback - it's been very useful/constructive, and an illustration of the dilemma I've faced with Bokeh's concept. On the one hand, I wanted to see if Bokeh would stand up as an "art" game, with its visual and musical aesthetic, and minimal gameplay mechanic; on the other hand, game convention would suggest the need for much more action, and a clear mechanic (the most obvious being a puzzle mechanic for Bokeh).

I'd not heard of E-motion - it's a very interesting example, so thank you for mentioning it.

Certainly for my next game (and hopefully, there will be a next game...) I will try and incorporate more features of a conventional game to see if it generates more interest. It's a tricky balance to strike! All the best with your games, also.

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Thanks. :) In any case the graphics certainly are good enough. You could use other existing gameplay idea with these graphics, like the "Simon" memory game, although there are loads of Simon clones already.

 

Maybe a slightly less obvious gameplay idea that already exists, like Filler (see here) or Chain Reaction (see here) or that "eat circles that are smaller than you" game.

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Thanks. :) In any case the graphics certainly are good enough. You could use other existing gameplay idea with these graphics, like the "Simon" memory game, although there are loads of Simon clones already.
 
Maybe a slightly less obvious gameplay idea that already exists, like Filler (see here) or Chain Reaction (see here) or that "eat circles that are smaller than you" game.

 

 

Filler is reminiscent of Hundreds (or rather, the other way round!), and others have already mentioned that Bokeh reminds them of Osmos, at least visually. Wise men think alike :).

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Hi Pixel Pathos,

 

A very very very good looking game. I'm also a fan of the Bokeh effect in photography so maybe I'm biased. 

 

Although as mentioned above, it lacks game mechanics that entice you to play the game for a longer period of time. It's a hard balance to get right indeed but what I would suggest is taking a basic game mechanic and creating a slight variation that matches the Bokeh style. 

 

Lets hope there will be another game because you sure have the ability to create good looking and professional games. 

 

Just my 2 cents.

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Hi Pixel Pathos,

 

A very very very good looking game. I'm also a fan of the Bokeh effect in photography so maybe I'm biased. 

 

Although as mentioned above, it lacks game mechanics that entice you to play the game for a longer period of time. It's a hard balance to get right indeed but what I would suggest is taking a basic game mechanic and creating a slight variation that matches the Bokeh style. 

 

Lets hope there will be another game because you sure have the ability to create good looking and professional games. 

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

Thanks for taking time to play the game, and for your kind words! Your suggestion makes sense, and there will almost certainly be at least one more game from the Pixel Pathos camp :).

 

It may be that Bokeh needs to get difficult more quickly: in later levels, because it takes a certain period of time to extinguish a light, when several flicker in rapid succession, you have to use your visual memory to remember which ones to put out; this becomes harder still as the lights move around and have shorter lifespans. There is also a second mechanic that is introduced in the City scene (pulsing lights) which adds a fair bit of variety.

 

All the best!

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