The Ascension

  • Platformer
  • Kwisarts
  • 5 months ago
  • 2nd
Description

The Ascension is a poetic puzzle/platformer in which you play as an angel descending into a murky cave. At the same time, a voice warmly recommends you to ascend. Finding what you seek will not be as easy as it seems..."


Gameplay

nice stairs

In The Ascension, the right path is not always the one you would expect. Also, darkness progresses with you as you descend... but it is worth it. Or is it?
There is always a way out.


Controls (keyboard)

little angel

  • Left arrow - Move left
  • Right arrow - Move right
  • Up arrow - Jump
  • F key - Fullscreen
  • Escape - "Do you want to quit?" message
  • H key - Serves no purpose in this game

A few notes regarding in-game progression

little branch

  • first room:
    It might look like you are stuck, but you are not.

  • Labyrinth room:
    This room has a bad effect on the game's pace, so I understand your lack of patience. Here is a visual helper on how to solve that room: maze The green boxes are the colliders while the top red box is your goal. I don't want this room to ruin your experience, as I really put lots of efforts in that game, especially the last room and endings, which give more backstory and participate greatly on the game experience and atmosphere. I wish for you to have the patience to go through this ♥

  • Secret ending:
    only read if you have troubles finding the last ending
    I admit that the clue for the last ending is rather vague. (wanted to add more clues but I was short on time)
    First, is considered a "room" any room part of the main story (as soon as the music starts playing); for instance, the room showing you the keyboard controls does not count.
    Second, you must find a secret path in the room. No need to think outside the box. (You don't need to type anything weird on the keyboard or anything...)
    Finally, to find the secret exit, you must use the stairs.

Known bugs

shadow matter

  • Pressing enter repeatedly in the last room before/during the "press enter" message crashes the game

Feel free to report bugs to me. It will come in handy when I will be working on the fixed version as well as helping me improve


Personal note

shadow angel

Back again for GM48 and this time, I finally did it! I completed my first game! (My two previous entries were incomplete and lacky) I kept the scope lower and I was even able to add a few things that I did not initially intended to add!

Of course, I am still a beginner so the game is not perfect (many text placements are a bit awkward) and not so well designed; but overall, I am proud of my new baby! :) I put my heart in it. I mean... not literally... Don't try to search it in game, you won't find it. You get the point.

Please excuse the typo on the ending messages, I was in a rush while making that part. At least I managed to fix an important game breaking issue. (like, I'm lucky the game works because I was not able to test it before submitting the game)

Please, give me feedback! :)
In any case, I hope you will enjoy the experience, even if it is a short game. :D


NOTE: I am working on a "final" version that is likely to be done in june :)

It will feature:

  • Bug fixes
  • Gameplay improvement (slightly changing a few mechanics and making the insivible paths less tedious)
  • New endings! (1-3)
  • A secret room
  • No typos!
  • New dialogs
  • New rooms (maybe)
  • A few more things ;)

Screenshots

for some reason, these gifs are in a faster speed than what the actual game speed is

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Somehow this reminded me The Talos Principle. Maybe because the voice guiding you. I loved the sound design, the way the pitch changes. I didn't got all the endings, played twice but didn't figured out. Great entry, one of I most enjoyed this GM48. Very good work! Congratulations.

Thanks! For the endings, I didn't implement a save function (a bit too novice to do that kind of things for the first time in a jam) so just so you know, getting both first endings (or just the first, known as the "bad ending") gives you clue on how to do the remaining endings; If you didn't discover the "good ending", it just requires to think outside the box! And thanks, except I guess for the sound you make when walking :p Tried to imitate bare feet sound but it's not easy without a better microphone; Thanks for playing!

The maze like levels can be frustrating, but that is the whole theme of the game I suppose so I can't knock it too hard for that. I think the game could have benefited from having more abilities or actions to take other than just jumping. Still, very pretty title screen.

Yep, although it's how this game works, it IS frustrating and shouldn't be that way! I know this and this was the first issue I fixed in the next version :) Not so sure about the abilities however as the game is mostly about exploration; however, actions would be nice, I think. I'll think about that! Thanks for your feedback!

I think the game needs some playtest and some adjustments after those playstest. Not for away from becoming a good game. Great artstyle. Felt like a game that was "as finished as a game can be in 48 hours."

Every game is improving a lot, keep it up.

Best banner for a game on this website, everyone should take an example to make it at least a little nice like this one.

Yes, flaws of the game are due to the fact that it had no playtest; I received helpful feedback and saw a ew people playing the game so I have good info on what to improve! I am working on a better version of the game and it already got rid of one of the major issues (invisible paths being too annoying) and several gameplay improvements! And thanks for the compliment on the banner, it took me a while to make. :)

"Congratulations. You completed all endings."

This game was incredible! It's not very often that games this impressive come from just 48 hours. This is something I would love to see more of one day.

The art and music were definitely the best parts of your game. Everything was animated so smoothly (I love how your "friends" just wander around aimlessly, sit down and glance at the screen!!!) , and the music fit the mood your game set wonderfully!

The sound effects... are weird. Jumping sounds get bothersome really quickly, especially when trapped in between two invisible platforms. Also, the sound those soul-eater things make? For some reason, it lags my computer. Horribly. I think you have it playing on top of each other too often.

The gameplay felt like a mix of Cave Story and Kid Icarus ("Kid Story"?), just without combat. That alone amounted to the ideal challenging platformer. However, the amount of invisible platforms occasionally made the game a chore to play.

Keep up the awesome work!

Regarding the sound effect lag issue: I think it depends on the hardware. I tried to optimize the game as much as possible using my own computer as a reference (not a bad computer but really not a good one neither) . The shadow thingies were tested in the final room (that can feature a looot of them) and I never had troubles myself. The only time I had lag issues is when I tried my game with my laptop unplugged (but it makes a lot of games I play to lag) I might need to replace the sounds (as I create that sound by repetition). Also yeah, i'm bad with sounds so I tried to imitate bare feet sounds but... yeah. Regarding the annoying invisible gameplay: fixed that in a simple way in my fixed version. Also, I realized afterwise that it had some Cave Story feel :p

If you are interested to see more of it, I won't make it a full game (as in hours of gameplay) but I am working on a better finished version resolving issues and stuff (planned features mentionned in the description) Thanks for the feedback! :)

Oh yay, I'm not too late haha!

So, I really enjoyed your game, especially the great pixel art/animation, controls, music and overall atmosphere! The gameplay was frankly not the best (relative to the little time you had it's still good though!), and the huge invisible walls especially just weren't too much of fun to get through, also there were a few really tricky jumps that quickly get a bit frustrating (though maybe some players like that). The pixel art is gorgeous though, as well as the little story. The subtle change of the character sprite with every level is such a cool feature, I loved it! (I'm not sure but I believe it was also mentioned by the narrator near the beginning? Maybe even cut that out, because noticing it yourself is such a cool mind-blow moment hehe. just my opinion though). Also like I mentioned the 8-bit-music was really pleasant to listen to and worked great for the atmosphere.

Overall, really nice work, keep it up!

Yep, the invisible path is the first thing I fixed in my upcoming update for The Ascension, it makes it far better! The frustration of the tricky jumps is because I made the hitbox too small and was addressed recently. Good thing it's been mentionned cause I did not intend to change that, and now I will! And I agree, the narrator mentionning your physical change (especially at the beginning) was probably too spoilery. I hesitated putting it or not; I added it in the end in case the player wouldn't notice since the change is subtle but it's true that your change through the end is rastic (from bright to dark) so the narrator (that I personally call the voice) did not need to mention it. True that it spoils the surprise now that I think of it.

Thanks for your feedback, really appreciated! :)

Well that was really good. I found the 3 endings, and even if some hidden stuff feel too arbitrary, I still had fun searching around.

About the gameplay, I think the biggest problem is that there isn't some forgiveness frames or whatever they're called when you run off a ledge. It can be a problem especially in the secret path, as there's some tricky jumps there.

Also found a bug in the last room, the voice didn't activate when it should have and it started in the middle of the speech. The black things didn't appear and I had to alt F4 to quit :( No idea what I did, I think I was waiting on the righ of the room.

Tricky jumps are made on purpose to be honest :p But I admit that the hitbox is a bit too precise! I'll take that into consideration for the fixed version! I assume you went to the sides of the room while the speech was given, as I sent bad conditions on when the next text appears. I knew that issue, but didn't know it might lead you to be unable to continue. Thanks a lot for reporting! It will be fixed once I set the right conditions. :) Also, I intend to change the way a few things work; one of my improvement lets you see what path you went through and that helps drastically to get rid of the invisible nuisance while still getting you to try to find your way. :)

Thanks a lot for your feedback!

This game was nice, although at some points it lagged horribly for some reason D: Thank you for putting up the map on the game page, it made it a lot more bearable to finish the one bad room. I liked the animation of the player and the sound effects most.

Thanks! About the lag, that's weird, it's the first time someone reports that. I never had this problem and no one else told me about it (some having completed the game at 100% so they should have encountered it) I'd like to know more about it if possible; do you remember when it occured? I'd like to investigate on that and fix this issue in the fix version! (I am in the discord and slack grap under kwisarts and on twitter as kwisartz)

Overall, a great project with shining polish on it! The art was amazing, and the sound effects (especially that of the omniscient narrator's voice) were bang on.

I did have a couple of qualms, these being the extensive use of invisible paths( which are very rarely a good design choice and more often than not lead to a frustrated player), and the lack of any new or interesting mechanics.

However, the art, sound, narrative, and story delivery left me reeling and impressed regardless. The last few rooms delivered so well in both character and horror that these alone made the game shine.

I loved the project, and I can't wait to see what you do with your skills and with what you've learned from this process :)

You like the narrator's voice? I was told it gets annoying over time. :p Yep for the invisible paths, all the feedback made it clear :D My fixed version will add a (cool) way to improve my game in the matter as you will see where you've been!

Thank you for your feedback! This narrative and story style is something I intend to further expand throughout my creations. :) (as well as improve in game design and mechanic hopefully)

Oh you little devil. You got me well there with all that ascension thing, considering the theme was quite the opposite. Well done.

I tried to get more than one ending but I couldn't manage it.

Hehe! Well, for the second ending, remember that you need to escape :) Like... Escape. Escape! That's the best clue I can offer without directly giving the answer. If you do both first endings in the same run (since there is no save system), you get a clue for the last ending! (and another one in my description page)

Anonymous
5 months ago

I really appreciate all the polish that when into the art, sound, and story. However, I wish the method of progressing through that story and discovering the different endings was a little more enjoyable. You quickly find yourself playing a game of just jumping at every wall until you find the one you can go through.

Yep, the invisible maze (and other invisible powered paths) sure were not the best idea. Or not that way! Blind exploration probably shouldn't have been the way to go... Or way less invisible rooms. Thanks for the feedback!

Thank you for posting the labyrinth cheat sheet or else I wouldn't have made it to the see that awesome ending! Love how everything looks, controls, and sounds. Also I love that it tells a story and has multiple endings. Really great work! Very impressive for a jam entry!

Yeah, I figured it was necessary to display it as the maze room is the worst :( Thanks a lot for the feedback! :)

Nice work on the game, the idea was really creative and things got interesting when I didn't make the first jump! The art is very well done, particularly the title and logo art. I thought the intro control screen was a nice touch as well.

I never made it to the secret ending but I think I will be coming back to try and find it. Good job and great entry!

Thank you! :D I think I made the secret ending too secret buhaha; I don't know if you saw, but if you complete the first two endings in the same playthrough, you get a clue to find the last ending!

I've tried a few times and am only missing the secret ending, that last gif in the description is so tempting. :(

The game looks great (in fact I'm inclined to believe all your art does - even the animated icon for the game is simply breathtaking!), the music is fitting from beginning to end and the story kept me on my toes. Love this narrator archetype. The gameplay is the only thing that doesn't truly shine by itself, as others have also stated, but overall the polish and attention to detail among everything else I mentioned left me no choice but to give my highest rating yet. :)

Nothing short of incredible for such a short timeframe!

For the secret ending, I don't if you saw but there are a few tips on the description page! If it doesn't help, know that the secret path is in a smaller gap than usually (so maybe you thought you couldn't go from there) Thanks a lot for the compliment! The animated icon (can we call it icon at this point?) took me long moment :) (I also had several versions... this one is missing the wings...) And yeaaaah I really need to improve in game play! And wow, your highest rating yet? That's impressive, thanks! I guess my sleepless night was worth it!

Beautiful game! I loved the discovery of the gameplay, I really thought I found a bug! Music is awesome. Visuals are awesome. The theme is awesome. The music is awesome. But I got stuck at the maze lvl. I feel like I explored everything, and I wondered if I missed something when falling from too high, not being able to reach the proper end?

Ahah, you're not the only one being stuck there! I added general path hints on the description page; I really feel bad for letting that room being such a problem as it is the main issue with my game. Which is a real shame because I find the following of the game to be part of the most interesting part (that and finding all the different endings). I maybe should have deleted that room or add in visual helpers...

Thanks for the feedback and compliments!

Beautiful and immersive game with a really cool take on the theme, got frustrating in some parts, and level design is probably its biggest flaw.

But it's still one of the best looking games in the jam, and it has a really deep story going on for it too.

I got all three endings, and seeing the hidden one is what made me give a 9 in art, You shouldn't have hidden the coolest tileset that well.

Thank you :) Yep, aware of the flaws. And yeah, as I told you, Planned to change the main world's tiles but was short on time :D

The graphics are very nice and the music is great. I like the interactions with text and how the visuals and audio get darker as you progress. However, I didn't enjoy the gameplay much as it relies so much on navigating blindly. Other than that, though, it's fantastic.

Thank you for your feedback! :) Yeah, I get what you feel about the navigation, especially in the labyrinth room. My bad, should have made it way less tedious!

First off, congrats on your first finished entry, you did a great job.

The art is cool and the game is polished and well-made, especially the little touches to the text.

Interesting twist in the gameplay, I thought I found a collision bug!

When you can't see the platforms the gameplay becomes a little dull. You can start to kind of form an impression of where they are but I was stuck for too long and gave up.

Overall, a solid entry, I might come back and try to find that hidden ending. Good job!

Thanks! Yeah, since I made the game myself I guess it was difficult for me to know how the player would feel since I know these platforms well. So I guess it makes some room look like a chore, especially the labyrinth... My bad. Well a note (and hint) for the hidden ending: it's a path like the labyrinth but more frustrating. (gotta suffer to find that exit). Also, doing the first easy endings helps to know where to search the hidden ending.

Nice game, love the story, narrating and concept. Only got one ending but it felt nice the disobey the narrator and end up in that pit of misery. I also loved that I changed appearance as I ventured forward. All in all great job!

Thank you! :) I put my heart in this!

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