Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Jalada, an avid reader of Linuxhaxor.
Atmosphir is a third person, 3D, platform/adventure game that not only allows you to explore through diverse levels and challenges, but also gives you the tools to design your own levels and upload them for others to play. It features simple graphics, addictive gameplay, and a great level editor.
I was pleased to see that Atmosphir – even in this private beta stage – can be run on Windows, Mac or Linux. This is made possible by using the Simple Directmedia Layer, which is a cross-platform multimedia library for low level access to multimedia devices (audio, keyboard, 3D hardware via OpenGL, and so on). I installed the game and tried to run it. I had a few problems, probably because I am running 64-bit Intrepid Ibex. I outlined them and the solutions I found on my blog, once I’d got everything sorted I started playing. I’ve been told by Minor Studios that the problems I encountered are being looked into.
The menus are clear and concise; you start playing, you sign up, and you get a list of recently added levels, their ratings, and play count. Double click on a level, it loads briefly (a couple of seconds typically) and away you go. There’s just a couple of things missing from the menus, I’d like a ‘restart level’ option that allows me to restart the level right at the start with all of my lives so that if I muck up right at the start I don’t have to quit out of the level, go back to the level select, find the level, and start it again.
What about the graphics? As you can see from screenshots, it uses very simplistic models and textures – which are all part of making the level editor approachable and easy to use. However the game is still very pretty. I suggest anyone who feels doubtful about the graphics takes a look at the level ’5 minutes’, which is featured on the TechCrunch trailer, and is available in the game. There are thousands of platforms and blocks disappearing off into the distance, and despite them just being simple blocks, the game still manages to make this look very pretty.
Besides, with this game, the most important thing is gameplay. You play a little adventurer (no background or story is given as to who you are, and this is probably unnecessary anyway) exploring a variety of platforming levels that can contain speed and jump powerups, statues that breathe fireballs, moving platforms, ladders, spikes, and more. Your goal is to get from the start flag to the finishing flag. Some levels are quick and easy while others – like the afore mentioned ’5 minutes’ – are pretty tricky (I still haven’t completed it). You have a limited number of lives, and you can also be under a time limit which doesn’t reset when you die. Levels can have checkpoints, so that when you die you don’t start all the way back at the beginning. The controls are simple – WASD for moving and turning your little character, mouse for moving the camera (and right click also acts as moving forwards), scroll wheel for zooming in and out and spacebar or left click for jump. There’s also an option for ‘veteran controls’, which allow you to strafe with the A and D keys, a nice addition for those of us used to FPS games.
I’ll admit, I haven’t tried the level editor too much yet, as I’ve been having too much fun with the main game. However from what I’ve had a look at it, and from the levels I’ve played, it seems simple, but powerful. With a bit of imagination it’s easy to create something varied and challenging, and the learning curve is very gradual as you simply select an object from the menu, and click on the grid to place it.
Obviously as this is a beta, there are a few bugs, but not so many that it detracts from the experience.. I’ve had the camera go weird on me when I’ve skimmed the edge of a platform, and sometimes you don’t hang on to ledges when you expect to, or glitch through corners of them. A game with user-created levels is bound to have a huge amount of bugs due to the infinite possibilities that come about, so I was expecting a lot more bugs than I saw.
Overall, I think this game has great potential. It’s already shaping up to be an excellent fun game, and shows that you don’t need amazing fancy graphics to be enjoyable if you’ve got enjoyable gameplay and the possibility for huge replay value due to user created content. If Minor Studios ask for money for the final game, they can put me at the top of the order list.
You can watch a video of the game here.
All images were taken from here.
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