Positron

Puts the ‘tron’ in ‘Positron’

Whatever side of the fence you sit on regarding the sequel, arguably some of the best moments in the contemporary Tron film were the visually-impressive light bike scenes early on. While this was recreated (albeit competitively) in the videogame companion, Tron: Evolution, indie developer Retroburn Game Studios is taking its stab at the idea and adapting it to XBLIG (and others), in a more racing / puzzle form, Positron.

The above trailer shows off the gameplay, which will have you navigating a series of corridors, avoiding walls (and your own light trail) to find the right path to the goal. In addition, you’ll notice some snazzy camera angle options that may (or may not, the developer is undecided on their inclusion) open up once you’ve completed a stage.

Pretty (really, really pretty) graphics and intriguing concept aside, it remains to be seen whether Positron can extend the fun across an entire game, or if the search for the exit becomes more trial-and-error than genuine exploration. There’s still no sign of Olivia Wilde, either, but I have my fingers crossed it will all work out in the end.

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Positron will see release soon (this summer). To stay informed on the game’s progress, and its porting to numerous platforms, follow the developer here.

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Positron - Screen

Positron - Screen2

Positron - Screen3

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17 thoughts on “Puts the ‘tron’ in ‘Positron’”

  1. I must admit…looks good BUT some of those camera angles look brutal to play while others were just interesting.

    1. Were I developing the game, my gut would tell me to leave the camera options in as a reward for completing a stage, especially if there are no other extras / modes. My sadistic side agrees with one of the comments on YouTube, saying those camera angles (first-person, zoomed in, etc.) should be used as the default view on higher difficulties…

      For the safety of everyone’s controllers / personal happiness, I hope it’s left in as just a neat extra.

    2. Thanks for the comments guys :). I plan to include the 3rd person camera view which has been the default until now as the main camera view. I’ll be including first person for those that prefer that view (and for Oculus Rift support, I just got my devkit but I think it’s going to make me sick playing Positron with it right now :-p). The other camera modes will be locked until you complete the level (or on mobile platforms will perhaps offer an IAP to unlock them too).

    3. The default view is pretty good, I think. Gives you just enough sightline that you can still maneuver out of dead ends and take sharp corners. Oculus Rift has always seemed like a cool idea to me. Doubt I’ll ever own a unit, but I see the potential. For Positron, it’s got that Star Wars ‘Trench Run’ look in first-person, could be interesting. :)

  2. Oooh, it really does look very pretty!
    I’m really enjoying these XBLIG previews you’ve been writing recently. It’s nice to have things to look forward to on the scene.

    1. Thanks, and I agree. They’re less time-consuming than reviews, of course, and the anticipation of new stuff is a strong pull. Not including Retroburn here, I really wish that more indie Devs would take an active approach to marketing their games before release. Nine times out of ten I’m finding these trailers and writing up the article without any input from the studio, which is a shame.

    2. You’d think that indie devs would be desperate to get as much coverage as possible. While I can appreciate that getting your voice heard above the noise is quite hard to do, a little bit of focused marketing can go a long way. Sending out a press release to sites that cover the scene would seem like a no-brainer, as it’s free and would at least get you on their radar.

    3. Most of these guys are programmers/artists/dreamers and the like and don’t have any idea on what marketing is or how simple it is. To those that have lived it all our lives it’s second nature so in a lot of ways I feel for them. There isn’t room on their budgets to hire a marketing person (but I’m it sure would make them more in the end).

    4. @Edgar: I totally agree. The worst that can happen is I say ‘No thanks.’, for whatever reason, and then you move on to the next site / email. Even if the press release doesn’t sound professional, send something out. I know a lot of the Devs are under the impression that previews / reviews don’t help in the XBLIG market, and there’s some evidence to support that, but hell, even if five, ten people hear of your game early, or read a review, that seems worth it to me, for really minimal work on the Developer’s end. I mean, next to programming a freakin’ videogame, what’s writing / sending out a few emails?

      @David: Dreamer or not, second nature or not, I’d have to think from a creator’s point of view, you’d want to tell as many people about this great, genre-bending, human experience-altering game you’re developing, even if the reviews eventually say otherwise :p. As a writer (if I may be so bold), with an ego the size of Manhattan (on some days), I’d literally be sending out dozens of emails to any and every site that covers indie games. That’s just me, I guess.

    5. “but hell, even if five, ten people hear of your game early, or read a review, that seems worth it to me”

      At about 70 cents per game sold on XBLIG, I don’t think many people would agree that 5 or 10 more copies sold would be “worth it”.

      Personally, I feel it’s important to put out videos / press releases / review requests, because I get a thrill out of every game sold and every review I read, but I understand the feeling that it’s a big waste of time as well.

      It’s a good thing that I don’t do this for a living.

    6. Hey now, I try to make a nice point, and you have to go and ruin it with reality… :) And, that’s like $3.50 – $7, totally worth the time to write an email. That’s a fast food meal right there. :)

      Irregardless, I’m in total agreement. Developers need to do all they can to get their name out there. Even if you don’t sell much (and yes, never consider XBLIG a viable career), the personal satisfaction could be payment enough.

    7. Anecdotal evidence : Since I released update 2.0 WITH a new trailer and a good review from your site and one other : 8 sales per month! Sounds bad, but it’s twice what I was getting in the prior month and XBLIG sales tend to go down and not up.

      So in summation : Thanks for the burger and fries! :) Well… once I pass 215 sales total that is ;)

    8. I know it’s not right, as we’re talking about real life, but the ‘burger & fries’ joke had me chuckling. I could picture that image, you or someone else, sitting in McDonald’s, whispering a little thank you before eating. :)

      I’m glad to hear there was a bump in sales, however small. In your case, the extra work to update the game will pay off now, sure, but also when you’re putting together the next game. And I still say Microsoft’s minimum payout policy is bullshit. No one should have their money held in limbo, even if it is $50. Money earned -should be- money earned.

    9. Wouldn’t that be nice? Just give us the money as it was earned? Oh well. At this rate my game will earn a payout in about a year!

      Hopefully EP2 will push sales to EP1, or at least push me over 215 total sales quickly. Only one way to find out!

    10. Having previously worked for a company that specialized in digital marketing I think I have a pretty good grounding with that stuff. Having said that, it is very time consuming contacting press and media. This trailer alone took a whole day of my time to record the footage (16 minutes in total) then splice it up and turn it in to a trailer. I’m not a video editor so I did my best and tried to fit it to the audio track. The next few trailers will be more professional as a member of my team will be handling them and does this stuff for a living :)

    11. The more the better. It’s all promotion. Having ‘a’ trailer is more than some Devs do to support their game, which is a shame. I agree on the time aspect of it; running a review site can work in much the same way. You’ve got your work cut out for you though, with launching on as many platforms as you are, not to mention the amount of games you’ve still got in development. That would be a PR nightmare, absolutely.

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