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A jam submission

Lam's Untitled NeonView game page

Narrative game and part neon light making simulator set in Hong Kong's dying neon light industry.
Submitted by Nyveon (@nyveon), victoryarcana (@victoriacana), faxdoc (@faxdocc), Mini Bunnies (@TheMiniBunnies), happysquared (@happysquaredOW) — 19 minutes, 51 seconds before the deadline
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Lam's Untitled Neon's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Theme#14.7834.783
Fun#203.9283.928
Visuals#264.1744.174

Ranked from 69 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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Comments

Viewing comments 42 to 23 of 42 · Next page · Last page
Submitted(+3)

I thought of bending neon signs too! Although, I thought it more like an art program, because I thought of letting the person make their own custom sign. Imagine a whole virtual city scape of custom signs XD! 

We didn't do it for several reasons, but two of my personal major reasons were that I just started GM, so I wasn't sure I could complete the bending part in the jam time (it sounds quite complex to implement), and also, just that I didn't know how to make it actually a game that was fun. So....

I'M SO HAPPY SOMEONE WAS ABLE TO MAKE IT!

I love the background story and sound, and if this is really how signs were made, did you actually have experience making signs!? Or do crazy research on it? It seems like such an awesome skill.

Some stuff that made it difficult for me to play. 

  1. I didn't realize you needed a mouse at first, but I figured that out quickly, so super minor.
  2. I didn't quite get the gas part and kept doing it wrong for a while, so I wanted to go back to view the instructions again. I managed to figure it out eventually, though, so again, that's minor.
  3. When I finally got to the gameplay, I put the torch down on the vertical part of the tube and kept accidentally picking it or the tube up when not desired, but maybe you want this effect?
  4. During game play, I wanted to save and leave the game and didn't see a way of doing that, nor replaying levels for a better rating. However, this is a jam, so replay and saving are definitely some of the things to cut while short on time. :D

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR MAKING THIS GAME!

Developer(+1)

Thanks very much for playing and leaving feedback for our game! I'm sorry you had difficulties with the controls. We had the instructions written on the game page itself but as not everybody goes there to check out the page (myself included) it probably would have been best to also have them in the actual game. We did want to keep the controls super simple though which is why we more or less stuck to a mouse only thing. I'm glad you were able to figure it out! The hand tool let's you work around the workbench and pick up either the glass tube or the torch. I felt that gave it more of a workshopy vibe than a pure image editing thing as you are "picking" something up. I'm not sure if we'll change that too much in the post jam because I think part of it is about tool placement on the table. When you're done with the burner, put it to the side etc... though might adjust sizes to make overlap less likely. 

There was definitely a lot of research put into the game. There's actually a neon sign making place near where I live and the we discussed having me attend a class to try get more research. Though that would have taken at least 4 hours so we opted instead to spend those hours working on the jam directly haha. Our game is not the most accurate neon sign making simulator due to a lack of time/unsure of how much we wanted in the gameplay. Some differences are that during bending the glass, you would also be blowing air into it to keep the soft glass from collapsing on itself and maintaining a consistent diameter. We had an idea where the player would need to be blowing into the microphone while bending but for obvious reasons we didn't move forward with that as that would be kinda finicky gameplay and not everybody has a microphone. And that the bending took up enough concentration that we don't want to burden the player to also have to control air flow into the glass. We also didn't include attaching electrodes to the end of the glass tube. There is some discussion if we want to have that step in the post jam version. As for the gas filling mini game, that isn't how you really fill the tube up with gas. However, the gas mixtures we included are real combinations and we kept the facts Mr. Lam says about gas colours and the use of helium in tubes accurate. Nyveon helped keep us honest about it. Initially we wanted Mercury to be one of the gases you fill the tube with. However, mercury is placed into the tube as a drop of liquid that later vaporises, not as a gas initially which is why we went with different mixtures and had Mr. Lam just say there was a drop of mercury already in the tube. 

There's a few other neon sign making games in this jam though I haven't seen the same kind of bending if you're interested in checking them out. I might be missing some.: 

https://itch.io/jam/amaze-me-game-jam/rate/1096696 (Make a neon light and see them decorated in a city)

https://itch.io/jam/amaze-me-game-jam/rate/1096574 (Management neon light making game. Loved how it costs money when you "draw" out your neon light)

https://itch.io/jam/amaze-me-game-jam/rate/1097218 (Make neon lights by filling out combinations correctly. Hectic game like overcooked style.)

Hopefully you were able to finish our game despite those issues! I'm quite fond of the ending myself which is why we made it so you could skip all the bending glass mini games by hitting "Done" prematurely. Thanks again for playing!

Submitted(+2)

wooo, the game is so awesome i really like it :)

Developer

Glad to hear you liked it c:
Thank you very much!

Submitted(+2)

This is very impressive! Really everything seems to be at the same very high level, whether it's the music, the story, the visuals or the gameplay.
I really like the backstory at the start of the game, it's a bit of interesting history that I didn't know at all.
I'm incredibly amazed and intrigued by the game's mechanics as well, trying to figure out how you managed to code all that :)
An absolutely great game!

Developer

Thanks for playing our game! When I heard of the jam theme, I thought it was a great opportunity to have something centred around Hong Kong's neon lights :D Glad people are learning something about it!

The game's mechanics were definitely the hardest part of it. Before we all committed to doing the jam, we wanted to make sure the bending mechanic was possible. We weren't sure if we could do it in the time frame. Thankfully, it all worked out! Nyveon did all of our coding so really thankful to have him on the team. He has everything up on github too if you're interested in checking out how he did it :D

Submitted(+3)

Loved the game! I really enjoyed the gameplay, very unique idea!  I also liked that you had not only the sign making but also the story parts. (Even though the story was really sad :/ ) The third tool was a bit confusing at first but I managed it^^  Great job overall!

Developer(+1)

Thanks for playing our game and glad you enjoyed it :D 

Yeah we wanted to contextualise neon lights. When I heard of the jam theme I really wanted to make something about Hong Kong's neon lights and work a narrative into it somehow. 

(+2)

Originality in a piece of art, customized to our current Jam Theme perfectly, while also being a useful , real-life craft tutorial. Congrats! Theme 5, for sure.  Btw, guessing you are not a solo dev. 

Developer(+1)

Thanks for playing our game!

There's no need to guess if we are solo devs haha. You can view the contributors on our itch page and we also had a credit screen in game. The submission page also lists us out.

Nyveon worked on programming, I worked with faxdoc on the art, and sunny was our sound person and story. Victoryarcana worked on story. Just split up like that.

Thank you! You can see my entry too (now with an FHD++ gameplay video)!

Submitted(+2)

Nice work. Very soothing gameplay :) Nice concept. This game has heart!

Developer

Thank you very much!

Submitted(+3)

Holy.... to be honest this level of detail, work, music, art and of course love is what makes making games a work of art, you made me feel the need to learn how to do neon signs, and it felt like I was really learning, because I messed up so many neon signs while playing the game, the story is very touching because of those forgotten jobs that have the risk of been lost in time with the modernity... its clear that the research you did to make the game was very important, and being able to create game mechanics that were interesting to play and to learn is an amazing achievements, props to the writing team, the sound design team and of course the programing, as someone else said I am still trying to figure out how you did the bending mechanics, that some freaking cool, perfect fit for the theme, great experience in general, congrats to all of you amazing work! 

Developer

Thanks very much. It really feels amazing to read detailed comments like yours! Like a shot of dopamine. 

Glad it made you feel like learning to make neon signs. We definitely put a lot of research into it. We even considered taking a small neon light making course during the jam period but haha ended up doing more art assets instead. 

Bending the tubes in the light mini game is definitely pretty tricky. So we made it optional. We wanted people to be able to enjoy the story even if they'd rather not do the mini games so we made it so you can just click "Done" even if the letters aren't perfect. Wanted it to be stress-free and have the player feel it is ok to mess up. It's more about the experience.

The bending mechanics were definitely tricky. We wouldn't have participated in the game jam if we weren't able to get it working. Nyveon, our programmer is the real MVP. He coded for an insane amount of time to get it right. He also posted the code publicly if you are interested in seeing how it works! 

The sound design is also one of my favourite parts of this game. Probably the most sound polished game I've submitted in the jam. Nyveon and my sister worked together to get over 60+ sounds into it. And I love the bending sound a lot.

Thanks so much for leaving such a thoughtful comment. I really enjoyed reading it. And thanks again for taking the time to play our game!

Submitted(+2)

In my experience I had the need to keep trying until I got it right! you create amazing mechanics, glad to have played your game

Submitted(+2)

Ah, I think it's very fitting that the most rated game for a jam about neon, is the one that celebrates is history in a fun way. I love the sprite work as well, btw. ^ _ ^

Developer(+1)

Glad you liked it! Also I agree the sprite work is great, faxdoc and happysquared did an amazing job on it!

(1 edit) (+2)

Very involving and thought-provoking game, with a lot of attention to detail and some clever gameplay mechanics! - obviously made with love!...  :)

Good luck!

Developer

Made with lots of love! We worked really hard on this, so very glad you liked it c:

Thanks for the comment :D

Submitted(+2)

Wow, this is brilliant. The art was great, and I loved the main mechanic of bending the tubes to make signs. The narrative combined with that puzzle mechanic motivated me to keep playing. Really creative use of the theme. The rotation could be a bit wonky sometimes, and the table got a little cramped to navigate around, but overall I still really enjoyed it. Not gonna get too into it but suffice to stay the story was pretty relatable on a personal level and I thought you guys did a great job!

Developer(+1)

In the brainstorming stage of the project, the main mechanic was a big source of insecurity as we asked ourselves "will this even work?" Thankfully, it did! Hahah.

It actually means a lot that you found the story relatable... Glad it could be meaningful to someone c:

Thank you very much for the comment, and glad you liked it!

Submitted(+3)

Wow. What a remarkable game mechanic. I'm still trying to think of how you did this!! Bending the neon tube to shape it into the letters? This is really cool! A perfect fit for the theme as well, and a thoughtful story to go with it. Very nice entry!!!

Developer

A lot of trial and error with the programming, and a lot of math hahah! I'll probably be writing up a devlog on how it's done, but the source is all public on github (linked in the game page)

Very glad you liked it! Thank you very much for the comment c:

(+2)

Loved it! Such an interesting implementation of the theme - the setting definitely got me into one of those little googling sprees about the subject. Making your own sign irl would be sick. Looks like a cool craft and art form. 

Implementing the tube shaping mechanics must have been a challenge in the time you spent on this, but you pulled it off! Sure, it has some jank in places but it works and feels nice. I was thinking that an undo mechanic would be nice but on the other hand I think it's a central part of the challenge that you have to be careful and have to make do with your mistakes.

I expected to see the sign I made at the ending screen, but maybe it's for the better that you didn't humiliate me with my own barely legible crooked squiggles.

I could sense the Mini Bunnies' contribution to the vibe. Something about the style of narrative and the music is recognizable throughout your games. I don't know if you all have collaborated before but it's cool to see familiar faces teaming up!

Great job everyone! GL

Developer(+1)

Yeah I definitely went down a google hole when it came to neon lights. During the jam period, my sister told me there was actually a glass workshop near where I lived and they were offering 1-day neon light workshops. Haha, I was super tempted to join for our jam "research". I mean 3 hours making actual neon lights is totally helpful for making a game right? Guess in the end we decided not to do it and spend the day making assets instead... haha. Maybe next time we'll sign up just because it seemed soooo fun tbh. 

The tube shaping mechanics seemed like a major pain. Nyveon takes all credit for coding those. We weren't even sure if it was possible to do within the time frame. I didn't want to get everybody's hopes up about doing a jam so asked Nyveon to make sure he thought it was possible first before committing completely. So there was a LOT of time spent on experimenting with those and research. 

Maybe in the post jam version we could have the sign you make display somewhere in game. We were thinking on the title screen. But for immersion purposes kept a nice one to show in the final cutscene.

We haven't collaborated before but schedules nicely lined up and decided to go ahead and give it a go. Was a lot of fun :D Been so happy with the people I've been meeting since starting game dev a year ago.

(1 edit) (+2)

Whoa I loved this. The art, the mechanic, the writing. And I LOVED the music!
Had 33/35 stars, was really satisfying and relaxing!
Also big shoutout to the sound effects, the bending was so satisfying and nice, totally impressive for a jam!
- Kyon

Developer

Thanks for leaving feedback and playing the game! Sunnydaze would be thrilled to hear you enjoyed the music :D She also did most of the sound design and we ended up with 60+ sounds... haha. I was super blown away when she sent over the bending sound. Thought it was perfect. It's probably the most sound polished game I've ever made in a jam.

33/35 is a really fantastic score. The final "S" can be super hard to get 5 stars on! 

(+2)

Wonderful game and moving story, I loved every minute of it.

Developer

Thank you very much!

Submitted(+2)

I really enjoyed this, and I'm not usually into this kind of game.
It was very satisfying the feeling of working on the lights. The mechanism was fun to use and the  puzzle/story/creation aspects make a nice mix of genre. 
Out of all the games I've played, this has the most thematic appeal, delving into the history of neon rather than going with the generic go-tos. Nice work!

Developer

Glad you liked it!

We had a mix of more gameplay focused and more narrative focused folks on our team, so I'd like to think that lead to the balance we found here.

Very happy you found it to be a good use of the theme,  I too thought the idea our designer came up was a brilliant use of it :D

Thanks for the comment c:

Submitted(+2)

I'm usually not into these text heavy kind of games, but the mechanics of the light making parts were so good that I played through to the end. The game seems really polished and I didn't run into any bugs. The only suggestion I have is that I think the torch would've felt better if it had been a separate tool that could be clicked on and off instead of being picked up with the hand tool and always on.

Nice work! This might be the most on theme game that I've tried so far.

Developer(+1)

Thanks for playing our game! I'm glad you found something in the game that you enjoyed! I felt some people might be more into narrative games and not into the glass bending at all so we made it semi-optional where you could skip all the glass bending sections by clicking "Done" prematurely. So happy to hear that people also enjoy the glass bending :D Yeah we're discussing some QOL stuff for the post jam version. The torch definitely being something we want to focus on. 

I've been interested in neon lights in Hong Kong for a bit so hearing the theme for the jam really made me want to make something featuring them. Glad it worked out!

Submitted(+2)

Wow! This was an awesome experience! I love these kinds of games! Not much to criticize outside of that sometimes once a part cooled you would have the entire neon tube rotate. :P

Amazing work! A great take on the theme! Bravo!

Developer(+1)

Thanks for taking the time to play our game :D 

There was some discussion as to what should happen while rotating if a part cooled. It made sense that oh if you're still bending it but the glass tube cooled, then the whole object would rotate. But maybe something like having it not rotate at all until you release the mouse button and click again might be a better player experience. Thanks again for playing!

Submitted

yeah, definitely always opt for what is most convenient for the player, even if it breaks consistency or accuracy IMO.  I like that idea! That was really the only complaint I had. It was very well made! :D

(+2)

A great take on the theme! The facts about the neon lights were well integrated to the story and the story itself was lovely. Art and music/sfx were on point. The crackling and hissing noises in minigames... very asmr, very satisfying. 

Only things bothering were the sometimes unpredictable behavior of the pipe when rotating and reset button next to the done button. If you are going to make a post jam version, a button for undoing the last edit action could be nice.

Good work!!

Developer

Thanks! We were researching a bunch on neon lights. The gases were originally neon and mercury but nyveon made sure we got our facts right and started watching neon light videos during the jam time where he found mercury is inserted in liquid form so you wouldn't be pumping mercury gas into the light tubes. 

I was surprised at how many sounds we ended up using in the game but my sister definitely did a good job making the sounds. I really liked the glass bending sound. Think we ended up with 60+ sounds in the game. Nyveon made a huge list of possible sounds and we went from there. 

Oh yeah the reset thing is a big QOL thing we have to fix. We discussed an undo button but it's pretty hard to determine what is an action with the way our game is. 

Thanks again for playing!

Submitted (1 edit) (+2)

''Neon is dead... I wish you were too!'' Whoa, drama! :)

Developer(+1)

:0 !

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

Really nice, scientific game about making fake neon lights. :) If you check wiki, only red-orange is a Neon color. Other lights that weren't Neon were just called Neon due to the similar bright colors. Haha, but indeed the game's content would be lacking if red was the only color in game. So gameplay-wise this works. :D Interesting concept and amazing art! This was all done within 1-2 weeks?

Developer(+2)

Hey! Thanks for playing our game! I wouldn't call them "fake neon lights".

It was actually for more than gameplay reasons why we decided to include other colours for our neon lights. Part of it was thematic as well. And part of it was educational. We wanted to show that what people know as "neon lights" were originally because those lights were filled with neon gas, which as you said, produce a bright red colour. However, "neon signs" still refer to all the different colours that people might be more familiar with. As Wiki does say: ""Neon" is used to denote the general type of lamp, but neon gas is only one of the types of tube gases principally used in commercial application." So we wanted to focus more on the lamp type for the theme, not necessarily a light that uses Neon. To illustrate this in the game, we added the gas filling mini game where Mr. Lam does say he used "Argon" and "Neon" for the first light you make. It isn't super common to find a light that uses purely neon nowadays as adding another gas makes it more efficient. For the second light you make, he doesn't use neon at all and uses a mix of argon and helium. The light burns a bright blue as there is a drop of mercury added that will vaporise when the light is turned on. This creates a brilliant blue as mercury gas mixtures emits a good deal of ultra violet light. The helium, as Mr. Lam mentions, is to make the neon light work well even if the weather is cold. Neon lights are affected by the cold and helium helps the mercury stay in vapor form when it gets cold.

I don't think other lights were called "Neon" due to similar bright colours. But "neon" was the first gas discovered to produce a bright red. Originally, these tubes filled with gases were just called geissler tubes. (wiki defines them as "an early gas discharge tube used to demonstrate the principles of electrical glow discharge"). Same principle that was later applied to neon lighting. Neon was discovered by scientists William Ramsay and Morris W. Travers who found neon's electrical discharge created a brilliant red glow in their geissler tubes. After that, people discovered (not sure who) flourescent tube coatings that could affect the colour of the light. As well as different gas mixtures. But the neon name stuck. So I think neon comes from the fact those lights just originally contained neon and the rest was an extension of the discovery. It's a bit of a misnomer I guess, "Neon Light". Similar to how blackboards can be green and not just black.

And yes! This was all done within the time frame. We actually started a little late as we weren't sure whether we wanted to do the jam. 51 hours of coding logged in gamemaker. (Our programmer nyveon is a real MVP for us to get this ambitious game done. We weren't sure if the bending mechanics were possible to figure out in time.)

Developer(+1)

To add this, almost all the programming was done during the 19th, 20th and 21st hahah (you can see the project commit history here), if I had started earlier we probably wouldn't have had some of the issues we ended up having, but that's how game jams go!

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