What is Never Out Of Time

« Never Out Of Time » is a bullet‑hell/danmaku type of shoot ’em up: The player goes through levels in which he has to face multiple enemies shooting massive amounts of bullets at him.

This kind of game usually tests the player’s reflexes and his ability to memorize patterns in order to survive everything that’s thrown at him. Never Out Of Time approaches things differently by offering him actual time control.

If the player has ever played titles such as Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Braid or Superhot, he will quickly find his marks as it is all about exploiting these mechanics in a shoot ’em up setting :

  • The time flow of the game is based on the speed of the player. If he stops, so does the time. If he’s moving slowly, everything in the game moves slowly, as in a “bullet time”. This allows the player to take his time in assessing his situation, devise a strategy or finely tune his trajectory. That way, the game focus is less about pure reflexes and more about reflection and anticipation.
  • The player can go back in time at will by rewinding the last few seconds of the action. A hopeless situation or even death itself are not done deals.

Features

  • Time control allows players of any skill and horizon to face overwhelming bullet patterns with thousands of bullets on screen without feeling hopeless. These 2 mechanics can be used at will.
  • Bullet patterns are still built in a way that would allow a seasoned player to navigate them with minimal use of these powers, and rush through a level he has mastered in order to get a better timer.
  • A scoring system with multiple parameters (killed enemies, timer, grazed bullets, etc) allows players to compete by displaying their performance on an online leaderboard.
  • A dynamic difficulty system : throughout every level a number of “secret challenges” are hidden, which when found and overcome, drastically change the difficulty of the corresponding section and reward the player with a big bonus to the final score.

Current state of the project

March 2022 update

  • Everything related to game mechanics is entirely defined and functional.
  • The game engine is entirely home made, and besides some needed adjustments and bug fixes throughout content development, it is finalized.
  • 3 of the 7 planned levels are currently completely done and playable, the 4th one is well on the way.
  • Tutorial level is completed.
  • The majority of music and sounds has already been recorded.
  • Free demo available on Steam with complete level 1 and tutorial.
  • Controller support OK.

Roadmap

Here are the main remaining tasks for us to complete in order to properly launch the game:

  • Finish the remaining planed content : The space station has 3 wings with 2 levels each (a standard level and a boss level), and also a final boss level. The first wing is done, we’re finalizing the second one (level design of the boss), and the third one has just been started (art and environment design). The final boss hasn’t been touched yet.
  • Implement the leaderboard : Players must be able to compare their performances in a simple and fair way. Multiple categories are planned so that players don’t feel shoehorned into playing in a specific manner in order to compete (best score, best timer, any%, 100%, etc).
  • Add a bug reporting system : As much as we want to release a bug-free game, we are aware that there will always be a few sneaky ones which will go unnoticed. We want the players to be able to directly contact us easily through an in-game form so that we’re able to quickly fix any problem that would arise
  • Lots of small tweaking tasks (graphical elements, effects and materials, animations, minor bugs, etc).
  • (Likely after game release) Bonus unlockable levels : We have many patterns, enemies and situations ideas that could just not fit into the main game for various reasons. Exploring them through small gimmicky levels would expand the game content in an interesting and more permissive way. We don’t want to delay the release too much, so the game will launch as soon as it’s ready with its main content, and these bonus levels will come along the way, obviously for free for anyone who owns the game.

Who we are

Refolded Games is a team of 2 longstanding french friends who went through the same IT school. Melvin had planned for some time to build his own game development studio.

Quickly joined by Rémi, “NOOT project” (Never Out Of Time) was born, from an original idea of Melvin.

The two of us only had general IT/development knowledge and skills at the time, so Never Out Of Time has been the product of a lot of “learning by doing” and of our extensive personal experiences about this passion. The only thing we chose to not do ourselves was everything sound related. For this, we brought in Jérémie Vinet (JV Soundworks) who recorded for us every single music and sound you’ll have the pleasure to discover in game.

About us specifically , even if it’s obviously not really this straightforward since we’re only 2, we could describe our respective work this way:

Melvin « Melcx » Rey

Handles the art, from 3D models to textures, not to mention shaders or particle effects. It’s also him that built the game engine from scratch.

If you ever find yourself drowning in visual effects, if you don’t like the way an enemy is looking at you, or if that bloody bullet should definitely not have hit you because you were clearly far enough, he’s your man!

Rémi « Zan » Cazenave

Establishes rules and game mechanics. He’s the architect of the levels, and handles enemies placement, balancing, pattern construction and challenges concepts. He’s also doing most of the internal testing.

If you’re getting riddled with bullets, if you wake up your neighbors screaming in frustration, or if this damn pattern is bloody broken and should be nerfed, you should address your complains to him!

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