Factsheet

Developer:
Moondrop
Based in Hamar, Norway

Release date:
TBA

Platforms:
TBA

Website:
dofsgame.com

Regular Price:

USDTBA
EURTBA
GBPTBA
NOKTBA

Description

Degrees of Separation is a puzzle platformer where cooperation is built into every move. Two contrasting souls fall in love while separated by a strange force.

Two players, each controlling their own character in the same world, solve puzzles and platforming challenges together. The two characters have their own area of influence, where one is warm and the other is cold. Moving in relation to each other will cause the areas to shift with them in real-time. In this way, the players can interact with the environment to make water freeze and melt, snowballs to grow and shrink, vents to expel air and more.

The game has several worlds, where each has its own theme and mechanic to expand the experience. These worlds are connected through a castle (”hub”), which in itself is also explorable.

Found in the worlds, players collect scarves together to progress. A certain amount of scarves will unlock new worlds and eventually lead to the end of the game. Almost none of the scarves are mandatory to collect and can be skipped if the players can’t solve or don’t like the obstacles needed to reach them. It’s possible to go back and collect them later.

Degrees of Separation explores how people can cooperate and build a relationship, even though having contrasting personalities and worldviews. The game is designed as a family game, where both young and old can play and find something of value. This is based on how Nintendo, Pixar, and Disney creates their products.

History

The Norwegian Nationals in Gameplay

Early 2014, for the fourth year in a row, the Norwegian Film Institute held their game jam competition the “Norwegian Nationals in Gameplay”. This is a competition where teams from all over Norway are invited to create a game prototype in a week around a theme, and on the last day present it to judges and audience in Oslo. Here, the judges choose the five best prototypes to present their game on a stage, where lastly, everyone votes for their favorite. The winner gets 100,000 NOK.

The theme

This year, the theme was “temperature”. Moondrop, having won the first year of the competition (2011), participated like every year. Seeing the level of quality of the prototypes steadily rise over the years, they wanted to make something that would stand out, both visually and conceptually. Pushing it, they spent the first three days to find the idea they believed would be exactly this. The major breakthrough in the development was when they realized they could represent the strong contrast of warm and cold at the same time. With a bit of hesitation, they decided to make the prototype using Flash.

Presentation

With little sleep, the team traveled to Oslo to present the game. Feeling confident they presented the game for the judges and let other people try it while waiting for the judges to finish evaluating everyone. The prototype received lots of positive feedback and they were happy it was liked. After a while, the judges presented the finalists to present on stage, but Degrees of Separation was not one of them. Everyone in Moondrop felt disappointed, but being in the finals was not a given.

Forgotten by mistake

After the finalists had presented, some people wanted to try Degrees of Separation while waiting for the votes to be counted. At this time, one of the judges noticed them playing and immediately stopped the voting as a misunderstanding had caused Degrees of Separation not to be called to be a finalist. Voting stopped and Moondrop got a chance to present for everyone. After a re-vote was held, Moondrop won by a large margin.

Production begins

After finishing their first game, "Amphora", Moondrop decided to use the prototype to develop a full game from the concept and started work early 2015. Seeing the potential of the concept, how the game mechanic caused the players to have the same kind of intimate cooperation that the characters have, was the main reason they chose it as their second game. Having developed some prototypes in Unity, it was decided to use Unity as the game engine. The project has since received multiple grants from the Norwegian Film Institute.

Recently

After suffering a slow development with only two people, Moondrop hired Karoline Skoglund Olsen and Alex Temina late 2015, something which greatly increased production. Karoline, being a 2D artist was able to offload Owe so he could focus on design, and Alex as a programmer let Andreas focus more on the business management. Together, they create a versatile and dynamic team who now have their sight on the release of Degrees of Separation.

Features

  • Distinct game mechanic - based on the contrast between warm and cold
  • Every movement counts - close cooperation between the players
  • Personality and history - weaved into the game mechanics
  • Respects players time - no filler content

Videos

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Screenshots

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Awards & Recognition

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      About Moondrop

      Boilerplate
      Moondrop is an indie game studio located in Hamar, Norway, focused on making games that are interesting, beautiful and respectful towards players. Four full-time developers, determination, experimental methods and compulsive behavior are key ingredients when Moondrop makes games.

      More information
      More information on Moondrop, our logo & relevant media are available here.

      Degrees of Separation Credits

      Andreas Fuglesang
      Business & Lead Programmer

      Stig-Owe Sandvik
      Lead Designer & Lead Artist

      Karoline Skoglund Olsen
      2D Artist

      Alejandro Ruiz Temina
      Programmer

      Kristian Brastein
      Audio, Freelancer

      Astrid Lian Aa
      Concept artist, Freelancer

      presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks