The cooperative single-player puzzle-platformer with no jump button. Find creative ways to use gravity to your advantage as you navigate the mind-bending world of Deleveled.
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Autumn 2019
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Planned Release Date: Autumn 2019

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August 13

The Last Mile

"The last mile" is a phrase used in a variety of contexts but, generally, it refers to the final connection made between product and user. A grid of power lines in a city isn't very useful unless it's actually wired up to apartments and houses. A well considered set of bus stops doesn't have much value unless people who want to use the bus will be able to get to them. For the Deleveled team, the alpha build we've taken to shows for feedback is great but it's not much of a video game you feel like you should pay for if it doesn't have some menus and a soundtrack. So, over the last month, we've tried to focus largely on that last mile that Deleveled still needs to travel before we really start feeling like it can be released.

For Kyle, this meant designing and implementing our basic user interface. Although, during gameplay, we're trying our very best to avoid any notion of permanent UI, we still need, for instance, a level select screen. For that, we've decided to use a paradigm that we both first saw in a fun game called Golf Peaks: the main menu and level select screen will be combined into one. We're still very much iterating on the looks of things but the functionality is coming together nicely.

On my side, it was high time for me to focus on music. Over the lifecycle of Deleveled, I've been jotting down musical ideas (using the excellent FamiTracker) but haven't, until now, really sat down to focus on fleshing any of them out. We're ambitiously shooting for a unique track to accompany each of ten worlds, in addition to having separate music for the menu, the credits, and a couple of other miscellaneous situations. In total, our soundtrack could very well end up being an entire album's worth of tracks. The good news is that I now have a totally reasonable set of music to polish up and make ready for production; the bad news is that that totally reasonable set of music still, in fact, needs to be polished up and made ready for production. That'll happen over the next month or two and, by the time we get to the next monthly update, I should have a SoundCloud link to share with everyone.

Some other assorted things we've been working on include but are not limited to: 1) actually nailing down all the text that's going to be in the game so we can get it translated into nearly twenty other languages; 2) implementing a "metric of mastery" into the game so there's a difference between just beating a level and perfecting it; and 3) polishing up every single existing level so that it's actually (hopefully) fun to play. If you're thinking #3 on that list sounds like a bit more than just an "assorted thing you've been working on", have I got a paragraph for you!

Indeed, level polish has been a huge undertaking. Frankly, even though we've pushed back the release date and changed the scope of this game several times since January, level polish is the first time that I personally feel like I've just drastically underestimated how much time something would take. For every single one of the hundred-plus levels we've created, in addition to documenting its solution as well as any alternative solutions that I know of, I'm affording myself a little time to just sort of goof around with it. "What if this switch were over there?" "What if these exits were actually switches and those switches were exits?" "Can you even hit these two switches together?" "Is this level too ugly?" The time it takes to answer each of those questions is hugely variable and what I thought would take a week (two, tops, no problem!) is easily going to fill three and possibly four. By the next update, I've got my fingers crossed that the book on level design will, once and for all, be closed.

Finally, with PAX coming up (and, in case you missed it, we'll be featured among this year's PAX 10 showcase!), we've spent a chunk of time making sure we're ready to go for what will easily be Deleveled's biggest show. We've created a big banner to hang up, made a new run of business cards, and even got some T-shirts for the occasion. (I can't remember who I heard this from but somebody once said, very roughly, "Your game is just so much more official if it's got a T-shirt.") We're excited, stressed, eager, and anxious, all at the same time. If you'll be at PAX this year, come visit and calm us down!

Though we've been a little more off-the-grid lately, rest assured, Kyle will still rarely tweet and regularly stream very soon. I, on the other hand, am still regularly tweeting (about baseball) and never streaming. Collectively, all of the latest screenshots, GIFs, and cat pictures can be found at @DeleveledGame.

Patrick
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July 11

See You at PAX

If there's anything I've learned about writing monthly video game updates, it's that there always ends up being a lede at risk of being buried. So, as usual, let there be no mistake as to what the big news of the day is:

DELEVELED WILL BE FEATURED IN THIS YEAR'S PAX 10 LINEUP.

As you might guess from the uppercase letters, we're REALLY excited about this. PAX 10 is a showcase of ten hand-picked indie games at PAX West. We applied on a lark a couple of months ago and were absolutely over the moon to learn that we'd been selected by the judges. It certainly doesn't hurt that, for us, PAX West is local. So, if you'll be there this year, we'll be demoing all day, all four days. Come by, say hi, and move some squares around!

Less exciting but just as meaningful, a few weeks ago, we released an alpha version of Deleveled to a handful of our friends so we could get some broad feedback on gameplay mechanics and feel. The notes we've been able to take have been incredibly helpful and will play a big part in making sure Deleveled is the best it can be upon release. Generally speaking, people seem to like the game, which, you know, is a very good thing. They're a little more mixed about some mechanics we're experimenting with, which is also a good thing because it gives us some data points to work with when we make final decisions on what to include in the game.

As of this past Monday, we officially have a full set of game levels in the books (which is really exciting for me because it means I can take a little break from level design and work on something else). There's still a ton of playtesting and polish that needs to happen on them but we're on track to meet our clearly stated and well defined goal of "tons" of levels. That is, depending on how much you think a level weighs. In any case, we're shooting for a lot.

In the coming weeks, I'll be focusing much more closely on audio, filling in some missing sound effects as well as composing the soundtrack. Kyle has been working hard on the various menus and flow that the game will need when it releases and he'll be tightening up the gameplay and iterating on our visuals very soon.

If you want the latest breaking Deleveled news, go give @DeleveledGame a follow. If you're more interested in Kyle, he's at @ToasterFuel; if I'm more your style, I'm at @jpnance. Also, drop by one of Kyle's gamedev streams on Twitch and scrutinize his code. (That's probably the meanest thing that I could say to a fellow programmer. I already regret it.)

Patrick
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About This Game

Deleveled is a physics-based puzzle-platformer that gives you simultaneous control over two squares that fall in opposite directions. Neither square can jump on command but they can exchange their momentum through common surfaces.



Each level has eight switches that must all be turned on and can only be activated in pairs. You'll have to think both upside down and right-side up as you carefully make your way through 10 different worlds, each with its own twists.



Features:
  • 100 challenging levels in the main campaign
  • 10 bonus levels unlocked as you perfect each world
  • 10 secret levels revealed as you push the limits of gravity
  • Accessibility mode for color blind players
  • Original chiptune soundtrack

System Requirements

Windows
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Microsoft Windows 7 or 10
    • Processor: 1.2GHz
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 18.04
    • Processor: 1.2GHz
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Storage: 100 MB available space
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