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[DEVLOG] Droplet: States of Matter (3D platformer)

Droplet: States of Matter is now on Steam Early Access! You can visit the Steam Store Page here!

WATCH THE TRAILER:

If you’re interested in reviewing or streaming the game, let me know and send me an e-mail at karlast@krayfishentertainment.com!

What is Droplet: States of Matter?

Droplet: States of Matter is a 3D platforming adventure set in the Periodic Table Universe where elements, compounds and other scientific phenomena are personified! Play as Droplet and his sister Molly-QL, a duo that has the ability to change between the four states of matter: water, cloud, ice and plasma forms. With their unique abilities and with some extra help from Professor Humphry Heisenberg Otto’s weather machine, they need to travel the galaxy to recover the missing atoms and crystals from the mad scientist Dr. Ruby Dium as well as the pompous Lord Krypton and his devious lackeys.

Explore the Noble Gas Kingdom, a sector of space filled with all sorts of unique environments. Water form allows for swimming and for a jack-of-all-trades approach. Ice form allows for freezing the surface of liquids to walk across. Cloud form allows for much higher jumping. And plasma form allows for blazing the way forward through activating hardlight bridges.

There are over 50 unique levels to explore with many secrets to uncover!

Development

About

I started development of Droplet: States of Matter in January 2018. After some experimenting with a JRPG-style game, I decided to instead create a 3D platformer that would be a sequel to two previous 2D sidescroller games I made. In the previous Droplet games, you were able to switch between the different states of matter to solve many platforming challenges. Making the big leap to 3D seemed like the natural course of action. With Unreal Engine’s powerful capabilities, I was able to pursue my dream project to pay homage to my favorite collect-a-thon games that I grew up with.

After three years of development, Droplet: States of Matter came to early access on March 17, 2021. During the early access stage, I’m looking to gather user feedback and further improve the graphics and level layouts.

Bonus material:

You can check out the previous two Droplet games here:

Selections of the game’s soundtrack are also available on Spotify.

PREVIOUS DEVELOPMENT VIDEOS

Mangrove Marsh graphical update

Title screen sequence

Borealis Vista graphical update

Latest Music Tracks

https://soundcloud.com/krayfishkarl/…he-water-cycle

Title screen theme with lyrics created with Vocaloid!

Temple of Sobek stage theme

Neon Badlands theme

Borealis Vista theme

Images

ToxicBog_LowerRes.png](filedata/fetch?id=1684721&d=1571354718)
A level where the player must navigate over a deadly swamp.

](filedata/fetch?id=1684722&d=1569016546)
The game’s first level.

](filedata/fetch?id=1684723&d=1573313341)
Cloud form can ride clouds rising from steam vents
](filedata/fetch?id=1684725&d=1573313417)
Ice form can freeze the surface of water.
](filedata/fetch?id=1684726&d=1573313492)
The player’s facial expression and posture changes when low on health.
](filedata/fetch?id=1684727&d=1573313547)
Plasma form in a particle accelerator.

ToxicBog_LowerRes.png](filedata/fetch?id=1684720&d=1571354718)
https://forums.unrealengine.com/core/image/gif;base64

Toxic Bog

Videos

The Sprites and Elves level.

The Neon Badlands hub area

A playthrough of Toxic Bog

October 2019 status development video

A boss battle with Sobek.

I’ve been making some very good progress in the past few weeks. I’ve implemented the abilities of ice form as well as a level designed around you learning how to use it.

Just made a new area! I put a secret path as well as a rare plasma form:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=7IzxivkyHd0

https://youtube.com/watch?v=EFbcshOivms

Been hard at work. I’ve been blocking out a lot of different areas to experiment with how the player transitions between different states of matter. Once I got that down, I’ll populate them with more collectibles and enemies.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=AtG3WanhKwE

Here’s a new level with some very unique challenges. It makes use of the rare plasma form as well as platforms that move differently according to your current state of matter.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=oUcMEteKIJ0

Another level where the default state of matter changes throughout the level due to the heat of a volcano. Also, there’s a T-rex.


Here is what the ninth level looks like from above. It’s not quite video ready, but I thought I might just post something to look at. This level is set in the stratosphere where it’s pure platforming. There are clouds that start to shrink when you step on them, and the orange segments are placeholders for moisture that can be frozen in a similar manner to the surface of water. The last segment of the level gets cold and the default form changes to ice. So your timing is a little different.

This level takes about 5 minutes to finish assuming you don’t miss any jumps.

Tenth level is completed. This one features blocks of sodium that explode when you are within proximity. The ending part has wooden boats that sail down a river. You must avoid obstacles like hanging stalactites along the way.

I’ve been holding off additional videos mainly because I’m waiting until I have a new feature that’s really ready to present with bells and whistles. I’ve just continued the blocking out as usual. In the meantime, I’ll be posting some music tracks from the game that I’ve been composing myself. They aren’t quite done, but they are songs I put together to help me figure out the game’s atmosphere.

Link to the SoundCloud Playlist

The results I have so far are an upbeat trance techno. I’ve been sticking with very specific BPM’s mainly since some elements of the game are actually affected by the music like the speed at which some platforms move. Each level will also a unique music track to help give it its own identity.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=76_M3hFDDspw

New level called Pleistocene Plateau. In this one, you get to hop on mammoths and use them as platforms. I’ve also introduced a vehicle called the watercycle which you ride down a mountain at the end.


A forest-themed level where you are hopping on treetops. This one is a bit easier than the previous ones so it will likely appear very early in the game.

This is a nice idea for core game mechanics

Thanks for the feedback!

DropletRedesign.jpg
D3_PlayerModel.png

Finally got to work on some concept art and modelling for the player character. Granted, I’m not very experienced in Blender, but hopefully, this will be a lot more interesting to look at than the default mannequin. Animations should follow shortly.

Droplet is about 5’8" so he’s perhaps either late teens or early 20s. What I’m going for is a bit of a 90’s kids type mascot character. In the story, Droplet is the lab assistant to Professor Humphry Heisenberg Otto - the relation I’m imagining to be a bit similar to Doc Brown and Marty McFly. Once I’m ready to reveal it, I’ll drop more story bits as to the sort of world the game takes place in. My aim is to give every single character in the game, both protagonists and antagonists, distinctive personalities.

D3_Marsh.jpg
Been quite busy so I haven’t been able to work on it as much. However, here’s another aerial view of an early game level. This one has you ascend a mountain with a river with waterfalls. I’ve also did walking and jumping animations for the main character so now the game is a tad nicer to look at when you play it.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=pyq8oYSa_Po

More progress! New model for the main character implemented!

https://youtube.com/watch?v=k6FXfdbDkNw

Made a new level demonstrating using multiple forms to traverse a level.


Progress is coming up very nicely. Levels are about 80% blocked out. This level is kitchen-themed and that’s a giant stove you get to go inside.

Just reached a significant milestone in my project! All 25 main levels and the 6 hidden levels are blocked out! The next things to do are the collectibles, enemies and bosses.

Overall, I’m much further ahead of schedule than what I expected to be at this point. I’m shooting for a completion date by May 2019, but I’ll take the time I need to polish the game and make it look and play nice.

D3_Tribesman.jpg
Started working on enemies! The tribesmen will react to your presence and will start swinging their spear at you when you’re close. They also drop their spears when they are defeated though this is mostly for aesthetic affect.

Progress update:

I’ve settled for a fully controllable camera now. After making the levels, I started to realize there were many parts were a fixed camera was a hindrance. Being able to turn the camera seems to help give a better sense of perspective.