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Lucid Learnings

November 25, 2009

Via David Nottingham

Hey All,

Since we launched Lucidity on XBLA and PC, it’s been a really valuable experience to track the response from people to this experimental new game we put together. We’ve had some fantastic, supportive fans and positive responses and have gotten some great reviews from sites such as Edge, Eurogamer and Official Xbox Magazine.

At the same time, as many of you may have seen, we’ve also been getting feedback about the difficulty of the game, that people are finding it particularly punishing. We’ve seen comments about the lack of checkpoints in the game. At the time that we balanced the game, we designed the levels to be fairly short and the restarts as quick as possible and we felt that the game would be fine without checkpoints.

The dreams of Sofi...

However, when we started getting feedback, it became obvious that people were getting frustrated! We knew that the game was a challenge, but this showed us that we had underestimated that challenge by quite a bit.

We feel that there is so much great content in Lucidity that we want to open it up and make it more accessible for people to experience. So we have decided to create an update.

This update will launch for PC today and on XBLA in the coming weeks. The update will include the addition of checkpoints! So no more level restart when you die just before the end!

Keep an eye on this space we’ll post when it goes live. Let us know what you think of the improvement and tell your friends to check it out if they haven’t already. We hope this change will make it a little more accessible for a broader group of people!

Lots of Love

The Lucidity Team

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46 Comments leave one →
  1. Jibece permalink
    November 25, 2009 2:16 pm

    I already finished the game, but thanks :)

    SDK next? ;)

  2. mcw permalink
    November 26, 2009 1:28 am

    Thanks for rolling out the patch on Steam, it’s much appreciated, especially for going back through the levels and collecting the remaining fireflies.

    • David permalink
      November 30, 2009 4:45 pm

      Cool! Glad you appreciate it! Let us know how you do with the rest of those fireflies! :-)

  3. Seth permalink
    November 28, 2009 12:05 am

    My problem with it on XBLA was that item placement was too fine, so it took too long to carefully place an object. I think if the cursor was locked to some kind of grid, it would be more manageable.

    • David permalink
      November 30, 2009 4:44 pm

      Hi Seth,
      I’m a bit puzzled by your statement because the pieces DO actually lock to a grid! This was a deliberate design decision that we took. Perhaps I am misunderstanding your issue?

      Dave

      • Rebecca permalink
        January 20, 2010 2:00 am

        I agree with Seth, though I don’t think he necessarily meant that it needed to be locked to a grid.

        My experience with Lucidity is that when I try to move my mouse pointer, it feels a little like dragging it through mud – getting the mouse pointer in the right place at the right time is, as such, difficult because of said cursor sluggishness. The sluggishness of the mouse control is so frustrating that I don’t enjoy playing as much as I really want to.

        Hope that makes more sense?

  4. lastSKYsamurai permalink
    November 30, 2009 5:01 am

    I only downloaded the Demo on XBLA a few weeks back, Amazing Art! Love it! However, the puzzle aspect of it wasn’t for me. If it was a straight up plateformer, in the traditional sense, it would probably be one of the best games this year.

    How hard would it be to code out the item placement, code in control over Sofi, & Boom! “Lucidity 2″ is announced! – That or have the option to switch between both playing styles….?

    Just a thought. : )

    lastSKYsamurai
    Australia.

    • David permalink
      November 30, 2009 4:49 pm

      Hi lastSKYsamurai

      Thanks for your comments, its great to hear your feedback. It’s funny some people here suggested something similiar, that it would be interesting to take this world and art style and create a straight platformer! I guess great minds etc… :-)

      I think the challenge here is that once you launch an IP built around a very specific gameplay mechanic, it would be very hard to transition to a completely different type of experience. I’m struggling to think of IPs that have done this.

      The concern would be, how many fans of the original Lucidity that LOVED the gameplay, would be turnd off by such a deviation, and how clear would it be to potential fans of a new platformy version, that this game (looking very similar in screenshots) was actually very different gameplay?

      I’m always open to ideas. Can you think of examples where games have made this successful transition in a series?

      • lastSKYsamurai permalink
        December 5, 2009 7:59 am

        True, your absolutely right about the fans out there who appreciate the game for its puzzle ingenuity, as well as from what I also experienced, the story side of things that I got to see & again from my last post, amazing visuals. Of cause it wouldn’t be right on the fans who have thrown down there love/support for the game already, that is true & something I guess I overlooked when commenting.

        I’d just like to comment though, on this notion I get every time I play a DLC game, especially on XBLA. That every now & then I’ll download something that in the end is really just kinda crappy, & I’m not trying to draw comparisons at all, however I play some of these games & I wonder, what were they thinking when they made this! As far as innovation & progress, I get it, it’s part of industry, how things move forward.

        Though sometimes I just arrive at this one same thought & point. – God! If only they spent all those hours making this crappy game, into a cool little platformer! – Decent, immersive – artistically mostly, fun platformer, then I could dive right in – join the adventure! too say.

        You look at books. Even where we are today in this day & age people still read books millions of people around the world in-fact are still reading them, one form or another. People have been reading books since forever. My personal views are that platformers are essentially the same. They are easy to pick up, too just dive right in where you last left off. There’s no thinking involved & they easily open your imagination because they are simple to conceive & receive. – A simple platformer with the right story & right atmosphere artistically can suck you in as far in, as your favorite novel.

        Even though a book is a book, obviously not all books are the same, & that too goes for these types of games, so most of these platforming games these days are different from each other, Braid, Castle Crashers, Lucidity, heck even Sonic is back because people still like to play him, not to mention Monkey island!

        - Eighteen million copies of New Super Mario Brothers on the DS sold! The Wii Version sells 550000 copies day one. ……….ok, totally unfair comparison, 3 strikes on that one for obvious reasons. But none the less, it is still a platformer that sold that many units, & the same game, to a degree sells enormously well for doing not much but get brought over to the mother console.

        But what I want is a grand adventure on a smaller scale. Nothing does that better then the right book, & nothing does that same thing better then the right game.

        Somehow this turned into a column, but sometimes that’s me. I “droll” along sometimes when tying to get my point across. – In essence, what I was really trying to say was,….Forget the Fans! Give Sofi something to fight with already! : )

        Nevertheless, great work guys, you’ve nonetheless worked hard on this game so that’s 1000 times more impressive then a random guy from Oz talking up shite about stuff he can only assume & speculate on.

        - I’ll keep a look out though for anything that comes to mind regarding genre changes half way though a video game franchise & let you know. ,bye for now.

        lastSKYsamurai,
        Australia.

  5. lastSKYsamurai permalink
    November 30, 2009 5:10 am

    This
    HVCC
    has some similar artwork. Front page picture is a 2d adventure platformer just waiting to be made.

  6. lastSKYsamurai permalink
    November 30, 2009 5:15 am

    This dude to find out the author of this quote. has similar art. Front page picture is a 2d adventure platformer just waiting to be made!

    lastSKYsamurai
    Australia

  7. Diduz permalink
    November 30, 2009 9:27 am

    Any chance you’ve also updated the strange bug, which occasionally “locks” the cursor when Sophi falls down from a point high in the screen?

    • David permalink
      December 3, 2009 6:48 pm

      Hi Diduz,
      Yes we believe we fixed this problem with the patch. Let us know if you find any further problems with it!
      Dave

  8. December 1, 2009 6:40 pm

    Sadly even with the new patch a huge amount of Steam customers isn’t able to launch the game AT ALL.
    I initially didn’t really like the game mechanics too much but after people told me to stick with it – if only for the story – I slowly started getting into it and could appreciate the games zen-like qualities (especially with the new checkpoints).

    Well, only a little more over a day after my initial purchase the game stopped working with the same error that A LOT of other PC customers are having:

    “Couldn’t launch game. Please make sure that Microsoft .NET Framework is installed properly.”

    The crashlog (in German):

    “InvalidProgramException: Die Common Language Runtime hat ein ungültiges Programm gefunden.

    Stack Trace

    bei Method(Lucidity )
    bei LucasArts.Labs.Lucidity.Entry.Program.StartGame(String[] args)”

    The Steam forums are full with players that are experiencing the exact same problem, a lot of odd suggestions on how to fix it and not a single one that actually does.

    While some people were never able to successfully launch Lucidity, I actually already achieved half of the achievements – when suddenly launching the game become impossible. One minute it worked, the other it appeared to be irreparably broken. And no system changes, driver updates, Windows updates or even reboots happened it the meantime …

    … I never experienced a game fail like this and I would really appreciate if this problem would finally be resolved.

    • David permalink
      December 3, 2009 6:47 pm

      Hi Freibooter,
      Thanks for your post. We have been trying to replicate this problem and haven’t succeeded yet.
      If you have applied the patch, we added a log that gets saved that could help us isolate the problem.

      Can you look in your My Documents folder for a file called LucidityCrash.txt

      If you see this file can you copy the text into this thread?

      Thanks
      David

      • December 3, 2009 7:23 pm

        Thanks for replying and not ignoring the problem. The severity of the issue might become a little more obvious when looking at the Steam-stats for Luciditie’s achievements:
        http://steamcommunity.com/stats/Lucidity/achievements
        Only 12,4% of all customers on Steam finished Act 1, that is ridiculously low, the game is neither that hard nor is it that bad. Maybe quite a few of those people had the same problem I did:

        The game only worked for roughly 24 hours and then did (currently) irreparably die with that dreaded .Net error message. I know I’m not the only one with this exact problem, there is quite a notable number of others with the exact same problem.

        I already posted the content of the LucidityCrash.txt log-file in its entirety in my previous post:

        “InvalidProgramException: Die Common Language Runtime hat ein ungültiges Programm gefunden.

        Stack Trace

        bei Method(Lucidity )
        bei LucasArts.Labs.Lucidity.Entry.Program.StartGame(String[] args)”

        It’s not localized but uses the language of my user interface in Windows 7 instead, German. The content is identical on each crash and as you can see there really isn’t much in there at all.

        Here is my DxDiag if it is of any help:
        http://pastebin.com/m7e40e770

        I really didn’t change anything after the the first run of Lucidity on Steam … I didn’t even reboot – still, the game just refused to launch after about 24 hours. I tried all the tips and tricks on the Steam forum to get it back to work like changing my regional settings: nothing worked – the game remains broken.

        I would really like to be able to play Lucidity again sometime soon.

      • James permalink
        December 4, 2009 7:33 pm

        This is from the .txt file

        System.IO.FileLoadException: Could not load file or assembly ‘Lucidity.Entry, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null’ or one of its dependencies. Could not find or load a specific file. (Exception from HRESULT: 0×80131621)
        File name: ‘Lucidity.Entry, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null’
        at System.Reflection.Assembly._nLoad(AssemblyName fileName, String codeBase, Evidence assemblySecurity, Assembly locationHint, StackCrawlMark& stackMark, Boolean throwOnFileNotFound, Boolean forIntrospection)
        at System.Reflection.Assembly.nLoad(AssemblyName fileName, String codeBase, Evidence assemblySecurity, Assembly locationHint, StackCrawlMark& stackMark, Boolean throwOnFileNotFound, Boolean forIntrospection)
        at System.Reflection.Assembly.InternalLoad(AssemblyName assemblyRef, Evidence assemblySecurity, StackCrawlMark& stackMark, Boolean forIntrospection)
        at System.Reflection.Assembly.InternalLoad(String assemblyString, Evidence assemblySecurity, StackCrawlMark& stackMark, Boolean forIntrospection)
        at System.Reflection.Assembly.Load(String assemblyString)
        at LucasArts.Labs.Lucidity.Adm.Shim.StartGame(String commandLine)

        WRN: Assembly binding logging is turned OFF.
        To enable assembly bind failure logging, set the registry value [HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Fusion!EnableLog] (DWORD) to 1.
        Note: There is some performance penalty associated with assembly bind failure logging.
        To turn this feature off, remove the registry value [HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Fusion!EnableLog].

      • bd_ permalink
        December 4, 2009 9:38 pm

        I’m getting this same problem. I’ve pasted the LucidityCrash.txt (not very helpful) as well as the stacktrace in the second error dialog that came up here:

        http://pastebin.com/m7b742234

        I’m using windows 7, 64-bit, and the Steam version of Lucidity. I do have the .NET framework 3.5 SP1 installed, and all windows updates.

      • Dom permalink
        December 6, 2009 6:35 am

        I had this problem, and opting out of the Steam client beta fixed it. So there’s something about the Steam client beta that was causing the problem, at least for me.

      • David permalink
        December 7, 2009 12:12 pm

        Hey Guys,
        We are looking into the reported issues with .net on some machines.

        In the meantime, I found this post on the Steam forums which may be useful as it lists fixes for some of the common problems that people may encounter.

        http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=984011

        Also there is a tech support page on Steam here.
        https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=1986-UDZC-1256

        The Steam forum for Lucidity has lots of good discussions on the game and has an active community.
        http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=738

        If none of those links has a solution to your particular issue, you can contact our tech support here.

        http://yodashelpdesk.lucasarts.com/email.asp?sid=192017091008070170090237&pid=400000667&pnm=Lucidity&seid=400001895&pos=Windows%20XP

        I hope this helps!

        Dave

      • bd_ permalink
        December 7, 2009 9:58 pm

        The client beta was indeed the problem – it looks like the bug’s been reported to Valve, so hopefully they’ll fix it before the beta goes live. Thanks! :)

      • Selam permalink
        December 26, 2009 10:46 pm

        I bought this game on d2d and cant find the patch there. I get the same problem too with the microsoft.net passport. It wont let me get past a certain level.And I also find it hard to control the objects in the gamewith my mouse. Other than that, I think the game is awesome!

  9. December 2, 2009 3:42 pm

    If you get to make a sequel, you should add some more strategy to it. Like you only get a limited number of pieces to use per level, or something. That would be a LOT more fun than just cluttering up the screen with random pieces until you get the one you want.

    Beautiful to look at, though.

  10. December 4, 2009 1:15 am

    Hey David, I recently discovered an issue with Lucidity on my netbook. I tweeted about it yesterday and you advised me to put my crash text file on this blog, so here it goes:

    InvalidOperationException: This device does not support 32-bit indices. Use IndexElementSize.SixteenBits or a type that has a size of two bytes.

    Stack Trace

    at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Graphics.IndexBuffer.CreateBuffer(UInt32 dwSize, UInt32 typeSize, UInt32 usage, _D3DPOOL pool)
    at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Graphics.IndexBuffer..ctor(GraphicsDevice graphicsDevice, Int32 sizeInBytes, BufferUsage usage, IndexElementSize elementSize)
    at LucasArts.Labs.Framework.Graphics.Rendering.Components.IndexedMeshComponent.Initialize(IComponentData data)
    at LucasArts.Labs.Framework.Entities.EntityManager.InitializeEntity(Entity entity, IComponentData[] overridenComponents)
    at LucasArts.Labs.Framework.Entities.EntityManager.LoadInternal()
    at LucasArts.Labs.Framework.Entities.EntityManager.Load(LevelDescriptor level)
    at LucasArts.Labs.Framework.Game.BaseLevel.Initialize(LevelDescriptor level, IServiceProvider services)
    at LucasArts.Labs.Lucidity.Level.Initialize(LevelDescriptor level, IServiceProvider services)
    at LucasArts.Labs.Framework.Game.BaseLevelManager.d__2f.MoveNext()
    at LucasArts.Labs.Lucidity.LevelManager.d__0.MoveNext()
    at LucasArts.Labs.Framework.Game.BaseLevelManager.d__2.MoveNext()
    at LucasArts.Labs.Lucidity.LevelManager.d__10.MoveNext()
    at LucasArts.Labs.Framework.Game.BaseLevelManager.UpdateLevelLoad(GameTime time)
    at LucasArts.Labs.Framework.Game.BaseLevelManager.Update(GameTime time)
    at LucasArts.Labs.Framework.Game.Tasks.LevelManagerTask.DoUpdate(GameTime time)
    at LucasArts.Labs.Framework.Tasks.RegularTask.Update(GameTime time)
    at LucasArts.Labs.Framework.Tasks.BasicTaskList.Update(GameTime time)
    at LucasArts.Labs.Framework.Game.BaseGame.Update(GameTime gameTime)
    at LucasArts.Labs.Lucidity.Lucidity.Update(GameTime gameTime)
    at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Game.Tick()
    at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Game.HostIdle(Object sender, EventArgs e)
    at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.GameHost.OnIdle()
    at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.WindowsGameHost.ApplicationIdle(Object sender, EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Application.ThreadContext.System.Windows.Forms.UnsafeNativeMethods.IMsoComponent.FDoIdle(Int32 grfidlef)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Application.ComponentManager.System.Windows.Forms.UnsafeNativeMethods.IMsoComponentManager.FPushMessageLoop(Int32 dwComponentID, Int32 reason, Int32 pvLoopData)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Application.ThreadContext.RunMessageLoopInner(Int32 reason, ApplicationContext context)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Application.ThreadContext.RunMessageLoop(Int32 reason, ApplicationContext context)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Application.Run(Form mainForm)
    at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.WindowsGameHost.Run()
    at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Game.Run()
    at LucasArts.Labs.Lucidity.Lucidity.DoRun()

    Hopefully the issue gets resolved so I can play the game, I really enjoyed the trial on XBLA and immediately jumped onto the Steam version once they had it on sale.

    - Lewis G.
    @aStagnantSleep

  11. Rickster permalink
    December 5, 2009 6:58 pm

    I was trying to find an official Lucidity webpage but then after a while I realised you’d be under the Lucas Arts site. Anyway I just came on so that I can say what a fabulous game you guys of the Lucidity team have made. I’m always willing to give new IPs a try, especially ones which offer something new, fresh and beautifully presented. Purely from screenshots, I knew I had to give this game a try and I wasn’t disappointed at all. I haven’t completed it yet but I’m thoroughly enjoying my time guiding Sofi collecting fireflies. It has been a while since I’ve played such an engrossing arcade game and to pull it off is something that I must applaud. Not to mention, the art direction is gorgeous and the soundtrack is top notch. I can’t praise you guys enough. The majority of downloadable games nowadays are either HD rehashes or greatly lack in ideas. Lucidity, in my opinion, is a true gem and I’m glad I found it amongst the rubble. If the team ever decides to release a new IP or, make a sequal to this truely fantastic game, please let me know – I would be the first person to buy it.

    p.s. Is there anyway I can get hold of or listen to the soundtrack? I can’t get enough of it. It’s one of the best for quite a while!

    You guys rock!

    Rickster

  12. nomadhar permalink
    December 31, 2009 6:43 pm

    i can only comment on the fact that for many people, THIS GAME WILL NOT WORK!!!!! not only that, but there are several different parts that are completely BROKEN! your supposed “tech support” links to the Steam Forum. how about you DEAL WITH YOUR OWN TECH SUPPORT, instead of dumping the job to your digital distributor?

    Braid was created by ONE person, plus an artist. it worked out of the “box” (Steam download), every time. why can’t your TEAM get this game to work?

    here is my particular error before the game starts, on WinXP SP3, 1GB RAM, 128MB VRAM:
    System.OutOfMemoryException: Exception of type ‘System.OutOfMemoryException’ was thrown.
    at System.Reflection.Assembly._nLoad(AssemblyName fileName, String codeBase, Evidence assemblySecurity, Assembly locationHint, StackCrawlMark& stackMark, Boolean throwOnFileNotFound, Boolean forIntrospection)
    at System.Reflection.Assembly.nLoad(AssemblyName fileName, String codeBase, Evidence assemblySecurity, Assembly locationHint, StackCrawlMark& stackMark, Boolean throwOnFileNotFound, Boolean forIntrospection)
    at System.Reflection.Assembly.InternalLoad(AssemblyName assemblyRef, Evidence assemblySecurity, StackCrawlMark& stackMark, Boolean forIntrospection)
    at System.Reflection.Assembly.InternalLoad(String assemblyString, Evidence assemblySecurity, StackCrawlMark& stackMark, Boolean forIntrospection)
    at System.Reflection.Assembly.Load(String assemblyString)
    at LucasArts.Labs.Lucidity.Adm.Shim.StartGame(String commandLine)

  13. Danny permalink
    January 14, 2010 9:49 am

    Tried the Xbox Live Arcade demo and I love this game! Intend to buy it!

    Would like to know if the Xbox 360 full version is already patched with the additional checkpoints for each level?

    Hope to hear from you guys. Thanks.

  14. bleachedsmiles permalink
    January 30, 2010 4:33 pm

    Hadn’t played the game in a good few months..having initially loved it from the forgiving demo, to the slightly tricky first 5 or so levels after it…before giving it up in frustration

    The discovery of a patch was welcome for the most part, and allowed me the patience to give such a pretty game a second chance. The only downside to the checkpoints is that it’s almost gone from one end of the scale to the other.. it at first being far too frustrating, now lacking alot of that challenge.

    The biggest problem with Lucidity wasn’t the amount it was throwing at you, it was that your game relied on luck..rather than forward thinking and skill. Frantically searching for that bomb to get you out of a corner but constantly getting ladders ect..with no place to put them on the map. I would of liked to of seen an additional storage point throughout the game..allowing you more chance to plan ahead and be abit more tactical, i think it would of eased frustration alot..whilst remaining the challenge.

    Checkpoints are definatly welcome.. like i said, it gave me the chance to go back to it and see the rest of the games..even though i had forgotten how nauseating the love letters to “nana” are. I just would of liked them as optional, and an additional storage point as standard.

    Hopefully you’ll be working of a sequel.. and hopefully add a few puzzles in there too.. such as placing one of the objects to weigh a platform down whilst lifting you up. Or holding open something ahead ect.. or instead of levels going from left to right we could see one working up a spiral staircase ect to mix things up

  15. February 8, 2010 1:10 am

    Working on anything else there? Any more news? Any more re-releases to tempt us? I know you’ve had some…

Trackbacks

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