Grappling With Joy: Floating Point Free From Gunpoint Dev

By Alice O'Connor on June 7th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

Heaven is a collection of blocks.

“Heaven is a half-pipe,” sang OPM, exposing the spiritual naivety of the rap-rock movement–we all know there are no skateboards in any afterlife. Untethered from the dust, they become grappling hooks. Everything a skateboard longs to be and to do finds its ultimate expression, its true form, in the video game grappling hook. And I’m not just ragging on skateboards because of all the wounds I received trying to learn to skate last summer.

Tom Francis proved himself an appreciator of graceful arcs with his leaping-on-men simulator Gunpoint, and now he too has been visited by visions of this perfect form. Yesterday he released Floating Point, a lovely little grappling hook game which I suspect is a spiritual expression, created in praise or penance, as he’s giving it away for free. Grab it from Steam.

You have a grappling hook. This lets you swing from blocks. The faster you swing, the larger the points blocks protuding from the blocks grow. Once you’ve collected every points blocks, you can move onto the next level. But it’s not about that, it’s not about that at all. Floating Point is the grace, the drift, the dance, the jerk as you latch onto something far beyond your arc, the tightening as you snag on corners, the bobbing in the water beneath, and the trail you leave hanging in your wake. How very soothing.

“When Gunpoint came out, and did well, I thanked those who bought it for putting me in a position where I didn’t have to actively chase money with everything I do. In return, I promised to ‘make new things for you!'” Tom says. “Floating Point probably could make money – if I was a publicly traded company, it would probably have to. But because I’m just a person, I’d rather just give it away as a thank-you. And because you’ve let me become completely independent, I can. Thanks again.” Yeah, he’s seen those angelic grappling hooks all right.

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18 Comments »

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    Thirith says:

    Looks like fun, but also quite a bit like a more chunky PixelJunk Eden. Which isn’t a bad thing, especially in a free game.

  2. Gilead says:

    Releasing it for free’s a nice thing to do. It still seems a bit more like a tech demo or proof-of-concept rather than an actual game, though, and to me the physics of the actual swinging and so on feels a bit…heavy? I’m kind of comparing it to how the ninja rope worked in Worms: Armageddon, to be honest (although the method of attaching the rope is less clunky in Floating Point).

    • karthink says:

      I was also not taken by the physics of the swinging. But you can change many swing parameters in the options. Tightening up the physics on level five has me playing the game for an hour now.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Any suggested specifics to tune?

        • karthink says:

          I doubled the rope retract rate, so you can recover from situations where you’re swinging into a wall. This also lets you build up more speed. To compensate for the finer control, I turned down the delay before the bars begin to diminish.

    • Urthman says:

      I don’t know if he’s Nice so much as Smart. I’ve already had much more fun with this than quite a few little indie games I’ve paid money for, but imagine the whiners if he’d charged money for it: “IS THAT IT? WHERE’S THE GAAAME?!”

      Although maybe if he’d added a story with a cool twist…like maybe the grappling hook turns out to be your dead wife…

      • minstrelofmoria says:

        No one is ever going to forget that, are they? The Bionic Commando remake came out in 2009, and not since 2010 have I seen that game mentioned in any context other than “your bionic arm is your wife.”

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    amateurviking says:

    Well if anything Floating Point has demonstrated quite directly that I have no grace.

    Thanks Tom.

    Thom.

  4. Turkey says:

    Oh, I thought he was working on that spaceship hijacking game. That looked pretty interesting.

    • Gilead says:

      I believe he’s still working on the spaceship game, but this was just an additional prototype game he was working on and decided to polish up and release.

    • Urthman says:

      But now that he’s started down the Crytek path of naming games, he’s obliged to change the name of his space game to Heatpoint Signature.

  5. Bull0 says:

    Gave it a go, fun. What a class act.

  6. wilynumber13 says:

    I’d recommend at least increasing the pull speed in the customization options, that felt quite a bit too slow for me at first.

  7. somnolentsurfer says:

    I played a little of the beta when it unexpectedly showed up in my e-mail the other week. The extra polish has really helped. I tend to think it could do with a little more, but it seems churlish to complain about something Tom knocked up in a couple of weeks and is giving away for free. Some kind of dynamic water and fog effects would really add to the atmosphere though. And maybe online leaderboards, and some way of sharing the level you’re playing on so they’re directly comparable.

  8. Coldyham says:

    It’s quite sad that nowhere else in the depths of the RPS hivemind there’s been a post tagged ‘What a nice man’

  9. Michael Fogg says:

    The Indie Guilt is strong in this one.

  10. Frank says:

    Thanks, Tom!

  11. The Random One says:

    Looks like You Have Found The Grappling Hook 2000.