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Tired Changes & Interrelating Webs

Noticed a few comments in the previous post regarding another project that I briefly mentioned, including an email, so I'll address that here.

The synopsis being: A small game where the player interacts with the world and its characters through simple means; Sound and expression. Every interaction provides a strong meaningful response and alters future interactions. All of this done without dialogue and text.

I won't talk about this one too much, but I feel it's kinda cheating if that's all I say about it. So... It's a single player game where you, unsurprisingly (you'll see what I mean), play through the life of a bird, starting with the very first moments when it hatches from its egg. From there, every system and mechanic is set up for you to build relationships with other characters as the bird's life goes on in a fairly directed narrative driven world. The game world itself is kept small as well as the number of characters, but each one plays heavily into the experience of building relationships.

That's all I'd like to say about this for now, but I may talk more about it at a later date. I'm also still writing up the design doc, which for this, is a slow process. Lots of ideas getting written down, but get thrown out very fast. What is there looks really good though. Everything has to go back and draw upon the basic concept of the game.

As for how the game would be released; It'll definitely be released as a downloadable game for Windows, and probably (most likely) available for mobile. It won't be built in Game Maker because I don't trust its mobile and cross-platform tools yet. I feel that needs more work. The game will also probably be in a 3D world, and Game Maker is not the tool for that.

A Problem with the DT Story
When I say it has a problem, I don't mean I'm dropping anything, this is simply something wrong with it. I've said that in the beginning, DT's story was only there to justify going from location A to B. Back then I thought this was an okay thing to do, as DT is very gameplay driven and embraces games in their interactive and traditional roots. I used to push away story and focus only on the gameplay side of games. This last year, I've been seeing that wasn't a good idea and have been finding ways of merging gameplay and narrative seamlessly as that can lead to a far more engaging experience. When writing a story, it's important to know what you want to convey to your audience. I skipped this step completely for DT3 and didn't give it enough attention. It's there, but not fleshed out well enough. A good writer can (and should) take a complex idea and convey it in a simple way, or take a simple idea and convey it in a complex way. (I prefer the first method.) For example, DT3 touches on human rights during its second half. Lately I've been asking myself how I can go about conveying that concept properly through DT's narrative without it being preachy and overbearing. This was something that should have been done well before this point.

It's not that this is a requirement, but having all this together would have made DT much more engaging. The concept of 'fun' doesn't have to be the only thought on a designer's mind for video games.

None of this would fix my horrible skills, or lack thereof, in writing dialogue. But all of it, as a whole, could have been better because of this.

Oh right, I'm back from GDC and still somewhat tired after having only 3-4 hours of sleep a night from staying up all night at the Ginger Man with the Narrative Summit group. But it was fun and awesome. I may link to some of the pictures I took when I get them uploaded somewhere.


Anonymous said...

Honestly I think said game won't be my favourite one since I prefer action based games, thus games that involve, platforming, fighting, bosses, RPG elements or puzzles.
But you also mentioned in one of your previous blogs that you would work on side projectS so I guess there is at least one other game that you have in mind. Which genre is that other game?

ZephyrBurst said...

The other is what DT used to be, though its concept has been changed since then. It's a puzzle platformer that you could say is a reverse Metroid. Throughout the game, the protagonist will be protecting someone who is unable to protect themselves and will have to sacrifice or give up something in order to do so.

Example: Taking a bullet for who they're protecting.

Anonymous said...

Now that sounds more interesting to me personally.

Anonymous said...

Oh could you also explain a little bit more about said 2nd project in your next blog entry?
Will it be 2D? Will it use graphics from other games like DT or original graphics? Will it be a free fangame? Where does it play, where's the setting? A spaceship, or rather a fantasy setting? Are there bosses and esp how difficult will this game be?