Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sunken Garden

Working Title.

Sunken Garden is a 2D exploration game. The game revolves around rescuing people trapped in a giant pitch black garden underground. The player must light up a safe path to lead others to safety. It is intended to simulate a persistent world, the garden and rescued people continue to develop even when the player is not playing. Plants in the garden will evolve and grow, rescued characters will build up a village for the player to visit.

Or to sum it up in a few points:-
1. Light/Darkness Mechanic
2. Evolving Environment
3. Hazard evasion and path memorization.

Light and Darkness
All the areas in the Sunken Garden are pitch black. There are three sources of light for the player. Firstly they carry a flashlight which they point with the mouse. Secondly all areas built in by NPC's are lit, and cast light into neighboring rooms, creating a twilight in them where the player can partially see. Finally there are environmental fixtures which can emit or store light.

Evolving Environment
The game features two environments that develop over time, the garden and the npc village. The two environments will contrast heavily, the Garden is wild and chaotic and develops in a way which opposes the players actions. Although there will be ways of influencing the evolution of the garden it will start to fight back if the player attempts to be too heavy handed.

The second environment is the NPC town. This aids the player and can be tailored heavily by their actions. Although it will not be necessary to micromanage the town it will be an option for players who like to number crunch. Every town will develop it's own footprint based on a number of factors including the area it expands into. The nature of the NPC's the player brings and the choices the player makes in it's development. The players should feel the need to play the game to check on the development of their town.

Hazard Evasion and Path Memorization
The bulk of the gameplay is in exploring the Sunken Garden itself. The challenge is in identifying and avoiding the threats offered by the plants that grow their. Different plants react to different stimulus, such and movement, light and sound. It's up to the player to manipulate them so that not only they can pass but they can guide NPC's back past them too. As the game develops they will be given more tools in order to disarm plants and guide others around them.

Well thats the overview. More to come when I've done some more prototyping. Hopefully I'll cover some stuff about the different kinds of plants, NPC's, Tools and the world next time.

I hate doing first blog posts.

I've now had three and a half blogs under my belt and I still hate doing first page blog posts. They always start with a welcome title and a bit of background and end up winding on for way too long. I'll keep this short and sweet.

I'm a British Games Design post grad from Vancouver Film school. I spend most of my time making flash games in the hope that a real game development studio might notice my dedication to creating great gameplay experiences and hire me on as junior coffee boy, or whatever they haze new people as these days before they let them do real jobs like event scripting

I started this blog for two reasons. Firstly that I keep having thoughts about good blog articles I could be writing on game mechanics but never get around to, with a blog to upkeep regularly I might really do that. The second, and far more important reason is I'm starting work on my third big flash project. I thought a blog would be a good opportunity to share my design features and generally document what I'm up to.