To bring you up to speed
We have already started some work on our prototype in the last couple of months. We have gone through a couple iterations of what the pitch will look like as well as what we want to include in the vertical slice of gameplay we want to show publishers/investors. Here are some of the elements that make up that vertical slice, and our plans for them.
This week we will be focusing on organizing what we will need in terms of assets, level design and first draft writing for the prototype based on a rough gameplay outline we created.
Some things we want to feature include:
- Horror elements such as a possession, jump scares and a poltergeist event
- A couple quick minigame puzzles for unlocking parts of the environment
- Slow-time events
- Dialogue with several NPCs that help drive the narrative
- Environmental exploration and story-telling (i.e. who lived here before? What happened to them?)
- The set up of a mystery that will hook the player in.
Next steps are setting up levels containing at least 1 instance of each element we want. We will also be making short tests of things like minigames and slow-time events in Gamemaker to make sure they are doable and figure out how they fit in with the rest of the gameplay elements.
This will help us realize how much work will be needed to make these things happen and whether that’s doable with our schedule. Being open to scaling back at this stage is key to avoiding getting bogged down in work that may be cut later anyway.
This week we will also need to take an inventory of how many assets will be needed to make these story events happen visually and how polished it needs to look at this stage. Again, this will depend a lot on our budget and schedule for the prototype. Some assets we are striving to have ready for this prototype include:
- 6 character sprites with 1 idle and 1 special animation for each
- Possibly 6 character profile pics for the dialogue box
- 4 distinct rooms with tilesets including 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, a living area and a stair landing tileset.
- 1-2 songs and all sound effects
Given the amount of work that will be needed, we will probably have to move forward with a lot of first draft assets in order to get the prototype done in a reasonable time frame. But we will have to find a way to make things look as best they can for the first iteration, since we will need to impress publishers with our concept alone. Then again, this could all be subject to change if we find it’s undoable. It’s a fine line we have to walk!
We have already started writing a loose outline for the prototype and touched on the larger story, themes we want to explore and lore. Again, we’ve kept all writing pretty loose and first draft, since the direction we will go with is always subject to change. Our rules for writing so far are tied to the subject, genre and themes we want to explore with this story, which include:
- Exploration of trauma through memory
- Human connection
We are keeping these general for now since we usually like to start macro and then explore these themes through the outline and dialogue writing. The unique challenge we will be facing this time around is keeping the humor and absurdity on brand without writing while also touching on some fairly dark and sensitive subject matter. Since it is a horror first and foremost, we will still need to stay true to the genre’s roots while bringing something fresh and insightful.
Thanks for reading! We hope you find these insightful or interesting. Let us know what you think and/or give suggestions as to what you’d like to hear about in these devlogs!