WHAT DO WE DO?
We worked in a small team, with 2 designers, 1 programmer and 1 composer.
After a long phase of brainstorming and ideation, we decided to create a game in which everything is developed around typography, letters and words, and the gameplay and narration are all revolving around this core concept.
After making sure about the concept of the game we started to map out all the possible mechanics and what direction we wanted to go with the narration. In the first version of the game, we wanted to tell the narrative by using plain words that would evoke a concept and idea in the mind of the player. For example the first story we had was about loyalty and brotherhood and the journey these two characters are taking together, so at some point during a level, they had to feel the word “br_therhoo_” to complete the word. Or they needed to stay together to “do” something and go further. Below are the very first sketches of the game in the moments of inception of the concept. Also the detailed descriptions about the rules and other elements in the game in a text document before moving on to the production phase.
The Very first sketches of the game in the moments of the inception of the concept.
from top: other sketches and brainstorming for finding word puzzles and good choices for narration - Game Design document
One of the challenges in this project was the fact that we as the designers were working in Savannah, GA in the United States; the programmer in Glasgow in the Scotland and the composer in Curitiba, PR in Brazil.
So,to be able to communicate the puzzles and compositions of the level design with programmer, we developed the levels graphically taking notes of the elements and triggers necessary for each level. Our idea was to present all the game mechanics through puzzles, without the necessity of a tutorial guide.
After producing the main art such as the characters and graphic elements, we started to lay-out the levels and design puzzles. To show the programmer how the mechanics would work in each puzzle, we provided detailed descriptions in each area about the types of triggers, buttons etc. and made a step-by-step guide for the progression in each level.
Here are some of the examples from a selected number of levels.
Here you can see an example of explained trigger events and puzzles in one of the further levels in the game. The four frames down below show how the players progress and solve the puzzles in this level.
To our surprise, the project was chosen as the best game at the headquarters of SCAD. And we decided to continue developing this project for a final, more polished version with more completed and deepness in game-play.
So we decided that we need a more solid narrative and also thought about using backgrounds to create more appealing visuals while sticking to minimalism which was the root of the original game. At this phase we added more members to the team to get a better control over it. We started to produce the art assets, animations and levels from scratch and came up with more mechanics to add further in the game.
We are currently working on the game in all the aspects mentioned above. Here are some selected images from the current phase of the game in narrative, level design and art that was directly related to my roles.
From top: the controls screen does not tell too much, just as the game teaches everthing through the fist levels of each chapter