Devblog Update 2.7: Direction!
As promised, this week we’ll go a bit more into the change of direction for the project.
The big picture idea is to make a four-game series centred around the character of Jasper Vice, a young gryphon. The series follows his story from when he first goes through the tests to become a Voyager, all the way through the (spoilers) war. That story will be broken up over four games, with each game building on the gameplay/programming of the previous game. The reason to do this is largely practical/logistical. We could make one absolutely massive game, but it would take a great many years to make. This way, we can start by releasing a few smaller games which test different features, and are then all brought together in the biggest game, the final culmination.
The goal of the first game, from a production standpoint, was to introduce the characters/world to the audience, and really test the movement system. Flying is what the player will spend most of this series doing, if it’s not engaging and fun, the series is a flop. Originally this first game was set to be almost a racing game, with high-scores, races to unlock, challenges, etc. We realized that didn’t fit very well with the rest of the series, which is going to be much more of an RPG, so we added a few RPG elements to the basic game. After doing more thinking though, it still felt a lot like a Racing RPG, with mechanics and features haphazardly thrown together as “islands of content”.
The direction we’ve decided to go now is much more story-driven, while still maintaining this game’s focus on testing the movement systems.
This could still change, and will be subject to endless tweaking, but this is the basic idea for what a level will look like. Note this isn’t an actual level progression, just an example of the sort of thing we’re thinking:
The player is told by Commander Vileth that the goal is to reach the statue of one of the founding gryphons, hidden in a Vault somewhere in the zone.
1st Phase: The Search
The player needs to fly around and figure out where the Vault is.
They see an old man working in a field, and stop to ask him. He sends them on a little quest to help him with something, and in return he (maybe) gives a clue about where to keep looking. After making friends with him, he could ask the player to collect random pieces of stuff scattered around the zone. “While you were out helping gather the rhinos I realized I had something that might be of help to you. It took some digging to find the plans, and we still need a few components.” Once the player returns them, he fabricates them into a special mask, which allows you to see hidden openings in the rock.
You follow some landmarks, or guidance from the old man (“I’m not supposed to give you hints, but I often see trainees flying around over there, then they suddenly disappear”) to a cliff-face, which you can now see has an opening in it.
2nd Phase: The Vault
You fly in, and go through various flight challenges to arrive at the end. Some parts may be timed by something like a big stone door slowly closing. Tight turns, darkness lit only by your lantern, puzzles, etc. will challenge the player.
There, in a beam of sunlight shining in from the cave roof, is a grand statue of one of the founding gryphons. Standing next to it might be a few other trainees, who congratulate you, and comment on the challenge. The player must pick up the token, and return to Vileth to prove they made it there.
Vileth will then take them on to the next level.
So as you can see, much more story-driven. The idea would be for there to be branching paths to victory. The example above only showed one potential path, but the player could have found the entrance through a variety of other means as well.
It feels good to have a somewhat clearer sense of direction.
P.S. Join our Discord if you want to stay more involved: https://discord.gg/JEjteYe