Our new game, as the tagline goes, is about navigation, cultural ancestry and sparkly things. It’s also a musical instrument in the form of a landscape, one whose notes are made playable through travel and exploration.
Let me stop you there, before you get too excited.
Allow me to take you on a textual journey towards an understanding of just where our weird little art game is coming from. Don’t worry, there’ll be pictures, oh yes, lots of pretty, glowing, sparkling pictures, in fact here’s one to tide you over:
An early environment prototype
Hold it in your mind, it’ll take a few moments to get from here to there. Close your eyes…no.. open your.. hold on… here’s another picture::
This is you… or is it?
This is you. The player.
A ball of glowing points, swirling and orbiting in a tightly contained dance. A swarm of light. There’s not much to see of your world right now, despite a few distant arrangements scattered along the horizon, like little constellations (could they be monuments?)
Mechanic 1: Deployment
But wait, what’s this?
In a controlled explosion of energy, the swarm dissipates.
It begins to flow in different directions in ribbons of movement… little streams of energy* are uncovering and illuminating an invisible terrain all around you. Suddenly you feel a great pressure has lifted, those still left in the swarm stretch their metaphorical legs and go for a stroll, or maybe even a run.
Once you thought you were just a lowly ball of glowing light, now you’re not so sure.
Now that you’re moving around, you wonder if you identify more as the force moving the glowing ball, than the glowing ball itself. Now you aren’t sure whether you’re the moved, the mover, movement, or… and what about the landscape?
And what happens when there’s no longer any points left in orbit, when they’ve all become landscape?
You sit, stunned and dazed by all these confusing thoughts and take a minute to rest.
Mechanic 2: Undeployment
As you sit, with your once boiling hot tea now luke warm, you realise something is changing, the bright landscape of dots is dimming and the little parts of your swarm are slowly drifting back into orbit. You had it so good for a while, but now the magic is gone.
Act II after the break… stay with us.
* don’t cross the beams!
^This game is currently in development, any images you see here are reflective of the stage we are at and might change^