In every single game world out there the player’s avatar is mechanically superior to everyone else – it can take more bullets, perform special abilities or keep playing after death. The underlying message being that the word exists to serve you.
I’m trying to make a game where that’s not the case and use it to explore themes of community, connection and individualism.
This is the evolution of a game where I was exploring themes of hopes and dreams. The challenge is that those things are very abstract. How do you systematize a dream?
But hopes and dreams are the product of individuals in the context of a community. In order to address them, first there must be a foundation in which they can manifest.
About this DevLog
I was really inspired reading devlogs like those of William Chyr or Lucas Pope and see their projects take shape and grow. Hopefully looking back to these early entries after a few months will provide a similar fascination and serve as a resource for more indie developers out there.
I plan on releasing these on a weekly basis and will include screenshots, videos and talk about anything meaningful relating to the project that week.
If you have any questions, observations or if you’d like to play early builds of the game, let me know!
I’ve basically been building the foundation for the mechanics of the game I have in mind. That meant creating the basic AIs for the creatures that are like the player – the Buds – And the creatures that live outside of the Buds home – the Wilds.
And in the domain of the Wilds exist these white orbs you want to bring home. Because reasons. The Wild Creatures will try to stop you or any Bud from doing so.
I know that sounds vague and I’ll be going further into it in future devlogs, but the truth is that I’m still figuring it out. I have themes I want to explore and can picture a possible game in action based on those themes. But iteration is a fundamental aspect of game development and this being an experimental game I think I shouldn’t force my way to a fixed vision.
So for now the Buds move around Home and occasionally try to seek Orbs and bring them Home. Wilds will pursue the bud and if they catch one carrying an orb they will return it to it’s original position. Otherwise the Bud is teleported home after being hit. I don’t really like this blunt solution and I’ll be focusing on it soon. It’s really dependent on the nature of the Wilds. Are they another tribe? Or perhaps spirits protecting a forest.
Which bring me to the art. Which is to say there is none yet. Every model in the game is a placeholder while I figure out the art direction.
I’ve been looking at artists like Eyvind Earle and Erwin Kho for inspiration. Can’t wait to figure out the look of the game, but it’s not a very high priority right now.
But I have been sketching some creature designs. One of the biggest constraints is that they need to be abstract enough for people to project into.
Lastly, I think I’m finally figuring out how to use twitter!
"And the Blues are going for it but the Reds defend ferousciously! Wait! What is that Red doing?"
"Of course this is the first thing I do after implementing a pool manager :D"
I’ll be focusing on the Home gameplay. Chasing Orbs is fun, but that’s not what the game is about.
Original Publication: 2016/05/15/project-buds-devlog-1-starting-out