So, what the game is conceptually and what the game is actually are pretty divergent. More divergent than I would have liked anyways. Ideally, the game is about compulsions and how a person can pick up different sorts of compulsions and tics which then make up the being of a person. This would have manifested itself through the player getting “upgrades” which allow the player to progress through things (stylized locked doors etc.) but would make progress more and more difficult. The idea wasn’t super fleshed out mechanically, but I think it would take some sort of form of inventory management happening at the same time as navigating the world.
The nonlinearity of the game I feel like extends past just the ordering of the levels and events which I’m pretty proud of. I feel like I focused on both a sort of narrative non linearity along with a visual non linearity with the perspectives of each area being different. On a narrative level, the player speaks to a balloon at a bar, leaves, enters some gross tunnel, gets a key, opens a coffin, goes to limbo, and ends back up at another bar. I feel like the combination of the narrative and perspective nonlinearity causes each of the scene changes to feel a lot more impactful than they otherwise would have, and since the scene changes are the biggest part of the game, it’s probably good they’re impactful. I really think the first level change that happens where the player goes from the bar to the tunnel helps to set the players frame of mind a lot because it happens somewhat quickly, and lets the player know almost immediately that the game doesn’t really follow a strictly a to b path.
feel like a lot of the game went right, like more went right than went wrong even though it didn’t really feel that way while going through it. I think that the core concepts of the game were pretty good ideas and are something that I could see fleshing out further to actually make something with. I also feel like the art I made for the game was really good for me (especially the middle levels) since I’m not a very good artist and never have been. Doing the art was easily the most stressful and frustrating part of the game design process but it turned out pretty well. I also feel like I did a good job with the coding because it all went pretty smoothly.
I do feel like there were a few areas that went wrong in the game dev process which mostly came down to a mismanagement of time. I was banking on a lot of the interaction and thematic content of the game to come from the inventory system, so I was doing a lot of coding and building of stuff that didn’t really stand as well as it could on its own because I knew getting the inventory in would really tie it together. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it in. The system was at the very end of the book and if I had continued trying to get to that point, then I would have barely gotten the system in but not really fleshed it out.
Overall, I feel good. I have a lot more respect for what game designers do, but also feel more confident in ever that I could pursue it if I decide to. I feel like I’m in a good spot since I know enough to learn on my own, but don’t know enough to know how little I know so I can be fueled by my arrogance until I hit that point.