Radical Games: Master Cube Post-Mortem


Master Cube is a game about an unlikeable man named Davis that uses the story of a hero’s journey to point out the flaws in typical game protagonist behavior. Davis is a man with no friends, that argues or mocks anyone he speaks to, but lacks the ability or skills required to leave his small town, and so he is stuck as a store greeter. If he tries to leave work early, he won’t be able to return for the rest of the day to get earn money, but will be able to explore the town more and do more odd jobs for different townspeople per day. These tasks will be typical fetch and deliver quests that will be purposefully repetitive. If Davis tries to leave the town the guards will not let him because he is too weak and ill-equipped to handle the outside world. The guards say they’ll take a bribe, but it is a steep price. After speaking to the guard, a strange figure in a robe and wearing a paper-mache cube head will beckon him over. The strange robed man tells him he’ll pay the bribe for Davis if he signs a contract that he will find the Master Cube’s domain in the next week for perish. He is presented with two options, earn an honest living slowly and painfully in town through work and odd-jobs, or sell his soul to a cult for an easy way out to a real adventure. If he works his way out he will have more time to explore and be able to return to town and live his life normally. If he takes the easy way out his time will be limited and therefore more goal-oriented. Once in the world, it becomes clear that Davis is not ready, and the only safe place will be the cult headquarters. From there, Davis’ selfish behavior will take him far until he’s finally able to realize his dream of being important. He is able to complete the trials of the cult and sabotage them for others, until he is confronted by the leader of the cult for having more affinity for the Master Cube than him. He defeats the leader in a debate and is brought into the realm of the Master Cube by sacrificing the other members of the cult, and everyone in his hometown. In the Cubeiverse, Davis converses with the Guardian of the Master Cube, and debates it to death. Finally, Davis speaks to the Master Cube, who agrees to change the entire universe in any one way to Davis’ liking. Davis asks the Master Cube to make everyone adore him, for him to be the hero of this universe. There’s a great flash, and Davis finds himself back in town. He is able to walk around and converse with the townspeople and explore the world, but everyone in it now is Davis.


In the dev cycle I’m working on implementing the mechanics of play into the build of the game, and finalizing the overall large outdoor world and adding collision and interactions to that.

Overall for this game making the sprites was easier than I expected it to be, and sticking to a single idea was harder than I expected it to be. The game ended up falling to feature creep and a lack of a written narrative and so the game right now is all over the place. The Unity work was also rather difficult as the YouTube tutorials I felt were so specific to making a specifically generic RPG that trying to find online resources on how to do anything else was either too advanced or hard to find. At this point I’m honestly just going to bin this project and in the future write out the design of the game before going into art development and such because without a solidly thought-out plan this entire thing just fell apart into a mess of ideas that don’t all fit together and most of my time was just spent rethinking the beginning of my game over and over and over again without making any progress on how the mechanics, level design, or narrative of the game would work after the beginning, and in the end the beginning changed so much that a lot of what I thought would be the core element of the game changed over and over.

Author: Adam Weiss