I'm making a horror game #01
A unique look into the process of creating a game.
I'M MAKING A HORROR GAME
Today I set my goals using my DAILY TIME BLOCKING Notion template (which you can get from my Ko-fi shop here.)
After I finished my day job, I quickly logged out and opened another page on my Notion workspace, the one dedicated to what I call project "Presence" - it's a temporary name. This type of page, which I treat like a hub for any and all information about the game, is how I start most of my projects.
I organize the hub with different pages to cover various aspects of the project. From game mechanics to mood boards, it's all there.
"Presence" has been an on-going project for a few months now. It's also changed - a lot. Let's go through the different directions it went in and what I settled on last... maybe it'll inspire you for your own projects!
The first version of "Presence" was inspired by the Epic Megajam theme "As above, so below". The idea was that you (the player) would wake up in a house and find yourself stuck inside it. You'd find out that you're able to switch between two worlds which changed what you saw. While this idea was interesting, I found it limiting in that it was just a house and the premise felt weak - it didn't have a solid narrative direction either. So, I scrapped it.
The second version of "Presence" was inspired by a totally different thing, while still exploring the idea of two worlds (in a slightly different fashion). The idea this time around was that you (the player) went back to your childhood home only to find it abandoned. As you progressed through a series of puzzle, you'd eventually find a "Memory Tree". Interacting with it would make you face your fears through trials. For instance, for your fear of drowning, the player would find themselves in a submerged house and had to swim underwater for long periods of time. The goal of each trial would be to find a Memory Fragment to complete that trial's Memory Tree. Of course, finding a fragment would unfold expand on the game's story. However, after working on this idea, it felt like the scope of it was too big and there were too many moving parts. So I scrapped this one too.
Finally, the current version of "Presence" was inspired by my love for Space. I had explored this theme a couple of times prior, like for my Beginner's Game Jam game "Orbit". The goal here was to take Space and Horror, and squish them together. Luckily for me, there was another project ("Guardian") which felt like it would fit perfectly in the mix.
Here's the general concept. You're on a Spaceship and you're on maintenance duty. You have to make sure the ship is in good shape, while also monitoring your crew's vitals. Eventually, you start seeing things, lack of sleep, surely. Then things start to get really weird, it feels like the ship is alive and torturing you on purpose by making you face your fears.
Will you be strong enough to overcome it? Or will you succumb to the madness?
As a reminder, in this series that I plan on writing, I will go over the progress of the project, as well as sharing information on how I did things. If I find something that was useful, I'll share that too!
Stay tuned for part 02
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