I'm making a horror game #03

How simple can simple become?



Back with bad news. My PC will stay at the shop for another week or two. This MOBO curse is driving me nuts!

Luckily I can distract myself by thinking about all the game dev stuff I will do when it returns.

"Presence" has been my focus for quite some time now, and it's gone through many iterations. As I said previously, it started as a haunted house kinda thing, then it moved to facing your fears, then I wanted to go to Space, and now I just want to make a game. This is where my last (and very brief) topic comes into play - Scope.

All previous versions of the game were out of scope. Since I'm working on it alone, I think it's safer for my mental health to focus on something small. Isn't that the one piece of advice anyone in game dev tells newcomers? "Start small"?

That's exactly what I'm going for "Presence" this time around. I'm trying to keep as tiny as I can while making it interesting enough to be played. I think it would be so sad to spend time developing the game only for people to not bother playing it.

Now you're probably asking yourself, "well, what is it all about now?" Fear not. I'll get to that very soon.

As an avid lover of horror, it is very important to me to keep this a horror game. I could have decided not to because horror games can be tricky to nail in terms of atmosphere - but there is no other way; it needs to be in that genre.

So. With those few bits out of the way, how did I reduce the scope? Well, the first step was to identify what was making it explode in terms of scope. There were two answers to that, the first was asset creation, most previous iterations were crazy demanding in that regard. The second was animation. I am no animator and to get something that looks remotely good, I think I need to spend some time practicing in even smaller practice projects. In case you're wondering what my animations look like, feel free to check out my latest game Toot-al Darkness, it's free on my itch.io page

The next thing I did was ask myself what I could do to cut down on those two departments. When it comes to assets, I decided to focus the game to a single room rather than a full house. It'll be trickier to nail the atmosphere since the familiarity of the room will quickly grow, but limiting it to one room means a lot less assets to create. As for the animations, the only things that would animate are drawers and small doors (the infamous doors!)

There's an additional twist to it which I will not spoil just yet. Some other changes also fall into reducing the animation scope - it'll all make sense in due time.

That's it for now.

Stay tuned for part 04