Second Prototype Evaluation

I finished this last week, but wanted to wait until I could do a proper rundown before posting it.

The second prototype focuses on the idea of moving from abstraction to realism and exploring the player’s mind.

What Works

The entry point works really well. The candles and mandala set up the player’s expectation that this will be a meditational game.

The tree as a symbol for the player’s mind is good – its subtle, and I’m not entirely sure that anyone but me will “get it”, but that’s OK. I think the more subtle my symbolism is, the more of a universal appeal the game will have. To some it might be very significant, to others it just shows how far on they are with the game.

The overall theme and design of each corridor ties in with the themes well and do seem to relax the player.

Sound is really relaxing and atmospheric – too bad I don’t own it! I need to get in contact with a sound designer.

Colour scheme in the nature room is really warm and relaxing feeling.

What Doesn’t

The white flashes when moving from room to room work nicely, however the player has to walk though them, which they might not be aware of, it would be better to walk to a trigger, show the white, then teleport them.

I think the use of corridors might be restricting the player quite a bit. Most of the games I’ve used as inspiration use the illusion of an open world. I could use effects like wind to create invisible walls that have context and are therefore not so intrusive.

The lighting is completely overblown – this is difficult when switching between machines. I’m moving over to my laptop for development now, so I’ll make it for this screen. Most video games use gamma adjustment for this but I don’t think its really a realistic goal to include in my project.

I think the areas need a lot more movement and life to them. There is not enough going on to make the player stop and wonder.

The transition from realistic to abstract needs to be slower, with something in between. Lynn suggested using hand painted textures and changing the tree as the player moves on, as currently it goes abstract – real – abstract which isn’t representative of going into the mind.

Godrays need to flicker less – very jarring.

Tree early bug – when the player does the water then nature rooms sometimes the tree fx appear early.

The game needs an exit point. I talked about this in my concept doc where I said the game could have an eye close/open mechanic.

I feel the ending needs something slower and more obvious – right now it just quits. Again, this could draw on the eye thing.

Despite the large amount of “What Doesn’t” comments, I am actually really happy with the current prototype. Its just early days and a lot of time was spent figuring out what I wanted to do. I think I’m getting close to what I want.

I can’t really comment on the mood at the moment, as I feel I am way to close to the project. While I do feel relaxed, it is hard to shut down the critical voice when viewing your own work.

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