Ben Haderle

Game Designer and Programmer

Take a Walk Devlog #1: Introduction

2/22/2016 12:01 AM

Hi! This is the first of a few posts I'm planning about my current project for my Intro to Game Development class. Basically we spend the semester working on a solo digital game. We have one week to come up with and pitch an idea, five weeks to develop the core gameplay, four weeks to work on audiovisual stuff, and then five weeks to make more content/do polish/etc. I'm currently a week away from completing my gameplay focused prototype and so I'd like to write a post giving an introduction to the game before (hopefully)posting an in depth look into the gameplay in a week or two.

So here we go...

My game is called Take a Walk.

It's a 2D adventure game about exploration and chilling out. The idea was mostly born out of my desire to write more. I used to write a lot in highschool- whether it be daily journals or short fiction- but since I've moved to New York, I've really fallen off the habit. With Take a Walk, I want to create an explorable 2D environment that enables a situation that is conducive to being reflective. Since I find it easiest to reflect when I'm in the mountains, I'm basing the environment off the lakes I've been to while backpacking in the High Sierras. Specifically, I'm loosely adapting the area around Upper Graveyard Lake in the John Muir Wilderness.

Above you'll see my brother and I at the lake back in 2013 (it looks hazy because there were a lot of fires that year). Below is a higher quality photo that I think better captures the tone I want.

I was influenced by the casual exploration of Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery and the written player creations of Elegy for a Dead World.

Each play session should last 10-15 minutes. In the first 7-10 minutes, the player explores the area, interacting with various parts of the landscape and talking to the hikers that hang out there. In the second half of a session the player would be given the option to write as much as they want. This writing should then be saved externally for personal use. In each new session there should be small changes to the lake(different time of day, new people, etc) so that there is something new to discover. Here's a slide from the presentation I gave that was my tentative backlog:

That's about it for now. I guess I should mention that I'm using Unity and Visual Studio to develop the game and it's going pretty well! Like I said up top, hopefully I'll be posting more about the gameplay in a week or two