Development Blog #2

It’s been four weeks.

Over the course of this semester, I’ve worked with a lot of teams, some more than others, to complete a pitchable prototype that could sell what the team is capable of. During those five weeks, I’ve worked on three teams, (two for one week each, one for two weeks), and if I had to choose one as a personal favorite, or the strongest one, Ensight would have been that project. Ensight was a narrative-based game, in which the player took control of a merchant with psychometric powers. They traded in stories, not coin, and could trade items with various characters throughout their life to string together the lives of those they interact with by experiencing them firsthand; touching a tradeable object blasted them back through time into the shoes of the item’s owner.

That was the dream team. We meshed together, like a hive mind, always on the same page and knew what had to be done. We had two narrative designers – I think that makes a huge difference when compared to the current project for the Greenlight Presentation, which has one – and that took a lot of pressure off and allowed for things to grow much more naturally. Though our programmer was sick for half the Sprint, we had opted for physical prototyping very early on, which prevented us from falling down when he was out of commission. Our producer was truly outstanding as well, having kept us on track to succeed at every possible moment. Our artist did well to convey our tone through her style, and these individual components came together into a working machine.

Personally, I contributed the writing for the actual gameplay. That is to say, I focused in on the items players would be able to interact with and the levels the players could experience in order to live the lives of the characters our other narrative designer was working on. This is very similar to my role on Alone_, my new team’s project for Greenlight, wherein I am using environmental storytelling (and a truly outstanding environmental artist!) to convey feelings of dread and let the player try to figure out what has taken place aboard the Genesis spacecraft. This team is not as strong as the last one, but our programmers are powerful and I believe we have a strong chance to get past the cutting phase.

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