Detailed early ideas
There is a collection of broken televisions dotted around the top of a desolate hill. Walking around these broken televisions, some crackle into life and open opportunities to escape ‘into’ the televisions. These televisions offer individual unique changes in games convention i.e. Changing the traditional camera angles of first person / 3rd person / fixed camera, to something not seen in a game before, maybe under floor or mounted on some part of the body.
Other ‘television rooms’ would play with light and dark, colour, and the senses. A level where you had to navigate using only proximity sensitive surround sound was planned. The aim was to escape each room, by completing each objective. It was further developed so an overarching omnipotent character orchestrated your path in an attempt to show you the possibilities of untapped games potential. Kind of like a dark underground indie-game theme park.
A central focal area in low light would form a reference point for a first person character to go forth into the darkness. The character would have a hoop skirt in the Elizabethan style but made of fluorescent glowing tubes that cast a small radius of light on the floor. Bumping into objects on your way to a point of light in the distance, would cause the surface of the object to fracture temporarily and spread beams of light out in all directions. Going uphill towards the point of light, you crest the top and look down the other side to see an illuminated area.
In the lit area, there is a scenario or mechanic that needs to be explored or concluded to release a balloon and string of coloured lanterns into the air that rise and make their way back to their central tethered reference point. On your way back, the lights illuminate items that you bypassed that help build up a story of your environment. Back in the middle, you are shown another light and path and you do the same in a different direction towards a different scenario.
We felt for 4 people this lacked design possibilities and there wasn’t enough pre production work there for us all. We also didn’t like the fact it was very flat. It only worked on one plane. We did however like the Elizabethan reference in the hoop skirt.
We diverted off today to explore a concept pat had been toying with after chewing over the above dark space idea. He swapped in the dark for light to create a clean sterile world and added a steady mechanic that we were previously lacking. This mechanic was a necessity to constantly take a pill every 20 seconds with the press of a button. The player isn’t told what to do, but if they do not press the button to take the pill, the stable clinical world starts to fall apart and a populated cityscape emerges. But all the people in this city are wandering round blankly with timers around their neck.
The timer reminds them to take their pill, and uniformly they all do so when the time comes round. You, having not taken the pill have broken the convention and can fiddle with other people’s timers around their neck to make them miss taking their pill, or take it too often…both with consequences. Not particularly a game, but you can control people’s fate if you feel they deserve it. People in the act of committing a crime could have their timers turned forward so they take their pill too quickly and fall into thousands of shattered pieces. Ones that deserve freeing from this uniformity could have their timer turned back so they miss their pill, and escape into ‘your’ perspective on the world.