Beyond The Never - Edward.v6+ game

Making a game with Edward? make a Work In Progress thread here to show it off, and maybe even get some of that feedback thing! (forum is now locked)

Beyond The Never - Edward.v6+ game

Postby ggunther » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:39 pm

Here is my game that I made with the Edward Engine. It is called 'Beyond the Never'. I built and designed it to enter into a flash game contest where the theme is 'explore' at JayIsGames.com. While I didn't win, it was a great learning experience. It was built with Edward.v6. (with a few additions and modifications).

http://www.uproarmultimedia.com/BTN/BeyondTheNever.html

---Designer's Notes---
The idea behind the game story, is that you are somehow a soul stuck in limbo, trying to return back to your real body. In the process you have to explore a strange world and find orbs which must be returned to the Temple of Light.

I knew I wanted to do an exploration-style platform game as I had access to the amazing 'Edward' AS3 platform editor. This enabled me to focus on storytelling and getting all the interactivity to work. (Although I still had to do a lot of tweaking to get it how I wanted it.) Building out a complete game is a lot more work than one would think at the start.

I decided to go with an silhouette-based art style with a limited color palette to help sell the strangeness factor and to limit the internal detail I had to design for. Plus I think this style increases involvement from the player in the game world as they fill in the missing details with their imaginations. I choose to provide a vertical letterbox format as I thought that it helped to frame the action, showing only a portion of the level at a time, and again, increasing the exploration feeling of the game.

Although they're are a few spikes that can kill you (temporarily), I wanted the game to be more about an exploring and collecting experience than a hard-core platform challenge. Each level was designed to look unique to give the world an overall sense of place and to help with the mental mapping of levels by the player. The game challenge is more is more in learning the lay of the land and finding all the hidden orbs, artifacts, and glyphs. Conversations with NPCs help to move the story along and provide slight hints to the player.

Obvious inspiration for this type of game is from some of the great game experiences I have had (both in Flash games, PC games, and classic arcade) Cave Story, Knytt Stories, Myst, Pitfall, and of course, Super Mario Bros.

I have always loved platform games where you have to collect things, especially when you know how many or what you need to find. If I know I need to collect one more star, I will keep searching till I find it. So with my game, I designed the inventory panel to show all the items you can collect including secret artifacts. This hopefully helps to keep players playing and searching till they have found everything.

I tried to create a game that also was a complete story that the player could experience and finally understand through the course of playing the game. Like playing a short movie, including opening and closing credits. Because the game story focuses a lot on the whole Light/Dark thing, I added conversations, and sayings that match that thematic.

My vision was to create and mimic an epic-feeling game experience into a much shorter actual flash game. While each level by itself does not provide much of a platforming challenge or game, as the players travel from level to level, and area to area, the world forms mentally as a cohesive unit. In this way there is room for exploration, interactivity and immersion both in the game world and in the overall story. I tried hard to create something interesting either in the level design, the backgrounds, or the foreground art in each level, to enhance the overall feeling of discovery as the player moved into each new area. This was something I have seen other exploration games do and it always makes the game more enjoyable.

Notes on why I didn't add save points and continue game: My main reason is that that I prefer that the player play though the game in one sitting, in order for it to be a complete and fully-immersive experience (at least as much as it can be for a casual flash game). Second. The actual game doesn't change. So after you know the lay of the land a bit, you can actually run through the whole game in less than 8 minutes. With such an actual short game. I didn't feel like people needed to save and continue in order to complete the game. Third. As this is my first game, I haven't actually programmed that in before, and didn't have time to implement it while learning to do it.

Although I had planned to add a lot more animations, atmospheric effects and creatures throughout the levels, I simply didn't have enough time to fit it all in before the deadline. Most likely I will continue to add to and tweak the game into my final overall vision.

As this if my first real compete and actually finished game, I would love your feedback on your experiences. Email to: greg@gameforcestudios.com

Thank you for playing my game. I hope you enjoyed it. Please tell your friends. GJG! (I'm currently working on another game with Edward.v7.)
ggunther
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