The Word Is Not The Thing: Update 2

A quick update for The Word Is Not The Thing. I’ve completed the home and train areas and am moving toward building out the first trailer. Things are moving along well.

Some design notes include trying to understand what happens when I play through just the first area. It’s quite an interesting thing indeed. I think as long as you go in with the understanding that we are not rejecting the word, but seeing its effect, we can directly experience the feeling that remains when we remove the word. And if we do indeed keep observing, that feeling gets dealt with. I’ve spent a little bit of time trying to understand that myself. Intelligence sees, and in seeing the word’s effect we are left with the feeling. What happens if we don’t escape from the feeling with another word is up to you to find out. I think this excerpt from a J. Krishnamurti book sort of relates: “Intelligence sees the falseness of what is going on. When thought is free of this falseness it is different. Then it begins to be a parallel to intelligence.”

At any rate, I’ve also noted that each player will have a different response to any given word. So, in essence, somewhere along playing the game, there will be a word that a player has a stronger emotional connection to than others. The words and narrative are designed to build up from environmental words to the stronger emotional words we might just not feel comfortable with.

Check out the train area for now.

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The Word Is Not The Thing: Update 1

Started my latest game a few weeks ago. After thinking about its design for a little bit, I came up with a 3 day structure with interconnected characters and story that develop over those days. With five locations: Home. Commute. Office. Nature. Self. The self being the character’s own head, where the player chooses to go inside and ultimately finds their way through sort of a ‘mind maze,’ going up against the core fear.

Initially, I worked on some art assets and brought them into Unity, but ended up coding the player, dialogues, interactions, controls, camera, and particle effects right away. I’m using SVG Importer and TextMesh Pro for the vector graphics and fonts, as well as texture atlases on the particle effects to make each word destruction unique. Also, Anime Studio Pro now has a SVG exporter that works nicely with what I use SVG Importer for.

Further design notes include some of the little things. From the start, I wanted a simple and minimalistic approach to the graphics and I try to maintain that. I do provide a little bit of tutorial text in two parts of the game, unfortunately, but I think it helps. At the start of the game, we’re using mostly environmental words, seeing if they get in the way and as the story/game progresses, the emotional words start to come in. The game’s use of words, without faces, sort of explores the emotional effect words themselves have on us and if they get in the way of truly listening/seeing things for what they are. I think that’s interesting.

After playing with the simple mechanic a little bit, I can’t help but see things clearly. I hope that whoever plays just goes into it without reacting, defending or accusing, but that’s up to them. Also, there is also the fact that the the symbol/image is not the thing as well, but for the sake of this game, we’re using the word to go into this.

Up next, world building and fleshing out a trailer.

Subscribe to be notified when The Word Is Not The Thing is released: http://mavenmob.com/theword

Paws: Update 4

Recently added a few things to Paws and finished up the panic scene.

I decided to make the levels all about reaching the target score while balancing between using power-ups to keep going without using all the panics or moves. One can complete a level by getting power-ups, keeping the stress meter down, not making too many moves and skillfully using the other power-ups.

The stress meter is not necessarily to deter. It’s to make the game funner, not stress the player out. I’ve made it so that it’s not difficult to keep it down. And even if it gets too high, that’s where the power-ups come in. I was also able to change the pitch of the background music to match the stress meter with Unity’s audio mixer snapshots.

With the panic scene, one needs to keep their finger on the screen and follow along with the animation to get back to the level.

Next up is the menu, level start/complete/fail boxes, facebook integration, animating Paws and level design.

 

Paws: Update 3

Update video showing the stress meter working. Feels good when it relaxes all the way with the Zen Powerup. It changes color, pauses, resets, changes speed depending on how many possible swaps there are, and decreases based on how many points you get in a chain bonus. Almost time to bring Paws to life.

Check out http:/mavenmob.com/paws and stay in touch.

 

Paws: Update 2

Check out the video to see how Paws (http://mavenmob.com/paws) is coming along.

New things since the last update include clearing mind jellys and using bomb pieces to clear entire rows or columns. There will be 80 levels with increasing difficulty, and the powerups are at the top. The powerups include resetting the stress meter, pausing the stress meter, 5 more moves, 1 more panic, and removing any one type of idea from Paws’ head.

Unity is far better than using Spritekit/Xcode. I’m glad I switched. Up next is the stress meter and animating Paws.

Check out Paws and stay in touch.