Over this summer I will be creating a game with three friends, Alex Haddow-Mendes, Will Butterworth and Scott Swarbrick, and in association with White Paper Games. We will be making a 2.5D puzzle-platform sidescroller set in Ancient Egypt in 10 weeks.
You will play as an explorer entering the Egyptian tombs for the first time in search of artifacts and information but instead discovers the path of a dead pharaoh as he descends into the afterlife. You must help him reach the afterlife by collecting what possessions he needs to rest.
Concept by Will Butterworth
We went through quite a list of ideas for our main mechanics – the players abilities, environmental threats, AI. We concluded on the player using a grappling hook and torch for most gameplay elements. The grappling hook can be used both for grappling yourself to ledges and grappling onto items to pull them towards you (such as pulling objects to bridge a path or rest on a switch).
We also decided to center our challenge around environmental obstacles such as traps rather than include AI enemies and combat.
One of our biggest must-haves was implementing movement in and out of the environment as well as left and right (Little Big Planet-esque). Our game uses ‘lanes’ that the play can move in between at certain points. We can have as many lanes as we want and can use the lanes as a mechanic.
Our levels will be split into two distinct sections:
- An ‘at your own pace’ puzzle section that involves problem solving and navigating the environment.
- A face paced ‘chase’ section where the play must think fast in order to escape from danger.
Each level will be a new tomb and each level will have these two sections above. Completing the second section yields the artifact for that level.
Level structure initial plan
Visually, Will and I looked into the art style of Chris Turnham. We liked the simplistic but effective use of block colours and shades, and the style of geometry.
Chris Turnham’s ‘Old LA Zoo Ruins’
We finished our first (somewhat wonky) prototype on the 3rd of July and you can download it here. Bare in mind the gameplay is loose and mostly just shows of the main mechanics and the visual direction.
Left and right – A & D
Forward and backward – W & S
Jump – Space
Sprint – Shift
Crouch – C
Grapple Charge – Hold Left Click
Grapple Release – Right Click
Torch – F
Interact – E
We also have a first demo of music for our game composed by NJ Apostol of White Paper Games, which you can listen to here: