It’s the big day. We’re submitting “All is Dust” to IGF. I worked on doing some start and ending screens and the art team is just working hard to get things finished before we submit. The game is coming along really well, and I’m proud of how well our art team has worked.
I’ve learned several important things about working on a team from this experience. The first is that if I really feel strongly about something I should speak up. For instance, I didn’t like the name of our main character, Muley. But I didn’t think it was worth bringing up, and I didn’t want to waste time arguing about it. Then I showed another team member and he also disliked the name, and immediately went to the design lead to talk about it. To my surprise, the design lead didn’t even really care and it was changed immediately. Next time I should consider bringing up problems earlier in the process, and trust that team members won’t be offended if I’m mature and professional about it.
Progress has gone well on the game this week. We had several meetings where people discussed feelings honestly, and we went over the player feedback. The biggest problem we encountered was a lock of fear experienced by most players, despite the fact that we want fear to be our major point in the game. So we sat down and had a really good discussion and people gave some really good ideas. Fortunately people are working harder and more focused because our deadline is approaching.
I spent some time doing research into different horror franchises and tried to figure out how they created tension without removing it immediately, which is what we seemed to be doing. One secret is that many horror story monsters were not that “dangerous” and took a long time to kill anyone. This meant a great deal of tension because there were long moments between when the monster killed people and when they killed again. Often, it was very obvious when the monster was going to kill someone.