Today I find myself mad at myself from a week ago! I know in my post last week I promised more of an in depth look at the shape of our thesis game, but things have come up this week that I feel more disposed to write about.
I’ll give a quick update in where we’re at with the thesis game- the project is known to us on the team as Americana. This is just how we’re referring to it and the name will certainly change (I should have an actual name next week!). We’ve taken some of the better mechanics from Mannequin and revamped the setting and theme of the game drastically. Americana takes place on a farmstead in Oklahoma during the height of the Dust Bowl. It’s still a horror game, our player must navigate their way through this landscape while being attacked by dark forces. While traversing the farm they must come to terms with events both ongoing and passed in their life. I’ll stop being vague and give more details in a future blog post when I can afford the space to do it justice.
We already have the interior of the farm house and the farm itself built and are playing around with the different variables and mechanics, and I’ve got to say I think the game is already better than mannequin. The team is running smoothly and buy-in seems to be at an all time high.
I’ve been so busy these last two weeks which I would think should be stressful, but for the time being at least I feel great about it all. Progress on Americana is going great, I love the people I work with, and I’ve had some great sources of inspiration, which I’d like to give a shout out to.
1. I just recently picked up and subsequently beat Thomas Was Alone in one sitting. A fantastic game, and created by such a cool guy. In his most recent tumblr post found HERE Mike Bithell talks about some things that we should think about as developers, and just humans really. I especially like the 5th point. Just really solid feel-good advice in a time where the industry is kind of in an uproar. Follow Mike on twitter @mikeBithell for some cool perspective every now and then. Also go buy and play and love Thomas Was Alone.
2. We also watched in class this week a talk that Alexander Bruce gave about his creation of the game Antichamber. Antichamber is also amazing but I am clearly not smart enough to beat it in one sitting. He talks about just how much work it took him to make the game the breakout success that it is. He attributes the success to IMMENSE PREPARATION and HARD WORK on his part, but he’s also humble enough to admit that he had a lot of help and a lot of people looking out for him along the way, and a little bit of luck here and there to. The talk was motivating enough for me to want to just work harder in everything and make myself a better dev, and for this reason I’ve decided to breathe new life into a side project of mine, which I’m sure I’ll talk about here soon. I wish I could show the talk but it’s only available to those with GDC vault passes. Follow Alexander at @ and then go try to beat the part of Antichamber that you’ve been stuck on for so long.
So these two things this week really just helped me get back into feeling excited to be doing what I do, and made me want to better myself and be more involved in the community. I have so much to learn from people like Mike and Alexander, and I hope someday someone will learn something from something I write.
Follow me on twitter @tarvusthegreat and I’ll do my best to post relevant and interesting content. Thanks for reading!