Adrift - Beginnings

New project time! This one is a video game. A peaceful, maybe whimsical game of exploration. Something calm and not super challenging, but something that still gives a feeling of reward when discovering something new.

I’m being influenced by Noctis and Proteus very directly. Also by the idea of playing Elder Scrolls, Minecraft or WoW without any of the RPG elements. Apparently, TES was an influence for the developer of Proteus as well.

The primary objective here is to make a relaxing, fairly unchallenging experience that trickles out moments of “wow, look at that”. That’s what I love about free roaming games and want to capture here. The second (but absolutely necessary) objective is to keep development fun. So many other projects that I’ve started have ground to a halt because of getting bogged down on the technical side or letting the vision get way bigger than reality. So each month is going to bring a noticeable change (hopefully an improvement) to the game.

The artwork of the game has to be kept simple. This is only me. As tempting as it is to completely rip off the graphical style of Proteus, I’m trying to make a game in the same genre, not a clone. (Really, that game gets a huge amount of mileage out of a few lo-res assets). So I’m looking for some other style that can make best use of the limited resources that I (and the mobile platform) have. I like the whimsical, lo-fi style of designer Timothy J Reynolds. I like the colorful, upbeat painterly style seen in WoW. The graphical style of Love by Eskil Steenberg certainly makes a few graphical assets go a long way, but I’m not fond of how it’s quite hard to see what’s going on. Realism isn’t an option.

What I have up until now is a false start from last year. An Android based experiment that was essentially a heightmap with some random objects scattered around on it. Had very simple and pretty solid feeling control scheme that consists of dragging on the screen with a finger to look around and tapping to start/stop walking. There wasn’t much to the game, but the controls did feel solid as a rock. Unfortunately, due to a lack of direction, and a dependence on too many art assets, it ground to a halt. I will just have to go even simpler this time.

The old Android game

The old Android game

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