So studio 2 is about creating games that aren’t mechanically heavy. And because that’s what I’m used to focusing on, I thought it was about time I found a game that tries to invoke a different experience.
I’m in the process of creating a small personal game called “The Ride”, where I’m trying to replicate and express (on a small scale) how it feels to ride a road bike. It’s not going to be to the quality of, for example: GTA V – but focus more on freedom, flow and beauty.
I played a few random games here and there where the title was the only clue as to what that game might have been trying to convey – some were great, but some were completely off the mark of what I wanted to convey. I wanted The Ride to a positive enlightening type of game – not focused on a negative/sad emotion or memory. What I ended up finding was practically on the exact same lines as what I wanted: An easy going, aesthetically beautiful soothing experience.
I found a little beauty called: Vestige. It’s a simple atmospheric walking simulator. And that description couldn’t fit it better. It’s literally about walking through a well crafted little landscape to view some ruins (and as I did: appreciate the environment).
Without the description I think it would still have an easily decipherable design intent. The way that the landscape is constructed guides the player through the landscape and presents a series of ruins that gradually increase in size as you venture further to the main ruin.
As soon as I launched the game: what set the tone for me was the background music – or in this case the ambience. The gentle background sounds that makes it feel like this is a soothing, relaxed, free area.
Everything from there just solidified the experience – The walk speed, the camera look speed, the particle effects, sun rays, the light but tasteful colour palette, the simple but consistent art style. This is exactly what I want ‘The Ride’ to be. Although it’s not trying to convey some deep and meaningful experience like ‘End World Hunger’, neither is ‘The Ride’. It simply says “Here I am, walk on me, soak in the atmosphere, feel what I am”.
What stands out to me – and what I can take away from Vestige and put into practice with The Ride is:
BGM: The background music really sets the tone and pace for the game. Along the same lines as Vestige – but less environmentally accurate and more mood setting. Soothing, enlightening but power and motivational feeling.
The light colour palette makes the area feel so much more bubbly and enjoyable.
Also like what The Ride will be: replicating a feeling real life environment. But I’ll have to end up using post effects to really enhance the visual aesthetic to make it really pop and feel more beautiful. Give the player something to look at, and a reason to look.
There’s a few other little ideas that sprung to mind whilst wandering around Vestige – many audio and input feedback related.
Until next time –