December 12, 2015

New Project Details – Sci-Fi Interactive Story

Began work on a new game about 2 weeks ago. It is a Sci-Fi interactive story where your choices will greatly effect the outcome, from small to large.

Some Backstory

I’ve been wanting to do a game like this ever since the last global game jam, where my team and I developed a Sci-Fi text adventure called Orbital. It was like your classic text adventure, but had images, and supported multiplayer. Here’s a screenshot.

Sci-Fi interactive story called Orbital

Orbital from Global Game Jam 2015

You played as a member of the crew of a starship who had just woken from cryo sleep and your ship was heavily damaged and off course. You explored the ship, finding out detailed to what happened, fixing it, but crashing on a planet, and that’s wear the game jam story left off.

And you can find more on it on the global game jam site http://globalgamejam.org/2015/games/orbital

We had planned to evolve this into a full fledged title for PC and Mac , but lives got in the way and it was never finished.

The New Project (The Crew)

I’ve decided to take the game and finish it, at least in spirit, reworking the story and gameplay a bit. I’m moving the game to mobile devices, and because of that, I’ve decided to remove the ‘typing out commands’ aspect and present the player with a list of options after each bit of story. Along with that, you will have upgrades as the game progresses allowing you to be presented with more options you wouldn’t have previously been able to choose from.

Think Mass Effect in that aspect. The entire story will be dialog driven.

As for the story, tentatively titled ‘The Crew’, you will experience the story from the point of view of the Ship’s computer, similar to the the Computer of Star Trek or HAL9000 from 2001: a space odyssey. You will be making critical decisions for the crew of the ship, each changing the course of the story in several directions. You will get to know the crew personally. They will talk to you, confide in you, and trust you to make the right decisions for them. Will you end up leading the crew to salvation, or will you disappoint them, causing them to turn on you and forcing you make difficult decisions. Do you sacrifice crew members for the sake of the mission, do you kill them for trying to tamper with your systems?

I don’ t want to reveal too much yet, but you can see the possibilities are enormous. I have so much mapped out already.

Interactive Story Development

The story is being written using a great interactive story creation tool called Twine. I was going to write my own dialog tree creator until I thankfully found this application. Here’s a screenshot of a segment I was just working on.

Interactive Story Creation using Twine

Quick look at one of the segments I was working on.

If you’re into creating branching interactive stories, I suggest you check out Twine.

As for the iOS app itself, I’ve been working on it diligently and have a working prototype, though I don’t feel it’s worth showing off just yet, but I will have something in the near future. I want to integrate it into all devices natively, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV. Then hopefully do the same for Android devices. I want each to feel like it was meant to be played on it’s respective device, while keeping the experience the same for the story.

I know there are games out there like this that I recently found while working on it. Most notably the Lifeline series and anything from the people at Choice Of Games. So I’m definitely not claiming originality in terms of creating an interactive story for mobile devices, but I do plan on putting my own unique and original spin on it which I hope all of you will enjoy.

More to come in the next post.

I would love to get any and all feedback from you guys so don’t hesitate to post questions/comments.

Have a good one,

Justin

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