I can't believe it's been almost two years since work began on Hevn. Granted the first year and a half was mostly dedicated to ramping up on game development skill, business and marketing, as well as prototyping. But it's pretty cool to see that a finish line is finally in sight, even though it wasn't always that way. Until recently, one major underlying issue that lingered was the lack of a cohesive story and setting. So for this post I thought I'd share some thoughts about this process, or lack of process as it were.
June 2015 Update: Due to some fundamental changes in how the story is presented to the player, the entire Objectives gameplay aspect has been replaced with a more organic form of discovery. This post no longer applies.
To help encourage players to discover more of Hevn, we've recently added the concept of "objectives". This will likely feel familiar to those who have played RPGs or really any game that requires completing various types of tasks or quests. For the purposes of this post, the terms "task", "quest", and "objective" are used interchangeably to mean "something that needs to be done by the player". Several quest based systems already exist on the market, but after research it made the most sense to implement a simple custom solution. In this post I'll try to share how we're implementing a flexible objective based system that provides a foundation to create an immersive and unique experience.
In Hevn the player has the option to make choices that can affect the outcome of the game. One of these options takes place in the form of dialogue. "Dialogue" in this sense means communicating with other NPCs or "entities" using in-game computer terminals and tablets. This post covers some of the technical design of implementing dialogue into Hevn.
One aspect of Hevn that is very important for immersion is the audio and sound effects - specifically the "muffling" of sounds. By "muffling" I mean adding a low pass filter to an audio or sound. If you're unfamiliar with what a low pass filter does, imagine listening to music playing from a separate closed-off room from the one you're currently in. The lower frequencies (i.e. bass) can be heard through the walls while the higher frequencies are attenuated, or not heard as clearly. In this post, we'll discuss how this is currently handled in the game.
Hello there! For this post I thought I'd share a little bit about how "player health" currently works in Hevn. A significant element of Hevn is based on survival. The process of surviving can often be measured in many different ways, one of which is the combination of physical health and stamina. In Hevn there are several attributes, and related thresholds, that are related to health and can be used by the player to make important decisions during gameplay. Whether it's food, water, shelter, location, information, defense, tools, mental stability, etc, we want the player to be aware of their own state. On the other hand we don't want to force the player to have to micro-manage health, so changes over time will likely be subtle. Not to mention there will be feedback visually and through movement.
More game design details at IndieDB