Why Not Games




City: Surprises

Written: 2017-01-17

Screenshot

Songs

I updated The Quiet Sleep in the first week of this month, but since then all of my work has been on the new, untitled story. This story is meant to be an evolution of the gameplay that The Quiet Sleep pushes, so I put a lot of interesting things in it but it always felt too crowded and noisy. I just tried cutting out everything but the core to see how that played and to get a feel for this story.

That worked out well. I really like the core cycle here of looking for inspirations in things around you and trying to make music from it. I also really like the narrative of transforming traits that I've been working on for this story. I transformed my ambition into self-loathing and was unable to transition back because I did not have a source of pride to use for that transformation. So, I had to scrounge around for enough pride to manage that while balancing the rest of the game. This was exactly the kind of communication I was looking for and playing through it was very satisfying.

New Features

My previous post detailed a bunch of problems with the game and potential solutions.

I really like the new tower system. Needing to recharge the towers is good narrative. Additionally, it results in wavier gameplay as you need to take a moment to recharge the towers after an emotional period, and similarly shows the idea of getting worn down under a constant stream of emotion. Also, in the new story, recharging the tower where you vent to your lover consumes pride, and I absolutely love the way that plays.

The new global tick for the focus system works well. It's a lot clearer than the old system without being any more intrusive. It does seem to lead to more dead time though, so that's something to keep an eye on.

I didn't bother changing the spawn algorithm of the emotions because of how well recharging works already.

The upgrades that I described are in, but I have yet to come to an opinion on them. The game is not paramed in a way that lets me test them yet. There's a tricky balance that I need to find there where the emotions are not heavy enough to make the game unplayable, but still require the player to pay attention.

Next Steps

I still need to play through what I have a little more to really grok it. Once I'm comfortable with this skeleton though, I have a lot of interesting wrinkles that I can add, so I'm going to go through the most promising ones and try to layer them in.

- @murthynikhil

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Written for Why Not Games.