- The game will be put together in UDK (Unreal Development Kit) which is a very powerful tool for creating basic games right up to industry standard AAA games and beyond.
What sort of game will it be?
- At its core the game will simply be a first person perspective of a character that finds himself having to get out of a maze.
- The maze itself will be very large, perhaps a mile or more squared.
- The maze will have only one entrance, and only one exit. The player will start outside the maze and have to enter to negotiate his or her way out of the maze.
- The internal structure/layout of the maze will be mostly typical and traditional corridors with branching junctions that lead to other paths through the maze.
- Some of these paths will lead to dead ends, or a player death, while other paths taken will lead to open areas of the maze or rooms which will contain other aspects of the maze such as clues to correct paths, puzzles, spaces where parts of the story or lore are told, or simply open areas to break up the monotony of the main maze. Naturally many of these open areas will have multiple branching paths that lead off them so a clue in that area might point to the right path, or the player might be tricked in someway to going down the wrong route which could ultimately lead to a dead end or death itself. So the point of many of these open areas is for the player to use their brain to work out the right way, rather then trial and error method of the main maze. That is the basic core of the game. The look, graphics, sound, music, story, puzzels..etc can be molded around that core idea,
Although I have already chosen a clear idea for the look and style of the maze design itself, everything else can be worked out according to the story, and some of the content, in particular the open areas will be objects that relate to the story itself.
However because I am only learning UDK and have also had to go back to learning things in 3d Studio that I will need to know.. its important to understand that I am very limited (at least for now) with what I can do in UDK. So the story, and in particular the puzzles or content within the maze related to the story are within my ability to do.
For now, and generally speaking I can only do basic static levels, meaning I cant code in dynamic stuff that is so common in games. Its a little hard to explain. If i give you two possible scenarios for a story to the game, one that would be possible for me to do and one that would be almost impossible for me to do with the limited knowledge I have with UDK.
Player walks down a corridor, comes to an open area that contains a water fountain with statue of a famous greek god. The open area has 2 routes out of it. Player spots 2 buttons near statue. Player presses left button, statue then rotates and points his its hand to correct route. Or player presses right button then statue talks, and some of the maze walls rotate so the maze is slightly re-arranged.
Player walks down a corridor, comes to an open area that contains a water fountain with statue of a famous greek god. The open area has 2 routes out of it. Player sees an inscription on statue with text, The text is a some sort of puzzle and if the player solves the puzzle correctly it will reveal the correct path out of that open area of the maze. Or. the player notices the statue is pointing to the other path so takes the wrong path.
Ok the first scenario for me, right now would be almost impossible, first off all there is interaction which would require some sort of programming which you know I cant do. the fact there are 2 buttons with 2 possible outcomes also would require more programming. Then comes the part where the statue rotates and points to somewhere, again this sounds simple enough but right now doing things like that is beyond my ability with UDK, then the maze walls rotate in certain ways to re-arrange, well this sounds awsome but like the statue I just dont know how to do things like that... and this would also mean that the maze layout would change meaning other areas of the maze (that are not related to that open area) would be changed too, so that would be tricky.
So the second scenario, as you can see requires no interaction of the player with the maze, and the maze itself dosent change one bit, hence there is little to no code or programming required. the player is almost just observing and navigating an environment.. thats all from a technical gameplay there is to it, however it wount sound as boring as that if the maze, the graphics and atmosphere, story/lore and puzzles are interesting enough to keep the player playing.
HOWEVER!!.. and this is important... as i learn UDK there is a good possibility that I could implement some fancy things , like the examples I mentioned above or even better, but right now I have to try establish a story and set the puzzles / clues and general narration around with my limitations are NOW.. and not what they might be in a few months down the line. So if i learn something like for example how to put more interactivity into the maze we can tweak the story if needs be or expand the story and lore out to incorporate new things I learn.
(some conceptual images to follow to get an early idea of some ideas Jim thinking of)
In terms of the look of the maze I have my heart set on something similar to this
In terms of size it might be as big as this or even bigger, but will contain open areas rather then just all corridors and junctions.
To gain inspiration regarding the game being based only on story with no interaction I suggest you to play Dear Easther, or watch a playthough
I might also recommend Anti-Chamber and The Stanley Parable.