Thursday, 27 July 2017
Development Introduction by Tom
Hello lizard friends.
Just a quick update to introduce myself and give a brief look into the work I’m doing on Reptile Resistance. I’m Tom, I’m a narrative games designer, and I’m doing the development work on the project; essentially taking Craig, Mark and Pete’s work and mashing it all together to turn it into something you can play on a mobile device.
As a narrative designer I’m used to messing around in the crossover between games and literature - I’ve previously been responsible for some experimental martian interactive fiction and a faintly sacrilegious reimagining of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Reptile Resistance is my first time working with someone else’s story (not counting Shakespeare, he died ages ago and is therefore Fair Game) so it represents some interesting design challenges, such as how to go about introducing interactive elements while staying true to the original text.
The liminal space between literature and games is an interesting and under-explored place to work. For this project we’re presenting something like a book that you can reach out and touch - the original text is presented in its entirety, but through an interactive frame. Objects can be pushed and pulled through the story, hidden panels slide aside and mysterious lenses reveal secrets within the text. Sometimes the entire page twists and turns as you read.
One important consideration for Reptile Resistance is puzzle design. We want to capture the feeling of exploring the residence of a mad genius, complete with secret alcoves, hidden trapdoors and enigmatic codes. We’re aiming to design the puzzles in a way that complements the text rather than distracts from it, staying true to the vein of paranoid conspiracy than runs through the fiction.
We've uploaded a new trailer which contains some early footage of the prologue secion; it should serve to give an idea of the approach we're going for with this project. You can check it out on the front of this Unbound project, or else it's available on YouTube. If you’re interested in checking out more of my work you can check out my website at tombattey.com, otherwise you can follow me on Twitter @tombattey.
Stay tuned for more updates and development progress.
As little bonus, here are a couple of work-in-progress screenshots from Chapter One:
The Missing Diary
The app on release, the missing pages of the diary and credited as a co-producer.
The app on release with a credit as a co-producer.