The Nest is my current game project. Inspired by the game Dead Space and the movie Alien, I am working on creating a scary story-driven single player adventure. The video demos of this project are showing the work-in-progress.
Here is a brief overview of what I have done so far in this project.
Stage One: Game Concept
I wanted to work on the type of game I would love to play. Because it takes months or even years to complete a game, I needed a game concept that I personally would enjoy. I took the main aspects of the games that I enjoy most and play the most. Among my all-time favorites are Dead Space, Resident Evil 4 and Dishonored. Taking inspiration from these., I decided to develop a third person scifi horror survival game.
Stage Two: Game Maps
Ideally, the story should come before the game maps. To keep things interesting for myself, I would alternate story writing and creating the game maps. For the game maps, I created five different playable areas including the desert exterior, the main building, the prison level, mine levels and the caverns. Each map level designed for the different stages of the game. The maps are nowhere near to being in their final version. But, the overall look and feel will be the same. After testing with player movements and the NPC movements, the maps may change.
Stage Three: Story
Games with stories hook you in. You want to know how it’s going to end. I knew I wanted to have the story-telling aspect to the game. Although the story is still being expanded upon, I have written what happens in the story from beginning to end. I used Trello to break down all the parts of the story. Working on the story structure in Trello allows me focus on the individual parts of story one at a time. The sequence of events can easily be changed, removed or expanded upon.
Stage Four: Storyboarding
Since this is a story-driven game, I needed to create storyboards for the game. Using storyboards will allow me to clearly visualize all the events that will happen in each scene of the game. After experimenting with different ways of creating storyboards, I came up with a new technique that I find works well. Using screenshots from game maps that I created, I added character models to set up each scene. Then, I pieced the elements together in Photoshop to create each storyboard frame. Finally, I added these images into Powerpoint. Since I had the environments ready, the process of creating these scene images went fairly quickly.
Currently working on:
Stage Five: 1st Rough version of each scene including NPC movements.
I’m on the first pass of each scene. There are 40 scenes in the game. I am working on creating a rough version of the cinematics, the scene staging and movements of all the NPCs in the game. This requires getting the basic AI behaviors working, that later will be given more complex behaviors. Player and AI combat will be added at a later stage. When this stage is completed, I should be able play through the entire game in a rough form.