The Journey Begins!

Hi! My name is Sascha and together with my brother Simon I’m making a point and click adventure game! I’m very excited about this, hence all the exclamation marks! I’ve worked in the game industry for five years as an artist which means I can make things sort of pretty but I barely know what a prefab is. My brother Simon has been coding since he could walk or maybe rather since he could read, but he’s never really applied his skills to games because he got caught up in web development.

But now’s the time! We’ve combined our skill sets and made a company called Tideshell Studio! We also made a logo and I made a cake… 3 years of art school really payed off….

Reality vs. Expectations

In Noon’s Journey (that’s a working title btw) You play the girl Noon who has to make her way home to her fishing village before it gets destroyed by a giant wave. The gameplay's made out of the typical point and click elements like talking to people and solving item puzzles “pick up syrup -> combine with cat hair = get mustache -> you made a disguise!”. But on top of that there are two other game mechanics that are used throughout the game and those are the ones we’ll be focusing on for the first couple of months. If we get those two working the rest should be pretty smooth sailing (…she wrote and instantly knew she’d later regret it).

Language Puzzle

The journey will take you far and wide and you will meet people who speak foreign languages. To be able to ask them about where to find cat hair for your mustache you’ll have to learn their language. Right now we’re trying to figure out how to make the puzzle get as close as possible to how you would go about learning a language in the real world, but at the same time keeping it less tedious than practicing verb conjugations in Spanish class. The main language in the game is called Drift and is spoken by the inhabitants of a floating driftwood city. Since the inhabitants are originally from everywhere I’ve started to create a language that consists of words from lots of different real languages thrown together.

Not every sentence will have words from so many different stems as the example above but it illustrates the concept. As a player you might be able to recognize words from languages you are familiar with though chances are some of the words might be slightly edited. I just hope people won’t kill me for butchering words from their language. By now I’ve got just above 200 words in Drift.

I used an online poem generator and made some poems in Drift for testing

You will have some sort of notebook with you that’ll help you make translations. Noon’s quite good at drawing (I know! An artist created her so of course she’s an artist too, what a surprise), which comes in handy because you can make drawings in the notebook. For example draw a sketch of a cat you see in a window, then you show that drawing to a local who then in turn gives you the word in their language (Cat = Feles). Now you know what word to use when asking if you can borrow someone’s cat. How exactly it will work is one of the things we have to figure out within the coming months.

Water puzzle

You find a strange seashell early in the game called the Tideshell. Its insides seems to be almost infinite as you can use it to empty out whole lakes of water or fill up a rooms. You’ll have to use this to move around places like the underside of a floating city that is partially flooded.

As this is a 2D game, making interactive water animations might be difficult if we’re not to end up with a very heavy amount of full screen sprites, so right now we’re testing out if we can make the water in 3D instead. We’re mocking up the backgrounds in simple 3D objects and then projecting the 2D backgrounds onto the objects. In this way the 3D water looks like it flows around the 2D background elements.

This is what it looks like right now:

Blender: 3D mockup of a wonky 2D sketch
Unity: background projected onto 3D model, othographic view VS Perspective

Together with our game designer Rasmus we’re creating a small prototype that’ll illustrate how the water and the language puzzle will work. When we’ve got something to test we’re going to need a lot of testers. If you’re interested just send us an email at contact@tideshell.studio.

If you enjoyed reading this and would like to follow what’s happening with Noon’s Journey, then please like or follow us on Facebook, it would mean a lot to us ❤ https://www.facebook.com/tideshellstudio

If all goes well we’ll have a kickstarter at some point and maybe even a fancy smancy newsletter of some sort but for now, follow us on Facebook for updates and new devblog posts.

Thanks a bunch! All the best from the Tideshell team to you!