[Game Dev. Journal] Game Concept of Within : Set off on a Magnificent Dark Adventure
Published by Silver Lining Studio, “Within” is a mobile game which tells a dark adventure fairytale like story. Development for the game is still on-going, but you can try out the first few chapters of the Beta version on Google Play and TapTap now.
With this article, we will share with you the development lifecycle of the game, the challenges we’ve met and the experiences we’ve learned along the way. We hope this will provide an insight for people who are interested in developing this game genre. ( At least we hope to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made )
The Original Idea of the Story
At the beginning of discussion, we chose to focus the concept on human conflict and altercations with parents during our student life. This seemed to be a common experience shared by many people in Taiwanese society.
Therefore, our original intention is to make “Within” a game that reminds people about our childhood and how we were raised by our parents.
We wanted to portray the feeling of emotional conflict between both child and parent. Furthermore, we hope to inspire and let players subliminally realize how we are affecting our next generation by what we’ve been through in the past.
Although we’ve designed a complete lore and storyline, we’d like to lead players to explore the plot points and discover the details for themselves, such as, “Who’s Emma?” and “What are the relationships between Emma and the other characters?” There might be some unclarified clues in the gameplay since we have only released a few chapters for our current Beta release. Still, we’d like to collect as much feedback as we can from the Beta in order to improve the user experience for the full release and tell a more impressive story.
Text or Graphics? Ways for Storytelling
We tried out several different game genres during the design phase, such as RPG and action. After making some prototypes, we finally decided to build a side-scrolling game focusing on “storytelling & exploring”.
Besides development time and resources, we believe the aforementioned method to be the best in delivering an emotional message to our players. The operative question would now be ,
“HOW are we going to tell the story?”
At this point, we have been through some debates on this subject. One merit of adding text to the game is that we are able to directly tell the story and make it easier to foresee the players’ reactions.
On the other hand, implementing text may lower the sense of accomplishment for players, providing a less refined imagination of the story.
In our opinion, the hardest part of a narrative-oriented game is to make players experience the emotional ups and downs in accordance with how the story and gameplay elements have been designed.
We ended up with an almost textless design. By showing only the title of each chapter, we hope this minimalist implementation can properly guide players while leaving a room of imagination at the same time.
Of course, this decision raised the hurdle for designing stages. Still, even without text, this design choice allowed us to focus more on creating the appropriate vibe and ambience for the game.
Last but not least, we’d like to invite you to try our Beta version! We highly look forward to receiving your feedback!
To download the game, please check out the URL below!