Worldbuilding & Design Lessons, part 1

It’s been a strange road so far, developing this game. What started as an interactive art piece full of birds, balloon trucks and time manipulation soon grew out of proportion into an epic adventure about a child lost in a world where anything was possible. We were five guys with lots of ideas, and narrowing this game down into something that actually seemed doable has been a long process of killing many of our darlings and finally unifying our vision. We’ve had elephants. We’ve had spear-throwing. We’ve had umpteen versions of our central mechanic.

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Dev Update #2 - The Breakdown

Hey folks! 

So, what's going on? After we were sort of caught with our pants down having our website discovered by intrepid NeoGAF:ers last week just as we were gearing up to unveil it ourselves, we've had a mad scramble answering the press, getting the website atleast functional, not to mention start this whole devlog thingy to get things going. It's been a totally crazy but fun first week. Obviously we couldn't have dreamt up a better response to this if we tried, so again, we're really happy to see people getting excited about Vane. Now all we have to do is deliver  Hint: It's terrifying. 

I wanted to do a little breakdown of how we see this devlog going forward, so without further ado:

We see us doing some more in-depth breakdowns of different features or aspects of the game rather than posting continuously about every bit of progress we make. Being a story-based game that relies on discovery & mystery, this probably makes the most sense, and hopefully still gives people interesting stuff to look at in a reasonably non-spoilery way. Making these devlog features will take a bit of time, but it's the kinda thing that gets us excited about other people's devlogs in a nerdy developer way, so we definitely want to take the time to make 'em. In between that we want to answer as many questions as we can, and sneak in some more of those gifs all the kids are talking about these days. If there are already specific things you'd like to see featured, by all means let us know! We know we are being obnoxiously mysterious right now, but we want to try to avoid spoiling features at least until they can be shown off properly in the devlog. 

We have a prototype up and running after a few months of work, and while we're happy with what we managed to create in that time, the prototype is pretty basic. In moving towards tying the gameplay to the story we want to tell, some of the things on the first order of business are: 

  • Creating the interaction & puzzle system proper

  • Improving the player interactions & visual feedback

  • Making a proper camera system for both indoor & outdoor environments

  • Creating a larger puzzle segment that ties into the overall goal of the game

  • Putting these together in a build more representative of the final product

As these systems and features come together we'll be sure to post about 'em. For other future posts we're thinking of doing something about how we create environment assets, sound creation, a post about effects and maybe talk a little about the art direction in general. 

Questions? Thoughts? Suggestions? Let us know! 

Dev Update #1 - The Big Adventure

A child with an odd ability stuck in a strange land. A dangerous natural environment inhabited by a strange civilization. Vane is an open-world adventure game based on mystery and exploration.

This marks the start of our devlog for Vane, a strange adventure game that we are all very excited about. We will be keeping you updated on how the game progresses, delving into features and technical stuff, and are looking forward to hearing all the feedback we can get along the way. Currently we have an early prototype that we continuously build and expand on and things are progressing great. Rui Guerreiro, the main creative force on the project, will be the one taking over most of the devlogging from here on out.

Vane is a single player game about exploring a world and it's mysteries, about unraveling the forces behind this strange land. As such we will have to balance some story reveals here and there to keep you interested without spoiling too much, so apologies in advance if things sometimes are a little vaguer than you'd like - it's our goal to be as forthcoming about the game as possible without ruining things. 

Friend & Foe is made up of Ivar Dahlberg, Rasmus Deguchi (that's me), Rui Guerreiro, Thomas Lilja and Victor Santaquiteria - five guys who've spent lots of time as artists in the game industry and long ready for the indie adventure. Rui and I used to work together at Sony on The Last Guardian, and the other guys have numerous big-league titles under their belt, like Bionic Commando, Battlefield 3 and Killzone. In a lot of ways we know what we're doing, but at the same time we are all noobs at this. 

All in all we are super excited to go indie and share our development with the world. We hope you'll like it too.