Art Upgrade Achieved! Next Up: Design Upgrade.
The art upgrade stretch goal has been reached! The Fall will look much better as a result. I can't wait to see what a few additional artists can bring to the table!
We've got 44 hours to go at the time of this posting and a few more stretch goals to reach. Reaching our design stretch goal will mean hiring a designer to help explore additional design possibilities for The Fall. So what does that mean exactly? Good question! It means:
"Set piece" combat sequences
In game design, combat sequences are often framed in a context, or what's often refereed to as a "set piece". Set pieces can be simple or complex, featuring custom gameplay or not. An excellent example of properly implemented set pieces can be seen in Naughty Dog's incredible "The Last Of Us", where action sequences usually happen in a sectioned off area with a unique visual style. This gives an orderliness to player experience, separating action and exploration, such that players can more clearly experience both on an emotional level. Another example, and one that's more dear to my heart, is from Half-Life, where players spend a solid hour of gameplay in an attempt to fight a huge set of tentacles in a rocket test site. This kind of setting creates a nice feeling of context for gameplay; in my opinion, it's the gameplay equivalent of speaking in sentences.
Currently, combat in The Fall is distributed fairly evenly in the game's environments. It's fun, but it's also lacking the type of excitement that can come from good set piece design. I would like to explore having sectioned off areas with a more general theme or purpose, such that the player has a larger goal than just "more shooting". These sequences could potentially require custom puzzle solving gameplay as well.
Deeper combat system
Combat is currently fairly simple in The Fall, and consists of a basic cover system that creates fairly simple hide-and-then-shoot gameplay. There are lots of possibilities for deepening this experience, including multiple enemy types, melee combat, and deepening the strategies involved in resource management. For example, both the player's shield and ammunition use the same energy, and I would like to be able to experiment with encounters that require more complex management of this mechanic, such as giving players energy boosts after preforming melee take-downs or multiple successive headshots. There are lots of options to explore!
More complex puzzles and a larger world
This one doesn't require much explanation. More resources means more content! There are some puzzles in The Fall that are a lot of fun but could be increased in quality with a few additional elements. I'd like to implement puzzles that require a bit more in-depth environment exploration or have more steps to complete. Also, with additional resources I can slightly expand The Fall's world, adding a little more gameplay for everyone to enjoy!
That's that! I'll end this update here so that I don't turn this into more of a wall of text than it already is. We're in our last few hours and things are looking fantastic. Just a bit more to go! Lets see how far we can take this!