In Profundis is a kind of simulation-game set in a random world. "Kind of" because the focus is on gameplay more than realism, "simulation" because, even if the game isn't intended to be an authentic caving experience, it is meant to suggest realism. I need your help for funding so that I can focus on design and development, obtain equipment in order to explore Android and iPhone development, and other aids to development.
The player explores a huge cavern on an alien world, with substances and materials both familiar and exotic. He brings in a selection of objects and gadgets with which to overcome the dangerous terrain, and hopefully make his fortune. The odds are against him.
The game uses cellular automation to simulate its world. Liquids flow, gases spread, boulders roll, fires spread, plants grow and walls crack and crumble. Other games, notably three that involve exploring underground caverns, use CA techniques: the classic Atari 800 puzzle game Boulder Dash (which directly inspired the behavior of the boulders here), and the recent indie hits Dwarf Fortress and Minecraft. Another game that bears some similarity, at least in the operation of its engine, is the "Falling Sand" Java game. However, In Profundis' CA system will be rather more complex than most of these (except maybe for Dwarf Fortress -- Tarn Adams is a genius). The fact that it's 2D helps in this regard; it greatly decreases the amount of calculation needed for each frame.
The game is also somewhat inspired by roguelikes, in that it presents a dangerous, randomly-generated game world to explore and ultimately defeat. The pace is intended to be fairly sedate, and the player is rewarded for experimenting and discovering about the game world before jumping in. Caution and prudence win the day. Well, most of the time.
I use descriptions of imagined gameplay in the video and above. This is a useful tool, I find, in figuring out what I want a game to do. I want to play games where I can have adventures like these without actually risking life and limb, not the canned sort that a scenario writer imagines I'd want to have, but the kind where what happens is actually the result of my actions and cunning. This has always been the future of computer gaming; it's why the roguelikes are an eternal nagging voice at the edges of the field, and it explains the recent successes of Dwarf Fortress and Minecraft. It is the future, but it is difficult to work these sorts of designs into a commercial studio's development process. It is up to the indies to develop this promising theme.
I'll be chronicling progress on the game at the COIN DOOR INTERLOCK blog, at:
And here's another video, this one's rather longer, and more artsy, but at the end also explains in more detail what you're seeing in the pitch!
- (30 days)