Hello + launch date + ruminations!
hexcavator here; you may (not) know me from such obscurities as BIT RAT: Singularity, CONVERGER, or Unbecoming.
I just launched a page for "I don't think I've walked this stretch of road before", a short 3d narrative game I've been building for the last eighteen months. I'm gonna release it for sale (for Windows and MacOS) on January 31st; in the meantime, I'd be grateful if you took time to watch my trailer, follow the project, or for any other feedback or thoughts!
The project started out as an attempt to wrap my head around 3D development in Gamemaker: Studio, but I'm feeling pretty proud of the lil world that has emerged. Along the way I learned a good deal (I'm still a complete beginner, but hey) about low-poly modeling, lighting, & 3D data management, and also how to implement a bunch of my favorite aspects of walking sims (atmospheric vignettes, object manipulation, cool camera techniques). The 3D Gamemaker: Studio scene is relatively small, but the framework enforces some constraints that really tickle my brain and my curiosity about how this stuff works "under the hood", so I found it very satisfying to slog through -- all the more so because I keep meeting super smart, friendly folks doing way cooler things than me!
Gameplay-wise, the flow of the experience is similar to other "point-and-click" 3D stuff - Life is Strange, Gone Home, etc. You navigate the space and interact with objects & scenes to evoke bits of story. My spin on the genre is simultaneously about taking it very literally (walking slowly & purposefully in a straight line down an endless highway) while bringing a slightly more filmic minimalism to the forefront. To this end I did a lot of reflecting on (and, uh, aesthetic theft from) the work of Jeff Nichols, Kelly Reichardt, and to a lesser extent David Lynch. I'm also obsessed with weird noises layered over very naturalistic sounds, so there's a lot of that.
As a piece of writing, I wanted to keep the story sparse & ambivalent while avoiding some of the narrative tropes that can drag games like this down -- Lovecraftian "insanity", I'm the murderer twists, etc. I think it's possible & good to explore experiences of unreality, paranoia, trauma, etc. in a more hopeful way -- particularly with regards to masculinity -- and I worked hard to reach towards that ideal.
Anyhow, there isn't a ton more to say before the game itself releases (unless you wanna talk GM:S shop, but I won't belabor that), but I'm super excited to share the end result and hopefully add my own bit of weirdness to the lo-fi 3D thing. I'm gonna sell the game at launch for 4 bucks; it takes <30 min to complete; you can play with keyboard or dual analog controller.
As ever, I appreciate any opportunity to connect; til then, thanks for taking the time to stop by!
Get I don't think I've walked this stretch of road before
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