The Seal - Devlog

Spikes and Vines

So far my game doesn’t have much in the way of obstacles. I’d like to create a small mixture of obstacles. Obstacles should include stationary hazards like spikes and trap doors and pits, as well as reactive environmental obstacles like switches you step on that make darts shoot out of the wall (a classic temple obstacle). To get started, I put together some tests on spikes: In my head, I’ve always thought of the spikes for this game to be like large vines with thorns.

Vertical Slice

Recently I’ve been cleaning up some quality of life stuff in my game. Here’s a short walkthrough of a simple vertical slice. The player can advance through the entire game sequence. The player enters each room at the correct side, and the environment changes based on whether or not the artifact has been returned to its pedestal.

Two Selves Bug

While working on some quality of life improvements, I came across an interesting bug. Since the player can enter a room from either side, there must be at least two places that can spawn the player. In order to implement this, I decided to remove the player from the scene in the Unity editor and instead add two player spawn points; when the scene loads, one of the spawn points spawns the player, and the camera faces that player.


For this iteration, I was focussed on thinking about my game’s macrostructure. That is, while I had an idea of what an individual room would look like, I hadn’t made many decisions on the overall structure of the game.

Movement Cleanup

Once I had made some decisions about the lane structure of the game, it was time to start working on cleaning up the player’s movement. I had some experience working on tuning the player’s movement from working on past platformers, so I started working on the movement for this game based on work I had done in past projects. This stuff is a bit more mechanical than some of the prior work I had done, but needed to get taken care of so that I could continue my design work.

Advancing the Prototype

After my initial prototypes, I started thinking a lot about what I could actually execute and what was core to my game and its message. Although I would enjoy having a fully explorable 3D action adventure game, that’s probably not realistic for me to produce. More critically, the subject of my game does not materially depend on the player being able to move freely in 3D. One of the challenges I started thinking about relatively quickly with having a fully 3D experience is the control of the camera.

Concept Outline

After much hemming and hawing, I thought it would be good to lay out what the project concept is from a high level without being too abstract. A lot of my earlier posts are a little evasive, so here I’ll try to be a bit more to the point. Game Design Concept The Seal (working title) is a third-person 3D puzzle-platforming game. In the game, an unnamed protagonist carries a manhole cover through a series of platforming levels in a temple setting, solving puzzles and evading enemies and traps.

Initial Prototypes

My last project was a 2d sidescrolling puzzle-platformer, and for this project I wanted to make something in 3d. I’ve made a few things in 3d before, but haven’t made a full game, and haven’t gone through a whole level design process. In the course of making Light Sucker, I built up a module toolkit for constructing levels and populating them with enemies and challenges. Once I had the initial set of blocks built out, I found that I loved designing levels.

The Shape of Treasure

It is not enough on its own to consider what the meaning of a treasure should be to the player-character; we must also consider the treasure’s form, as this form will have consequences on the mechanics of the game in play. Cube A cube is a very easy shape to build and to work around, but I’m not convinced that the cube on its own provides a particularly rich set of interaction opportunities.

Seven Questions

As prompted by The Elements of Game Design, Chapter 7: 1. What is the urgency in the game? Ultimately I’m not sure that this game needs to impress a serious sense of urgency in the player at all times. I’m quite content with building a game that allows the player to play at their own pace. Thinking on this, I do wonder if there should be moments of urgency throughout the game, especially ones that can be triggered into existence by player action.

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