Presented to faculty this week with this video - https://vimeo.com/475351890/4b7c5893aa
To further focus and streamline the project, I wrote a synopsis of the big picture concepts of the project as they currently stand. I am now working on changing this synopsis, and expect it to change significantly in certain aspects as I better focus the project, but for the time being, here is an in progress draft as I begin revising.
The focus of the project is on elemental forces (fire, wind, etc) that are not antagonistic forces, but rather, simple unpredictable forces of nature. They can be destructive, calm, or even useful, and ultimately serve as a vehicle to make the player feel a lack of control over their environment.
You start off the game grounded in the real world. You find yourself unable to leave your home, and you receive a phone call from someone you know. However, you are unable to speak, and the person continuously says “Hello?” in confusion. Your home is also locked from the inside.
A mysterious fog starts to fill your home as this happens, and it transports you to a massive abstract world full of shapes called the Fog World. You can still hear the person talking to you in this world, but they now sound very far away, with the sound of their voice on the phone echoing throughout the giant massive space. They are still talking to you, confused, wondering why you aren’t answering.
You discover abstract Blocks that, when grabbed, trigger sounds - muffled fragments of your character’s voice. With experimentation, you can find ways to start putting together phrases and sentences to communicate with your friend on the phone. The idea is to emulate the feeling of struggling to communicate, and to approximate the feeling of haphazardly trying non intuitive/cumbersome approaches in order to communicate, with no idea if anything you are trying is working or not.
In addition, the blocks also serve other purposes. They can be used to add new rooms to your home as a way to escape the closed doors of your home.
In general, the idea of exploring spaces is very important. Your home is full of moving boxes containing your most important possessions. If the fog touches your most important personal possessions, they also get transported into the Fog World, which compels your character to try to get them back.
This mixture of personal possessions and abstract shapes in the Fog World leads to a world of fragmented memories as well for your character to explore and make sense of. You can combine the abstract shapes and the possessions together to form new shapes - for example, you could form the shape of a table out of rectangular shapes and an oval shape. Forming these new shapes lead to audio only “cut scenes” where audio of your previous conversations with people in your life play. You can again react to the conversations by using the abstract blocks or personal possessions.
The ultimate goal is to ultimately for the character to accept the lack of control they have in their life, and to accept the unpredictable elemental forces in their environments, and find ways to communicate with those in their life who are far away using the Blocks.