An island of cubes, possibly starting out as a flat plane that slowly warps and breaks up. Because it forces the characters together rather than apart, it may be more conducive to interaction.
The Chasm level discussed earlier has been made and tested, and though the imagery is quite effective, the singular response of either backing away or falling in seems to exercise too much gameplay stress on the participating players, always making them worry more over not dying rather then how they might be expected to act within this context. So something less urgent is required, without wholly sacrificing the urgency.
Based on the earlier ramblings about entropic and finite concepts, here is a coarse concept: An empty level that is literally torn in twain. There is a rather staid camera setup that is based on the characters distance from one another, largely highlighting, at first, the vacuity of the environment and later, based on which sides of the divide the characters find themselves, the distance drawn between the characters and the hopelessness of their situation.
The Prop, which may or may not be a tree, is a rallying point at first, and later something to watch die before them, and pehaps rescue.
The ground will tear along a predefined animation, not dynamically. The whole experience will take about five minutes.
The game received the go-ahead from all of the examination board some weeks ago. After that, there was some measure of design doldrums. In fact, there still is. Thus far, I maintained some form of Miyamoto-esque approach which consists of tackling most of the technical requirements first, leaving many creative decisions to be extrapolated from a more finalized technical framework, in essence leaving some of the more interesting design decisions last, rather than working to implement concepts beforehand.
This has worked, to some extent – But it leaves me muddling over the actual level content for some time now. For some reason, the theme of entropy keeps recurring, which is something I’d like to avoid, if possible, as this was more or less the theme of Raft – that of living on a disintegrating raft. Nevertheless, it is a powerful dynamic to introduce, the slow decay of a world and the characters relationship with it and to one another. It is, at the very least, a viable possibility.
Also pictured are some disparate ideas that keep cropping up, elevators, masses of tiny people, things like that. Object of the next few days is discovering whether these have any worth. Thing is, the design and object of the game in tandem with the relative simplicity of realising content for it means that I can try a relatively large amount of things with relatively little effort – which is exactly what I will do. Through the multitude an approriate final form, at least for the exam, will hopefully reveal itself.