So last week I mentioned I’d applied for some funding to develop a small, stand-alone story, part of a re-imagined Toryansé as a collection of short-games instead of one big one, and the good news is my application was successful! I thought I’d share a few more details…
The award comes via Northern Ireland Screen as part of their eXP Project, a scheme aimed at encouraging local developers to experiment with interaction and story-telling. It’s only a small budget and selected projects have to be finished by the 31st of January next year so there’s that deadline pressure I was looking for!
As I mentioned before, the images you may have seen from Toryansé have mostly been from one narrative thread, one I’ve recently started referring to as Commute. It’s a bit too big for this project but I’ll be returning to it at a later date.
The story I am focusing on centres on a small shopping-arcade and the owner of a computer repair business who finds herself exploring long-hidden parts of the building and uncovering mysterious artifacts left behind from its previous life. It’s an idea I’ve had in my head for ages, the arcade exterior can be seen in the background of a few images I shared of the street, but I’ve always struggled to tie in with the wider narrative as it was. Splitting the game up into bits means I can introduce a new character and give this little idea a bit of space to itself rather than abandoning it or cramming it in somewhere else as a side-plot.
As with a lot of the places in Toryansé, the arcade is based on a real place, recreated partly from reference and partly from memory. I drew up a few rough concepts/storyboards as part of the application process:
2d work is not something I’m hugely confident with, I quite often just jump straight into 3d to sketch things out, but this was actually really helpful to do.
I also submitted a pretty thorough set of milestones and I’ll be writing up a little post for each of them to show how I’m getting on. I scheduled the project to begin at the start of October and the first milestone is on the 7th, by then I plan to have finished a puzzle-dependency chart and have all the interactions plotted out.