Monday, June 20, 2011

About Project IITS - Part 1: Gordo's Island

Hello IITS Readers,

A reader named FifthFanZac commented on my last post and speculated a bit about the design of the game and while responding, I decided I should just write a whole post about some aspects of the Project IITS game here it is:

As a game element, Gordo's Island acts as a hub area for adventures. It's a place for the player to engage in some secondary forms of gameplay (as opposed to the primary gameplay of combat and exploration). In the original design, the hub was supposed to be chosen by the player from any of the procedurally generated islands that they might come across. I decided that was a bit ambitious so, instead...the hub areas are prefabricated. However, that doesn't mean that they're completely static...Gordo's Island can be upgraded in several different ways and what you see in the concepts and the 3D island crafted so far probably represents and island that is halfway upgraded. Each of the different upgrades provide a different gameplay bonus, whether it be storage, or crafting, cooking, etc.

All that's pretty standard for an action RPG type game, what I wanted to do to set Project IITS apart from similar game paradigms is that unlike your usual hub world, where there are linear paths that lead to other game areas, in Project IITS...the adventure comes to you. That probably makes no let me take a moment to explain that the world of IITS is in a constant state of change...the islands swirl around in an invisible ocean of wind...making everyone in the world a nomad. Imagine this: Kayli comes back from a long hard day of hunting popees and after cooking a few up for dinner, takes a nice long bath in the hot springs (what's an IITS product without a little naked Kayli?), she heads up to the treehouse and goes to other words, the player exits out of the game. The next time the player logs into the game, Kayli wakes up and the game has simulated the passage of time and distance traveled and when Kayli steps out onto the front porch of the island abode, she might find herself in a completed different environment. Calm, blue skies are replaced with reddish tinged clouds and lightning storms. Popees are replaced by ravenous birds of prey looking for a juicy bit of Kayli to snack on the docks, a beat up old airship is tethered...its lazily swinging lantern beckoning the player to approach...

All of that should be gameplay of course...the hunting of popees is part of the primary combat and exploration gameplay, cooking up the popees uses the cooking crafting system, taking a bath ABSOLUTELY should be interactive (I'm shameless, I know)...even the airship that suddenly appears is interactive. Using a dynamic questing system, the game generated the appearance of the airship and its owner. It may be a traveling salesman offering rare precursor artifacts for sale, it may be a craftsman offering upgrades to weapons or armor or glider may be a dude in distress (Kayli rescues the MEN) with a dynamically generated quest for Kayli to undertake.

In the original game, the project known as IITS Ultimate, the idea was to allow players to create their own character in an instanced, procedurally generated MMO style experience. Being a bit more realistic, I pared the project down to a be single-player adventure featuring Kayli as the main character but all the tech and experience we get from the first game will be built upon till everyone can participate in the world of IITS as a character/persona of their own creation. Game development is about iteration and while the idea of IITS Ultimate excites me, a smaller, tighter experience and testing out gameplay and ideas with Project IITS will, well...ultimately benefit IITS Ultimate.

I hope this gives those interested an idea of what to expect for Project IITS. I wish I had some gameplay to show but the game is always in a state of flux and I've got to make some big decisions about the direction of the project before I can state or show anything more solid.

- Joseph

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hey IITS Readers,

Just a quick update today in the form of a video of the Gordo's Island model that Alex Mathis created for Project IITS. The video itself was also captured by Alex...I just threw it up on YouTube.

A few notes about the island...the area with water is an open air, steam bath grotto that can be entered from the outside as well as an interior entrance. The tent like structures in the branches of the trees are the sleeping can sometimes catch a glimpse of a bubble window from some of the camera passes. For those of you who read the book, that would be where Kayli is found sleeping at the start of the story.

As far as the world goes, you would likely see many other islands nearby and in the distance as well as a lot of creatures flying through the air but this is specifically showcasing Gordo's Island. Anyway, hope y'all like it. =)

Update: I messed with the size it displays on the blog site, if you want to see it in higher quality, just watch it on YouTube.

- Joseph