SPECIMEN 14

Game Design Project, National Institute of Design, R&D Campus, Bangalore

Collaborator: Jayant Kumar

OBJECTIVE

To give the player an atypical and deviant playing experience via a decision primal Non-Linear Game Narrative. 

GENRE

Psychological Horror, RPG

PITCH

Deprived of all memory, you wake up to find yourself helplessly wandering through randomly interconnected rooms. Each room seems to contain specific memories of your past. But then there's this cocky narrator who forces you to make increasingly uncomfortable choices as you search for your way out. Wait a minute, is it all in your head? If so how do you snap out of it?

GAME WORLD

The game world is a figurative representation of the protagonist's mind. It is divided into 26 rooms called Memory Spaces as each memory space holds a specific memory of the protagonist's past.

The 27 Memory Spaces form the structure of a Rubik's cube.

The 27 unique Memory Spaces are categorized into 4 types of rooms as shown below. The glowing cube represents the Memory Space in which the protagonist is currently present and the green cubes represent the adjacent Memory Spaces that can be accessed from the current Memory Space.

 

This system of all the Memory Spaces collectively is called The Core.

Given to the right are three types of Memory Spaces that are found on the periphery of the Core.

 

The fourth type of Memory Space, however, is found at the center of the Core. This is where the game begins and this is the final destination for the player. 

Player Objective

Visit each of the peripheral 26 Memory Spaces at least once, the completion of which allows the player to discover a way to the final hidden Memory Space located at the centre of the Core.

A visual of the 27 Rooms arranged in the form of a Rubik's cube

 

GAMEPLAY

Understand the Game World

Interact with objects

Obey/Defy the Narrator

Explore Rooms 

Visit each of the 26 Memory Spaces at least once (opens portals to the hidden Room)

Get to the Hidden Room to confront a potential end

Keep track of choices

Reach a portal

Find escape route

GAME MECHANICS

Locomotion

Key Press Interaction

 

CHARACTER DESIGN

The Narrator

Player's Impression

  • You don't get to see the Narrator.

  • The Narrator knows or has the means to know everything about you and your past.

  • The Narrator is not affected by your activities.

  • The Narrator has overwhelming powers to manipulate the nature of existence within these Memory Spaces as he pleases.

  • The Narrator has a minion who goes by the name Dumbass. Dumbass never speaks a word. You are not even sure of his existence.

  • The Narrator is sulky and has quick mood swings.

  • You cannot trust the Narrator, not one bit.

  • The Narrator's motives are unknown.

Character Description

Characteristic

Description

Tone of Voice

Informal, Condescending; Usually harsh and insensitive, revealing Superiority Complex

Ethnicity

Native English Speaking

Strenght

Extremely high conviction in his voice, critical and logical decision making

Likes

Pointing out flaws, self-boasting, taunting, bullying, pun-play, verbal abuse   

Dislikes

Being doubted, disobeyed or ignored.

Flaws

Control Freak, Over Confident to a fault

 

Multilinear Level Design via Emotion Mapping

The narrator's emotions and actions dictate the options to the player. The player's response effects the Narrator's mood and so the subsequent level/Memory space is arrived upon.

Level Initialization

Narrator's Mood

(Derived from the previous Memory Space)

Dialogues for the Narrator

Level Design of the Memory Space

Player Decision

Obey the Narrator

Disobey Narrator

Surprise Narrator

Random Choice

The Narrator remains unconcerned; if not, he might trick you into a choice or just let you do your thing.

Might enrage the Narrator or leave him shaking his head. Thereafter, you can just hope to get lucky when he puts you through some tough scenarios

This is where his reaction might get unpredictable. This set of possibilities makes him take interest in your Game Session. 

Mostly, the Narrator will not be concerned. He might choose to remain silent or talk to himself. A smaller possibility of him talking about your past.

Narrator's Reaction

(Dialogue Scripting Essental)

Narrator's Mood

(Input for the subsequent Memory Spaces)

 

GAME VISUALS

Upon initiation, you open your eyes to a blurred environment. The room seems to be under some sort of simulation and an authoritative voice is heard.

You are allowed to move your view of vision freely. After a few seconds, the vision comes into focus. Now you are free to move.

The Narrator instructs you not to touch the glowing Core at the center of the room. 

 

Will you obey and stay put for eight hours?

Or will you give in to the temptation of curiosity and interact with the sophisticated looking Core. 

This image is of Memory Space 5

When the player enters this room, he/she spots four distinct objects in here.

Interacting with one of them will open a corresponding door that leads to the next Memory Space

Close up of some objects in Memory Space 5

A table, a book, and a gun.

Interaction with any of these is made possible after the player has responded to the Narrator.

 

The script of this level is given in the link below.