Christopher interviews Cowardly Creations Project Director and Programmer, Tadej Kupčič, about some details behind the core mechanics and design decisions of Uncanny Valley, their first endeavor set to release later this year.
CHRISTOPHER: Uncanny Valley utilizes a Consequence System that will encourage players to not look at failures as reasons to just restart but as elements to overcome as they continue playing, designed to reduce death as an outcome while making player actions have an impact on the world. While an interesting system, how does such a system encourage a player to keep playing rather than restarting?
TADEJ: That problem was quickly solved with two things – with having an interesting pacing and by delaying those consequences for a while. Some things might not happen right after you fail to do a certain thing, and it will take a while before you are in any real danger, meaning most players won’t be bothered to restart the whole game just because they don’t like where things are going. I think it's more interesting if you play through it at least once and learn to deal with the consequences. I hope players will agree with me.
CHRISTOPHER: As mentioned, exploration in the game will be a key element. Players will be tasked with exploring various areas of the facility to find out what is going on. Why would a player want to keep exploring your game world?
TADEJ: The best encouragement I could think of was having the player invested in the story and by creating an interesting, believable location filled with things to see and do, so they will actually want to explore.
CHRISTOPHER: With an emphasis on exploration comes the need for control, the ability for players to know where they are and where they need to go and to not be hampered by the need to retrace their steps from one area to another. What steps have you taken to limit the frustration of traveling back and forth in the game?
TADEJ: The whole facility is designed in an intelligent manner where you don't have to go through ten areas to get to the one you want - every special department can be accessed through a main hall or conveniently placed elevators.
CHRISTOPHER: As the player explores the facility, they will find various documents, tapes, and similar items throughout the game world. What purpose do these things serve in the game?
TADEJ: Most documents, tapes and other interactable things are there so you can learn more about the rich back story. Those are purely optional, I don't want to force players to read or search every corner of the map. But if they do, they might stumble upon hints on how to progress the story, how to access certain parts of the facility and supplies/goodies.
CHRISTOPHER: Other than items for expanding on the story, players will also be able to find and equip other items in the environment. What type of items will can players expect to find while exploring your world?
TADEJ: The player will be able to find better flashlights or certain weapons and tools to progress through the facility.
CHRISTOPHER: Will there be an inventory system in the game and will there be limited on what Tom can carry at once?
TADEJ: We didn't include an inventory system or a health system in the upcoming demo, but both will be in the final game. There will of course be limits to what you can carry, both in space and weight, which will also affect the movement speed and the possibility of some actions.
CHRISTOPHER: You mention a health system. What type of health system do you plan to utilize in the game?
TADEJ: The health system is going to be similar to the ones in Metal Gear Solid 3 or Call of Cthulhu, where each part of your body can sustain damage and you must apply the correct medication to it.
An exclusive screenshot from Tadej. It shows off the previously unseen stealth system.
CHRISTOPHER: For such a new Indie studio, you have made a lot of headway in getting your name out there, from getting Greenlit by the Steam Community to the recently announced partnership with Digerati Distribution to help with distributing the game across consoles. What advice can you give to other Indie studios to find the level of success that you have in getting your game out there and supported?
TADEJ: My advice - just "spam" everyone. Write a good press information email (short, get to the point fast, don't send a wall of text) send it to every blog and website, no matter how small or big it is. Post the game info on every developer and gaming forum you can. Do that after you have something to show, like screenshots or preferably a trailer. It also matters when you do that - try to avoid E3 or other big game events that have tons of announcements and try to contact the press when they don't have a lot to cover. And lastly, just try to create a game you want to play, something you are passionate about, don't do something just because it's popular at the moment and it would sell. If the game you're creating is a good, quality game made with love, it will find success.
Day 12 | Cowardly Creations