Is anyone else getting tired of having zombies everywhere?
How about Pegasus, Vamps or everything else… even if you are not tired of this, you must recognize that they stopped being original a long while ago. Nordic mythology has starred the video game and film industry since the beginning of times. And I’m not saying that is a bad thing, but when you are an Indie Game Dev you need to offer something different. You can’t do another God of War. It’s been done, it’s awesome but it’s done.
The key here was my wife, who’s from Ecuador, told me that once a year people there celebrates Aya Huma (I won’t tell you about him as it is too early for spoilers) which is a Native American Myth. And I realized there is almost NOTHING about Native American Myths out there.
The following weeks I started googling. Fast enough I found it frustrated as everyone else told the story different and nowadays on the internet there is no way to know what’s true and what’s not. Easy enough you can understand why this myths are not well archived. So I thought it’d be cool if the world could have someone who can save the knowledge that is in danger of becoming extinct and that’s how I became with Guardian of Lore.
I eventually found some good old fashion books that were trustworthy enough to use, and that’s why this is the first concept of the starting menu.
The first prototype
After research and deciding the best genre we felt comfortable with I designed the first level with one leyend I could feel identified with “Yerba Mate”. I did the layout and everything and we began production.
We ran like hell in order to get to GDC with an alpha to show and eventually we ended up with a small game that we felt good about. It had a tutorial level, the main map where you could choose what level to play and one level to play which sadly could not be finished in time.
At GDC we received nothing but the best feedback and constructive critics. The most special one, was that the game was good, but it tells the story. It doesn’t let you play that story. That really blew my mind. Seriously. As soon as I got back home I told the team about it and we all decided that no matter the cost, the game MUST be redesigned.
The last two weeks
It took me a while to figure it out but what I finally came up with a technique that allowed me to deconstruct the story into the main elements and started to play about what would happen if this or that happens to this elements in the story. I did want to remain truthful to the actual myth. So there IS a way to actually play the story the way it is and of course alternative ones.
And after a LOT of work, I can proudly say that I redesigned the main map, and the first level “Yerba Mate” in a way that you always start with the actual myth but everything is twisted. You can save a piece of the story or the whole. But of course you cannot see everything on one run. The story now looks something like this:
And let me tell you, it was no easy job to design the level. This levels are going to be MASSIVE!!! I took a photo of my blueprints. The level is 5 sheets like this one and the size of the player to have something to compare to, is two square tall by only one.
I know… drawing is not my thing. But it was the ONLY way I could manage to create this amazing world. I’m really proud of this and I can’t wait for the Beta to be released to get feedback from you.
As always I apologize for my rudimentary English. I promise the game will be professionally translated.
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As always it’s a pleasure to have you with us on this journey.