Its Almost Here
As our Alpha draws closer, everyone should look forward to a new download available to test out soon.
It’s been a speedy start and as we draw closer to our Alpha release there are a few things we’re sure you will enjoy.
For those of you who’ve played the original prototype it’s easy to see how the concepts of TWC come together, however upon moving into a 3d space things could have easily gotten complicated. The Alpha proves that TWC is indeed as successful in 3d as it was in it’s 2d counterpart. In-fact the idea of blindness as an imperative part of the design becomes even more apparent. By being lost in a truly 3d environment, exploration, discovery, and memorization become even more imperative aspects to the players success.
Players will also now get the chance to enjoy
- a 3d soundscape,
- 3d typographical objects,
- the ability to climb on-top of shorter objects to traverse the world,
- puzzles that involve uncovering mysteries in the dark, collecting items, and understanding visual and audio cues, and
- an overall more fluid and interesting interaction with the world.
So get excited, and be on the look out for the update coming in the next two weeks.
A Brief Understanding
To understand the concept of The White Cane (TWC), it is important to note a few things about the game. Firstly, The White Cane is an experimental game project being built in The University of Texas at Dallas’ Game Lab and explores a players lack of “eyesight” as a mechanic and thematic influence.
Blindness as a Mechanic
The White Cane is a game which revolves around a player’s inability to see their surroundings as a mechanic. In a pseudo-blind world players must explore their surroundings by “feeling” objects to reveal their presence. Players must rely on their memory to more effectively traverse the environment and solve the various puzzles that populate the game.
A Third-Person Explorational Puzzler
The White Cane puts players in the shoes of Cieco, our confused, and sometimes senile, protagonist. Cieco is trapped in a pitch black environment, with nothing but his remaining senses to guide his way through this unknowable world. A 3rd person adventure and exploration game, TWC forces players to use the senses that the game provides to solve puzzles and explore their surroundings. By forcing players to explore the darkness, each step forward is a new discovery. Players uncover their surroundings by walking and bumping into objects. Objects will remain visible while they are being touched by the player, but will fade out of frame when Cieco is no longer in their proximity. Players will be forced to play a game of advanced “Memory” to traverse the 3d surroundings in sometimes unsettling situations.
Inherent Issues with Blindness
Blindness causes some inherent issues with game design. In a world that doesn’t exist until you touch it, players can easily lose their bearings if they have nothing to grasp as a point of reference. It is easy for the player’s avatar to feel as though it’s not moving. When everything is black, there is nothing for the player to use as a point of reference to judge things like movement, distance, and direction.
To solve this TWC implements
- a player avatar that represents Ceico’s imaginary representation of himself,
- a soundscape which uses positional 3d sound,
- a trail of disappearing footsteps which shows where the player has traveled, as well as
- objects which appear once touched and disappear in a fade out to provide a temporary point of visual reference.
A Lack of Knowing Leads to Understandable Disbelief and Fear
As Cieco explores the levels of TWC, Cieco takes stabs in the dark at what he’s feeling, interacting with, and surrounded by. The objects of TWC are represented almost entirely by mixed forms of typography. Cieco will spell out what he thinks he is interacting with in the form of typography based objects. These objects provide a sense of story and character, that can sometimes lean towards the insane.
Just finished setting up the site, and added the Prototype download. Now I’m off to make Unity Web work and convince my producer do do all the actual content for this thing.
Remember where you are.