Introducing Project GOA – Part 1: This Is Not A Pitch

The Summer Solstice has passed, my relaxation/recovery time from Graduation No. 3 has run out. It’s time to begin talking about my summer personal project: GOA (obviously a working title).

Project GOA (obviously a working title) is about the eighth project I’ve attempted to start in the Blender Game Engine over the past two years. All of the other projects were too reliant on features that would only function in code in a faster, more reliable engine, or I was merely too inexperienced with the BGE to pull them off. However, no failed project is doomed without vain. With every loss I’ve learned more about the BGE, its possibilities, limitations, etc. GOA is the first project that didn’t fall apart in the initial construction phase for whatever reason. So now I’ve expanded on the idea and decided this could be a good practice for general game-design, as well as a portfolio piece of portfolio pieces. Basically, I plan to use this game as a way to force myself to create and showcase a series of models and textures, all animated and built by me (with the exception of some script help).

This is a prototype, not only that, but I have no intention of pitching GOA to anyone for actual production. This is merely a practice in transparent game creation with the initial intent of creating an interactive art showcase. This doesn’t mean this would be a boring “Art Game” where you don’t do anything, instead, the art should be an alternative compelling reason to play – alternative to the actual gameplay, that is. I want to make something that is just as fun to make as it is to play. Also, it will be strange, really strange. But not unplayable by the average person.

That big green thing is a healthbar.

So what is this dumb game about? This is a survival game that takes place on the surfaces of a collection of miniature planetoids. Your ship has crash landed and you must explore the hundreds of surrounding worlds to find resources in order to keep yourself, and the remains of your ship, alive. The game world is procedurally generated, with randomized planetoids, terrain to explore, entities that resemble “plants” and “creatures”, and plenty of unique objects and tools to find and use for various actions. You will be able to build structures to make survival less complicated, and to defend yourself. For now the objective is simple, just see how long you can survive (or until Blender crashes), however I am not going to hide the fact that I am working on a basic plot that will develop as you play the game.

When you have the Flashlight toggled on, you also leave a trail of "torches", so you can always see where you've been.

Why? Well, I wanted to play around with gravity systems in an FPS, especially if I could focus on removing the direct-shooting part (I’ll explain that later). Originally it was going to be a remake of a 2D game I had started work on in a class called “Orbital Bombardment” – an RTS where you expanded your base C&C-style, placed large cannons and fired robots onto other planets to destroy their bases. But then I got inspired by the recent, Survival Game fad, specifically Don’t Starveand Sir You Are Being Hunted, and figured I’d tap into that as an element for building your structures rather than use conventional resource-gathering. As such the gameplay has evolved to become more survival oriented.

In the Projects section above there is a new category for GOA, in which anyone can download a .zip of the game as I am developing it – albeit a few versions behind where I am currently working. Feel free to try it out, although it requires a full install of Blender (free, and very easy to install), leave a comment somewhere on the page, or send me a message on Twitter or Tumblr. Also, if someone is indeed interested in advancing the game, I am willing to talk.

Later this week I will be putting out another blogpost about my background for this project, and then it’s back to the next page of Slenderman. Next week or the week after that I’m gonna talk a little bit about some of the tech in the game, how I got certain things to work. Until then, have fun!

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