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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsSomewhere - an exploration game set in a surreal colonial India.
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Author Topic: Somewhere - an exploration game set in a surreal colonial India.  (Read 17837 times)
oleomingus
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« on: January 17, 2014, 06:39:35 am »






We have just released a new build called Timruk! ( itchio page )

more details in the last post on page 6.





Somewhere is a first person exploration game set in a surreal colonial India.

It is a collection of stories about the search for a city that does not exist.
A mythical city of storytellers, called Kayamgadh.

You navigate these stories by becoming the other people, and as you shift identities you realise
that each person you become is a figment of another character’s imagination and a part of yet another story.

And in this shifting, fragmented construction,
Somewhere is an exploration of how the unchanging truth of Kayamgadh
tears the reality of the people who are searching for it.
It explores the painful process of disillusionment whilst looking through the lens
of it’s most ardent believers.

Kayamgadh does not exist, but there are stories about it.
Kayamgadh cannot be reached but people will chart it’s location on their maps. Kayamgadh offers no answer,
but people will turn to it for salvation.
And nobody can return from Kayamgadh because they were never there.
But people will claim and even believe in it’s indelible existence.
And in doing so they will create a city of their own. 
A city that would truly be a city of storytellers. An untruth, yes. But no less real to the believer,
than the actual city.


The one that does not exist














































« Last Edit: December 14, 2015, 04:15:12 am by oleomingus » Logged

 
sclly
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 09:39:43 am »

Quote
as you navigate identities, you realize that each person you become,
is a figment of another character's imagination and a part of yet another story.
Somewhere is therefore, most of all, a collection of stories.
a collection that spawns characters through which a player might comprehend this town.

this reminds me of some of the short stories of the collection ficiones of  jorge luis borges. good read, by the way.

It sounds good! Really!
Games / Interactive experiences has so much potential for other means of storytelling.
Keep at this idea!

I'm not too fond of the artstyle, or better say the colors. It's just my personal taste, though. I would get more colors into it, not just grey/blue/red. You can still make it minimalistic, but give the world a little bit more life - or is it a digital 'matrix' world?

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muppetpuppet
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2014, 10:12:27 am »

I really like your esthetic,  as a pure3D fanatic, i'd do without the textures,seems so un-neccesary with all the geometric oomph. (but hey i'm weird that way,and you shouldn't listen to me, ever)

But great character and very original, much enjoyment was had just scrolling through your post.

I'd advice to have a good look at what works and what doesn't, I love the shots without a landscape mesh the best,just your art floating in a white haze. It brings out the geometry and the lonliness, where as having a consistent floor and landscape, just makes the setpieces less stand-out,If you can't fill an entire world with the same consitency, then leave out the world...
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Zaphos
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2014, 10:16:34 am »

I really love the visual style!  
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oleomingus
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2014, 11:03:52 am »



Quote
this reminds me of some of the short stories of the collection ficiones of  jorge luis borges. good read, by the way.


Wow ! I am glad you picked up on that. Our first build ( the one we are currently working on ) alludes rather directly to one of Borges stories from fictions called, "Approach to Al Mutasim" The writing for the game draws strongly from the works of Italo calvino ,Sukumar Ray, and Luis Borges of course.

also I agree about the minimalism of art style though I am unsure about changing colors ? but most of the screens are iterations and experiments that are not quiet there yet. The last few screens are from the current build, and the ones that come closest to a surreal game space.

Thank you for the wonderful feedback.
We will be releasing a build in a few days, do give it a try !
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oleomingus
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2014, 11:14:04 am »

If you can't fill an entire world with the same consistency, then leave out the world...

Thank you !
that surely is pertinent feedback for anybody and especially for a small team on an ambitious project.

We have gone back and forth over the art several times, combining textures with flat color, and a simplicity in texture does hold a form of surreal appeal especially with the low poly terrain. most of the game's art is still a little bit up in the air as we work on these small builds, and try to figure out what form of art serves the narration best.

the four screens at the bottom, are from the build we are working on at at the moment. I will be updating with some screens that show the crafting of the same
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oleomingus
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2014, 11:16:34 am »

Thank you ! Zaphos. We do appreciate the interest.
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oleomingus
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2014, 11:36:15 am »


work in progress ! a quick demonstration video from the build we are working on.

There have been  several changes to the environment since this video was recorded, and the
stealth systems have seen refinement as well, but it is still rather indicative of the game's experience.



the image above links to the video on our Tumblog. Will post an updated video soon.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 12:01:20 pm by oleomingus » Logged

 
kessler
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2014, 11:45:07 am »

What a cool looking game!  Ninja
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oleomingus
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2014, 01:51:52 pm »

What a cool looking game!  Ninja
  Thanks !
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Panurge
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2014, 02:02:38 pm »

So much to like here. Really intriguing premise and beautiful style.
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oleomingus
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2014, 02:56:35 pm »

# update one




We are close to completing the small build (loopGaloop) that we have been working on,
the images below chronicle some of that process.









loopGaloop (working title !) is narrated across three acts & three characters.
with both the narration and the Gameworld looping upon themselves in the third act or movement.

the script for the build contains numerous allusions to the story, "The Approach to Al-Mu'Tasim" by Luis Borges.
for those interested this story can be found in a collection called  Fictions.
 
The story is a wonderful exercise in nested narration and overlapping characters.
a structure and form of writing decidedly suited to our game.









while not overtly theatrical, the writing for Somewhere is anachronistic for this medium.
the narrative within loopGaloop, is told through a continuous quatrain rhyme, broken into individual dialogue.

"
there are stranger places than this room,
and this room is not a strangers place,
I leave for places stranger still
though strange enough I find this space.  "


excerpt from a dialogue within the game.








.








the Gameworld is crafted in Sketchup (make) and the Game itself built in Unity (indie).

















« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 12:35:25 am by oleomingus » Logged

 
oleomingus
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2014, 02:57:45 pm »

So much to like here. Really intriguing premise and beautiful style.
  Thank you !
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sclly
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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2014, 04:06:18 pm »

I'd love to give it a try =)
I see you found me on twitter, just hit me when the build is ready.

Quote
I am unsure about changing colors ?
I didn't mean you to change them. Just add a little variety, like another unsaturated color (like the brown in the house). the red/blue is sometimes a bit too strong in my opinion. the house for example is fine, the brown is keeping the blue from being too strong.

also, the scenes in the open where you see the sky could benefit from an actual sky, not just whiteness. You don't have to put clouds and birds in it, but a bit of a grayscaled bright gradient would help to give the world a bit more life.

i think that's what missing: life. it can still be minimalistic, but people live (or have lived) there. even if it is supposed to be a bit of an gray atmosphäre, of an abnormal and abstract place, give it a bit more atmosphäre, and in my opinion through the colors.

but that's just my opinion.
it's not bad at all, and I don't think I could do it better in 3D.

___
i liked the gameplay video by the way!
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sclly
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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2014, 04:15:03 pm »

i looked at a screenshot of mirror's edge (since the color scheme is reduced, too) and tried to point the difference.

http://www.ngohq.com/attachments/screenshots/1659d1231959694-mirrors-edge-screenshots-mirrorsedge-2009-01-14-20-44-59-39.jpg

they are using only two prominent colors, orange and blue. But they are using a lot more shades of grey ( Big Laff ). More shadows, dark spots, better values. the dark areas are blue-ish white, while the bright areas are yellow-ish white.

____

by the way what's with that?
http://25.media.tumblr.com/4a8d643e2f49ad60aa218c1ede8ed8d2/tumblr_mylaxmcdHs1ri8dvho1_1280.jpg
looks good too!
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Chis
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2014, 06:50:53 pm »

OH I WANT THIS SO BAAAD
As a man of strange tastes, I really like the dominance of red/slate and I think it makes for a strong art style.
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Pemanent
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« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2014, 07:29:26 pm »

lovin this. I'm such a sucker for anything surreal though.

I think you need to turn up the contrast. idk how, but it looks like you never hit pure white or pure black. I'm totally cool with the minimal colors, minimal life and such, but I think the dark parts should be darker and the bright parts should be brighter.
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oleomingus
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« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2014, 12:12:23 am »


Quote

i think that's what missing: life. it can still be minimalistic, but people live (or have lived) there. even if it is supposed to be a bit of an gray atmosphere, of an abnormal and abstract place, give it a bit more atmosphere, and in my opinion through the colors.

but that's just my opinion.


wow ! That is great feedback. I completely agree, the world often feels much to static, even alienating, and it's inert quality seems rather obvious when you point it out ! ( the mirror's edge screen articulated the difference splendidly ). I believe we need to strike a balance between the surreal, alienating spaces and having them appear 'lived in'. while I am not entirely sure color is the solution here, you do make a point with the mirrors edge screenshot, and their gradating use of colors.

- - - - -

Quote

the screen on tumblr is from a smaller game we Kickstarted last yer. It is a simple strategy game. Glad you like it !
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oleomingus
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« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2014, 12:27:11 am »

OH I WANT THIS SO BAAAD
As a man of strange tastes, I really like the dominance of red/slate and I think it makes for a strong art style.

Thank you Chis. strange is a perfect definition for the game !

you should be able to play the game in a few days. we have almost completed the build that we have been working on.

* oh ! and carousel, looks really wonderful, especially the animations ! *
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oleomingus
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« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2014, 12:32:59 am »

I think you need to turn up the contrast.

Glad you like it !

tweaking contrast shouldn't be too difficult, you are right we never really hit the black or white extremes. Though for the most part that is a deliberate choice, keeping the world foggy and monotonous.
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