New School Blues Dev. Diary #2: Initial Design

In our second entry, we shared our initial design ideas for the game and gave a taste of what gameplay was to come. At this point our design document had already undergone some significant changes! Stay tuned for more on initial design tomorrow.

Developer Diary #2: The Plan Part 1

Hey everybody, Mike here.  I’m a producer/designer at YoyoBolo Games.  Over the next bunch of my posts, you’re about to find out how this game was conceptualized and just how much that initial design has changed.  Today we’ll focus on our initial setting and puzzle designs.

In our initial Game Design Document, we knew we wanted to do something family friendly and accessible to all levels of gamers, so we decided on a graphic adventure set in an elementary school, a setting generally unexplored in video games.

I wonder why?

The initial idea was to have multiple characters with speaking roles, a narrative focusing on a kid at his first day of school dealing with troublesome classmates, and puzzles that would focus on logic, item use and item combination.  Puzzles included a tracing puzzle (trace a shape without going over any line twice) and others we can’t share since it would spoil the game.

Still fun… but not fun enough

Within the first week it became clear that while the fundamental experience, setting, and gameflow should remain the same, some things needed to be modified, added, or scrapped.  Most of these changes arose from time or resource constraints, but many were just because our original concepts just didn’t hold up over closer scrutiny.  For example, the tracing puzzle was scrapped since the majority of the team found it dull upon a few playthroughs.

Stay tuned for part 2 where we delve into other changes in design including voice work and script!

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