A Story Playable Forwards and Backwards - Tackling the GDD


Hey everyone!

We at Red Essence Games are excited to share some updates regarding our early stages of the development process. In order to start figuring out our scope for the game, we decided to sit down and continue fleshing out our Game Design Document. This would eventually help us come up with a precise budget, a more reasonable time-frame, and a manageable workload.

We sat down and looked at each other and said, "Wow, where do we even start with this"? The plot that we had originally come up with had to be modified right off the start. This was because the scope was way larger than we could even imagine for 2-4 people to get done, considering so many branches that might occur in that early design. Once we narrowed this down, we decided to come up with an outline; it just needed to cover the entire game and could be vague for now. Since Mask of Semblance intends to be playable forwards and backwards, we had to take event and map order into consideration in our design.

The outline was broken up into several massive sections with different plot points and then these sections were broken up even further. We started diving into character and NPC designs, as well as general combat and traversal abilities.

Mask of Semblance intends to highlight the duality of Nature vs Technology, as well as the struggle between the natural self and the controlling mind. Having themes like this gives us a basis to shape our game concepts around and allows us to create associations with desired topics throughout the game. So if you want to create a story and get started on your game design document, you can follow the steps we took below!

  1. Created a general idea of the story we wanted, with possible beginning, middle, and ending points.
  2. Listed possible themes we would like to incorporate in our game. This required some research into the themes to really understand and be able to communicate them.
  3. Designed some characters who fit this world. Who is the protagonist? Who are the supporting characters? How are we going to interact with them, etc.
  4. Wrote a basic outline of the events in the story. This is very important because it allows us to keep our thoughts organized and prevents us from tripping up on our own plot points.
  5. Layed out a map that matches our plot points.
  6. Detailed out some major events that happen in the story as bullet points in our outline.

The last 2 weeks have been some of the most fun and interactive game design experiences we’ve had. We constantly bounce ideas off each other and try to create a world that both of us would enjoy exploring and designing, and most importantly, a world that our fans will be eager to experience.

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