Wilderplace update and travelogue

Saman Bemel Benrud • May 30 2019

Hey there! My sabbatical ended a few months ago, on March 1st, but work on Wilderplace continues. We now have art, animations and a revamped UI.

Here’s a full playthrough of the fifth level:

Here are a couple more videos showing off specific details. On the left, we see the player entering the spirit world and running from demons. On the right is a short video showing off the “can’t move” animation. The “can’t move” animation is one of many small details that ended up making a huge difference in enabling less experienced gamers to figure things out:

Communicating how the game work intuitively, through visuals, has been the main problem I’ve been working on lately. I still have a long way to go but every update I make seems to help concepts click faster for players.

I plan to go into technical detail about the animation system in a future post! It was really challenging to come up a system that integrated with React and Redux while still being performant. This would have been so much easier with a game engine, but what’s the fun in that 😄.

Ending the sabbatical in Peru

I spent the last two weeks of my sabbatical in Pisac, Peru, visiting my brother Yarrow and his partner Juqi. Our older brother Elijah met up with us later.

I brought art supplies with me and managed to finish the first draft of game art while I was there. I didn’t work full time but did sneak a few hours in every day. It was the perfect way to ramp down from an intense month and a half. I had easy access to friendly play testers, and plenty of rocks and plants for inspiration.

What’s next?

I just sent the latest build of the game to a few friends for feedback. I plan to iterate a bit more based on their feedback, and then add more content plus flesh out the narrative systems in the game (like cutscenes and dialogue).

I’m thinking it’ll make the most sense to break the game up into three “episodes”, and release them one at a time. Each episode will take place in a different setting and will introduce new types of obstacles and creatures.

If you’d like to give the latest build of the game a spin, don’t hesitate to email me: samanpwbb at gmail dot com.

👋 Thanks for reading.