i'm going to get all informal here, so don't mind my awful grammar, punctuation, etc. i decided that i'll be using this thread as a development log for my jam game so i can keep all my notes and etc. in one place where everyone is free to see.
an empty bliss beyond the woods — a minimalist, surreal story in which you meet a strange, immortal being while lost in the forest. that's the tagline anyway. heavily inspired by this album, which i obviously stripped the game title from, and am currently modeling the ost from as well. i'll be using renpy since i've never finished a game with renpy before, and i think even with minimalist aesthetic, the engine will do well to combine the few audio-visual aspects i have with my writing. i hope to god my writing is good enough to pull off the atmosphere i'm aiming for.
assets — i've downloaded a lot of cc-licensed stock photos to photoshop— everything will probably be in grayscale. like i said, i'm going for a pretty minimalist look here (and i don't want to trouble people for art anyway) so i'm pretty much set in the background category. as for music, i'm familiar with editing and composing, but i wanted a more distinct tone for the game, so i also downloaded cc-licensed music that i think fits the atmosphere. also a lot of old vinyl recordings, which i may or may not edit to enhance the sound. or i might take samples, add some delay ad reverb, and loop them like in the album linked above. i'd say i'm pretty set on that too.
synopsis - incomplete
set roughly in the 1950s, the protagonist— a freelance painter —gets lost in the woods. they soon then realize that things are not what they seem, and that they are, in fact, trapped in a fae's labyrinth— an inescapable maze of illusion created by malevolent spirits living within the forest. lost and confused, the artist encounters a strange entity that gives them a curious ultimatum: you must stay here until the next new moon. during that time, you may stay at my lodge, and every day you will come see me. that is all I ask.
the story is vaguely inspired by the words "lovecraftian romance"— where, instead of the unknown holding abject fear, it holds something different— a kind of eternal, ethereal love, if one can call it that. i don't really think it's a game that many people will like, nor am i really intending to make it for a large audience, so i'm pretty much letting it be as weird and as unconventional as i want. i guess it's me letting my hair down, so to say. i've always loved strange concepts like this that try to grasp at a feeling that's so hard to describe
there are two major characters, and you'll probably only be seeing them for the entirety of the game.
the artist — a character of nondescript gender. eloquent, collected, analytical, and a bit of a romantic. they are a dreamer in every sense of the word, and they're the type of person to find sentiment in all kinds of things. they feel out of touch with the world, and so they use painting as a means to escape it, although it doesn't exactly bring in the dough (in supplemental materials, the artist is male, but his gender is not mentioned whatsoever in the game itself— i encourage people to insert their own interpretations)
the caretaker — a genderless, immortal, swirling mass of darkness. it has many forms, but generally uses one for the duration of the game. the caretaker is distant, highly intelligent, and occasionally sarcastic, as well as extremely powerful. as the guardian of the forest, it observes the activity within it day to day, and spends far too much time alone, deep in thought. it is a creature of many mysteries and secrets, which may not all be pleasant.
there's not much gameplay to be perfectly honest, but there are a few endings i'm planning. two, with a little bonus scene for the jam, then in post i may add two more endings. as for choices and stuff, i'll be mostly using them as a way to add interactivity to the story and world, allowing the protagonist to explore and interact, though for the most part choices will probably not have very much impact on the plot save for the endings. but this may change once i get to developing it.
so that's what i have so far! i'll post wips and sketches in the next post.