This is the third and last post about the development process of The Splitting: Chapter 1. I wanted to write about the design and development process, and some problems that I encountered while making this chapter.
I think that the most important thing to me during this process was finishing the game. I just wanted to make something that is whole (even if it’s a first chapter), without giving up halfway. I had started a few games before, but apart from Game Jams and Ludum Dares I never finished one, so it was really important to me to prove to myself that I could do it.
When I started developing the game, I didn’t have much. I had a basic idea about mirrors that I really liked, a vague storyline and some sketches, but until a very late stage in the development, I didn’t have a final version of the chapter’s flow. I just wanted to start, to do something, so I made a prototype with the basic mechanics, and meanwhile started working on the look of the game. I knew that the game was gonna take place in Daniel’s apartment and I knew what rooms were going to be in that apartment, so I created them. The story part wasn’t easy and was going pretty slowly, so I let myself sink into the programming and the art, because it was clearer what to do there, and it made me feel like I was progressing. So even though I didn’t have the design all figured out, I felt like I had enough to go on, so I just went on with the development.
When I got to the point where I couldn’t delay it anymore I sat down and started designing the chapter’s flow. But the ideas didn’t really come. Maybe I was putting too much pressure on myself, or maybe I was already in development mode, but I was really struggling. The flow I eventually came up with was something like this: Daniel wakes up, finds out his reflection is gone, walks through the mirror and meets llehctiM. Then he has to walk around the house and collect 3 clues to the whereabouts of his reflection, after which he’s ready to go, and the chapter ends. It wasn’t a very good flow. also, llehctiM at this point didn’t follow Daniel around, so each time you found a clue (or thought you found one) you’d have to go back to the room where he was at, and that was pretty annoying.
The first person to play the game was my mom, and she kinda hated it. She said there was too little going on, that the characters weren’t interesting, and that all in all, the game was kinda tedious. After that, I stayed in bed for an entire day. I tried to convince myself that the game was good, or that I was already too far ahead to change it, but it wasn’t true. So eventually I set down and changed the flow. I added Becky (She didn’t even exist up to this point), more items, more riddles, and llehctiM following Daniel around. This time my mom liked it, and after letting a few more people play, I released the game. That was on January 2015, and until now I still make changes in the game from time to time.
There’s a lot more that I would like to write about, especially concerning the storyline, the world rules, and paradoxes that derived from those rules, but I wouldn’t wanna spoil later chapters. When I finish the game (one day) I will sit down and write about all the questions and problems I had when actually writing the game.
This is it for now. Next, I’m gonna start posting about the development of chapter 2.
Thank you for reading!