Everyone knows that ‘time is money’. To what lengths would humans go to buy themselves more time?
In this world, sleep has become a past-time, a time waster, and a profession. The rich and famous hire ‘Sleepers’ to dream their dreams so that they can be awake and alive.
You are a ‘Sleeper’. You spend your days in a dark room in a dark city, with buildings so tall they block out the natural light of the sun. You sleep and sleep and dream ideas that are not your own. Soon these memories of others will draw you into a dark conspiracy, but not yet. For now it is only important that the little time you spend awake, and as yourself, is lived in the way you want.
During this level, the player is introduced to our character, Sonya, who awakes from a client’s dream. Realizing it’s almost dawn, Sonya departs her small apartment and leaves the city to watch the sunrise. She walks through the city to her bike and then drives the rest of the way.
(This will allow me to focus on creating a visually appealing and explorable environment, rather than one centered around game mechanics.)
The city in which my level takes place is based on a near-future imagination of Manhattan. Confined to a small surface area, the city has built upward as its population has grown, creating skyscrapers three times as tall as the ones we know today. To accommodate this vertical growth, the city has numerous platforms which divide the city into layers. The further down one goes, the more reliant on artificial lighting the environment becomes.
The technology present in this world is largely based off of current day advancements. Small futuristic adaptations exist, but I want the player to feel a sense of familiarity when navigating through the level. What differences there are will be treated as commonplace.
As an example: Sonya’s bike is modeled off of a WW2 era motorcycle, but the back end hovers. It is a mix between the old and recognized and the futuristic.
Beyond the city limits is a vast wasteland of nothingness. The Earth is dry and parched from overuse and has been long since abandoned for the relative ease of city life. Wildlife is practically nonexistent, and what plants remain are brittle and weak. The one unaltered power is the sun, left untouched by man. Watching the sunrise will be a stark contrast to the dark and dirty city Sonya has traveled through to get here.
The gameplay of this introductory level will be limited to navigation and some point-and-click style object interactions.
The player will navigate through the city by using the arrows keys to move and the mouse to interact with objects. The areas will be presented as screens (in a ‘Walking Dead’ or ‘Final Fantasy 7’ style) with a fixed side-view camera, but the player will be able to navigate freely around the screen.
The art style for the city portion of this level will include low-poly models with detailed textures. I’ll be aiming for a stylized look with a dark and grungy color palette, featuring primarily grays, greens, and unsaturated colors.
The wilderness will be much more vast and sparsely decorated, but will feature warm colors.
The music for this level will be minimalist, perhaps only becoming very noticeable during the sunrise. I want the player to be focused on sound effects instead, which I think will make the City setting feel more sinister and cold.