Eastshade is an interactive experience that is primarily concerned with being a world worth exploring for the sake of exploring. There are no enemies to kill, no dialogue dramas between acted characters to play out, and no towns to build. There is a world with sights to see, sounds to hear, people to meet (hopefully), things to find, and impasses to surmount.

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5 comments by DannyWeinbaum on May 1st, 2015

The title of this post is a ridiculous question to me. At the very least it should be a ridiculous question to any game designer, but I also think it should be a ridiculous question to any gamer. It appears the latter is not the case, because its a question I’ve gotten more than a few times when I try to describe what this game is to people. I suppose it makes sense, because games wherein you control a single avatar tend to be about killing enemies in one way or another, and people may not have considered how very specific that paradigm is.

I’m not saying there isn’t innovation left to be done inside that box, or that I think people should stop making these kinds of games. Combat is human, and its an engaging subject to make games about. But there are other aspects to humanity that we can explore through games. I have nothing against dude-killing games, but I do think its odd how many game designers seem to only think inside of that particular box. There are certainly many genres that typically don’t involve combat, but when I describe Eastshade as a single-player, first-person, open-world game, people usually think Role Playing Game. And everyone knows that the particular role you play in a Role Playing Game is the role of a hero. And everyone knows that heroes live primarily in worlds where 90% of the population are wandering bandits waiting to be killed.

So the question “If there is no combat how will the game be interesting?” makes the same amount of sense to me inverted: “If all you do is kill dudes how will the game be interesting?” To a person who’s played mountains of games wherein you spend most of your time killing dudes, the latter seems like a ridiculous question. When you strip away the weird box thinking part about dude-killing, the question becomes “What will make the game interesting?” which is basically asking “Will the game be good?”.

So will Eastshade be any good? The game has changed a lot from what I initially set out to make. There used to be survival mechanics, which gave people something to grab onto when trying to understand what the game is (courtesy of Minecraft). Those mechanics are gone now. So what’s left? If I said its like a first-person, open-world adventure game it wouldn’t be totally off the mark. But the state of a traditional adventure game’s world is completely dependent on the player’s state through the game. The guard won’t move from the door until you do some absurd chain of lock and key puzzles to make it happen. Eastshade goes on without you, and the feedback from the world is more systemic, predictable, and granular.

What if I put it to you like this: Eastshade is not a game that you play, but rather a place that you go. There are daily solar and lunar eclipses, the conifers are purple, much of the architecture is spherical, and the people look like monkeys. Stuff happens. Do you want to visit?

Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 18)
Guest Jan 3 2015, 3:33am says:

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SinKing Aug 12 2014, 6:57pm says:

I am intrigued, even though you are not making a mushroom-picking simulation. I just wonder about one thing - isn't this game taking place on Earth? Everything looks down to it, except the planet/moon on your new screenshots seems very large and blue to be mistaken for Earth's moon (ever though about why all the other planet's moons have names, but our moon is just called "moon"?)

I dig what I see this far, but I remind myself that all I'm seeing is a well-made map, not a game. I'm sure it was more than enough work getting this far with it, but I still don't clearly get the intention or direction this game is going to take. It seems like something like this would need a strong narrative like Dear Esther or a range of underlying systems beyond cold/warm hungry/fed to make it more interesting.

From a writing standpoint it could be interesting to add competition. You might find out you aren't alone, but you are competing with others for the same resources. Then you could have a choice between confrontation and cooperation. However, that's pretty generic again, so let's see what you will do on your own. To me, this game highly looks like it could have metaphysical aspects and a moral story ending. This doesn't mean it would be narrative or story driven, it would just mean working towards a goal, a finite solution for the game design. I keep watching this, updates are always nice!

+3 votes     reply to comment
DaAn2002 Jul 31 2014, 7:17am says:

wow this look amazing

+4 votes     reply to comment
Guest Jul 18 2014, 1:57am says:

Too bad that you have to make seperate account for indiedb :P
Looks awesome and it is on unity which is awesome

+1 vote     reply to comment
JLG81 Jul 15 2014, 6:20pm says:

dude you should def put in some easter egg hunts that would be so cool, like find a knome house with a little door at he bottom of a tree or some thing

+4 votes     reply to comment
DannyWeinbaum Creator
DannyWeinbaum Jul 15 2014, 7:04pm replied:

Oh for sure! I love stuff like that. Hopefully that will be one of the pillars of Eastshade

+3 votes   reply to comment
Guest Jul 14 2014, 6:47pm says:

No ennemies to kill ... so sad :(

I'm kidding! The look is just too beautifull. Good luck for your project.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Smallchange Jul 13 2014, 12:30pm says:

Well good sir, you have another tracker, looks promising, keep up the good work :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Guest Jun 29 2014, 1:57am says:

Stunning. Absolutely amazing. Please, please do continue this. ^^ It's so beautiful!!!

+2 votes     reply to comment
MountainHermit Jun 27 2014, 1:12am says:

Looks great

+2 votes     reply to comment
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RT @volaticusgame: Joey was performing his code review today - not sure if he is pleased or disgruntled #gamedev #indiedev #cats T.c

5hours 34mins ago

My controversial blog post T.co turned out to not be controversial at all which pleases me! #gamedev #indiegames

5hours 45mins ago

@_joshrife Sounds rad! It'd be nice to have control rather than waiting for weather (what I do). I'd have to justify the license cost though

May 1 2015, 8:34pm

@_joshrife Do you turn the results into a texture or do you have some control in engine to animate the sky?

May 1 2015, 8:28pm

@_joshrife Oh and also the sky meshes follow the player around every frame to avoid parallax.

May 1 2015, 8:21pm

@_joshrife Also a texture big enough for a sharp non-tiling starry sky is HUGE. So the background stars tile and the bright stars are geo.

May 1 2015, 8:18pm

@_joshrife 3 big half dome meshes. The material values and UV offsets animate to give a dynamic look. T.co

May 1 2015, 8:15pm

Every idea seems like the best idea while caffeinated.

Apr 22 2015, 3:13pm

@SeithCG I thought that if a GameObject is inactive and referenced by no one its as good as gone. Unless you mean in editor.

Apr 20 2015, 5:14am

RT @Livelyivy: Some design wisdom from '101 Things I Learned in Architecture School' (equally relevant to game design) T.co

Apr 9 2015, 1:17pm

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