TRI is a first-person 3D game with environmental puzzles and an immersive atmosphere. Experimentation is the key, thus players can create their own geometry to solve puzzles and reach hidden places in weird constructions. Features: * freestyle 3D platformer * build triangles to overcome abysses, reach unknown places, and walk on the walls and the ceiling * reflect light rays, dangerous lasers and floating spirit creatures * explore the halls and dungeons of TRI, collect treasures and solve puzzles
We briefly explore the simplification of TRI and its development process, which lead to a better game. Especially level design gained a huge benefit from this.
Posted by kaskade on Apr 2nd, 2013
This is the seventh entry I wrote for the TRI dev log on TIGForums. You can find the previous parts there.
Yes, we and our project TRI are still alive! After a pretty long break at the end of 2012 we decided to move the game into a different direction, especially regarding the style. The story changed, too, but this is not quite as relevant, as the story and plot we thought of were never an integral part of the alpha versions. In the current pre-release we even removed any hint of story, because we want to add NPCs later, and concentrated on other stuff this time.
The pause in the last quarter of 2012 was mainly for doing contract work, to get some money for food and shelter - but it also gave us time to rethink some design decisions we made regarding TRI. The main concern was to make everything easier for us to create content, which means
simpler textures– mostly just quadratic tiles
simpler mapping – standardized box mapping will do in most cases
simpler level creation – try to stay in a grid of 1x1x1 meters initially
simpler level export – click a button in 3dsMax and the stuff is in the game
simpler mission design – the main goal of every level now consists of collecting three keys in order to open a portal to the next level
All this simplification resulted in a better consistency of the looks and the gameplay. The new art style can be tweaked quite easily by changing a few colors, the ambient light and the global fog. Improving the gameplay and layout of a single level even after texturing and mapping it became easy. With the new limitations, we can predict the ideal size and content of a level much better and we're more confident now when creating the level design.
We also built a tutorial mission which will introduce the player to the world, so it contains a show-jumping course for learning the basic controls, but will also be the start of the story, as NPCs will give the player motivation to actually move through the levels.
Right now we get mostly positive feedback, especially regarding the level architecture. But not enough people are playing the game – let alone buying the alpha version. The trailers we do might be big turn-offs, as creating the triangles seems tedious. It's actually fun and feels natural, but how can we tell the hard to convince trailer-watchers? We probably need to make it more clear that TRI's focus is not only on puzzles but also on exploration.