A game about an endless experience of flying as a bird. The game uses mouse gestures as player inputs. It is currently work in progress.
For a while, I wanted to make a game about birds that captures their beauty as species. The game was supposed to tell the story of life, life of anyone, through birds. I even created some storyboards for potential mini games. Then I decided to start with a small scope game and maybe grow from there.
My goals were the following:
- Making a game that has an intuitive mechanic and provides a novel interaction for users
- An art style that looks fresh and pretty
- And this game was supposed to capture the beauty of birds as species.
After working on several prototypes about birds' flying, I decided the existing gameplay was just way too complex then what I was going for.
The only thing I liked a lot was a simple sprite animation I added to that prototype that made the bird look like flying as player’s change it’s position with the mouse. I decided to recreate the gameplay loop around that mechanic.
In the second round, I wrote a script to keep track of the vertical mouse movement and let the player mimic birds’ flapping with the mouse. In this version, as you flap, you go upwards and get faster. When you stop flapping, you go down eventually and slow down.
As I was playtesting, I got really positive feedback on the mouse gesture input. People thought that felt very innovate so it fulfilled my goals. But the gameplay didn’t supported the feeling of “freedom” that I was looking for
On the third round, I decided to let the player move freely and the camera would follow the player. I solely focused on flying in this last prototype. I added a gliding and diving mechanic that would also be triggered by mouse gestures.
For the art direction, I have tried a great variety of styles. Bluejay is one of my favorite birds so I started to explore ways of visually expressing a Blue jay.
I also explored a geometric style that I liked so much. I also got overwhelmingly positive feedback on that. However, it had a very bold and sharp vibe, which was not the feeling I was going for in this game.
I explored another concept I called "The Woods." however, this one looked too cartoony and too generic to me. I end up not using it.
For the final look I decided to combine bold and shiny background colors with hand drawn brushy illustrative look.