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It is an adventure game based on the lives of two people. The game is designed to be a parallel journey between Babur and Ananya; the former was The First Mughal Emperor of India while the latter is the daughter of a renowned archaeologist. Overwhelmed by the death of her father, she is stricken by the desire to find her father’s killer. Her father’s obsession with the Mughal empire led her to find a set of clues which would lead her through Babur’s life and later to the real reason for her father's death. The game focuses on the father-daughter relationship and showcases her father as the central point for the connection between Babur and Ananya.
Game Designer (Content), Script Writer,
Camera Artist. Music Composer
Designed the narrative content and implemented it in the engine
Designed the story and content on the journal that player uses to get guided in the game.
Designed game mechanics and documented it for the dev and artists.
Designed levels and puzzles while tweaking it in the engine.
Wrote the script in a film format
Created and implemented cutscenes in cinemachine
Scored the music for the game
Edited and shot the content for the trailer.
My process of designing was very research-based, We as a team were given a brief of the battle of Panipat and one thing we did not want was to make a war game.
The core idea of this game started with three design pillars that I and the lead writer of the game came up with.
1. Not to make a war game
2. Father and daughter connection
3. Drawing parallels between past and present.
The Idea came of an adventure game came up while I was trying to design an experience with the technical limitation we had. Thus the complete design became an adventure puzzle game. Taking Gone Home as a big reference I went forward designing the mechanics and other interactions for the game.
The research was one of my biggest boons in the pre-production process. Every artifact in the game was researched according to Indian history and visuals.
While creating the content for the game, the main focus was to make it feel real and believable, Team was touching the history and fiddling with it and India does not have a good reputation for accepting other people's vision for history. Taking this in mind I had to create a conflict to motivate the player and character to move forward in the game this gave birth to the concept of a Journal. The main protagonist's father had a journal that was passed on to her and Babur in past had a journal (Historically accurate, this journal has some missing pages from the history), the objective of the game was to find these pages via using clues from the father's journal.
This journal had to be very believable and real, I did small brainstorming sessions with the team and asked everyone to write one adventure story in which there needs to be 2 things to keep in mind.
1. A part of your real-life experience
2. Put yourself in the father's shoes
The team came up with 7 - 8 stories and I converted them into diary entries using content like flight tickets, Bills, Blood, etc.
Finally also decided to put these items that the father got during the adventure in the game world for players to make them believe in the father's stories.
Level Desing was given to the 2 team members in the group, the level flow and loop for the game were very much inspired by Gone Home, Player will look around for clues, solve the puzzle and get to the next puzzle. It was decided early on that player will be able to solve any puzzles at any point in time without breaking the game flow.
I was responsible to create the base floor map of the mansion where the complete game was supposed to take place. Taking inspiration from the game PT (Hideo Kojima), I designed the floor plan in such a way that It was a maze, most of the corridors connected to each other and there is always a faster route to go to the hub, this had to be done to increase the pace of the game. According to the script, the protagonist walks the corridor and sees the vision of her father who narrated the story of Babur, by the end of this narration she had to enter the living room. So this was also a reason that the library was connected to the living room via a nonaccessible corridor till a certain time.
The biggest problem was to make the levels in such a way that the flow doesn't break but it was happening a lot and I sat down with the level and the puzzle designer to connect each and every puzzle beginning and end to one another in such a way that it gave an illusion to the player of solving the puzzle and progressing but in reality, they are just stopped and have to go via critical path.
I took reference from most of the FPS games out there but especially as this was one of my first cinematic design implementations, I took real-life inspirations. I studied various movements and reactions of my one like getting hit by someone on the head (not literally), Looking at someone when they call, etc. I recorded this thing on my phone and tried to recreate it in the engine usinf Cinemachine. I did not choose to play with camera lens as it would have become a traditional film with cuts, the biggest challenge was that there were not even single charcter model to show on screen thus I choose to go with FPP cutscene and with no cuts to make it look very imersive and seemless.
My biggest challenge was to show urgency without using any body parts, here came the post-production, using various technologies like depth of field, chromatic aberration, and cam shake I made the player feel like the urgency was real.
Most of the shots in the game were very basic but had to make sure that players understood what to do and where to go without telling them much.
The storyboard and scripting of the game helped a lot to visualise the complete scenario and using this I could also attach the level design and puzzles with the cinematics to move the game with a flow.
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