Daily Design: Day 3

The words of the day are;

Frail, Adorable and Small, and I swear they’re all randomly generated.

This is a little bit weird, because I never expected the words to line up in this way, and it hasn’t given me a whole lot to go off. On the flip side, it allows me a much greater degree of freedom. So, I’ve come up with…

Significant Otter

Sea_otters_holding_hands.jpg

The ‘adorable’ part is super easy.

Significant Otter is Abe’s Odyssey meets Tokyo Jungle. A single-player game for consoles and PC, Significant Otter is set in a modern day American city, which has been flooded after a nearby dam bursts. The player takes the role of an otter (surprise!) and is tasked with regrouping their otter friends, by adorably holding hands and floating to safety.

Just like Abe’s Odyssey, players can actually avoid saving other otters, but will need their help later on to see everything the game has to offer.

Significant Otter is entirely 3D, and as mentioned, is set in a modern flooded town;

CIMG1585.JPG

Because corpses are a surefire way to ruin childlike-fun, humans evacuated the town before the dam burst.

This setting is great for a game focused on exploration, as it allows all sorts of bizarre and unique environments. Because otters are primarily water-based and water is so god-damn boring, designing an environment they could “realistically” exist in that is also interesting for players to explore is important, and I feel a flooded city does a good job of this.

flooded-house.jpg

Players would also be able to explore the interior of buildings.

Significant Otter is a slow, relaxing game, which makes me realise that Abe’s Odyssey and Tokyo Jungle were horrible comparisons. I imagine the game to be more like Journey or Flower, in the sense that it’s about experiencing the game at your own pace and enjoying it, without any immediate sense of danger. Swim and run around, finding as many otters as you can before escaping the city back to doing whatever it is otters do.

It’s a bit light mechanically, but that’s sort of the point – this is a game about enjoying the environment and the atmosphere through exploration. This exploration is encouraged by the central mechanic of finding the otters, and I imagine some light puzzle solving would also take place, particularly inside certain buildings. These would be fairly straightforward and basic – nothing too taxing – but enough to keep the player a bit more engaged than they would be if the entire game was just swimming around.

It’s interesting to me how much harder this was than the last two days, which both essentially gave me a mechanic as a key word. While it’s true that any of the words I had today could be used as a mechanic, the others were much more straightforward (Protect and Boast) which made the design a lot easier. I think it’s evident here that the actual mechanics are lacking a bit, and could use more time to solidify – certainly if the game were to ever enter development, as it’s much too vague at this point.

Unfortunately, though, I’m out of time for today. Thanks for reading! Hopefully you’ll be here again tomorrow, so look forward to another game with a bad pun for a name.

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