Sometimes as a member of a team you make compromises. And sometimes you and everyone else on the team later comes to regret it.
In late 2013, when I was creating a complete script for Shadows of Adam, the very first dungeon of the game was already mostly finished, cutscenes and all. My script was a significant departure from the original ideas, but no one really wanted to make major changes to the first dungeon, so I did my best to meld the new ideas into the context of that dungeon and the existing scenes.
The result was not great. In fact, I had the sinking feeling that what we had was borderline terrible, and overtime this feeling became stronger and stronger.
Other members of the team felt it too. The beginning of the game just didn’t work! The team began to discuss small changes that might help, but I was now convinced that a full face-lift was required.
Finally, I fired off this e-mail:
Hey Tyler, I read through your ideas, and I do agree that some mention of the [REDACTED] at the beginning might be warranted.Â
However, as I’ve thought more about the intro, I feel like we should take it a lot farther. Â Honestly, IÂ think we should seriously consider doing some major re-work on it. Â I’m probably super biased in this, but I would sacrifice [REDACTED] to have a better beginning.Â Â It’s a hugely important part and we really need to impress and get people on board.Â
In the current opening, all the characters and their purposes are so weakly defined and the [REDACTED] is just there…Â Â It’s too chaotic and confusing to be satisfying. Â There is very little character development.Â Â We don’t come to understand the relationships and motivations till afterwards.Â Â So we are really hurting with the current opening. It should be a major launchpad from which we blast off, but it Â feels like a mini-tramp.
I’d really like to better establish the characters and give the first dungeon much more intrigue.Â Â Also, I’d like to establish the [REDACTED] as a force to be reckoned with.Â Â Give it some umph! Â Blast off!
Below I have sketched out what I believe would be a much stronger opening that would not require a massive overhaul of the rest of the story.
This led to the creation of a new beginning with a new dungeon: the Tangle. It’s a beginning the whole team is proud of and we can wait to show it off in the demo. For now, you can see a brief preview here.
Till next time.