Here’s the original draft of the proposal for Ink Story (which at the time was nonspecific to Ink’s story, but it holds some of the important ideas that I needed).
A Game About an Ink Spot
I would like to use this class as an opportunity to create a 2D game that is about exploring and understanding different worlds. This is influenced by various 2D-pixel games that are often used to tell stories over a focus on gameplay. In some instances of this genre, the player is directly addressed as an important part of the game’s overall theme and function.
The story following this game involves a protagonist seeking out lost objects throughout different worlds, in which these alternate worlds can be accessed by visiting several “shrines” in a “homeworld”; this homeworld acts as a base for our protagonist and might be their home as well. It is the mission of the player to assist the protagonist in deciphering clues and finding the pieces to the end goal of the game, with each world becoming available as an object is discovered.
A “battle” system involves interaction with residents of these other worlds, who may reveal things about our protagonist and the worlds that they live in. The protagonist and the player may not understand these worlds, but will likely come to accept them as “existing”. On this journey, the protagonist’s motives for exploring the worlds are revealed over time though storytelling; as certain objects are collected or events occur, the character becomes aware of their purpose and their possible past.
The platform that I have in mind is in RPGMaker, but I have also considered using Unity’s 2D-sidescrolling capabilities. RPG Maker has been known for the “exploration-RPG” kinds of games that have been popular in recent years, which would fit the goals that I have for this project in particular. However, I also have an opportunity to learn more about Unity as a game-making platform for the purposes of this project.
Given an opportunity, it would also serve the piece well to have it be installed in a specific way. At minimum, I would like the machine that the game is installed in to be placed in a secluded space (a corner, or a small room for example) with a “guestbook”. In this way, there is a focus on the player’s interaction with the protagonist apart from the player’s “world”. The guestbook is left as evidence of the player’s presence. (Perhaps there’s also a story that is provided in or nearby the installation?)