Title: A Legacy of Dust
Date: Apr 17
Type: Digital Game
Role: Design, Programming & Art
Description: Made in one week as a prototype, this was an experiment in persistent information in a gameworld that was inspired somewhat by the soapstone messages of Dark Souls. In A Legacy of Dust, players are dropped into dungeon with only a piece of chalk. The whole environment can be drawn upon, and persists for future playthroughs. So subsequent players can learn from the failures that preceded them.
As a prototype, the maze is fairly small, and each player was only allowed to play once. While the walls, floors and ceilings can be drawn on, false walls and floors cannot. This allows players to identify hazards and secrets. Drawing wears down the chalk however, to discourage drawing on everything. Though the level isn’t expansive, because of the unfair (to a single player) traps, navigating it took twelve or so successive attempts.
It was a successful prototype, even though the implementation would likely need to be changed in a scaled up version. Drawing on the environment itself and having that be persistent has some technical drawbacks that would be cost prohibitive at a larger scale. But the gameplay of focusing solely on reading and leaving messages from other people is strangely compelling.
The drawings are lost when the game is closed, so I saved some footage of the successful dungeon. The drawings near the entrance are more playful, but grow increasingly utilitarian past the obstacles, which was great to see. Below is a snippet of the level players successfully completed: