lux is a game about the player building a bond with an object through action rather than words. the task was to create a game that had a branching or foldback narrative structure, and lux was our solution. we found it interesting to work with the limitation of not providing any text for narrative, but ran into some issues along the way.
the first was player engagement. during user testing, we discovered most users didn't want to interact with the orb we placed in front of them. regardless of if the orb had any sort of visual indication that it was interactable, players still had issues interacting with the orb. to get around this, we decided that an introduction section that outlined how to play was the quickest solution.
the narrative structure of lux was made to be foldback, with narrative choices diverging during the level but not changing the ultimate path the user wound up on until the very end. this meant that we had to have distinguished "right" and "wrong" choices for the player to make during the game. this came down to a simple junction the player would be forced to walk around in.
this junction served as a way to force the player to make a choice, but also served as an opportunity for the player to grow closer to the orb. typically, when a player interacts with the orb, they're simply touching to move it forward. in the junction however, the roles are reversed. the orb will follow the player until one of two things happen.
the player reaches an obfuscated obstacle after the junction if the orb is following them. this obstacle isn't impossible to traverse without the orb's help though, meaning a player can brute force their way through using the jump key. however, if the player touches the orb it will fly in the opposite direction, to the other branch of the junction, and highlight the obstacle to help make it easy to go over.
once past the obstacle the player faces the same leveling platform section, but if the player forced their way past the obstacle instead of going back to follow the orb they're greeted with the hollow shells of orbs strewn about the ground. we chose this to help convey that there was a reason the orb was weary about this path, reinforcing the idea that the player should trust the orb.
lux was a game made in a group project for iat312, foundations of game design. the team members were Max Proske, Joshua Nicolas, and myself; with Max doing most of the work on the obfuscation and lighting, Joshua working on the sound design and animations, and myself working on the movement, orb tracking, and overall look/feel of the game. because it was a group project lux doesn't live on my itch.io, but you can find a demo build here