Growbot is a 2D point-and-click adventure game in which you play as Nara, a student growbot on her first day of training on board a space station. Before you can begin learning about your new home's ecosystem of alien flowers and strange creatures, an attack by an unknown force infests the station with large and quickly growing crystals. With communication cut off, you venture out of your room in search of help. Along the way you must make new friends, fix the station's strange machinery, and discover the origins of the crystalline force spreading throughout the station. Growbot is being developed in Unity for PC and Mac.
The second floor is set within a garden environment. The music for this floor functions a little differently than the first floor.
Jessica came up with the idea of creating layers of music which can play continuously, with specific layers being turned down and up as the player moves from room to room and zooms in and out on objects.
This proves to be a great way for maintaining consistency within the rooms and also for creating more musical content. If the same piece of music always starts from the beginning when you enter a room it can become repetitive. The overlapping layers work together to create the impression of a more varied melody and extend the time the music feels novel.
From a technical standpoint, as you enter the floor via the stem room, three separate layers of music begin to play at the same time: a base layer, a captain layer and a cloud machine layer. The captain layer and cloud machine layer are initially muted so that only the base layer can be heard. As you enter the pond room the captain layer is turned up and plays over the top of the base layer. Since the two layers begin playing at the same time when you enter the floor, they will always play together correctly.
When you zoom in on the Captain the base layer is turned down so only the captain layer can be heard.
This also happens in the cloud machine room. The base layer continues to play but a new layer plays over the top of it, adapting the melody. When the player zooms in on the cloud machine the base layer is turned down so only the cloud machine layer can be heard.
There are two instances within the stem room where the player can zoom in and out on objects. The first is on the water machine and the second is on the head gardener. For the water machine I turned down the base layer to about 70% and played a mechanical fan noise to represent the water machine. For the head gardener Jessica created a mystical looping melody which plays whilst the base layer is turned down.
Controlling the volume of layers helps focus the player’s attention and also emphasizes mood and emotion. Being able to leave and re-enter a room without the music restarting from the beginning feels important to gameplay too, as it helps preserve immersion by maintaining flow.
Finally, there's another area linked to the story of this floor, set inside the Captain’s mind. During this scene, the audio is a mixture of haunting music and ghostly sound effects. These become more sparse as the Captain becomes aware of their crystaltonic state.
Once the player has solved the puzzle within this room a short uplifting cutscene serves as a relief:
A longer and more substantial cutscene plays once the player has completed the cloud machine puzzle:
Growbot now has a musician! We've been busy creating and implementing music into the game. You can hear some samples for the first floor here.
Growbot is an IndieCade 2016 Digital Select and now also on Steam Greenlight.
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