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I will begin RUN's DevLog with a crucial point which happened during development, that brought more quality and features to the project

Atmosphere is essencial for gameplay experience. It's not different in RUN, even more with Isaac's (main character) schizophrenia. One challenge for us was to fit this specific atmosphere we want with perspective, or camera, inside the game.

Back to the beginning, RUN was planned to be a stealth game with Top-Down camera, mixing this perspective with puzzles all around the prison (where the game takes place). However, we noticed that this point of view (Top-Down) was far from the sensation we want with the game.

Top-Down camera, away from the player character by definition, was odd in RUN. This perspective ripped of taste for exploration/mystery in some areas (some areas became visible, where they shouldn't), dilutes immersion in the scene, diverging player's experience/perception from the character.
Also, field of view occluded some objects in the scene that could be used for puzzles/interactions.

Here is a video prototype from our Gameplay Trailer in this stage RUN was Top-Down.


After long conversations with my friend Daniel Molina, and analysis about the camera and game overall felling, I came with the conclusion in which the Top-down camera didn't fit in the purpose we want for the game and we weren't satisfied with "Look & Feel". Then, in July/August 2015, we decided to change camera to Third Person. Which surprised us even in first test.

We took the decision after analyzing some point of gameplay. We didn't want the player to control Isaac in First Person, because that is not the connection we want between player-character. So, we tried Third Person, which got our attention in the first test:
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Screenshot!

After this change, we could observe environment with more detail and even more features were inserted to the gameplay. Other mechanics, such as "crouch" for example, got new outfit: now we can play with Level Design and different objects sizes:

ScreenShot00013.png

It is interesting to analyze transition between these two modes, Top-Down to Third Person. Although we limited player's field of view, changing perspectives brought a possibility for the player to move camera in three axis.

For example, if we take a look in these images below, we can notice a variety of objects inside cleaning cart, which brings more detail to the scene. Something almost impossible before (because of Top-Down camera), leaving some items completely hidden by the limited field of view.
Untitled2.png


Now we can "fill" Level Design with even more objects, adding more features and increasing interaction between environment/items and player.

As we you have noticed, Level Design changed a lot. It was planned since the beginning to support and present player with different possibilities, not with only a befitting scenario inside game's universe, but as an important piece in player decisions.
Comparing the video with these three images we can see clear difference in scenario, and also other changes we've made to adapt the game for this new perspective.

Changing camera is a complex move, big step. Cost us a lot of time working in adaption, but was really gratifying to see this new outfit for RUN and how much we learned from it.


See you next post!

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Indie Game Studio - Creator of the game RUN. Founded in 2014

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