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Post news RSS Dev Log #1 How TOBOR started and how it has evolved to the game it is today

TOBOR is a psychological spy simulator game where your mission is to observe an insane world using a surveillance camera. A word of advice, DO NOT INTERFERE in the course of the tragic events that occur inside the surveillance camera. Trust me, you do not want to get drawn into it.

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Hello All,

TOBOR is a game where you observe your subjects using a surveillance camera.

As you learn how to use the surveillance system, you not only be able to watch the many unique characters in undercroft, but also gather information by scanning objects and listening in on conversations. You might have to fix the surveillance system in case of malfunction and most importantly, you will have to connect the dots to understand the weird events that occur in the facility.

Main Console Image

On this devlog, I wanted to introduce to you the story of how it started and how it has evolved to the game it is today.


HOW CAN WE CREATE A UNIVERSE THAT EVERYONE WANTS TO BE PART OF?

It all started with our previous game Rocco's Island: Ring to End the Pain which are events that occur 30,000 years to the future. In TOBOR, we come back to the 21st century and tell the story of the world after Goralini passes away. Naturally, we wanted to elaborate and provide more information on Goralini, her scientific achievements, her hidden magic and so much more.

"Let's make a game where the player gets employed to Goralini Foundation as a new employee and gradually overcomes challenges to learn more about Goralini and her work."

That's how it all started.

As we were trying to make the process of collecting and gathering information within the game to be more fun, one thing we didn't want to do is repeat the mistake we made with Rocco's Island, a linear progression of the story meeting on character after another. Suddenly one of our artists said, "What if we can implement a different way of storytelling like that of Broadway show 'Sleep No More', that would be really interesting". We immediately thought that the idea of all the characters could have individual stories combined with the idea of a surveillance camera would be something really new. As we imagined, the players would have to choose and focus on a certain character and the only way to see the whole story would be to replay it again and again. Most importantly, we thought it would be really fun cause every player would get to see a different story. How awesome is that?

However, there were growing concerns within the team because we've never seen a game like this before. It was very difficult to imagine what kinds of problems we would have to run into moving forward.


Q. BUT IS IT REALLY FUN?

This is the process we took to prove two major fun factors of the game.

- Surveillance Camera ( Every room has a different event & Story, players have to choose which camera to watch).
- Gathering information and eavesdropping on conversations.


The conclusion to the prototype was clear. "This is fun!"

It was a very relieving moment since our ideas took the first step to becoming real.

Point of interest: We tried many different art styles to get an idea on the visual direction.
- The first surveillance camera is a form in which four of the sixteen screens are placed horizontally under the enlarged screen. It was designed so that you can switch screens quickly with just a mouse click, and even when you are looking at an enlarged screen, you can get a rough idea of what is happening on the other screen.
- Many different art styles were experimented. We plan on having another devlog with more details on this.


Q. Different rooms, different characters, different events. Can we design this?

Since it was a spy simulator game using a surveillance camera, we knew that it had to be 'fun to watch'.

Therefore, even from the game design phase, we tried many different background colors and many different character styles.

In order to determine whether we can implement the characters that were mere imaginations in our heads, we simply created characters and backgrounds, and divided and organized the compositions that can be expressed in 2D games.


MOVEMENT OF ACTORS IN SPACE

Everything slowly started to come together. We were starting to build more confidence since the background theme, characters and movement were visual. Hence, it was time for the team to make things look more real and lively.

We focused on making the movements as natural, controlling the speed and sound according to the storyboard.

This is the first moment that the characters are not just sprites, but moving characters within the surveillance camera.

Point of Interest: New Surveillance Camera design and information scanner

  • You can see that when a screen is selected and enlarged, the other screens are hidden so that the player can focus only on the selected screen.


  • The information scanners initially looked like credit cards. We thought that bringing the fun of purchasing something using a credit card would be really interesting since everyone loves shopping.


ONE STEP AFTER ANOTHER

We now had a more clear idea of what the game would look like and why it would be fun playing it. We were prepared to move on to the next step. We had to write and set up the story of characters along with the environments, practically write a play and conversation dialogues, design the interactions and the events that the characters would deliver when they meet each other. Repeating this design process again and again to build the world inside the surveillance camera.

The system is off right now, but once it gets turned on, the world we designed will unfold before your eyes.

Stay tuned for more devlog stories of TOBOR.

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