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The Last Shore is an exploration/adventure game full of mystery and discovery.

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girl standing

Hey everyone! The Last Shore is a solo project I'm working on; it's an exploration/adventure game focused on mystery and discovery. A girl's family is threatened, so she must journey across the ocean, gathering artifacts and abilities to face her enemies and save her loved ones.

The game is split into two main parts:

Islands / Dungeons

islands thumbnails

Anyone who has played a Zelda game, or similar, should be fairly familiar with what these dungeons are like. Each one is located on an island somewhere in the ocean, and each one grants the main character a new item or ability.

Sword ability

Within each dungeon, the player will face combat situations as well as puzzles.

Ocean

Sailing thumbnails

Many people jump straight to Wind Waker when they hear about sailing between the islands, but in fact I've drawn more inspiration from Shadows of the Colossus and Proteus for these sections.

Sailing is a much more contemplative experience than fighting through the dungeons; aside from a sea monster here or there, there isn't much threat. The ocean contains some more unusual game mechanics that will take some experimentation to figure out just how they work, and how they interact with each other.

CrabAttackGIF


Exploration/Discovery

This happens on many levels in the game:

  1. Physically exploring the world, finding where the islands are and what lies within them
  2. Exploring the mechanics of the ocean and figuring out how the whole system works
  3. Exploring the storyline and discovering the truth about the girl's family.

The overall experience

Sound and music are both very important to the game. People who played the demo at the Seattle Indies Expo really seemed to appreciate them and what they added to the game. Below is a video to a nice mellow underwater scene, and a longer listen to the song that is in the trailer:

I'm wrestling now - and have been from the very start - with how much to guide the player, and how much to let them explore. It's probably the toughest problem with this game, as it is in many games. When you provide super clear guidance, players tend to blast through and ignore a lot of side/optional content. When you provide too little guidance, they end up frustrated and annoyed.

I'll post another article about that issue sometime soon.

Thanks for reading!

-Andy

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