terminus: post mortem

Posted by (twitter: @zillix)
April 29th, 2012 1:23 pm

you can play terminus here

for my ld entry, i wanted to create a small, reactive world for the player to experiment and interact with.

i’m fascinated by game worlds in which events will transpire on their own as time passes, without any input from the player (see majora’s mask, a heavy inspiration for my entry).
the villagers in terminus have their daily routine, with each day resulting in furthered progress toward their goal, and ultimately a step toward the impending disaster. the player can choose to interact with the various objects in the game in an attempt to influence what happens, but things will continue to happen even without any interaction from the player.

the game will continue even after the player's death

my biggest focus was developing the npc behaviors. getting their chop/build/sleep routine to a point where it was recognizable took a surprising amount of effort, though developing the state-based ai system ended up being a ton of fun and incredibly interesting to develop.
additionally, i wanted the npcs to be able to respond to the player’s various interactions with various bits of the world, to give the player some feedback within the world itself, since the game doesn’t provide any sort of direction for the player.

even though I put over 30 hours into its development, there’s still more i would have liked to add. particularly, i wish i would have added some further npc chat to clear up some less apparent game interactions (such as breaking/replacing axes). additionally, i had began development on a tertiary endgame goal, but ultimately ran out of time to implement it altogether.
also- god battles, godzilla style. a missed opportunity.

this ended up being the most fun i’ve had at one of these events; i didn’t sleep at all on saturday night, since i was enjoying myself so much and i just wanted to continue adding new features.
ultimately i ended up with my strangest game yet, but one that i’m incredibly happy with.

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