Yes, that's right. The world is actually a sphere (like a very big ball or a
very tiny planet) - similar to the planets in Nintendo's Super Mario
Galaxy - and all buildings are circular/spherical as well - meaning that you
can enter through any direction.
It is a concept I came up with after developing an audio game prototype
called "Dark - A Garden Wander" back in 2002, which was right after Drive
actually. The game was never published but was very similar to Extant in
style and atmosphere, which still uses some of the same sounds ;) The big
difference was that in Dark, we used square buildings with walls and an
entrance which you had to find. The world itself (a square park) also had
boundaries in the form of walls. This approach caused a lot of design- and
navigational problems and for me it ruined the prototype, which otherwise
was of the same quality as Extant is now.
Right after the Dark-project I started thinking about simply get rid of
walls and entrances for buildings. Then I realized something along the line
of the old riddle that goes (for you, Phil ;): "How many sides does a circle
have?". The answer is two: inside and outside. I found that for our game,
for our gamespace, it was far more important to have the experience of going
and being inside and outside, than to actually experience the shape or
layout of the building. So I did a test in Dark and it worked brilliantly.
But this still left me with the boundaries of the world (in this case, the
park), because I wanted to avoid players wander off. A very old audio game,
Terra Sonica, used silence as a natural boundary. When you wandered off all
sound would disappear and you'd have to walk back to where sound was - sort
of like swimming away from a sounding island in an endless ocean of silence.
But I didn't really like these solution. What I really wanted was to just
get rid of the boundaries of the world altogether, similar to how I'd done
with buildings. And then I found that the solution was not imagining the
game world as a flat plane, but as a seamless round world, allowing
characters to simply walk around and end up where they started... like a
small planet :)
And that was part of the inspiration for Extant. Due to other priorities and
the course of our lives, we only started building Extant a couple of weeks
ago - the tech demo being produced in 3*2 days = 6 days with two people
total. Part of what we want to find out in our tech demo is how you guys
experience this spherical-based game space. We ourselves find it to work
very natural and intuitive. Since so far nobody really mentioned having any
odd feelings with circular buildings or a continuous spherical world, can I
assume that you guys agree?
----- Original Message -----
From: "dark" <d...@xgam.org>
yes, I believe all spaces in the game are spherical and there are actually
no walls, which actually makes navigation much easier.
Beware the grue!
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