News about Animal Well and its creator’s origin story – PlayStation.Blog

Until last year, I spent four years in obscurity working on a game about exploration, mystery, and animals. After announcing Animal Well on the PlayStation Blog and then showing it off at Day of the Devs during Summer Game Fest, I’m still hard at work, but in somewhat less obscurity. When Dankey announced that his new indie label Bigmode would be publishing my favorite project that only my parents and close friends knew about, he topped many people’s lists of most anticipated games.

It’s time to give a status update on how the game is progressing and properly present it to people who have only recently learned about its existence, including (and especially) those who learn about it for the first time by reading this post.

Today, I’m excited to share a new take on Animal Well with a trailer showcasing some exciting gameplay moments. Check out the updated hanging vines in the new video, which now sway nicely as you push through them. You can also catch a glimpse of one of the many unconventional uses for in-game items, as well as other examples of how you can interact with the animals from the well. These elements are one of the most defining features of Animal Well, as there are many amazing animal interactions and item uses in the game.

Origin story

In a way, it seems like all the disparate interests and hobbies I’ve pursued throughout my life have contributed to the development of the skills needed to release this game. As a child, I liked to build something, draw and play the piano. I imagined growing up as a cartoonist or a veterinarian. In high school, I studied film and animation, but became more and more interested in computers. Later I went to film school, but in my free time I started learning programming. Various interests have come and gone, but one that has remained the same has been a deep passion for video games. They were real magic for me, and I have loved them for as long as I can remember. It was only after graduation that I realized that all my hobbies were just an attempt to understand some particular aspect of their creation. I looked at the details without noticing the big picture.

Holiday 2006 I saved up enough money working on Blockbuster videos and managed to find a PS3 at launch. Here is his box in various places in my parents’ house

With this clarity, I quickly realized that games are incredibly difficult to make alone. I spent the next ten years working at various game studios, learning as much as I could about the process. Animal Well is my attempt to fully understand what it takes to create a game from start to finish, from a blinking cursor in an empty IDE window to a complete game. I also made it harder for myself by not using any middleware or off-the-shelf engines. It’s not that there’s something wrong with the games that use these tools. It’s just that if I did, I would have a lot of unanswered questions.

What is an Animal Well?

Animal Well is an exploration of a mysterious world. You hatch from a flower, and you are left to make sense of your environment as you see fit. The world exists for the benefit of the many creatures that live in it, be it dogs, mice, kangaroos, capybaras or chinchillas. It’s not that you’re not welcome there. They were just there first. Some of the animals can be quite friendly while others are hostile. None of them is your enemy and none of them is your friend. They react to their environment in ways that make sense to them. You may have to work with or bypass them to get where you want to go.

You may find that some of the items you use can help you navigate the world. You can find several hidden passages and secret paths that open up completely new areas to explore. Along the way, you will have to solve puzzles and overcome platforming difficulties, some of which are not immediately obvious.

How development is going

That was great. Over the past year, I have made more progress in adding content to the game than in the previous two years. My engine and level editor have basically been completed for a while (although I keep adding features as I think of new things I want it to do), so adding content was quick. One of my biggest design goals is to make sure every part of the game is well thought out and doesn’t feel overdone or bloated. As I add new content, I keep going back to existing content and iterating on it—thinking about what items the player can have when they reach a certain point, what room entrances they can enter through, and the overall difficulty. curve from start to finish. Build, build, build, polish, polish, polish.

I understand that many players approach the game with different expectations. Some will want to beat the game and reach the end. This group will want to have a great time in every new room they come across. Others will want to take their time and explore every nook and cranny. They will scour for secrets and take pleasure in looking at all the details hidden in the rooms to see if they can find something that someone else could carelessly pass by. And others will obsess over the relationships between certain rooms and what details in one can tell you about another. This group will try to squeeze every last drop out of the game. When I’m designing a game, I keep all three audiences in mind to make sure each gets what they expect from Animal Well and hopefully more.

I’m not quite ready to announce a release date yet, but I assure everyone that I’m working hard to make Animal Well the best it can be. I hope everyone agrees that the wait was worth it.

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