DreamWiiver

by Samm Bennett
I've been quite busy lately with school, mostly due to one class: Experimental Game Design. We're required to create a new game every 3 weeks, with an emphasis on trying out new gameplay mechanics. This post will be about my group's first game: DreamWiiver.

Reading this, the first thing one would note is the name's mention of the Wii. Although we never got around to testing it, we aimed at getting full Wii-mote support in the game. The nature of the game really lent itself to a Wii-mote approach, as the only controls allotted to the user were moving and rotating of objects in the world.

Here's an excerpt from our design doc:


Storyline:

You are known as a Dream Weaver, an omniscient being able to control the ebb and flow of dreams and deliver your charge safely through your realm. It is your sole purpose and duty to ensure that each person comes to no harm while in your dimension. While you are powerful and all-knowing, you are limited by rules. Your powers can only reach as far as your charge’s sub-conscious will allow, for your world is controlled by their dreams and fantasies. If they dream of swords and sorcery then you are limited in your scope to only objects and devices fitting for that idea. You must use your clever nature and quick thinking to help guide these people, otherwise they shall fall into the dusk-realm.


Game Concept:

The player will be placed in the role of a Dream Weaver, an entity capable of manipulating the dream world in an effort to protect their ‘avatar’. The avatar is a relatively stupid sleep walker who moves in a straight line whether that path leads to a miserable end or not (much like a lemming). As the Dream Weaver, the player will be given a library of objects and will be presented with a dream world that they must navigate the avatar through. This would include plugging holes, building stairs, blocking paths, and even using trampolines and the like to get the avatar to their destination dream-exit. Each new dream world will have certain themes and obstacles to overcome and several successive ‘levels’ before the theme changes.

Interactivity:

The player accomplishes his/her goal by dragging objects in the world and manipulating them. Each object will have different physical aspects and rules that the player must strategically use to accomplish different objectives.

Unfortunately, the engine we used, Torque Game Builder, didn't always work as expected, and I had to write a lot of specialized code. Ultimately, we didn't get the mechanics to work just right. Also making matters worse, our second level required me to simulate a weighing scale, which stole most of my time (and I failed to complete in time). Nevertheless, I'll update later with a link to our first level in order to give an idea of the game.