Here are some thoughts on my walking simulator about truth and reality.
Theme: This will be a horror game about not being able to trust reality. The horror comes from realizing that you’re being manipulated by outside forces and are powerless to resist what they do to you.
Aesthetics: The game’s look will draw inspiration from classic horror games like Silent Hill. Low visibility for mood. Low resolution because it’s more feasible to do on a low budget and short timeframe.
Environment: Some kind of sterile, impersonal environment that marginalizes the player, such as a cityscape with towering blocky skyscrapers. Architecture that doesn’t care about human concerns. A lot of blind spots that make it difficult for the player to see what’s going on out of their field of view.
Betrayal of the senses: doors leading to brick walls, floors and bridges collapsing, things that appear to be one thing but are in reality another.
Betrayal of causality: the environment shifting when you’re not looking, gaslighting the player.
Brooding soundscape and echoing footsteps. Possibly weird lighting with no shadows or shadows in the wrong places.
Narrative: Pacing will be similar to SCP exploration logs and other such narratives told through environmental storytelling. It will be a slow buildup starting with the player knowing nothing, finding clues in the environment and being surprised by sudden changes in the environment.
The player will probably be some kind of menial drone forced to do tasks around the environment with the promise of a (future, unseen) reward. Along the way, the player will find notes and announcements that lie to the player.
Technically: The game will be made in Unreal using the standard first-person game template. I will probably make most of the assets myself in Maya. The shifting, deceptive environment will be accomplished through scripted sequences and adding/removing objects in the environment on the fly. The end goal is to produce 10 minutes of immersive gameplay.
Potential problems: The writing and pacing will make or break this game, so I need to make sure I have a damn good script and that will take time.