My Future Plans for My Game Night at the Clownville
To be honest, I’m not really sure either.
If you have been following my indie game studio Instagram page, you might have noticed that there is a ton that we are doing in terms of bringing the theme park to life. Indeed, it is what we are doing at the moment. Let’s break down what the game will look like for the coming months.
It has been 8 months since the idea of Night at the Clownville came about in August last year and we have learnt so much at making 3D models, writing game systems, planning the story and even generating attention to the game. But I cannot deny the fact that the past four months has been a rough period of time considering I’m completing my degree and there has been a ton that managed to distract me from the development of the game. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. In fact, I have already foreseen that this is the situation I will be getting into. But this also explains why the game is going slow at this point, especially during this transition period when I’m completing my studies.
Nevertheless, this comes in at the right time to say that the demo is coming along pretty well though, with the early demo map being constructed at the moment. From the latest IG posts, it is clear that there has been a lot of showcase around the environment design within the theme park, showing off a couple cool-looking spots here and there. Heck, I even showed off the skybox on which I managed to add a moon, I still feel proud of that :).
But that’s just it.
The enemy designs are actually still in development, with my 3D modelers working on them alongside their school work. Even then, I have been putting off lately the game system scripts, trying to make perfect the level design for this demo before jumping into the code.
For those who have been following very closely the development of Night at the Clownville, I just want to reassure you that the demo will be released by the end of this year, despite a slight delay in the development timeline. Rest assured, we will be updating more frequently when things get back on track.
Making the short game play sweet and fulfilling is the hardest part of the process.
To give some context about the demo, it will be a short 30–45-minute game play with the main focus on the tutorial part, making sure you know the controls and what you will be looking for in the main game. Also, like every other game, it will be an introductory session to the actual story with plenty of Easter eggs planted across the theme park. Be sure to look out for them when you play the demo this winter.
While it might be early to tell what the full game will look like, since there could be a lot of changes and modifications before the final version will be released, I’m here to give a slight glimpse at what could potentially be the ideal Night at the Clownville. Plus, if you are looking for a short description of what Night at the Clownville is, you don’t want to miss this.
“It is a 3D first-person shooter style survival horror puzzle game. Spending a night at a local abandoned Christmas theme park, you need to find out why you are there and get out before dawn breaks. As midnight approaches, you will soon realize all hell breaks loose.”
It is another dream come true to be making a game I want to play after my first game Twelve Floors, albeit this time I have to admit that it would be cooler to build a real-life physical theme park and incorporate these puzzles in it. Like its description, there will be puzzles to solve in the theme park, so be sure to rack your brain throughout the night while holding on to your dear life escaping the enemies designed for you.
With a size-limited team and not a lot of resources/time to spare, the first full version of the game will feature a rather short 3–4 hour game play, estimated to be released in winter 2023, before we try to improve it a second time. Yes, you might find it short but I’m aiming at making the short game play sweet and fulfilling. That, to me, will be the hardest part of the entire process.
Okay, now that you know you will be playing a horror game for 3–4 hours, what’s next?
I’ll say… the next step is to build a real-life physical theme park after Clownville and I’ll let you in during midnight.
Just come out before dawn.
To be honest, I’m not really sure either. What I do know is that the game will not stop there, given that the story that I have written has gone past this full version game that I’ve planned. In other words, there could be a 2nd chapter of Night at the Clownville.
But I definitely am looking forward to building the next few chapters already, with a bigger team and at a much quicker pace.
Multiplayer is the trend.
On another note, wouldn’t it be better if you could play the game with your friends? Multiplayer is absolutely the trend and I see no problems injecting a multiplayer system into the game if it fits well. What I see as a problem, though, is the amount of resources needed to build it, which brings me directly to this point: If you are a Unity developer, or a 3D modeler, or if you generally work with games and are interested in helping us build Night at the Clownville, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are definitely thrilled to explore collaboration opportunities and make the game available to everyone.
As some of you may have already known, the Station R Games Instagram page also features a section where I talk about game design lenses, basically extracted from the book “The Art of Game Design” by Jesse Schell. The posts on the IG page are short versions of what I would include in a monthly newsletter via email to those interested. Going forward, I am planning to post them here on Medium in an effort to make them widely available to everyone too. If you are interested, be sure to clap for the articles and leave a comment on why it is your favourite game design lens.
I have always wanted to share what I think and envision about my game Night at the Clownville and today I have done just that. I hope you will like what’s in store for you because we sure do. I’ll leave this here and get back to writing the game systems that I have long abandoned. See you in the next article.