At some point in the development of Kôna, we had a character moving around a snowy world, travelling on his trusty snowmobile, taking pictures, and that was all.
We had to find "the glue" that would stick everything in the game together without it feeling forced on the player. We also had to break the slow pacing of the game because a private detective mission might not be the most entertaining one (especially in real-time). There were oviously aspects of the game we did not want to lose in the process:
- The freedom to explore a beautiful world without unwanted interuptions such as cutscenes, teleportations and loadings.
- The freedom to explore the frozen lands in a non-linear fashion.
- The relaxing feeling of not being thrown useless waves of enemies or cheap jump scares moments in your way.
We also wanted to add a reward to the photography mechanic without compromising the short length of the game as well as its overall openness.
Here came the idea of creating a journal for Carl. The journal would fill as the player finds new evidence. Things would be split into different cases and would unlock in the order you find them.
We now had the glue, but not the break in the game pacing we wanted, nor the reward for the photography mechanic.
Like we said earlier in this post, we have split journal entries into cases. With that in mind, we asked ourselves: Why not making those cases playable?
- They provide experiences that differ from the main experience.
- They are bad-ass rewards for finding all evidence of a case.
- They are optional.
While it certainly added a layer of complexity to the game, it solved so many issues we would anyway have had to patch before the game release that it was a no brainer for us: We had to do it.
We are now planning to create approximately 10 of them for the game first episode and we hope you will appreciate :)
Here is a preview of the feature in action:
Survey and Discussions
What do you think about Reconstructions? Are you looking forward to playing them? Would you change something in them? You can either share you thoughts here in the comment section or by filling this short, three-questions survey. Either ways, your feedback is what matters :)
Alex, Etienne and Max