As of today, production has officially begun on my latest project ‘Dyadic‘. Dyadic is 2D co-op puzzle platformer, which is a bit of a mouthful. So, for those unfamiliar with the jargon, let’s just say it’s a game about two people working together to jump around some ruins, solving puzzles and generally being bros. In 2D. For this project I have the pleasure of working with my largest team yet, consisting of the brilliant programmers Corey Underdown, Callan Syratt, and Jared Ford, the wonderful artist Angelica Zurawski, and the ever skilled musician Sam McLean.
Anyway, as you might have guess from the title ‘Triadic Inspirations’ I’m going to take a moment to talk about the things that inspired this particular concept. All three of them. See, we were given three groups of things, painting, songs, and words. From these groups, we had to pick an item from each and draw on those for our design. Now, the overarching theme of the game was to be ‘Trust’, that much was predefined. So each of these inspirations had some rather interesting effects.
First and foremost of my inspirations was the word. Of those presented to us, I chose ‘Sharing’ and based the core of my game around this idea. So, the player has something that they need to give away, but also get back, and potentially give away again, in order to succeed. If they keep it the whole time, they’ll fail. Now, this object is important, whichever character they’re giving it to they have to trust enough to look after it, and to give it back. This was an interesting foundation, but it needed expanding.
The second most significant inspiration came from the list of music, or more specifically, Lux Aeterna. This song gave me the impression of a large, open, desolate space. Something cold, dark, and seemingly endless. A place where you are the only sign of life and everything else is perfectly still. Like a great cave, or perhaps the empty ruins of some long forgotten civilisation. And it is from this that I derived my setting, ancient ruins. And what is the player trying to do in these ruins? Escape no doubt. But where there are ruins, there are traps and devices. Hidden mechanisms behind every wall. What if to escape, the player had to use these mechanisms, like a puzzle? And so, it was decided, the game would be a puzzle game. But 3D puzzles are harder, so let’s make the game 2D.
The final inspiration was Leonora Carrington, and Remedios Varo’s Still Life Reviving. With this painting, I did not draw from what things were in the image, but rather the state they were in. Seemingly rotating around the central point. All together, in unison, in harmony. And it is from this that I drew the idea of co-op. Two players, working together in sync, to achieve a harmonious result. I will admit, this is the most abstract of my inspirations, but a critical one nonetheless.
So, you put all of this together, and the game you end up with is Dyadic – game about two people working together to jump around some ruins, solving puzzles and generally being bros. In 2D. It’s going to be freaking awesome.