GOAT mood / tone / approach / themes... whats your flavor?

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david
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Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:29 am

This is something we have kind of touched on in other threads, but I thought you guys might be interested in a post on GOAT's tone. This comes from I've gleaned (mostly) from the publicly-available images and video going as far back as the IGG campaign and beyond, along with the playtest that I did a few months ago on a very early build of GOAT (testing compatibility and frame rate on different systems).

Disclaimer: As you all know, Seith is (wisely) really careful about sharing info and making promises... so (apart from the playtest on a stunning, but empty, dungeon level with no AI) I have no inside information making this post

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Personally, I've wondered a lot about GOAT's tone, ever since I saw the first video. As you know, Tilo is super-cute and so omg huggable! But, in the (very early) video, there are hints of darkness too: terrifying-looking rats, Jeremiah's awesome mature music, the painterly art/rendering style (ok, maybe this is my imagination), and the island's foreboding weather.

As you may remember, I was really pleased with my playtest for several reasons... interestingly, although it was set in a dungeon, I got a less of a feeling of darker elements (though to be fair, the early level was bare of many elements that would influence tone).

Anyway, I'd be really interested to hear... what is your personal flavor in tone / mood / approach? For example, just for fun, let me throw out two really extreme instances:

--- a lively and lovely experience, featuring the cutest anthropomorphic animals ever... hugely charming, entertaining and uplifting?

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--- a richly-textured, mostly-adult experience exploring themes of history, truth, violence and exploitation.. but with adorable animals.. kind of the video game equivalent of Animal Farm... really intense, smart and thought-provoking?

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evilkinggumby
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Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:30 am

I'd say what I would love to see would be a game that is richly beautiful and intriguing but amongst all the beauty and charm are more adult/visceral elements that color the story. Sort of like what we saw in Secret of Nymh or even Watership Down, where it has moments of whimsy and moments of fairly extreme barbarity and even a little blood. It doesn't have to go crazy where if Tilo steps on a trap we see the lil mouse torn to shreds and dancing entrails flinging off the walls. But I don't think it needs to pussyfoot when it comes to topics that are of a more mature nature (and visuals associated with them).

We saw this a bit in Skyrim, for example where you can walk through a gorgeous field into woodlands and get caught up in the sheer glory of nature, then stumble across a small crevasse in the hillside where there it a dead elk protected by a large bear and later you realize there is also the body of some fallen adventurer in there, along with a lot of bones and some bloodstains.

I have no qualms about blood being in a game where it feels appropriate. it doesn't have to be excessive, it doesn't have to be cartoonish, just somewhat believable. If we come across another animal searching the ruins or a cave that was unlucky enough to get impaled by a trap (as a way to warn the player 'there be traps in this cave' ) I wouldn't expect to see it be a bloodless death. It doesn't have to be a fountain of kool aid still spraying everything either. :)

But yes, that would be my ideal mood, beautiful, whimsical, dark, bloody. As many will see I love variety in games and diversity, so the more emotional and tonal notes the game hits on the better (assuming it's done correctly and not just chaotic dissonance).

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