• Yggdrasil's Gardener

A-mazing This Pyramid

A long awaited news and update about the game is finally coming to this website. I must ask for forgiveness for the silence that has been happening for the first half of the year but, unfortunately for me, not everything always goes according to the plan. This said, I am now in a much better place to continue this endeavour.

A-mazing or not ?

This has been on my mind and in my design document for a while: What about having a maze in the pyramid. Mazes are iconic structures of many stories (there are even movies based entirely on being in a maze) and I wondered for long if I would include one in the game and in what form.

It is hard to show a maze without spoiling it ... so here is a top view of it

I finally decided to give it a try (it is still pending play-test validation) so let me explain how I reached this decision. I don't particularly think mazes are interesting in and of itself: they are just structures designed to confuse the user and make him feel lost. Even when doing one by hand, it is usually just a matter of trial and error. Worse for perfect mazes, there even exists a simple and boring solution: right/left-hand wall follower strategy. One could make the maze topologically extremely complex (multiple floors or self reconfiguring) and not physically realistic (multiple dimensions or teleportation) but that would not make it more interesting, just more painful to traverse. So, alone, a maze is pretty uninteresting and something I would highly dislike myself.

However, a maze offers a nice opportunity: as a game designer, I see it as an opportunity to have many smaller enigmas that would lead the player to the exit. I often think of small binary puzzles that are too small to be set as a unique challenge (a room designed specially for it) but are perfect as multiple successive guiding hints to exit the maze (e.g. binary puzzle indicating whether to go left or right). With this, I think I can compile the oppressing lost in a claustrophobic environment feeling of a maze together with the enjoyment of solving many small puzzles and progressing through a challenge.

This is gonna be a good place to argue with your mate about where to go

There are some more design choices that comes into making this part of the game a pleasing experience: the maze is gonna be relatively short and I will periodically punctuate it with checkpoints. So far, I am pretty satisfied with the current design and am very curious to see how it will playtest.

Room After Room

While the maze is the big work in progress at the moment, the pyramid as steadily grown a few more rooms and locations. I am showing you some of it below but keep in mind that this is the not final version of it yet. I still want to tweak and add ornaments to them. It is not even impossible for them to drastically change in appearance.

As final words, I am really sorry that the game is way late on the schedule and that I've had to postpone the release date so much. I am working hard towards releasing the game at the end of summer and I have good hopes that this time it should be the correct one. Thanks to everyone for their patience,

Have a nice day and take care,