Now, I'm no developer, but I'm sure articles like this one on Milanote can give everyone a bit of a boost. Ken Wong deconstructs the February-released Florence and it's fascinating to read about his thought process.
Some of you may be familiar with Ken Wong from his work with Monument Valley. In Florence he took up arms as Lead Designer and had some pretty firm views when it came to telling Florence Yeoh's story.
Florence is a short, narrative adventure about everyday life and the romance between Florence and cellist Krish. You can play through it in about 40 minutes and it's really brilliant how much you feel when playing. It even made me cry a little bit (shh, don't tell anyone).
Again, you can read the full article right here so I won't quote it word for word, however a few bits that caught my attention were Wong's focus on mini-games and some neat design points I'd actually not noticed.
From the speech bubble interaction mini-games to the teeth brushing mini-game, each one had a purpose and represented something. The speech bubbles were one of my favourite elements because of their diversity in portraying emotion.
It's also neat to see how Mountains worked on the project overall. "We had the whole game up on the wall … that's a process that we kept up the whole time. As we went along we updated the wall as we iterated and replaced chapters."
This part tickled me particularly since it reflects how I also work when taking on more creative writing. I use whiteboards, corkboards, a billion different notebooks, string, and doodles to play with different ideas. I've no doubt that some of you work the same way too.