State of Matterless #10
Today we want to talk about some core principles that are guiding our design decision-making. Getting the core gameplay loop right stems from the way we think about games, experiences with animals, and creating good memes that can go viral as we scale up.
Designing A Compassionate Experience
We identified three design pillars when working on Matterless:
— Companionship and emotional connection
— Shared social experiences and intersubjectivity
— Respect for nature, conservation, and optimism for the future of green technology
The simple and obvious solution for the game design is a type of experience where you can go out into the world and capture as many creatures as you want. In this approach, creatures are treated as commodities instead of individuals. Here’s an op-ed that underlines all the possible ethical qualms about doing that. Another problem is that you would be collecting dozens or even hundreds of creatures, left to gather dust as you enjoy playing with favorites. These both go against our design ethos and create disharmony in the gameplay and the emotional narrative.
So, how can we resolve these issues while creating something that is unique and satisfying?
The key is starting with our pillars and assuming nothing.
The design direction we are driving toward will focus more on improving and teaching your own companion, and being able to update its appearance based on your in-game accomplishments.
Wild Animal Encounters
We think the act of meeting wild animals should be an awe-inspiring moment. Right now, encounters will be focused around regular interactions with wildlife, with your companion befriending them and earning their respect over time in order to earn rewards from them. This design represents a slight shift of direction and emphasis, and we think that it will help create an experience that is more harmonious and fulfilling, and something unique and special as well.
Merlin, our 3D wizard (no pun intended) has a visual treat this week. The first instance of our metamass tree and the fruit it bears is here for you to swish and flick.
0.3 Build Update
Our goal is to have the next build for you by the end of this week. So far things are tracking well. After 0.3 is out, we will dive into finishing the new Mood System and bringing in the new assets and animations sets for a higher quality experience during AR interactions. We are calling this Pet 2.0 for now.
Till next week,
Jason, product owner Matterless Studios