Goal: Make a game that is completely abstract.
Required Elements: Make a game that is accessible through exploration and experimentation, but cannot be easily categorised into a standard genre or recognisable setting. The game should be abstract, and may require some experimentation for the player to "work it out," but should be an engaging game that requires the player's input, and has a feedback system that lets the player learn to understand the game and know when they're doing well or badly.
Given Limitations: The game should not include any direct instructions onscreen, such as text prompting the player what to do. You can use numbers or symbols if desired.
Dris and I have just started a six-week project, from the task above. After seeking some clarification on the wording, in particular what was meant by 'abstract' and whether the incredibly vague and nebulous 'puzzle game' counts as a standard genre, we have some rough ideas to go off. We want to do something using isometric perspective tricks and impossible architecture, in the vein of Escher and Reutersvärd. Exploration/experimentation seems to favour something to do with navigating one's way around this architechture. Perspective games like Fez and Monument Valley come to mind, but where these games use lateral rotation to create connections in perspective, we've decided to avoid having objects rotate out of the frame. Instead, we want the player to manipulate, create and deconstruct pieces of impossible architecture themselved, but adding or removing blocks/tiles of terrain to change whether objects are regular or impossible geometry, and by doing so change where paths lead. We also want to move away from having clear orientations - we'd like the player to be able to walk on any of the three visible surfaces, if they can create pathways that lead them there. Rear-facing surfaces don't exist as far as navigable terrain is concerned.
Aesthetically, we think Brutalist architecture works nicely with the perspective and blocky construction. Hard edges, smooth faces, simple colouration and sharp lighting.
We've been looking through the works of Escher, Reutersvard, and David Umemoto's Brutalist sculptures.
Below is an early render test in Unity: Dris has forced Unity to render certain parts before others.