In this video, we’ll talk about the importance of mechanics in adding depth and personality to characters in games on example of Thomas Was Alone and few other games, and what things we need to take into account when adding or reusing mechanics in the games we make.
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TorqueL feels like a prototype of a very interesting mechanic that has never really left the stage of being a prototype and sort of became a full game. The point of the game is that you roll around in a box, and instead of jumping, you extend one or more of the box’s sides to do the platforming.
I really like the concept and find it interesting. And as a prototype, TorqueL is a great proof of concept. It is not, however, a great game in my opinion.
A few years ago, I played Badland on mobile by my fiancee’s recommendation, and I had tons of fun – it’s a great game. Beautiful art, simple controls yet challenging levels, and when you play it you really get into the state of flow as you try to make perfect runs. So I was really curious when I learned that the game would get a console/PC port, titled ‘Game of the Year Edition’. And thanks to it appearing among the PSN+ games, I got to try the port out.
If there’s anything that Thomas Was Alone proves, is that you can make characters you relate to and root for out of anybody – even if they’re just… blocks. Of different colors. And it’s also really interesting how their personalities are related to their abilities.
Chris is short and he can’t jump high, so he has developed sort of an inferiority complex, for example. John is a very tall block that runs fast and jumps really high, and he’s somewhat of an attention whore and show-off, requiring the audience of other… blocks. And they develop their personalities throughout the game! It’s amazing. And the narration is awesome.
Not to mention that the level and puzzle design is really quite smart, and there are times where it requires a very clever use of said blocks’ abilities. Thomas Was Alone is really short, though. You can beat it in around 3 hours? But it’s a very enjoyable and engaging experience, I really liked the game and would recommend you to check it out.