The Making of Brain Cell


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THERE WERE A NUMBER OF FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE CREATION OF BRAIN CELL. OVERWHELMINGLY, HAVING STUDIED V.R. AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HUDDERSFIELD, MY DESIRE WAS TO TRY AND DIRECTLY COMBINE MY 3D AND FLASH SKILLS TO CREATE A 3D GAME IN FLASH.

AFTER SPENDING A COUPLE OF MONTHS EXPERIMENTING WITH THE FUNDAMENTALS OF 3D, I CAME UP WITH, WHAT I NOW TERM AS, AN ORTHOGRAPHIC ENGINE.
ALTHOUGH NOT A TRUE 3D SOLUTION – IT PROVIDES A FAST 360 DEGREE ORTHOGRAPHIC (SIMILAR TO ISOMETRIC) FLASH GAME ENVIRONMENT, COMPLETE WITH SOME PRETTY IMPRESSIVE EFFECTS.
I REALISED I’D COME UP WITH SOMETHING FAIRLY UNIQUE, AND TOOK THE IDEA OF A 3D FLASH GAME ENVIRONMENT TO MY M.D. AT DESQ, DAVID SQUIRE.
HE WHOLE-HEARTEDLY SUPPORTED MY CONCEPTS, AND THE REST IS HISTORY.

BELOW IS MY TAKE ON THE RATIONAL BEHIND BRAIN CELL…


OVERVIEW:

BRAIN CELL REPRESENTS OUR FIRST STEP TOWARDS CREATING A TRULY IMMERSIVE 3D GAME ENVIRONMENT WITHIN FLASH

ALTHOUGH STILL A PROTOTYPE IN MANY RESPECTS, BRAIN CELL IS A FULLY WORKING, FULLY PLAYABLE ONLINE 3D FLASH GAME.
IT INCORPORATES 3D CUT SCENES, PRE-RENDERED 3D MINI-GAMES, AND AT THE HEART OF THE PROJECT LIES OUR EXPERIMENTAL ORTHOGRAPHIC ENGINE – WHICH IS CAPABLE OF GENERATING A DYNAMIC REAL-TIME INTERACTIVE 3D ENVIRONMENT, COMPLETE WITH TEXTURE, REFLECTION AND LIGHTING EFFECTS.

BRAIN CELL ALSO FEATURES REACTIVE INTEGRATED AUDIO, INCLUDING TWO FANTASTIC ORIGINAL DIGITAL MUSIC SCORES.

GAME-PLAY:

RATHER THAN JUST LAUNCH A DEMO OF THE ORTHOGRAPHIC ENGINE, WE DECIDED TO INVEST MORE TIME INTO PRODUCING A COMPLETE GAME TO DEMONSTRATE PROBLEM AND PUZZLE SOLVING GAME-PLAY ELEMENTS WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF A 3D WORLD.

WE WANTED TO DEVELOP A GAME THAT WAS FUN, WHILST MAINTAINING SOME OF THE ETHICS OF A DIGITAL LEARNING PRODUCT.
THE AIM OF THE GAME IS TO HELP THE MAIN CHARACTER ESCAPE FROM A LOCKED ROOM BY NEGOTIATING A SERIES OF PUZZLES – A SIMPLE ENOUGH CONCEPT BORROWED FROM OTHER SUCH ON-LINE TITLES AS THE “CRIMSON ROOM”.

BRAIN CELL IS BUILT IN SUCH A WAY THAT IT NEVER DIRECTLY INSTRUCTS THE PLAYER WHAT TO DO.
FIGURING OUT HOW TO INTUITIVELY PROGRESS THROUGH THE GAME, IS IN ITSELF, A CORE ELEMENT OF THE GAME-PLAY. A STYLE OF PLAY REMINISCENT OF THE EARLY “RESIDENT EVIL” OR “SILENT HILL” PLAYSTATION TITLES (MINUS THE BLOOD AND GUTS!).
THE SAME IS TRUE OF THE INDIVIDUAL MINI-GAMES. THERE ARE 3 LOGICAL VISUAL PUZZLES FOR THE PLAYER TO SOLVE. LATERAL THINKING, RESOURCEFULNESS, INGENUITY AND A LOGICAL RATIONAL ARE NECESSARY SKILLS AND APPROACHES THE PLAYER WILL NEED TO ADOPT IN ORDER TO SUCCEED.

VIRAL DESIGN:

FROM THE OUTSET WE WANTED TO CREATE A GAME THAT WAS AS POPULAR AND AS WIDELY ACCESSIBLE AS POSSIBLE. THIS HAS FED DIRECTLY INTO THE GAME DESIGN, BOTH IN TERMS OF VISUAL DESIGN, AND THE STYLE OF GAME-PLAY.

ALTHOUGH EXAMPLES OF BOTH SPOKEN AND WRITTEN ENGLISH ARE USED THROUGHOUT THE GAME, IN MOST CASES THESE WERE SIMPLY ADDED AS AFTERTHOUGHTS TO ENHANCE THE GAMING EXPERIENCE. THERE’S NOT ACTUALLY ANY OCCURRENCE OF WHERE IT IS VITAL TO UNDERSTAND ENGLISH IN ORDER TO PROGRESS THROUGH THE GAME. WE THEREFORE HOPE THAT BRAIN CELL WILL HAVE A UNIVERSAL APPEAL.

IN TERMS OF VISUALS, WE DECIDED TO BASE OUR DESIGN AND ARTWORK AROUND A SCI-FI THEME, AS THIS IS A WIDELY POPULAR GENRE WITHIN THE GAMING COMMUNITY.
IN PARTICULAR WE DREW ON VISUAL INSPIRATION FROM BLIZZARD’S SCI-FI R.T.S. GAME “STARCRAFT”. IT IS THEORISED THAT THEIR VISUAL INFLUENCES, IN TURN, MAY HAVE INCLUDED THE SET DESIGN FROM THE “ALIEN” FILM SERIES AND ARTWORK FROM THE GAMES WORKSHOP “WARHAMMER 40000” SCI-FI TABLETOP MINIATURE WAR-GAME.
OTHER INCREDIBLY POPULAR GAMES THAT INFLUENCED OUR VISUAL DESIGN INCLUDE ID SOFTWARE’S “DOOM” AND “QUAKE” SERIES, AND BUNGIE STUDIOS’ “HALO” SERIES.

YOU CAN PLAY BRAIN CELL HERE: http://www.desq.co.uk/braincell

YOU CAN FEEDBACK ANY COMMENTS YOU MAY HAVE HERE: http://www.desq.co.uk/braincell/feedback.aspx

....I HOPE YOU ENJOY PLAYING BRAIN CELL AS MUCH AS I ENJOYED MAKING IT!