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Invert Mode Issues


Earlier this month, I had a 3 hour long discussion with Chris Bell, one of the designers on Journey, and currently a designer on What Remains of Edith Finch.

I’ll try to summarize some of the key points here, mostly as a reminder to myself of what we discussed.

Some of Chris’ issues with invert mode:

– It doesn’t really invert the mechanic. Chris thinks maybe it should invert gravity direction.

– Bring the invert cube from button to tree is cool, but not really as massive of an “inversion” as what happens in Starseed Pilgrim

– Starseed Pilgrim is great. It’s like playing with wild fire, so a lot to balance, and constantly teetering on the edge of madness. Manifold Garden’s mechanics are too clean for that kind of insanity.

– MG’s insanity can come from elsewhere though… but how?

– Right now, invert mode is really more like “lock onto gravity” mode, in which case the visual should be that the color changes to mostly monochrome of that specific gravity. So for blue gravity, the background would be mostly blue when you’re in the mode. This is technically the mode when you pick up a box though, since you can’t bring a box into another gravity (you can change gravity, but you’ll drop the box).

– Part of the problem right now is that the mechanics in normal mode still are not totally flushed out, so it’s hard to know what to “invert” when what is normal still isn’t clear.

– We talked about some level progression and over world design… I’m not going to go into details here though as that’s a lot of spoiler stuff.

– Chris doesn’t like the design of the invert trees. Or rather, they’d be more interesting if they actually grew in the opposite direction, as opposed to just the leaves pointing down instead of up.

– How to get back into normal mode if not relying on the invert cube?

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