Monolith of Minds

Into the West, Through Sand and Bones

Into the West, Through Sand and Bones

Desert of Giants

Sure I’m a scaredy-cat. But this is the end of everything, so I’m holding onto anything.

–A member of the “Save & Sound Crew” tribe

Warfare on a global scale knew no bounds. As long as no one pushed the red button, every destructive force to harm infrastructure, the economy and yes, even the population, would be unleashed. Military anarchy.

Colossal artificial dams were constructed, draining entire regions of water while indiscriminately flooding others. The local flora and fauna had no time to adapt. Ecosystems destabilised and one catastrophe followed another. Soon all that was left were barren deserts and toxic seas — habitats turned to graves.

Humanity had poisoned their climate and eradicated their soil, but the allure of progressing civilisation kept the survivors pushing onward. Leaving the ground behind and reaching for the sky seemed like the natural evolution, and so it was the first towers of the cloud cities began to lift off.

Views from the Monolith 009

To the West, through Sand and Bones

The Desert of Giants was created in early 2016. We needed a second area, separate from Cloud City, to test mechanics and battle systems. Since then, not much had changed. A shame, since the open spaces and vibrant orange make a great contrast to the gloomy corridors we’d been working on elsewhere. Finally, throughout November, we went full circle and gave those maps the attention they deserved.

From a technical point of view, the desert works as Resolutiion’s hub: all other parts of the world connect here, becoming accessible after unlocking new skills. It is the gateway to many unusual lands and the strange inhabitants fighting over their control.

The Preserver and his flock of tech-savvy Witnesses labor within the fortified walls of the Library (the Infinite Empire’s information facility), located at the foot of the Core. Language, history, media and other data streams come here to be analyzed, filtered and processed for a non-contradictory narrative on all public channels.

-Syncing-
Hello. -Social anxiety detected-
I’m just a Witness. -Serotonin injection-
Better talk to the Preserver, downstairs. He’s in charge.

Towards the eastern ridge, in the harsh winds and grim rocks of the desert, lives another, more unusual enemy. It lurks somewhere nearby, somehow everywhere, and yet nowhere. Trying to gain some orientation, we wonder: Have we been here before? Déjà vu? The shadows are moving; they have a hallucinatory quality to them. Meanwhile, the monster closes in.

Did you just remember something?
But it changed ... it adapted ... buffering ...
2%
72%
100%. Move, I need more data!

Finally, beaten and burned, we follow the trail of blood to the west, into the realm of the outcasts; the Freemen, the terrorists. Within their hideout, the first mystery awaits: a dreamer; a powerful entity. The Cradle-Watcher challenges us, but we have already felt his blood flow through our fingers. Recursion; a rematch.

We move faster towards 2018’s finale. Thanks for tagging along.

Looking Up

Recently, Mark Brown from Game Maker’s Toolkit started a series on designing video games for people with audio-visual disabilities or motor impairment. We followed his advice and implemented some of those best-practices into Resolutiion. Let’s get technical:

By adding more audio cues to everything that happens on screen, those with impaired vision can react faster and navigate more easily. More options to scale the font size during dialogue scenes, and improved control pad and keyboard mapping will help save these players from any unnecessary stress.

Contrast for the color impaired can be very tricky in a colorful game like Resolutiion. Fortunately, Reddit user Koderski published a simple screen shader to switch modes in Godot’s shading language that we were happy to implement.

All these systems still need work, but implementing them took only a few hours, and having these options means “playing Resolutiion” or “not playing Resolutiion” for some.

On a final note, Resolutiion was featured by hardcoregamer.com’s #screenshotsaturday among a cast of fantastic looking indie titles. This little tradition has been going on for years and keeps everybody in the loop in a charming way. Very much appreciated.