4 min read

[4/50] Paperplanes: So Far

[4/50] Paperplanes: So Far

If you ever wake up and feel invincible, go make a video game. It will humble you.

Lost Ferry Interactive’s first title, Paperplanes - a third person action adventure game, is still an embryo in development, but we are ready to give the world a glimpse of what to expect. This is a small introductory blog post for our project and in the upcoming series we will be talking about our gameplay pipeline, technical art and the world in which the game is based. While we are very excited to publish the first instalment next year (fingers crossed), the becoming of Paperplanes, is in itself a story of its own. What started from a scribbled map on a piece of paper has now grown into a surreal world of fantastical realism. Set in the distant future in the land of what is left of India post climate crisis, Paperplanes takes you through a journey of self discovery and courage as you venture through beautiful landscapes interacting with complex human personas and creatures.

Making a video game seems quite daunting at first. Because it's not just one thing - its writing, art, music, programming, cinematic, animation- all fused into one. There are numerous questions that need to be answered - which game engine ought to you choose? Where should your video game be published? How much programming knowledge is required before you can begin creating your own games? Is programming knowledge even necessary to create a game? How is a game created? And while the answers to these questions depend on you and your vision of the video game, here's what we did.

Video games take a tribe to make, especially the ones titled Paperplanes. However, it has never been simpler to start designing games, even though you probably won't go from having no experience to creating the next Horizon Zero Dawn, or maybe you will - here’s to hoping! Accessibility to game production tools and materials have improved considerably and these tools are frequently also free to use. And one of them is the Unreal Engine. Paperplanes found its home in Unreal Engine - a commercial cross-platform gaming engine created by Epic Games that has been used to develop games like Octopath Traveller, Final Fantasy VII Remake and Fortnite. In addition to some more sophisticated topics like technical art and establishing asset pipelines, Epic Games also offers a variety of free online video courses that explain some fundamental aspects of utilising the engine's editor. Selecting the correct game engine for your project is an integral part of the process, it has the biggest effect on the type of game you want to make.

The Unreal Engine editor.

In an overly saturated market that flirts with the theme of post apocalyptic zombieland, the art of Paperplanes is driven by an alternative interpretation about the future which is not a technological utopia or an authoritarian dystopia. Even though the story unfolds in parts of India, the visual setting only draws inspiration from the contemporary state of these parts. Rather, the game world draws inspiration from nature and elements of biomimetics. The artistic elements reveal the confluence of a past that is in ruins on account of climate change and a future where the survivors are trying to rebuild a new haven for themselves by improvising on the technology they could salvage. Experience the metamorphosis of a civilization and walk through cities that have ironically delved back into the arms of nature to survive the wrath of nature itself.

The game is a single player third person action adventure game which has relatively overall slower pacing compared to contemporary games in the same genre (though not uniformly slow pacing) and deeper ambiance in the environment and the narrative. It has elements of RPG (crafting, inventory management, dialogue trees), deductive reasoning, stealth and horror along with typical action-adventure mechanics like action sequences, platforming and puzzles. All in all a “masala” (out and out commercial) game.

You will come across an entire ecosystem of evolutionary creatures as you make your way through the game as Hope, the 18 year old protagonist in search of questions that have haunted her since her childhood.

A window to nowhere

One of our earlier struggles was the lack of resources and we want to do our part, even if it's very little, to give back to the community and help bridge the knowledge gap. It is one of our core ideals. We hope through this series of documentation we can help each other in creating and developing ideas that need some help growing. We are very excited for this series and we hope you follow along with us on this journey of possibilities.