Hey everyone, let’s dive into the making of Come Back,
Today we are very close to finishing our first full game which will probably be out later this month. We all are very happy with the way things turned out, although it’s a really short game it has a bit of a challenge and some interesting artistic choices.
I decided for the first “real” article of this blog to go back in time. Let me explain how this adventure began.
The development started exactly two years ago, when we decided to gather a team to attend (and win of course) the Emotional Game Jam 2017 that was held by our school for us to make emotionally strong games in 48 hours. Our team was composed of me (Edwin), Axel, Yann and Pierre and this team is the heart of what became NoLan Games (but at first was called “Team Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch” ).
So before the game jam we wanted to do a story-driven game with drawings in two colors only but we didn’t know what type of game we wanted to do. Then came the theme: “Lost and Found.”.
The very first sketches
we did for the game
The bicolour game idea came at the beginning. We created a story around these first sketches where somebody was lost on an island. He didn’t know where he was but he found several notes everywhere on the island that hid a bitter truth.
– First concepts for Gull Island –
– Early Gull Island Overview –
This was the basic elements we used to create the game. Now we had to add an interesting gameplay revolving around the story. We found it interesting to create a point’n’click with enigmas left by the person who wrote the notes.
The first Come Back
After 48 hours of hard work (and not sleeping a lot) we completed the first prototype of Come Back and presented it on itch.io and the jury of the game jam. We were lucky to win the jam this year (tied with another great team), and the jury praised our art style and the coherence of our game/universe!
It really was overwhelming for the team to finish our first game that’s playable from the beginning to the end. We enjoyed as well working together and getting approval for it at the end. After the event, we decided to carry on making games together. A few months later, we started to work again on Come Back on a version that was improving on many points from the jam prototype and which felt more like a stable game. This was version 1.2 for us, it also gave us the opportunity to put the game on itch.io and to learn how to communicate on a released game.
The first version of the game on itch.io was much shorter with only Gull Island available.
Re-making of Come Back
As we learned loads of stuff in school about how to make video games, we realized Come Back had a lot of flaws that we could rather easily mend. We decided then to completely redo the game. We worked on a new engine (Unity). The graphic team made HD and improved graphics (the first graphics were not HD!). I also composed new music. The game is now two times longer but it’s still in the spirit of a short adventure. We kept the story and a few enigmas from the first prototype.
The general feeling is a sensation of great impovement upon the first version. As a result we are proud of this small game we will be launching. Whether or not you like this first experience, just remind that Come Back is the first try for Team NoLan. We have a huge deal of things to learn although we still have a lot of surprises for you to discover!
Here is the full story of the making of Come Back, I hope you will enjoy reading it!
Thanks for reading us, be fresh and never panic 😉