The Crossroads: The Making Of

The Crossroads is a game consisting of three stages, each of which representing the youth, adolescence and of a man. The player will make tons of choices within limited time. The choices in each stage will have effect on the character and the following story.

This project is one of the entries of In 2015 IndieAce 48-hour Game Jam. The topic is “#”. A day before the competition all members of our team confirmed. We had 4 Game Designers, 0 Artist, and 2 Programmers. Such unbalance staff forced us to separate into 2 group eventually.

At first, we came up with an idea of a very simple mobile game, whose mechanism is to launch the rays when they cannot hit the glacier. The mechanism was so simple that it actually didn’t need so much game designers. Therefore, I led the rest of game designers to develop one more game. We tried to decompose the topic “#”, and came up with an idea later that it could be 4  crossroads. Further, crossroad means choices. Then we decided to create a game that had something to do with choices in life.

How to represent “choices of life”? I suggested that every choices of every moment should be able to affect hereafter, and all small option will eventually accumulate to be our life. We decided to abstract the real world into a more simple way, using obvious images with different meaning of choices. For example, in stage one, which stands for age 7, we placed a basketball in the room representing the choice of loving sport, 3 paints on the wall representing being interested in art, a bookshelf representing knowledge, etc. The choices of last stage will affect the event in the next stage. For example, if the player hasn’t read the book on the bookshelf in stage 1, he will not be interested  in the library in stage 2. These choices will lead to different endings ultimately.

The structure of stage 1 (age 7). Each room respectively means parents, innocence, knowledge, art, friendship, sport and danger.
The structure of stage 1 (age 7). Each room respectively means parents, innocence, knowledge, art, friendship, sport and danger.
Stage 2 (age 18). Similar structure to stage 1, but the map is a little bit bigger, which indicates that our choices are more important and complicated in this stage.
Stage 2 (age 18). Similar structure to stage 1, but the map is a little bit bigger, which indicates that our choices are more important and complicated in this stage.
Stage 3 (age 40). The map is even bigger.
Stage 3 (age 40). The map is even bigger.

Besides game design, I took charge of programming the whole world individually. Using the game engine RPG Maker VX, I set up multiple events in the game, and designed an achievement system to improve the engagement. Logic among every events is very important in this game. Essentially, it is a game of binary tree. We spent time on playtest to debug too. After a 48-hour development, it became a game with a high level of completion.

The people who shows up in the grave at the end are related to the player's choices.
The people who shows up in the grave at the end are related to the player’s choices.
Achievement system.
Achievement system.

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