Where Abundance Lies // Option Paralysis
The ideas I had for Where Abundance Lies initially derived from a series of vivid dreams I once had. I’d been playing a lot of STALKER and Destiny and reading a lot of Nihei at the time. Someone who was myself, or just as likely somebody else, searching vast, lonely ruins for something. Ideas are, of course, the fun part of any creative project that doesn’t happen spontaneously. A game that borrowed liberally from STALKER’s gameplay philosophy set against a backdrop of a posthuman future exploring endless, brutalist ruins succumbing to the encroachment of decay and nature. Fucking excellent. Genius. Going straight to my magnum opus from a dude who’s done sound design for a couple of small indie projects. What could go wrong?
I’d already had some experience working with game engines. I’d poked about in Unity and Unreal some, so felt confident that if I just applied myself and kept reading, I’d be able to figure out at least the basics of developing the sort of game I wanted to make. For some reason I decided to land on Cryengine. I can’t quite remember why, but I think I liked the idea of having a fairly complete first-person shooter template built into the tools. The global illumination was neat. I tried for a bit, but the further I got into trying to work in Cryengine, the less I understood about what I was doing. So after making a pretty embarrassing Youtube video announcing work on the project, I soon realised I was in way over my head, and promptly switched tack.
I’d also been playing about with Godot in my spare time and had become pretty charmed with it. I found that I could actually write a bit of code in GDScript, Godot’s own scripting language, which felt incredibly empowering. I felt strongly that I needed to understand the mechanics that I was using in whatever game I was making. Even though Where Abundance Lies is little more than a demo of simple FPS mechanics as of now, I’m not entirely sure I regret the decision to do so.
So to sum up, I’m currently in a position where my game project is still little more than ideas and experiments, and the more I think about it, the less I feel that was a bad decision. I have a foundation to build on that is all my own. Godot 4.0 releases soon. Maybe I should revisit this whole thing then.