The creation of a small open world. A peek behind the scenes Creation of A Short Hike

Hello everyone! Hello everyone! The exploration game A Short Hike involves climbing up mountains.

It allows you to guide Claire, a bird, up the summit, exploring freely and aiding other people.

After a couple of road trips on the west coast, I began to work on the game. We visited as many natural landmarks and hiking areas as possible. After falling in love with hiking I began to think about how I could make it a videogame.

Some moments were particularly important to me, like the respite after reaching the summit and the new way of seeing the landscape. However, the overall goal was to recreate that peaceful and meditative experience you have when you are exploring the world around.

In order to create an atmosphere of freedom and adventure, the game was designed as an open-world. My goal was to reward curiosity and encourage exploration of the less traveled roads. To do this, I needed to make sure the game was paced so the player could take the opposite route.

The result was a series of mini-games that allow you to explore the trails and stop hiking. The game felt more like a summer escape, with fishing, boating and (a type of) volleyball.

A Short Hike has been a project I have worked on mainly by myself. My hands have been full with programming, testing, design, art and even designing! Writing was one of my biggest challenges. It is not a story-driven game, but I still wanted it to have meaning to me. I also wanted the game to address some of my fears and worries.

A previous project had caused me to have a difficult time writing and it was hard for me to put together something I liked. For A Short Hike I decided to be more spontaneous. It was easy to write dialogue in the same manner I talk with friends via text. This helped me create a voice and a flow for the game.

Because I did most of the artwork, I had the chance to play around with it. It was something I wanted to do. 2D games are known for refining pixels art over decades. 3D games, however, have tried to conceal as many pixels as possible. To see if it was possible to create a 3D world that is beautiful and readable using very few pixels, I set out.

The rest of my art direction was determined by this choice. I used flat cohesive shading with no anti-aliasing. To make objects stand out and to keep them readable, I created a soft outline effect.

Low-resolution is a great way to make the world look lush. Let your imagination do the rest. Some people find the pixelated appearance less appealing, so I added the ability to adjust the size of the pixels to suit your preferences. You can view A Short Hike in 4K on PS4 Pro or PS5!

Music was one area I did not have any control over. Mark Sparling suggested that a dynamic music soundtrack be created for the game. It will change as you move around the island. His plan was laid out on a map with labels, which I followed. Depending on your location, instruments will play different parts of the main theme. When the player is flying strings will sound, while trumpets will sound as the boat speeds up. I believe he has created something truly special.

Although I have worked on several other games, this is my first major project that I released entirely on my own. This has been an incredible journey, and it’s exciting to finally bring the game to PlayStation. When it’s released this fall, I hope that you will enjoy the new world I created.

Publiated at Thu, Aug 5, 2021 16:05.12 +0000

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