Unveiling Sleepwalker one polygon at a time

Just a couple of years ago Sleepwalker was a little project I was developing to learn C# and Unity. It was meant to be a simple prototype and nothing more, but things took off a different direction. To put it simple I wasn’t able to stop working on it and this is the result: madness… er … a game. I mean a true game: with goals, rules and fun!

The road to this new polished version of the prototype has been long and hard. In the very beginning I didn’t even think I could really do it. But instead, Sleepwalker is here and it’s time to unveil it. So, let’s dig into some of the core elements of Sleepwalker.

[Sleepwalker’s presskit]

Story: You play as a a sleepwalker, a person who walks while in a state of sleep. The game is set in a world suspended between real world and nightmare. The mistery about you and what brings you there will be unveiled as you walk through the game levels.

Art: Sleepwalker features a 3D low-poly art style with a dark mood.

Genre: Sleepwalker is a platform game where you will have to collect items and solve puzzle to proceed. Basically, you will jump, walk, and interact, like in many other platformer. Sometimes the path will not be linear and you will be asked for creativity and logic. You will also achieve some special powers that will allow you to unlock new areas and have more fun while exploring levels.

Now, what are the plans for the future?

Short-term goals: to release a teaser trailer to show off part of the gameplay
Long-term goal: to  keep developing Sleepwalker until I’m okay with that, this means a lot of work and nights spent by making that wonderful thing that is *creating videogames*.

And finally, here you are some useful links:

My Twitter @sentolevoci

Sleepwalker on IndieDB: just click on this nice button to land on the game’s page


Made with Unity page



Sleepwalker Dev Diary #2: Placeholder for stuff from the future

futureStuffThis is not a real dev diary, so I’m sorry if you did expect to find any clue about Sleepwalker.
Yes, I’m still working on it but I’m not going to share any playable build or details for now. This doesn’t mean that there is nothing to show. The last months of 2015 have been very intense and the upcoming ones will prove to be crucial for this project that I’m creating on my own.

As I mentioned before, the last complete prototype of Sleepwalker was a bunch of white-box levels. I used that to test the main mechanics and put in practice everything I was learning, from game design to scripting. I’ve tested a learning curve to guide the player in the very beginning and make things harder as she/he proceeds. It wasn’t perfect, like every other prototype in the world of game development, but it was very important for the project.

There was a time in which I was supposed to stop developing this project and start with something new, but then I realized that something cool was coming day by day for Sleepwalker. So I choosed to keep going because I have to do what a game designer usually does: creating games, stories and fun – not only having “great ideas” like some people think.
The creative process starts when your hands get dirty and I am very excited to keep working on this project by mylsef.

That said, I don’t want to leave you with nothing, you two people that have the patience to read this far: here you are some shots from the white-box version.
I know it’s not much, but if you stay tuned for the next dev diary, you are going to be astonished. Sort of “before and after”, but without meth or surgery.

Sleepwalker Dev Diary #1: The game and level design of Sleepwalker

In the last months I’ve developed a new version of my platformer prototype, Sleepwalker.
I was pretty happy with the first version, although I had some ideas to make it more complex and fun. Therefore, I started to work very hard on the design in order to build different levels, puzzles and mechanics. I listened to some of the feedbacks I got and I expanded them to fit the new game experience I had in mind.

The game is about a character that it is running through the levels. The main goal is to reach the end of the level and grab every pickup. Every level is scattered with dangerous situations (falls, moving platform, spikes,…) and obstacles that can be solved to get through.

Sleepwalker_planeNow, every puzzle has at least a couple of variations and has been balanced to make the player learn how to play from scratch to mastery. In order to do this, I spent a lot of time improving the scripts and finding a way to design levels from zero, using only creativity and the macro design document.

The macro design document is a spreadsheet I used to track the mechanics in every single level. It helped me a lot in deciding the gameplay focus and the direction I wanted to take, because sometimes it was very hard. When you work alone, you are completely free to experiment and create as well as let everything go, so you need A LOT of discipline to complete a step and reach a specific point of your project.

My goal was to give to the prototype the structure of a true game: multiple levels, a beginning and an end, fun and consistency from a design perspective. Some of these things can still be improved, and I will because a new version is on the go and I would like to implement another important aspect of Sleepwalker: the story.

I have been working on Sleepwalker’s story from the very beginning, but I will share more details as the development proceed.

For now I’ve decided not to publish this version of the project, so if you want to play it drop me a line.

Back Home: a short-short story in Twine

‘Back Home’ is my very first story made with Twine.
Twine is an open source tool for creating interactive and branching stories.
People are building amazing things with that: short and long stories, novels, even videogames.

The interesting thing is that you can also customize the look of your story by adding CSS code.
So, you can change the background or font color, add images and sound effects, in order to enhance the reader/player experience. A sort of Augmented Literature.

Indeed, Twine is often used in the videogame industry for prototyping narrative of games focused on branching paths  and choices.

You can read my very little experiment by following the link below.


Italian Version

English Version (coming soon)

Video game Narrative Workshop

If you missed the presentation of the Video game Narrative Workshop held at “B-Geek” convention, you can skim the slides below.

The workshop was aimed to give an overall vision of video game narrative. I spoke about roles, required skills, some techniques and provided some final examples (Call of Juarez) of how a video game script is made.