Perception: The Key is a 2D story driven game for the PC that follows a man, known only as ‘The Protagonist’, over a short period in his life. The player joins him and his ever changing perception as he searches for what is lost in an attempt to prevent the inevitable.
Above you’ll find a spoiler free overview of Perception: The Key. I say spoiler free as the game has a big twist that I’m trying to keep under wraps should I ever try to bring it to production. I have told a select and trustworthy few and their reactions have helped me believe the idea is a good one. Below I’ve done a bit of post-mortem of the process and how I’m feeling now the game is submitted.
Over the weekend I submitted Perception to Freeplay! I’m very happy with how it turned out in the end though I got pretty stressed as the deadline began to loom. I say stressed because I started the doc not having really figured out how the game would play (I don’t recommend doing that ever by the way – just not good practice) so spent a lot of time on sections that I either didn’t need to focus so heavily on or that would inevitably change once I decided exactly what I was doing gameplay wise. It also didn’t help that the kitchen was getting remodelled at home so for a good few weeks of trying I couldn’t get into a rhythm to get any decent progress made.
So essentially a week or two until the deadline I decided to start fresh and moved to a new (dauntingly blank) word doc along with the levels I had figured out. In the end it took me about a week to put together the final doc I submitted with most of this time spent writing the game. I did go back to the first doc (of which I had spent probably an additional three weeks on) eventually and poked through the wreckage to find that a lot was still usable; I just need to finesse it a little. That said, there were many sleepless nights worrying about getting it done in time and a very OCD system of saving to a billion places to prevent losing work. However once Thursday evening arrived and my doc was ready for proof reading I was very relieved, though no more so once that proof reading was complete and I was assured everything made sense.
Overall I’m really happy with the game. There are certainly areas where the game can improve (a few levels could use a re-design but the inspiration/epiphany through which to do so didn’t fall inside the time frame) but I’m hoping the judges appreciate the broader goals I’m trying to achieve. It has certainly changed a lot from the initial ‘game a day’ idea but it is all for the better. Definitely an idea I’ll be pursuing further regardless of Freeplay outcome.