Game Design Excercise: Shadowland

This is going to be an ongoing experiment in game design. Don’t ask me why I couldn’t have started this when Top Sekrit Project first went under, and why I didn’t spend all that stressful unemployed time being productive, because I don’t know. I suck. Anyway, this will be an exercise in creating the concepts for a mythical (in that it will remain a concept only) game so I can play with design documents, art concepts, and so on…and perhaps get back into some 3D work.

I’ve always loved “secret door” fantasy. Books or movies where the lead character finds a wardrobe in an empty room, a secret staircase, the magic book, etc., that leads them to an alternate reality have always been close to my heart. (Someday I’ll find one of those doors – I’m still looking!) So, we have puzzles to solve, and secret doors to find, that lead into other worlds. Perhaps a mechanic like something from The Chronicles of Amber would be interesting…where you shift your reality from shadow to shadow to travel. Perhaps a treasure hunt mechanic where you collect the needed bits that will allow you to overcome the final challenge. Perhaps that’s derivative, boring and cliché…probably. :/

It won’t be multiplayer. I’d like to continue working on the challenge of creating browser-based 3D environments, building on the work that our team was doing in X3D. Although my Flash skills really do need honing…that would probably translate into a more job-related skillset, since very few companies are trying to do anything with X3D.


  • Secret doors that have to be found, figured out, in order to travel and open alternate realities
  • Something that feels like dark fantasy, without elves or unicorns or vampires…something different. Maybe throw some steampunk in there.  :D  A touch of Goblin Market, or Coraline, with an intrepid girl heroine
  • Single player
  • A series of small worlds, rather than sprawling large ones
  • Talking animals, we definitely need talking animals

Ok, I think I need to sleep, I’m getting punch-drunk.  :D  But it will be fun, once I’m awake enough to think about it properly.

3 thoughts on “Game Design Excercise: Shadowland”

  1. Let me know if you need dialog.

    Doors are always a good starting point, because there is something mystical about the concept of doors to begin with. These sort of arbitrary markers that separate ‘here’ and ‘there’. They’re well mined territory in genre fiction for that reason.

    It would be fun to think of something original to do with the door concept, but it isn’t popping into my head right this second. I will think about it.

  2. If you run into questions about X3D give me an email. We(Yumetech) are at least one of the companies making a go at X3D and its working well for us. Slowly WOWing, been EVEing in the middle, back to WOW now. Friends trying hard to rope me into DDO.

  3. Thanks Ty, very much. (Or as they say in the UK, “Ty very much”, ty meaning thank you.) :)

    And Alan – thanks so much for the link, I was very interested to see your company’s site. Best of luck – I really, really believe in X3D/related technologies, and I think that people can do some really exciting things with it. We were going to use Bitmanagement’s server software for our multiuser environments, and were so excited by what we had already done…and then everything fell apart. Pah.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *