We have been working hard to flesh out the narrative beats of the story. Please find below a synopsis of the game’s narrative as it currently stands:
The game will open with a series of static images conveying opening cutscene:
- Exterior of large chemical factory building at night CHEMCORP
- Interior, janitor cleaning labs
- Something knocked over/process accidentally triggered
- Inter-dimensional portal opened
- Janitor sucked through
The game will then begin with the janitor waking up in an unknown alien world. Shortly after gaining control, the player will be approached by an anthropomorphised hydrogen atom. Heidi (hydrogen) explains that all of the elements from the periodic table have been sucked through the portal, and the player must search this alien world to find and restore them.
The player proceeds to explore, in turn, levels stemming from a world hub, bringing back groups of elements from each one. Upon each return to the hub, some elements will volunteer to help, and the player gains compounds/ elements which will allow them to access areas which had been inaccessible before.
Towards the end of the game carbon disappears with hydrogen. The player journeys through the final level to find carbon attempting to fuse with hydrogen in order to create a benzene ring (one ring to rule them all), a typical boss fight ensues. The player is victorious, freeing hydrogen and convincing carbon of the error of its ways and the power of friendship.
The player returns through the portal and restores the elements to their place in the table before morning.
Post credits sequences of what each of the main characters went on to do.
Brief descriptions of the main characters of the game:
Janitor (Jan) – player character
Gender neutrally presented janitor. Mute. Overalls etc. Some kind of backpack/hoover device which they use to utilise the chemicals and compounds.
Hydrogen (Heidi) – gas
Super friendly, fast-talking, high energy, excitable. Secretly lonely since all the other chemicals have been separated. Keen to help get them back together. Likes to talk about the good old days.
Oxygen – gas
Nitrogen – gas
Chlorine – gas (pale yellow)
Salty dog. Piratical.
Sodium – solid (silvery white)
Highly reactive in water. Surfer dude.
Carbon – solid (black and white – diamond and coal)
Colonel Kurtz. Bandana.
The project artist, Scott D’Arcy, has begun generating concept art for the piece. Here are examples of the opening images, draw to varying levels of detail:
Additionally, Scott has created a first draft of the Janitor’s in-game sprite:
After discussion, and due to the limited number of simple, usable compounds, we have decided that instead of a using chemical combining/ compound crafting mechanic, the player will either be automatically given the chemical/compound required for the next level at the end of the previous one, or will have to complete a small mini game at the hub to receive it.
H2O (water) – put out fire.
HCl (hydrochloric acid) – dissolves most metals (sodium – violent action)
NaCl (salt) – melt ice
NH3 (ammonia) – fertiliser (plant level?) cleaner
N2O (nitrous oxide) – propellant
NCl3 – (nitrogen trichloride) – explosive ‘yellow, oily, pungent-smelling and explosive’
- Featuring fire and water, the player will use H2O to pass these obstacles. Awarded Chlorine for completion.
- Metal world with lightning (conductivity) and using HCl to carve a path. Awarded Sodium for completion.
- Ice level, the player will use NaCl to melt ice, and additionally can use H2O to create more ice (bridges) where needed. Awarded Nitrogen. for completion.
- Water level (surfing) – fast paced side-scrolling level. The player will attach a reactive metal to the underside of a surfboard to travel rapidly across the level
- Plant growing level (to reach platforms etc) the player will use NH3 and H2O to grow plants to traverse the level.
- Final level – A gauntlet of everything that has gone before, capped with confrontation with carbon.
Finally, Sandy Russell has begun working on the base systems of the game in the Unity engine, here is a video demonstrating these systems: