Formerly called Kanata, Imber is a 5 player asymmetrical dungeon building and dungeon exploring game.
Imber’s initial development began October of 2017 and ended in December of 2017. The game was created, playtested, and developed as part of UCSC’s ARTG 80G : Visual Communication and Interaction Design. This game was recommended by ARTG 80G’s instructor to be showcased at the 2018 Sammy Showcase. The game has since been worked on, starting July 2018 for market.
Final Card Designs
When the game was still called Kanata.
Kanata is a dungeoneering experience created with intention to revive a category of old JRPG’s where a lot of the playtime was invested into dying and re-strategizing. There was a thought in preliminary testing to make the game impossible; however as design progressed, the direction changed into making the game difficult but not impossible. The game is difficult, and in order to make sure of the previous statement most of the development time was spent on balancing the game, most of the time leading to modification of the Hero’s properties. Through modification of the overall game, it was found that once the game concluded there was no repeatability, so to counteract that a feature similar to randomly generated dungeons commonly used in digital versions was added.
As I was drawing out prototypes and concepts for the game originally, a lot of inspiration came from pre-existing titles, like Roguelands or Dungeon of the Endless. I knew that I wanted to make an rpg game, but I wasn’t sure what kind of imagery or description I wanted. I knew that Roguelands’ art style wasn’t something I was looking for but mechanics wise it was. The game was hard but not impossible, it posed a decent challenge. Most of all the game was infuriating for me, which is sort of the emotion that I wanted from the player.
When I got down to making my game, I started out designing the enemies. I knew I wanted a specific art direction and at the time wasn’t too sure how to make a plain looking hero. The rough design and colour palette for most of the enemies was supposed to be an emulation of nightmares, I started out using bland colors, trying not to vary the color scheme too much. Through drawing most of the monsters, I eventually got to the point where I wanted the enemies to be memorable. Wanted the players to remember what each mob did instead of having to read the inscription multiple times. At that point I started to make the enemies have their each individual color instead of making everything look the same.
The ultimate message that the game was supposed to deliver was something generic like life is always out to get you. This was the message before the repeatability was added. Once the repeatability was added, the game more or less changed into my mantra, it’s in Japanese which says “fall down seven, get up eight times” (七転び八起き).