Story Revamp & Puzzle Dependency Charts
So after being thoroughly unhappy with the way the game was playing out, I decided to revamp the story and the way I designed levels.
One problem was the scope of the game size. I had too many levels and features for one person to complete on their own in a reasonable amount of time. So I scaled the size of the game way back, and am now aiming for about around four hours of gameplay, with the idea to release more games more frequently.
Another part of the game I was unhappy with was the first level apartment scene. It played like more like a tech demo and had the "Wake up in the middle of the night during a thunderstorm" cliché. So I decided to remove that and replace it with something else.
I had worked on a previous game called Alter Ego where you start in your office after staying late working and then as you leave the story presented itself. I liked this idea a lot better as it offered more things for the player to see and explore. Plus I had a lot of the artwork already completed for it.
The next big thing I decided to implement were Puzzle Dependency Charts. For those unfamiliar with this concept, it is a chart of what is required to do to complete and area or act. You can easily identify if your puzzles become too linear being you have to do everything in a certain order before the player can proceed. Ideally you want many branches so the player can attempt to complete different puzzles if he gets stuck working on one. This also gives more depth to the game. If you are interested you can read more about puzzle dependency charts here.
So the new game is going to focus on one big plot element, the hotel room specifically room 226. So this "new" project will be renamed as Provenance : Room 226. Which will be one episode of many in the Provenance universe.