- Broken Circle Journey Writer and Game Director Andrea Brasch talks about the fusion between story and game mechanics.
- The main character’s journey and relationships evoke subjects and emotions that we can all relate to.
- Broken Circle Journey is now available for pre-order from the Xbox Store at a 15% discount.
Broken Circle Journey is a story-driven platform game about an imperfect circle that seeks to be complete.
Storytelling and gameplay literally go hand in hand in this game. They are completely intertwined and, like in any relationship, they limit and reinforce each other. The Ludo Story (a compelling story in perfect sync with the gameplay) was awarded “Best Narrative Game” at IndieCade 2020.
Let me walk you through some parts of the brainstorming process:
[Story] A story of nostalgia …
Broken Circle Journey is a game that has come a long way and somehow Patrick Jarnfelt and I grew into adulthood with the game. We both started out single and by the end of production, we are both engaged in relationships. So this has been a journey for the game and certainly for us on a personal level as well. The game relies heavily on my personal life experiences, so yes, it’s a very personal game!
I wanted to talk about the fact that humans often yearn for something else: a better job, a better place to live, an ideal relationship. Of course, love and romantic relationships are a big part of it, but the missing thing can also be a soul mate, a place to stay in nature, a great job, a pet …
[Gameplay] An incomplete vsircle as the main character …
What is the most basic and metaphorical way of representing something that is not complete? With an incomplete circle, of course! And since it’s almost round, it rolls but with a bump, so we are constantly reminded that that’s not all … It opens up all kinds of cool ideas for a platform game!
[Story] A journey of research and discovery …
Obviously, Circle rolls in search of a complementary part… And it meets new characters! They will discuss, get to know each other better, share their views and feelings and react differently to the places and events surrounding their adventure.
[Gameplay] Two merged into one = new abilities!
Circle can easily choose new characters that fit in his mouth. Merged like this, they roll as one and can use each other’s abilities. This is how new game mechanics and platform environments are explored!
[Story + Gameplay] Represent realistic personality traits.
Let’s explore the process of creating the Sticky character and see how the story and design decisions snowball into a final protagonist:
We all know someone who loves their routine and is afraid of change. What action can this represent? Collage! What has a shape that could fit into Circle that can stick to things? A pine cone! And together they can climb easily, especially on snow and ice!
We have a new character that Circle can have conversations (and arguments!) With about moving forward and discovering new things rather than settling down! And we have the level environments: a lot of climbing in the mountains and caves!
Now let’s take a look at a few other characters. All of them are inspired by people we know, our friends and family (without revealing which ones):
- Mrs. Moss: The caring grandmother. Soft like foam and tight circle so it can ride safely without bumps or drops.
- Ball: Someone who changes their mind all the time. The balloon is volatile and goes where the wind blows. He Is to fly Circle, but it is very fragile and demanding.
- Perfect: A very funny character who seems like the perfect alter ego, and a perfect physical match for the Circle. They drive fast and smooth together. However, it can get totally out of control and become extremely difficult to follow.
At first I thought I would write the story and then implement the game mechanics accordingly, until we realized they had to be made together. So during the creation process a narrative decision led to a design decision which led to another narrative decision and so on. The characters are talking, neutral and minimalist objects. The goal is to be universal and understandable. Everyone will experience the game differently, depending on their own life, experiences and memories.
These “love stories” that Circle goes through are a framework used to talk about more than love. Broken Circle Journeye is a story of self-discovery and existentialism. Maybe we often feel like a piece is missing because our life is a puzzle that keeps growing. It does not mean that we are broken, only that we are on a journey …
Broken Circle Journey launches March 12 and is now available for pre-order from the Xbox Store at a 15% discount. If you would like to chat with me and other players about this, please join the Discord server from our editor Nakana.io.
Broken Circle Journey
Meet fascinating characters on your quest to complete the Imperfect Circle. New partners bring unique abilities and also their own personalities. In this 3 to 5 hour adventure, full of ups and downs but always fun and rewarding, the Circle learns about itself and about you, with it. DEVELOPED BY Lovable Hat Cult “It’s a play on that little something that always seems to be missing… a better job, a better place to live, an ideal relationship… We wanted to tell a story of self-discovery in a fun, universal setting. and relatable way. We probably also wanted to answer our own questions: Would the Circle find what it was looking for? Or how would it all end? – Andrea & Patrick from the Copenhagen-based studio. PUBLISHED BY Nakana.io “We bring together games that share a strong experience to remember. We hope you enjoy the sweet and tasty food served by Journey of the Broken Circle! »- Mikaël Bourget, founder of the publishing label.