© 2019 by Amar Ravi

Son of a Sun!

PLAYABLE PROTOTYPE | GROUP PROJECT

Team Members : Amar Ravi, Arjun Dev, Rahul P, Shreeya Achar, Vaibhav Kataria

Son of a Sun is a single-player puzzle game that combines a turn-based mechanic and elements of continuous gameplay in a single experience. The player assumes the role of the Sun and moves around to manipulate the shadows. The objective is to help the sun's son sneak away without being seen, the only problem is - he's too (photo)sensitive

Keyboard /
Controller

Single PLayer
Puzzle

Cross 
Platform

Target Audience
10+

 

MOTIVATION

 

Son of a Sun was born out of a 2-day game jam as part of a game mechanics module at NID Bengaluru.  The theme provided was "Sun". Our team brainstormed different ideas around concepts related to the sun - photosynthesis, eclipses, shadows, and sun as a source of life. 'Shadows' came out as something the team wanted to pursue more. 

The path to shadow avoidance was inevitable from there, but we decided to switch player agency from someone avoiding the shadows to someone controlling the shadows to help someone avoid the shadows - Son of a Sun was born.

 

GAMEPLAY

 

The gameplay combines elements from turn-based games and continuous movement. The player is allowed to move the sun left and right in steps (using arrow keys). The anticipation and planning of turn-based games are brought out by how the son (in blue) is controlled. As the Sun, players can only give an "okay to move" command by pressing space, they do not have any control over the blue body's movement. The constantly moving platforms convey the real-time-ness of the situation to the player, exposure to sunlight means death, while moving or standing.

 

GAME MECHANICS

The game works on three mechanics

  • Primary

    • Movement of the light source (sun) to manipulate shadows 

  • Secondary

    • The son's step based movement

    • The light will kill the son

 

 

PROTOTYPE

 

The playable prototype is accessible at this link - Play Son of a Sun

 

 
 

TESTING

 

Player testing was done with game design students during the module as well as with the general public during dFrost, NID Bengaluru's design fest. However, we did not formalize this process, player feedback was mainly sought in-person during or after their play sessions. 

Prototype 1
Prototype 2

#1  The initial version of the prototype had a 'clone' showing the next position of the son. However players felt that the grid on the floor was enough reference to plan their moves and the clone only added more confusion - it was too many guides

Prototype 2

#2 Players were confused about the death condition since the transition to the end screen was instantaneous. The addition of a "pause" mechanic on death that showed the player caught in their tracks and subsequently melting in the sun addressed this concern

Levels

#3 We added an easier level design upfront to introduce the player to the game mechanics

NEXT STEPS

Since this started off as an assignment this semester, we've had limited time to build this to its full potential. In the near future, the team aims to

  • Develop art assets

  • Craft more levels with varied obstacles of varying difficulties