Dare Blogs: Pathos Studios' minimalist puzzle adventure

The Dare to be Digital 2015 team talks to Develop about working on their entry title Pathos
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What's your game?
Pathos is a non-violent and minimalist puzzle adventure which blends traditional puzzles and procedural rhetorics. Lost and confused, Pan is forced on an adventure desperately trying to find her way home in a land full of unique and strange worlds.

Our game is about what children might feel like going through the process of the foster care system. We wanted to tell an individual story about one person’s struggles, but also make a game which is both mechanically engaging and narratively driven.

What has the Dare experience been like?
Somewhat difficult, which is probably an understatement. Our team doesn’t currently have studio space so we’re all having to work from home, which has been tough. Regardless of that, we have all been working very hard and find Dare to be a great opportunity to further our careers.

This has been a massive learning experience for us all and given what we know now, we probably would tackle this project differently if we were to start again.

What have you learned from Dare?
Communication, dependencies, prototyping and scope.

Communication is the crux of development. As previously mentioned we are without a studio, which means we have very little instant communication and we can’t view each other’s work easily. At most we have Skype, which doesn’t always cut it.

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Dependencies have to be sorted out early. If a job needs to be done first, before everything else can follow, then that becomes the most important. There have been times in our project which have been very tough due to these dependencies not being dealt with.

Prototyping in early development would have been very useful for us when designing the game, but because of the loss of our original coder, we were stalled for a long time.

Managing scope is very important. Originally we wanted to develop three levels, which changed to two, and now one. By doing this we have upped the quality of everything we can, because less is more.

Are you looking forward to ProtoPlay?
We are all excited to see what people think of our game. This will be the first time any of us have attended an event like this, so we’re rather nervous! We look forward to meeting all of the other teams too, playing their games and sharing our development experience.

What are your ambitions after Dare?
Hopefully we can continue to make Pathos in the future and release our game on multiple platforms: Android, iOS, PS Vita. If that’s not plausible, then it’s off back to university for our third year. Who knows maybe we can continue development during our semesters.

Follow Pathos Studios on Twitter @PathosGame to learn more about their game.

Dare ProtoPlay and Indie Fest is on 13th-16th August in Dundee’s Caird Hall and City Square, with all 16 Dare student games on show, indie games, talks, workshops and more. http://www.dareprotoplay.com

Team members:

  • Artist: Michael Hindley – University of Bolton
  • Artist: Luke Norman – University of Bolton
  • Designer: Rob Green – University of Bolton
  • Designer: Tom Pugh – University of Bolton
  • Programmer: Leon Gartland – Bangor University

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