An introduction to Overpass

Overpass (working title) is a game about piloting a hot-air balloon across a vast environment. You'll navigate invisible air streams, uncovering clues as you explore that you'll need to decode and plot on your map to progress.


I'm building it in Unity, and I am building the entire game using the visual scripting tool PlayMaker. So far I haven't written a single line of code, and don't intend for that to change!


There's a sort of physics-based sim element to the balloon piloting. You can go up and down, and that's pretty much it, no lateral control. To travel, you need to follow the streams and move between them where they overlap, using landmarks and cross-referencing constantly with the map. Air travel is a deliberately slow affair, with lengthy flights between points of interest. This is one of the central pillars of the design, so I'll write loads about this at some point.


The mapping system is fairly in depth. You'll have scant details about the air streams and environment when you start. The map has an instrument which will allow you to plot points based on the clues you'll uncover, measuring angles and triangulating to identify stream crossings, villages and hidden locations. This is also a huge deal for me, so I'll write posts ahoy about this.




Project History
I started working on Overpass about halfway through 2016. I'd been thinking about a hot-air balloon game for ages, and I really only started prototyping it because I was pretty burnt out by the project I was on at the time, and I needed something to sort of rekindle my enthusiasm. So I tinkered with it on and off for a few months just as an outlet, but this year I decided to focus on it as my main project.

I've always done all the art on my previous games, but I'm really not an artist and on the bigger projects producing all the art assets becomes an act of attrition and sucks all the fun out of the process. So this time I'm not worrying about art at all; I'll do temp art that helps me get the point across while I nail down all the systems, and then hopefully at some point I'll find an artist (and the rest) to help me finish it.


Get Overpass

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