You won’t believe what happened to our onboarding !

Hi ! 

Thibault here, game and narrative designer on Méliès is Gone and today, we’re talking about how all things should start : with an onboarding of course ! For our initial prototype, we had in mind to create an organic onboarding, introducing the players to our game’s narrative and mechanics. In this onboarding, Georgette is arriving in the studios and collecting documents informing her on what happened to her father, Georges Méliès. For instance, when she is entering the front door, she stumbles on unopened mail. If the content of this mail is conveying some key elements for the story (Méliès was broke, and did not give news anymore to Georgette), we also tried to tell a part of this story by the very context in which Georgette is finding this mail. If it’s left unopened on the floor, it must be because nobody’s home for a long time ! You can even trace how long it has stayed on the floor thanks to the date on the document. That’s good narrative design, right ? 

Then, the player is introduced to our beloved cinematograph. Georgette is picking the machine, with a manual attached. This manual works as a tutorial for the controllers, but is organically integrated within our narrative by mimicking the original cinematograph manual. Finally, the onboarding ends with a first, short puzzle. This puzzle easily introduces the player both to the logic of the game and the gameplay loop. 

To easily conceptualize this onboarding, I drew everything by hand, scanned it and put it on Unity (with the help of our great developer, Hugo). For our final prototype, we eventually decided to drop this introduction, as it was going to be too long and would have taken several additional weeks to be completed with the same level of polish as the rest of the prototype.