Drone.ESC is a re-imagining of the original Drone.ESC concept and prototype made by ‘Little Chicken Game Company’. Not having the time to make it but seeing it’s potential, Little Chicken gave us the opportunity to take the concept and develop it further. In Drone.ESC, you play as a Core, one of thousands in the factory opressed by the System. However, your core is slightly different, being able to take over not only the standard drones, but also factory machines. Using your ability, you work your way through the factory towards the System while experiencing it’s cruel treatment of the Cores. Eventually you will have to decide through gameplay between taking over the system, essentially becoming a god but having to oppress your fellow Cores, or shutting it down sacrificing yourself in the process. The goal was to non-verbally tell about the story and the world to the player, paired with engaging puzzle gameplay.
Little Chicken Game Company asked us to do a re-skin of the prototype they had ready, but we didn’t have enough artists for this and we decided to show them what their game could become when we focused on gameplay supporting the narrative. After we finished the project we showed Little Chicken what we made and they decided that they wouldn’t continue releasing this, because it wasn’t what they were looking for. They had a new group re-skinning the same prototype we started which became the game they were looking for.
During the development of Drone.ESC the re-imagining I worked as a gameplay programmer and worked together with another gameplay developer on implementing all the mechanics and designing new possibilities for our mechanics. Because we only had 1 artist who had to create all the art we were very limited to how many new areas we could create and because the game should last about 5 minutes we decided to keep it all in one factory. After redesigning the area a few times we finally came up with a layout that would suit the story, the environment and the time we’ve had.