Tinselfly is an upcoming narrative-driven adventure game with light action elements. Set in a science-fantasy universe, players take on the role of Robin Aetherspring, a listless starship engineer who once had dreams of bounding through the cosmos. When Robin becomes trapped in a bizarre starship graveyard, she must investigate its origins, free her crew and rediscover her love of space exploration.
The main focus of Tinselfly is finding ways to tell stories in a way that’s uniquely suited to games. Each puzzle should teach the player a little bit about Robin and the world she lives in. Each repetitive task can be seen as a ritual, laced with meaning. Each inventory item is a physical representation of an aspect of Robin’s identity.
Combat in Tinselfly is a uniquely visual approach to sword fighting: use your controller to set the angle of your sword swing, then slice off pieces of your opponent’s shield. Cut the shield into small enough fragments, and your opponent is left defenseless.
Both Robin and her world are designed with puzzles in mind. Every light, console and piece of equipment on Robin’s ship is powered by wires the player can see. The player can solve wiring puzzles without ever leaving the game environment proper. Additionally, Robin may be the hero of the story, but she’s also an introvert. The player will have to come up with creative ways to keep Robin talking in conversations when she’d much rather clam up.
Every game teaches the player something; every challenge is an opportunity to learn. My goal here is not to have players see or experience a compelling story, but to have them learn it—and feel a stronger connection to the story because they had to actively show an understanding of the story and characters throughout the game.