When we set about Golden Trails: The New Western Rush
project, our principal goal was to create not another hidden object clone, but a full-fledged game. That’s why we had to think over every detail, weigh the pros and cons, and discuss all the possibilities of adding something new into Golden Trails: The New Western Rush. Every single thing, innovative or not, must find its level in the project and blend in with other game elements.
Storyline, atmosphere, artwork and characters is only a part of game creating process. Gameplay is another huge part of work which should be definitely well thought over and taken care of. In Golden Trails: The New Western Rush we used our plot and storytelling as means of creating immersive gameplay, which greatly contributes to the interactive aspect of the game.
Storytelling and its Role in the Gameplay
In Golden Trails: The New Western Rush we paid much attention to the presentation of the plot. Since it’s very annoying and tiresome to read long texts and dialogues, we decided to give information in small amounts, so that it can be easily perceived.
Firstly, we used very brief dossiers to introduce our characters. We wanted the player to grasp and swallow this information without much effort.
Screenshot #1: Dossier on Harry Johnson, Rifleman
Secondly, we tried to create bright dialogues which are filled with apt expressions and humor.
Screenshot #2: Tribe Chief Catahecassa speaking with Sheriff Jack
Thirdly, pop-up windows are essential for both gameplay and storyline. They are means of communication between the sheriff and the player. They tell us what we need to do in the location or, for example, on finding a piece of evidence, the player is prompted with the sheriff’s remarks and guesswork.
Screenshot #3: Pop-up windows carry sheriff’s remarks
And, finally, mini-games… They are comics-based and are used to present the storyline. On completing a mini-game, the player learns the background of the story and finds out some curious facts about Sunnyvale citizens and their lives.
Screenshot #4: Comics reveal the storyline
Our main goal was to keep players challenged by Golden Trails: The New Western Rush. We actually didn’t want to mix all sorts of hidden object tasks so we kept to the gameplay mechanics similar to that of Romance Of Rome. Instead, we added some variety to the objects hidden in the location.
Screenshot #5: Indian Camp
There are five different types of items in the game. All of them have their own purpose or function. For example, Evidence Items are used in mini-games, while the so called “Stolen Things” do not appear on the search list and can be accidently found somewhere in the scene. It can be tricky to find such items, but your efforts will be rewarded with trophies!
Screenshot #6: Trophy for finding a stolen thing
All your trophies and achievements will be located in the Trophy Room.
Screenshot #7: Trophy Room
When thinking about Golden Trails: The New Western Rush
hint system, we wanted to make something special… something that would be enjoyable and open for every player. No matter whether Golden Trails: The New Western Rush is difficult or easy for you, we hope that earning hints will be real fun.
We actually thought to bring in some variety to the gameplay and add some action challenge, thus getting closer to the western theme. So shooting down gangsters who appear in the most unexpected parts of the location is not only a way of earning hints but also a kind of “stylistic device”. We hope you will like it.
Screenshot #8: Shoot down gangsters to get extra hints
Golden Trails: The New Western Rush Developer’s Diary. Part I
Golden Trails: The New Western Rush Developer’s Diary. Part III