“When I was a child, I thought you left a trail through the world that you collected when you died”
Trail is an experimental, minimalist platformer inspired by a child’s belief about death. Trail explores the idea that you leave a trail in the world as you journey through life and when you eventually die you need to collect this trail to achieve final peace.
The game has two states, a living world and a dead world. In the living world you drop memories behind you as you progress. After you are killed you enter the dead world where your goal is to reach the first memory you left in the world. In the dead world your ‘health’ constantly falls as you struggle to remain in this plane of existence, collecting memories as your traverse back across the level towards your ultimate goal will replenish your health.
A Bit By Bit Games Short?
We’re trying to embrace the Pixar shorts methodology for games. This allows us to experiment with new tech or crazy ideas or ideas that wouldn’t work when forceably extended to create a longer game. Trail is the first such game we have done.
More About Trail
In Trail you play through a level forwards and then backwards from the point of your death.
When you are alive, the world is white and you drop a trail of memories behind you in the environment. Each memory you drop increases your score. If you touch a memory when alive it hurts you (sometimes it’s painful to revisit the past).
The level is your life, so there does come a point where you will die – there is no escape, no-one is immortal.
When you die the world turns black and you start from the point of your death, or the last solid bit of ground in the case of falling to your death. In this state your ‘health’ which was reset on death constantly drains. I like to think of your health in this state being your attachment to this plane of existence. In addition to this, everything that could hurt you while you were living can still hurt you.
Collecting memories in this state boosts your health and increases your score. The memories, however, move away from you to make this just a bit harder. Your ultimate goal is to reach the first memory you left in the world.
Reaching this ‘wins’ the game, failure to reach it is judged an unfulfilled/incomplete life. To finish the game displays a short piece of text summing up your life, this is based on the score you achieved and your age (how far through the level you got).
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