Feast is a 3D platformer concept that places players in the role of a shapeshifting extra-terrestrial creature, with horror themes reminiscent of The Thing and Alien. Players start the game as a tiny creature on the doorstep of a rural, secluded farmhouse, and as they progress through the game, the level evolves with the player as they "feast" on the various creatures living in the world, growing ever larger and gaining access to new areas, culminating in the game's final moments as the player character consumes the humans living on the farm.
GAMEPLAY AND MECHANICS
The world of Feast is one seamless level, separated into sub-zones which can only be reached once the creature is large enough, or has gained certain abilities. At the start of the game, the player character is nothing more than a worm with a tooth filled maw, but as the creature eats other animals, it grows and mutates, and gaining new abilities that will help it along its journey - for example, upon feasting on a squirrel, one of the first targets in the game, the player character will gain the ability to jump and climb surfaces, allowing the player to reach new heights and previously unreachable areas. The player must feast upon other animals and grow large enough to achieve its ultimate hunt - the human inhabitants of the farm house. The player will face platforming challenges, stealth encounters, physics puzzles necessary to defeat other creatures on their way to accomplishing this task.
AUDIO AND VISUAL COMPONENTS
Feast is, first and foremost, a horror experience that fans of "B movies" will be captivated by. The dark, creepy farmhouse sets the mood for the game perfectly, with nearly greyscale visuals (minus all of that bright red blood, of course) to provide harsh contrast on those eerie shadows. The visual style will not stray far from reality, avoiding cartoonish graphics and focusing on more realistic models in order to further drive home the horror movie feel. The audio will be designed with this in mind, as well - a soft orchestral soundtrack with a feedback track based on player experiences goes hand in hand with the sound effects of creaking floorboards, the howling wind rattling the shutters, and the terrible cries of the player's victims.
PROGRESS AND PLAYER FEEDBACK
Player feedback in Feast is kept at a minimum to keep the minimalistic theme clutter-free, and fit the cinematic theme - there is no HUD, and player progress can be tracked purely based on the appearance and size of the alien creature. In order to prevent a player from getting lost during the early stages of the game, a button can be pressed to echo-locate the creature's next hunt, pointing them in the right direction. Sound effects and music cues will also be utilized in place of text or on-screen objective trackers to give the player information about their current objective without giving anything away or directly telling the player where their next course of action should be. Checkpoints are placed regularly to prevent a player from getting stuck in a frustrating spot, only to have to slog through an entire area again.
Below is a concept piece for Feast's first scene, "The Creek".
The Creek is the opening segment of the game, and serves as an introduction for players. The opening cutscene shows the meteor in which the Creature resides plummeting down to Earth, and splash landing into the creek. The player has no abilities beyond movement at this point in the game; they must get across the creek by movement alone, carefully navigating sticks and other pieces of debris as they float by on the gentle current. A broken tree branch propped onto a rock gives the player access to the mainland from this area. Once across, a frog can be found near the water – feasting on this grants the ability to jump, as well as a significant increase to speed as the Creature gains small amphibian arms and legs. The tall grass surrounding the mud prevents the player from continuing on without feasting on the frog.
The stark, contrasting colors with the moon and stars visible in the pitch black sky, along with the audio design fully immersing the player in this environment, seek to start the player on their journey correctly. The slow movement during this initial portion of the game means the art direction must be precise, and must draw the player in to see the story through to completion.
Full Game Design Document
The full 6-page game design document for Feast can be downloaded here.