Box Voyage – Dev Blog 1: Joining The Team

My final semester has officially begun, and I am feeling a mix of stress and excitement to see everything finally close out. A major source of that excitement, though, is that I have joined a new team and thus am working on an entirely new game this semester for my Senior Production! This blog post will be quick due to not having done much yet, and it will focus on the new game and team I’m on, what I’m going to be doing, and how I spent my first week on the job!

Box Voyage is an adventure puzzle game where the player takes on the role of an overworked office worker taking their government-mandated vacation, but their workplace cheaped out and bought them a vacation in a box. The player will have to explore the cruise ship in a box, solving puzzles and playing around with objects in an effort to fill the box’s Fun Meter. The game takes inspiration from old analogue toys and simple interaction-based games like GNOG and Windosill to create an experience that begs the player to poke around and have fun.

The thing I love most about Box Voyage is its ability to pack so much fun and creativity into such simple interactions. The demo alone holds many moments where I remember smiling or laughing just by interacting with objects. As for my role on the team, I was picked up for a Systems/Technical Designer role due to my chemistry with the team members and, more importantly, my work as a programmer. My job on the team will be to design rooms, puzzles, and interactions and help implement them into the game. I have to come up with creative rooms that will entice the player to click around them and want to see what everything does. It’s a project unlike anything I’ve worked on before with its emphasis on puzzles and player feedback, which makes it the perfect thing to add to my repertoire of experiences! The team is also now comprised of a lot of individuals who I have loved to work with or have wanted to work with, so I know that I am going to have a great time on the team.

As for my first week on the project, it was pretty lowkey. The team did a good job onboarding us and including us  in their vision of the project’s future. Some teams might just establish a vision and have their new members work towards it, but I knew this team didn’t think of us as extra workers, but equal parts of where things were headed. Just that feeling alone helped the first week immensely, and made me eager to jump in. My tasks of reading over documentation and brainstorming ideas for new rooms of the ship and ways to improve the current ones were simple, but I really needed a good brainstorming session to get into the headspace of Box Voyage.

Hopefully next post I will have more substantial work to show off, but I hope this is a good sign that I’m excited for what’s to come!

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