We never did get to talk about the great (hey, it’s great to us) story behind The Way Home. Let’s do that now. And while we’re at it, we might as well discuss the objects and the pills too.
When we started working on the game, all we had was the 15 lanes and a block moving left and right. No personality. No goals. Nothing. We wanted and needed a story.
The story had to fit certain criteria though: it had to “get along” with the going from level to level part. We also wanted a context where people playing the game could discover or, why not, learn something.
I still consider this a pretty cool coincidence. During the days when we were thinking about the theme, I caught a post title on Facebook saying (and of course I’m paraphrasing):
“The stories and adventures in the Quantum Leap Series are attractive even today. It’s one of the most watched sci-fi series this summer on Netflix.”
First thing I thought was… “Oh boy!”
Quantum Leap had been one of my favorite tv shows growing up (and after that I found out that Tudor watched it a lot too). Deep down I’m still hoping that they continue/redo the series.
One thing that I loved is that the series had a lot of lessons to teach about life and about character. With some episodes, you also learned a bit of history too. We wanted to bring that to our game as well.
The more we thought about the time traveling theme, the more we liked it. We liked the time traveling part but also the fact that the whole adventure was split up in smaller scenes (think levels in the game) to begin with. On top of this, we could use the stories to show and tell players things that were interesting or that mattered from the past.
We decided to create sets of levels that would form a story or one of the time jumps. Since we did get our inspiration from Quantum Leap, as a tribute to the series, the first character that our hero jumps into is also Tom Stratton, the air force pilot.
And now you are probably asking what does bouncing off the edges and collecting objects and the inactive/sleeping people have to do with time traveling and our chosen theme ( and how is it similar to Quantum Leap for that matter )?
Well, in Quantum Leap every time Sam Beckett jumped he had to set things right in the life of the person that he jumped in to. This means doing things for people he meets in that life in order to achieve his goal and jump again.
For our game, we simplified and symbolized all the actions and things our hero needs to do by collecting objects that in turn wake up the sleepers. Until you activate all the sleeping people and make them happy, you are stuck in that time and moment and that is why you keep bouncing off the edges.
All the objects are specific and related to the story. For example, in the first story where our hero jumps into a pilot, one of the objects is an airplane.
There is only one object that keeps appearing: the mirror. Having a mirror in a level means that you will discover something about your new identity. It usually appears in the first levels of each story… usually.
Go ahead, give our time traveling adventure a try and see what happens to Will.
Play The Way Home Free.