In Bazaar, developed for the GearVR, navigate by constellation as you fly on a magic carpet through a mystical land, collecting exotic curios and crafting instruments to aid your journey. Puzzle your way through the districts to unlock their treasures and discover the key to the heart of the city. The core of the game is a treasure hunting game, collecting patterns of treasures to satisfy the bounty demands through the city, reaping rewards that can be pocketed for future use. As tranquil as this journey is, beware. Sea cobras lurk along the open aqueducts of the city, and something sinister lies in wait through the palace doors. Youâ€™ll have to use the skills and instruments youâ€™ve built exploring the city to prevail in the final test of Bazaar.
Our team formed from a small group of indie friends who worked together in our coworking space in San Mateo. We joined forces for this project and spent two months on Bazaar for the game jam. Our success in the competition and the interest we've generated has pushed us to formalize our crew as a real-live company and we're making it legal to form Temple Gates Games. The jam team includes Theresa Duringer of Cannon Brawl, Tod Semple who made Plants Vs. Zombies, Jeff Gates of Spore, Patrick Benjamin from the Sim City team, and Ben Rosaschi, pixel wizard.
Inspired by trips to flea markets and thrift stores and a particular Turkish lantern shop in Carmel, we wanted to make a world full of colorful curiosities. Everyone on our team likes color so we just went for it and developed a blackless palette to keep things vivid and surreal. Our bazaar labyrinth is procedurally generated to keep the game replayable and fresh.
This is our first virtual reality game, and we had a lot of fun developing controls for the VR to help retain immersion and explore novel UI solutions. In early iterations of the game we found ourselves gazing skyward, so we built an inventory system around constellations.
We found getting the player to look in the direction of their movement through turns helps to reduce motion sickness, so we came up with some tricks to incentivize this behavior. We also found we can accelerate the player linearly through the labyrinth as long as they are looking in the direction of travel. We use this in compass mode, when players can control their speed.
We also pulled off some fun tricks that couldn't be done without a VR headset. For example, after the player crafts the Magic Telescope, xe must close one eye to use it, just like in real life. A round field of vision appears, to simulate peering down the barrel of a scope.
We also geeked out on new control behaviors. Players nod their head to pace themselves through the tutorial and communicate modal dialog confirmation.