Gemini XIII is about cooperative survival in the depths of space. The gameplay was built around the need for players to cooperate in order to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles. Players have asymmetrical abilities, and often asymmetrical pieces of information that they must put together to solve puzzles, and complete their mission.
- Lead Designer – Design mechanics and gameplay specifications
- Content Designer – Create puzzles to teach players mechanics and build tension into gameplay
Communication and cooperation
Gemini XIII’s gameplay was built around the need for players to cooperate in order to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles. Players had different abilities, and often different bits of information vital to solving a puzzle. This required a high degree of communication, and cooperation.
Movement in Zero-G
Gemini XIII‘s camera was rewritten to allow players the same degree of freedom that astronauts have. Players could flip and spin in a full 360 degrees, making orientation an additional challenge for players to overcome.
Players are trapped in separate locations while the ship passes through a dust storm. Player A (the Commander) is stuck inside the ship due to an electrical failure from the storm, and player B (the Mechanic) is trapped outside on the solar panel array.
From the inside of the ship, the Commander can rotate specific solar panels so that they shield the Mechanic from bits of debris. Some panels have safety locks on them however and cannot rotate enough to be an effective shield for the Mechanic.
There is a color code that helps the Commander to move panels correctly, though it does not say which panels are locked. In this example the image on the left has all panels in the starting position, and the image on the right has the Orange marked panels rotated. Notice that one panel is fully rotated, and the others are only partially rotated and cannot be used as shields.
From outside the ship, the mechanic must use her multi-tool to manually override safety locks on the panels, so that they can more effectively be used as shields.
The image above shows panels that are rotated from the Mechanic’s perspective. The panels that cannot rotate fully are clocked by safety locks that can be removed by the Mechanic blasting them with her multi-tool as seen below.
When the Mechanic removes the safety locks the panel can be rotated fully by the Commander. This lets the mechanic slowly move forward one panel at a time.
By working together the Mechanic can gradually make her way back into the ship and out of danger.
Although the game did not reach the level we were hoping due to technical problems and extremely busy schedules, overall there are a lot of good ideas here. Asymmetrical puzzle solving proved to be interesting, as did the style of movement that mimicked being in a zero-g environment. Revisiting these concepts in a future project remains an appealing idea.