Neighborhood Narrative Outline

By: Zach Poje (Quest Design Lead)

           Rose awakes to find herself chained up within her doghouse. She is groggy and takes a couple of moments to get acclimated to her surroundings.  Looking around, she notices that she is still in the same backyard that she has lived in for her entire life. The same doghouse, the same garden, and the same shed are all where they are supposed to be, but they all somehow feel different. The grass is long and scratchy and filled with bugs and her toys are completely trashed and wet. She also notices a large hole in the fence to the neighbor’s house.

           Rose manages to break free of her chain and explores her backyard to relearn some things. Then, she follows her nose through the hole in the fence. She is greeted by another dog who offers her a trade if she can find the correct item. She continues out to the neighborhood that she grew up in. Like her own home, the cul de sac seems very wrong. The people are missing and it is eerily quiet. With all of the world seemingly coming to a standstill, Rose finds herself wanting to explore and find answers to all of her questions.

           Through exploration of her familiar, yet unfamiliar surroundings, Rose comes to the park. Here she learns to dig. She remembers how she used to dig holes in her backyard and how she would get yelled at by her owners for ruining the garden. She wonders what happened to them, but uses this new skill to retrieve a bone from within a sandbox. Rose then takes the bone back to the other dog through the fence and offers it the bone. It takes it and returns to Rose with a rope. Rose then learns to bury items for safekeeping for later and buries it back inside the sandbox.

           Rose hears the cheeps of some birds and looks to a tree in the park. She notices that the momma bird is bringing back garbage to her chicks as it keeps getting tossed to the ground below. Rose remembers being hit when she would try to eat trash when she was hungry. Rose uses her nose and the power of scent to locate some quality food for the birds. Eventually, she comes across a bush near a far house with a few berries left on the lower branches. She howls and the momma bird reacts by coming to Rose and taking the berries back to her nest.        

           With Rose helping the birds and returning the bone, she realizes that the light in the park and neighborhood seems to have returned to a more normal state. There is less fog too. Her actions have somehow impacted the world that she is now living in. By continuing to explore, Rose finds a little wispy ball of light that hovers in the air. Rose will follow the trail of a lost dog as it attempts to get back home. Rose will be taken to various places throughout town, that will unravel a story about the lost dog. Each spot will have an item to be searched for that will give clues to where the dog next stayed.  As the story is traveled, Rose learns that the dog left home to start a new life, away from abuse; but when the rapture took the world away, and all that remained was the shadow that pervades, The lost dog, decided that home was better than what the world was today. It spent its last days trying to get inside back to a neglecting family.The spirit of this animal will tell Rose of his mistakes, that he should have learned to take the challenge head on. He will teach Rose how to scale higher obstacles using ropes.

           Rose feels an overwhelming sadness in her home and finds an exit to leave from. Though, her journey is far from over as she descends into the sewers of the city. What trials and tribulations await her on her adventure?

Intro Fetch Quest

The player has left the starting area and in front of them is a crack in the fence. As they move closer to the fence:

DV: <Prompt for Interact>

The perspective switches to first person and the camera focuses on what is through the fence. There is another dog lying down not paying attention to Rose. When the player exits the first person view:

DV: You may be able to get their attention. <Button prompt for Bark>

After the player barks at the fence, the dog will come to the crack in the fence and stare at Rose.

DV: You have nothing to give.

This will cause the player to begin to explore the little alleyway of fences in hopes of finding something to give to the dog. Exploring further past the crack in the fence, Rose will find another hole that leads to the remainder of the level. She now has access to the entire cul de sac. She will be directed to the park where she will be able to explore and search for an object for the dog. The player will notice a sandbox and, upon closer inspection:

DV: You can dig here. <Button prompt for Dig>

As the player digs inside the sandbox, a bone comes out of the hole. They are now able to pick up the bone.

DV: This may be useful now <Button prompt for Pickup>.

Rose picks up the bone and the player returns to the dog on the other side of the fence. They bark, bring the dog over, and offer the bone:

DV: You return the bone.

The other dog leaves for a moment after taking the bone from the player and returns with a length of rope. The player is not sure how to use this rope or what to do with it just yet, but it will become evident when they attempt to climb something with a rope attached to it. The rope is merely a teaching tool to let the player know that this is a type of item in the world that can be interacted with. Whenever the player sees it, they will know that there is something to obtain or reach. Returning to the crack in the fence with the dog reveals that the dog has now disappeared. (Perhaps escaped from Purgatory)


Notes and Ideas:

  • Ditch the key and gate idea for now
  • Explore that shadow roadblock and just by helping the dog, the roadblock will disappear
  • Sense of progression – Always backtracking, but always moving forward

Quest Idea List

Audio Log Quest

  • Rose finds an audio log/ghost recording telling of a dark mystery surrounding a family within the neighborhood
  • Rose will then follow several clues to another audio ghost revealing more of the story about what happened to the family
  • Rose will then follow a last set of clues to a final audio ghost that reveals a sad and depressing story following a father and the loss of his daughter
    • Notes
      • Utilize crawl spaces
      • Add the audio log feature


Hide and Seek

  • A small squirrel is scampering around the park
  • As Rose approaches, the squirrel becomes frightened and runs to hide in a tree
  • Rose can then crawl into a log/tiny tunnel to hide from the squirrel
  • After a short amount of time, the squirrel will become curious and go looking for Rose
  • They then get to chase the squirrel around the park and through a small part of the neighborhood.
    • Upon catching the squirrel, it will present the player with a special item
      • A golden acorn – can be used later to trade with a different NPC for a reward
      • Another key – unlocks a time capsule buried within the neighborhood that holds some pieces of lore about the “Rapture” hinting that the humans were the ones who left instead of the animals
        • Maybe the key is a part 1 of 2 reward where the 2nd reward is a map leading to the time capsule’s location


A strange voice

  • Rose encounters what seems to be a strange voice through a door to a house
    • Little girl who left her dog’s favorite toy behind and wants it returned
  • The voice gives her directions to complete a task
    • Find the toy within a specific home
    • Bury it somewhere
    • Return to the voice
  • Upon returning to the voice, it expresses deep gratitude for doing what it asked
    • She leaves a gift for Rose in the backyard
      • The same dog toy the player buried earlier for the quest

Tutorial Exploration Outline

Player begins in the backyard of a house in a neighborhood that Rose has never been to before.

Disembodied Voice Text: You seem to have lost your family. It’s time to go find them.

The backyard is a full play space with different interactables and spots for the player to explore in order to learn what Rose is capable of. In the yard, there is a sandbox, flower pots, a garden, and a shed. The first piece that will draw the player’s eye will be the sandbox. It is colorful and raised from the ground. As they move towards it, they realize that they’ll need to jump to get inside of it. Once inside:

DV: You could probably dig here, but you should explore more.

The player leaves the sandbox and looks at the garden. Upon closer inspection:

DV: Something smells nice. <Button prompt for Smell Vision>

The garden will then burst into different colors that were invisible to the naked eye, teaching them how to smell around for clues or items. The player will then look to the garden shed. When standing close to the shed door:

DV: You wonder what’s inside. <Button prompt for Interact>

<Door is locked>

The player will interact with the door, but it will be locked and will not open. This will alert the player to the idea that they need to keep exploring and look around for a key. The next thing they will see is a flower pot. As they stand next to it:

DV: You could probably push this. <Button prompt for Push/Pull> You could use this to reach a higher place.

This reveals a hole in the fence, but if the player continues to explore this mechanic, they can bring the flower pot to the shed, and use it as a step to then teach the climbing parkour mechanic. On top of the shed is a hole that the player can fall through and unlock the door from the inside. This serves as a way to introduce the idea that the world can have connecting paths and shortcuts when the player explores. Inside the shed, wind will come through the door and swing the tools around, triggering a cue to use the hearing mechanic:

DV: <Button prompt for Hear Vision>

The tools glow as they make a noise, informing the player that there are important sounds in the world on top of smells. Now that the backyard has been fully explored and the last little mystery has been solved, the player can now move through the hole in the fence:

DV: <Button prompt for Crawl>

They crawl through the fence and have completed the tutorial.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *