For this post I’ll try to show the process for defining where the game takes place.
My original idea was to have it to be set in a small US countryside city with a very small population where you would live the main character’s life through a full 24 hour cycle.
I started to do some concepts for his house and surrounding area until I realized it was just too filled with space that is not needed for gameplay.
This made me question why such a large scale in the first place. What are the concepts I want to convey? What if I start with something as small as possible? How small can I go?
A room? An apartment? A house? A building?
After some tests I decided to go with a house, so I started with a big 3 bedroom house occupying a first floor and a basement (you can see the basement hatch in the living room).
Further in development, about 10 months ago, when I finally started to get the mechanics and story to work I realized it still felt too big.
Going even smaller would allow me to have a richer environment and add to the claustrophobic feeling I’m going for, so I decided to go with a cramped 2 bedroom apartment.
So far I’ve kept this layout and am really happy with it. It’s not too small nor too big. Further in the development hopefully these decisions will be more clear.