Whale’s Waldo is coming along smoothly, and we wanted to bring you an overview of the game and each of the guys you’ll meet. (All character art is in progress.)
You play as Ocean (renameable protag) who has recently returned home to New York City after an extended time away thanks to a stress-induced mental breakdown.
You and your childhood friend, Waldo, have always communicated with each other via lovingly handwritten letters where he details his adventures during his world travels. However, your hopes of learning about his latest exploits are dashed when you find that he hasn’t sent a single letter during the entire time you were away.
Resolved to learn what’s happened to your friend, you decide to travel to the location of his last letter – Bodo, in Norway – to see if you can find him. As your search reveals no leads, you continue to retrace his steps to the Philippines and then back to the United States, to see if he’s either returned there, or if any of the locals there happen to know what may have happened to him.
During your travels, you’ll meet and potentially befriend a wide variety of animals. With some luck, and if you play your cards right, you may even find someone – and somewhere – to settle down.
Waldo (the Sperm Whale)
Waldo is your childhood friend, and you grew up together in Rochester, New York. A little more than a year before the game starts, he left to travel the world, claiming that he just needed to see new sights, experience new things, and see if he found a place he thought he fit in. You’d always suspected there’s more to it than that, and after you return home to find that his usual letters have stopped coming, you set out to find him.
Stein (the Sea Urchin)
Stein is a cold, obnoxious urchin you meet on a ferry in Bodo, Norway. He has a secret passion that he may share with you, but he can also be a bit oblivious at times. If you manage to work your way through his hard exterior, he’ll warm up to you, and you might find that his punchy candidness is exactly what you’ve been missing in your life.
Octavio (the Blue-Ringed Octopus)
Octavio is a serious, uptight octopus who has grown distrustful of foreigners and visitors. He runs a hotel in Anilao in the Philippines. If you can show him that you’re responsible and considerate, you may find that he opens up to you.
Leonard (the Leaf Sheep Sea Slug)
Leonard is a small, cheerful slug who finds the positives in any situation, but wishes that his size didn’t make him so dependent on others. Despite being forgetful, he turns out to be an excellent guide to the city of San Francisco, California. If you manage to make enough of an impression on him, he may discover that you’re exactly what he’s been missing.
Jacob (the Great White Shark)
Jacob runs a bakery in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and would like nothing more than to fatten up bring joy to all humans with his delicious treats. If you manage to avoid his more forward advances and befriend him, you may discover that you’ve found someone you can share the rest of your life with.
I’ve posted a bunch about the coding process of this game, and a bunch of WIP stuff for art and music, but I haven’t really yet talked about the game itself and its underlying mechanics.
One of the more interesting parts to design and build, to me, was the actual gameplay behind the four* different dateable guys, and I want to talk a bit about their paths, requirements, and how their characterizations impact their reactions to your decisions.
Spoilers follow, of course, and I really recommend playing the game at least once without spoiling anything about the characters beforehand, because getting to know everyone is part of the point. Follow the cut to continue.