What’s with the 4thWall name?

Back when Nelg and I were mod fiddling, I read a post on PlanetPhilip that asked “Would you like to see a mod break the fourth wall?” As the comments on that post relay: There are many games that already break the fourth wall, but usually for comedic (or clever chuckle) effect.

I took it as a challenge to break the fourth wall in interesting ways. 4thWall became our working title. When we transitioned from a mod to making a full and much different game, the name remained (but now changed to Awareon). The most overt and obvious breaks of the fourth wall were set aside in the new game design, but the ones I found most interesting: The subtle breaks are in there. Playing with player perception has become part of our game design.

Char (our main character) has extra-perception abilities.

One aspect about breaking the fourth wall that I’ve realized: If it’s non-comedic, sometimes it’s a bit creepy. So we’ll emphasize some moments that are quasi-thriller like. We’re not making a survival horror by any stretch, but there’s more than enough room for those kind of emotions.

In our current prototype we’ve expanded our multiplayer design and the fourth wall once again asserts itself, begging to be broken. Co-op players will be able to drop-in to an existing single-player game, in roles that are entirely about Char’s perception. And by extension the perception of the player.

When players first load up our game, breaks to the fourth wall may not seem immediately apparent, but our team decided the name will influence players. They will be on the lookout for the breaks, so subtle nods will be amplified.