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Circadia is a third-person, survival horror game in which players take control of Captain Terrell Spires, a space scout/engineer who crashes on a hostile planet called Circadia, and fights to stay alive and escape. The planet is orbiting a wormhole, which has unusual effects on the planet's lifeforms, and its day/night and year cycles. The player needs to gather the ship parts to repair and escape before Spires’s suit oxygen expires. Being an engineer also, the player has no access to weaponry and uses a flashlight against the alien creatures.
Created over a period of 6-7 weeks, the map draws inspiration from the Pikmin series and Alan Wake. Originally, the development team pitched their own ideas to the group and after a few lengthy discussionsended up combining certain aspects of each original idea. Some of the ideas were about having no weapons, having a day & night cycle, having items that have to be found and collected, etc. Since the team members’ skills were predominantly in game design, the roles within the group were various with just about every role being shared among them. All had experience in the map editor for Warcraft III, but were unfamiliar with the Galaxy Map Editor prior to beginning work on the project.
One of the hurdles experienced included trying to manipulate the editor to do work in third-person perspective, and to use light as a mechanic, both with the flashlight and map reveal during the day/night cycle. The puzzles also brought up some challenges, such as the "rolling" boulder area and the memory gate switches. The developers also wanted to reduce the amount of onscreen text and add to the cinematic experience by adding voice acting, which was a time-intensive process.