Nestling is a meditative, ambient game about birdwatching. You walk through a forest, taking in the sights and sounds around you, enjoying a lovely afternoon. Every once in a while, you’ll hear a bird call. You can’t see the bird, but you can hear it… so you try to coax the bird out of hiding by copying its call by whistling.
That is to say: you, the player, in real life, try to copy the bird call by whistling, in real life.
A microphone picks up your whistle, and the game determines whether you copied the birdsong well. The bird sings to you again, and you whistle back again, and this goes on a few more times. If you did it well, the bird happily emerges from its hiding place and hangs with you for a bit. You can take a picture of the bird for your collection. Then the bird flies away, and you continue on your walk, listening for more birds.
Nestling was made in 15 weeks, as a final assignment at Dawson College’s Independent Video Game Design program. Lucas, Steven and I wanted to finish our training with a project that would let us explore making a game that would be experimental, without the pressure of making it marketable (as is mainly the case when making games is your livelihood).
Lucas Huang – Audio lead: ambient sounds, bird calls, soundtrack, microphone input controller.
Steven Ramos – Programming lead: character controls, environment & bird generation, player journal.
Me – Visual lead: models, animations, (some) shaders, concept art.