Theory: Following Up on Weather-Influenced Games

When thinking about weather-influenced board games, I asked if anyone was already going down that road. It turns out someone was!

Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon is a platformer-mystery game in which the environment changes based on your local weather. Playing at different times of day, or in different conditions, alters the game: perhaps different enemies appear, or an area become accessible that wasn’t before.

Just as a technical feat, changing graphics based on system location is pretty impressive. Additional art assets are needed, programming to integrate the game with the mechanisms different systems use to track and report where they are . . . creating even the most basic link between real-world and in-game weather is no small order.

What really strikes me as remarkable, though, is how S:RotSM’s designers go far beyond that. The weather is integrated into the gameplay. Making it rain in-game when it’s raining outside would have been a neat gimmick; getting real-world weather to influence what the player can do and how the player does it is truly impressive.

S:RotSM is super-cheap if you have an iDevice, and not much more for PCs. Give it a look if you have a chance.