Imagine a gigantic city sprawl, far in the future, where the crushing influence of the mega-corps keeps civilians like you in control. Pollution has rendered the sky permanently black, and neon signs are the only source of vitamin D left. It’s the 67,000th consecutive day of rain and you just can’t take it anymore!

Terminal Rain motel exterior

Terminal Rain for me is a sort of celebration of the brilliant cyberpunk worlds created in 80’s anime and film. Akira’s Tokyo and Blade Runner’s L.A. are big visual inspirations. But so are rogue-likes like NetHack and Cataclysm:DDA that use ASCII, a set of text characters, to render their visuals.

In this game you play a punk hacker who’s free to do whatever they want in the world, provided they avoid the cyber-police. Stealing, tresspassing, and hacking are just some of the morally-questionable behavior you can experience in the corrupt cyberpunk world.

Terminal Rain motel interior

Lights outside actually shine through windows

Since this is a passion project, I get to work on features in exactly the order I feel like. Significant gameplay will come eventually, but right now I’m most interested in the world – How it’s represented through lighting, weather, and space. Each lit window in the first screenshot corrosponds to a room with the light on. A dark window means a dark room. Neon lights shine through the windows on the inside. These features might be pointless from a gameplay perspective, but I just had the urge to do it which I’m glad I followed.

What comes next? Well I’ll try to blog progress here. I’d like to focus on this motel, thinking about what shenanigans the player can get into. The player character is a hacker, so I need to give them some hacking tools. There needs to be a police force to keep them in check, too. But most importantly, if the player has to be able to simply rent a room and spend the night, just like the rest of us civilians.