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AdventureX 2014 - Part 1: The Games

AdventureX 2014 - Part 1: The Games
AdventureX 2014 - Part 1: The Games
It will take you 23 minutes to read this feature.

Now in its fourth year, the annual convention celebrating all-things-adventure gaming took up a new venue. From the London campus of the University of East Anglia, it moved across town to the Keyworth Centre of London South Bank University. Appropriately assisted by the Games Cultures course director, Siobhan Thomas, a huge area (including a vast tiered auditorium) was set aside. Adventure fans and developers from round the world made a beeline for a weekend of gaming goodness centred around everyone’s favourite genre. With talks both technical and historical, bundles of demos, the notorious Hot Seat, and a bit of silly fun thrown into the mix, there was a lot to do and see. So once again this reporter girded his loins, loaded up on caffeine from the VW van set up on-site as a coffee shop, and set out to cover as much as possible. Here's a sneak peek of what's to come:

Page 1: Wadjet Eye Mystery Game - Shardlight, Technobabylon, A Playwright's Tale, Troll Song

Page 2: Downfall (remake), The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1 - A Dreadly Business, The Legend of Hand, Exgenesis

Page 3: Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet, The Slaughter, The Weavers, A Poison Green

Page 4: The Devil's Men, Captain Disaster in Death Has a Million Stomping Boots, Absent II, Cargo, Hungry Whispers
 



Wadjet Eye Mystery Game – Shardlight


Although not the first demo slotted on the convention schedule, the one drawing the most intrigue was reserved by a game with no name. As an exclusive for AdventureX, Wadjet Eye revealed their new project, Shardlight, to an eager gaming audience. To those who, like myself, keep an eye on the freeware scene, the look of the game was not entirely unfamiliar. Back in July 2013, Francisco Gonzalez and Ben Chandler, both now employed by Wadjet Eye, jointly entered two games in an AGS One Room, One Week competition. Those games were The Rebirth and The Reaper, respectively presenting the day of apocalypse and a post-apocalyptic world. It was stated at the time that the games represented vignettes from a greater whole, and now that promise is about to come to fruition.

The point-and-click game is set in the post-apocalyptic world of The Reaper. Reading aloud an intro to be used in the final game (and acknowledging the Fallout series as its inspiration), Francisco described how the end came and what happened after. The bombs fell and the city was decimated. For a while everything was in disarray, but in time a new government came into power, The Aristocracy. Represented in the demo by the campy but threatening Caligula, the new authorities treat those below them largely as tools to be used and discarded at will. They also control the only cure to a deadly disease that has risen in the aftermath of the fall. When they need a particularly unpleasant or dangerous job done, they offer prospective workers not the cure itself, but tickets for a lottery to win some.

It is in carrying out just such a task that we first meet the protagonist in the demo. A young woman, later identified as Amy, is first seen entering an unstable tunnel complex to fix a malfunctioning reactor. The crumbling tunnels are rendered in finely detailed pixel art, the hazard clearly evident by a tunnel roof half-collapsing early on. The brutality of the setting is also driven home when the heroine finds that she is not the first to be sent on this mission, though her predecessor is barely alive when found. The demo was well voiced with expressive character portraits, as we have come to expect from Wadjet Eye. The demo included only a handful of puzzles, well integrated with the story and pleasingly inventive.

Given Wadjet Eye's usual standard of quality and the talents of Gonzalez and Chandler behind it, Shardlight already looks to be in very good hands, and one to keep a close eye on in future.

 

Technobabylon

 

Technobabylon's James Dearden is already feeling the heat from the Hot Seat

Back in October 2010, a game was released by an AGS developer known as Technocrat. Promising to be the first episode of a new futuristic cyberpunk series, Technobabylon Part 1: The Prisoner of Fate crammed a lot of puzzling into a game taking place in a small single-room flat (inspired by the developer’s home at the time in Korea). The resulting tale of a VR-addicted woman, Latha, trying to repair her lost connection proved quite compelling. Two more episodes were released as freeware in the following years, expanding on the futuristic world setting and introducing a second playable character, law enforcement consultant Dr Charles Regis. Now Technocrat, also known as James Dearden, has linked up with Wadjet Eye Games to make Technobabylon the epic sci-fi commercial adventure it always seemed capable of becoming.

The essence of the original three episodes will carry over into the new game, with most of the overarching story intact. Latha still suffers from addiction to the virtual reality world known as Trance. Similarly, Dr Regis is still pursuing a serial killer whilst being blackmailed into misusing his position. However, Dave Gilbert has used his experience to streamline the plot, so that the overall story arc works better. Some minor scenes have been cut entirely, whilst others have been modified to suit the pacing and coherency of the story better. Knowing that consistency is key in a fully voiced game, Dave has also pinned down pronunciations, such as the correct way to say “Latha” (which is “Lah-tha”). The graphics have seen a significant upgrade from the low-resolution originals, and Wadjet Eye’s Ben Chandler has played a significant role in this improvement. Though it will be released as a single game, the final product will be split into twelve chapters. Eleven of these are set in the game’s present day, with the other set twenty years prior. With production already well along, we can expect this tale to be finished in the not-too-distant future.

Projected for release early next year, you can discover some behind-the-scenes insight into the game at the developer's blog.

 

A Playwright’s Tale


In the land of Iesir, the grand council are concerned about the threat of invasion by the Vikings, who have been launching attacks all along the coast. Even small coastal towns of no apparent importance have not escaped their raids. Meanwhile, in one such coastal town, a young playwright named Michael has received a commission. He believes that his new patron simply wishes him to research material for a new play. Little does he know just who his new patron is, and how his seemingly simple commission may hold greater import than he realises.

The hand-painted graphics of A Playwright's Tale have a fine semi-realistic style, which has attracted some not-unjustified comparison to a higher resolution version of The Curse of Monkey Island. After a cinematic opening cutscene showing the far-off council’s deliberations, the demo dropped me into a wood-beamed house, with sunlight streaming through the door. There is a wealth of background detail and decoration in each scene, a quality that has carried over to characters like the young but studious-looking protagonist. The voice acting I heard was also well done, though completing the voice-overs is the main outstanding issue holding back release at this time. A standard point-and-click interface is used, with the opening scenes simply involving acquiring the items needed to get started on the commission. The artistic temperament of the player character came through in this, with his tendency to use grandiose speeches to describe even junk-filled back rooms.

If the plot and look seem familiar but the name does not, that’s because the game was originally titled The Journey of Iesir before being renamed. Indie developers Dream Cauldron acknowledge that their game has been in production for quite a while now, but the project is now on track for an episodic release beginning in early 2015. The game is to be released in four instalments.

Whilst only holding limited information at present, the developer’s website should provide more details as the launch approaches.

 

Troll Song


The point-and-click tale of brutish denizens of the dark, Troll Song, was originally announced way back at AdventureX 2012, with a freeware demo made available in January 2013. Whilst originally intended as a freeware episodic series, developers Team Disaster have been encouraged to turn the game into a single commercial venture instead. The first chapter will be released as a free replacement demo in early 2015, with the rest of the game coming out in the third quarter. The game tells the story of a group of four trolls as they try to avert the extermination of the troll race, which is far more civilised than one would expect from their outward appearance.

Troll Song's Andrea Ferrera and Dave Seaman

The retro pixel art style of the original concept has largely been retained, with the opening scenes from this year’s demo looking familiar to those who played the first iteration. The lead character, Clod, is still a hulking grey brute with a protruding brow and a heavy way of moving. However, the graphics have been given a subtle upgrade that improves the look, making better use of shading to give the 2D drawings a real 3D feel. The opening free episode will only have three locations in total, but they will be wide-scrolling areas that still provide a decent amount of territory to explore. Whilst Team Disaster's Dave Seaman boasted that his own silly voices from the original were praised by at least one eager fan, the voice-overs have been redone for the new version and do represent an improvement. The game will also have a UHS-style hint system, starting players with a subtle push before working up to full instructions if they get stuck.


Further information, screenshots and other material can be found on the game’s website.


Downfall (remake)

 

Things are looking up for the Downfall team of Mark Lovegrove (Screen 7), Rem Michalski, and Stefano Collavini

Back in May 2009, Rem Michalski released his first game ever, Downfall, which was met with a satisfactory, though not spectacular, reception. Rem kept his paying job while he worked on his next project, which turned out to be The Cat Lady. Released in collaboration with Screen 7, the game achieved widespread critical acclaim, and even now, over a year after it was first released, Michalski finds it hard to believe how positively the game was received.

So now he has been inspired to update Downfall. Both this game and The Cat Lady are set in the same world (the main protagonist, Joe from Downfall, even made an appearance in the next game), and the plan is to strengthen the link between the two to build a larger world. The overall intention is to make more of an updated and improved version of the original rather than an out-and-out remake. The main change will be in the interface and graphics. Gone is the point-and-click control scheme of the original, replaced with an improved version of The Cat Lady’s keyboard controls. Michalski was also never happy with the original look of Downfall, and has finally come to accept that animation is not his strong suit. He has therefore brought animator Stefano Collavini (known for his own game Nefasto’s (Mis)adventure: Meeting Noeroze to handle that side of the project.


The game has already been Greenlit on Steam, and Michalski hopes to release it on multiple platforms in 2015. Further information, including a link to download the now free original version, can be found on the game’s website.

 

The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1 – A Dreadly Business

 

The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle's Seb Burnett and Alexander Birke

Bertram Fiddle is the leading Victorian Explorator of his age. Assisted by his constant companion, Gavin the Cyclops, he is always ready for a bit of derring-do. Taking an interest in the activities of the appositely named Geoff the Murderer, Bertram sets out in pursuit of the dastardly villain. Perhaps if he can bring this cad and bounder to justice, he will finally get the respect he desires from his peers at the Esteemed Adventurers Club. Maybe they will even let him into the glorious Gold Members’ area where all the really esteemed adventurers are allowed to hang out.

Developed by Rumpus Animation, this surreal comic tale of a gentleman hero looks like an enjoyable romp. The project had its inspiration in an animation originally created as part of a master’s thesis. A bright cartoon style has been used, with a degree of caricature given to the characters. The game is fully voiced, with over-the-top accents used to gently mock the upper-class characters depicted. Full “seasons” of 2-3 episodes each are planned, though each episode is intended to include a self-contained storyline that wraps up before the end.


The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1 – A Dreadly Business has just been released for iOS on the App Store, with Windows, Mac, and Android versions coming soon. More information can be found on the game’s official website.

 

The Legend of Hand


On an island in an unnamed area of sea, a young martial artist is summoned by his master, who tasks him to go in search of a mysterious missing man, known only as Hand. His journey will take him many years, as he travels across five mysterious islands. Each island is governed by an individual who claims to be a descendant of Hand. By querying these alleged family members, the young martial artist hopes to pick up Hand’s trail, and ultimately fulfil the quest his master has set before him.

The Legend of Hand's John, Shaun, and Laurie

Having previously released the impressive Mudlarks and more recently A Date in the Park, The Legend of Hand is set to be Cloak and Dagger Games’ biggest production yet. The graphics are hand-drawn, with a look that fits the intended Asian style. Presented in third-person perspective, the artwork is reminiscent of Japanese scroll drawings, and it is layered in to create a parallax effect. The individual characters are nicely animated, with most, including the player character, having idle movements.

The demo on display included an extensive opening cutscene, followed by the first island to explore. Using a standard point-and-click interface, I moved across the opening scene’s scrolling landscape. Here I found an overly friendly dog and a variety of locals, not all of whom were pleased to see me. Each island of the game will be a separate chapter, though there are no current plans to release the game episodically. Some roleplaying elements will be included, with combat taking place from time to time. These are to be turn-based battles, however, with success dependent on learning new skills and putting them to good use, not quick fingers.

The aim is to release the finished game in late 2015. In the meantime, more information on this and previous games from the same team can be found on the developers’ website.

 

Exgenesis

 

Exgenesis's Michele Sasso

The story of Genesis, in one form or another, appears across many cultures. In Exgenesis, set in a place where a third world war has brought much to ruin, society has fallen apart. No longer does mankind seek solace in spiritual things, as all have adopted a solely materialist approach to life. For two entities who oversee the world, the Older Brother and the Order, this is an unsatisfactory state of affairs. The Older Brother wants a new beginning, and has sought out a Chosen One (you) to be tested for your worth. The choices you make and the path you take through this test will determine humanity’s fate.

Presented in first-person slideshow format, with a standard point-and-click interface, this project from 48h Studio brings an unearthly quality. The graphics are realistic in appearance, though often with fantastical elements. In part this realism has been achieved by incorporating pictures of actual objects, such as a huge stone monument on the title screen, into the artwork. From what I saw at the convention, these elements have been seamlessly blended into the backgrounds, producing a stunning overall effect. The music in the demo also had an otherworldly quality, with an ethereal-sounding piano and strings backing the action. The intention is to offer multiple ways for the player to progress, with no decision being considered right or wrong. The resulting gameplay should lead to an ending that suits each player individually.


More information about Exgenesis can be found on the developer’s website.


Nelly Cootalot – The Fowl Fleet


Baron Widebeard is up to his evil tricks again. Having hypnotised a fleet of waterbirds, he has set out on a quest for power. His aim: to find the secret of the Treasure of the Seventh Sea, located in the heart of a frozen volcano on forbidding Gloomholm Island. Once more Nelly Cootalot, pirate and defender of small defenceless animals, is called into action. Aided by her ghostly mentor and Widebeard’s rival, Bloodbeard, Nelly sets out to put an end to the wicked baron’s fowl plans.

Alasdair Beckett-King’s widely popular freeware adventure Nelly Cootalot: Spoonbeaks Ahoy! was originally made as a birthday present for his girlfriend (who allegedly really wanted shoes). Now Alasdair has teamed up with Application Systems Heidelberg to co-develop and publish a sequel. Whilst using the same characters and some of the locations from the original game, Alasdair prefers to think of The Fowl Fleet as a commercial follow-on rather than an outright sequel. His intent is that new players will be able to pick it right up without knowing the history, though there will be some references for fans of the first game.

The graphics have undergone a significant upgrade this time, with detailed hand-painted backgrounds and 3D cel-shaded characters. The humour of the original still comes through, and Beckett-King promises the secret of the treasure will be revealed by the end – “unlike in other games”. Whilst the first game was made with the AGS engine, this one has been made in Unity. The main reason for this change is Unity’s multi-platform capability, which makes porting much more accessible.


Further information can be found on the game’s website while you wait for The Fowl Fleet's release some time in the first quarter of next year.

 

The Slaughter

 

The Slaughter's Alex Francois

At last year’s AdventureX, The Slaughter was in the closing days of a Kickstarter campaign. Crowdfunding proved successful, and development has progressed ever since. Inspired by the Ripper killings, though not intended to add to the plethora of explanations for those murders, the game tells the tale of a private detective who’s well past his glory days. Even now people sometimes recognise his name from past successes, but few hire him for more than locating missing pets. When a serial killer starts making their mark on the streets of London, he soon finds himself in over his head. Even in sleep there is no respite, as events of the day recur in strange imagery within the world of his dreams. Can the connections revealed within his dream state genuinely help him in the real world?

Lead designer Alex Francois has recently decided to release the game in two parts, mainly due to a desire to get something out sooner, given when the Kickstarter campaign finished. Whilst not his original plan, Alex feels that the game is large enough to justify the split, and the new aim is to have the first part out by summer 2015. The inclusion of a downer ending to the first chapter should leave players motivated to come back for more. Jeopardy is to be a constant feature throughout, with the lead character often in real danger. To give some respite to players, there will be safe areas to visit. However, as with games like Silent Hill: The Room, previously safe havens can themselves become dangerous, keeping players on their toes.


To learn more about the game, check out the developer’s website.

 

The Weavers


Albrecht the thief just wanted to ply his trade in peace. But his love of gambling got the better of him, resulting in a stranger forcing him to steal a magic blade. Normally he wouldn’t go anywhere near the Devourer’s Cathedral, but this time he didn’t have any choice. Now the creature that lurked within the Cathedral has done something to him, giving him the ability to use the dagger he was tasked to steal. In certain places, a single sweep of the blade creates a doorway to another plane of existence. With every power in the land in pursuit of him and the dagger he bears, will Albrecht ever get to see the quiet life again?

Flavio Salaroli and Massimo Sforzini of The Weavers

In The Weavers, Guru Meditation Project are producing an epic tale of dark fantasy. The game on display was only intended as a technical demo, but it is already an impressive piece of work. Using a simple point-and-click interface, I got to explore both a section of the city and an alternate plane. The graphics are done in a fine art fantasy style, though darker tones predominate to emphasise the unpleasant nature of the setting. The characters were also animated to a decent level in the brief section I saw. The game is fully voiced, the gravelly tones of Albrecht making it clear that he is not a man to be messed with. A small part of an alternate plane was included, with the doorway cut between worlds by the knife appearing as a shimmering tear in reality.

The game includes a talent point system, and your choice of how to spend these points will affect the options available. Put points into brute force and fighting, and you’ll find that Quick Time Events will be the norm for dealing with obstacles. Lean more towards social skills and you’ll get dialogue options that provide a less violent solution. Alternatively, invest in wit and find a way round that doesn’t involve dealing with people at all. In running through the demo, I tried both fighting and social approaches, with the developers pointing out how the third approach would have worked once I had achieved the goal of entering a guarded building.


No release date is scheduled yet, though the developers hope to have it out sometime in 2015. Further information can be found on the developer’s website.

 

A Poison Green

 

A Poison Green's "FlyingMandarine"

It is the year 2070, and environmental issues have only got worse. Gas masks are now mandatory at all times when outside, and illness from pollution is rife. Seeing where things have gone, the people want change, but a corrupt government in the pockets of industry is unwilling to accede to their wishes. Peaceful protest has been tried but does not appear to be working. Now some have decided that the time for peace is over, and more violent action is necessary. As two people plan an attack that will be sure to attract attention, a lone journalist seeking to reignite his interest in news may uncover more than he was bargaining for.

A latecomer to the convention, Faraway Industries didn't have a demo of A Poison Green to play at the convention, but a chat with one of the team proved interesting. The game will have players directing three characters over the course of the game, switching back and forth at pre-determined points. Two of these characters, an opinionated professor and a young woman who falls under his influence, are the instigators of the terror plot. The third is the journalist who stumbles across the plot whilst putting together a story on some bombings that happened exactly 20 years earlier. The characters are not natural choices for protagonists, such as the professor’s willingness to kill innocents for his beliefs, which stands in stark contrast to normal heroic roles.

Only a slideshow was available at AdventureX, though it capably showed off the game's illustrated graphic realism. The point-and-click gameplay is intended to be less puzzle-oriented and more about the decisions players make. As you constantly switch sides, actions with one character may help or hinder the others. Additionally, each character has a hidden statistic that will be influenced by your decisions. The movement of this stat will affect the actions available to that character later on, ultimately affecting how the game ends. The game is to be presented in three acts, though released as a single game, and is approximately 40% complete at this time.


The Devil’s Men


The year is 1871, and a sleepy English seaside town is rocked by a bizarre series of murders. The trail appears to lead back to the old exhibition grounds, home to the notorious gang of waifs, strays, misfits and tramps known as “The Colony”. Adelaide Spektor, daughter of famous detective Karol Spector, has feared ending up part of the colony’s life of crime ever since her father abandoned her. After witnessing the murder of her father’s friend, she sees a chance to locate her father and restore her place in society. But in this quest, she will need the help of a notorious colonist and double-murderer named Emily. As the two unlikely partners investigate further, they come across a mysterious group of men who have pushed the boundaries of science beyond all reason.  Who are these Devil’s Men and why are they dying one by one?

The scene demonstrated by The Devil’s Men writer/designer Kevin Mentz showed off the fine art style that we’ve come to expect from Daedalic. The protagonist at the time was Emily, one of the two playable characters. Given her criminal past, it's not surprising that we meet her hiding from the police in an abandoned clock tower. She is not alone in this trap, however, as she’s accompanied by Will, who seeks to take her position in the gang. Whilst the player's main goal is to escape the clock tower, how they do so and the way they handle Will is intended to have a lasting effect on the way events play out. Will has his own plan for escape, which he will loudly declaim if given the chance. If Emily puts up with him and follows his plan, Will becomes emboldened, becoming a keen rival for the remainder of the game. If Emily intimidates him and finds the less obvious means of escape, then her position is secured. She can even make an ally of Will should she save him from a life-threatening injury he receives as a result of following orders. With a couple of puzzles in a single location having such a radical effect on character relationships, I look forward to seeing what Daedalic will achieve in the final game.

 

Captain Disaster in Death Has a Million Stomping Boots


Troll Song wasn’t the only adventure Team Disaster had on display this year. Already in development for 2½ years, Captain Disaster in Death Has a Million Stomping Boots is well advanced, with two of the three acts mostly done. Using a standard point-and-click interface, the titular captain finds a simple package delivery job turning into a quest to save the galaxy. With the questionable aid of an inept computer in this quest, our hero will be party to a series of unlikely events, including inadvertently becoming a famous rock star for a time. The game has a family-friendly approach with a retro cartoon style. Naturally, given a hero who’s a hapless spaceman, comparisons to the Space Quest series are almost inevitable. One thing that has definitely not carried over from Sierra’s classic series, however, is the tendency to find sudden violent death around every corner. In fact, the game only contains one death scene, and that involves putting on an item of clothing no sci-fi savvy player would wear.

Ben Chandler is to do the graphics for the third act of the game (breaking news mere moments later: No he won't. Unless they all change their minds again.), which will result in a noticeable shift in appearance. In keeping with the fourth-wall-breaking nature of the game, this change won’t go unnoticed by the game characters. To bring the world to life, a variety of background elements have been brought into the mix as well. Some of these are additional facts and interactions that players can come across themselves. Others are conversations that happen around the protagonist, allowing you to pause for a moment to eavesdrop on the goings-on of the locals.  Whilst none of these are vital for completing the game, they will often provide hints for puzzles. In cooperation with Screen 7, all three acts are scheduled to be released as a single game around July or August 2015.

 

Absent II


In September 2010, Absent: Part 1 - Innocent Until Proven Guilty was released as the first chapter in a proposed trilogy. Fast forward to October 2013, and the complete Absent was released as a standalone freeware adventure, a tale of college students investigating a series of mysterious disappearances on campus that took a supernatural turn. Fully voiced with well-rounded characters, the game proved to be a satisfyingly full adventure. Now fentonfilmgames are creating a sequel to this story that expands on the otherworldly elements of the original.

Absent II's James Fenton

The new game is a direct follow-up to its predecessor. You once more get the chance to play Murray, the student who stumbled across more than he bargained for when searching for his missing girlfriend. You are now also able to play Eve, another recurring character from the original. Players can freely switch between the two with the use of on-screen buttons. To maintain continuity with the original, the low-res retro look remains largely unchanged, and the same voice actors have been used for all the returning characters. Dialogue selection has been changed to an icon-based system, where you select a picture of the subject you want to talk about, and the inventory has also been streamlined, now made up of a bar across the top of the screen.

The demo on display at the convention was fairly short, including a handful of relatively simple puzzles. These included a quest to borrow a tenner, and the beginning of a larger side quest to be included in the full game, involving helping a friend run for student office by putting up campaign posters. If you find all the available locations for placing these posters in the finished game, then a new ending is unlocked.


Absent II Kickstarter pitch video


Further information can be found on the fentonfilmgames website, where you can download the first episode for free. If you like what you see, you've got until January 4th to visit the game's Kickstarter campaign and support its development.

 

Cargo

 

Cargo's Florian Mehm

Young Vala Byrd wants nothing more than to be a spaceship pilot. Unfortunately, enrolling in the academy is not cheap, so she has taken a job at a cargo handling facility to raise the funds she needs. Unfortunately, when she tries to use the electronic grapples to move the latest delivery, something strange happens. The grapples suffer an inexplicable failure, dropping the crates and even cracking one open. This broken crate mysteriously causes Vala to experience peculiar emotions of fear and hurt. Suddenly she realises that this is a form of telepathy, and an alien entity has been mistakenly trapped inside. Feeling its sorrow, Vala determines to find a way to send the creature back to its home planet.

As a first-time developer, Florian Mehm choosing to exhibit at the convention alongside several established colleagues was a brave move, but a deserving one. The game uses a traditional third-person view and standard AGS icons and inventory setup. The graphics for Cargo are relatively simple, but effectively convey the locations and characters. Still mostly trapped inside the crate, the alien appears solely as a red mist emanating from the box. With no common language to work with, Vala’s interactions with the unknown creature mainly revolve around sensing the creature’s reaction to various stimuli. These include spoken words on her part, along with showing items to the trapped beast. The ship that brought the creature to Vala’s facility is headed back there, but security protocols make returning the creature to said ship no easy task. Florian admits that the game is not large, but the opening section I saw shows some promise for the future.

There is no firm release date scheduled for what Mehm describes as a “hobbyist” project, but further information can be found while you wait on the game’s website.

 

Hungry Whispers

 

Hungry Whispers' JDWasabi Studios

Having exhibited Hungry Whispers at AdventureX 2013, it has been an interesting year for JDWasabi studios. Taking on board feedback from last year’s convention as well others they have attended, the developers have given the game a bit of a redesign. The emotional look of the characters had been genuinely well received, but many felt that the sprites were unclear and did not fit the backgrounds well. This has been addressed by switching from the original Flash platform and rendering the new version in Ren’Py instead. This change has not been without its own problems, as the team have found it difficult to implement puzzles into an engine primarily designed for simple choice-based visual novels. Ultimately they might end up using a combination of engines, if a suitable blend can be found. Whilst still very much a work in progress, they feel that they have more of a sense of direction than before, and can hopefully now move forward.

To learn more about this "open game project", visit the developer's blog for additional information.

 



That's it for the games, but there's plenty more to come. With such an eclectic guest list, our final AdventureX wrap-up will focus on the people who made the convention as memorable as it was, whether on stage or the infamous Hot Seat. Stay tuned.


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