Author Topic: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure  (Read 3817 times)

KyriakosCH

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The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« on: 09 Nov 2017, 16:40 »


THE CHRYSALIS

This is a free, stand-alone chapter of a possible series. It is also my first game, so I would really welcome feedback. I hope that the game can be fun.
You can find the 40MBish DL link at the game's AGS page: http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/site/games/game/2209/


Important: If at any time the download is not available here (bandwidth issues) you can dl the game directly from https://kyriakosch.itch.io/the-chrysalis.
--And now it is available in the AGS archive as well!

This is version 1.1 (added some interface options)

STORY

Your character was invited by a person he knows since they were in school - they now are in their thirties. He falls in love with this person's apartment, due to the elegant rooms, but also the antique furniture and - last but not least - the paintings his host has created (they are macabre).
While your character would like to just stick around and move from room to room, he is also a bit alarmed, because... his host has left him, without saying why; he just noted that he has something to do, and will return soon.
You wonder if the other person has gotten involved into some bizarre story, or strange interests. Nevertheless... you are happy to be given the opportunity to explore the apartment on your own.
----------------------------------------------------------------------


Features:
Made for 640x400.
Original music and SFX.
All graphics were created in 3d (with Blender).
This is a horror story, based on one of my printed short stories.


Story: Kyriakos Chalkopoulos
Music: Krzysztof Gorzkowski



Here is a walkthrough (inside the spoiler) if you get stuck :)

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
Listing only the things you need to do so as to finish the game & one easter egg:
1) in the bedroom, click "use" on the book on the desk. Then click "use" again (having by now been decided to pry)
2) visit all rooms once (time passes)
3) in the corridor, click "use" on the apartment's exit door. (so that you decide to wait still)
4) in the bedroom, you can now go outside, to the balcony. Go there. (you clear your mind)
5) in the bedroom, you can now click "use" on the diary, and read it.
6) in the bedroom, you can now click "use" on the drawer and open it.
7) in the bedroom, click "look" on the drawing you took out of the drawer.
8) in the living room, click "look" on the antique hanging drawers (you now take the blank paper)
9) in the bedroom, click "look" (i think; "use" will still be about actually taking it) on the drawing you took out. Now you made a copy using your pen and the paper.
10) exit to the corridor. Now time passes again. Important: click at the apartment's exit door (to discover it has been locked all this time).
11) go to the balcony, click "use" on the black night hotspot. (so as to decide you won't throw the drawing there; you have nothing to ensure it falls to the ground and itself is too light).
12) exit to the corridor. Click on the bathroom. You throw the original drawing there. Some scene follows.
13) (optional: go to the kitchen, click on the faucet, leave the room; easter egg about revenge ;) )
14) go to the balcony. Click use on the railing. You go to the other side. Click 'use' on the other apartment there.
15) in the new scene, click "use" on the screen. Scene follows + ending ;)

« Last Edit: 19 Nov 2017, 16:14 by KyriakosCH »

Mandle

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #1 on: 09 Nov 2017, 23:10 »
Wow, congratulations! Can't wait to try this out over the weekend.

And just when I was starting to wonder if you were too much of a perfectionist to ever release a game (laugh)

Good to see that is not the case!

KyriakosCH

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #2 on: 10 Nov 2017, 00:30 »
Wow, congratulations! Can't wait to try this out over the weekend.

And just when I was starting to wonder if you were too much of a perfectionist to ever release a game (laugh)

Good to see that is not the case!

Thank you my friend :)

I may be a perfectionist, but I do know my limits as a game creator (and I worked alone on this, other than getting the very nice music from Krys :) )
So, yes, the game is my first, and it isn't at all perfect (I can accept that hardcore or long-time game-creators here will find it quite amateurish) but I hope the story does seem interesting enough to allow people to play to the end!!! ;) It is adapted from one of my printed stories.
Anyway, I can tell you that for someone not involved in game-creation, making an ags game is HARD! Writing/translating literature is way easier (laugh)
« Last Edit: 10 Nov 2017, 00:32 by KyriakosCH »

NicolaGs

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #3 on: 10 Nov 2017, 01:01 »
There's a small error with your game packaging : Winsetup doesn't work.
It's because when you compiled your game, it was named initially "Mygame", thus the winsetup.exe points to "Mygame.exe". But then, you renamed "Mygame.exe" to "TheChrysalis.exe"... so Winsetup.exe does not find "Mygame.exe" anymore.

It's not a big deal, bug if someone wants to change an aspect of the game, he/she won't be able to...
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Stupot

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #4 on: 10 Nov 2017, 02:29 »
Congrats on release. I look forward to giving this a go.

KyriakosCH

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #5 on: 10 Nov 2017, 05:27 »
Thank you, Stupot ;-D

@Nicola: I think the issue is no longer there in the current version? (V1.1) (?)

Mandle

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #6 on: 10 Nov 2017, 09:43 »
I played through the game this afternoon and

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
The mood of the game is awesome! I like the graphics and the music a lot and they build a sense that something strange is going to happen at any moment.
I also enjoyed the way the character's willingness to perform certain actions changes as time and/or his situation changes. This made the character feel quite real in his motivations for me.
On the downside for me:
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
Time seemed to progress only after certain explorations had been performed which is fair enough. Many adventure games use this mechanism. But at times I felt it was not clear exactly what would trigger the next time change so this meant a lot of wandering.
I think the paper on the bedroom/library floor might have been important to find to trigger time-change but it was so dark it just blended in with the floor to my eye and I only found it by noticing the hotspot label when I randomly moved the mouse over it.
There were some walkbehind and hotspot issues for me. Especially the diary on the table: It's hotspot seemed nowhere near the book itself. Just an empty patch of the desk.
Another thing that gave me problems was the puzzle-solving mechanic. I spent forever looking for an inventory window or some way to interact with objects before stumbling upon having to right-click on my own character to have him automatically do the action. Perhaps this mechanism needs some explaining at the start of the game in the brief "mouse tutorial"? I think a lot of players could give up at this point in the game otherwise.
Perhaps my biggest issue was the ending: Just when something actually happened and it seemed like the game was about to earn its "horror" genre... I'm suddenly teleported back to the kitchen and there is some ambiguous text concerning what happened/would happen, and the game ends.
I must admit that I have absolutely no idea about what happened during the game. None of the pieces connected for me. I don't know what connection the picture had to the creature, what the entity was, if it really existed, why my "friend" wanted/needed to trap me in his apartment, and what happened at the end.
Sorry, but I couldn't get any real feeling of satisfaction from the story. Maybe it's meant to be ambiguous? Maybe having read the original story would help? But, like I said, I did very much enjoy the mood and that was enough to make me want to finish the game to the end. Mood is harder to create than cohesive story in a game I would say, so you're a long way towards making awesome games already.

Cheers for the fun and looking forward to more from you!

KyriakosCH

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #7 on: 10 Nov 2017, 09:57 »
I played through the game this afternoon and

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
The mood of the game is awesome! I like the graphics and the music a lot and they build a sense that something strange is going to happen at any moment.
I also enjoyed the way the character's willingness to perform certain actions changes as time and/or his situation changes. This made the character feel quite real in his motivations for me.
On the downside for me:
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
Time seemed to progress only after certain explorations had been performed which is fair enough. Many adventure games use this mechanism. But at times I felt it was not clear exactly what would trigger the next time change so this meant a lot of wandering.
I think the paper on the bedroom/library floor might have been important to find to trigger time-change but it was so dark it just blended in with the floor to my eye and I only found it by noticing the hotspot label when I randomly moved the mouse over it.
There were some walkbehind and hotspot issues for me. Especially the diary on the table: It's hotspot seemed nowhere near the book itself. Just an empty patch of the desk.
Another thing that gave me problems was the puzzle-solving mechanic. I spent forever looking for an inventory window or some way to interact with objects before stumbling upon having to right-click on my own character to have him automatically do the action. Perhaps this mechanism needs some explaining at the start of the game in the brief "mouse tutorial"? I think a lot of players could give up at this point in the game otherwise.
Perhaps my biggest issue was the ending: Just when something actually happened and it seemed like the game was about to earn its "horror" genre... I'm suddenly teleported back to the kitchen and there is some ambiguous text concerning what happened/would happen, and the game ends.
I must admit that I have absolutely no idea about what happened during the game. None of the pieces connected for me. I don't know what connection the picture had to the creature, what the entity was, if it really existed, why my "friend" wanted/needed to trap me in his apartment, and what happened at the end.
Sorry, but I couldn't get any real feeling of satisfaction from the story. Maybe it's meant to be ambiguous? Maybe having read the original story would help? But, like I said, I did very much enjoy the mood and that was enough to make me want to finish the game to the end. Mood is harder to create than cohesive story in a game I would say, so you're a long way towards making awesome games already.

Cheers for the fun and looking forward to more from you!

Thanks so much! Both for the positive words and the more critical notes :D I certainly find your view of the game as being very fair - let alone friendly and commendable.

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
Yes, the relation between the entity, the drawing, the painter, and the guest, is ambiguous. Maybe it was way too ambiguous, but it is so in the original short story i wrote as well. A possible explanation - though it is open, you don't have to see it that way - is that the more the guest gets in contact with the drawing, the more he becomes tied to the painter; his copy of the drawing gets closer to the original too, and soon enough he finds the model of the drawing -- the monster. Essentially i wrote the story as a covert allusion to detachment from horrible memories, which in the end catch up when you are entirely unaware :)

Re the paper on the floor: no, that is really optional; you don't even have to see it at all (nod)
By the way! There is a (very VERY brief) animation showing the mouse actions (it is all you can do, there is no active inventory in the traditional sense). It appears in the very end of the 'intro'. Right-clicking on your character will only tell you what you are carrying (it doesn't trigger anything).
Thank you so much for liking the mood!!! Given it is what i do (author) it is the thing i could do best here anyway (laugh) !!!
« Last Edit: 11 Nov 2017, 10:24 by KyriakosCH »

NicolaGs

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #8 on: 10 Nov 2017, 10:14 »
Thank you, Stupot ;-D

@Nicola: I think the issue is no longer there in the current version? (V1.1) (?)
Yes Kyriakos, it works :)

If you really want your .EXE to be called "TheChrysalis.exe", it's possible. IIRC, here is the way to do it :
- make a copy of your game project folder (it should be called "Mygame"),
- change the name of the new folder to "TheChrysalis",
- delete the "compiled" folder in the new game folder,
- open your game .AGF file (from the new folder),
- compile it (with F7).

You should now have a file named  "TheChrysalis.exe" and the "WinSetup.exe" will correctly point to it then.
My first game : I Want Out!

KyriakosCH

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #9 on: 10 Nov 2017, 10:16 »
Thank you, Stupot ;-D

@Nicola: I think the issue is no longer there in the current version? (V1.1) (?)
Yes Kyriakos, it works :)

If you really want your .EXE to be called "TheChrysalis.exe", it's possible. IIRC, here is the way to do it :
- make a copy of your game project folder (it should be called "Mygame"),
- change the name of the new folder to "TheChrysalis",
- delete the "compiled" folder in the new game folder,
- open your game .AGF file (from the new folder),
- compile it (with F7).

You should now have a file named  "TheChrysalis.exe" and the "WinSetup.exe" will correctly point to it then.

Thanks, i will certainly use that info! :-D

Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #10 on: 13 Nov 2017, 03:32 »
Very nice! Been looking forward to playing something of yours for a while especially with all the great artwork you have shared in the critics lounge :) I definitely agree that the mood and atmosphere are spot on. And I didn't mind the trigger events, figuring out what to do next added to the mystery. The story was interesting and kept me wanting to figure it out to the end, even if it was a little confusing. Regardless, great job on your first game and I look forward to future projects :)

KyriakosCH

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #11 on: 13 Nov 2017, 07:17 »
Very nice! Been looking forward to playing something of yours for a while especially with all the great artwork you have shared in the critics lounge :) I definitely agree that the mood and atmosphere are spot on. And I didn't mind the trigger events, figuring out what to do next added to the mystery. The story was interesting and kept me wanting to figure it out to the end, even if it was a little confusing. Regardless, great job on your first game and I look forward to future projects :)

Thank you! :-D

Krys's music was fundamental in creating the atmosphere...

Btw, i am not sure if people discovered the easter egg with the faucet left running (laugh)
« Last Edit: 13 Nov 2017, 07:23 by KyriakosCH »

KyriakosCH

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #12 on: 15 Nov 2017, 22:23 »
No more reviews? I hope this doesn't mean the rest of those who dled/played it were disgusted :=

Joking; i suppose reviews are rare, let alone for a brief game :)
Btw, it is now on IndieDB as well...

Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #13 on: 16 Nov 2017, 11:45 »
Congratulations Kyriakos from Spain!

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KyriakosCH

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #14 on: 16 Nov 2017, 11:48 »
Congratulations Kyriakos from Spain!

Videojuegos Fermín
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Thank you, and hi! :D
I see you have philosophical themes in your work as well ^^ (my uni degree is in philosophy)

Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #15 on: 16 Nov 2017, 19:30 »
Hi there!

I played the game last week...I really loved the premise of the story--some of my favorite games have been revolved around a mansion/house/exploring of creepy things & rooms.  I liked the sound effects and graphics as well, and my initial only complaint was that the character moves & interacts so slowly with his surroundings--I kept looking for game controls to increase the speed.  To me though, that's not a big deal, as I'm not in a hurry to get through adventure games.  I honestly just felt that I did a lot of wandering and found very little.  I couldn't go back into the bathroom and have a proper look around.  Time advanced only once for me, and then I couldn't figure out what to do next, as my guy didn't want to pick up anything nor pry very much into his friend's stuff.  So I very quickly got stuck. 

--The faucet easter egg was cute!  Although I was kind of hoping he'd flood the apartment, ha!

~SL

KyriakosCH

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #16 on: 16 Nov 2017, 20:31 »
Hi there!

I played the game last week...I really loved the premise of the story--some of my favorite games have been revolved around a mansion/house/exploring of creepy things & rooms.  I liked the sound effects and graphics as well, and my initial only complaint was that the character moves & interacts so slowly with his surroundings--I kept looking for game controls to increase the speed.  To me though, that's not a big deal, as I'm not in a hurry to get through adventure games.  I honestly just felt that I did a lot of wandering and found very little.  I couldn't go back into the bathroom and have a proper look around.  Time advanced only once for me, and then I couldn't figure out what to do next, as my guy didn't want to pick up anything nor pry very much into his friend's stuff.  So I very quickly got stuck. 

--The faucet easter egg was cute!  Although I was kind of hoping he'd flood the apartment, ha!

~SL

Thanks! :D Here is a walkthrough (inside the spoiler) if you feel like trying with it :)

Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
Listing only the things you need to do so as to finish the game & one easter egg:
1) in the bedroom, click "use" on the book on the desk. Then click "use" again (having by now been decided to pry)
2) visit all rooms once (time passes)
3) in the corridor, click "use" on the apartment's exit door. (so that you decide to wait still)
4) in the bedroom, you can now go outside, to the balcony. Go there. (you clear your mind)
5) in the bedroom, you can now click "use" on the diary, and read it.
6) in the bedroom, you can now click "use" on the drawer and open it.
7) in the bedroom, click "look" on the drawing you took out of the drawer.
8) in the living room, click "look" on the antique hanging drawers (you now take the blank paper)
9) in the bedroom, click "look" (i think; "use" will still be about actually taking it) on the drawing you took out. Now you made a copy using your pen and the paper.
10) exit to the corridor. Now time passes again. Important: click at the apartment's exit door (to discover it has been locked all this time).
11) go to the balcony, click "use" on the black night hotspot. (so as to decide you won't throw the drawing there; you have nothing to ensure it falls to the ground and itself is too light).
12) exit to the corridor. Click on the bathroom. You throw the original drawing there. Some scene follows.
13) (optional: go to the kitchen, click on the faucet, leave the room; easter egg about revenge ;) )
14) go to the balcony. Click use on the railing. You go to the other side. Click 'use' on the other apartment there.
15) in the new scene, click "use" on the screen. Scene follows + ending ;)
« Last Edit: 16 Nov 2017, 20:51 by KyriakosCH »

KyriakosCH

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #17 on: 18 Nov 2017, 08:23 »
Important: If the download is not available here (bandwidth issues) you can dl the game from https://kyriakosch.itch.io/the-chrysalis. I hope it can be hosted in the AGS site as well in the future 8-)

Cassiebsg

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #18 on: 18 Nov 2017, 11:24 »
AGS site does not host games, only links to them on their entry page.
AGS Archives does host the games and works as a backup.
There are those who believe that life here began out there...

KyriakosCH

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #19 on: 18 Nov 2017, 11:31 »
AGS site does not host games, only links to them on their entry page.
AGS Archives does host the games and works as a backup.

Thanks, I asked some people controlling or moderating the site for help on this -- it would solve an issue... :D I'd prefer the file to be at AGS archives as the first dl link, rather than at a gaming site which isn't officially associated with AGS. Though Itch seems very dedicated.

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #20 on: 19 Nov 2017, 16:11 »
The game is now in the AGS archives too!
Thanks Peder!!!

Link added in the AGS site page :)

Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #21 on: 14 Feb 2018, 13:04 »

Les jeux sont faits, rien ne va plus.

I'm a bit sorry The Chrysalis didn't get any nomination, it have a lot of potential.:-\

_

KyriakosCH

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #22 on: 18 Feb 2018, 09:02 »
Bets never stop, in reality :D

Cool! You can say what you thought of it. Actually i was coming here to bump the thread so as to ask if anyone else has a review, given the game has been dled 240 times now :D

(if i ever get to making a new game or revise this, i have a lot of things to improve...)

KyriakosCH

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Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #23 on: 23 Feb 2018, 06:21 »
Thank you to whoever made a donation while dling the Chrysalis from Itch :)

I hope i can update it in the future, and include more chapters...

Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #24 on: 12 May 2018, 10:52 »
Hi KC,
Thanks for the game.

I would like to join the others in congratulating you on your first achievement: It is a healthy start which shows good game-maker potential. I think that It might be developed alongside your writing, as p&c-AG design can open new storytelling perspectives, in general.

By now you probably are very aware of your game´s weaknesses. Let me know if you would need any assistance identifying them. I will only refer to one major aspect, cohesion; and we could start a dialog from there, if you like. But before I do, let me propose that we see my comment as referring to a personal preference, rather than to a fault.

Add spoiler tag for Cohesion:
For me, the game´s elements started to work together only some time after reaching the end; in my mind. I had to realize what it was all about, first.

I would have liked it better if the game´s idea would have been approached through a gradual build-up in my awareness, while playing the game, instead of coming as a surprise at the end; or rather, beginning with the end. And I believe that, by trying to make the player aware of the game´s idea through the various game elements, not only would everything have worked more harmoniously, but some minor weaknesses would also have been, implicitly, avoided.

There is one category of minor weaknesses that is of particular interest in connection to the above: bits of the protagonist´s attitude that could stand in contradiction to the main idea. One example is treating the friend´s house as that of a stranger. Shouldn´t it rather be evoking some memories, even if only vague ones? (And I´m refering to the furnishings, of course, not the books´ contents.) For the case when you agree that this would have been a better choice, I add that this change would be one means of making the game´s idea available during the time of playing.

If keeping the game´s idea a secret is a must, then there is an alternative way to achieve cohesion, while not (gradually) sharing it: richer and more dynamic interactions, both between the protagonist and the game world, and between the protagonist and the player. As it is now, not much is happening in the game to keep the player engaged.

This is probably obvious, but I will say it, if only to avoid an abrupt ending: Without enough cohesion, the various game elements stand individually out more, and that may lead to them being appreciated only as such; instead as one game.

There was one compensating factor, at The Chrysalis: that you did not try to achieve too much for a short game, KC. And this may be off-topic, but I would like to say that I enjoyed the game for its modesty, the most.
I hope that you will find this comment interesting. It is also meant as the encouragement of no more than a fellow game-maker.

I also wrote a short and formal comment on the game´s download page. I hope that you will find it fair.
« Last Edit: 12 May 2018, 10:55 by st. »
springthoughts

Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #25 on: 12 May 2018, 15:03 »
I played this today (having wanted to see how envy can ruin a man) and thought I should give some feedback. Firstly, congratulations on releasing the game. It looks like a lot of effort has gone into it, and as a first game, I would say the result is pretty good. I enjoyed playing it and am interested to see what you make next.

Bugs
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
  • When you have already taken the blank paper from the antique hanging drawers and have copied the picture, on the next cycle (after the clock has changed) you can get the blank paper again (even though it was no longer visible) and your inventory is described as holding a blank piece of paper (it now has a drawing on it)
Pros
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
  • background graphics are very good
  • story is interesting
  • tone of the game is generally consistent and made me want to keep playing
Cons
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
  • character walk speed is quite slow and this is made worse by some strange paths the character takes in confined spaces
  • character motivation is questionable - I think it may work better if you could illustrate a sort of mental decay and/or slight environment change every time the clock changes, both to demonstrate that the characters actions may become more extreme and to build towards what happens in the second apartment
  • there seem to be a lot of interface issues, where the cursor position for hotspots doesn't seem to line up with the graphic, plus issues where hotspot positions are obscued by the character (e.g. when using the railing and then trying to enter the second appartment). Also I think you could probably use a single click handler rather than have 'look' and 'use' (e.g. when copying the drawing I think I had to look at it rather than use it, looking at and using books seemed a little redundant)
  • the room layout makes moving between rooms quite difficult, and it is not obvious that 2 of them exist to walk to (particularly as, if the character is meant to have just arrived, he starts at the wrong end of the initial room)
  • some of the graphics are too dark (e.g. paper on the floor)
  • I would have preferred to destroy the picture myself, rather than have the game do it for me (and not show it)
  • I would have preferred to be able to turn the faucet off, if I can turn it on

Anyway, to sum up, I'll be looking out for chapter 2...
Edit: have also just noticed that the download seems to have two copies of the game in it, Mygame.ags and Mygame.exe.
« Last Edit: 12 May 2018, 15:36 by morganw »

KyriakosCH

  • Alien spiral maker
    • I can help with backgrounds
    •  
    • I can help with story design
    •  
    • I can help with translating
    •  
Re: The Chrysalis -- new horror adventure
« Reply #26 on: 12 May 2018, 16:15 »
Thank you both, for the comments :)

Yes, i agree re the weaknesses/cons. I did find it very difficult to create the game... It took far longer than expected, as well!
Also, i am no good at animating a character (and the player character has other issues too, eg pixels/transparency).

Re the first post, about the plot:
The player hasn't been in the apartment alone, prior to when the game begins (the host just left). One may assume he has either only been there once (but with the host there) or been there before, but with the host never leaving, and therefore he wasn't able to look at much.

Re the small bug (not gameplay harming, but a bug still) with the blank paper: yes, i meant to fix that, but i never quite got round to doing so (laugh)

Re the running faucet: actually there is a joke there. I fear no one saw the joking scene! If you leave it running AFTER you realize you are locked in, the player says something rude against his host ;)

Thanks for playing the game!!! I may try to make a new one in the future, yet it does take A LOT of time... It also requires some talents which aren't really there in me - i can mostly write a story, and (to some degree) create gfx, but a whole game needs a lot more. :)