Author Topic: Journey Home  (Read 741 times)

Journey Home
« on: 03 Mar 2018, 16:51 »

Neat Fire Games proudly presents Journey Home

Journey Home is an old-school point and click adventure game with a modern twist.
The game features multiple endings, death sequences, secrets, optional puzzle strands and much more.
It will take most players around 1 hour to complete.

Game Development
My goal was to make something that I could be proud of and to hone my skills in every aspect of video game development.
The game took around one and a half years to make, in my spare time. I have dabbled with AGS in the past, but this is my first completed project.
I feel that I have a much stronger understanding of the program now and can't wait to bring this knowledge to bear on new projects in the future.

The Story
A sharp clap of thunder jolts you awake.
You find yourself cold and alone in a dark forest clearing.
You have no memory of who you are or what you're doing here.
You just know that you need to make it to the distant light that you recognise as home.

But the forest is not going to make it easy...

And you might just find that there's more to this strange pilgrimage than meets the eye...

Launch Trailer


The Team
Jim Clark: Game Design, Art, Animation, Sound, Programming, Marketing
Kate Rock: Voice Acting
Testers: Kate Rock, Mark Chamberlain, Mike Clark, Julia Clark, Nathan Lusher

Special Thanks
Chris Jones and the AGS Community.

AGS Game Page
Itch Game Page

Neat Fire Games Facebook Page
« Last Edit: 18 Mar 2018, 20:31 by LimboJimbo84 »


    • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Journey Home
« Reply #1 on: 04 Mar 2018, 00:32 »
Congratulations on the release! Can't wait to give it a go.

Re: Journey Home
« Reply #2 on: 04 Mar 2018, 12:19 »
Thanks Mandle :smiley: hope you enjoy the game!

Re: Journey Home
« Reply #3 on: 04 Mar 2018, 19:06 »
Head over to facebook and share my post for a chance to win a piece of framed concept art signed by legendary game designer Ron Gilbert!

Winner to be picked at random and announced on Sat 17th March 2018.

Neat Fire Games Facebook Page

I played this game and I enjoyed just about everything about it:

- Most of all, I really liked the puzzles. I found them challenging enough to keep me wanting more but not so difficult that I would feel that they can't be solved. I completed the game without any hints from the walkthrough. I feel that the puzzles were clever and well-designed.
- I don't need to praise the graphics; the screenshots and trailer show how absolutely stunning the visuals are. Smooth animation and beautiful art and appropriate sound effects really create a compelling experience for the user.
- The story was intriguing and also compelled the user to continue. The length of the game was appropriate for the single-task mission of the game.
- It may seem minor but it's not often that one plays a game with impeccable spelling and grammar. To me, this really adds to the overall polish of the game.

It's clear that the game is a true labour of love and I really want to commend the team who developed it.

Just some concerns that you might want to address if you want to continue working on the game:
- I see credit for voice acting but I didn't hear any voice acting. Did I miss a setting in the setup...?
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
You may want to put in an animated sequence for crossing the lake rather than the screen going dark and then coming back

My biggest concern:
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
The ending. After such a complete game, I would have expected an ending with a bit more to it. It would have been nice to find out what's going on in the game, why he was stuck, what the house is about, what the light is, who the bad guys are or any information.
You may want to develop this aspect a bit further.

Overall, an exceptional game, especially for a first release. I hope many others play and enjoy it as much as I did. Once again, congrats to everyone who participated.

Thank so much for your feedback Shadow 1000, I really appreciate you taking the time to write such a detailed summation of your playthrough!

I'm glad that you enjoyed the game, and am really pleased with the level of difficulty you describe, that's exactly what I was shooting for so that's awesome. I'm also glad you found the length to be about right, I didn't want the game to outstay its welcome or be artificially inflated.

Thank for your constructive criticisms also, let me briefly reply to a couple of your points;

- The voice acting is the game is quite minimal, it's really only a series of different noises/grunts etc when you perform certain actions. For example, when you try to push the boulder, or if you try to talk to some of the animals, such as the Wolf (featured in the trailer). There are a few more instances but I won't list them here for fear of spoilers. Don't worry, you didn't miss any set up. There is no spoken dialogue, as I wanted to follow the 'mute boy' format of Limbo and Inside by Playdead. I appreciate that voice acting is a bit of a stretch as a description, maybe I should have called this Sound Effects or Samples instead.

- With regard to the ending
Add spoiler tag for Hidden:
(again without any spoilers), I wanted to leave it deliberately ambiguous. Once again, this is a nod to Limbo and Inside by Playdead, as I wanted to give the player the opportunity to make up their own mind as to what the world and set-up means. I've always found this to be really compelling and powerful. However, if you find all 3 secrets in the game, and you don't die at all, you will see a very short cutscene which hints strongly at the true meaning of the game. I was hoping this would encourage replayability, but maybe I have set the bar a little too high in accessing this.
- There are layers of meaning in the game (beyond the boy in the forest), which are also hinted at when you discover the secrets in the game. These are also quite ambiguous and cryptic, but they do point towards the larger story which is hinted at when you receive a 5 star rating. There will be hints dropped about these secrets on the neat fire games facebook page in the coming few days, so if you get a chance maybe have another play armed with these hints! (These hints are also listed on the walkthrough, which is available for download.)

Thank you for all your kind comments, they're very much appreciated! :)


    • Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
    • I can help with play testing
    • I can help with scripting
    • I can help with translating
    • Khris worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
I really like what I've seen so far, and now that I seem to have fixed an issue with the game I will keep playing.

The issue I had: running the game fullscreen on Windows 7, everything worked fine until I got to the first scrolling room. Suddenly the framerate dropped drastically, and the game would only react to every other click. Changing the gfx driver to DirectDraw fixed it though.

Thanks for the info Khris, much appreciated! ;) I will update with this info where needed.

AGS forum user peter has very kindly put together a walkthrough of Journey Home in Dutch should you need it -

Much appreciated peter! ;)


    • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
I played the game today and found it a very nice macabre experience...

So far I have only completed one ending and found no secrets (ahhhhh...there are secrets?! Trendy!)

Wonderful game needing just a little more polish to propel it out of the "adventure gamer" sphere and into the more public eye!

Nice! Glad you enjoyed it Mandle!

If you get a spare mo I would love to know how you feel it can be improved? Everyone's been really nice about the game so far, but I'd be really interested to know what you feel would make it better. :)


    • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Everyone's been really nice about the game so far, but I'd be really interested to know what you feel would make it better. :)

I did have a problem with the Direct3D default setting. I guess my old graphics card doesn't like it. Maybe set to DirectDraw as the default?

Also, some of the layers and effects (notably the rain effect at the start and the full-screen white glow at the end) brought my computer to its knees and ran incredibly slowly, but that's probably just my very, very outdated laptop. If you didn't hear any other complaints from testers or players then it's probably not an issue.

I can't really think of much to say about improvements for gameplay except that you could maybe do away with the inventory window as there are not tons of objects in the game. You could probably just display carried items on the main screen as clickable icons. Modern players probably expect conveniences like that.

Re: Journey Home
« Reply #12 on: 18 Mar 2018, 20:33 »
Thanks for getting back to me Mandle, much appreciated. I will be making a couple of changes in my final patch for the game, thanks for the input ;)