Melon Head; a fantastical adventure in a delirious imaginary world - Demo out!

Started by MIGGO, Sun 05/11/2023 10:03:08

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MIGGO

I'm announcing my latest project:



This time it's not a simulator, not a visual novel, not an exploration game, but a bonafide point and click adventure game from the first person perspective.

After some experimentations, this game has been on the works for two months now and it will be for many months to come.  :-D

ITCH PAGE

Story:

In the hedonistic capital of His Majesty's Realm a faceless king commissions a local sculptor, Melon Head, our protagonist whose head is shaped like a melon, to craft an extension to His royal staff.

An extraordinary vision reveals an object of rare composition: A Crystal Iris Distillate. Pursuing the parts needed to craft the object essential in fulfilling the royal request, Melon Head precipitates to a strange adventure across His Majesty's Realm. He must use cunning, questionable morals and sharpness of intellect to succeed in his task and, ultimately, to choose between allegiance to his perceived benefactor and the rising forces of dissidence seeking to overthrow the balance of power.

PHOTOSENSITIVITY WARNING:

This game contains flashing lights that may not be suitable for people with photosensitive epilepsy.

Player discretion is advised.



Features:

-Strange characters of undefined species.
-Puzzles to intrigue the mind (item puzzles, dialog trees and other stuff).
-A built in hint system if you get stuck.
-Exploration of different areas of His Majesty's Realm.
-Three endings depending on choices.
-Colorful and highly saturated pixel art on a 16-color palette (an original art style using the EGA palette).
-Psychedelic visions.
-An out there jazzy original soundtrack.

Current status of the developement is:

Graphics: 40%
Scripting: 40%
Dialog: 40%
Music and Sound: 40% or maybe more

Here's a picture of Melon Head himself:
What is Palace Cheese?
A dodge move in Romanian swordplay.

RootBound

Looks really weird and interesting. I love the character art!
They/them. Here are some of my games:

agentbauer

Looks like it is heavily inspired by Manhunter.. And I love it
Roger Wilco Rules
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Space Quest IV.5 Version 3.00 is finally done, check it out:
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heltenjon

Melon Head looks like he might have relatives in Shape Village.  (laugh)

This looks suitably strange and cool. Looking forward to seeing how this shapes up! (nod)

MIGGO

Thanks for the kind words! I'm happy to see people taking an interest.

@RootBound
QuoteLooks really weird and interesting. I love the character art!
Nice! There will be many characters to come. (nod)

@agentbauer
QuoteLooks like it is heavily inspired by Manhunter.. And I love it
I love the art of Manhunter and the world that it has. I've been deterred from seeking it out and playing though, due to the punishing gameplay of games from that era.  :-[ But I'm definitely not unhappy about the connotation!

@heltenjon
QuoteMelon Head looks like he might have relatives in Shape Village.  (laugh)
"And across the ages the basic shapes of Shape Village would evolve into... melons." (laugh)
What is Palace Cheese?
A dodge move in Romanian swordplay.

MIGGO


There's a hint system built into Melon Head. If you press the 'meditation' button on the right side UI Melon Head will receive a colorful vision and a hint on how to proceed next. It's there to lessen frustration if you get stuck. The hint displayed will differ according to your progress (obviously) by taking into account what you have in your inventory, what dialog options you've chosen in conversations and sometimes which room you are in.

While I feel that putting a hint system into your game is sort of supplying the player with an easy way out and decreasing difficulty a lot, I've appreciated some of the hint systems found in point and click games that I've played. After all it's a decision of the players whether to use it or not. Solving a puzzle with a hint instead of a walkthrough also saves some self-esteem in my opinion.  :P

One of my favorite hint systems have been the telephone in Strangeland, because it's so well woven into the game world. Another was in Black Sect Remake, because it was very much needed (at least for me) due to the game's old school design. Also I remember Machinarium, which has a sealed book that contains a drawn walkthrough. You'd have to beat a minigame everytime to open it, which challenged you to still try a puzzle on your own if you couldn't be bothered with the minigame.

Good stuff.
What is Palace Cheese?
A dodge move in Romanian swordplay.

ThreeOhFour


MIGGO


The green guy is being made unhappy by a mean overseer in the mine, you should intervene.

Here's a little diary update:

I've been working on Chapter Two this month and I've made some good progress on it. The second chapter takes place in the Farlands which is a region at the edge of His Majesty's Realm, which is the world of Melon Head. The region is pretty wild and rough, it's dominated by grey stone and brown soil in contrast to the blues and violets of Cyan City's night. There are some forest scenes there too!

The second chapter isn't halfway done yet, which I kinda hoped it would be by the end of November, but I also knew that would be improbable. I made the first chapter in two months but that was quite a stretch and I knew I couldn't keep making progress at that rate. Also I know the upcoming holidays are gonna bring along their own hurries as well.

If I could've kept the pace of the first two months I would've finished the game in ten months probably, around next summer, that is. But that's impossible, as I'm already slowing down and I'll have to find a new apartment in the spring which will be it's own hassle too.

A very comfortable deadline for the release of Melon Head would be early 2025. But, geez, that's aeons away. :D I also have a feeling that I'm exaggerating and that the game might be ready earlier. It's still early to say, really.

But the second chapter is what I'm working on now anyway, and when it's in good order, maybe at the beginning of next year, I think it would be a good time for a playable demo. I have a very special plan for a demo...
What is Palace Cheese?
A dodge move in Romanian swordplay.

MIGGO

After a month of EeRiE silence...

Melon Head Demo is released! avec une Trailer!

Here's a link to ITCH
And here's a link to the DATABASE


The demo of Melon Head is now downloadable. I'm very happy to release it according to plan in January!

I've been grinding on this demo since December. It's been in a playable state for some weeks now, but I postponed the release due to social responsibilities. I'm happy though, since this allowed me to do some due testing and tweaks. That said, this is still a demo and I don't know where this project will go in the following months or how it will change in the process of maturing. I don't really foresee any fundamental changes, only the game becoming larger and complete and maybe some cosmetic polishings.

Please enjoy the demo!  :)

What is Palace Cheese?
A dodge move in Romanian swordplay.

MIGGO



I'm sure all Mac users will be delighted to hear that the Melon Head Demo is available on MacOS!

Download: ITCH

All due credit to @Nahuel for compiling it!

I'll copy this important note from a related devlog:

Included in the .dmg is a README FIRST -file, which will help with issues that may arise from the game not being code-signed or notarised with Apple, yadda yadda. It is worth reading, especially if warnings try to prevent you from enjoying the game and your life.

However, there is one possible warning that was omitted from the readme -file. That's why I have attached a screenshot of it to this post. If you encounter this window, it is likely caused by not copying the game folder to your device. So, it's important to do that!




That said, cheers!
What is Palace Cheese?
A dodge move in Romanian swordplay.

Rik_Vargard

I played the demo. The graphics are totally crazy, and it works! It's all coherent and fun and I had a blast playing it.
A crazy story in a crazy world. Loved it!

MIGGO

@Rik_Vargard

Thank you for the feedback! I do try to maintain coherence in story and puzzle design even though the world is by all standards alien. :-D  I'm happy you had fun with it.
What is Palace Cheese?
A dodge move in Romanian swordplay.

MIGGO

Some screens from Chapter 3:






A little devlogging here:

After the demo release for mac, I've been focusing on the third chapter for Melon Head.

Spoiler
This time around you'll be exploring an office complex in the middle of a desert. It's been occupied by rebels who oppose the rule of His Majesty. Melon Head wakes up in a cell, as he's been taken captive, and must sneak around in the facility and escape the complex to continue his royal commission. He must use his sneaky abilities, cunning, science (!) and an elevator to dodge total peril.

But once free, how will he navigate the barren desert?
[close]

I've been replaying Metal Gear Solid while making this chapter. I felt like the setup echoed that series, so I wanted to absorb further influence and vibe from it. :D

The chapter is coming along nicely. I've put a little more than half of it together already. And I've been drawing the external desert areas and composing a tune to go with it.

I know for sure that next month is gonna be busy life-wise, so I'll have to take it slow.

Thanks for being along for the ride!

P.S. Of course there is psychedelic tapestry all over the walls of the building... of course!
What is Palace Cheese?
A dodge move in Romanian swordplay.

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