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Author Topic: Snakes of Avalon (Now with more POLISH!)  (Read 28774 times)

Dualnames

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Re: Snakes of Avalon (RELEASED! and Interviewed)
« Reply #60 on: 19 Sep 2010, 04:51 »
I heartily second that even if you played the game, to do so again. It's like watching a movie. And a bloody good one.
No more military army stuff. I'm alive and back.

Re: Snakes of Avalon (RELEASED! and Interviewed)
« Reply #61 on: 20 Sep 2010, 03:05 »
Just letting you know I completed it last night and was extremely impressed. Such a unique treatment of narrative, I was completely drawn into Jack's world and the shifting nature that he put himself into. I particularly loved the moment when

Spoiler: ShowHide
he came to and the screen span around, back to front then upside down before correcting itself - really recreated that drunken feeling


The style of animation was great, I'm not very familiar with it but I do recognise it from places such as Radiohead's Paranoid Android video (sorry to be a bit ignorant on this) but it really fit perfectly with the story and the characters. Very unsettling, carries a sense of a stylised realism that I really loved. The characters themselves were really well done, dialogue was particularly impressive (though I would say, as much as I enjoy the references made, they broke the game world's illusion a little at times).

Well done Ascovel! And to Baron too, of course  :D
 

tzachs

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Re: Snakes of Avalon (RELEASED! and Interviewed)
« Reply #62 on: 20 Sep 2010, 22:32 »
Trippin'!  :D
It was completely worth the replay, cool extra puzzles & backstory (I had to resort to the Hints and tips to work out the bulbs puzzle).
I was hoping for the fish to live, though I guess it was not meant to be. At least he got the respect he deserved now, though.
The music was equally brilliant..

Igor Hardy

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Re: Snakes of Avalon (RELEASED! and Interviewed)
« Reply #63 on: 21 Sep 2010, 11:15 »
Thanks very much guys!

Also, found a nice conversation about the game on MetaFilter that I really like how it points out Snakes' various key characteristics: http://www.metafilter.com/95848/Snakes-of-Avalon
« Last Edit: 21 Sep 2010, 11:25 by Ascovel »

Re: Snakes of Avalon (RELEASED! and Interviewed)
« Reply #64 on: 21 Sep 2010, 14:06 »
Wow, that scene with Jack's subconcious is really awesome!  ;D Reminds me of Psychonauts, especially Milla's secret room and the Milkman Conspiracy!

By the way, I didn't understand:
Spoiler: ShowHide
If Jack's father was murdered by his mother in Jack's childhood, why did Jack talk to him after Bob's dial?
« Last Edit: 21 Sep 2010, 15:45 by Cyrus »

Igor Hardy

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Re: Snakes of Avalon (RELEASED! and Interviewed)
« Reply #65 on: 22 Sep 2010, 16:12 »
Wow, that scene with Jack's subconcious is really awesome!  ;D Reminds me of Psychonauts, especially Milla's secret room and the Milkman Conspiracy!

Thanks, I'm happy making the additional segment of the game paid off.

The Milkman Conspiracy level in Psychonauts was a brilliant concept and it has certainly impressed me.

If you are looking for more of these kind of subconscious focused (but more serious) adventure games I recommend Mental Repairs Inc (freeware), The Dark Eye and A Bad Day on The Midway.

By the way, I didn't understand:
Spoiler: ShowHide
If Jack's father was murdered by his mother in Jack's childhood, why did Jack talk to him after Bob's dial?


Spoiler: ShowHide

There are a couple possible interpretations, but I don't want to be too specific...

I'd just want to point out that:

- both the father and the husband are based on Jack's sprite.

- one of the people in the intro that Jack converses with looks like the husband, but his words suggest he has known Jack for a longer time

- right after the moose eats the fish, he refers to a tragedy caused by Jack's negligence (actually the event remembered in the nightmare) and also says that Jack spoke earlier  on the phone to the sole survivor of that event
« Last Edit: 23 Sep 2010, 01:27 by Ascovel »


Re: Snakes of Avalon (RELEASED! and Interviewed X2)
« Reply #67 on: 23 Sep 2010, 16:21 »
Glad to hear you finished this! :) I'm playing through slowly at the moment - loving the new title sequence and the whole 'Acts' thing you've got going on.

P.S. I will be interacting with EVERYTHING.
 

Igor Hardy

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Re: Snakes of Avalon (RELEASED! and Interviewed X2)
« Reply #68 on: 23 Sep 2010, 16:49 »
Glad to hear you finished this! :) I'm playing through slowly at the moment - loving the new title sequence and the whole 'Acts' thing you've got going on.

P.S. I will be interacting with EVERYTHING.

On purpose I left a couple unexpected dead interactions just to annoy you. As well, as some non-custom "Get stuffed!" messages. ;)

Nevertheless, I hope you'll find the whole game reasonably interactive.

Igor Hardy

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Re: Snakes of Avalon (RELEASED! and Interviewed X2)
« Reply #69 on: 24 Sep 2010, 04:51 »
Hey guys!

I updated the game files to version 2.01 and I really recommend downloading it instead of the old one.

It fixes a rather messy bug with the bulbs in Act III - nothing game breaking but doing things in a certain order made visible objects that weren't supposed to be.

+ a few minor fixes
« Last Edit: 24 Sep 2010, 04:58 by Ascovel »

Fitz

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Re: Snakes of Avalon (Version 2.01 - bugs fixed!)
« Reply #70 on: 26 Sep 2010, 18:15 »
Whee! Finally I took some time off from my creative endeavors/duties and played the game :D One of the most - if not THE most - trippy game I ever played. I mean, seriously, Max Payne, eat your heart out :o I thought the personifications of good and bad conscience were the peak of insanity. Oh how wrong I was! ::)

The strange thing is, I could really relate to Jack's weird visions and distorted perception. They looked and functioned much like a dream does. False memories, confusion, objects appearing out of nowhere, darkness and obscurity - and most importantly, stimuli from the outside world (the conversation in the background) getting picked up by the subconscious and being immersed into the dream reality seamlessly. Oh and building the time machine! The way that one was done reminds me of how you can do things in lucid dreams. The mythological motif also struck a chord with me. And last but not least, the game with colors. Made me think of the good ol' Goblins 3.

Speaking of puzzles... They confused the hell out of me at first - probably more so because I started playing the game late into the night yesterday - but once I understood that logic is nothing more than a handful tool here and not the governing rule, it all got so much easier. Quite intuitive, really. I could even anticipate some solutions before I could make them work. I do wonder if there was any significance to the birds - other than what they replaced in the dream world. Same with the piano. Or the name of the doll. I thought it signified the piano keys - since both words are codewords for letters in military jargon.

I really REALLY liked the graphics. Made me think of old Polish cartoons. They weren't all cutesy and disneyish - but they had their STYLE. Especially the moose looked eerily familiar. And the blonde dude with the mullet looked kinda like an 80's version of Johnny Bravo ;) Another great thing about the graphics were the smoke clouds - or whatever they were - obscuring the view as you go to different parts of the room. A rather simple effect - and yet it emulated the smoky atmosphere so well and added to the trippy mood.

...and so did the music. One of the many things that made the old Mafia game so amazing was the music. Took you back in time. Same here. I froze and frowned when the tune ended and faded out one time.

All in all, a GREAT game! Loved it!

Re: Snakes of Avalon
« Reply #71 on: 27 Sep 2010, 07:28 »
Having finally gotten around to playing this (got stuck for a little while on the
Spoiler: ShowHide
colored bulb sequence puzzle
, but eventually managed to figure it out), I can now try to answer a question you posed on the first page...

Ascovel and I debated how people would think of Jack in the end: to you, is he merely a comic figure? a pathetic figure?  A tragic one?  A hero?  A victim, or a villain?  I'm interested in hearing how players perceived him in the end -did we get it right?  Let us know!

Hmm...  I think my impression overall is that he's sort of a pathetic and tragic figure... but I think there may still be something (or several somethings) I'm missing.  But a deeper analysis requires getting into some spoilers, so...

Spoiler: ShowHide
Okay, so, at first I thought at the end of the game that the whole murder plot was in Jack's imagination... but then there came the coda with everyone (except Jack) eating the salt and dying.  Right after which it repeated the intro (which by then I'd forgotten) establishing that in fact there were bodies found at the bar... so apparently this part wasn't Jack's imagination.  So it seems the salt was poisoned... which means the murder plot was real, but in attempting to save the husband's life Jack was inadvertently indirectly responsible for the deaths of Bob and a number of bar patrons instead.  Though some of the fault here may have been Bob's, for convincing Jack that it wasn't real and that he wasn't really saving anyone; if not for that, Jack may have taken the threat of the poisoned salt more seriously and gotten rid of it before anyone ate it.  (Then again, given that he's not exactly a pinnacle of responsibility, maybe not...)  Hence the patheticness... not only can he not tell his delusions from reality, but when he actually does try to do the right thing it ends up going horribly wrong... as well as the tragedy.

As for his seeing the couple at the end as his own mother and father... I'm pretty sure that was just his hallucination again.  The couple really were as he saw them at first.  Even how he initially saw the husband didn't look like how the husband looked on the other end of the phone call, and was probably part of the hallucination... maybe he was at first seeing the husband as a younger version of his father, but didn't recognize him until he saw him as his father as he is now.

But, as I said, there still seemed to be something I'm missing... I thought I'd figured out how it all fit together, until I reread this thread, now that I'd finished the game and didn't have to worry about spoilers, and I saw this post, which raised a good question... which you replied to, but without fully clearing up the question it raised.  So... I'm still not sure about the answer to that myself.  What I now think may be the case... but I'm still not sure... is that it wasn't that the mother killed the father, but that the father killed the mother (which is, after all, what it looked like was going to happen in the first place).  Sure, the figure behind the door said (s)he was Jack's mother, but obviously Jack's memories of the event aren't completely veridical, and certainly he'd be able to tell his parents' voices apart.

Still, even if that's true, it raises a couple of other questions.  Why, in the vision, does the figure claim to be Jack's mother?  And what is Jack's own culpability in this; why does the moose refer to his negligence?  For the first question... ah, I had a tentative explanation, but I just thought of a much better one.  In the case of the couple he's currently dealing with, the wife is plotting against the husband; therefore in his distorted recollection of his own family tragedy, Jack switches the genders to match them to this situation.  (After all, he does in the hallucination in the end equate the couple to his own parents.)  As for the second question... well, it could be that something Jack did enraged his father and precipitated his violence; the fault wouldn't really be Jack's, then, but as a child he could easily have seen it that way and exaggerated his own guilt.  For what he did, the possibility most hinted at in his vision is that he perhaps (accidentally?) burned his father's "precious collection of fishing magazines"... he does remark afterward that that might be why his father is so angry; he doesn't say he's responsible for their burning, but it could fit with the moose's remark about his negligence.  Though it might also have something to do with the birds?  Actually, though, the fishing magazine thing could even fit in with why the fish appears as Jack's bad conscience... he associates the fish with his father, who would, given his crime, certainly be considered "bad"... yet Jack doesn't really want to acknowledge the crime and still feels for his father, which is why he's so reluctant to give the bad conscience up.  (Why a moose for the good conscience, then?  Well, maybe just because that was another trophy that happened to be handy (the fish started as a trophy on the wall, after all), so it made for a good match.)

So, anyway, I dunno; that's my take on what really happened and how all the pieces fit together, but I could easily be wrong.

Hm, one thing i'm still not sure of, though; one detail I haven't quite fit in yet: Jack asks Bob how he knew his father's number, and Bob says that's for Jack to figure out.  Which seems to imply there's some significance to the fact that Bob knew Jack's father's number... but I'm not sure what the significance is.  Unless... and here this is just a total wild guess, and by far the most speculative part of my interpretation (well, okay, it's all pretty darn speculative)... Bob knew Jack's father, and was in on the murder somehow, or at least helped Jack's father cover it up; this may even extend to Bob actively trying to keep Jack a useless drunk so he won't be in a position to try to bring his father to justice.  In that case, Bob's death at the end might be a bit of poetic justice, though not so the deaths of the other bar patrons, I suppose...


Phew.  Don't know how much of that, if any, is remotely close to what you had in mind, but that's the best I can make of it, anyway.

Oh, and Fitz...

Or the name of the doll. I thought it signified the piano keys - since both words are codewords for letters in military jargon.

Oh, I'm pretty sure the name of the doll does refer to something...
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Igor Hardy

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Re: Snakes of Avalon (Version 2.01 - bugs fixed!)
« Reply #72 on: 28 Sep 2010, 03:45 »
Fitz, Alun, great lengthy and most positive comments! Thanks very much!

I'm glad the game's layered storyline has struck a chord with so many players.

I'm very much tempted to start explaining everything in detail from the designer's point of view - the conclusions you've made are almost all closely connected to my and Baron's intentions. However, I'm afraid that for me to start to truly reveal things, the way they are, would ruin the spontaneous perception of the story, so I'll better be very careful of what I say.

One important aspect of the game's story is that, of course, we didn't want that all of its secrets neatly wrapped up for the player at the end like in an Agatha Christie mystery. Consequently, it's possible some small parts of the overall puzzle are missing from the game, others got twisted a bit. The intention was to suggest at least 3 different interpretations of what Jack experiences, and each one gives a deeper understanding of the events and characters, but at the same time none is supposed to be entirely satisfying on its own. Still, the player should decide which interpretation is the most convincing - there is something real underneath it all.

As for Bob dialing the father's phone number, it doesn't have to seem so strange once you start to wonder if we are really sure how did Jack obtain the scrap of paper in his inventory...
« Last Edit: 28 Sep 2010, 11:30 by Ascovel »

Fitz

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Re: Snakes of Avalon (Version 2.01 - bugs fixed!)
« Reply #73 on: 28 Sep 2010, 10:07 »
Quote
As for Bob dialing the father's phone number, it doesn't have to seem so strange once you start to wonder if we are really sure how did obtain the scrap of paper in his inventory...

Hmmm...  I haven't thought of that :o As you go, you kind of accept the insanity of it all and have to really focus to think straight again. And what comes to mind is: "There is no spoon..." Brilliant!

Igor Hardy

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Re: Snakes of Avalon (Version 2.01 - bugs fixed!)
« Reply #74 on: 17 Oct 2010, 15:06 »
A quick round-up of new Snakes coverage, reviews and interviews:

- Snakes picked by PC Gamer as one of September's best

- the 2nd interview with me and Baron, this time on Cultural Zest

- great review of the game at Wing Damage

In Polish:

- interview at Adventure Zone

- review at The Independent Gamer's Blog

- review at Przygodoskop (Adventurescope)

More to come... That's what I hope at least.
« Last Edit: 17 Oct 2010, 17:10 by Ascovel »

Dualnames

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Re: Snakes of Avalon (Version 2.01 - bugs fixed!)
« Reply #75 on: 17 Oct 2010, 16:23 »
Wow, that's a great coverage. For a game so short (don't be offended) the coverage is great.Quality over quantity. Well done Mr. Hardy.
No more military army stuff. I'm alive and back.

Igor Hardy

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Re: Snakes of Avalon (Version 2.01 - bugs fixed!)
« Reply #76 on: 17 Oct 2010, 18:07 »
Thanks, Dual.

For a game so short (don't be offended) the coverage is great.

But are you sure longer playing length is that often appreciated or wished for? From what I see in the media, the shorter and more focused on one clear theme a freeware adventure game is, the more chances it has for comments, positive coverage and being actually completed by a number of people. Think 15 minute games like Little Wheel.

To be honest when I recommend Snakes to players, I tell them it will take only 90 minutes to finish as an additional encouragement.
« Last Edit: 18 Oct 2010, 11:14 by Ascovel »

Dualnames

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Re: Snakes of Avalon (Version 2.01 - bugs fixed!)
« Reply #77 on: 18 Oct 2010, 01:59 »
Thanks, Dual.

For a game so short (don't be offended) the coverage is great.

But longer playing length is that often appreciated or wished for? From what I see in the media, the shorter and more focused on one clear theme a freeware adventure game is, the more chances it has for comments, positive coverage and being actually completed by a number of people. Think 15 minute games like Little Wheel.

To be honest when I recommend Snakes to players, I tell them it will take only 90 minutes to finish.


Yep, it lasts around there. One hour to two.
No more military army stuff. I'm alive and back.

Igor Hardy

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Re: Snakes of Avalon (Version 2.01 - bugs fixed!)
« Reply #78 on: 26 Oct 2010, 16:01 »
New review! :D This time on Gnome's Lair: http://www.gnomeslair.com/2010/10/snakes-of-avalon.html

Igor Hardy

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Re: Snakes of Avalon (Version 2.01 - bugs fixed!)
« Reply #79 on: 04 Nov 2010, 21:13 »
If anyone got a few nice words to spare about our game... Snakes got onto a collection of 10 indie games' "advertisements" (or "begging-for-supper songs") on Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Every nice comment in the comments under the article will make the game more desirable for those who haven't played it yet.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/11/04/the-indie-supper-singing-spectacular/