Advice about IF game in progress [Hazel, Angelgaze]

In the past couple of weeks I have put online playable demos of two games I’ve been working on, one is a point and click adventure and one is Interactive Fiction but heavy on photorealistic graphics and sound/ambience.

Realistically I can only finish one of them. On Itch so far there hasn’t been one person that liked the more literary and slow advancing IF one. So I decided to check here as well for two reasons (a) I remembered the site as used to come here asking for help with inform7 (right now I have my own custom engine though)… and (b) I believe that people here are more focused on text, so I wonder whether having graphics in the first place has any benefit.

Furthermore the graphics style is kind of unusual, it’s passed through an Amiga HAM filter to recreate the mood of those old FMV games or games that used photos as assets (and the photos look different from the UI).

That’s it I just wanted some feedback from the IF community, the demo you can download by going to retrokissgames on itch, “hazel” is the one I’m talking about and “angelgaze” is the point and click one with totally different style.

PS I would take part in the “love and violence” jam but I saw that AI generated anything is not ok (I write the text myself, but the photos are AI generated)



For those who wants easier access:

It is usually best to ask in the relevant topic, but if a jam has a general No AI content, you can assume that this includes all aspects of the game (i.e. text, code, visual, sound, elements on the game page, title card).


Thanks, it wouldn’t let me post links.

I suspect that the spirit of that rule did not include photorealistic imagery (because after all if you are using what are essentially photographs, you are not robbing photons of their livelihood). But it didn’t seem enough of a big deal to bother them with it :slight_smile:

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IF you want to be certain, and avoid getting your entry removed: Ask in the right topic :wink:


I played Hazel a bit. here are some comments:

I didn’t manage to escape. I got the umbrella and the envelope. Played on windows


  1. I don’t like things that go full-screen without any means to change it or
    stop it. This is quite annoying.

  2. parser not understanding “it” is frustrating.

  3. parser should have “I” for inventory.

  4. bath = tub

  5. In this game “search” can reveal more than examine. This is a bit old school. But could be deliberate.

  6. “use toilet” :slight_smile:

  7. system needs options and settings.


Bespoke game interface is nice. Although i wasn’t able to click on the tabs at the bottom. Presumably, they are not done yet, but when they work, should be cool.

Audio worked well.


In general i like games with graphics. A big fan of adding artwork to IF. The idea of the retro look some people will like, some will hate. could there be a “retro shader” option?

One problem today is people don’t like to read bundles of text rendered like a bad TV. But yes, it does looks cool. I’ve been messing with some CRT shaders, but it’s not the way i want to play a long game.

A big problem (for me), this game’s “fuzzy graphics” make it both a “guess the verb” game and a “guess what’s in the picture” game. Maybe deliberate too. But a bit annoying.

For example, i went around randomly typing get umbrella until it worked. Then I thought. “so that’s the umbrella!”

Anyway, that’s it for or a quick play. I think the system has potential.

best of luck.



Thanks for playing & your comments, replies below!

  1. Fullscreen 1920x1080 is pretty much needed for the CRT effect. I added a text file called “special commands” yesterday which gives you a WINDOW mode option. Also fixed a bug with cursor position. With these you can run a window 1920x1080 on a 4k monitor (manual positioning in the center is required). Big monitor seems the only reason why you wouldn’t want it open in full screen.

  2. Can you give an example? Do you mean “it” as the last mentioned object? Seems like something I could implement easily.

  3. The inventory is on the right side all the time, wondering if your window is displayed correctly for you to see it. And the tabs below are actually working. Try the latest build just in case.

  4. Added synonym “bath” to indicate the bath tub. Tub also works.

  5. It was deliberate yes, is it not how it’s supposed to work? If you look at a bed it will just read what it looks like. If you search it the character will go through the sheets to see if there’s anything hidden.

  6. Added for the next upload round (flush toilet was there though :))

  7. Will definitely have some settings UI for the release for now they are special commands listed in the TXT file in the most recent released

  8. CRT OFF lets you turn off the retro shader

  9. The umbrella is listed when you look at the room. I am not relying on the user making sense of blurry graphics to get ahead in the game. You should be able to play with text only, with graphics there for mood. I think that is ideal :slight_smile:



I think the idea is that you might want to do something to indicate to the player that “search” will turn up more than “examine” and is necessary in some cases, because while that used to be a common mechanic, it’s fallen out of favor and “search” is often treated as a synonym of “examine” in modern games.

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Thanks for the update. I’ll give it another go soon.

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