Hi Patrick. Thank you for playing my game.
I understand a lot of the reviewers frustrations and do feel shame for pushing it through without having everything completed the way I intended the finished the game to be. The last week before submission, I was hammering away at it for 16 hours every day.
From the end result, I wonder if everyone thinks it’s because I wasn’t smart enough to make it right, or if they see the potential from what was completed and understand I would have made it a lot better if I had more time.
Coming from old school text adventures where no information was given about the objective, or what commands to use on objects and places; and everything was a blank slate for the player to discover, I figured I’d just leave it all unexplained and let the player solve everything. The object was to recreate the experience I had with the original games in the 80s. The long nights I’d spend alone trying to figure out what were useful items and what command would combine them to act together. The magic feeling of opening up new areas that were locked before. New text on the screen after seeing everything so many times, you knew it by heart.
The thing about gaming back in the day was that it was likely the only game you had. There weren’t a million other games readily available if you got frustrated. So even when you put the game down, it would still be playing in your head.
I’ve since tried to rekindle the nostalgia, playing on emulators, but the old games are now tainted with limitations that didn’t exist before newer games changed everyone’s expectations. I added a bunch of secrets to mine that I intended to bring the genre into the modern day, but it made the game a little too big to complete in time and some things ended up half assed.
A lot of other secrets were perhaps undiscovered because what was there might have given the impression that my priorities should have been utilized elsewhere and if little things weren’t done properly, other bigger things probably wouldn’t have even been implemented. There was just no accounting for what things broke when other things were fixed and the end feature result was random.
There is actually a way to load and save games. The command for it was LOADGAME / SAVEGAME GAMENAME. RESTARTGAME restarts it and EXITGAME to quit.
There is also an in game fog of war map that no one seemed to discover. type MAP
There was an alchemy section to the game where the user can craft items with elements transmuted from fallen enemies, which did work technically, though the use of the crafted items wasn’t implemented because of time limitations.
There were some clues written on objects, but the main character is sight impaired and cannot read small writing unless he equips something to aid him.
There are shops where you can buy and sell items and if you buy a shovel, you can dig every location to get a random treasure.
There are a few puzzles that rely on you knowing the time to within 30 minutes. There is a real time world clock that ticks every turn. You can estimated the time from the location description, but if you find the ghost watch, you will no longer have to guess.
A lot the procedural text was actually just debugging text that I had planned to replace with more relevant messages… Again, time.
I genuinely feel bad for your frustrating experience. I worked solo on the entire project from scratch and only started three months before the deadline. It would have been nice if the game had a better reception, but truthfully, I really just hoped someone would like it well enough to work with me on the next one I made. And pushing it out in its current state was a gamble that didn’t pay off.
I still plan to work on it more, as time allows, and hopefully it’ll yet be something that is fun and worthy of praise.
Thank you for your fair review of what was presented.