Everyone else is doing a post-mortem, so time to jump on that band-wagon!
I feel pretty happy with 17th out of 71; that puts me in the top 25%; I was aiming for top 33%. The reviews have been, by and large, pretty fair. I think my one disappointment is the number of judges - only 39 for my game, which is a pretty average figure. Part of the reason for entering was to get a wide audience. Oh well.
I do want to thank the organises for what was for me a very slick competition.
The following notes are also available in game if you complete it.
The original idea for this came from a long thread on RPG.net that discussed possible adventures set in a weird house. This would have been about eight years ago when I saw it, maybe more.
So I started to write this about eight years ago, using Quest 5. The basic layout of the house was more-or-less established, plus Patch, the yellow balloon and the big/little room. Mandy’s uniform and book changing in different zones was in there, and the silvers were in my head, though not yet in the game. The answer to the riddle was, of course, more of that time.
It sat untouched for many years, coincidently until I had a sixteen year old daughter myself - not called Mandy.
I started creating a few games to try it out, before coming back to The House on Highfield Lane around the summer of 2020. Later development of QuestJS went hand-in-hand with development of this game.
The hourglass and everything connected to that entered the story at this time, but other bits were cut, including a coal mine where Patch would dig out coal for a giant mechanical spider…
Some bits only came together during beta-testing. One tester wanted more descriptions for the paintings to learn more about Winfield’s family - which was the first I knew the painting were his family! But then I realised the dead horse had belonged to his father and the clockwork thespian turned out to be his brother. One tester spent ages trying to look at the glass shard through the telescope, another wanted to put the chamber pot under the leak. Another wanted to kill Winfield! I implemented these things, wondering if anyone would ever see them. Yes, that is hint! Go find them!
The two teachers mentioned, by the way, were both teachers I had at high school, and I grew up in house number 23, while my mother grew up in Highfield Way in a house of a similar age. The place names are just made up.
My sixteen-year-old daughter did very well at her GCSEs. If you found the Easter Egg, Mandy will too!