Widow’s Woods Completed (Completely)

It’s very hard to stop working on something you love, and so I have found myself returning again and again to tweak features (and add features), since I first uploaded Widow’s Woods – A Southfog Point and Click Mini Adventure.

In my last post, I mentioned the possibility of adding a save feature to the game even though it is so short, it probably doesn’t need one. I decided that, as it was a feature I will be adding to future games, I might as well implement it here as a trial run. So I did.

While I was at it, I reinvented the title screen, because I thought it needed to be a little bit more – alive. I am much happier with the result.

So, here it is, my final version of the the game Widow’s Woods – A Southfog Point and Click Mini Adventure. I will be leaving it for a while now, and wait until it gets some more downloads and hopefully constructive criticism. Any further suggestions I receive, other than bug reports, will probably only help me shape future games. So, unless bugs are found crawling through the Southfog cupboards, this should be the final version of the game.

So if you haven’t downloaded it already, you can find the link to the right of this page – or here.

The new title screen. It has a little bit of movement in the live version.

Widow’s Woods Completed

My first point and click adventure game is completed – or is it more accurate to say (mostly) completed.

Making this short game has been a great learning experience, and my weeks work has turned into almost a month of work. I have made quite a few changes and additions to my first ever Southfog point and click adventure game since I uploaded the first version of it for the Weekly Game Jam 84.

Taking Command

I’ve added a selection of commands to use, instead of one catch-all command. At first I thought that the single command option would make the game less hassle to play. As I got into it, though, I remembered how much fun it is to experiment with different command/object combinations in other point and click games, such as Thimbleweed Park.

Voice Balloons

I’ve added voice balloons with character portraits instead of the Sierra style dialogue text over the characters head. I much prefer the new aesthetic, which adds a slightly more modernised look. It also gives me greater control over the presentation of the text.

Officially licenced Star Invader’s tent.

New Character Design

The original character design received a lot of Gravity Falls comparisons – be that for the good or the bad. The similarity between the Gravity Falls style and my original style was not a coincidence. I had 6 days to complete the original game, and I couldn’t spend much of that time worrying about character design. So I made a snap decision. I wanted the game to have a Gravity Falls feel to it, and so I thought why not give the character the familiar overlapping circle eyes (which is a common Sunday Comic character element anyway) and pink nose. When the jam was finished and I got to refining the game. I had the opportunity to use a character design that is more “me”, this really only meant removing the characteristic eyes and nose as it turned out, and I came up with the new design which I am much happier with anyway.

I have added other polish to the character, like animated mouth while talking, and random character animations. I think it adds to the polish.

(Mostly) Complete?

I say mostly, because I am missing one thing in my efforts to finish the game completely. Feedback. I have heard some great ideas from some wonderful people who have streamed the game as part of covering the Weekly Game Jam, and also other people who left comments. Thank you all. I have incorporated most of these ideas into the game and the game has been improved tremendously because of the valuable feedback.

However, i need more feedback to help improve it even more and to make my future games better. So, while I do consider the game “complete” in the current state, I may add in some wonderfully essential features if someone has the necessary insight and suggests it to me. Like a save system, which has been suggested. I didn’t think that feature would be required in such a short game, yet it has been suggested. So, that may very well be coming.

Name Change

I changed the name of the game from the wishy-washy Southfog – a point and click mini adventure, to the far less wishy-washy Widow’s Woods – a Southfog Point and Click Mini Adventure. Wait a minute. That’s just as wishy-washy.

What Next?

Now I need to think about two things.

Firstly, I need to promote the game to get actual people actually playing it. I am terrible at PR and have a lot to learn. This is my opportunity learn.

Secondly, I need to start thinking about the next Southfog adventure. I have some ideas. There is a big adventure looming, but it’s in the distance. I have a lot to learn before I am ready for that. In the meantime, there are some more short adventures to come. I have one in the workings, but nothing to show as yet. I will be showing something off as soon as I can.

In the meantime, if you try my Southfog game, please let me know what you think. And be as critical as you want. I have tough skin. It will help me make my games better.

Just two guys going for a stroll in the woods.

Alone in the Woods

Southfog – Alone in the Woods is a very short point and click adventure I made to help me learn how to use Visionaire Studio 5. But essentially, it is just a trial run to know the strengths and weaknesses of 1) myself and 2) the engine, before commencing plans on a much larger game.

I completed it in six days as part of the Weekly Game Jam 84,  with the theme of “Alone”. (One additional day after the jam to add some  much needed features – such as audio, and another day to improve the interface)

Controls are with your mouse and left mouse button.

Southfog – Alone in the Woods is inspired by many different things. There’s a little bit of Gravity Falls, Stranger Things, Unforeseen Incidents and maybe a few other things too.

I would love any kind of comments that you would like to make – positive or negative comments are both welcome.