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Topics - Wesray

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The Far Corners of the World - Chapter 2: Unfamiliar Territory





Last time we met our hero Jeff Carter, his quest to help his sister Suzie had taken a peculiar turn. Now he must navigate alien lands, meeting new friends and foes in the process. And while Jeff's reunion with Suzie is closer than he dares to believe, new trouble's brewing just around the corner...

Seeing as I announced Chapter 1 around Christmas a couple of years ago, it seems appropriate to continue the tradition by giving you an early first look at chapter 2 of the FCotW-series today.

Chapter 2 will answer many open questions from the first part and feature two different paths through the game, three playable characters, another small arcade game, dozens of brain-twisting puzzles and more story-twists and turns than you can poke a stick at.

However, due to that pesky thing called real life, the complexity of the project and above all my own laziness, FCotW2 will take me at least another year to complete. But as you all know, good things take time and constant dripping wears the stone, or something like that. If you are interested in the development progress, you can always check my webpage!

So cheers for now and a Happy New Year everyone! :)

I am proud to present my first game:

The Far Corners of the World: Chapter 1 - The Book, the Box and the Key

Young Jeffrey Carter has it all: a great flat, a good job and a beautiful (and rich) fiancee. One day however his peaceful life is turned upside down when he receives a mysterious message from his estranged sister. What starts as a journey to atone for past failings soon takes a sinister turn. Little does Jeff know that the adventure of his lifetime is about to begin...

- A 2d adventure game inspired by classics like Zak McKracken, Monkey Island and the Gabriel Knight series
- An original story full of twists and turns
- 50+ rooms of crazy yet (hopefully) logical puzzles
- An optional arcade mini game

Some of you may remember my first announcement of FCotW on these forums, way back in December 2009. Since then my my little pet project has grown significantly and now the big day of release has finally come: My thanks go to forum members DrWhite, Arj0n and Ascovel and all the others that supported me in this endeavor.

Now give it a try if you want - I hope you'll have as much fun playing the game, as I had developing it. Oh, and please don't withhold your feedback, whether positive or negative. All your opinions and suggestions are welcome - they will help me to improve with Chapter 2! :)

Download the game HERE!

The Far Corners of the World - Chapter 1: The Book, the Box and the Key

Update August 6, 2011 (Demo out!):----> HERE <-----.

Chapter 1: The Book, the Box and the Key


Chapter 1 Coming 2010!

Lots of questionable retro-ish MS Paint art in all its 320x200 glory

Meet a number of quirky characters of various degrees of helpfulness

Solve head-scratching puzzles that will probably make your brain melt

On your epic quest you will travel to many interesting locations

Progress Chapter 1 (Updated):
Story 100%
Puzzle Design 99%
Backgrounds & Sprites 90%
Scripting 80%
Polishing 10%
Music & Sound 5%

With the backgrounds and most characters out of the way (for chapter 1) I am currently busy with scripting. I hope to have the game ready for beta-testing by early March.

For news about the ongoing development of FCotW and the upcoming release of chapter 1 you can follow my twitter @wbentoch. By the release of the first part I hope to have a website online with further information about the game and its development.  

Update 01/10/10: Update 04/25/10:

I updated the description and screenshots of the project. The full title of the first game is "The Far Corners of the World - Chapter 1: The Book, the Box and the Key". Really long I know, but I quite like it. If everything goes according to plan this will be the first of a 5-part series. One chapter per year is the current release plan, but it might take longer.

Status: An alpha version of the game has been fully playable for some time now. It has most of the art and animations in place, but still lacks lots of polishing. Moreover I decided to add some locations that I first intended to cut for time reasons. But if I am doing this at all, I reckoned I better do it right. The new scenes really help the flow and add to the story, and one of them is quickly becoming my favourite location in the game.

So when will the game come out? Dunno, summer still looks good for a beta version with all the new screens, characters and puzzles integrated. Although there's a lot left to do, FCotW1 has come a long way from its inception and is slowly locking into its final shape. A release later this year should be a realistic goal.

Adventure Related Talk & Chat / The Whispered World
« on: 30 Aug 2009, 15:33 »
Has anybody here already played the new commercial German adventure game "The Whispered World" by Deadalic Entertainment? I and my adventure-playing friends absolutely love it so far and I highly recommend it to anyone here. The gorgeous hand-painted backgrounds (see screenshots below) remind me of Curse of Monkey Island and the puzzle design is really satisfying for the most part, though some obstacles can be quite challenging.

Luckily Whispered World is very different from most other recent German adventures. It is not another fantasy/pirate spoof, but foremost it has an original story to tell, with some great characters and sarcastic, sometimes rather dark humour thrown into the mix. In that respect it reminds me of classics like Grim Fandango or, yes, the original Monkey Islands. The melancholic atmosphere is still very unique though.

Judging by their first two games, there almost seems to be a new Lucas Arts in town with Deadalic Entertainment. On the technical side they have progressed leaps and bounds since their first game, "Edna and Harvey" (still a great comedic adventure game, which story took a surprisingly dark turn in the end). And the story, humour and puzzles of Whispered World seem to be at least on par, if the first two chapters are anything to go by.

I can only hope that Whispered World is the huge blockbuster it deserves to be, showing that traditional point & click adventures with beautiful 2D-Graphics and a creative thoughtful story still sell well nowadays.

Adventure Related Talk & Chat / AGS workshops
« on: 06 Jul 2009, 01:18 »
Hi everyone!

I'm currently busy organizing an AGS workshop which will take place at my university next Thursday. I'm about to finalize the program, but I thought it might be a good idea to get some feedback from the community. Perhaps some of you have done something like this before.  Even if not, you might have good ideas what to include in future workshops. :)

Let me first outline the situation. I teach computer science classes at an Austrian university. During the last few years I have also been involved in programs that aim to spark interest for technical studies in pupils approaching graduation. During these events I've already held two workshops where I taught pupils the basics of the AGS editor and I showed them how to implement a small adventure game step-by-step. This approach was quite successful, e.g. some pupils decided to do a small AGS game as their graduation project at school.

Anyways, due to the success of the last workshop I was asked to hold another one as a part of a bigger event next week. This time the situation will be a bit different though, since this workshop has a new target audience: informatics teachers. The whole event aims to show school teachers alternative aspects of computer science, and in the best case some of them might be motivated to introduce new ideas in their curricula. However those teachers come from various school types from all over Austria and they teach pupils of ages between 10 and 20. Thus it is clear that I have to adapt my strategy for this new audience. Getting too technical or staying too superficial is likely to alienate a part of the participants, so I'll have to find a good middle road.

What is it exactly then, that I'll try to accomplish? I aim to show teachers how AGS can be used in their classes to complement the typical programming languages taught at school and to motivate interested pupils to dig deeper into it on their own. I have only about 2 hours time for that. My current strategy looks as follows:

1. I'll start by telling the teachers about the goals of my workshop. They should know what to expect.
2. Then I'll proceed with a brief introduction on adventure games. This will be very short, as these kinds of games are still very popular around here (the adventure game workshop is also the most popular one of the whole event). I'll also give a short general introduction about AGS and where to find more information about it. The participants will be shown some examples for successful AGS games (only screenshots) to point out their range and diversity.
3. Next the teachers will use the available notebooks for a few minutes to play the short demo game that was developed during the previous workshops. This will give everyone the opportunity to see first hand what we are talking about.  :=
4. After that I will give the teachers a short explanation how to install AGS at their schools and how to use the demo game template (which they will be able to download from our website after the workshop).
5. Then the main part of the workshop begins. Using the demo game template, I will spend about 45 minutes presenting some essential parts of the AGS editor, especially the room menu and the scripts. During this time I will also show how to do some very simple scripting and I will show how programming concepts like variables, decisions, loops, arrays etc. are used and manipulated in AGS.
6. Finally the teachers themselves will implement a small new puzzle to the demo game on their notebooks, using some scripting commands they learned in the previous step. First we will brainstorm together which steps are needed in detail and then they will try to actually script this puzzle on their own.
7. In the end there will be a short discussion and feedback.
Since there is a lot of information in step 5, the participants will receive handouts prior to the workshop. In particular these handouts will also contain an additional step-by-step tutorial how to start when developing a completely new game, because optimally teachers should be able to coach pupils who deem AGS interesting and want to go into more details themselves. Of course I will also provide links to the online tutorials.

Phew, what a huge post! :P So, what do you guys think? Am I on the right track? If you had 90 - 120 minutes to educate a bunch of teachers on how to use AGS in their classes, where would you put the focus? Of course there isn't much time now to change my strategy for the upcoming workshop, but comments and suggestions are always welcome and I will certainly consider them for future events.

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