THAWED NOTES ON GAME CHILL - A GAME CHILL 2013 OVERVIEW

Exactly what it says on the tin.

  • Marrend
  • 03/08/2014 12:43 AM
  • 4472 views
Thawed Notes on Game Chill - A Game Chill 2013 overview


Now that Game Chill 2013 is finally behind us, let's take a look at each of the entries. I'll go through these in the approximate order that I played them. As with reviews, I will attempt to be as general as possible, but there are likely to be some spoilers in here. This is your final, and only, warning!







You still reading? Okay, let's start off with...

Chance Encounter
List items: Prayer, Frosty the Snowman's hat, Fancy dinner party

Gee, I wonder how it came about that I played this first?

Sarcasm aside, this was an extension of an abandoned game idea some people may have read about called Oracle of Askigaga. As such, there were a number of NPCs that had names that were dropped to more general titles for the sake of the player. One apparently recalled a talking point against the Nugget Crash Course version of a certain game.

The most fun I had with this game was the duel at the end of the game. While the level cap is 10, getting to the duel, and being on equal footing with the opponent might have been a bit too much of a grind to make this a serious contender. Not like it was a contender to begin with, but that's beside the point!



Next up was...

The Legend of Frosty
List items: Gingerbread men, Frosty the Snowman's hat, hockey

Once the issue with the hero start position was recognized and dealt with, this entry was pretty neat. I was particularly interested with the one puzzle where the girl threw a snowball to activate a switch on the other side of a ravine. This should sound very familiar, in concept, to followers of this game. To be honest, I don't think the gameplay mechanic that is the Wand of Blasting would be what it is if it were not for this entry. In respect to that, I have to tip my hat to this game.

Saying that, this game very much has a "tech demo" feel to it. If memory serves, the developer pretty much admitted that, so I guess it's no loss that it wasn't really in contention to win? I would like to see these gameplay mechanics in a full game, though.



Next was...

A Krampus Christmas
List items: Gingerbread men, Frosty the Snowman's hat, oops?

The game is sorta set up like an adventure game where you collect items to unlock locations, so that you can repeat the process somewhere else. Personally, I liked the school setting, but I'm a pretty huge sucker for that to begin with. The game was a tad frustrating in it's battles when I played it, but I clearly did not understand the true meaning of frustration.

In the end, I guess this was an "okay" entry. I felt the ending was a bit anti-climatic, and I've heard enough of "Dance of the Sugarplum Faerie" to last a lifetime.



Next was...
Czarina Must Die
List items: Gingerbread men, Prayer, Fancy dinner party

I really liked this game's music. I swear, "Closing in ~ Zonderland" was my go-to song for the entire month of January. Also, the talk bubbles that relay that these characters have stats personalities was a nice touch. Though, it's also true that I am a huge sucker for jokes that break the fourth wall.

The gameplay here was top-notch. Battles use a free-action system where you can take a number of actions equal to your party's size, but a character can take more than one action in a round. There was definitely some strategizing happening on this side of the screen. Saying that, the boss on floor 3 was really tricky for me. I must have fought that thing five times over the course of the event judging period (Come on. It's totally okay to laugh at the phrase "event judging period".), but the best I could manage against it was a stale-mate.

Though, despite my grievances with THAT STUPID BOSS FIGHT, I find it really difficult not to give this game mad props for what it is, and does. Which may be one of the reasons Craze has been sporting a new badge lately.



Next was...
Dunlop Cavern: Curse of the Eggnog
List items: Prayer, Hockey, Gingerbread men

I never really came across the whole "Gingerbread men" thing, but, as you read further, that was probably the least of my concerns.

This game wasn't a lot of fun for me. First, because getting to a save point before dying was difficult, at best. So each time I died, I had to re-set, and seeing that opening started to get annoying. On my fourth-ish attempt of the game, I actually managed to get to a save point. Only to be hit with the save-point bug. Technically, that was my fault, since I knew about it, and what could cause it. However, it still wasn't a happy experience.



Next was...
Ginger
List items: Gingerbread Men, Frosty the Snowman's hat, Bing Crosby

To be perfectly honest, I think I was too stressed-out and nervous-like with the whole "Don't get eaten!" directive to notice much about the game. Though, maybe that's the point, in a sense?

I'm probably not the one to talk to about this game. This was a top pick for Addit and/or slashpheonix, so they probably could provide better commentary than I.



Next was...
Halo's Mixtape
List items: Hockey, Fancy dinner party, Bing Crosby

After all the frustrating, nerve-wracking experiences, this game was like a freaking god-send. I was pretty tempted to call this my favorite game of the bunch for just that alone. However, I recalled that I still had one more game, and it would be inappropriate to make such a call without playing it.

Anyway, the game flips the table in it's roles. Rather than being in the shoes of a hero that can (and does) take anything and everything that isn't nailed down, players are put into the shoes of someone who has been burglarized by a so-called hero. This "hero" lives in his own fantasy world. He thinks he's doing the right thing, but he's really not. He's a burden to everyone he meets, and his self-centered nature isn't helping things at all.

The simplistic graphic style is cute, and, I don't think I need to say that the game isn't really hard. You just go from A to B to C, eventually getting the titluar Halo's Mixtape back from the hero, and have a party. I dunno, maybe I'm just weird, but the simplicity really attracted me because of the order of operations of these games.

As an added note, Rachael voiced some qualms about this title, but, um, yeah. Let's not speak of that further.



Finally, there was...
Bleak
List items: Gingerbread Men, Prayer, Bing Crosby

This game was a bit rough around the edges. The picnic blanket at the game's offset had red blocks on it. I think I remember the developer saying something about a script being non-functional for players, but not for him. Or other such weirdness. Then, there were places in the house that I searched that threw exceptions that closed the program. These weren't really huge issues, though.

To be honest, the thing that would have brought this game down a lot would have been the lack of a walkthrough. The best use of the walkthrough would probably be to help get the clothes so that your inescapable doom doesn't actually happen, and explore at one's own devices. Though, to be honest, I followed the walkthrough without too much deviation since, well, it's there. I guess it's inclusion on the gamepage is mixed bag, I guess.

Did this game have jump-scares, or am I randomly mistaking this for AKAMI TAN? Man, have I been chugging some cursed eggnog, or something?



Other notes

Before I do anything else, let me apologize, once again, for the tardiness of our decision. Like I may have mentioned in the event page, maybe we could have handled Rachael's "absentee ballot" better. I dunno.

I know of three games that intended to be part of Game Chill 2013, couldn't quite make it, but have a game-page anyway. One is BOUNDD - Winterfest, which I have played, and reviewed. Another is Pandora's Present, which I have been following passively, but have not played yet. The other is Destitute, which is still in development phase.

I have to wonder how our deliberations would change if any of these were viable entries? In the case of BOUNDD, I think it might have been possible to include that game, as I think it was ready-to-go in a similar time-frame to The Legend of Frosty and Czarina Must Die? However, the participation achievements were already handed out when the game grabbed my attention, making it seem a bit late to add it to consideration. I sorta doubt it would ultimately change the decision that we ended up making, but, I still feel a bit guilty. In the case of Pandora's Present and Destitute, this is a much tougher call to make. That they would have to be complete at around the same time-frame as the other late-ish entries means... well, I'm not really sure. I would have to actually play them to make any kind of reasonable determination.

All-in-all we had a pretty good run this event. I'm not sure when, or if, I will be called to judge again, but, if it should happen, I will have the Rune of Punishment avatar at the ready. Of course, now that it's been removed, does that not actually indicate that I'm dead? Absorbed into the Rune's memories, or something? Eeek!

Posts

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Hey Marrend! Thanks for the overview, loving the ice puns and the way you sort of tie the whole post together

If you were at all somehow still interested in my game's third item:


Color swaps of this guy were the end bosses, big whoop. Seeing them took a little while however, they spawned in variation across a number of points. Coming across them early on however would probably get you killed, so I guess I sorta funneled myself into people not ever seeing it. The closest people got was little silhouette of one in that first notebook but...


Thank you for expressing tolerance with that build for as long as you could, both this and other exchanges we've had have really aided me in figuring out some of the streamline decisions I have to make to ensure the progression is a bit more clear and cohesive. Though some other players like Liberty and Racheal (on her stream) seemed to "pick up" on the rhythm of the game rather quickly, it became clear to me that getting to that point was taking a little too long even by my taste. I can fully understand how it can get just more and more disorienting in the midst of frustration. Though the game is stable now, I still have significant additions in the works that will hopefully address both old and new problems.

But enough of that, I'd like to stress again that I had an absolutely great time with this event! One more immense thank you to you and the other judges for your involvement and dedication!

Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
18937
author=skaiano
If you were at all somehow still interested in my game's third item:


I can update this to reflect that. Obviously, I never encountered it, but, no biggy.

*Edit: Udpated! Also, skai, I knew your game has been updated since then. I, uh, just haven't gotten around to it.
author=Marrend
author=skaiano
If you were at all somehow still interested in my game's third item:

I can update this to reflect that. Obviously, I never encountered it, but, no biggy.

*Edit: Udpated! Also, skai, I knew your game has been updated since then. I, uh, just haven't gotten around to it.

No no no! Don't worry about it too much, the current update was just a stability patch, think of it as a sort of "in between" patch. I was meaning to make a blog on the profile about a certain "2.0" I had planned... but it may not released soon as I may or may not be caught up in a certain, more "important" project...
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13585
for the record, that track is from the Zonderland music pack you can buy on RPGMakerW Web, and is titled... Zonderland. yeah. zonderland zonderland zonderland, don't say it in a mirror

Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
18937
Here's a random fact about Chance Encounter: Defending recharges MP. This information is nowhere on the gamepage, in the manual, or, really, anywhere. It seems like such a huge oversight to not include that information, since I'm sure battles would be more bearable if players were aware of this functionality.

Not that being a more bearable game would allow Chance Encounter to have a chance at winning, though.
unity
You're magical to me.
12135
Was it even eligible, since you were a judge? Or was it just scored by the other judges?
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
18937
author=unity
Was it even eligible, since you were a judge?


It wasn't. That's the joke. Or feeble attempt thereof.
unity
You're magical to me.
12135
Ooops! >.<;; unity failed to notice the joke!
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