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INDIE GAME MAKING CONTEST ENTRY
THE CONTEST ENTRY VERSION COMPLETED BEFORE THE DEADLINE IS VERSION 1.4! Any version after that is not for the contest. I'm keeping the contest version up for you to see what it was like then(I was unhappy with how I didn't revise the writing when I changed the number of levels)!

The contest entry aims for an hour length. Future, more enhanced versions will have more levels. But for the contest, this first version will feature ONE memory the player must complete. It'll have four stages for visiting, as you try to find the conspiracy and solve this patient's problem.


COMPLETE: Current Version: 1.5
(Check download page for a version without RTP)

Perspective stars Amelia, the player, who discovers her attribute: memory. Guided by a therapist, she'll figure out how to use this ability in helpful ways for the patients. Evelyn Catarina, the lead therapist in the office, and her assistant Mr Pharell hope for an even greater benefit: finding information on a multi-country conspiracy!

The player will enter the patient's memory where they must follow clues. How do you obtain clues? By spectating the memory and watching where people go, hearing what they say. Based on your observations, you'll follow each lead to be in the right spot at the right time, and discover the mystery behind the memory! You can only be in one place at one time and when you discover something, you may have to just go back to an earlier part of the memory to follow the lead. Jump from stage to stage in the memory, each lasting a few minutes long.

The game experience will be very different for everyone! You can choose to find clues however you like. Follow this one person through the whole stage. Run around aimlessly to happen across something luckily. Choose a room and stay the entire stage. Do what you want to figure it out. Do the stages in any order! In the end, you'll need to have each piece of the mystery to prove the answer to it! (Although using your deduction skills is the preferred strategy)

Resource credits to:
Celiana for the tileset
Kread for an Event Update script
N.A.S.T.Y. Text Pop Over Events -Nelderson, tomoaky, and IceDragon
Gab Window - Yanfly
RMN Music Pack for the Soundtrack
MACK for use of the character generator

Other than my work, which includes level design, narrative design, writing, and all things gameplay, Seiromem mapped the level. And then thanks are due for my testers!
Veronica Bennie(Younger Sister)
John Bennie(Younger Brother, AKA: Seiromem)
Adam Rice
Andrew Clifford
Sone Berrios

Latest Blog

Act 2 resuming development, new system for clues, and Itch.io

Itch.io
First off, I've put the game up on itch.io! Perspective is ultimately going to be free of course, but I put it up there in case some might be generous enough to donate. It would help immensely and be very appreciated. Here's the link. I might plan some kind of reward for those who donate, maybe extras. Hmmmm...
http://outcry44.itch.io/perspective

Resuming Development
On to other news! I've gotten back to this project, and I'm getting back to working on the mapping of my four levels. I was going to wait until all four were mapped and show them as progress, but it's taking longer then I'd hoped. One is done, but I need to move on to the next ones. Other than mapping, I've got some character graphics to edit, but I also recently have a change coming with act 2 in terms of clues.

New Evented Conditions for Clues
I always knew using regions would be the way to go(since I'm just an eventer), but had not figured out how to use them in VXACE. I knew them in vx but for some reason didn't find them in ACE. But I looked back into it and found it to be a great way to make sure the player is standing near the clue in order for it to appear. I can also track to make sure they have seen hints to where to find a clue before they can find said clue. This will be an interesting tool to make sure players aren't randomly happening upon these clues, and I can force them to deduce where they should find the clues instead. However, I'll be careful with this, especially with what I just mentioned: making sure they have seen hints first. This would be confusing to a player who already knows about the clue and just wants to find it. So I can only add this condition in certain circumstances. Act 1's level won't be changed much, but these next act 2 levels will!

I still don't have a way to allow fast forwarding and rewinding. That's a little too intense for my skills. That would be a feature in a remake, when I can work with a programmer to set that up. But ah well. That's what's new with Perspective! Again, if you like my work and can donate a dollar in support, I'll be very thankful!

Posts

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Hey there! I just finished the demo. The extended version was the first time I've played. I really enjoyed the gameplay, trailing everyone and seeing all the pieces fall together.
I have to say, the font really isn't doing the game any favors, I'm sorry. It's a bit too tricky to read (Also a laptop user here) and it makes it kind of hard to keep track on everything that's going on, especially considering some of the cutscene stuff is kind of hard to take in without a proper lore introduction (attributes? Spirits? Orbs? Eh?). I got the hang of most of it in the end anyway, so there's that though! I'll be looking forward to the finished game in any case!
Hmmm, okay. I didn't know how the font would do for anybody else, so it's good to know it might be hard to read for some. I need to look into fonts more, and I had a lot of trouble with that when I was. My sister said she liked the font so I was like FINALLY, and put it in. Hah, my mistake.

I'm glad to hear from someone who played the extended version's demo before the contest entry. Act 1 is plenty different and more refined now compared to that one.

As for the lore about attributes, I'm sorry if you were a little more confused than you'd like, but there is something I intended. Act 1 is intended to be mainly the lore introduction as well as gameplay introduction. There were lore crystal unlockables before that talked about spirits and orbs, but random lore isn't a good reward and people usually don't want to read that. The intro also had too much exposition about the nature of attributes. So instead, I'm gonna let the game tell you through playing it.

If this world is to be believable, the attributes should mostly be common knowledge. So the best way for you to understand is to let the world tell you. Of course, it's not your fault because act 1 is short. Act 2 is larger, and will help build more understanding. I can't do much more with act 1 without overloading it with too much information. So! We'll let act 2 do it's work.

Now that you've played act 1 though, see it as this:
The gameplay mechanic uses Amelia's memory attribute, so there's an example of an attribute at play. The plot of the level is mainly about power that an attribute can give, at least that's what it will mean in the grand scheme of the storyline. So the majority is definitely introducing what attributes give to people. The conspiracy introduces the spirit and orb thing quickly, but obviously act 2 will focus on that stuff more.
I do think you did a good job of conveying the information you wanted to tell, so no worries about that! One more thing: I gathered all the collectibles, which should've gotten me some sort of lore bonus, right? I couldn't find it! D:
author=Ralphrius
I do think you did a good job of conveying the information you wanted to tell, so no worries about that! One more thing: I gathered all the collectibles, which should've gotten me some sort of lore bonus, right? I couldn't find it! D:


Right. What you played is the beta, so it wouldn't have mattered to you at this time, but what's changed is if you go to the save crystal, any crystal, you "Check Achievements", and instead you get an achievement for getting the collectibles rather than lore.

I plan to have achievements reward you with... something starting act 2, but for now, they are just markers saying "Hey, you did it!"

As for lore bonuses, I plan on having some new way to give them to you, through journals or book entries or whatever things, and I need a place to keep those. For now though, there's no lore bonuses or achievement rewards yet.
Ah, I see! In any case, good luck with the game, it looks great!
CashmereCat
Self-proclaimed Puzzle Snob
11505
I just finished this game and I gotta say it was great. The game is a journey into a person's mind. Following people, just listening to their conversations, is addicting. I found the mechanic to be innovative and I'd like to see it in other games as well, for example a city where you can follow anyone and find out about their day, to solve a mystery. There's a ton of potential in this concept, which makes me think, "Why haven't they made more games like this before?" Even listening to a guy and a girl talk about books they're reading was cool. Seeing how all the pieces of the mystery fit together is great, and each character was important and unique so you get to know them each one by one, even if you don't know their names but just their roles and personality.

My strategy was to find out where each character started off in the day, and then follow them and see what they did. One thing I found sad is that I wasn't sure which order the events happened until later, because they seemed to be in a jumbled order on the map. This was due to the non-linear placement of the nodes in the mansion. I figured out which order they were in the end, but I think I found the events in the wrong order.

But that aside, there's tons of scenes of simultaneous content, and the way you make it all fit together in realtime is exceptional. It's all very rewarding. If I have a minor complaint, it's only that some characters would do nothing at all, and when I'd follow them, it'd be a disappointment to learn they were not important in that scene. But thinking about the alternatives, there probably aren't many. One would be to display the thoughts of the characters in brackets, but then again, I don't think that's effective storytelling - showing what people think rather than showing their motivations through what they say instead.

The ability to fastforward or rewind would be a cool addition to the game. For example, having a key bound to moving the clock backwards 15 seconds or something. There are a couple of quirks, like when you press pause, the "lounge music" plays but the background music still goes on, which makes them overlap each other. Also, sometimes when you use "D" to return from a night scene, it will remove the "night time overlay" and make it display with regular light instead. I think inside maps should be brightly lit at all times, but only when you go outside it should be dark.

The game outstayed its welcome during the latter portion, especially when you've got pretty much everything figured out and you're just wandering around trying to find the last bit you missed. I made the mistake of thinking that there was only "one" object to be found in each memory, then it would unlock the next memory, but I had an erroneous understanding of the game's mechanics.

I also got frustrated when I realized all I had to do to finish the game was to interact with those two crystals. I thought it might automatically be able to detect that I found all the clues without having to interact with the crystals, which I never did, because I just assumed you had to keep that information in your mind.

Nevertheless, overall the game is a well-told story with innovative mechanics and I enjoyed it. More games like this that push the envelope are appreciated. Looking forward to whatever other games you make. Cheers!
When you say "they", do you mean me? Hah, I have been working on a continuation of this game actually, continuing the story. That answers your "why haven't they made more games like this", but I'm interested to know what version you played? Sounds like you played the revised version of act 1. If you did, and your comments directed at the storytelling are true, then WOW! Thank you very much! I'm surprised to hear, in the midst of working on two projects and college work, that my revisions helped greatly. All of those things you said were definitely goals of mine with my revision. I added a lot of those conversations, fleshed it out. However, I'm limited in animations and skill with art and programming, so I totally agree with you on the disappointment occasionally in following certain characters, the fast forward and rewind mechanics. They would all wrap up the rest of this game into a whole, perfected design.

Without an artist or programmer, I am at a loss for these features, however. This is everything I can manage so far alone as a designer/writer, but I am making fixes. I'll jot down those issues you found, thank you! They will come in the next iteration. As for the frustration and understanding issues: I can see how it's very difficult to teach the player how the levels are structured. I'll hopefully be able to note all these misunderstandings and change the tutorial messages to make sure they include details like that.

Just a little progress mention: we are working on mapping for the four levels in act 2(it's taking a long time because Seiromem isn't actually working on them, and I might need to start.), but I plan on reducing the acts to 3 or 4 instead of 5. I agree, this concept has a lot of potential, which is why I planned 5 acts(5 total waves of content). But to improve the story and make sure it's complete faster, I'll be doing a rewrite of the later acts. Back to your thoughts on the story now that I think of it: It's great to know the first act's writing is up where I want it to be before moving on to the next act. I'm very happy you like the writing, as that's the part I was worried about after the contest version.

Oh, one more thing. About the characters of the level: I casted the new levels, making sure each had a role, and would ALL be necessary and fulfilling to watch. They'll have their own sub-plots, some side-quest mysteries, and you'll be able to really see how the world in Perspective(and my whole attribute universe) works.

To conclude, thank you! That was a good block of feedback, I really needed that actually, to help push the game along. I'm working on an RPG right now primarily, but hopefully this game speeds up in development.
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