December 16th-19th 2011 :: Theme: Alone

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AB-ALONE

by SonnyBone - 48 Hour Compo Entry

AB-ALONE: A survival/adventure/puzzle game with a unique twist.

An alien creature crash lands on an unknown planet and ends up on a remote island. With no way to repair the spacecraft and no way to call for help, the stranded alien is forced to survive while attempting to find a way home. The small island is covered with sand, grass, rocks, and trees... but no other life forms can be found. A startling discovery reveals that there may be more to this world than originally thought...

CONTROLS
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The controls are listed in a text file as well as on my game page at: http://www.phantomgreen.com/games/abalone

wasd - movement
mouse - cursor
left click - select/use
scroll wheel - zoom
f4 - toggle full screen
esc - exit

GUIDE
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This game is meant to be a puzzle. There is no tutorial. You have to learn how to survive just like an alien on an unknown planet. I will write a guide that will spoil the experience, and I will include it on my game page at: http://www.phantomgreen.com/games/abalone

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness100%
#14Community3.86
#48Overall3.51
#64Fun3.21
#65Theme3.62
#78Humor2.96
#80Audio3.18
#132Mood3.05
#135Innovation3.08
#208Graphics3.03

Comments

Dec 19, 2011 @ 6:50am

Link doesn't work

bzizizi says ...
Dec 19, 2011 @ 7:52am

Yep, link not working.

Quimby says ...
Dec 19, 2011 @ 9:39am

Ditto - Shame, this one looked interesting.

spiral says ...
Dec 19, 2011 @ 10:26am

:( no worky

vubuntu says ...
Dec 20, 2011 @ 3:40pm

Page not found

SonnyBone says ...
Dec 20, 2011 @ 9:45pm

AH CRAP. I forgot to make the page public. You should be able to download the game now. I added a mirror link just in case my host flakes out.

SonnyBone says ...
Dec 20, 2011 @ 9:46pm

THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW, BTW. I could see the page just fine because I'm logged into my own site, but I forgot that I made it private while creating the draft. :(

caranha says ...
Dec 21, 2011 @ 11:39pm

Whoops.

Very nice! I loved the game overall. All the little decisions you made to make the game easier and harder, like how to recover energy without sleeping. How getting coconuts gets easier with time. Overall a great game! Thanks for inviting me to play this :-)

I have two suggestions for immediate improvement of the game:
1- A skip button for the opening sequence
2- When I select a tool, I can't select craft without selecting "select" before. So if I break a rock, and want to craft flint, for example, there is one extra click that is unnecessary (and I kept doing it wrong during the game)

Good job!

SonnyBone says ...
Dec 22, 2011 @ 3:15am

Thanks for the feedback! That's a very good recommendation about the crafting click. I'm actually very shocked to hear that you were able to figure out how the game works... especially the stamina regeneration. I figured that it would be nearly impossible for anyone to figure that out. This means that either my game isn't as confusing as I thought, or you're just a very observant and patient gamer. Either way... THANKS!

Rudy says ...
Dec 23, 2011 @ 11:22am

Good entry! I like the attention to detail and various animations, like ship no longer on fire on day 2+. Although you say no tutorial is a part of it, I don't quite buy that approach. I have no idea what some of the stuff does or is, so a simple tooltip may have gone a long way. The soundtrack is nice and very appropriate to islandy Robinson Crusoe setting. Artwork isn't of the highest quality, but it works especially with little touches like light or waves. I had trouble identifying some UI/items though without trial/error. Mood is good, but I wouldn't say I felt terribly immersed in the world. The idea is not new, so I have to pass on high innovation. And I'm afraid I didn't get the blue sphere thing as seen on your screenshots. But I'm nitpicking. Overall, nicely implemented with decent polish. P.S. intro needs a skip button :)

SonnyBone says ...
Dec 23, 2011 @ 1:34pm

Yeah, there are lots of design decisions that didn't exactly work out in the end. Certain things were meant to be explored, but they ended up being trial and error instead. Experimentation turns into frustration, etc. Thanks for playing and commenting!

SonnyBone says ...
Dec 23, 2011 @ 1:41pm

Also, I posted a game guide that will explain the interface. It also spoils how to actually win for those that get stuck or don't care to experiment.

ziomorti says ...
Dec 23, 2011 @ 11:47pm

GREAT game. Really loved it, everything is polished (even the guide) and the game just flows fine. Pretty darn good job.

vandriver says ...
Dec 24, 2011 @ 1:59am

i went to the beach and collected things and got an instant pang of nostalgia for animal crossing. i love collecting/crafting games. then i broke every rock i could find and got killed by a ball. time to retry!

SonnyBone says ...
Dec 24, 2011 @ 2:15am

Check the game guide if you get stuck. The end is worth it, imo.

vandriver says ...
Dec 24, 2011 @ 3:05am

haha, i like it. the treefalling animation was satisfying and i deforested the island because of it.

the game guide would have really helped in explaining a few things. like initially i thought the blue bar was time left in the day and each action took a chunk of the bar that represented the time it took to complete.

also this reminds me how much nicer a game feels with a title screen and a game over screen. the intro was perfect but being able to skip it would have been nice since i died a few times figuring out what to do.

SonnyBone says ...
Dec 24, 2011 @ 5:41am

Yeah I hate that I didn't add an intro skip. Just one of those last minute things that would've really helped people out. Getting killed over and over is made even worse when you have to wait so long to restart. Thanks for playing! And yeah, cutting down the entire island leaves you with no way to EAT. Poor guy.

Pierrec says ...
Dec 24, 2011 @ 10:25am

I played it 'till the end and enjoyed it, a lot. It was very challenging to understand how the things worked

bach says ...
Jan 5, 2012 @ 2:01am

Awesome entry. Totally enjoyed this! Tons of ways to expand this one.. And I'd love to see that! :)

SonnyBone says ...
Jan 5, 2012 @ 5:07pm

WHY THANK YOU!

ladron says ...
Jan 5, 2012 @ 11:04pm

I managed to make a bed, and something out of rocks that I don't know what to do with :-) Then I got killed by a floating blue thing :-(

blahoink says ...
Jan 6, 2012 @ 5:07am

very polished and very fun. well done!

someone says ...
Jan 7, 2012 @ 11:46pm

Runs really slowly in wine. Shame because it looks like a great game.

Kitch says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 12:56am

This was great. One of my highest rated thus far, if not the highest. I can tell you spent every second putting it where it needed to be...

Tooltips would have been a help... (I wasn't sure what the shell even was until after the game was over and I peeked in the guide).

Tritax says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 1:54am

I'll second a lot of what's already been said. Fun game that could really be expanded. Tooltips would've helped a ton. I felt a little lost in the crafting interface, but ultimately I had fun playing. Thanks for this game!

Raptor85 says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 3:03am

it runs semi-ok under WINE but the directmusic code throws errors which after a minute or two slow the game to a crawl.

SonnyBone says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 3:09am

Yeah the music generally causes the most problems. Sorry. I could try to post a version without music to see if it fixes things, but it would be a crap shoot. I can't test in WINE, unfortunately. Thanks for the plays, reviews, and comments!

Aaron says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 4:18am

There's just a massive amount of content in animations and details, and I feel that you experimented with a lot of different features. Bravo. The game also seems to expect players to experiment as well. I definitely understand what you were aiming for, but that's a really big leap of faith (esp for a ld48). Think, one frustrating moment and most players tend to throw up their arms. I played and died several times without the guide and... unfortunately, I'm a bit slow in the noggin so there were plenty of those frustrating moments. Many nights had me just running away slowly in circles.

I'd totally want to see what your "dang good" idea looks like after it gets dressed with some careful playtested polish, moody artwork, and some more of those design features that got cut out due to time. I redid mine like you suggested: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/43348544/N36.swf Your turn. ;)

Cosr says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 7:10am

Hah, that ending was gooooood. Great game.

I find it funny that I figured out how to finish the game while reading the guide, before I actually read the bit about how to finish the game. I had the game running in the background, then all of a sudden there was this sound I had never heard before.

Took me a couple more tries to actually beat the game though.

I don't think I would have figured it out normally. My first time playing I was always sleeping well before nightfall, not because I figured night was bad, but because I was always out of energy and that was the most obvious and fastest way to recover.

Once I knew what to do, it was a little tedious, having to stand around so long for things to happen and my energy to recover enough to chop down another tree.

DDRKirby(ISQ) says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 7:24am

Intro should be skippable for replayability's sake.

Well-made, I can tell a lot of effort went into this. It was actually quite fun trying to figure out what to do and what was possible, there was a really neat sense of exploration.

I think forgoing tooltips or tutorials was the "right" choice, but when you do that you need to take extra care to make things more obvious to the player through clever visual/etc design. This takes some thought, but for example, you could have easily gave the coconuts a different shade, or outlined them to draw the player's attention to them. You don't have to overdo it, but you have to at least give the player a hint.

Had to look in the guide before I ever saw the blue thing, so that's something else that players won't get without being clued in somehow. I also didn't realize how the canopy worked, but that's not quite as big a deal.

One last thing, I would have personally liked to see a background music track that was more ominous to project a feeling of "alone on an island and you have no idea what to do". The one you have is more "okay let's set out and see what we can do!" which is also valid, but I personally would have preferred a different mood.

Jan 8, 2012 @ 4:06pm

Very cool game!

Couldn't work out what the question mark craft item was, couldn't finish it. Couldn't work out why a canopy or fire could help me...

Maybe some thought bubbles coming from the character could help? I certainly don't want things spelled out for me... but if he were to say "I'm feeling tired" when the red bar is low that might explain things and stay in character...

I had fun getting as far as I got!

Jorjon says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 8:54pm

Impressive game for 48 hours! I really liked the intro (tough I can't skip it once I retry the game).
The shitty thing was not having pause button. I pressed P and nothing... tried ESC and it quit the game! I had to start all over again.
But overall, a very solid puzzle game, and liked the ending too!

Jan 8, 2012 @ 11:00pm

The twist at the end is really fun, however, what are the blue orbs, it did not get clear to me? All in all one of the best games I have played and very polished for two days. Thumbs up. How did you create the music and sound effects?

SonnyBone says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 11:24pm

@Aaron - Yeah it WAS a big leap of faith. When you're playing your own game... you sorta get a big head about it. Then when it comes time to rate... you realize that most people aren't gonna have the patience to deal with your game for a long period of time if they want to move on to one of the other 800 games. And your remake is AMAZING! I won't have any time to keep working on Ab-Alone... school is starting back and I'm still working on an XBLIG project. Thanks!

SonnyBone says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 11:25pm

@Cosr - I totally agree on the standing around and waiting bit. That's one of those balancing issues that you can't really iron out in 48 hrs unless you're lucky enough to get it right the first time. The days were originally twice as long, so at least I was able to cut it down THAT much. Thanks!

SonnyBone says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 11:27pm

@DDRKirby(ISQ) - The tooltips thing came up a few times during development... even if just to give a name to the items. I then screwed it up by using the alien's native language. I eventually changed the text to english for the tools and removed the other tooltips completely. I was going for a funny/light hearted feel so the music I composed is a mixture of that overall feel with some ambience thrown in (water / birds).

SonnyBone says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 11:29pm

@Black Ships Fill the Sky - I'm glad you enjoyed what you played! I certainly could've used more visual cues, but I was already out of time. I had to cut so many planned features that there was no way to add extra details. The guide will help explain what everthing is/does if you ever wanna try it again. Thanks for commenting!

SonnyBone says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 11:30pm

@Jorjon - lol thanks. Sorry about the ESC deal. Shoulda given a ARE YOU SURE prompt. :(

SonnyBone says ...
Jan 8, 2012 @ 11:32pm

@gebirgsbaerbel - The music was done in Fl Studio and it includes the ocean/bird sounds in the island music track. The SFX were all done with the downloadable version of Bfxr. I don't use the randomly generated sounds. I typically start from scratch and develop my own. You should try it out if you haven't already. Thanks for the comment and rate!

markengley says ...
Jan 9, 2012 @ 9:44pm

Very nice work, although I found the gameplay quite punishing - maybe it's just because I am in a rush to play the games! The intro worked well for me.

NeiloGD says ...
Jan 9, 2012 @ 9:57pm

A pretty solid game! I eventually had to resort to the guide after a few times of being killed by the blue orb, but got there in the end. A few subtle hints to show what is clickable and what not (such as the coconuts), but still excellent work!!

AyCe says ...
Jan 10, 2012 @ 12:22am

Neat game! Died each time, but was fun though... :D

exphautaz says ...
Mar 12, 2012 @ 10:50pm

for some reason avast keeps exiting me out of halfo f the games on hear what i would like to know is WTF AVAST

exphautaz says ...
Mar 12, 2012 @ 10:53pm

nvm i just had to change the settings

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