Ludum Dare 31 — December 5th-8th, 2014 — Theme: Entire Game on One Screen

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Owls Ever After

by Mike Mezhenin - Jam Entry

A game about the life of an owl family, made by my wife and me. Remember the past, one New Year's Eve at a time.

PLEASE READ THE INSTRUCTIONS:

- Use mouse wheel to move between different years
- Some memories are hidden in darkness - turn on the fairy lights to unhide them
- You can turn on fairy lights with LMB - but only if you have a light power of the same color (see color indicators on the radio)
- There are some mistakes in your memory - click on the things that don't belong to see the real truth. Successfully doing so will give you more power for fairy lights
- Look for red markers on the radio - it hints you that you can do something in that year

There is no win or lose condition, but you can light up all the fairy lights!

Notes:
a. Music, sound effects and tutorial will probably be added in a special Christmas post-compo version
b. Game was updated after the deadline to fix a game-breaking bug (lights were not distributed correctly between years); also fixed an issue that caused the game running reaaaally slow sometimes

Downloads and Links


Ratings

Coolness98%
#51Graphics(Jam)4.43
#70Mood(Jam)3.83
#88Innovation(Jam)3.84
#149Overall(Jam)3.69
#240Theme(Jam)3.85
#304Humor(Jam)2.98
#710Fun(Jam)2.77

Comments

sorlok says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:12am

I really, really liked the idea and mechanic behind this game. A few problems built up:

1) Lack of audio feedback; animations when you find an inconsistency. This is supposed to be a big moment, but stuff just kinda fades out.

2) Steep learning curve. It would be nice to start with a very obvious inconsistency that is required to get into the main game.

3) It wasn't entirely clear to me (within the game) what the lights did, or the "fade in of the black parts of the screen". I know you explained it; I just didn't get it.

Still, 5 stars. Great job!

zillix says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:12am

That was really, really cute. I played through the whole thing and loved it. Fantastic work!

jrap says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:13am

A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E
Delightful.
Extraordinary.

andrewkennedy says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:18am

I really liked this. Clever use of the theme with time-travelling. The art was nice, and it was fun just sort of peacefully reading about the owl family!

Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:35am

This game is a real hoot. I like the visual style and the idea is pretty innovative. I agree with @sorlok on a lot of the issues with it, though. I had a hard time getting a hang of what exactly I was doing right or wrong while playing.

TyrusPeace says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 6:51am

I really like the idea, but I fear it took me too long to get the link between the colored lights at the bottom and the lighting of the lights up top to reveal more story; it took me a while scrolling around to go and light up the things I'd missed afterward!

A faster way to get to areas I could light with the available colors would help confusion a bit, too, especially for similar colors. It was kind of a slow experience near the end, scooting around, looking for darkness to click on.

Overall, good execution of a very nice idea, though! The time travel interface and seeing a home over the generations was pretty great. Wonderful art and I liked how things unfolded.

CliffracerX says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 7:02am

Owls! This game instantly wins my vote, as I love owls.

In terms of gameplay, it's pretty neat, even if there isn't much to do except for lighting stuff up.
The travelling in time via the radio is a great way to get past the "one screen" limitation.

Selzier says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 4:33pm

I didn't realize there was a connection between the lights and unlocking the dark areas. I really enjoyed the game and wanted to unlock the whole story, so I did. Although I feel like I spent too much time randomly clicking on everything trying to find the correct item. Didn't read the description before playing, that probably would have helped me a lot!

kingpirux says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 5:21pm

it was fun :D very hard thoug if you are not fast finding details. A very weird and innovative way of point and click adventure game :)

Dec 9, 2014 @ 11:05pm

Amazing graphics, really unique :)

Ken Scott says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 11:22pm

Very poignant. It does devolve into hunt-the-pixel a little too much, but very well done.

PapaCheech says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 11:30pm

Took a bit for me to figure out, but it was a great experience overall with tons of hidden meaning! And the graphics were amazing as well. Great take on the theme I loved it.
Cheers mate.

SarahFrisk says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 4:21am

Cute game/story. Using the "mouse wheel" on a macbook was a bit tricky.

peterthehe says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 5:24pm

Cute graphics though it is difficult to start playing :)

Taldius says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 5:30pm

Really interesting concept, I really liked it. However it lacks of feedbacks in general. It would be also good to know if you have lost or not, becauseI ran out of light but the game didn't told me if I had do good or bad.
Anyway, good job! :D

aidinviper says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 5:45pm

awesome game.

Mike Mezhenin says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 6:06pm

Taldius, yeah, audio/visual feedback is a thing that got cut out due to the lack of time. As for the progression - there are little dark markings on the radio that let you know if you still have something to do in those years.

indie4fun says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 7:51pm

Well the graphics are really nice! I love owls, and yours are so cute :) I agree with the problem of lack of sound, it's an important thing, makes me feel a bit distant of what is happening, like not really being involved. Maybe it has to do with not knowing when I'm really doing something in the game. I was a bit lost, to be honest, trying to understand what was I supposed to do, I read your instructions but still not getting it -but hey, maybe it's just me!

Anyway, the dialogs I could read and the images I saw tells me you wanted to tell a really nice and deep story with that owl family. It may be just a question of adjusting the feedback players get when they are interacting with memories/pictures of the owl family over the years.

Hope the feedback helps! Anyway, you made something different, this game has its own style, so you deserve the good ratings :)

Techblogogy says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 8:24pm

AW! Owls

GoudaGames says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 8:55pm

Really really nice story, and interesting concept

klianc09 says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 9:48pm

Great art, and a nice concept. But I mostly just clicked randomly around, because it was really though finding stuff that doesn't belong there...

Wertle says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 11:08pm

I really liked this concept and enjoyed being able to scroll through the different years. I think if the scroll worked a bit faster or you could interrupt the scroll if you accidentally scrolled too far, that would feel much better. I wasn't super sure what was meant by the radio color indicator, though I'm pretty sure it meant the bottom bar. Some clearer feedback on that would be helpful. I'd love to experience this with some music if you had time to take it further later because I think it would add a lot to the overall experience. Great job!

Pulsartronic says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 10:13pm

Nice art, no violence ... high rated on graphics and innovation ... on the other hand, not very funny, however nice work ...

ynots says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 5:00pm

nice game...lol

thopis says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 5:25pm

Just awesome concept with time travel!Cool graphics too!Great overall!

blay09 says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 6:04pm

Really good graphics! The timeline of the same 'screen' is also a super cool use of the theme. Well done!

Ossi says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 12:31am

Very cool concept! It was a bit hard figuring out what to click on, but I love the time travelling through memories idea. The graphics and the mood was really great, but this would benefit from audio a lot. It's too bad that you didn't have enough time. Fantastic stuff!

Gungnir says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 8:21am

It's cute but the mechanics didn't really click with me.

Thanks.

Daid says ...
Dec 13, 2014 @ 10:11am

Scrolling as input does not work with touchpads on laptops.

badlydrawnrod says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 12:02am

It's a nice cross between a point and click and hidden object game. The graphics are really good, however from a player perspective it would be nice to either have a bit more clues to see where to click or some form of highlighting to know what are clickable objects.
Overall a poignant tale.

Omiya Games says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 4:21am

Spectacular. I absolutely loved how, despite having a linear narrative, a lot of it was piecing together clues in an out-of-order fashion. It's so fun seeing the narrative finally come together in a simple but heartwarming life of an owl from child to grandparent stages.

LTyrosine says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 2:54pm

Very beautiful game. There are some problems with limited gameplay (mostly based on pixel hunting) but imo its balanced with this nice and beautiful story. I managed to finish it. What happened to the poor cat??

Mike Mezhenin says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 3:18pm

@LTyrosine, wow, thanks for playing! As for the cat - we hope he went away to look for adventures.

Dec 14, 2014 @ 5:31pm

As the others said, the lack of music and sound effects is the main complaint. I hope you find time for a post-compo version of the game :D

MrBadIvan says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 9:10pm

This game is just beautiful!=) It becomes so interesting to see how the story opens and changes by the memories

Catwheel says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 12:41am

I loved this game!

Simon says ...
Dec 15, 2014 @ 12:51pm

This is a very nice way of telling a story and a very good take on the theme! Well done I enjoyed it.

Managore says ...
Dec 16, 2014 @ 12:37am

An incredible game, easily one of my favourites. Absolutely beautiful.

mathmadlen says ...
Dec 19, 2014 @ 4:31am

LOVED it! I loved the little glimpses, woven into a bigger story. The artstyle is adorable, with Christmas theme as a proverbial cherry on top. Or a star. On top of a christmas tree. Made me smile .)

dunin says ...
Dec 22, 2014 @ 9:31pm

There are some problems (pixel hunting, unclear, ...) but cool game with great sensitivity, rare in video games (even in ld games).

MrShoestore says ...
Dec 27, 2014 @ 4:08pm

great looking game, though i think i need to take a look at the walkthrough to figure out what to do.

PapyPilgrim says ...
Dec 29, 2014 @ 2:05pm

Ok... despite having several problems gameplay-wise, this is by far my favorite entry. I love the concept. I love the art. I love the story... If you ever want to keep exploring this idea I have a few suggestions:

- sounds! (obvious one)
- make a tutorial properly explaining how the radio works
- have more obvisous mistakes: I button-mashed many screens, which is not really fun (I spent a lot of time on the "I will be visiting you know" screen)

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