Extraction: Chapter 0

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You've been logged into a virtual reality. Find the cube and get out.

This is a pilot chapter, meant to demonstrate the theme and gameplay style of the full games in this series. They will however be much larger and much more challenging.

Stay tuned for Chapter 1!

Music used is "Cylinder Seven" by Chris Zabriskie


It's as good as the first (Ludum Dare) version, and just has that extra bit of polish to round off the proverbial rough edges. I can see what you were going for.
I think it works, and obviously, it is just a reproduction of your previous incarnation of the same chapter in the series.
I still like that there are actual clues, and it is not just guess work, nor are the solutions really abstract from the clues. The lack of randomly scattered flotsam makes it a coherent game that engages the player in the most straightforward and effective way.
Some helpful tips for going forward with the series:
1. Variety is the spice of life: the different types of play/challenges in a game will make it more fun & challenging & add to replay value.
2. A good clue can be tied back to the puzzle: in this one, you have a random coded number sequence scrawled on a wall. It makes sense to be there in some ways. A person can figure it out. I've seen puzzle/escape games wherein some randomly collected gems, tiles, or codes helped solve something else with no clear correlation. (In my review of the previous incarnation, I mentioned how if the player needs a walkthrough, the game is not fun.) This game does not need a walkthrough: keep it that way, please. :-)
3. A compelling story will create fan loyalty: Sonny & Caravaneer both had challenging gameplay, but they bothered to create a decently compelling story for the player to take in. Even the Shift series was able to do this effectively with just a few added lines of print. It makes all the difference.
4. Have someone else play it: I know it seems pedantic to tell you that, but creators on here don't seem to have play-testers to help them sort out whether the game is any fun; so make sure they can give honest/constructive feedback & leave them alone while they play it. It's a simple step that can make a huge impact: I'm saying that as much for other creators as for you.

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JoshuaStone responds:

Some very good points, I'll definitely be keeping them in mind!

Clearly inspired by the Submachine series.

It is very short, but as you said, this is actually a demo.

Perhaps the other games will be longer than this in the future?

I hope so.

Good luck!

JoshuaStone responds:

Yeah, they'll be much longer! Thanks!

I see that most of the commenters have already said this is shorter than a game ought to be (even for a pilot) but very good for what was presented, and a few people pointed out the similarities to Submachine. I'll say this: you've got a good engine and hopefully you'll be able to spend most of your effort concentrating on designing an immersive world and story for gamers, because IMO when it comes to point-and-click games in general and the Submachine series as a great particular example, that's a big part of what makes the best ones stand out. The other is of course making a variety of reasonably sensible puzzles that aren't exercises in pixel hunting. From this pilot it looks like you'll probably be safe in that regard; *** [spoiler] *** personally I would have preferred either having the grate change the mouse cursor (at least when the screwdriver is held) or never having any objects change the mouse cursor, but I can respect the design you went with considering how prominent the grate is and how reasonable it would be to screwdrive it. [/spoiler]

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JoshuaStone responds:

Thanks for the review, you made some good points! :)

Personally I did not like the transition from room to room. I liked the fade to black when going up the ladder but the fast wipe (whatever it's called) from the left room to the right, just felt weird.

Would like to see the full chapter though :)

Way too short.

JoshuaStone responds:

I know, Chapter 1 will be much larger!

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Credits & Info

3.85 / 5.00

Jun 3, 2017
2:12 PM EDT
Adventure - Point 'n Click