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Mr. Jones' Dream


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#1 thetagames

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 02:28 PM

Mr. Jones' Dream




Overview:
This relatively short game was made for the TIGSource Adult/Educational Competition. Despite it being an entry under the "Adult" category, the game is not about pornography, rather it is about themes present in adult life. In the game, you play as the businessman Mr. Jones, who is tired of his adult life. Following an abrupt layoff (times are tough), he goes home, falls asleep, and has a vivid dream that both parallels and contrasts his waking life.

The dream's atmosphere changes gradually (kind of like "Eversion"), and Mr. Jones' own form changes as well. The game features a variety of themes often present in adult life, including greedy capitalism, pity, violence, religion, and sex (though it is presented in a purely biological sense). Many of these themes are approached with parody and humor. In the end, the grey drab of Mr. Jones' adult life can be fought with only one thing: creativity.

All controls are explained both in-game and in the README.

This game was made with Game Maker 7, Pro Edition, and it does not change your resolution (though you should have at least 800x600 resolution for it to run properly).


Screenshots:
Click on the small images to see full-scale images.

Posted ImagePosted Image
Posted Image

More Screenshots:
Title Menu
Grey Area
Pigs on the Wing
Adult


Downloads (v1.2):
YoYoGames
Download from Host-a.net
Download from Mediafire.

('.zip', 10.3MB)


Note:
* The "puzzles" (in a way, the whole game is one big puzzle) can get tricky at times - I encourage people to post hints, though the use of "Spoiler" warnings is at your own discretion. I can give hints, too.

Edited by thetagames, 09 November 2009 - 02:35 PM.

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#2 PetzI

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 06:13 PM

Wow I absolutely love it! I'm a big fan of the pixelized graphic style, and it's very polished in graphics and audio. The surreal world was really interesting to explore, even though I expected it to be a bit longer and the ending was a bit weird. I loved all the short but meaningful phrases that were everywhere, and all the characters.

Spoiler


Gameplay-wise, it was a slightly tedious and confusing, but the bits of classic platforming, that awesome number puzzle in the cave and the atmosphere make up for it. I was confused by some of the items, I didn't understand what they were. Namely "the thing you use to finish the game". Just make that character beside it tell the player what it is.

Bugs: At one point, when I was being followed by the white thing, I fell into another path and had a REALLY hard time getting out because it would kill me, so I spent like 15 minutes trying to dodge it somehow. Not sure how, but you should try to fix this, because a less platform-experienced player can effectively get stuck permanently. Also, if you hold the left and right arrow at the same time, the player's animation gets a bit screwed up and he starts doing the moonwalk. One of my items fell into a lava pit, but I was able to get it back with some effort. If I didnt notice it falling or forgot it, I would've been stuck forever.

Congratulations on your really great job =) ! I recommend to you and people to like this game to play the http://gmc.yoyogames.....ighlite=+LandLa La Land series, Execution and People Hate What They Can't Understand.

Since all the official mirrors for the La La Land games are down, you can download them all from here: http://www.filefront...La_la_lands.zip

Now please excuse me while I proceed to download your other games ^.^

Edited by PetzI, 12 August 2009 - 08:23 PM.

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#3 thetagames

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 07:12 PM

Thanks for the great review! By the way, the "thing that you need to win the game" is organ oil - the Black Square who stands next to it tells you this before you pick it up. I understand it could be confusing, since when you pick it up, he just says "Enjoy."

As for the moonwalking bug; I was going to try to fix it, but then I realized that it could be my Michael Jackson tribute.

What item fell into the lava pit? I tried to make the pickup system so that this wouldn't happen - if you dropped an item in the pit, you should be falling into it as well.

As for the white thing (the "Fertilizer"), it is hard to avoid it if you fall into that lower chamber between the beer guy and the egg. However, in the final version (v1.1), the egg will not follow you all the way into the bottom of the lower chamber; thus it is possible to get out without getting killed. Is this the version that you have?

Glad you liked it!

~ Theta Games


EDIT: Okay, I just noticed that even in Version 1.1, it can still become impossible if the Fertilizer follows you to a certain point in the pit. I have prevented him from following you at all if you go into the pit, and uploaded Version 1.2.

Edited by thetagames, 27 July 2009 - 12:40 PM.

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#4 madfame991

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:13 AM

Hi! I saw your game on indiegames.com and played it. I've just registered to tell you that I like it and...
1) are "pigs on the wings" or "welcome to the machine" references to pink floyd?
2) do I have to kill anyone (except the robots) with the weapons?
Cheers!
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#5 DPoole

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 08:37 AM

Just thought I’d mention that I reviewed this game on the KwikLook Blog.

I think I burnt about an hour playing this and I still didn't get all the way to the end. Quite fun. :P
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#6 thetagames

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:24 PM

Hi! I saw your game on indiegames.com and played it. I've just registered to tell you that I like it and...
1) are "pigs on the wings" or "welcome to the machine" references to pink floyd?
2) do I have to kill anyone (except the robots) with the weapons?
Cheers!

Thanks, glad you liked it!

To answer your questions:

1. Yes, they are. Later in the game, there is a reference to Genesis (making an ironic twist to the religious themes).
2. No, in fact you can't kill anything else. I didn't want the game to be too violent.


Just thought I’d mention that I reviewed this game on the KwikLook Blog.

I think I burnt about an hour playing this and I still didn't get all the way to the end. Quite fun. smile.gif

Thanks for the blog review! What part were you stuck on?

Edited by thetagames, 10 August 2009 - 08:46 PM.

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#7 JamesPittman19

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 09:34 PM

I am downloading this only becuase of the pink floyd references, i love pink floyd :P plus i think the graphics look interesting
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#8 DPoole

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 09:30 AM

What part were you stuck on?

Well, I didn't actually get stuck as such. I got to the part where you had to keep collecting the objects and going places with them and it just got really repetitive and boring, for me (my fingers were aching from walking around so much :(). So I just gave up and called it a day. ^_^

Edited by DPoole, 12 August 2009 - 09:31 AM.

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#9 thetagames

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 08:33 PM

There is a bit of backtracking at that point. This was intentional - I wanted the player to explore the area with his new "ability." In general, I have always enjoyed those kind of puzzles in games.

Edited by thetagames, 12 August 2009 - 08:35 PM.

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#10 PetzI

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 07:01 PM

There is a bit of backtracking at that point. This was intentional - I wanted the player to explore the area with his new "ability." In general, I have always enjoyed those kind of puzzles in games.


The problem is that the player isn't voluntarily exploring, He's wandering aimless because he's lost, and this can very well lead to hours of boring "trying to find your way". It was very fun to discover new things, going through the same way over and over because I didn't know where I was going was boring and frustrating. I think the best solution would be to add more unique props to the cave near places where the paths split. Whenever I saw those mushrooms, or the mountain, I thought "Oh yeah, I remember those! I'm right at *that* place!". Try moving the "How does it feel..." baby nearer to a path-split, and use him as a reference point. Anything that fits will do, as long as you only use them once (or twice, but they must be in very different places) to avoid confusion. Cracks, roots, characters, flowers, stones... This is actually pretty easy because the background is already so simple. Anything that's different from the average tunnels will be a reference point. Hope this helps!

Edited by PetzI, 13 August 2009 - 07:03 PM.

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#11 thetagames

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 12:42 AM

The problem is that the player isn't voluntarily exploring, He's wandering aimless because he's lost, and this can very well lead to hours of boring "trying to find your way". It was very fun to discover new things, going through the same way over and over because I didn't know where I was going was boring and frustrating. I think the best solution would be to add more unique props to the cave near places where the paths split. Whenever I saw those mushrooms, or the mountain, I thought "Oh yeah, I remember those! I'm right at *that* place!". Try moving the "How does it feel..." baby nearer to a path-split, and use him as a reference point. Anything that fits will do, as long as you only use them once (or twice, but they must be in very different places) to avoid confusion. Cracks, roots, characters, flowers, stones... This is actually pretty easy because the background is already so simple. Anything that's different from the average tunnels will be a reference point. Hope this helps!

I intended the tunnels to be very bleak, and just a little bit confusing - this is the point in the dream in which Mr. Jones becomes unsure of himself. You make a very valid point, though - I think a simple "moving around" of "trailmarker" objects (such as that baby) to path splits would help alleviate unwanted confusion.
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#12 DPoole

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 10:27 AM

How about if you added some kind of map, maybe?
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#13 thetagames

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 02:37 PM

How about if you added some kind of map, maybe?

I don't know; I left out a map in the first place on purpose. It just doesn't seem to fit the dream setting; in dreams, one usually doesn't have that kind of precise directional memory (I think).
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#14 Rainsong

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 04:34 PM

You COULD add a map, but in an authentic dream it wouldn't do much good. The thing would say something different every time you read it, and none of it would be accurate at all. ;p

Then again, the cave would shift about too. I liked it up until being a bird. After that, the number puzzle where the guy tells you the code was just too tedious. I'd (mostly) remembered the layout by then, but not where the numbers were -- it felt like an enormous game of fetch and nothing more.
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#15 MousseMoose

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 08:54 PM

A map isn't really needed. You could have used more visual clues to help the player find their way around. For example, let's say there are two paths that look nearly the same. A player may come back to the same spot again and be confused about which path leads to where. The only thing the distinguishes the paths from each other are their shapes. Now let's say you added a butterfly or something to one of the paths. The player now has a better chance of remembering that path because there are more things to identify it with.

Anyways, I thought this was a pretty cool game. It feels like a dream towards the beginning of the game, but not towards the end. It probably because in a dream, the are always interesting things coming up one after another. When I was in the cave, if felt like the same stuff was happening, which was kind of boring to me. You did have many creative ideas for the dream though. I especially loved the apple.

I didn't really like some of the puzzles to well. The first number puzzle seemed a bit illogical to me. Like mentioned earlier, it's not very fun wandering sort of aimlessly searching for items. I did like when you had to do things like open the office door and fertilize the egg. They were simple, but really fun.

The graphics and music, in my opinion, fit really into the game. I loved how the background and music change flawlessly when you switch between areas.

There are also some tine problems I want to address. If you were in one area and you held right, you you fall down into the egg. Also the oil can doesn't really look like an oil can so I found that confusing.

Still, you have a better-than-average game here that I really did enjoy. Great job! I hope to see what you make in the future!

Edited by MousseMoose, 15 August 2009 - 08:58 PM.

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#16 thetagames

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 02:04 AM

You COULD add a map, but in an authentic dream it wouldn't do much good. The thing would say something different every time you read it, and none of it would be accurate at all. ;p

Haha, an entirely inaccurate world-map would be funny, but kind of mean at the same time. :(

You did have many creative ideas for the dream though. I especially loved the apple.

These types of ideas were the main point of the game. I'm glad you mentioned the apple; that whole section of the game (with the "Species Adjustment Room") was one of the most thought-out portions of the game, in terms of symbolism.

If you were in one area and you held right, you you fall down into the egg

Was this a glitch, or did a real tunnel lead you there? Because one of the tunnels was designed to be that way.


EDIT: Also, about the second number puzzle - the slightly repetitive nature of the puzzle (although it doesn't take that long) was meant to reinforce the themes of the game. How often in his adult life does one have to do such a tedious "number-crunching" task at work (or in other aspects of life, i.e. taxes)? I would venture to say that it happens at least once.

Edited by thetagames, 16 August 2009 - 02:28 AM.

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#17 MousseMoose

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 08:43 PM

If you were in one area and you held right, you you fall down into the egg

Was this a glitch, or did a real tunnel lead you there? Because one of the tunnels was designed to be that way.


Oh it was part of the tunnel. I didn't find any glitches by the way.

EDIT: Also, about the second number puzzle - the slightly repetitive nature of the puzzle (although it doesn't take that long) was meant to reinforce the themes of the game. How often in his adult life does one have to do such a tedious "number-crunching" task at work (or in other aspects of life, i.e. taxes)? I would venture to say that it happens at least once.


Well there is a bit of a problem with the theme of the game you see. Adult life is work and games are for fun. So they kinda contradict each other. :|
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#18 Chhaaiinnssaaww

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 12:56 PM

I liked it, although to begin with when i got in the tunnels i started feeling lost (I don't know if this was the effect you were trying to achieve) and really wanted to just not bother. But I kept going back to it and eventually the tunnels created a surreal, but almost cosy atmosphere with their yellow walls :). One thing though, what was the acid for? Or was it just something that the sperm chased or something?
Anyway, I loved the organ solo at the end, and the small trippy moments (is there a religious reference when you change back to a human and you pick up that apple that weighs you down?)

Edited by Chhaaiinnssaaww! Get Some!, 17 August 2009 - 12:57 PM.

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#19 thetagames

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 09:28 PM

One thing though, what was the acid for?

Such cells prefer slightly acidic conditions. I needed to think of something for it to chase.

Anyway, I loved the organ solo at the end

Glad you liked it; it was fun to record.

is there a religious reference when you change back to a human and you pick up that apple that weighs you down?)

Spoiler

Edited by thetagames, 18 August 2009 - 12:22 PM.

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#20 Lithium

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 11:11 AM

That was a very cool game! It made me feel very smart for reaching the end. I loved the music and the graphics and every line was quotable.
"How does it feel to be a bird, Mr. Jones?" It feels AWESOME!
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#21 Chhaaiinnssaaww

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 06:26 PM

Such cells prefer slightly acidic conditions. I needed to think of something for it to chase.

what about a uterus, or a blow-up sexdoll :P

Anyway, I should have read the above posts before posting before, as it was all explained there.
Are you thinking of making a sequel, like Mr.Jones' Nightmare?
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#22 thetagames

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:14 PM

That was a very cool game! It made me feel very smart for reaching the end. I loved the music and the graphics and every line was quotable.
"How does it feel to be a bird, Mr. Jones?" It feels AWESOME!

Thanks, glad you liked it. I wanted to keep all of the text short and sweet, so it would indeed be more memorable.

@Chhaaiinnssaaww! Get Some!
I don't really want Mr. Jones to carry something like that around.

And I might make a sequel, but it might be about something completely different (though "Mr. Jones' Nightmare" sounds cool). I think there is more for me to explore with this style of game.
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#23 PetzI

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:32 PM

Glad to see this is getting the attention it deserves =)

Btw, I think this should be in the Adventure section. It's more about the story than jumping around.
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#24 thetagames

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:53 PM

Glad to see this is getting the attention it deserves =)

Btw, I think this should be in the Adventure section. It's more about the story than jumping around.


EDIT: It has been moved. Thanks, Ablach Blackrat!

Edited by thetagames, 19 August 2009 - 01:34 AM.

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#25 Lithium

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 10:23 AM

If you do decide to make a sequel, make it epicly long. I really would have loved more content in this.
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#26 thetagames

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 11:08 PM

If you do decide to make a sequel, make it epicly long. I really would have loved more content in this.

A sequel would probably be longer; I have lots more ideas (at least for elements in the game). The reason this game is at its current length is partly because of the competition deadline - I didn't want to submit an unfinished, unpolished entry (then again, I had lots of time left over, especially with the deadline extension - mainly I didn't want to add things because I thought of them as superfluous to the game's themes). I don't think it is too short, though - more of a good, "medium" length.
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#27 Chhaaiinnssaaww

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 07:26 PM

Holy crap, Supper's ready is one epic song.
DId it give you an inspiration, cos it really reminded me of this game when i listened to it, hence this post
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#28 thetagames

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 11:44 PM

Holy crap, Supper's ready is one epic song.
DId it give you an inspiration, cos it really reminded me of this game when i listened to it, hence this post

Other than the short reference to the song in the Species Adjustment Room, there are no other references to Supper's Ready. However, there are definitely some similarities between the styles of the song and the game; both represent the usage of a thick mush of seemingly random symbols and references in order to deliver artistic themes. Other songs, such as Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick and A Passion Play, Pink Floyd's Echoes, and a lot of other Genesis songs have this style.

I was not specifically inspired by Supper's Ready, but rather by the manner it (and these other above songs) arrange its themes.
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#29 james mihaly

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 04:05 PM

awesome! very out of this world, and it reminds me of Pink Floyd, the flying pig at the lava says Welcome To The Machine, and Pigs on the wing is also a song by them, my favorite band. (It's off topic I know) And the cash monster has the same sound as the begining of "Money".

Edited by james mihaly, 22 September 2009 - 04:11 PM.

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#30 thetagames

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 03:07 PM

awesome! very out of this world, and it reminds me of Pink Floyd, the flying pig at the lava says Welcome To The Machine, and Pigs on the wing is also a song by them, my favorite band. (It's off topic I know) And the cash monster has the same sound as the begining of "Money".

Glad you liked the Floyd references! Also, the cash monster sound is indeed the same 'ka-ching' as in "Money."
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#31 Syphilis

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 05:58 AM

spoiler:My favorite thing about this game is that god is represented by infinity. Kind of a clash of two seperate schools of thought: Math/Science and Religion. Maybe it represents that god could be a little of both? ...hmm I'll stick to mathematical infinity for now. :whistle:
Also, I love the end, when he is playing the organ on the gold. Did you intend for it to suggest that following your DREAMS can bring you more gold (or reward in general) than the standard definition (American definition at least) of success?


This was a great game. I actually like how it had different styles as you progressed through it... it started as a standard platformer, then a small shooter section, followed by awesome puzzle/exploration. Great game, with AMAZING music. Did you actually play that final song on a midi controller or something? It sounds very live, with oh too human accents to be completely created in piano roll.

Edited by Syphilis, 09 October 2009 - 06:10 AM.

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#32 thetagames

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 08:07 AM

spoiler:My favorite thing about this game is that god is represented by infinity. Kind of a clash of two seperate schools of thought: Math/Science and Religion. Maybe it represents that god could be a little of both? ...hmm I'll stick to mathematical infinity for now. :)
Also, I love the end, when he is playing the organ on the gold. Did you intend for it to suggest that following your DREAMS can bring you more gold (or reward in general) than the standard definition (American definition at least) of success?

spoiler continued:The Species Adjustment Room is definitely one of my favorite sections of the game - a lot of thought went into it. It is indeed about the (in my opinion) needless clash between Science and Religion. Also, the expression "1 / 0" was intended to represent a Godly figure.

About the ending, the gold was merely placed there as a stylistic choice - I really liked how the gold makes a smooth mountain, and it makes a nice place to put the organ (rather than in just a room). I thought it would be interesting - in the beginning of the dream, Mr. Jones is denied the gold, but achieves it at the end. The ending is more about the organ playing (i.e. the pursuit of creativity) than that, though.


This was a great game. I actually like how it had different styles as you progressed through it... it started as a standard platformer, then a small shooter section, followed by awesome puzzle/exploration. Great game, with AMAZING music. Did you actually play that final song on a midi controller or something? It sounds very live, with oh too human accents to be completely created in piano roll.

Glad you liked it! None of the music is MIDI-controlled; all of it was played and recorded by myself (for much of it, I used a four-track cassette tape-mixer, and then did a line-in to Audacity). The final piece actually utilizes a Hammond M2 organ, played through some delay.
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#33 jmpearson2001

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 06:22 PM

Can i be expecting a sequel? please?
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#34 thetagames

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 02:22 PM

Can i be expecting a sequel? please?

Whenever I get time, my next game will probably be a sequel to this (or at least share a similar style). This style of game is just so fun to make!
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#35 Chhaaiinnssaaww

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 03:16 PM

Good luck in cage match, I voted for you.

I think this game is better though once you have sat down and played the entire thing and thought about it
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#36 Doogie_Forever

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 04:31 PM

I must say I quite enjoyed this title and would love to see a sequel. The only thing that was a let down was the boring cave/well. When exploring the other places, it was strange, creative and fun to look around. The cave really let the game down, though I still enjoyed some of the features inside it, such as the sperm saying "YEEEEAH" when it penetrates the egg, and becoming a bird.

Also I didn't understand the 1st numbers puzzle at all, how did it even work?
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#37 PetzI

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 05:08 PM

I must say I quite enjoyed this title and would love to see a sequel. The only thing that was a let down was the boring cave/well. When exploring the other places, it was strange, creative and fun to look around. The cave really let the game down, though I still enjoyed some of the features inside it, such as the sperm saying "YEEEEAH" when it penetrates the egg, and becoming a bird.

Also I didn't understand the 1st numbers puzzle at all, how did it even work?


Each digit number corresponded to a word number with that amount of letters.

One = 3
Two = 3
Three = 5
Four = 4
Five = 4
Six = 3
Seven = 5
Eight = 5
Nine = 4
Ten = 3
etc
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#38 thetagames

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 06:15 AM

Good luck in cage match, I voted for you.

I think this game is better though once you have sat down and played the entire thing and thought about it

Thanks a lot for your vote. I agree - the game was meant to be thought about.

I must say I quite enjoyed this title and would love to see a sequel. The only thing that was a let down was the boring cave/well. When exploring the other places, it was strange, creative and fun to look around. The cave really let the game down, though I still enjoyed some of the features inside it, such as the sperm saying "YEEEEAH" when it penetrates the egg, and becoming a bird.

That sound effect is one of my favorites in the game. :D
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#39 david9537

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 07:29 AM

good game
i like games with lots of references
mayb u shud put in a hard-to-find easter egg
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#40 thetagames

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 01:25 AM

good game
i like games with lots of references
mayb u shud put in a hard-to-find easter egg

I considered putting in Easter eggs, but then I realized that if I were to spend so much time programming something extra into the game, I would want everyone to see it. I suppose the Phasor gun is a bit of an Easter egg, though.
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#41 david9537

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Posted 06 November 2009 - 11:39 PM

im stuck
i mnagaed to find the shotgun and get 720 points
but i dont know what to do next
help!
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#42 thetagames

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 02:26 PM

im stuck
i mnagaed to find the shotgun and get 720 points
but i dont know what to do next
help!

Spoiler

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#43 thetagames

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 05:51 AM

I was wondering - in general, what were peoples' high scores for the robot combat arena? What did you all think of that section of the game?
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