This project initially started out as a passionate, self-indulgent fantasy where I grandly stood on the backs of giants to create a game which included all of the things I love about point & click adventure games, with none of the bits I didn’t.
Through engaging with other gamers and game developers online it has become increasingly obvious that the things I love about point & click aren’t the the same as the things that everyone else loves. Sure, there are some people out there who are in it for exactly the same things as me, but there’s a lot of variety and opinions are divided.
Here are some of the things I love:
I love navigating around a scene with lots of objects and interesting things. For me, there’s nothing more exciting than discovering a new room with a bunch of shelves, cupboards or a fridge!
- Pixel hunting
This is definitely the Marmite of point and click features, and with the advent of mobile devices I can see why it’s not popular with a lot of players. I wouldn’t want to rely on it too often, but I do enjoy the hunt myself.
- Slightly obscure combinations and puzzles
I like solutions which aren’t always obvious or even that intuitive on the face of it (as long as they are supported with dialogue and other clues to point you in the right direction).
- Custom responses
There are thousands of different opportunities for object/character/item combinations within a point and click game, and developers have to draw the line somewhere. But I love to be rewarded for trying something silly, obscure or dangerous with a custom response that not everyone will discover and have made an effort to include as many as I can think of.
I’m also asking my demo testers to let me know if they tried anything that felt intuitive/funny and didn’t get suitably rewarded for it!
You may disagree. A lot of players actively dislike the points above, and it’s been a revelation to me that a relatively straightforward and formulaic game format can be so many things to so many different people.
It has ultimately led me to this conclusion…
Lucy Dreaming isn’t for me
Especially if I am hoping to realise it via crowdfunding, I need to make a game that other people want to play, even if it includes/excludes elements that I would personally relish.
The ideal is to strike a balance. This is what the Monkey Island series deliver perfectly in my opinion. There’s something for everyone. We all have a favourite (and a most-hated) puzzle from any classic game, but as long as the variety and balance is right, everyone can see past the “one bit that really sucked and took me ages to work out” and enjoy the bigger picture.
For this reason I have implemented a few puzzles and features which I personally don’t enjoy as much as others. For instance the “reveal hotspots” functionality. A way to reveal the interactive objects in a scene without hunting for them.
It’s not something I would ever use myself when playing, but it has come up again and again when I have spoken to other gamers.
I’d be an idiot to leave it out!
I have, however, compromised with it slightly.
Lucy Dreaming contains a LOT of objects in each scene – something which I will pay for later on when the voice-overs need to be added. So I have added hotspot reveals for most, but not for ALL of them. There are still some rewards for players who take the time to explore the scene further (including some hidden Easter eggs) but none of them are essential to completing the game.
Hopefully, this will provide an enjoyable experience for everyone who loves to point and to click.