To be clear, this is not a way for me to show you how much work is involved in making this blog happen, or how incredibly awesome I am at it (I don’t think that at all by the way). I just think it would be an interesting exercise, and would no doubt offer a budding game developer some amazing feedback on his first real shot at making a game. It’s also a celebration of Loom, since I’m unaware of any other games that have applied anything remotely similar to the distaff mechanic found in LucasArts’ classic. Anyone that meets this challenge will receive 50 CAPs, and the one I’m most impressed with will get 100. That’s right, 100 CAPs!!!! Only the infamous Laukku has received more for a single effort! I’m not going to demand that people do Introduction and Final Rating posts, but if you want to try your hand at them then be my guest. Any attempts can be emailed to me in whatever format you like, or they can be posted online if you have the resources available. I will send all of them to Shelly, and likely post the winning effort it it's not already online. The competition will run until I reach the end of Conquests of Camelot, (which will likely be over a month away) so plenty of time to blog through a thirty minute game. As a final note, please remember that this is about giving Shelly some constructive feedback, whether it be positive or negative.
No, you don't have to know foreign languages to play the game
In the meantime, here’s a short interview I conducted with Shelly.
Can you tell us about yourself and your background in gaming?
I'm Shelly, a 22 year old design student living in Hamburg. By design I don't mean game design at all. The fields I'm studying reach from analog photography to typography and animation. Though I have always planned on getting into game development, I never made a step towards my goal. I've been playing games my whole life and they always were a welcome creative input.
What made you decide to try your hand at developing your own game?
When I decided to finally get my hands dirty and make a game, I didn’t know where to start. I couldn’t program. But a friend of mine (Daniel) had the experience needed and so we started. Suddenly all the creative fields of my design studies became useful. That’s also how I got the motivation in the first place. I made animations, books, type designs, and I drew a lot. And suddenly I remembered my original goal and realised that all those creative and graphical themes are a part of games. Game development inherits all of the things that interest me.
An in-game Book of Patterns!
What is Olav & the Lute and why should we play it?
Olav & the Lute is a short Point & Click adventure. In a mystical post-apocalyptic world Olav has the divine and fateful mission to awaken the mighty Loom. Instead of the classical Inventory, you collect melodies, like in the old classic Adventure LOOM. You help Olav, encounter strange characters and interact with the world with your magical Lute. It's by far not a perfect game, but for a first game it's impressive. A vivid world and with the soundtrack a friend of mine contributed to the game, it's really atmospheric. Since a play-through is only half an hour long, it is definitely worth a try.
Who was involved in the development of the game, and what techniques were used?
Daniel & I were the lead developers and Johann helped us a bit with ideas. Daniel got his hands dirty on the hard programing stuff and I did all the rest, from the art to the game design. Throughout the development I learned to program myself and as of now I think I could program the whole game alone. Thanks to Daniel’s code of course, from which I've learned. Quirin Nebas helped us with the sound and music. For the development we used Unity. In it we built sort of our own little engine. Other programs are Photoshop, Aftereffects and some sound programs. I also made the trailer and the website.
It tells us that someone has played Loom before. A lot!
LOOM was an inspiration from the start. We wanted to make a game with the same mechanics and continued from there. There wasn't really a complete concept at the beginning, we just started to work and built the world one screen at a time.
Where to from here? Are you planning to experiment more and hone your skills, or jump into making a commercially released game?
We will definitely try other things out in the future. Since Olav & the Lute was quite a large project, maybe too large for us, we will try smaller things out maybe. But first I will be developing a game on my own. The idea for it is brewing for a couple of months. A puzzle game about sums, systems and the inability to sleep at night because of too many thoughts.....
Now that's good advice!