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TIGSource ForumsCommunityJams & EventsCompetitionsOld CompetitionsAdult/Educational CompoMr. Jones' Dream [not NSFW] [FINISHED!]
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Author Topic: Mr. Jones' Dream [not NSFW] [FINISHED!]  (Read 29994 times)
adam a
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« Reply #40 on: August 10, 2009, 04:53:21 PM »

I just played the game through. It was really well pitched throughout and I really enjoyed it. As a platformer it is not perfect, it's a bit floaty and sometimes hard to control. I found I got a bit lost in the caves, maybe this is the intention, but lots of the areas look the same. But the focus is obviously the plot and the ideas, and the game achieves a really perfect mood. There are loads of really great moments were something happens that you didn't expect like [spoiler]when you get turned into a bird, I wasn't expecting that, even though the guy hints that a bird can fly up the hole, I kind of assumed that a bird would come out of the egg and it kind of surprised me. All the incidental speech is great too, how characters' speech changes when you become a bird ("birds can't play the organ"), or when I tried to shoot the creepy guy and then felt bad after the woman said I'd be just like him.[/spoiler]

In all, good job.
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edmundito
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« Reply #41 on: August 10, 2009, 08:16:43 PM »

I'm really liking this game so far! I haven't completed it, so I'll shout another comment when I DO finish it. I got stuck on the numbers and read the little hint on the forum, then I figured it all out. Tongue
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ThetaGames
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« Reply #42 on: August 11, 2009, 06:33:48 AM »

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. . . it's a bit floaty . . .
This was the intent - I always thought that floaty jumping conveys a dreamlike atmosphere.

Quote
[spoiler]when you get turned into a bird, I wasn't expecting that, even though the guy hints that a bird can fly up the hole, I kind of assumed that a bird would come out of the egg and it kind of surprised me. All the incidental speech is great too, how characters' speech changes when you become a bird ("birds can't play the organ"), or when I tried to shoot the creepy guy and then felt bad after the woman said I'd be just like him.[/spoiler]
Glad you picked up on this.  In general, I wanted the other characters to be very focused on Mr. Jones' actions.  After all, he is the star of his own dream.  Also, [SPOILER]Despite his short appearance in this game, Machikne (the creepy guy) is supposed to be a complicated character, evoking both pity and disgust.  His name actually is actually a very vulgar word in Nepali.  [/SPOILER]
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« Reply #43 on: August 11, 2009, 04:40:00 PM »


i really enjoyed this! and i was quite impressed by its size and all the ideas... it took multiple tries to get to the/an end, though, because i didn't expect it will take so long... finally here some thoughts:

two suggestions first:
- the first number puzzle was a problem for me after first try. i think many players stop there out of frustration...
- the cave was a bit too huge and unfocused, this can be frustrating for a typical gamer, as well. i played through it right before, till getting to the piano... i don't know if that really was the end. some objects, and places will keep their secret. maybe this is intended, since not everything has to makes sense Wink. it's a weird dream, after all...

some impressions:
i like how the game is structured! 3 parts, blended over continuously, all in one large level. the music never stops, and being able to go everywhere, all the time is nice... (like when flying back into the "grass land", as a bird...). also the mini shooter room, and the small "local" jump, number and movement puzzles makes it quite interesting and varied to play. and interesting, concept wise! also how the story is integrated works well... i found it confusing sometimes, but it's a dream, and i can relate to that. perhaps it's a bit too chaotic, with too many genres, gameplay elements and symbols, but that's still better than just one stupid jump game with super polished graphics, and only generic me-too platform gameplay... really nice to see it coming out like this! experimental and quite original. - a little more focus though, would have been good, especially at the end, i think, and some clearer "emotional buildup", or story-based "arc". like in a movie, where you first learn where and when things play, who the characters are. then the conflict (here the work, money, and the women, i think) could be introduced, and things could come back later, in a final resolution. actually, your game works a bit like this, when i think about it, but while playing it feels a bit too unclear, maybe mainly because of the expectations one has, because it's a puzzle platformer... overall, i had the feeling that it is a bit undecided there. but it was fun to play, nonetheless. to solve the puzzles, and trying to interpret the meaning of the situations.
but again, the concept is has lots of potential for more exploration i think. fragmented, metaphoric story, one level, interconnected objects/events, and simple interactions. i would enjoy to play more (short) games like this. (less can be more, content/gameplay wise, though).
(...i haven't play too many adventure games recently... more action, or mechanics oriented indie games... but i really learned to enjoy this kind of thing again here!)
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ThetaGames
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« Reply #44 on: August 12, 2009, 11:20:50 AM »

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some objects, and places will keep their secret. maybe this is intended, since not everything has to makes sense Wink  it's a weird dream, after all...
The game is a bit of an allegory, so most of the objects and places have some sort of meaning, or at least reference something that has to do with the main themes.  Though I have my own ideas for the game's intended symbolism, I realize some of the symbols can be pretty ambiguous to others.  This ambiguity is indeed intentional - I didn't want the game to flaunt its intended meaning like a political cartoon.  I think anyone's interpretation of the game's symbolism is just as valid as my own intended meanings; the mere act of thinking about it is a crucial part of the game.

[spoiler about the end]When Mr. Jones plays the organ, that is the end.  The funky music starts, and you can't exit until it fades out into the main menu.  It represents Mr. Jones' final triumph over his drab life (at least in the dream, though presumably in real life as well), through the use of creative expression.[/spoiler about the end]
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Brother Android
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« Reply #45 on: August 15, 2009, 03:22:09 AM »

Really good game with lots of interesting ideas in it. I like the music best of all.
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« Reply #46 on: August 16, 2009, 06:47:42 AM »

Quote from: Jabberwock
Really good game with lots of interesting ideas in it. I like the music best of all.
I like how the music turned out too.  Actually recording music "live" is a a lot of fun, and I feel like you can do more by using this method than when everything is synthesized.  For example, muting the strings of a baby grand piano with my left hand while playing the appropriate bass keys with my right hand - this is how I did that ostinato for the underground music.  I don't think that sound can be fully synthesized.
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demolam
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« Reply #47 on: August 25, 2009, 05:54:09 AM »

Question:Is there some way to become a human again after you have transformed into a bird?
Otherwise it seems like I'm stuck and have to start all over, which I don't have the patience for right now. Other than that issue, I really liked the game, despite the graphics (which are way to simplistic for my taste) and the somewhat strangely floating jumps. The game and level design where great, which is wy I kept playing I believe. You may receive one of my votes, depending on the quality of games which I have yet to play. In your favor is that your game is actually a game and not an interactive fiction (unlike many of the other interesting candidates).
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« Reply #48 on: August 25, 2009, 06:07:29 AM »

Otherwise it seems like I'm stuck and have to start all over, which I don't have the patience for right now.
Question:Is there some way to become a human again after you have transformed into a bird?
You are not stuck:
Yes - there is a Species Adjustment Room to do that.  You, however, need a passcode to get in that room.

Thanks for the comments - I was definitely trying to create an interactive way to tell an allegorical story, surreal as it may be.
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demolam
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« Reply #49 on: August 25, 2009, 11:32:43 AM »

You are not stuck:
Yes - there is a Species Adjustment Room to do that.  You, however, need a passcode to get in that room.

Aha, I'll just take one other spin through the whole cave then. Thanks, now I will make sure to complete it. Extra points to you for the fast answear.
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demolam
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« Reply #50 on: August 26, 2009, 01:42:09 PM »

Ok, apparently I'm an idiot who can't read a simple sign. I've finished it now finally anyway. I have an idea about what you wanted to say with the ending, but it's probably not what you had in mind.
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ThetaGames
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« Reply #51 on: August 26, 2009, 04:41:38 PM »

I have an idea about what you wanted to say with the ending, but it's probably not what you had in mind.
What was your idea?
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« Reply #52 on: August 27, 2009, 09:48:49 AM »

As symbolism goes, I'm don't care too much what it all means by the end of the game.  A good piece of work speaks for itself, and delivers on a gut level.

It's the best game of the competition.
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ThetaGames
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« Reply #53 on: August 30, 2009, 07:43:17 AM »

As symbolism goes, I'm don't care too much what it all means by the end of the game.  A good piece of work speaks for itself, and delivers on a gut level.

It's the best game of the competition.
Thank you!  Even though I didn't win, I'm still pleased with the outcome of this.  Perhaps the game did not fit with the "spirit" of the competition?

I'm glad you got it at a "gut" level - that is the intent of a lot of things that attempt to be "surreal."  I was definitely going for this, in addition to trying to create a sort of allegory.
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jot2b
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« Reply #54 on: September 10, 2009, 11:02:39 AM »

Re: thoughts on the ending.  To me the message here was, a man can spend his whole life trying to figure out what to do or who to be.  There are a lot of traps and distractions, but he must not forget one of the most important things: PLAY.  And keep playing.  Good stories to me usually revolve around this kind of theme, where love conquers all in the end.  I was surprised how touched I was by the ending to Mr. Jones Dream.  The playful and unrestrained music really inspires.

Also laughed pretty heartily at THE EDGE GAMES reference!   Big Laff Big Laff
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ThetaGames
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« Reply #55 on: September 11, 2009, 07:45:16 PM »

@jot2b:
I like this interpretation!  Throughout the game, I attempted to make several references to things that aren't true love, (e.g. lust and basic biological functions), but I think Mr. Jones breaks free of all of this as he approaches the end.  Also, the music was central to the game's design - I'm glad you liked it.

As for the Edge Games reference, I found that whole fiasco to be quite amusing.  It really was ridiculous (and appalling at the same time).
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