Malayalam is a project I've been lately working on with another developer. It's basically a puzzle adventure, where the player finds himself on a large mysterious desert island. He has to explore the unknown environment, learn to survive in it, find food, items and tools to use and solve all sorts of missions and quests, which can be found all over the island. It's not a normal island, instead some very strange things are going on... it's the player's task to reveal these mysteries!
So, two main goals: 1) solve missions, and 2) survive. Score is increased by these two factors. Players can compete with each other in online highscore boards.
The game ends when the player dies, either in some accident or due to lack of food, or when all the missions have been completed. The very last mission provides a special way to actually get out of the island, back to home, and this is the optimal ending. However, this is behind a very complex set of actions, and is extremely hard to accomplish. Can you find it?
- 200 missions/quests of different difficulty
- Extensive island (50 000 x 50 000 pixels)
- Versatile ways to interact with the environment, hunt for food etc.
- Loads of animal species: 20+ different fish, sharks, lions, snakes, crabs, birds - you name it
I'm expecting a release at some point after it's ready. Shouldn't take too long.
It's the time to get this one out and released quite soon. We have come out of the beta stage and have a release candidate version at the moment, of which is still fine-tuned and small issues fixed from here and there, but it's still pretty much what we will present in the first public version.
It won't be perfect, there will still be some drawbacks left and things we'd like to improve, but hey, this is how games get released: you need to do compromises once in a while. I'm relatively satisfied with the game, and I'm sure many people will enjoy playing it. Especially fond I'm of the dynamic gameplay concept; every player will practically make his own game with his own goals and sub-goals. The difficulty level shapes accordingly to player's skills. The game doesn't force to do anything in any exact order - it can be played in a million different ways.
This of course has downsides as well as the gameflow is less focused and not that intensive. But Malayalam is a slowpaced exploration game in the first place, so that's what you need to expect. It's definitely not meant for any action/arcade gamers.
Based on the beta test feedback, we decided to put a small tutorial into the game as it seemed people didn't quite know how the play it otherwise. Well, we came up with a quite simple and boring tutorial, but it helps to understand some aspects of the game.
Here's a brief walkthrough for the tutorial. Sorry about the super-crap quality.
Haven't really had too much time at all for the project during the last 3-4 weeks, which is obviously unfortunate. But some news nevertheless.. some of the most recent improvements and additions include:
- Unlockable quests: some missions require a certain number of earlier missions to be completed first before they can be accepted.
- Torch object to control fire. The player can set some objects and animals on fire, but it's risky because you can accidently kill yourself or burn your shelter while playing with the fire.
- More teleports (yes, on a desert island) which enable faster movement across the different parts of the island. Teleportation is unhealthy though, so you can't do it all day long.
- Abilities finalized. The player can improve his abilities in ~20 different ways, including fishing, hunting, swimming, walking, chopping, shaking and teleporting. Abilities are gained by finding ability objects from the terrain or as rewards from completing special quests and missions.
Being unable to work intensively on the project during the last month obviously means that the beta version won't be as comprehensive as I would've liked it to be in the first place. But it's playable nevertheless, so bugs can be validated and other feedback collected from it.
All signed up beta testers can expect an email from me anytime soon (=still during this month) including some instructions for testing. Basically it will be a two-phase test inside 1 week time, taking 5-10 hours from each tester to complete. The reward from completed testing is something worth of $15.