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Within a Deep Forest
Author: Nicklas_N Submitted: 3rd May, 2006 Favourites:4
Genre: Platformer Downloads: 397
Rated:
Game of the Week Winner


Edited By Nicklas_N on 08/05/2006

Edited By Nicklas_N on 06/05/2006

Within a Deep Forest is a 2D platform game, with a lot focus on atmosphere. Dr. Cliché did two attempts to build a bomb capable of freezing the entire world to ice. His first attempt failed and resulted in a living blue ball. The second attempt was a success. The bomb is now activated, and now the living blue ball must travel through many dangerous places hidden within Pinewood Heights in order to retrieve the powers necessary to stop the countdown.

The things that I focused on, when creating Within a Deep Forest, is:

* Advanced gameplay, yet easy to learn - You only really use the arrow buttons, and A & S to controll your movements. Yet the use of the different ball materials makes both gameplay and logical puzzles quite tricky.

* Life - although there are not that many enemies to be found, there are a lot of harmless creatures all over the game, and most of them only appears at one place. I had the idea that it would make the game feel more alive.

* Atmosphere - This is the main focal point of this game, much more important than the actual gameplay. I tried to with as simple graphics as I could, give the game an unique atmosphere. I also tried to involve the best suitable musicians I could find, to create music for the levels. For example, Ilpo Tammi who did the forest tune, is in real life very captivated by forests too.

The game also features two secret games, and a speedrun mode. It's up to you to find out how to unlock the secret games. The speedrun mode is unlocked when you beat the game, and the purpose of it, is to beat the game as fast as you can. Your final time can be submitted to an online highscore database.

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http://www.ni2.se/withinadeepforest/getwadf.php?format=zip (20mb )



This download contains more than 50 comments, so only the latest 50 have been shown, click here to view all comments (124)
Posted by Jon Lambert 10th May, 2006

I dont get the spider in the tower. What do i do with it?
 
Posted by Jon Lambert 11th May, 2006

How?
 
Posted by Liquixcat 11th May, 2006

Use the hidden blocks. Maybe the spider will help you instead of kill you.
 
Posted by Jon Lambert 11th May, 2006

... hidden blocks?
 
Posted by Reno 11th May, 2006

This very game took me 3 days to compleate because I would get stuck then come back to it later. I woud try e-mailing Nicklas but he didn't want to ruin it for me. I finally finished the game. This and Sub Zero Conditions are my favorite click games probalby made yet. Adventurers are my favorite and this game has style. The mysterious things that just makes you wonder untill it clicks all at once. I am voting for this game on GOTW and I think everyone else should too. There was not one thing that I didn't like about this game. Down to the last fireball this game was indeed perfect. Just tell me one thing, how long did the entire project take?
 
Posted by Jon Lambert 11th May, 2006

What are hidden blocks?

 
Posted by Nicklas_N 11th May, 2006

There are no hidden blocks. There are the red and blue ones, that you use the buttons to switch. If you think carefully, can you find out a way to use them to lead the spider?
 
Posted by Mruqe 11th May, 2006

This can be a bit frustrating though - specially if you choose a wrong ball for the job The trick is to take a ball that will give you the easiest acces to the buttons.

@Circy: Point taken. And anyway - you actually gave me time to make a whole new playmode and upload an improved version of my game, Munchie Moves 1.1. There are also new screenshots. One of them features the lowest score I ever seen Check it out.
http://www2.create-games.com/download.asp?id=6118
 
Posted by Del Duio 11th May, 2006

CRAP! I can't play this because every time I go to select a save file to start the game, I get a critical error and it shuts itself down. I tried it 4 times =(

I still voted thumbs up, it's not your fault my cpu sucks LOL. Oh, and how many people helped you with this game? The credits were like 5 pages long, it looks like it was a large / pro project.
 
Posted by Mruqe 11th May, 2006

I've just noticed something increadible. When the game window is not in focus the music gets quiet, then it gets back to normal volume when you bring it back to the top. Nice touch!
 
Posted by Jon Lambert 12th May, 2006

... lead it where, and how?

 
Posted by Nicklas_N 12th May, 2006

For the solution to the spider puzzle, have a look at this picture: http://www.ni2.se/withinadeepforest/solutions/spiderpuzzle.png

That's how you get it to the bottom of that screen. Then continue to the next, and try to find a way to make it reach the bottom there too.
 
Posted by Whippers With 13th May, 2006

This is such an extremely well made game... I almost want to cry at the fact I will never be able to make a game even close to it. =

Excellent art, music and gameplay. A big, big thumbs up! Are the sound effects original as well?
 
Posted by renkin 13th May, 2006

Very nice game. Finished it now. It's easily one of the ten or so best "klik" games I've played. Cool puzzles, some tricky parts, good atmosphere in some of the areas... Also, the engine is very solid (which is too rare when it comes to klik games).

Roligt att du kallar en bana för Ljus.
 
Posted by Zethell 13th May, 2006

19 mb.. guess its gonna take some time to download as the speed remains down at 32kbps..

Heh, getting used to 2000~kbps now
 
Posted by Nicklas_N 13th May, 2006

>Are the sound effects original as well?

Well, I suppose it depends on how you define orginal. I bought a few sample CD's with the sound effects I needed, the ball bounces is basically different percussion instrument, but I've edited them to have the best possible stereo width.

Because the other sample CD's wasn't really good, I had to combine multiple sounds, and effect them, to turn them into what you hear in the game. Since I'm mainly a musician, I'm quite into that sort of stuff, so I think the result is ok
 
Posted by Mruqe 14th May, 2006

I think the result gives out clearly, that you are a musician
 
Posted by renkin 14th May, 2006

Agreed. Also: reviewed.

I hope I'm making sense. Reviewing at 4AM has its problems.
 
Posted by Imadjinn 14th May, 2006

Suffice to say, this is going to win the GOTW the way it's going... Unless all the opposition lovers aren't voters. :/
 
Posted by Whippers With 14th May, 2006

Yeah, what I meant was "did you just randomly grab them from the net?", and since you didn't, they are original in my book. Asbra spel, för övrigt.
 
Posted by Nicklas_N 15th May, 2006

Thanks for your review Lucid. It's great knowing you like the game.

Okey, now I'm gonna admit a thing about me that is actually one of my weaknesses. I'm sensitive to critism to such a degree that I mostly remember the negative things I hear. So basically, I'm gonna "defend" myself a little here.

The key thing here is that I don't have the time I need. Everything I do is a compromise, I try to think in a small scale. I mean, who havn't heard of people who's gonna make some super huge RPG they never finish. For every thing I focus on, I have to take that away from something else in the game.

For example, lastability was one factor I didn't prioritize. I rather create a short experience that takes a few hours to beat, if that experience itself is good. The best game I have ever played, Ico for Playstation 2, only really has 7-9 hours of gameplay, and one really small secret. Yet, the entire atmosphere, and the end of that game deeply touched me in a way no other game has ever done. If I would only play one game in my life, it would be Ico, despite that I can play Final Fantasy X for 120+ hours without finding everything.

So when I ask myself "how long does the game has to be to express myself", the answer is usually "short".

The secret levels were made so simple, because I didn't have time to add new areas to the game. Well, actually, when some musicians was delayed, I could either add secret areas, or expand ordinary levels. So I added Ljus, Utopioca Minor, Strange Place, and Crystalline. Assuming I would have made them unlockable secret levels, you would still have got the same areas.

Of course it would also take more time to make all ball materials really unique too. However, the game was orginally intended for Hard mode (I added the Normal mode later on), and in that mode, the balls is actually more different from each other, than in the slightly simplified Normal mode.

As for the graphics, although I know some consider them dull, I had the choice to either focus on life, by animating all those small creatures you see, or going for more careful details in the static graphics. And to be honest, I like one coloured areas, plain gradients, grey colours 'n stuff. Some consider it "bad", but I look at it a different way. Assuming I back then knew everything I know now, I would have still made the same choice. For me it looks exactly the way I intended it to look.

But I suppose it's all subjective. I mean, I honestly accept that you have another opinion, but I sometimes have to state my own view, rather than trying to "fix" my games for other people's opinions that I don't really agree with anyway - it's really nothing personal of course, putting words on things is just a good way for me to forget the negative critism sooner, so I don't lose the inspiration I might otherways do.

Yeah, I know a good person is supposed to handle critism 'n stuff, and I am really sorry about this and for writing this pointless "defencive" post. It's one of my characteristics that isn't known to be the best.
 
Posted by renkin 16th May, 2006

You're completely right. Making a game (or anything else) is a lot about compromise, and cutting the right things, some of which is unavoidably good things. Yeah, otherwise you'd never finish the game. And indeed I'd much rather see that I can play your game than you cancelling it after it's 20% complete. I hope it didn't seem like a big deal about the lastability, 'cause I agree with you; a long game time isn't worth shit unless the game is interesting throughout. Also, the speed run in WaDF IS a nice addition that made me play it through a second time (and maybe an upcoming third).

Now, I don't know how much of your post (if any) is referring to my review, but I'll clarify some stuff anyway.

Don't get me wrong about the graphics. I love how you use a simple style to capture the atmosphere, and you do it really, really well at some places, using colors and other things, like the creatures (and also letting to music do a lot of the work). Past the lake, Ljus, and the underwater laboratory are good examples. I just felt that some areas don't do it as well (thus coming out less interesting), which is probably unavoidable, but while wearing the mask of the critic, I tend to see all those little things.

Also, I did notice the differences between the materials in the hard mode vs normal when doing the speed run. I was cursing quite a bit when I fell in the same trap time and time again 'cause the ball didn't behave the way I was used to. Anyway, even though I might have preferred if there were fewer materials, each with more unique properties (like keeping the properties but cutting down the material number), I do like how even the more functionally similar materials sometimes have some unique properties, like the rubber ball being able to bounce on spikes, for instance. Even simple things like that adds depth to the game mechanics, for me, especially since they're things you can figure out by thinking logically. That's a great quality of your game in general.

And finally, you're completely right about subjectivity, as well. You shouldn't make a game based on other people's opinions, if you don't agree with them. (But I'd still rather have seen a new unlockable area instead of the two mini games. ) A game like that would probably come out really bad, actually, since it would've been created to fit some non-existant average audience. The best games are generally the games that are made for oneself. They often target a small audience, but fits that audience well.

So, despite some small complaints (I have complaints about every game, even my all time favourites, and not just "klik" ones), I will certainly remember your game as one of the rare, great ones that was fun and inspiring to play. It's got soul, and that's what really matters when it comes down to it.

Just to clarify.

I guess this post was arguably just as unnecessary as yours. Feel free to ignore it.
 
Posted by Nicklas_N 16th May, 2006

Well, I guess you have right about some things though. I have actually been working on an additional "secret", for a while now that's probably more interesting...
 
Posted by alastair john jack 16th May, 2006

wow, extremely well done game
must of been fun to make
 
Posted by axel 16th May, 2006

I don't play that many games from this site, but I guess I'll download this one, when it's gotten so good critisism.
 
Posted by Nicklas_N 16th May, 2006

I have to find a way to learn handle negative critism better though.
 
Posted by Airflow 17th May, 2006

Nicklas - "The key thing here is that I don't have the time I need. Everything I do is a compromise, I try to think in a small scale. I mean, who havn't heard of people who's gonna make some super huge RPG they never finish. For every thing I focus on, I have to take that away from something else in the game. "

It helps if you don't tell anyone about it. That way your not commited to anything.

 
Posted by Dim 18th May, 2006

I beat the game, too! Finally... Had a hard time getting the last ball material, as I did not figure out how to proceed in the ice level.

Excellent game, Nicklas!
 
Posted by Airflow 19th May, 2006

Great game! My hat tips in your general direction. I especially liked the cart ride. The control of the ball is strange.
 
Posted by Nicklas_N 20th May, 2006

Heh, if you want true strangeness, try the balls in hard mode The physics are quite different.
 
Posted by 23rd May, 2006

this game looks good. downloading...
 
Posted by 23rd May, 2006

but it takes too long to download
 
Posted by David Newton (DavidN) 24th May, 2006

This is just amazing. An original idea, puzzles just the right side of frustrating, and put together semi-professionally.
 
Posted by Imadjinn 27th May, 2006

Congrats on the GOTW. As if there'd be any other result...
 
Posted by renkin 27th May, 2006

Grats. Well deserved, indeed.
 
Posted by 28th May, 2006

hey nice game will be on my web ok
 
Posted by Mruqe 29th May, 2006

It won't really fit there. With Geega.
 
Posted by Nicklas_N 30th May, 2006

Make sure you get the latest Within a Deep Forest version from http://withinadeepforest.ni2.se - version 1.1 features a new secret "game", that's unlocked if you unlock both other secrets. It's a hidden part of the forest, where you can see some of Sara Sandberg's creatures that didn't make it into the main game.
 
Posted by renkin 31st May, 2006

Cool.
 
Posted by Lachie Dazdarian 6th June, 2006

A really brilliant game. One of the best freeware games I had the pleasure to play. What impressed me the most is the wonderful design. The game reaches excellence with its original gameplay, polish, size, amount of challenging and varied puzzles and very good graphics. But you also managed to give the game that special mark with careful and stylish menu design, soft sounds and dreamlike music resulting in immersive atmosphere. Really cool intro and ending. And kudos for finding so many people to do the highly quality music for the game.

This game kept me glued in front of the monitor for 3 evenings, sometimes playing it till 4 in the morning.

Within a Deep Forest is another game that proves how in classic genres like platform you can create something new, something that opens so many options for new kinds of puzzles and ways to play a game. I must admit that original gameplays were and are my weakest side. Consider yourself lucky for having this talent.

The game is not perfect, but the only aspect where this game has space for improvement are the graphics, which are not bad but simply not "detailed" enough. You know, there is a lot of places where you could put more stuff. Still, you were really close to perfection with this game.

Anyway, Within a Deep Forest will be one of those games that will inspire me. An ideal to strive to. Mainly in design and polish.

A question.

The speedrun game? That’s a joke, right? How can I finish the game in one attempt? Are you nuts?

I also hoped to get one secret level unlocked as a reward for finishing the game. Gimme a hint for unlocking one of the secret levels!
 
Posted by tf76 6th June, 2006

This is an awesome game, and I think it's a contender for game of the year. I loved it so much I added it to my site. It's a simple concept, addictive, hard and time comsuming.

I love the fact that it's not easy and also you have to think a lot. It took me around 4 days to finish and I admit I did need some tips to complete some sections.
Three in total, from the authors site forum.

Can't wait for the next installment.
If he makes it, that is
 
Posted by Nicklas_N 6th June, 2006

> The speedrun game? That’s a joke, right? How can I finish the game in one attempt? Are you nuts?

Actually, one dude is attempting to beat my own record of 20 minutes and 51 seconds. He's currently at 24 minutes and 9 seconds.

The graphics though... well, it's also a question of taste I guess. I like very plain, simple stuff, with large one coloured areas. It's my style.

If you need a hint to enable the secret levels... check the Within a Deep Forest forums at http://withinadeepforest.ni2.se
 
Posted by Lachie Dazdarian 20th June, 2006

20 minutes?!? I think we are not living in a same dimension.
 
Posted by NeoHunter 30th June, 2006

I'd just like to say, this game is fantastic. I wasn't expecting a great deal from this, but obviously looks can be deciving, as I was playing it from midnight, to around 5 in the morning

This is the game that convinced me that MMF could handle much more advanced gaming, and more so, that a game made with MMF or the like, could be just as polished as the games I buy in the stores.

Seriously, this game just floored me.
 
Posted by jpSoul 4th July, 2006

VERY addictive game, i played about 2 hours ! (normally i play only 1/4 hour on click games!).
i noticed that musics are very good, calm and pleasant
 
Posted by 22nd August, 2006

Lol make the sequal!!!!!!! NOW!
 
Posted by Tomssuli 4th October, 2006

This is one of the greatest games ever made with MMF... Only thing it could be compared to is Eternal Daughter. Fantastic! I love the atmosphere, the physics, music and everything!
 
Posted by DaVince 20th September, 2007

"Only thing it could be compared to is Eternal Daughter."

lol no
 
Posted by Spiriax 20th November, 2007
Rated :

This is a really really great game!
 
Posted by Farmer 17th August, 2008

Argh 404'd!
Nifflas, your link's broken
 

 



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