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What is this game

It's a point & Click Adventure game in the style of the cult classic "Macventure" series that came out on the NES made up of Shadowgate, Deja Vu and Uninvited. Essentially it's a sub-genre of Point & Click games in which you explore environment and solve puzzles using a array of command verbs and item inventory

Ooooh boy I'm sorry for you if you only ever got to play them on NES.

I've played them on every platform. I just chose to adopt the  NES style

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Yours looks AND plays a hundred times better than the NES versions (controlling them with a controller was absolute trash back in the day, and it's even harder  with an emulator and a keyboard). Your game actually seems much closer to my favorite versions, which were on the Commodore 64 . The graphics and animation, like yours, were far superior.  There's something to be said for the black and white Mac graphics, too, which looked like pencil sketches. Really good job here, very well done and super nostalgia-inducing.

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I actually made a mock up B&W Mac screen for our previous game, Infested, for fun. Might make one up for Spectacle one of these days. In a perfect world with more time, money and interest we would have loved to have made a retro Mac version :D

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I finished Spectacle yesterday and Infested today, they are both wonderfull games. You made me discover this genre, I already had a try at Shadowgate on emulator a long time ago, but got quickly discouraged. Now I guess I will have another try on these nes classics, it will help me to wait until your third adventure game !!

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Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed them. Shadowgate had always been one of my all-time favorite games, I think it's definitely worth a revisit. The Uninvited is also really awesome, but is a bit more convoluted. As for Deja-Vu, as much as I genuinely love the game, I usually recommend people play it with a walkthrough cause it's rather open ended and requires a LOT of patience and trial and error, but with a walkthrough it's good to simply experience the game straightforward 

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Holy crap this game is good

Thanks :D

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oooh thx!

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:-o ... I, too, loved the Shadowgate style games. This looks incredible! Thank you for making it!

Thank you for playing it :D

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I love the game layout and engine. I would love to use it for other projects. Would you sell the game engine?

Hi, glad you like it! The game engine is actually GameMaker Studio 2 by YoYo Games

https://www.yoyogames.com/

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Thanks. I know that part. But did you guys build some sort of template . Where you just have to pop in different graphics and story lines. Or is each game designed from the ground up? 

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Designed from the ground up

How do you maneuver the lost desert

The directions are found written in a book in a library. The directions are cryptic, but if you wish for know the solution, then...

[SPOILERS]


The directions are written in the Blue Book in the Chamber of Knowledge. The song "Sacred Sons Enter Sun Weathered Sands Weielding Sourcerer Slaying Scimitars"

Further hint...

[SPOILERS]

The first letter in each word S S E S W S W S S S are the directions to take through the desert. The compass on the ground near the desert entrance will orientate you (as well as the sun rising from the East)

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Congrats on releasing another game GrahfMetal! I had a blast with Infested and so far it's been the same with Spectacle. These games always hook me after playing the NES version of Shadowgate.

One very minor issue I noticed: Examining the writing at the Hesperides Path gives a spelling error of "decifer". 

Also, my apologies but I appear to have been stumped and could use a hint. I have the red, blue, and gold keys and believe I've done everything in the Northlands. I've reached the palace gate in the Southlands but don't have the correct key. There's a boulder I can't move and the shah statue accepts one item, but there's no reaction. The loose dirt in the area tells me I need a shovel but I don't seem to have seen one in any of the places I've been.

I did initially run into a roadblock with finding the blue key from not noticing the spot to place the item so I'm likely just being unobservant or not understanding Scroll II. I have gone back through each screen to see if there was an item or writing for a new spell with no luck. Much appreciated for any help!

And best of luck with whatever project you work on next!

Thank you very much! You next step is to find a hidden Spell in the Azure Palace (first palace ) that will help you with the boulder to the south. Look closely, you'll notice something is out of place ;)

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Thanks for the hint! I must be very unobservant here as I went back and examined/used anything that looked remotely out of place and still have turned up empty. This will undoubtedly be one of those moments where the answer will be so obvious I wondered how I could have overlooked it.

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If you would like the answer...

[SPOILERS]


In the Chamber of Knowledge (the library in the Azure Palace) the wall on the left has a mural of clouds and one of the wall tiles is upside-down TAKE the upside-down cloud tile to remove it and USE the ROSETTA STONE on the writing to learn the spell OPEN SESAME. USE O. SESAME on a rock leading into the tower

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Thanks for the answer. That had me completely stumped.

I finished the game and greatly enjoyed it!

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I have uploaded a playthrough of the game: 


Thank you for the enjoyment and the help.

I'm also looking for all the ways to meet a terrible end as that's also part of the fun with these games but I haven't completed the challenge to be killed by every monster so I'll be hunting down what has to hunt me down first.
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Awesome! Thank you so much! We'll definitely check out the video when we get the chance :D

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Before continuing, I will give you all lots of credit in general. This is a well constructed game overall with a great soundtrack and mostly solid content. I will always have a place in my heart for these types of games and please don't take any of this as anything other than constructive criticism - the overall quality of stuff you put out is very good and I hope you keep going in the future.

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With that being said, once you get the yellow key and move onto the next part of the game (which will remain unnamed to prevent spoilers - the devs will know what I am talking about), it becomes completely illogical. The "hint" provided in the piece of reading material you find along your way is not indicative one single bit of how you're actually supposed to apply it. It's not a tune or sound when it comes to to apply it in-game, so why say it is, or even act as if the player can use it in that fashion? Also, how does one logically die in said area in nighttime conditions...? The directional "hint" given is completely irrelevant as well, as traveling in that direction will always bring death because it's a multitude of directions in a specific order (with limited chances and forced back to start each time), not just one as the hint indicates.

This brings back lots of memories of puzzles like "throw spider at dead butler with no hint - just use until something works after 75 deaths" from Uninvited.

That really did turn me off to the game honestly, because as much as I love Uninvited, I loathed the handful of completely ridiculous and illogical puzzles in that game. Puzzle games should be winnable without walkthroughs or obscenely cryptic hints. The puzzles previously were very tough in many cases, but none of them were like this which is why I still had the determination to keep trying and got through them all until now. Hints so cryptic that they will require a walkthrough in most player's cases should never be a necessity in games like this, as you only truly get to play them as intended once. 

I may pick it back up again in the future, but that's gonna be it for me for now. That type of gameplay isn't engaging - it just makes you lose interest very quickly. All of the others puzzles were challenging but fair. If this is an indication of how the game ends, it's gonna be tough to find the motivation to finish it.

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My honest, overall opinion (hey - this is the kind of feedback you guys ask for) is that this game is solid, but missed the mark in this very vital way. I think you did so much better in terms of a well constructed puzzle game overall with Infested. It may not have been as flashy or have as nice of a soundtrack (fantastic soundtrack in Spectacle, by the way - especially the outdoors track. Catchy stuff!), but the puzzles clues made sense (even if slightly confusing to begin with).

I'd probably give the following number scores to each game.

Spectacle - 7/10

Infested - 10/10 

As I said originally though - don't stop! I'm one person sharing one opinion and not everyone will approve of everything you make. Your attention to detail and quality productions I've seen so far will ensure I will be interested in the next game you create. I just wish some things had been done differently in Spectacle - it started off amazing and then lost it's spark rather quickly for a player like me who's not interested in needing a hint system to beat the game.

Cheers!

We really appreciate the criticism (not sarcastically), so it's all good. Thanks for the feedback. Just to be clear, are we talking about the path required to get through the desert? The idea behind that puzzle is;

[SPOILERS]

According to the book Theives would sing a song "Sacred Suns Enter Sun Weathered Sands Weilding Sorcerer Slaying Scimitars" to navigate the desert. This is meant to show that they needed a tune in order to remember the direction to take. The tune of course having the first letter in each word indicating a direction, i.e. S S E S W S W S S S or South -> South -> East -> South -> West -> South -> West -> South -> South -> South. So by taking these directions through the desert will see you safe the the other side. 

The second part to the puzzle is knowing that North, East, South, West is NOT Up, Right, Down, Left as one might presume, but rather it's Left, Up, Right, Down according to both the giant compass on the ground near the desert and because the Sun rises from the East.

Also, dying in that area in the nighttime is simply from being lost and exhausted.

Hopefully this helped. If not, please don't hesitate to let me know and I can certainly give more or different details

Thanks again!

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Mind. Blown.

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Thanks for responding! I did end up gathering at least the part in the book from another family member who is also quite impressed with your work :)

Yes, that is the puzzle (wasn't sure how much could be said in public comments) and I think your response does help put into perspective the kind of feedback I was looking to provide. To some, that may seem logical, but especially in ICOM-type games, that's kind of misleading. With the game having a number of Shadowgate-esque spells (and Shadowgate being famous for spells within a book - especially the NES version), the hint seems to indicate that this is literally a spell you need to determine how to learn/chant to prevent dying/getting lost in the desert (this was also loosely implemented in Uninvited when using the spell to get out of the maze you get stuck in). Logically, when one tries to pick up the book, use the "spell thingy" on it etc. (trying to limit spoilers - sorry LOL, couldn't think of a better vague name), if that's not the intent, then the ICOM game nature was usually to give at least some very (and possibly VERY) vague hint along the lines of "What you think this means may not be the real meaning" or perhaps another item (such as one of the scrolls) being a little more descriptive in what to do next- something like that. Something that tells the astute player that they really should be paying better attention to the meaning behind this item. Instead, the response is very stock such as "what did you expect", or "you don't need that here" or something. 

Like I was saying in my previous post, I just feel these types of games should never leave a player with almost no choice but to use a walkthrough because of vagueness (the scrolls and other lore in the game didn't help with this piece either because they refer to them solely as the Southern Lands - parody that to Deja Vu II when you need to go to the mafia's laundromat. The direction to reach it given in the game is the literal and only direction you need to take - no others). Most important reason for this in my opinion is because you only get to experience them as intended once and that experience is extremely watered down when the answer has to be given to you. There are many players out there who are vehemently against walkthroughs who may end up feeling the same.

The reason I say these things is nothing other than to help out and share my opinions, so please always know it's in complete friendliness. You have a great talent for making these types of games and I think if the puzzle system met somewhere in the middle of Infested and Spectacle, you would probably have something you may even be able to sell at this point (I know I'd buy it). You've proven the quality of your work overall - I honestly wondered why this game was free itself ;)

If you're done with this conversation, not a problem at all - I just hope maybe some of what I said makes sense and helps when designing your next awesome adventure. Take care!

Thanks for more feedback and suggestions. It's always welcomed and we appreciate the continued support for sure. Don't hesitate to give future criticism or feedback if you find anything else either. We definitely consider everything you're saying and in future patches may tweek thing or two here and there.

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Well, thanks for being receptive and respecting the point I was trying to make :)

Overall though - this community loves your games - including me. It's rare you see such dedication to re-creating those classic games with brand new content in such a sharp way and clever way (and holy cow, the Spectacle soundtrack is catchy indeed - that overworld theme especially. Amazing stuff). I must admit, at first I was slightly turned off by the lack of 8-bit music, but the soundtrack is just so good it totally overshadows that and fits perfectly.

From the bottom of my heart - thanks for all you do and I only hope anything i've suggested is helpful at some point. 

Also, I did read a little below - interesting. I've been struggling to get the fruit as well and I thought I cleared the monastery already (maybe I didn't though - I still get flattened like a pancake when trying to go over the balcony ledges). No spoilers please :) - i've decided to give it another run and want to try and figure this one out - there has got to be something I missed because all of those puzzles were really neat in my opinion (especially the levers).

Anywho - hope you have a great weekend!

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Ended up figuring out how to get the fruit (can't believe I didn't think how before-hand. There was a very clear clue in the general area).

Evil stitch is a pain in the a** though XD, definitely gonna need to think about this one.

After that one puzzle, it definitely got a lot better again. The subtle (even vague but still clear if you pay attention) hints are back and it feels much more appropriate in my opinion :) 

/edit - aha. So evil stitch can be defeated. Nice one there. That was clever and took a minute but again, paying close attention pays off :D

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Congratulation GrahfMetal for this marvellous game! Unfortunately I'm stuck in the southern region.. I took the polearm from the guardian and cannot do anything else, there are no spells i can learn and i can not seem to understand how i can get the red fruit.. A little help please? Thanks!

Thanks! You've completed the Azure Palace, hence the path the the South. Note that there's 3 spells hidden within that palace, one of which will help you in the southern land, and there are 2 spells in the North field. Your next step (Red Fruit) will be done as you solve the mysteries of the Calming Monastery (the palace on the river in the north lands), so the Monastery is your next destination. If you're still stuck after this I can tell you exactly what to do on here

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I found the one in the chamber with the book and the eye and the one on the stairs, so I'm missing one.. Will check again! I also thought I finished with the monastery but it seems not! I love this adventure!

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There is a suggestion in the area where the fruit is present. Review the area in it's entirety - you may find something worth examining that you haven't beforehand, which will suggest what you'd need to get it.

Deleted 2 years ago
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I promse I'll stop bugging you, but are there plans for a third game?

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No problem at all. There's no plans just yet. I have an idea for a setting, design and story in my mind, but not really any gameplay/puzzle ideas that stand out. 

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First of all, was linked to this via PC Gamer.  I enjoyed Infected a few years ago so it's good to see you're still doing games.  Noticed this was built using GameMaker, it's a nice showcase of what the engine can do.

Enjoying this, but may have discovered a bug.  When first entering the desert, I sometimes see what looks like a piece of cloth with some balls to the right of it sometimes, and I cannot interact with it.  It later disappears when I go off-screen.

One thing that might be a little odd is how some items interact.  I'd figured the halbeard could be used to get the fruit per the description, but I can't.  Similar story with the loose rock.  I'd assume if it's loose, then I could just take it.   (Edit, just  used it, that did the trick).   Simirally, some spells have effects on certain parts of the screen, but not others (the reveal spell). 

Also, what are you meant to do with the sun coin?  I've gotten rid of the spirit guarding the chalice, but after that, I'm stuck. 

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The cloth in the desert is an Easter Egg referring to the protagonist, the wanderer, from the game Way of the Passive Fist. Although getting to the screen with the cloth should also be a screen that kills you, sop we'll look into that for sure 

What Halberd are you referring too exactly? 

After defeating the fire spirit there's a hidden room just past him. 

Yes, some spells are immediate area spells and some require a specific target. 

The SUN COIN is used after a series of puzzles in the calming monastery (the palace on the river)

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Thanks for the clarification.  Got the hidden room and that opened up the desert region properly.  The first note made me think I had to do something similar with what I did to the moon coin to the sun coin.  

Meant to say polearm.  I got it from the statue in the southern region.  

Also, possibly another bug I've found?  In the calming monastery, there's the mosaic of a falcon protecting a ship.  There's a door outline there.  I did figure out how to open it, but there's no text to say something like if you use the opening spell, something along the lines of there's a door there, but the spell won't work on it.  

One final thing.  Ended up brute-forcing the engine room puzzle in the calm monastery., so I don't know if there was a guide somewhere I missed.   How do you open the left-side door with the head above it (if you can)?   I got a picture that looks like there should be a space to put the sun coin in the engine room, but I can't do so.


Thanks again for an excellent game.  

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With the left side door with the head above it, just look at the position of the head

Solution:

[SPOILERS]

When the MARBLE HEAD is placed on it's original bust in the TRIREME CORRIDORE, click USE on the head to turn it around facing left, this will open the gate blocking the left doorway

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That did the trick, and makes a lot of other things make sense.  Thanks again.  

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Really enjoying this. I played Infested about a year back, which I enjoyed quite a bit, but this one really nails the creepy nature of Shadowgate and Uninvited (and to a lesser extent, Deja Vu), with a little bit of Myst of all things thrown in. This feels like an instant classic.

And the soundtrack is wonderful! At first, I thought the not-exactly-NES style music would be better off if it were more in the style of NES chiptune stuff, but the two "field" themes in particular are so good and atmospheric that I can't imagine it any other way.

One suggestion I might add: Shadowgate had a feature where if you pressed Select it would give you (sometimes) a vague context-sensitive hint based on the room you were in. I think that'd be neat here.

Anyway, I'm stuck at the Guardian just to the right of the throne room. I thought the solution was obvious based on The Uninvited (and I have something in my inventory that should do the trick and get him to go away) but alas, it's not that simple. What should I do? I know there are some items you need to USE on SELF (and I've got two of them), and I feel I'm missing a third that's necessary.

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Thanks, glad you're enjoying it :D

The soundtrack was originally going to be 8-bit, but when we heard the first pass on a couple of the songs and SFX we felt it didn't fit. Glad you like it

The hint idea is a really good suggestion. Maybe down the road on a future update we can work something like that in, thanks :D

As for the Guardian; the solution may not be the bird, but it's still linked to Uninvited. When you get the item needed, you'll know what it is.

Solution:

[SPOILERS]

USE the SHOVEL on the loose earth in the room called ALFALFA CLEARING. You'll dig up a chest with a SCROLL III and the BLOTHNY GEM. USE the BLOTHNY GEM on the guardian to make it fly away. 

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Hallo Grahfmetal,

May I ask you the tip for the Cicada Lock? I'm a bit stuck with the Gold and Silver Cicada there, don't know what to do.

Thanks before and have a good day.

Sure, no problem

Hint: 

The time to solve the puzzle is now!


Solution:


[SPOILERS]

Check your watch for the current time (when standing at the Cicada Lock) and place the GOLD CICADA on the current hour and the SILVER CICADA on the current minute

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The download link in the Itch launcher says it's "Not available on Windows". :(

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To be clear, I grabbed it on the website. It would just be cool if I could get it through the launcher. Excited to try it out!

Not sure just yet how to setup the launcher. We'll get back to you soon,  thanks

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Made a video


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Hey Grahfmetal,

  I'm kinda stuck. I've made it into the Azure Palace and obtained the instrument but i've been completely lost for an hour since trying to get the full moon in hyleg well room, trying to get the bottle in the river and also trying to get the fruit in that tree,

Plz help

Thanks


Edit: I just found the rosetta stone and got 2 of the spells but i'm still struggling with what to do next

[SPOILERS]

O. CLOCK spell will allow you to freeze time in order to line up the Moon in the Hyleg well room. Another spell will allow you to open the well An item in the Azure palace will help you get the BOTTLE. 

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I'm writing because I'm stuck, but before I figure out how to encode that, thank you for this game. What makes classics classic in any genre is they use the medium to tell a story in a way that wouldn't be possible without that specific format, and that's what makes your point and click feel old school more than the pixelated aesthetic. This is a great combination of timing, wordplay, and visual detail, and the puzzles feel 'real' -- enough of the puzzles tell a story that nothing feels like it's randomly been dropped in the wrong room just to add to the gameplay time.

Going to try to give hopefully non-spoilery clues to where I'm stuck.

- I have red, blue, and grey keys, but not yellow. I've used two keys so far.

- The guardian is still guarding, the stars are obscured, and nothing's solved with beast and bird. I can see the cosmos, and I've gotten zapped.

- I've found and correlated a few clues about the time, but aside from taking notes haven't found out their purpose.

If that's not enough to explain where I'm stuck I can answer more. As an aside, does gameplay require people to click on a fast traveler? I've spent way too long trying to get the timing of that to work.

Thank you for the kind words! Glad you're enjoying the game so far. 

[SPOILERS]

Your next step appears to be getting the bird to help you. If you have the FALCON GLOVE than you can USE it on SELF when the bird does a fly by. You dont need to click on the moving bird sprite himself

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A very fun game, and I'm enjoying playing it. I've gotten stuck a few times just because I couldn't see that there was something I could interact with, but managed to figure it out from seeing the few hints in the comments here.

[SPOILER]
I'm completely and utterly stuck on how to transport the oasis water, sadly.


Glad you're enjoying it :D

[SPOILER]

USE the EMPTY BOTTLE on the Oasis. The EMPTY BOTTLE is received from using OPEN on the GLASS BOTTLE with the TORN NOTE found by the JASMINE WATERFALL

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This was super fun! I really enjoy old-school aesthetic games and this definitely scratches that itch. The world was fun to explore, and had a lot of interesting things going on. Having 6 different commands to do in each room really gives you a lot of options! I was pleasantly surprised by the music as well, there were quite a few great tracks. There's just something I love about being dropped in a new world and just told to explore. I definitely recommend this if you like older style point and click games!

Just finished watching. It's always fun watching people play these kinds of games for the first time without having played any other titles in the 'macventure' series. Things like seeing you discover what the bottom left corner 'X's mean is always enjoyable. Thanks a lot for playing and for uploading that video :D

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I felt so stupid once I realized that! Glad you enjoyed, thanks for the cool experience!

No need to feel stupid at all. It's part of discovering the way these games work. This sub-genre is charmingly dated

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Please port it over to Mac, thank you!

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This game is absolutely fantastic. The art style, the creative puzzles and breathtaking scenery. It's just so complete! I'm excited to play your other game, Infested next! If you were to make more games like this; they would be duly supported and loved! Amazing work, all of you!

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Thank you so much, we really appreciate it and we hope you enjoy Infested :D

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I absolutely adored Infested and I'm so so excited to play this! The only problem with the MacVenture series on NES is that there weren't enough of them, so it is so delightful that someone has picked up the torch and is making more! Thank you for this!

Thank you for playing them and thanks for the kind words! :D

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Hey Grahfmetal, I had the opportunity to try your new game. I really like it so far! I got stuck several times in the game but I have found ways to help me figure out what to do, still working my way through it. The writing is really good, I enjoy the story, and the soundtrack is pretty good. I look forward to more point-and-click adventure games!

Thank you very much, that's means a lot. Glad you're enjoying it :D

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[SPOILER]

Alright, I think I am at the point where I need a pointer. Do you know where I could find a map, in-game, that will guide me to the Oasis? I found a map in the alkazar but apparently that wasn't the right one when I tried following it.

Did you EXAM the map on the floor first to identify it?  That triggers the new path in the desert allowing you to travel there

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Finally found it, thanks. I seemed to have been reading the map incorrectly, I had to follow it literally to get to my destination. The game's positioning of the character threw me off by 1 square.

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Do you have plans to build it for Mac?

Not currently, unfortunately. If there's a high enough demand we'd certainly consider it, for sure. Sorry about that

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Do you implement your own "engine" or use something available on the market (like Visionairy or Construct3, for example)?

We used 'Game maker Studio 2'

Further more I used Aseprite to make the animations and MSPaint to do the pixel artwork

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You did an amazing job

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Thank you so much :D

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Looks great!!! In what resolution do you draw the scene view?

Thank you! The scene window is 112 px x 112 px, identical to Shadowgate, Uninvited and Deja Vu :D

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Amazing!! As you, the 8-bit adventure series are my all the time favorite games and I have plans to make a game following the same concept.  It still on the paper, but the design is almost done. I bought Aseprite and was studing some framework to use (I was probably going to Visionaire, but I will take a look in GMS2).

By the way,  I had contatc with Dave Marsh, one of the Shadowagte & Cia co-creators. I remember of mention you and your game Infested to him sometime ago and he seems to had a very good impression of the game screens. 

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That's great to hear. I look forward to seeing your work. that's exciting! It's always awesome meeting fellow fans of this nostalgic sub-genre. We actually put a reference to Dave and his team in Infested :D

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The MacVenture (shadowgate, dejavu, uninvited) series is one of my all time favorites, so it does not come lightly when I say that this game is an absolute masterpiece.  Now I am really excited to play Infested!

5 galaxies out of 5 stars!!!

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Wow, thank you so much! Super glad you liked it. The NES Macventure games are among my favorite games of all-time as well. We're super excited for you to try Infested. It's more simplistic than Spectacle, but that's only because we tried to emulate the more earnest style of the NES as much as we could :D

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an old school Video game. Reminds me of being a kid again. Love it 


- Tim

We're so glad! Making these games brought us back as well :D

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Grahf is the hint page out yet

Not yet. Still working on that as well as the latest patch, but in the meantime I can give you a hint on here

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I finally finished this game! It was great :) I enjoyed it a lot and it reminded me of the old adventure games (in particular, the universe brought me back memories of King's Quest VI). The quality is good enough to pay for the game. Now here's a more detailed feedback from a gamedev's point of view (for possible improvements):

[SPOILERS]

  • More specific text with failed, but plausible actions could be great. For example: I tried to pick the floating bottle with the sabre and polearm (I didn't have the correct item). It would be great if the game acknowledges that this is viable, but finds an explanation of why this doesn't work. Same for grabbing the fruit with the same items. This could also be an opportunity to give the player more accurate information on what kind of item he has to use and makes him understand more why the item is stuck/unreachable. This would be a smart way to give hints.
  • The background is sometimes tedious to examine. It is hard to understand what the game considers separate entities or just plain background. I know it's part of the game, but maybe hovering over the background could already give an info (highlighting or displaying the pointed entity's name). I ended up clicking the same background way too much and had to lose time to pass the generic text. I wouldn't have lost that much time if while hovering it still says "palace" or something. "use X on X" text could also be great. It would also help with all the hidden things (which are kinda lame if you're stuck because of them :) ). Also, the door on the right in the monastery could react to exams when it's closed.
  • Remove the items that aren't needed anymore. Players will always appreciate when their inventory doesn't get filled with single-usage items and will be able to focus more on what's important. I know it is already implemented (hook or polearm), but some extra cleaning could help (e.g. "torn note" or scrolls)
  • A "wait" button (forward 30min) could be easily implemented and would be great. In particular, if you want to be 30min later on the same spot, doing the whole "move + freeze time + come back" is tedious. Also, seeing the sky while the time passes seems like an essential mechanic to the game (forwarding 6h is too much to see how things change). By the way, the spell to pass time would be more useful if you could choose directly what hour of the day you want (by clicking on the watch for example). I don't think it would impact the gameplay in a negative way.
  • Some things could be hinted a tiny bit more. Actually, I think all secret places (or their existence) should be mentioned somewhere (in a book or whatever). Also, maybe mention something about the glowing insects related to time.
  • I found some spelling mistakes. I can't remember where exactly, but I swear I read "theives" (instead of thieves) and "tress" (instead of trees) and some more. Maybe double-check.
  • I liked the idea of the procedural dungeon. However, I think the timer was a bit "off". The game didn't require to react quickly so far, so it was weird for me. I think it would have been more relevant to have a limited number of steps (or limited number of 30 in-game minutes). This way, you could add some interactions with the environment. Having to run through these corridors without being able to examine/use anything was kinda frustrating. All I did was just brainlessly use the "follow the wall" trick and quickly skipped the whole section, which I suppose required quite some time to implement.
  • The game crashed when I used "open" on the torn note. Also got some "generic fail X", but I can't remember where.

All in all, this was a great game! I loved the idea of the use of time and I liked that you're guided by the scrolls. This magical universe is really immersing. If there are players reading me that are stuck, make sure to check for secret places everywhere (especially where you already collected items).

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Wow, thanks for the thorough feedback and advise, that very much appreciated. It's always great to see constructive feedback with good examples. 

- Your first point is fantastic, definitely will consider more detailed fail texts for a future patch

- The second and third points are also great, but they're more of a design choice meant to emulate the original Kemco ICOM NES trilogy. So we actively chose to keep certain gameplay elements "dated" in order to keep authenticity, part of our goal admittedly is capturing nostalgia, but I 100% get what you're saying.

- The fourth point on waiting 30 min. and choosing a time is actually something we tested out early on quite a bit and we found it made things way too easy and felt that the combination of moving, freezing time and passing time 6 hours  made the puzzles require more planning. trust me, it took a LOT of trial and error to decide on freeze working for 5 screens, time forward being 6 hours and screen movement being 30 min. we tried several combinations and this is what we felt worked for us, I do understand the tedium, but it's a decision we felt worked the best. Great suggestions, nonetheless

- As for the final point on spelling mistakes...I figured that was bound to happen. I'll do a quick pass of the text to see what I can find for the next patch, thanks :D

Again, I really appreciate the awesome feedback. Out of curiosity, what would you say your level of experience in both point and click adventure games and puzzle games is? Also, have you played the Macventure originals, Shadowgate, Deja Vu, Deja Vu II and/or Uninvited?

On that note, have you played or other game, Infested?

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Well, thanks for the game! I think most people don't realize how much time it takes to make a game of this quality, so publishing it for free is something to honor.

I didn't even know it was based on a particular game family, so I guess your design choices make sense. However, keep in mind that implementing such a game from scratch is a great opportunity for you to add your own touch and features that weren't possible or weren't thought of at the time. I'm pretty sure adding things that make it more comfortable for the player wouldn't damage the nostalgia trip (considering how everything else is well set up).

About the time things, if you tested and came up with these values, then I think I can't argue much about it. But in my opinion, there are two different "too easy" for the player. The first "too easy" would be if the player completes a puzzle by chance or if the puzzles are too obvious to figure out, this one, of course, you want to keep it away. The second "too easy" is when a player figured out a hard puzzle or found the solution to a hard problem, and then isn't struggling to achieve it "mechanically" (clicking something that is too small, too fast, navigating in a slow UI etc...), that kind of "easy" is something you want. Not having it would only be great for action games in my opinion. It felt a bit weird to have to do "come and go" to pass time by 30 minutes instead of just clicking a button. If it was intended to have to figure out the "move, freeze, come back", maybe design a puzzle specifically to have to do something like this (e.g. you can't stay on a tile or you would die from quicksands or something...). Because once the player figured this out, if he has to repeat this task multiple times at other places, you will bore him (pushed to the extreme, that would be like having to cross the desert manually everytime, but you identified that it would be boring and implemented the second kind of "making it easy"). Also, I would undoubtedly prefer a "choose the time spell" with a very long animation over a fast "6 hours forward", this way I would only be able to easily do what makes sense and won't "bruteforce" the solutions. Anyway, I'm pretty sure you have your reasons to design it this way, but just sharing some ideas here.

I haven't played any of the games you mentioned. I've played all the monkey islands, runaways, day of tentacle and this particular king's quest I talked about (also some other indie games). I'd say I'm an experienced gamer and game designer in general, but not particularly in those kind of games.

I saw you made another game of this kind, I felt more attracted to the universe of this one, but I might try the other someday ;)

Also, I edited my other comment and added 2 more things. See ya!

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"However, keep in mind that implementing such a game from scratch is a great opportunity for you to add your own touch and features that weren't possible or weren't thought of at the time. I'm pretty sure adding things that make it more comfortable for the player wouldn't damage the nostalgia trip"

Oh don't worry, there is plenty of comfort updates and modern touches in our games. I just wanted to make sure to capture the essence of the originals as much as possible.

Again, some more great points clearly coming from a place of experience. Especially about the types of "too easy". Thanks for sharing, but yes, we did in fact have our reasons for doing it the way we did.

I HIGHLY recommend Shadowgate, as it's a genuine masterpiece and the gold standard in this specific sub-genre of game. Deja Vu and Uninvited are also fantastic. Make sure you play the NES Ports, which are the definitive versions and what our games are gameplay and graphically based on. You can actually get the 3 NES games bundled together on PS4, XB1 or STEAM as the "8-Bit Adventure Anthology: Volume I". Of course an NES cartridge for Shadowgate is dirt cheap if you're an original hardware person like me ;) 

Also, thanks for the OPEN TORN NOTE crash, fixing that now! 

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I'll make sure to try your recommendations whenever I feel like playing this genre. If you got inspiration from those for Spectacle, then they surely must be great!

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I just want to say that I love the work you did on INFESTED and now SPECTACLE. These games are amazing and the ICOM games are close to my heart so I appreciate you guys giving awesome tributes to those games.


Is there anyway I can donate?

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Thank you so much for your kind words! It's always great to see others whom appreciated the ICOM originals. They obviously meant SO MUCH to us as well.

We really appreciate the offer for a donation and although we don't accept donations, how about considering buying the soundtrack to Infested and/or Spectacle on Bandcamp? That would definitely be much appreciated :D

https://oriefalconer.bandcamp.com/album/spectacle-original-soundtrack

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Bought both soundtracks already. Love Orie's work! Thanks alot for the awesome games!

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Okay, this game was DAMN BRILLIANT. I really hope this and Infested grow legs and gain more recognition, they really deserve it.  I'd love to see a double-pack on physical one day.

I mean no offense, but Spectacle really seem to have improved upon Infested. Way more indepth and thought-provoking, you guys have really seem to have evolved and improved upon your last game.

I really hope we see more like this from you guys. Thanks again!

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Thanks again for such wonderful words. It truly does mean the world to us to hear such praise. We're very happy to have found an awesome audience and I agree that it would be super cool to make a console port one day with a physical release :D

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This game is really fun and absolutely beautiful. I love everything about the way it looks and sounds.

I don't know if it's just me or not, but I've gotten very lost not too far into the game. Based on the other comments, it does seem to just be me, but I've done all that I can find to do and i can't find any progression points

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Seems like that isn't just you! probably a thing to click at we overlooked. But there's no video playthrough yet to see what it is. Well maybe tomorrow i'll be more lucid.

The game is gorgeous still.

Thank you for the compliments. We really appreciate that! We should have a walkthrough up this weekend. In the meantime if you're still stuck maybe I can give you a hint here

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Okay i tought i could do it on my own, but besides smashing empty bottles on my skull i haven't made any progress.

Spoil:

Got 3 spells (o'clock, niahc, SAF),  a silver cicada and an eye gem. I blew away the blue spirit, but it actually didn't lead to anything. i tried praising the sun like scroll 1 suggested but it wasnt't very successful. Any hint?


edit: crashed the game while desesperately trying stuff, not a big deal at all but you might be intersted in the logs.

___________________________________________
############################################################################################
FATAL ERROR in
action number 1
of Mouse Event for Left Pressed
for object obj_ui_btn_inv_base:

second index out of bounds request 0,2 maximum size is 1
############################################################################################
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
called from - gml_Object_obj_ui_btn_inv_base_Mouse_4 (line 119)

There's still one more spell written on a wall that will allow you to progress. Thanks for the crash log that's very much appreciated

I can't find the niahc spell, so that might be my problem in all this

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It looks like a really good game, but when i open it, the screen is very small and i don't know why and i don't think it'll be easy to play if i can't see whats happening. 

If you go to the options you can change the window size or even go full screen. Sorry about that, the upcoming patch will launch it at 3x window size

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Hit "Alt + Enter" to go into full screen mode. If you want use window mode then go into options menu and change scaling and then "Alt + Enter" back to window mode. Note this bypasses the full screen toggle in the options menu.

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There is bug that with controller enabled you still need to use mouse click to get though start screen.

P.S.

Thanks for finally releasing somthing it was years science youre last game and I forgot you exist if not for email with update from itch...

Thanks, well fix that up for the next patch. 

Sorry about that, Hope it was worth the wait it and you enjoy the game

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The game is excellent, I loved every part of it, the gfx, the music, the atmosphere, the story and the puzzles. 

Game really bring the oppressing part of those Mac-Venture games, I love these games because they are essentially dungeon crawlers with actually great dungeons where you're checking for loose tiles and such and this game excels at being that, it's not exclusively about death and being alone even if these things are important too.

I think the difficulty is fairly on point, with double hints used with parcimony and in the right places.





Not sure I really used the blue key to the door where you're meant to, I only found the spot at the very end (I missed to pick the hook) and the door was already opened for a very long time. Also examining the genie's choices gave me "Exam Fail 2" message.

Thank you for the kind words and thanks for the feedback. I'm not sure what you mean by the blue key stuff or  "I missed to pick the hook". Could you be more specific?

Also, the EXAM FAIL 2 on the Genie choices is added to the list of patches, thanks :D

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Sure.

What's certain is that I "open"ed the door and it opened before I removed the tile where the blue lock is.

I don't know if the door was always unlocked from the start or not.

I don't know if I owned the blue key or not at that moment.

I don't know if I ever used the blue key or not on the spot (before revealing it), it's possible that I did.


Don't bother with the hook, I mentioned the hook because the bar with the hook is what helps you get the bottle where the hint about the location of the blue lock and I didn't have this hook (nor the hint then) when I opened the door.

You shouldn't be able to open the door without unlocking it with the blue key. I'll do some testing today to find out how that bug could have occurred. Thanks for the update

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Amazing adventure game!
I really liked the old scholl UI and of course the amazing pixelart!
Additional I have played the original games which you have used as inspiration so +1000 for nostalgia!!!!
Also, so far, I really like the quite unique setting of your game!

It's is possible to put keyboard shortcuts for the actions? Having to click each time on an action first get annoying very fast!
Also I think that the movement action should be mapped to the numpad keys to allow fast movement within the game (since their positions is quite similar to the exit positions of game locations).

Also you should put the default graphics scale by default to at least x3 even x4 since the default x1 in today monitors produce a veryyyyyyyy small window ;-)

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Thanks a lot, glad you're enjoying it and thanks for the feedback. Those are really good points we'll look into for sure :D

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Just out of curiosity, the game save its state inside the game folder (I think I saw a save file inside the game folder)?
It's the game installation portable?

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Wow, I'm really liking this game! I've been looking for something like this for a long time. Love it! I'll make a video about it but I wanted to thank you now!

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Thank you very much! Glad you enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing your video on it :D

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Hey Grahf, could we open a thread on the forum for clues and tips on the game? I'm stuck... HELP 😭

Sure thing

This weekend we'll be putting up a hints page and walkthrough and we'll put the link on this page. In the meantime, if you're still stuck, I can give you a hint here

[SPOILERS]

Hi, just dropping by. Also stuck for a few hours now :( Got 3 keys (still haven't used the yellow one though).

  • statue in front of the tomb still there : I expected the "blothny gem" to make it move (as written in scroll 2), but it doesn't. Fashion solution doesn't seem to be doing anything :)
  • king's alkazar : gate locked, nothing seems to be able to open it. Haven't found any item there.
  • meteor : still there, got 2 fragments, but don't know what to do with them.

I feel like I've seen all these places way too much and I'm getting close to trying all combinations. Any hint? Great game so far, though :)

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Oh snap! Awesome to see you make another game! I loved Infested and will definitely jump into this.

Awesome! Hope you enjoy it :D

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SPECTACLE looks and feels absolutely wonderful! I really like the lovely NES-aesthetics, the music is perfect and the story captures my interest. I'm not far into the game but wanted to give a short feedback of my impressions. Great work!

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Thank you so much! We look forward to hearing more about your experience :D

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