AN ADVENTURE GAME PROTOTYPE

Catalina and the Wolf Moon was created as a final project in a Unity prototyping class. It is a classic point-and-click adventure about a young girl sneaking out of her mother's house to practice witchcraft in the woods. It was created over the course of three weeks by a single developer (me) in Unity. I created the art assets in Adobe Illustrator CC alongside an online pixelater which I used to render images into a more lo-fi aesthetic.

Unity Prototype : Spring 2017

CATALINA AND THE WOLF MOON

STORY + CONCEPT

Point and click adventure games are near and dear to my heart, having grown up playing Roberta Williams' King Quest series and Her Interactive's Nancy Drew collection. My mother and I would play together, and I always enjoyed the world building, sleuthing, and puzzle solving.

PUZZLES

I created an original puzzle in the game to reward close observation and creative problem solving in players. In the second half of this short game, players refer to a written spell (displayed as UI which can be toggled on and off) which states that they need to "sing in the voice of the wolf."

 

Inpatient players won't like this part, as it meant for players who appreciate looking closely and allowing their minds to work in unexpected ways. There is only one element of the player's environment which is in continuous motion: the sky. Clouds pass by and the stars subtly shift along with the movement of the player character. Players who allow their eyes to follow the motion would notice that the stars above would sometimes take on the shape of constellations. Further observation locates four such constellations, each one of a single letter - W O L F! 

The player is initially triumphant upon noticing the constellations. The question then becomes: what do they do with this information? The first reaction I've noted players have is to start pressing the action button ("Y" on the keyboard) while underneath each letter. This puzzle has a layer more complexity however, both to increase the challenge and to stump any player who tried to "button mash" their way to the conclusion (a behavior I witnessed many times with inpatient players). The answer is meant to be both intuitive but outside of the box. Instead of pressing "y" - the button which had been previously coded as "action" - the player has to press the letter on the keyboard that corresponded to the constellation that was being activated ("W" for "w" and so on).

This solution was out of reach for any player not open to rethinking their expectations of the game mechanics.

For those observant, clever few, solving the puzzle was deeply satisfying, with the added reward of triggering the game's ending animation.

The same constellation after activation

Incomplete "W" constellation

Catalina and the Wolf Moon was created as a final project in a Unity prototyping class. It is a classic point-and-click adventure about a young girl sneaking out of her mother's house to practice witchcraft in the woods. It was created over the course of three weeks by a single developer (me) in Unity. I created the art assets in Adobe Illustrator CC alongside an online pixelater which I used to render images into a more lo-fi aesthetic.

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