About this project
Four Last Things has been Greenlit by the Steam community! Thanks to everyone who voted :)
Four Last Things was voted Best Game Overall and received Patrick Ewing of Campo Santos' Judges Pick in Adventure Jam 2016 on GameJolt.com! See all the results HERE
People have been saying nice things about Four Last Things:
'...about as good a setup for an adventure game as I can imagine, and Joe's funny script lives up to the premise.' PC Gamer
'I’m so tickled with this game, I cannot even express it properly. The sense of humor matches the Monty Python inspired artwork - it’s dry, blunt, intelligent, yet crude... It’s genius, really.' OPnoobs
'It’s a short, silly and fantastic looking point and click adventure, packed with great humor and great artwork. It really is a joy exploring the world of Four Last Things' Alpha Beta Gamer
Four Last Things is a point-and-click adventure game made from Renaissance-era paintings and public domain recordings of classical music. It is about sin, and the Four Last Things – Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell – and strives to be intelligent and ridiculous in equal measures.
Think Monkey Island meets Monty Python meets Hieronymus Bosch...
The Final game will be around 2-3 hours long, it will feature a richly detailed world - full of locations to explore, characters to interact with and puzzles to solve - and it will be available for PC, Mac and (hopefully) Linux some time towards the end of 2016.
- Pointing and Clicking
- Renaissance Artwork
- Classical Music
- Full Voice Acting
- Sinful Behaviour
- Detailed, Interactive Game World
- Simple Visual Interface
- Moments of Surprising Profundity
The prototype of Four Last things was originally made for Game Jolt's Adventure Jam 2016. It was built in only two weeks, so it's rather short and rough around the edges. But it should give you a good idea of the direction I want this project to go in.
Four Last Things' artwork is made by cutting up, collaging and animating old (mainly northern renaissance) paintings. Some scenes are made from just a few, scantly edited images, while others incorporate many different paintings, edited and blended to create one (almost)coherent whole.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. God saw all that he had made, and it was good. Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
'Ooops,' said god, seeing he had created a fool. But before he was able to remedy his error, man spoke;
'No backsies!' he chirped, and scuttled off into the forest.
* * *
Many years later we meet our mighty protagonist. He has traveled many miles seeking forgiveness. Unfortunately, as he finally reaches the end of his great pilgrimage, he is told that he has arrived at the wrong church. Due to some bizzare, Kafkaesque clerical error, the sins he has committed are not valid in this catchment area, so he is forced to go out and commit them all again...
In Four Last Things players will commit sins, give confession and perform obscure penance, before ultimately being confronted with the Four Last Things – Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. This journey will take them from the Garden of Eden, through a distorted vision of 16th century Flanders, to their ultimate resting place in Heaven or Hell. Where they end up will depend on the way they act throughout the game, but the true route to success might not be as obvious as it first appears...
Four Last Things will feature a simple, visual interface. A Monkey Island 3 style verb-coin will allow players to interact with their surroundings in three different ways - using their eyes (examine), their hands (pick up/use/slap in the face etc.) or their mouth (talk to/eat/spit at etc.) - and a slide-out inventory will allow them to collect items and access the in-game menu.
Four Last Things is still at an early stage of development, so there is only so much I can show you at the moment. The plus side of this is that backers get to see more of the development process, and have more opportunities to influence the direction the project takes.
Here are a few of the key things that still need to be done;
Increased Scope - The prototype only covers around a third of the story so I still need to build a lot more scenes and characters, as well as writing a proper draft of the whole story.
Puzzles - I also want to implement some proper puzzles. I will aim to make these difficult enough to add some challenge to the game, without being so difficult as to slow the pace of the story. I will also try my best to integrate them into the story, so they feel meaningful and relevant to the progression of events.
Voice Acting - One of the big differences between Four Last Things and my previous projects is that it will feature full voice acting. I think - in this project in particular - some fun voices will really add a lot to the vibe of the game. I may attempt to do all the voices myself, or with friends. Or, depending on the level of funding I receive, I might look into employing some professionals.
Art View - I'm toying with the idea of giving players the ability to explore the artworks used to build each scene, by changing between 'game view' (where the cursor interacts with characters and objects to allow the game to be played) and 'art view' (where the cursor would highlight the areas of the scene covered by each specific constituent artwork, and allow players to click to expand them, see the full painting and read some information about it).
More Detail - As well as adding more playable scenes, I also want to add more detail, more movement and more interactivity into existing ones - I want people hanging out of every window; children clambering in trees; people fighting and farting and f***ing as far as the eye can see – until the whole game posses the anarchic energy of a great Bruegel painting.
Knight tier 3 portrait examples;
I'm Joe Richardson. As you can see from the images above, I am a handsome young game developer from Scotland. Before I became a cool guy, I spent many years wandering aimlessly through the creative wilderness - making obscure animations, producing prohibitively experimental electronic music, writing terrible short stories. Then one day I realized that I had inadvertently taught myself most of the skills I needed to become an indie game developer! Since then I have made a number of games, including my first commercial release, The Preposterous Awesomeness of Everything.
You can find out more at www.JoeMcRichardson.com
Risks and challenges
Other than the possibility of getting sued by the Museo del Prado, or haunted by the ghost of Hieronymus Bosch, there are very few risks involved in the making of this project. I'll be doing most (if not all) of the work myself, I'm using software I'm familiar with, and I've been through the process of running (and backing) a Kickstartered video game project before. So as long as I can afford to keep feeding myself, everything should be fine...Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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