Intentions on Gameplay and Story for "James - Journey of Existence"...
I apologize to existing backers and viewers on the vagueness of the story and gameplay so far of "James - Journey of Existence." While the story is complete, I am sometimes too careful trying not to spoil anything. The gameplay outside the existing demos has not yet been completed, but the existing demos are also unclear of what you are supposed to do, which I should work on.
If the gameplay demos were confusing, or if you are unsure you've seen all there is about them, check out the two gameplay walkthrough videos on youtube:
For now, here's my intentions for the gameplay during the rest of the game:
- you play James, a boy who wakes up in a strange place and doesn't remember who he is. The first area is a simple, peaceful place, meant to help introduce you to the platforming sections of the game, and to hint at the ominous story.
- in the second area, you meet "Jeppe", a kind old man who suggests you meet the oldest man in the area ("Jacobus"), as he would be the one most likely to know who you are and answer your questions. This area has a simple environment-puzzle, where the platforms rotate based on which colored orbs you walk through. Forming a path for yourself, you should be able to reach a boat that will take you to the next area (a hint to solve this puzzle is also on the back of Jeppe's house).
- after this (outside the demos), the game would open up a town, a central hub where most of the other characters reside. You will see characters that are stern, lazy, cheerful and flamboyant, each with things to say. and things to request. A stern judge named "Mao" acts as the mayor of the town, and will require you to complete a few tasks before opening the path to "Jacobus." This will involve talking to certain characters (who in turn may have requests), or obtaining certain items in platforming areas. You will finally meet "Jacobus" about 3/4 into the game. In the meantime, certain characters start disappearing...
- like most point/click adventure titles, characters will ask for favors, which can be completed with the help of characters who ask for favors, which in turn can be completed with the help of characters who ask for favors... some games require you to follow a tangled string of logic like this to solve problems that multiple characters have. I intend to limit this as much as possible (you should only have to deal with up to two characters at a time), to avoid tedium and frustration in exchange for making these parts easier.
- platforming and puzzle sections would either be used to get to an item a character needs, or to get to a new area. The pathway to "Jacobus" 's house, and his house itself for example, will have plenty of these. Platforming consists of simple jumping on platforms that either move or stand-still, possibly time-based, and hopefully better integrated into the environment than the current demos show. Environment puzzles consist of simply moving platforms around to open a path, or more complex and imaginative puzzles involving mazes, infinite doorways, camera-tricks that confuse your sense of location, audio-clues, and more. More challenging, but the game overall will not be difficult to beat.
- I intend to add collectible items to find during the main game, in the more open platforming areas. This will probably take the form of the objects "J", "A", "M", "E", "S." Whether or not you find all of the collectibles will decide which one of two endings you receive: one that is a hopeful version regarding James and how he got to this mysterious realm, and one is the truth.
- who is that talking cat?
I hope this answers some questions to existing backers about what this game will become, and will not answer any more questions about the story or gameplay until it is actually done and ready to show. I apologize that I don't have more gameplay footage available.