James Lightfoot is a friend of a friend of mine, and when my friend told me of the story behind James' new game - The Mystery of Woolley Mountain - I wanted to cover it on here.
James describes Woolley Mountain as a mix of "The Secret Of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, DiscWorld, Space Quest, Trap Door, Phantom Tollbooth, and Chorlton and the Wheelies".
It's a classic, all-ages, point and click adventure "Set in a surreal, fantastical world where a group of renegade time travelling audio scientists are trying to save the children from a malevolent witch who has kidnapped them from a town on the mysterious island of Woolley Mountain".
It has just launched on Kickstarter, and I sent James some Qs to get his As, to find out a bit more.
This is the first game I have written (still writing!). I decided last summer that I wanted to get into gaming, and embarked on a mission to search for the best way to learn writing games.
I went on holiday with my late wife in September, and started writing a point and click adventure; sketching out the scenes, writing the walkthrough and crafting the story. I returned from my holiday and started putting the game into action, coding, drawing, illustrating, animating.
Point and clicks have always been my favourite genre and have had the most lasting effect on me.
From Lucasarts to Revolution to Sierra, they have always offered well written, cinematic, engrossing, character-led stories, miles away from the frantic-in-your-face-run-and-gun, punch-a-prostitute in the face kind of games.
I also take influence from classic Spectrum and C64 games, such as the Magic Knight series, and Joffa Smith's games for Ocean Software, particularly Batman: The Caped Crusader.
In terms of deeper messages, the story highlights many of the seven sins in the characters traits - each member of the crew has a character flaw that needs to be overcome to move forward. But essentially, teamwork, positivity, all-for-one, and love are my overriding messages. I have tried to weave a bit of science into the mix too, considering the protagonists are scientists!
I think it all comes down to exposure and your willingness to seek it. If you are a one person team you have to ensure that you keep the social media side alive, especially when doing a Kickstarter - in the lead up to the launch I didn't do any work on my game, just worked ferociously on the trailer, website, twitter presence, updates etc.
Overall, I think that dedication and passion will bleed from your work for all to see and that will help get it noticed.
As mentioned, if you pour time, love, dedication and passion into a project, people will notice it, and a healthy, humorous and informative Twitter campaign can help it stand out.
You will find that the gaming community is a very helpful and team spirited one, and will help to promote what you are doing.
I also found that creators of similar successful Kickstarters will mention your campaign/game in an update when asked. Also, ensuring that your character and personality comes through will make whatever you create unique.
I hope that my game obviously is successfully funded on Kickstarter, but more than that, I hope that the players will feel totally immersed in the world I have created, just like I did when playing the point and clicks of yesteryear (and some very good recent ones too). I want the player to invest time and care into the characters and be sad when they complete it because it is all over... for now!
I tragically lost my wife and unborn son in January, and have been immersing myself in this game as a crutch.
I originally started the game in September last year and my wife was hugely proud of what I had achieved before she passed and I wish to try and make it a success for them both. This game has helped me focus on something positive amongst overwhelming grief.
It's a passion project, and I hope to put my little flag in the ground amongst the other fantastic and fondly remembered point and click adventure games.