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A jam submission

The Curse of RabensteinView game page

An interactive Horror
Submitted by Stefan Vogt (@8bit_era) — 1 day, 17 hours before the deadline
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The Curse of Rabenstein's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Stability#14.2734.273
Story#24.0004.000
Graphics#24.0914.091
Spookyness#23.8183.818
Overall Enjoyment (Used to determine Winner)#23.8183.818
Puzzles#33.3643.364

Ranked from 11 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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Comments

(+1)

I've been playing this game for a couple of days now and seem to be stuck. I'm inside the manor and I've managed to find the secret passage down to the vampire's coffin. I'm thinking I'd like to place some holy soil in the coffin, so the vampire cannot use it anymore. However, it's telling me that it's only half a solution... so, I'm thinking I also need a wooden stake to run through the vampire's heart. However, where to find it? Back upstairs there is a smell of wood in the air, so there must be a fireplace somewhere. Could I use firewood to create a stake? However, when I examine the fireplace, it says that's not the fireplace recently used. So there must be another fireplace? I cannot find it though and there are only two rooms inside the manor. I'm also thinking if I could break the shovel and use the wooden handle as a stake, but I don't seem to be able to break the shovel. Any hints as to what I could do next? 

Developer (1 edit)

maybe you don’t need a stake :) try to do something with the blanket in the library first before you go on with the soil. 

PS: I am currently preparing the 8-bit versions and the game will be heavily polished. 

(+1)

This game was a challenge for me as it wants to progressively reveal plot details (great) but does so without me noticing that certain areas or actions previously unavailable would now be ready.  This was especially difficult with things like the mount of dirt being discovered but spending a lot of time looking for a shovel.  Additionally despite having a bottle and a bucket I struggled to figure out the combination of verbs to do something useful with the well or even know why I'd want to.

The graphics were top-notch, probably my favorite in the whole jam, and the writing itself was excellent.

While the puzzles aren't to the extreme of Magnetic Scrolls' Corruption in terms of talking to people and revisiting situations a piece of paper to take notes on would be advised especially for areas that don't seem to do anything just yet and should be frequently revisited.  Alternative some pointers in the game itself when opportunities open to you could be more forgiving.

Did enjoy though and this made me want to fire up Hibernated 1 again and give it my proper attention as well.

Developer

Thank you so much for your feedback Damien! I wanted this to be more oldschool and less guided than Eight Feet Under, but I think I will add a few more hints that unfold the next goal when you triggered a progress. This is simple to add but makes it easier to understand what the next microgoal is. I have some ideas to improve this. I can’t seem to get away from my usual approach of creating adventures :D 

The mount of dirt btw. (when you examine it) says that you need light to investigate this properly. So it tells you that you should look after a light source rather than a shovel :)

Regarding the verb combinations: in my adventures, when trying to use objects you only the word USE. There are synonyms available but I want this as easy as possible. So for example when in the bedroom, you may write SLEEP but you can also write USE BED. Or USE KEY instead of UNLOCK DOOR. I know this is different to the usual adventure but I try to prevent „guess the verb“ situations as much as possible :)

Thank you very much for your feedback, thank you very much for playing my game and I’m glad you enjoyed it :) 

Submitted(+1)

Judging by the other comments here, I think I'm way behind. I've systematically EXAMINEd and SEARCHed every noun in the game, but I'm stuck. I have the bucket, crucifix and cloth. I feel like I need a rope or something to lower the bucket into the well, though I don't know why. I haven't found any bottle.

The biggest problem is how to get into the church, assuming you can. The door is locked from the inside, so I'm guessing it's not keys you need to get in. I've only discovered 7 rooms. Apart from the church, there's nowhere else to go. Or is there?

Submitted

I got the horses into the stable (possibly a bug here, as it didn't work first time around). I'm also missing the shovel and the book mentioned in other comments.

Developer (3 edits)

Hi Garry, I think the comments were contra-productive in your case as they brought you way too much ahead with thinking towards the goals as you actually have progressed. There are in fact more locations that open up as you progress, the church is such a location. My games are always based on progress levels, so sometimes you are doing the right thing but the time is not right.

Ok. Regarding the horses, I don't think it is a bug. You can't take the horses to the stable immediately. You first need to unlock the stable and then you need to be in the stable one time to check if there is enough room for horses / carriage. This process is pretty guided. After you did that you may take the horses to the stable and a little "cutscene" places you there together with horses and carriage. The progress is very linear. Anyway. From what I read, what you did not do is talking to the villagers in the Inn after you brought the horses to the stable. When you initially try to talk to them the reply is that this is not the right time, after you take care of the carriage and you need to wait for the coachman anyway, why shouldn't you? :)  once you did that (a few hours pass) you might want to go to the church again. And from what I read you also might want to carefully examine everything on the graveyard. I usually wouldn't give that much advice on the project website, but here in the Jam entries, it's okay :) 

Scream for help if something is not clear to you :)

Submitted

I'm pretty sure I talked to the villagers again after taking the horses and carriage to the stable, but they're not very responsive. I'll double-check when I get home tonight. Are you implying that the coachman will return? I was presuming from the bloody cloth that he has met some horrible demise. The discussion implies that there is some impact caused by the passing of time. I've used WAIT and tried sleeping in the bedroom, but I don't seem to be able to get time to pass.

Incidentally, I did mention that I've examined and searched every noun in the game, including the graveyard. That's how I found the light source. Should I perhaps be examining something in the graphics that's not in the description?

Developer (3 edits)

Actually... no :D Do you still have the stable key with you? 

when the horses are in the stable you can talk to the innkeeper again to get a different reply. if you try to talk to the villagers after the horses are in the stable, the innkeeper will ask you to give her back what belongs to her. If you do so, you may finally talk to the villagers. That is the trigger to progress, not just waiting. 

You are with puzzeling just ahead of the story, that's why you're not getting the whole picture. Yes, the coachman won't return. But initially you don't know. And from a logical perspective, what you would do in that situation is asking for a room for the night, put the horses in the stable, and then ask again in the inn if somebody had seen the coachman. That's the idea behind it. You wouldn't search all the locations before you know that you're searching something, which is revealed later as you progress and then the items make sense :)

PS: if you found the torch, there is not more to do at this moment at the graveyard. there will be later. 

Submitted

Thanks. I'm heading home now, so I'll double-check tonight.

Submitted

When I checked my notes (I always take extensive notes), I had tried all the things you suggested. It appears that you have to do a few unrelated things in the inn in a specific order. After doing so, I have an empty bottle, but nothing else has changed. I'm fed up with examining and searching and using the same things over and over again, so I guess I'm going to have to give up on this one, otherwise I won't have time to finish the others. Sorry. Maybe I'll come back to it after the jam.

My outstanding issues are:

  • How do I get water from the well (assuming that's what I'm supposed to do)?
  • Where's the shovel?
  • How do I get into the church?
  • How do I force the passage of time?
Developer

hi Garry, no that’s not true unfortunately. You don’t need to do anything in the Inn in order. When you talk with the villagers before the horses are in the stable, you get a reply that the time is not right. After the horses are in the stable you can talk with the villagers, provided you gave back the key. If you’re still carrying the key, you are encouraged to give it back first. That’s the trigger and nothing else. 

Your problem is that you’ve searched your way through the scenes without knowing what you’re doing and without a clear mission. The game tells you when you need to look after the coachman and when you need to search for certain things which then become obvious. There is NO shovel for you to grab now. You will know when you need one much later in game. 

Actually all you had to do now is going to the church and ringing the bell. After your talk with the villagers a few hours passed and there is someone now in the church. To sum that up:

*water from the well: the missing link and the mission is unfold in the church. Yes, in the church you would have needed to search one time again. The problem is that you’re trying to solve microgoals which you were not told yet and that’s exactly why the missing item is at a place where you have not progressed enough to enter. Someone in the church tells you what to do. The whole progress of the game is very linear and logical. You’re the first person to struggle a bit with that. I understand though that adventures come always with expectations and when you’re expecting an oldschool adventure, Rabenstein is wrong for you. it’s about experiencing a story step by step. 

*which shovel? You don’t need a shovel now. You need it later in game  at a completely different place  and when that’s the case you will know. 

*entering the church: like I said, after talking to the villagers, all you had to do is ringing the bell. Since a few hours past, someone is there now 

* there are a few „passages of time“ but you don’t force it. They happen while you progress and you know when you can trigger them. You can’t right now because you have not progressed enough.

In this game, it’s all about progressing. When you did something and triggered something, it could be that you can do things you were not able to do before. The logicial context is important. Why would you searching for a bucket if you don’t know you need water?

Submitted(+1)

I really like the game, but I'm stuck trying to fill the bottle with water from the well... or at least I guess that's what I have to do ^_^

By the way, the copyright notice is from the Hibernated 1 expansion...

Developer

hi Manuel. to fill the bottle with water, you need two additional items that allow you getting the water from down to the surface. You might want to SEARCH at different locations ;)

Copyright... oh that was one too many copy/paste texts :D I’ll update it, thank your very much. Scream for help in case you need it, I‘m happy to give you more hints :)

(+2)

I found this to be an atmospheric  text/graphic horror adventure  with some spooky locations,  an interesting story, and some fun puzzles to solve . It's a quest to  rid a cursed village from a  nefarious evil that has caused many deaths over the years.  Easy to play and interact with using the familiar standard two word input commands.  You can save your progress if desired - although mine seemed to be auto-saved in my browser.  I was able to continue where I left off quite easily over the three sessions in the single day that it took me to finish the game.

 There are no sudden deaths  or complicated mazes and I didn't need to  make a map to complete or refer to. You are left in no doubt as to the commands you require to communicate with the  program so there is no real "guessing"  as to what to type in. 

Enjoyment lies in the challenge of  figuring out how  to utilise the various objects that you discover in order to progress and make headway toward the eventual climax where you get to confront the dark and horrific evil itself!

The author has designed one or two clever, thought provoking puzzles created to make you think a bit and not have it too easy.  I would class it as a good effort in the time allowed.  

Submitted(+2)

Great story!  I found you really had to hunt for the right commands, and it was quite difficult at times, but enjoyable.

Developer (4 edits)

Thank you very much for playing Rabenstein. Technically the game comes with many synonyms, the most prominent verb implementation probably is "USE".  So instead of "SLEEP" you can write "USE BED" and instead of DIG you can write "USE SHOVEL". If you consider this, the game comes down to a very, very simple set of commands: USE, EXAMINE, SEARCH. GIVE, OPEN, TALK.  I'm guessing you haven't played one of my earlier efforts, as this kinda is a trademark of mine and what I'm famous for, creating  a fusion of classic looking games that also try to meet modern era expectations :) hope this helps! Glad you enjoyed it! 

Submitted(+2)

really love the descriptions and consistency in your art. Stuck tho ...

Developer(+1)

thank you very much! where are you stuck? Still the first night? Have you considered the hints you find here on the project page and from the HELP menu? Keep in mind that EXAMINE and SEARCH are not the same :)

Submitted

Ok. I'm new to that concept. Now I feel like I am at the last hurdle and I want to use the USE command, and it's asking me to be more precise.

Developer (1 edit) (+1)

Yes. In this particular case the game wants the specific verb. In the end-game it makes sense to check  if you really UNDERSTOOD the riddle. If you are past the puzzle with the book: you used the wanted verb there too. How you interact with book was a hint. If you're not past the book, think about it a bit. Imagine yourself in front of the shelves. What would you do if you find a strange book? Hope this helps!

PS: I'm trying to create games that take a less anachronistic approach. My first game Hibernated won a few prices for this.

Submitted

I do like the way it works! I’ll try again later. 

Developer

Scream for help if you need me :) cheers :)

Submitted(+1)

got it! Very good support clues! I was especially impressed with the handling of multi object puzzles in this game. I loved the idea of the locations changing and introducing time. 

Developer

thank you so much, you’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed it!  :)