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A jam submission

The Wizard's DepartureView game page

Medieval time-traveling puzzle adventure
Submitted by chompdev — 17 seconds before the deadline
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The Wizard's Departure's itch.io page

Theme inspiration
We interpreted the "Passage" theme as an aged wizard with the ability to pass through time and relive his younger days.

Sensory info
N/A

Content info
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Comments

Submitted(+1)

Thanks for the game!

It was very enjoyable to play! I was expecting some bugs that would break the mechanic and I wouldn't be able to complte the puzzle, but have encountered none. Considering how many different mechanics you have in the game, and how well difficulty curve is executed, this is quite an achievement in my eyes! I also liked how unexpectedly logical some of the puzzles were (pushing the block through the gate was my faworite).

With that said, while the last two-three puzzle pieces felt exceptionally tight, the beginning of the game was somewhat sluggish. This is mostly because puzzles rarely forced me to think about the position of my older/younger self strategically, so several times after significantly forward with younger self, I was forced to re-track same distance by the older self when younger self reached the impasse. This, combined with big distances and slow movement made some of the puzzles at the beginning somewhat tedious.

There were also two moments that I consider as bugs:  1. in the long stretch of plantable tiles section there was a moment when I was unable to get down the wall by the wine, since only 'plant seed' option appeared when I approached the wine; 2. from the wall in the last section (behind the dragon and block-unlocked gates) I was able to see my reflection in the riwer, but no interaction were availiable. That looked strange and almost convinced me for a moment that I've encountered a game breaking bug.

I sometimes found myself having trouble understanding 'when' exactly am I now. I would be cool to have two different times more visually distinct from each other, for example, have other color for grass and trees in the future.

Overall, the biggest downfall for me was lack of a meaningfull ending. I've collected all the crystals, and nothing happened... I tried to blink myself out of existence by rapidly switching selves several times in a row, but failed at it.

Developer(+1)

Hey Valeriy! Thanks so much for the kind words and helpful input. I'm happy to hear that you liked the game!

You're absolutely right about the level design feeling a bit too open initially and then more restrictive later on. We ran out of time, but would have liked to polish the level design for another day or two. I think if I was to redesign the moment-to-moment gameplay, I'd have the puzzles broken up into smaller rooms, and completing a puzzle would automatically "fast-forward" both characters to the start of the next puzzle instead of requiring the player to manually keep both characters in sync.

Thanks for letting us know about those two bugs. That will be the first thing I fix when I get a chance to work on a new version. I was hoping I had accounted for all the plant vs climb situations, but I didn't test enough to encounter that first bug you described. The second part (about not being able to teleport when you see your reflection) was something we found and discussed near the end of the jam, but I ran out of time to find an elegant solution for that one.

I love that idea about different foliage colors for each age (maybe the past could be summer and the future could be fall/winter). I ended up going with a temporary "warm" or "cold" overlay that helps each age feel somewhat distinct, but I agree that after that overlay fades, the two ages still feel much too similar.

I definitely wish there was a more impactful ending. The crystals just ended up being a somewhat mindless collect-a-thon, and it would have been fun to be able to spend them or at least get an alternate ending or a "congratulations" message.

Thanks again for taking the time to finish the entire game and provide all the great feedback. It's very much appreciated!