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A jam submission

CharlamagneView game page

Coming of age fortune-telling sidescroller narrative
Submitted by hankworx — 1 hour, 17 minutes before the deadline
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Charlamagne's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
SCREAM MACHINES#1n/an/a
HOSTS' CHOICE#1n/an/a
BEST GAME#143.5793.579
SCARIEST GAME#232.8952.895

Ranked from 19 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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Comments

Kudos for tackling some heavy stuff and doing it well. That was a bleak one, in a different way to some of the others in the jam. I felt like there was a good degree of depth to the main 3 characters and their relationships; I definitely got the feeling that there's more to them than we've seen from this version of the game.

I think the uncertainty the main 3 characters feel around each other worked really well - there was a bit of tension in feeling empathy for the three of them, and seeing them pulling in different directions. I think you chose the right moments to show the player things outright, and the right moments to pull away and leave things to the imagination. The feeling of unreality in some sections worked well, and added to the feeling of foreboding.

From your response to Scream Catalogue below it sounds like you were unsure where you wanted the story to go - I hope you (or your characters!) figure that out. It'd be great to see a longer version if you decide to keep working on it. Well done!

Submitted

I really like the atmosphere in this! The subtle noise and red tint add a lot to the eeriness, as well as the unsettling music, it makes me feel like we're watching a bad memory.  Also the ominous ferris wheel slowly turning in the backgroud adds a lot of life to the setting.

Submitted(+1)

This was really well done! The graphics were unique, the fortune teller looked fantastic. Walking through the funhouse was one of the scariest experiences I've had in the jam so far! I enjoyed the story, but I do feel like the villainous characters were a little...cartoonishly evil? With their whole existence seeming to be bullying others, and not really having any other facets. But with the time constraints I don't really expect the minor characters to be fleshed out. 

Developer

Thanks for playing and your comments. You're not wrong at all about the cartoonishly evil thing. I wasn't too happy with the way I fleshed out any of the characters, especially the npcs. I kinda backed myself into a weird corner as the story progressed and didn't like any ending I came up with. Thanks again though, glad you liked it.

Jam Host

This is a really interesting narrative-focused game! As far as jams go we don't get many games that have complete, fully-developed stories as the focus of the game, so they're very appreciated. I think that this game illustrates that you can really bring out characters and broader narratives at short notice and I hope this motivates you to challenge yourself with bigger stories in future projects! 

I interpreted this game as more specifically exploring being young and in the middle of a number of family and social tensions that one isn't old enough to understand. It also touches on some themes of maturity and masculinity. I think that you did a great effort at bringing out the perspectives of the characters in a reasonably balanced way, particularly Mandy and Derek and their relationship. 

I think the darker narrative behind the game was interesting, but could have been developed a little, as the secondary characters sort of appear, say/do their bad things, and leave without there being proper impact or closure to process what they've done and why, to put it generally not to spoil things.

The game is really well executed with an eerie carnival setting. I love the art of the fortune telling machine and creatively it fits well into the theme of the jam. I would have loved to see some more animation or movement on its sprite, but nonetheless it and its eerie prognostications are great.

Anders has some great suggestions so I won't repeat that feedback. I think the only other thing is that the disjointed, grainy aesthetic really worked well for the atmosphere but some areas (i.e. behind the bush, in the funhouse) seemed a little messy. I really liked the funhouse visual effects though. 

Thanks for submitting Charlamagne to the SCREAM MACHINE jam!

- SCREAM CATALOGUE 

Developer

Thanks for your praise and critique. I appreciate you guys hosting these jams and participating. I'm a little upset with my submission for its glaring faults, mostly because I wasted too much time, but I learned a lot and am glad I powered through. Playing everyone else's projects helped me realize how much I gotta step my game up too.  

I'm mostly upset that I kinda missed the 'why' of the whole project, characters, and story. A tale like this needs some kinda resolution and reason for existing, and I can't help but feel I missed that. We'll see if I wanna dive back in when the jam is over. Thanks again for everything. :)  

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

The visuals were exceptional in this game! You did some amazing work on the backgrounds, which really stood out, and a few instances I had a hard time focusing as I would watch them sway and move. I also found the use of lightning to be stellar. 

I have just a few minor suggestions: 

1. Charlemagne's model is really cool, but the size changing was very distracting for me. I wonder if you could shift the perspective to being up close, so we can better see the sprite, would work. Also found the other characters being in the way to be a little distracting as well. 

2. Mandy's comments about Robbie behind the bush seemed very out of character / how she was set up beforehand. If you want her to come off rude I would add a little sarcasm at the wack a mole game to her dialogue. 

3. My game ended abruptly after you reached the fortune teller machine with the old man. Not sure if that is a bug, but I was unsure if it was over at first.

4. Would be helpful to quickly flash the controls on the screen once you were able to move. I waited for a few moments, unsure if the game was going to pick up. 

Really enjoyed this and thank you for sharing! 

Developer(+1)

Thanks for your detailed comments. Frankly, a lot of things came down to the last day and I got burnt out. I wanted something similar to what you described for the fortune teller but settled for the crude image flop. And yeah, the ending is barely an ending. My original scripted ending (the old man was with the bad guys) really conflicted with the way the story actually told (the old man was just an old man) so I just copped out and ended it.

And Mandy's comments were meant to be portrayed as Robbie's imagination, not reality. I had thought of some things to make that clearer, movie screen projection, different text displays, etc, but that was also another thing never added.

Submitted

You're welcome! And again I really enjoyed your game and the art assets alone elevated the project. 

Submitted

Nice tense narrative, cool high effort visuals!

Submitted

Great narrative and loved the mirror house part !