Aku

A game about a future priest who enjoys his first outing.

The Webgl version can be a bit laggy especially on weaker computers. If you encounter this problem, consider playing the downloadable version. There is only one ending so don't be too pressed to replay for a different ending. Dialogues are there to develop the characters, not exactly influencing the plot.

This project is my first attempt at a fleshed out narrative experience. I hope you'll enjoy playing as much as I enjoyed making it.

The story revolves around an apprentice shrine guardian / priest tasked with informing a nearby village that their yearly ceremonial festival is starting. Although there is a bit of platforming, the focus of the game is the main character's dialogue with others, which reveals hints about how the world of Aku works, and what the characters' motivations are.

This is a submission to the Narrative Game Jam 2, where you have 18 days to put together a narrative game. Aku is the successor of a game I made in Narrative Game Jam 1 titled Sleepless which focused entirely on platforming.

This time, the theme was 'Detective'. Aku fits the theme only marginally, in the sense that its story structure has elements similar to that of a detective story.

Since I'm still inexperience in the genre, I'm very interested in feedback regarding how I handle elements in the game. Feel free to let me know below if there's anything you thought I could've done better.

Credits

The ambience sounds are:

The music, in order of their appearance are:

The color palette hear is Psynosia on LoSpec. Like usual, the font used is Silver. The game is built with Unity, music handled by Fmod Studio and art made using Aseprite. This time, I learned how to use YarnSpinner for dialogue.

Aside from music, all other assets are drawn by me (Thuleanx) or Valkoy.

Install instructions

Download and unarchive the zip file. The corresponding game file should be inside, and the executing it should be like executing any other program in your OS.

Download

Download
Aku_Mac_Proper.zip 39 MB
Download
Aku_Windows_Proper.zip 40 MB

Comments

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This game is so cool!  I really enjoyed it so far but I´m also stuck at the graveyard-part and I would love gamepad controls.

Ayy thanks. I'm glad you like it. Can you elaborate more on the part that you are stuck at? Have you explored the right end of the graveyard? There should be a house there.

(4 edits)

Im also stuck here. Yes i went inside the house, but i cant access the upper level, i cant jump that high. After going back, i cant go back either. And i have no dialogue option from the 2 dudes in the houses at the left.

Edit: OMG... i just realized you can not only dash to the left/right, but to any direction...lol

I think you should add WASD+Left shift as the "tutorial" not just "left shift". If you just press left shift on its own, you will only dash to where you are facing (and it looks like a horizontal plane skill).  So its fair to assume that if you got dash, you will get a vertical "skill" also, like a double jump later. I would have never tried it before, i went everywhere aimlessly. I was ready to close the game.


Edit 2: I just got kicked out from the game with an error message aaaand there is no save (I played from the browser mode, used Firefox) so... yeah. But it was cool while it lasted.

"

An error occurred running the Unity content on this page. See your browser JavaScript console for more info. The error was:

RuntimeError: integer overflow

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@https://v6p9d9t4.ssl.hwcdn.net/html/3524070/Build/WebglBuild.wasm:wasm-function[...

@https://v6p9d9t4.ssl.hwcdn.net/html/3524070/Build/WebglBuild.wasm:wasm-function[...

@https://v6p9d9t4.ssl.hwcdn.net/html/3524070/Build/WebglBuild.wasm:wasm-function[...

unityFramework/Module._FMOD_JS_MixFunction@https://v6p9d9t4.ssl.hwcdn.net/html/3524070/Build/WebglBuild.framework.js:2:429556

unityFramework/ASM_CONSTS<!--_as_script_node.onaudioprocess@https://v6p9d9t4.ssl.hwcdn.net/html/3524070/Build/WebglBuild.framework.js:2:2835...

(+1)

Woah, thanks for the detailed response. Yeah I'll make sure to be thorough with dashing mechanics next time. I'm so used to platformer that it's natural whenever a dash exists you can dash in 8 directions. I'll also make sure to have a save system next time I do a Jam.

As for the bug you've encountered it's likely some integration error with the music plugin I'm using. If you can tell me what you did right before getting kicked out it'll help a lot in identifying what's wrong. As it stands error logs of a compiled version of the game can't tell me much.

(4 edits)

I just reached the puzzle side of the graveyard. Where there are some swinging blades. Its basically at the very beginning of that area (or i dont know how long is it :D) I think it was a longer room. Or maybe i got past it (i dont remember), but it was near that section where there are swinging blades and the room is horizontally long.

I just played like I did before :D I may have jumped or dashed, or just got rekt by something. i dont know honestly.

Edit: By the way, what does the domino-like pickups do?

(+1)

Thanks for letting me know. The domino pickup was just your standard collectible, and I ran out of time before I could make them A) not respawn and B) have some effect on the story.

ah ok thx

What do I do after the penguin is killed? No one is at the graveyard.

There's a house to the right of the graveyard. Did you end up going through it?

Yes, but it was empty.

Oof. There should be a door leading you to the mine... Which version of the game did you play on?

I didn't realise I could dash up. would be useful to have a sign in the graveyard-house.

I liked the game. Maybe the dialogue with Ao about feeling suffocated could be made mandatory instead of optional.

Thanks for seeing it through. I'm glad you enjoyed the game I agree that it's a shame that the dialogue about Ao's motivation could've been completely skipped. 

Perhaps having it where this information would creep up on you in other NPC dialogues if you haven't heard it from Ao directly would be nice. I wanted to be quite subtle / non-forcing when it comes to dialogue.

(+3)

Hiii, I've made a video about the game and wanted to share some feedback about it :), hopefully it is useful to you ^^

-The idea/concept of the game is very good.

-The controls/movement could be a little bit more polished, but actually the gameplay mechanics are pretty good and well thought/ implemented with the level design.

-The visual style is quite good, and the visual effects/particles are really well done ^^.

Hopefully this is useful to you :D, also if you could subscribe that would help me a lot :)

Regards

(+1)

Thanks for the detailed comment and the gameplay video. I'm glad you enjoy it. Seeing you play was interesting, especially since I didn't have many people test the game blind because of the time crunch.

May I ask what specifically you mean by more polished on the movement? Was it not responsive enough? Or is it the no-animation ledge grab that doesn't look right? Or maybe you meant the fact that it's hard to position yourself for the gravity well / hook?

(+1)

The controls on the "hook"/"Dash" platforming zones felt hard to dominate, you could polish that by making the range of the hooks/dash areas a little bit bigger so it's harder for the player to fall. In general the movement feels pretty good but polishing those parts could make the movement more fluid and easier especially for new players ^^

Yeah I agree.

I'm not sure if increasing the range would have made an impact, but clearly indicating whether or not you are inside of the field as well as allowing the player to still be hooked/pulled split seconds (40 ms say) after they exit the field might have helped (since human reaction time is around that number + time for you to press the button). I thought of this during development, as well as the possibility of slowing down game time as you approach a gravity well, but I didn't put too much priority into implementing this. Thanks for letting me know it's an issue.

You are welcome :)

(+1)

I played the web version and there is a bit of input lag but If i had a newer system (i use a 7+ yrs old imac) this is a great game maybe could just use dome optimizations

(1 edit)

Thanks for the comment. Admittedly I could've optimized a little more (as it is the game has the current level + all adjacent levels loaded at any time). I wonder if it would've made that much a difference if only the current scene is loaded, or if all that I could do was tune down the particles for the game to run smoothly on webgl.

Maybe in future games I should add a graphics option in the next Jam games. Cool particles are fun and I intend to keep them for the downloadable version, but it wouldn't be fun if you can't even play the game.

(+2)

This is so power consuming, that it freeze my system on an old Core i7 :(.

Ahh, I tested it on a Core i7 as well but always played it plugged in so I didn't notice the battery consumption. Thanks for bringing it into my attention.