#1 Edited by jettpack (124 posts) -

Edit: just looked at my topic subject line. miss typed. anybody know how i can change that?

Check it out here!

http://gambit.mit.edu/loadgame/thelastsymphony.php

Its called The Last Symphony. I was part of a 10 person team of students, half from Singapore and half from the United states. None of us had worked together or made a game before. It was a program within MIT called Gambit. We had two months to build a game that accomplished our reasearch goal which was to make a Hidden object game that doesnt suck (which is incredibly hard, because they are almost universall awful) and uses the objects you find to tell a narrative.

I was an Artist on the game and designed a number of the environments, i also contributed (as many of us did) to the design.

Just FYI, the game has 4 possible endings, The objects you need to find are all randomly chosen, so it is possible to have multiple playthoughs without repeating opjects. This is a game about Narrative and music, so it is very important to read and listen. Paying attention to the music and the writing is very important. I think most people find that it is worth playing multipe times though, and was designed with that in mind, (its not very long) anyway, thats all!

I would love to hear what you guys think! Thanks!

#2 Edited by gaminghooligan (1646 posts) -

I'll give it a try duder! If you did the art, I really like the style already.

EDIT: Good job man, the music, the art style, and the way you use the different pieces you find to get a story at the end. Very cool stuff!

#3 Posted by Nentisys (900 posts) -

The art looks really nice. Good job duder!

#4 Posted by awesomeusername (4479 posts) -

FREE YOU SAY!?!? NEVER! I HATE FREE!!!

#5 Edited by jettpack (124 posts) -

Thanks yo! I was one of 4 artists on the game. I didn't do any of the character art but i did design about(ish) half(ish) of the environments(ish). but putting it that way is weird because really everybody touched everything to some degree.

Edit: Thanks man! yeah, our audio guy was fantastic ( goes to Berklee Music Conservatory). If you have the time and the desire, i suggest you play it multiple times, you can get totally different items that give more history to our characters. I'm so glad you were into it!

#6 Posted by Voidoid (145 posts) -

Played this a while ago when it was featured on the IndieGames.com blog. It feels like it realizes the potential of the genre as fully as possible, although when the genre is the hidden object game that is not saying much.

As I recall, I felt like I "solved" the "mystery" in my first playthrough, but it was still far from obvious which objects I needed to bring to the exhibit to get the ending I wanted. I had to play through it again to get the papers to understand what I was trying to say. I certainly felt that it did merit another playthrough which I guess is a kind of praise.

Overall, the game felt like an insignificant revolution - it sets a new standard for hidden object games, but who cares?

What was the purpose of the project, exactly? I mean, you succeeded in making a perfectly tolerable hidden object game, which I find genuinely impressive, but (given the genre is by its very nature unengaging and arguably obsolete) surely you did not see that as a goal in itself? I thought it was merely a game design exercise, but since you talk about it as research, what were your findings? And how will they be useful to anyone other than people who (for some peculiar reason) are making hidden object games?

#7 Posted by commonoutlier (140 posts) -

I'm liking the style I see in those screenshots, I'll definitely give it a look.

#8 Posted by jettpack (124 posts) -

Thanks so much for playing! and I'm glad you found it tolerable, that means we accomplished something, it's actually really difficult to make the genre not painful. haha.

And no, making a hidden object game that wasn't bad was only part of our goal, we wanted to take the limits of the genre and see if we could work a narrative into in a significant and thematically/contextually consistent way. It was definitely an experiment in design, and in terms of research we found that it is hard to combine a narrative with hidden object gameplay without accidentally making an adventure game. A large number of our prototypes veered dangerously in the adventure game direction, which would be fine except that that wasn't our objective. As far as the genre being obsolete, I would have agreed with you 100% before i worked on the project. We played dozens of hidden object games and found that most of them were really bad and tedious (as one might expect). However, we found that there was a certain kind of quiet atmosphere that is unique to the genre which we tried to emphasize with our setting. We ended up with a game that feels like you are exploring this house in first person, but in 2D.

If you want to know more i suggest you read the research description and watch our interview video near the bottom of the page here http://gambit.mit.edu/loadgame/thelastsymphony.php. I would love to answer you more in depth, but I have to get back to writing this paper for finals. lol.

again thanks so much for playing!

#9 Posted by SSully (4578 posts) -

I will have to give it a try. From those screen shots though the art alone looks great. Usually student games severely lack in the art department, so good job there!

#10 Posted by jettpack (124 posts) -

@SSully: haha, thanks. Im an illustration student, so hopefully at the very least i can make something that looks good. Our other artists happened to be super talented, so that was helpful.

#11 Posted by Rattle618 (1504 posts) -

I dont know who worked on the music, but very clever and well done sir! I just wanted to congratulate the musician/musicians that worked on this cause they dont seem to be getting a lot of praise in here, which is a shame.

I like the art too btw.

#12 Posted by jettpack (124 posts) -

@Rattle618: yeah our Audio designer composed all of the music himself and was the major reason for the way the musical mechanic was implemented. He's great. The guy built a little sound studio in his house specifically so he could record his friend playing live cello for the pieces he composed. he totally killed it.

#13 Posted by LaszloKovacs (1267 posts) -

This thing is pretty cool! I think the way some of the items randomize on each playthrough is what really made it for me, but the music mechanic was really impressive.

I hope you keep making interesting things.

#14 Posted by Voidoid (145 posts) -

@jettpack: Thank you; the video answered a lot of my questions.

#15 Posted by jettpack (124 posts) -

@Rattle618 said:

I dont know who worked on the music, but very clever and well done sir! I just wanted to congratulate the musician/musicians that worked on this cause they dont seem to be getting a lot of praise in here, which is a shame.

I like the art too btw.

If you are really into the music, you can download the Soundtrack! It's awesome!

here: http://richardgould.bandcamp.com/album/the-last-symphony-ost

our audio designer composed, mastered and produced all of the music himself. Had his friend play cello for him to record. enjoy!

#16 Posted by LordAndrew (14588 posts) -

You can't fix the title. But I think we can assume that you made it at MIT, not about MIT. :)

#17 Posted by TheHBK (5657 posts) -

Nice! I will get on this when I get out of work. I graduated from MIT almost 5 years ago (damn!) but I did Course 22, so nothing creative like this for me, at least nothing that wasn't HASS. The art already looks incredible though.

#18 Edited by jettpack (124 posts) -

@TheHBK: Thanks so much! and thats awesome. I am not an MIT student myself, i'm a RISD student. That place is amazing though. Tw0 nuclear reactors on campus! TWO!

#19 Posted by WayTysn (3 posts) -

That is some really nice artwork and style good job

#20 Posted by Slurpelve (669 posts) -

This is pretty cool, love the art style!

#21 Posted by jettpack (124 posts) -

Thanks!@BadSniper52: thanks!

#22 Posted by VisariLoyalist (3063 posts) -

I just love matching snippets of music together :)

#23 Posted by VisariLoyalist (3063 posts) -

I want to bump your thread more also I didn't find the secret this time :(

#24 Posted by jettpack (124 posts) -

@VisariLoyalist: Oh thanks!! i appreciate it! There is a soundtrack if you would like to download it.