MysticWren

A Tale of Two Goblins

An Attempted Murder Mystery

Summary

A Tale of Two Goblins is a short 2D retro styled point and click adventure mystery game. You can play the prototype.

You play the role of a detective looking into the mysterious 40th story fall, and survival, of The Master Goblin. You get a chance to explore Goblin Garage Studios, uncover the companies secrets and witness the dynamic clash between The Master Goblin and The Goblin Mastermind.

Think spy vs spy meets the board game “clue”.

The goal was to setup the player character to be a continuing protagonist through a series of similar short games (think Poirot, Murder She Wrote, etc).

The game is supposed to be a comedy, or comedy-like. Similar to old LucasArts or Sierra Adventure games.

Personal Reflection

I loved coming up with this story. It was a great spoof off of the real life circumstances of my studio. I since changed the name, but Goblin Garage Studios was the original name of my game development studio. I also went by the nickname “The Master Goblin”. The Master Goblin also became the mascot for the studio (green, big eared goblin with googles).

Story / Background

At the moment I will be leaving this section blank until I can get more time to properly write up the details. In the meantime, just play the “prototype” and if you click on all the characters and their dialogues you will get a good chunk of what the story is.

The Look

A classic, retro, art style. Pixel art. Each character has a “primary” color.

Play Time

Max 1 to 2 hours per game (probably less).

Cast

Example Narrative Scene

The Goblin Mastermind “So, Mister Goblin. You’re alive. Tell me, how is it you survived that fall?”

The Master Goblin “You see, it’s a long story…” as he sits on the edge of The Goblin Mastermind’s desk.

The Goblin Mastermind Scowling even more… “Do make this short Mister Goblin. I hate your incessant monologues…”

Game Mechanics

GUI

Interactable objects highlight when you mouse over. Press a key (z) to highlight everything visible that is interactable.

Journal

The Journal is a place where the character keeps all of their notes, thoughts, and evidence. It is used as both reference and investigation by the player.

New notes appear automatically when you discover something.

Dialogue

Dialogue only happens once, unless there is a reason for that dialogue option to remain. Any relevant information that comes up during a dialogue is noted in your Journal.

Randomization

Each play through has a random attempted murderer, with associated random set of facts, and random attempted murder weapon.

Accusation

You can only accuse someone when you have obtained enough evidence. In effect, no random guessing.

If you guess wrong, the lights go out, you get shot, and the attempted murderer escapes. You will wake up in the hospital, and yeah, you get fired.

Achievement unlocked: Terminated

Alternative Game Mechanic Concepts

Below are additional Game Mechanic ideas that I never fully vetted or decided if they should go into this game.

“Prototype” (Unfinished)

Years ago I created a “prototype” for this game as the “header” for the studio website. I kept it around since I really liked how it turned out, even incomplete as it is. Keep in mind that this “prototype” was created before a lot of this design was done. In a way, it’s an early version of this concept. As such, there is not much functionality. Just sprites that move around, cool environmental effects, and some dialogue.

Play the “Prototype”: http://ataleoftwogoblins.com

Download the “Prototype”: A-Tale-of-Two-Goblins.zip
This zip contains all of the assets I have for this design. It is a zip of the web “prototype” linked above. The game is spread over several html pages. The code is in javascript, and images are in the images directory.

Note: After you download and unpack the zip, the “prototype” is fully playable locally on your machine just by double clicking the index.html file in the root directory or by loading it in a web browser.

Technical Discussion of the “Prototype”

Full Width Background

Due to the nature of the web, it’s really easy to expand things to fill up available space. So, while there is an invisible set width box in which the player can not move out of, the background or “set”, expands to fill the browser. This can be done with repeatable graphics or a very long background graphic. This provides an interesting look, especially given the high-rise business office location for the game.

Rain

I took a small repeatable tile, used that to fill up the background of a container, and moved that container downwards at a set rate. Once it got down a certain amount I would reset it’s location and start over. This gave the impression of falling rain.

Reflection

The reflection is simply baked into the sprites using alpha transparency and opacity. To get the rain to work, I simply reversed the technique I used for the rain in general, and then put an opacity onto that container to give it a more subdued effect.

I originally tried to do the reflection in real-time, but the framerate was very bad in some browsers and so I worked around it this way. Keep in mind this was 5 years ago, so today you could probably do this technique in a web browser more accurately and in real-time.

Lightning

The lightning effect is simply done on a timer. Ever so often, all of the sprites will be replaced with a silhouette version (usually black, but the windows are white for the lightning itself) for a split second. Then they are all flipped back to normal and the timer is randomly reset.

Creative Commons License A Tale of Two Goblins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

In essence you are free to use and/or modify anything from this design. This including the prototype code, story, names and titles, designs, art, and game mechanics. The only stipulation is that you give appropriate credit where due. Please see the link above to obtain further information on the license.

Where This is Used

If you use any of this design, please let me know. I would love to see how anything is used. I will also include a link here to your work.