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Hey y'all!


I figured it's time I introduce myself and my current project properly. I'm a Swedish game developer, running my own business together with three other guys, in the city of Gothenburg. Our main project right now is the point 'n click adventure game The Journey Down.






The Journey Down is a classic point-and-click adventure game title for the PC, planned to be released in four separate parts. The first chapter "Over the Edge" follows our brave pilot hero Bwana and his sidekick Kito as they, while trying to make ends meet, end up getting thrown into a twisting plot of corruption and adventure. The first part is scheduled for a 2011 Q4 release and is developed and published by Skygoblin in conjunction with Sweden based social game developer SLX Games.


A shortened, low-res, no speech version of The Journey Down: Over the Edge was released in the summer of 2010 as a testing prototype for the coming high-res commercial version of the game. This prototype has among other things won a bunch of funky indie awards, one of them being the coveted “AGS Game of the year” Award.


The Journey Down is developed in Adventure Game Studio and features an all original Jazz/reggae soundtrack by jazzmaster Simon D’souza.


The team developing the game (primarily me) do our best at chronicling our journey on our dev-blog over at http://www.slxgames.com, please drop by and have a peek whenever you're bored. We love to hear your thoughts and comments, they are no doubts central to making the game as bombastic as possible. :)


I'd love to hear your thoughts!



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Gabez: Yep, MI2 has definitely influenced me a lot. I've also been very inspired by the cartoony style of Bill Tiller's COMI, as well as Peter Chan's Full Throttle and Grim Fandango. Lots and lots of LEC love in my veins. :)


elTee: Thank you! Yeah, it's all about atmosphere isn't it:) The art combined with the music sets a nice ambiance, I can promise you that! Keep your eyes peeled on the dev-blog for more info.

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That's a good marketing technique... download a low-res version because it's a smaller download and provides an incentive for buying a high-res version. We're all used to paying more for better quality anyway, as in VHS -- DVDs -- Blu-ray.

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The main thing I appreciated (aside from the much-loved art/atmosphere) was the set-up to the narrative. These guys need money, and the woman from the university has a job for them. It's clear and simple - like the start of Secret of Monkey Island. It really annoys me when adventure games have convoluted and contrived set-ups, where the character has no real reason to be doing what he's doing other than that it makes the game work, or creates puzzles. A puzzle where you have to fix the plane engine makes perfect sense because you need the plane in order to do the job, and thus get paid. That bodes well, in my opinion.


(Although, bread sticks/ladder might suggest some Discworld-esque puzzles to be found at some point in the game. That would frustrate the hell out of me! But I remain optimistic because, to be fair, as soon as I found the bread sticks I realised what the solution was.)

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Here's some new stuff from the devblog! If you've played the prototype, it's likely you'll recognize the location.


Snugglecakes: Thanks for the kind words! Means a lot. The style has been polished a long, long time, I'm glad you like it.


Longcat: Thank you, thank you, thank you! If you have any thoughts on things that you would like to see improved or remedied from the prototype, I'd love to hear it! Such comments are worth gold to me.


Gabez: I'm glad you appreciate the "business model", we've sort of made it up as we went along. Hopefully it works! So far it has proven to be a great way of probing the ins and outs of what people like to see in a game, let's hope it works all the way through:)


elTee: Thanks! A lot of hard work has gone into creating a nice flowing story that motivates the player to do the tasks at hand, I'm very glad to hear this is shining through and is appreciated by you as a player. To me there are few things as frustrating in a game as being thrown into a situation with a million possible interactions, and no clue whatsoever as to what you, as a player are trying to achieve. That to me, is truly poor game design.


Btw, I promise to keep the breadsticks/ladder solutions at an all low. I too prefer when solutions aren't too wacky, that one just sort of... happened.


Comments are greatly appreciated! We're doing everything we can to make this game as bombastic as possible, your voiced thoughts make a difference.

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Here's a quick update from the development blog.


Henrik (the animator on JD) just updated the blog with a first pre-render of our new fancy 3d characters. Please note that this is NOT what the final scene will look like. Lighting, shading and other fancy shizzles still need to be put in place, also the backdrop is going to be animated and obviously there will be music and more sound effects. This is merely a sneek peak at a work in progress. If you're curious, check it out on the devblog through the link in this picture:




Also, here's your chance to listen to the wonderful voice of Anthony Sardinha, who is also cast for the role of Bwana.


Comments, as always, are appreciated! Thanks.

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The artistic direction for this game is amazing! It has a very strong Monkey Island 2 vibe to me as well - the second screenshot in particular reminds me of one of Peter Chan's original marker backgrounds for the game.


I've heard of the prototype but have yet to play it. Perhaps I'll give it a try this weekend? It's really heartwarming to see independent adventure games with such professionalism being produced in this day and age. Keep it up.

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I'm loving the look of this game. I'm really getting excited from all the the European throwbacks to classic adventures these days that are being crafted.


Skygoblin, I don't know the situation of your company or the production line, but I would love to help in some way with art or animation if possible remotely on any games. I don't know if my stuff is what you're looking for but my portfolio is at http://www.mrseanlane.com. Sorry about that shameless plug there, forumites.

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Gabez: Thanks! hehe yeah, I'd love to do some recording myself but it always turns out crap. It's clear that it does indeed require some talent. Many things need to be right, not just the voice, but the actual acting and the clarity in voice are all crucial.


Alex IDV: Thank you:)


StoneFrog: Thanks for the incredibly inspiring comments! I'm glad some of my love for MI2 backdrops is shining through:) If you do try the prototype, be sure to send me your thoughts and comments! I hope you do.


SyntheticGerbil: Thanks for offering to help! Our current pipeline is all stuffed though, so no need for more people working on the project. I had a look at your portfolio, you've got a lot of cool stuff going! You should offer your services over at the AGS forums, I'm sure they'd love your assistance.


We've just updated the devblog with a new voice sample, this time of the Dockmaster (Voiced by Scott Stoked). Check it below:




If you've got any thoughts about the voice cast so far, I'd love to hear 'em! Voicing has been moving along nicely. Most of the smaller roles are in place already, and the bigger roles are well under way. Yay for progress!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Alex IDV: heh, thanks, man! That's the kind of comment I love to hear. More of those please. :thmbup1:


Here's another new screenie from the devblog. I'm happily painting away on the new room backdrops while Henrik keeps playing around with our rendering pipeline. Mathias has started scratching his head delving into the spaghetti code of the AGS engine, and Markus is, well, busy with other things. :cool:




Man I'd love to give Bwana -the main character- unique frames in here sort of squeezing his body together against the cold. What a truly bad idea. :rolleyes:


Keep the comments coming, please! :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks guys! I appreciate your wish to help out with testing. I might very well take you up on that, scandinavian or not:P We are however quite far from the testing stage I must admit. I promise to keep this thread updated regarding when our first test stage begins. If all goes according to plan, I expect that to happen around autumn some time, but who knows. I'll keep you posted!


By the way, we just released a preview of the voice of Kito, the mechanic sidekick, over on the dev-blog. Also, a couple days ago we released a sneak peek of what Bwana, the main character sounds like. Please head on over to the dev-blog and check 'em out! We'd love to hear your comments.


Keep your eyes peeled on the devblog for more updates about the cast and our progress in general.

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