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Skunk'd: Live Your Dreams, The first indie game project by MeliSoft Games! <3
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INTRODUCTION


Hullo! MeliSoft Games here, reporting on my first ever indie video game, which will hopefully come to fruition later in 2011, but most likely in early 2012. I'm plugging away at it, spending 4-6 hours a day programming my life away. This has become sort of my baby, and I'm very proud of how it's turning out so far, so I thought I'd share it with this community.


THE STORY


Skunk'd: Live Your Dreams is the story of a teenage "emo" boy, Thommy Summers (nicknamed "Skunk" due to the albino stripe running down the middle of his pitch-black head of hair), who has quite a bit on his plate. His father is a deadbeat, drug-dealing loser who leaves him home alone most of the time, and he is tortured at school by a stereotype-defying bully who is actually much smarter than he is. And yet life goes on; Skunk keeps himself chugging along with daydreams of his classmate and love interest, the plucky, nerdy writer Lilly Hartwell.


One fateful day, however, Skunk opens his eyes to find himself in the land of dreams he used to escape to as a child, a magical world called Lucidia. Here, he comes across a ghostly figure greatly resembling Lilly, who urges him to wake himself up and save her, as she has been brutally attacked and left to die somewhere in their town. Upon trying to wake himself, however, he is told it is not possible by his childhood imaginary friend, the sadomasochistic and self-mutilating teddy bear Kid Snuggles. After an emotional reunion for the two old friends, Snuggles reveals that he is now Skunk's guardian angel, and that the only way to awaken from his slumber is to defeat the "imagination killer" who has taken over the Spire of Dreams. Skunk is shocked and horrified to find out that the "imagination killer" is actually Japanese-American boy genius Satoshi Kuragame, who is his real-life bully!


Determined to confront his fears, Skunk, joined by the restless soul of Lilly and his self-abusive teddy bear-made-angel, decides to traverse the seven realms of Lucidia, climb the Spire of Dreams, and put an end to the imagination-killing bully once and for all. Then and only then will he be able to wake up and save Lilly from her otherwise inevitable death.


THE GAMEPLAY


Skunk'd: Live Your Dreams is a platformer that takes place across 7 puzzle-filled realms, each with its own mechanic to alter your surroundings and solve mysteries. Each level is named after a specific type of dream:


I. Sweet Dream (candy and dessert themed level)
II. Pipe Dream (level in a giant hookah complete with altered states of mind based on which 'clouds' Skunk walks through)
III. Wet Dream (ahem, it's a water themed level a la Water Temple in OoT)
IV. Day Dream (day-night mechanics)
V. Bad Dream (horror-themed level with darkness, flashlight required)
VI. Double Dream (level in a castle with one entire side made of a giant mirror, introducing playing as two Skunks at once)
VII. American Dream (level in a New York-style city, weather plays the biggest role here)


Once all seven realms are completed, you must climb the challenging Spire of Dreams and confront Satoshi in a sure-to-be-epic battle!


CONCEPT ART



The main cast of Skunk'd, improved version. Art by Clement Swennes.


SCREENSHOTS


Screens are not available at the moment; here is some temporary pixelart of the characters:



Pixelart by Clement Swennes.


BOTTOM LINE


This game is being programmed in Scirra's Construct Classic, an alternative to Clickteam products that works similarly but ultimately produces much prettier and efficient results, in my opinion. I'm currently looking for feedback and, actually, a musician to write the score for the game (a paid position). Thanks for reading, lol, if you got through all this you're a better man than I. &lt;3
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Edited by: JoeyApples, Aug 30th, 2011 @ 2:14 am
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I know I've already commented on this at MFGG, but this seems pretty awesome - it's one of the more polished-looking indie games I've seen lately.
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'Ey, people! Atnas (the artist for this game) has been working his butt off to vastly improve the graphics for the game, which is why the screenies have suddenly vanished. In addition, while the story remains intact, it's just there to serve as a general idea of what the game's about until I can write a better summary, which will most likely be right after I finish this post. A new major character has been introduced to the story, and some major plot details have been changed or removed entirely due to a general inability to suspend disbelief at the absurdity of it all, haha.

In other news, the engine has been completely finished and spit-shined, save for importing in the new sprites and tiles Atnas made. Rest assured, the next time you see Skunk'd, it will not only be looking like a glorious remake of itself, it will also be in motion. As soon as Atnas is satisfied with the quality of his work, I will be uploading both screenshots AND a video teasing the first level. ^_^

Once again, if you have any criticisms, comments or praise, do NOT hold back. Feel free to tell me "this thing is awesome," or "that something totally blows and should be removed or changed." I can't guarantee I'll use your suggestions, but I can guarantee I value your opinions and hold them as very important to the project. And just so you know, the first post has been heavily edited and story summary refined. Take a look! ^_^
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Looks like the story is indeed quite a bit different.

I've always preferred natural hair colors for human video game characters, but it's not really a big deal to me. However, depending on how dark and gritty the game is supposed to be, there's a possibility it might "feel" wrong to have a pink-haired Lilly, especially if you're not aiming for an anime style.
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Bibby
I've always preferred natural hair colors for human video game characters, but it's not really a big deal to me. However, depending on how dark and gritty the game is supposed to be, there's a possibility it might "feel" wrong to have a pink-haired Lilly, especially if you're not aiming for an anime style.

The game's undergone several insane stylistic changes as it is, from way too silly and lighthearted to absurdly and depressingly grim. With the current script, graphics, and mechanics, I think we've struck an awesome balance.

That said, the game now leans toward a more whimsical type of story and play style, heavily influenced by anime and manga, with a heavy emphasis on making the characters endearing and believably flawed. When I said the game is "not for kids," I meant it--but with the more mature themes comes a responsibility not to overuse them, and so now I think the game should exude from its players more a sense of 'Wow, that's awesome!' wonder rather than 'Wow, that's effed up' repulsion.

That's my aim, at least.


EDIT: Upon rereading my story summary, it does indeed seem like a dark and gritty tale; however, I insist it's really more charming and fun than anything. You might question my sanity; can't say I blame you, but you need to see the characters in motion with the dialogue used to really get a feel for the true atmosphere in the game. A plot summary limits me to premise, and doesn't give me as good of an opportunity to show off the characters, haha.
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Edited by: JoeyApples, Aug 30th, 2011 @ 10:04 am
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That makes sense. I was afraid if it was going to be too dark and gritty, the very bright colors (not just of the hair) might not work well.

What you have right now almost sounds like a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Braid - which could be pretty interesting.
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