Captain’s Log #13: Villains & Mini-Games

This is an archived Kickstarter update, originally only available to Nelly’s Backers:

Halloween is coming and the goose is still probably pretty slim and relaxed. Inspired by the approach of Día de los Muertos, I decided to gather together some material on Nelly Cootalot’s dastardly enemies. Read on for a preview of the mini-games which will enliven Nelly’s journey.

Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet – The Villains

L-R: El Mono, The Baroness, Baron Widebeard & Van Zandt

L-R: El Mono, The Baroness, Baron Widebeard & Van Zandt

Baron Widebeard

Handsome, charming, talented. These are just some of the words used to describe Baron Widebeard, by Baron Widebeard. Other people will tell you he’s a ruthless, bitter, serial bird-knapper. Now he’s leading a fleet of hypnotised birds to the icy northern seas to steal William Bloodbeard’s treasure.

But will Nelly’s adventure uncover the reason Widebeard hates pirates so much?

The Baroness

The Number 1 Fashion Victim in the South Seas, the Baroness is the driving force behind her husband’s wicked schemes. Vain and ambitious, she’s like Lady Macbeth if Lady Macbeth liked leopard print bikinis.

But is the Baroness even more cold and calculating than she seems?

El Mono

El Mono is Baron Widebeard’s magical henchman. A powerful simian who never speaks (hence no audio clip), but who is responsible for hypnotising the Fowl Fleet. To break El Mono’s enchantment, Nelly will have to embark upon her most dangerous voyage yet – into the subconscious of an embalmed monkey.

But is El Mono truly a villain, or is he yet another victim of the Baron?

Harbour Master Van Zandt

The greedy and corrupt Harbour Master of Groat Island, Van Zandt strikes fear into the hearts of every honest pirate. He runs a ring of brutish privateers (licensed pirates) and he doesn’t allow competition from enthusiastic amateurs like Nelly.

What will happen if Van Zandt gets wind of the Bloodbeard’s lost treasure?

Mini-Games (they’re like small games)

Amputation!

Can Nelly Prove her Tactical Prowess by winning The Great Game of the Sea?

In plotting Nelly’s adventure, I’ve tried to vary the challenges she will encounter. As with most adventure games, there will be a number of dialogue-based puzzles and fetch-quests. But I’ve tried to avoid every challenge involve giving object x to person y, over and over and over again.

So to give the player a more varied experience, there will be a small number of puzzles which resemble mini-games. I want to emphasise that I’m not trying to recreate the arcade sequenceswhich annoyed me in 90s adventure games like Flight of the Amazon Queen (apologies to anyone who liked those bits!). These will be fun little additions – and they’ll be skippable for players who are just interested in the story.

Welcome to El Mono's Shootin' Gallery

Welcome to El Mono’s Shootin’ Gallery

These challenges will still involve a problem-solving element, even if it’s very simple. So it’s about encountering a puzzle in a different way, not about having lighting-fast reflexes. The idea is to add a little spice to the gameplay, inspired the way that The Curse of Monkey Island and Sam and Max had mini-games and action sequences which complemented the narrative rather than killing off the player to extend playtime. (Apologies to anyone who hates those bits!)

Is that a plush Baron Widebeard?

Is that a plush Baron Widebeard?

Video Treat

At PlayExpo last month I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Moobitmedia. I don’t think I said anything libellous or incriminating, but I haven’t watched it back yet. I’m going to throw caution to the wind and share it anyway!

That’s all for this month… happy Halloween, and see you in November!

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