I am one of the lucky persons who has been a bit involved while it’s been in development and now i got the opportunity to create a preview article based upon the upcoming demo-version which is due very soon.
There’s lots of history behind this game, for instance, the graphic artist Stefano Buonocore did a lot of the gfx way over a decade ago and all the attempts to try and turn it into a game ended up in development hell and was eventually abandoned.
Things started happening again in 2014 or so when the project was restarted and this time around with a new programmer and they decided to go multiplatform and use Hollywood, a programming language mainly used for creating multimedia applications etc.
The Secret of Middle City has a unique look to it and as soon as you lay your eyes on it you will understand how much work has gone into the graphics and design of it all and while some of it is not correct it never falls totally out of the core design. Coherency is one of those things that happens easily if a project stalls and is then picked up at a later date so this is an acceptable factor.
The story of the game is pretty straightforward and something i will not go too deeply into here but let’s just say it is reminiscent of many other games out there, Agent coming to town to investigate and perhaps solve a murder/missing person case which evidently turns into a lot more than just that.
The game is more a game asking to be like the classic game ” Myst ” from 1993 than a proper point and click driven game like Monkey Island and so on. Gameplay mechanics somehow mix them by having a Point and click interface and an ISO/2D move-able main character but with static “look for the clue” type of gameplay. The game plays solid, the code seems to be intact and working properly, scaling, soft look etc.
The game demo is littered with booze and sexual references and at the same time being very funny although some of the fun is lost in the myriad of text. A good example of a very funny scene in the game is when you get to meet a man and a mountain dog, i literally laughed out loud when i first saw that scene.
The menu’s and inventory screens are ok enough but i have suggested a few changes to make them look and feel better but these features will not be available in-game demo along with more enhancements as right now their goal is to get this demo out, a proof of life, a motivation factor and of course the feeling of having reached an important goal.
One of the surprises i met in this demo was that it ended in such a way that i didn’t realize what had happened, the goal was basically only to solve 1 puzzle, a puzzle you only got to solve after speaking to a lot of people and sometimes picking up 1 (yes one) item from each location.
The deadline is reached and i am not sure if there will be patched in a proper “Demo completed” screen and not just the end scroller like in the demo i tried.
For me, the demo was a walk in the park but it was a fun walk in the park, i strolled around, giggled of the various sexist jokes about T&A and of course the option to basically accuse everyone of being involved in the case.
Some upcoming features and suggestions things about the game:
- Some sort of a direction option/helper, for the casual player it will need a bit of a “what to do next” sort of feature in the opening location(s), this is just to let the player understand and follow the gameplay.
- Progress sound, a sound system which will let the player know when and if something important has been triggered (an item, a dialogue) or such.
- Commercial game: downloadable version and hopefully a retail “boxed” item as well.
- More supported languages, currently have Italian, English and soon French(?)
- Many, many more locations with persons and puzzles to find.
- More sexist jokes and pick-up lines.
- Multiplatform: PC, MAC, AmigaOS4 and MorphOS versions planned, AROS, Linux and Android might come later.
- ADD MORE. Much more.
The developers: GDG-Entertainment.
The game mechanics and general programming have taken its toll on the programmer, the number of manhours put into this project is staggering, to say the least. That said, using Hollywood for programming this game seems to have paid off and not only does it got a multiplatform function but we also have a new good programmer in our community. By the way, this guy is none other than this very site’s own Editor/contributor, Gianluca Girelli aka g0blin.
It is also clear that Sound has been thought out properly too, fits the game great although a few bits and bobs are missing which will be fixed/added towards the final release.
The Secret Of Middle City is meant to be a casual puzzle adventure game and while there might not be too many puzzles in there for the hardcore adventure people out there i still think the game should be in their collection due to its design and labor of love.
Edit: Demo Available now! , PC /win demo is currently not available, will update the post when it is. (should be short)
Go Grab the demo now!…