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Jolly Rover Gameplay demo on YouTube

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Andrew Goulding from Brawsome has just released a walkthrough video on youtube of his swashbuckling adventure game, Jolly Rover! He's also provided some narration with the video, giving reasons for the design decisions behind some of the features he's implemented in the game which will ease a few of the unnecessary and redundant steps seen in point 'n click graphical adventure games of the past.

The demo shows off two scenes and three characters, and I have to tell you, it looks incredible! The LucasArts and Sierra teams who worked on some of the big graphic adventure games of the past had teams of thirty or so involved, and it was a huge feat when John Passfield and co. produced an equally impressive game with just three people on Flight of the Amazon Queen, and now we might be seeing Brawsome matching and perhaps even surpassing such an accomplishment. From Andrew:

This build includes some near final music and a few more sound effects.

In the current build, voice recording for the game is about 25% done with nearly 1000 lines already recorded, over 95% of the 350+ animations are final and in game and 40% of backgrounds.

Submitted by Blitz on Wed, 07/04/10 - 2:23 PM Permalink

That's looking great! Really like some of the ideas you've implemented to remove some of the tedium (pixel hunts, trying the same thing over again, built in hints) that can make these sorts of games so (unneccessarily) frustrating!
Looking forward to playing it.

Submitted by irous on Wed, 07/04/10 - 6:41 PM Permalink

Removing the tedium from point'n click adventure games is definitely a good thing. The second worst thing about adventure games of old was pixel hunting - a lot of time was wasted looking for that one tiny thing that you overlooked in all the graphics. I forget the name of one adventure game - it's a pretty old sci-fi graphic adventure game on the Amiga, but right at the beginning, the key you're supposed to pick up and use to move on to the next area actually WAS *pixel* sized. That was pretty darn annoying.

The first worst thing, which no one really complained about until LucasArts pioneered the change, is death. Dying many, many times in adventure games was a normal thing until LucasArts proved that it wasn't necessary and in most cases, a downright waste of time.

There's a fine line though between removing tedium and hand-holding however. Some would say a lot of these refinements just ultimately make the game too easy for the player, and I think LucasArts went a bit too far with, I think in Monkey Island 2, where everything you hovered with the mouse provided suggested actions. I hope the talking Parrot character in Jolly Rover doesn't make things TOO easy!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 07/04/10 - 8:32 PM Permalink

The game looks great and I was surprised when i read you are solely responsible for this, that must be a huge effort for one person but congrats on making it this far. It looks on par if not better than some Lucas or Sierra style games (and heaps better than many B-tier adventure games that see PC releases these days).

Even though monkey island is probably my favorite game ever I'm not entirely digging the art style here, maybe its the dog characters i just cant get past, but the overall quality is really high and like others above have mentioned the refinements to pixel hunting are much welcome as is the portable tutorial parrot, nice touch. I also like the idea of a running commentary as an unlockable and wonder why more games don't do this. Did you build this from scratch or use one of the adventure game engines like AGS? Can't wait to see more, keep it coming!

Submitted by Brawsome on Thu, 08/04/10 - 8:41 AM Permalink

Thanks for your comments, but I should clear up a few things.

Firstly, it's 'Brawsome' not 'Brawesome', Souri please take note! =0)

Secondly, while I'm the only employee of Brawsome, there are in fact other people involved in the project, talented people, awesome people!

All art is being handled by the amazing Viskatoons. Peter Viska has been an illustrator since the early 80's, working on local literary icons Far Out Brussel Sprout, Unreal Banana Peel, Alright Vegimite (I think). Their animation stuff is top notch, I have to keep pulling their frame counts back unfortunately due to size restrictions in the engine. I think the stuff they're doing on Jolly Rover is their best work to date.

All audio is being handled hideously overqualified Jacek Tuschewski, who runs a local studio called Lamaic. Jacek has worked on the audio of blockbuster hollywood titles such as Gladiator, Ali and The Passion of the Christ. The number of fields Jacek is talented in blows my mind, there seems to be no end to the things he is capable of.

The fellow playing Gaius and a few other characters - Scott Poythress, was recently in a horror movie called The Signal, which you can find on Netflix, it's been a the Sundance film festival and in theatres, as well as many other things which I won't go into here (he's on IMDb).

All these super talented people are fantastic to work with, and always so modest and genuine, considering their experience. I often wonder how I ended up working with them!