How to download the files? No link?
Demo for A Hand With Many Fingers!
Just letting you know that there's now a free demo up for A Hand With Many Fingers! It covers the first section of the game and includes all the main conspiracy investigation mechanics.
I'd love to hear any thoughts, and I hope you enjoy it!!!
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Hey! I've taken down the demo because I'm getting pretty close to releasing the finished product. So many things have been improved that the demo doesn't really represent the final game anymore...
But if you're interested in testing the beta, chuck me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send through the latest build :)
I remember the educational games I was exposed to when I was a kid, and how I came away from that thinking it wasn't a good fit for a game to teach dates, names, and geography - traditional school stuff. It just didn't fit the interactive nature of it. Well after playing this game for 10 minutes, I've had to rethink that assumption.
This is riveting stuff - an amazing accomplishment given that all that's given to you are names, dates, locations, and a few faces. By stripping away the usual aesthetics, dates, names, and locations take the center stage, and become weighty and gripping even.
I haven't gotten far in the narrative, but I can safely say, if you wanted to teach me about a little known historical event, this could be an excellent way to do it.
Notepad in hand, I have been diligently scrawling down all the facts that I can dig up. I find myself wondering how many rounds fit in a .30 calibre rifle, who is the congressman whose name is redacted, and where is Portugal exactly? Ah right..
The world of index cards and dusty bankers boxes feels infinite - the facts are tucked away somewhere in these few rooms, but where those facts are, that's the intriguing part.
Very unique - looking forward to taking another crack at the mystery this weekend. I can see I'll need to refine my investigative technique - I foresee my notebook mirroring the corkboard in-game very soon.
Curious to see how deeply this theme is explored, and if the phone or if the outside world comes into play at all..
Thanks so much for writing this!
I'm really glad you liked the way I stripped things back to dates-names-locations. Making that experience interesting was a major goal of the game! Oh, and the phone / outside world should play a bigger part in the final version!
Goal achieved! Psyched to play the end product..
Oh and one bit of feedback: When I'm playing, I'm relying a lot on spacial awareness to allow me to quickly find the right filing cabinet on the main floor - I was able to do this fairly well, until I discovered the second staircase. Then I could no longer rely on my own intuitive sense of the space, because depending upon which staircase I climbed, the orientation of the cabinet's was completely flipped, and I was forced to ignore my intuition in favor of re-reading everything.
This is a bit hard to describe, because it's a bit of a subtle thing, but because the basement and the filing cabinet room are so symmetrical, and the stairs are at opposite ends, it makes it different to develop an unconscious intuition that would make navigation through the space natural - it's easy to get turned around.. I imagine this could be changed by removing a staircase, but perhaps changing the shape of the room in some way, could make it easier to quickly reorient..
Mastering the mental model of the space feels like part of the core skills the game wants me to get good at - a solution to this could make that skill more "sticky". Over time the player would experience being able to visualize where a filing cabinet or box was, and heading right there, rather than having to read the labels.. Mirroring how a real administrative employee masters navigating the landscape in their working environment..
Hope that makes sense - Thanks for making this!
Hmmm, that's another really excellent point. I definitely want there to be that sense of slowly learning how to navigate the environment. I'll try repositioning that second staircase, and maybe also adding some small details to help with navigation - like a trash can, or a plant, or a stain in the carpet. Stuff which subtly makes the environment a bit less symmetrical.
But yeah, thanks again for another great bit of feedback!