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Tingalan

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Tingalan

Postby The0didactus » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:52 am

You are a citizen of Merch, a peaceful village surrounded by a deep, dark forest.

This night, you must venture forth into the wood, to find treasure and terrible secrets. You will learn that this is difficult, for while the forest holds many treasures and many secrets, it jealously guards them behind horrible monsters and dark veils of enchantment. The forest is home to wolves and hungry bears, elves and malevolent spirits, and stranger things that lurk in caves below the forest, or in the deeper sky above it.

...and of course, once you find what you are looking for, you must return home alive and with your mind intact. You will learn that this is nearly impossible. The wood will do its best to turn you about, to twist your path back on itself, to drive you mad or drive you ever deeper...and ultimately, over the edge of the forest and into darker places beyond.

Welcome to Tingalan, a game of survival and horror.



Greetings ADRIFT community.
I am pleased to announce that I have finished a very ambitious game, which is now available for you to play.
It's still getting uploaded to the ADRIFT site, but I've decided to post a download link to the .blorb file here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4rZa ... EVUb2k5MFk

The game has an old school pulpy manual here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4rZa ... DRSSm9iaXc

You may want to read it, though technically you can play just fine without it. The game has many mechanics that differ substantially from a typical ADRIFT game, and the manual is a work of art in its own right...truthfully, I'm actually even happier with how the manual turned out than the game itself.

Some notes in no particular order

* By design, this game is quite difficult. You will probably die many times before you realize how to stay alive. The game is built to have a considerable amount of replay value, it will be very different every time you play it.

* By design, this game does not conform to ordinary mapping conventions. Tingalan is a fairy-wood, and the map does not operate like a normal map. It's a puzzle, and so far none of the playtesters have solved it :roll: In general, it's quite hard to retrace your steps.

* If you get stuck, try singing

* There is a scoring system, but you may find that trying to maximize your score works against many other factors of the game. You "win" by getting home alive, and you are "scored" by the treasure you find. The high score is 38.

* There is no joy in Tingalan...

* The trees won't help you at all...
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Re: Tingalan

Postby Duncan_B » Thu Feb 01, 2018 6:51 am

Bump. Didn't know Tingalan had a manual, I must've missed that somehow. If you haven't tried out Tingalan yet, you're missing out. Yes, you will die a lot, but it is mysterious and fascinating and I especially love the added use of sound. Okay, so some parts are a little non-standard for ADRIFT expectations, and maybe some parts could use a little brush-up, but for my money this was ADRIFT's game of the year in 2017. Even if I've never really reached a good ending.

The0didactus, can we expect a second release? Are you working on any other projects?
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Re: Tingalan

Postby The0didactus » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:09 am

Duncan_B wrote:Bump. Didn't know Tingalan had a manual, I must've missed that somehow. If you haven't tried out Tingalan yet, you're missing out. Yes, you will die a lot, but it is mysterious and fascinating and I especially love the added use of sound. Okay, so some parts are a little non-standard for ADRIFT expectations, and maybe some parts could use a little brush-up, but for my money this was ADRIFT's game of the year in 2017.


Thanks for the kind words Duncan!
Tingalan has picked up a bit of a following outside the conventional ADRIFT world as well. A lot of people in the Slate Star Codex community are playing it and it is getting a pretty good showing over there too: http://slatestarcodex.com

Because it's so popular, I've gotten a lot of feedback...so more tips and information largely based on responses I've gotten:

* This game took me hundreds of hours to make. I don't say this solely to brag, but to emphasize that it is quite large. There is a lot of stuff hidden out in the woods. Certain discoveries will vastly change the "typical" playthrough. If you think you've run into everything, you probably haven't.

* The most important key to survivability is explore explore explore. A big misconception a lot of people had about the game is "the map is random"...which I think lead a lot of players to just sorta wander and invariably get eaten by something hideous. Ill stress: The map is predictable and navigable, just not in a way humans generally operate. I know of one player that has some understanding of how it works. I've been amused by the sketches people have drawn in their attempts to map the forest. The general hint is that the map is very predictable over "short" distances but WILDLY unpredictable over long distances, at least at first.

* Books can be read multiple times. It's possible to start the game with stats of 2 or 3 in various skills. Playtesters have in my experience seriously underestimated the value of books.

* Singing works multiple times. Every time you sing you get a "hint" and some other...uh...interesting stuff. Singing the song "all the way to the end" is an accomplishment in its own right. I came up with the song first and then designed the game around it.

* A key design decision was making it so that you could "role play" the game even though you had played it dozens and dozens of times. Atmospherically, tingalan "works" even if your strategy is to play over and over again until you figure out where stuff is and how the map works. The farther along you get in the game the more you'll understand this tip.

* You start the game in merch. If you search in Merch, you might unlock options that will dramatically change the game.

Even if I've never really reached a good ending.


* The current high score is still 38, MY high score is 45. There are ways to get "home" from the deeper parts of the forest but they are hard to find and rife with terrible dangers. If your score is zero, try doing a "coward's run" where you slip out into the forest, stay close to town, and the moment you find anything valuable you dash back.

Those links above should always go to the most current version of the game. I also uploaded it to my website here: http://www.theodidactus.com/tingalan/



The0didactus, can we expect a second release? Are you working on any other projects?


I made Tingalan largely because I knew I was going to toddle off to law school for three years and have no time to work on anything fun. Over winter break, I tried to release a 2.0 for Tingalan (The "Deeper Sky" expansion) which added two things I had always envisioned to be in the game, but didn't have time to implement in this version (canoeing and snowshoeing). However, I ran out of time. Someday I'll probably expand the game.

I am ALWAYS updating the game, so if you find glitches or bugs, please feel free to write me at Theodidactus@gmail.com or post them on this thread. I want it to be the best possible game.

Despite my pressing real-life concerns I AM working on two other ADRIFT text adventure games, which may come out in 2018:
* Skybreak, which might be functionally described as the exact opposite of Tingalan, in that you are a nearly invincible space hero who flies around the universe kicking monster hiney
and
* The Watchers, a "tactical" text based adventure game where you coordinate a squad of 5 semi-trustworthy individuals on a mission to investigate, and destroy, an alien menace that threatens to devour the universe. The twist here is that the titular "watchers" you've been sent to destroy are nearly omnipotent reality-twisting mad gods that can change the rules of the game at any time. I intend to make this game even more punishing than Tingalan, in that the game directly "plays" against you by changing the rules.
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Re: Tingalan

Postby Lumin » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:47 am

Huh. I downloaded the game awhile ago but confess I never actually got around to playing. I am definitely intrigued now. A lot of the stuff about wildly different playthroughs and role playing possibilities and discovering secrets sounds like something I've wanted to make for a long time, if only I weren't terminally unfocused when it comes to that kind of thing.
Last edited by Lumin on Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tingalan

Postby The0didactus » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:53 pm

Lumin wrote:Huh. I downloaded the game awake ago but confess I never actually got around to playing. I am definitely intrigued now. A lot of the stuff about wildly different playthroughs and role playing possibilities and discovering secrets sounds like something I've wanted to make for a long time, if only I weren't terminally unfocused when it comes to that kind of thing.


I did a ton of debugging in early december as players found problems, so if you want to play again, I'd advise downloading a new one from that link up there.
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Re: Tingalan

Postby Lumin » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:44 pm

1.0 from your site is the newest, right? A friend is about to play so I just want to make sure she's got the right one.

The version on the games list here says September...although it may be the site just displays the original date no matter what.
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Re: Tingalan

Postby The0didactus » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:22 pm

Lumin wrote:1.0 from your site is the newest, right? A friend is about to play so I just want to make sure she's got the right one.

The version on the games list here says September...although it may be the site just displays the original date no matter what.



Yeah it's called 1.0 even though I've updated it many times, oh well.

...at any rate, the one on the ADRIFT site is from September. Since that upload people have spotted a number of small glitches that I fixed.


Good luck out there!
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Re: Tingalan

Postby Lumin » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:36 pm

I won't be home to give it a try till later tonight, but I've got an IRC client running on my phone and from the sound of it you're making a blind girl in Slovenia very happy right now.
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Re: Tingalan

Postby Lumin » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:25 am

First playthrough: Death by platypus. None of the weapons I had did anything against it and I couldn't run fast enough. Also ran into wolves, elves, and had a few strange encounters with spirits. One of them led me off to a lake and got me lost in the first place but I found a road after that and was hoping following it in the better repaired direct would get me back to town...unfortunately I slipped and fell in a river and got washed off somewhere new.

I wrote down one of the memories I unlocked which seems to be a route to a sawmill my first love disappeared to. I'm going to try following it on the next playthrough and see what happens.

So far the oddest thing in a game full of odd things is that my character voluntarily went out into this nightmare wood in search of something as mundane as treasure to cash in for money.


The friend I sent the link to played a few hours I know but went to bed while I was still at work, I'll have to ask her for a trip report in the morning. Although I've been trying to get her to make an account here anyway.
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Re: Tingalan

Postby The0didactus » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:09 am

Lumin wrote:First playthrough: Death by platypus. None of the weapons I had did anything against it and I couldn't run fast enough.

The Platypus is legit one of the hardest monsters in Tingalan. That also means you got pretty deep into the forest.

Also ran into wolves, elves, and had a few strange encounters with spirits. One of them led me off to a lake and got me lost in the first place but I found a road after that and was hoping following it in the better repaired direct would get me back to town...unfortunately I slipped and fell in a river and got washed off somewhere new.



Books of folk tales will help up your wits, which will make it easier to run from platypuses and keep your balance. Wolves are...uh...really unpleasant. Actually there's not much in Tingalan that IS pleasant.

I wrote down one of the memories I unlocked which seems to be a route to a sawmill my first love disappeared to. I'm going to try following it on the next playthrough and see what happens.

Tell me how that turns out. It might take more than one playthrough.


So far the oddest thing in a game full of odd things is that my character voluntarily went out into this nightmare wood in search of something as mundane as treasure to cash in for money.

anyone figure this one out? Anyone?
Play long enough and you might find out :)

The friend I sent the link to played a few hours I know but went to bed while I was still at work, I'll have to ask her for a trip report in the morning. Although I've been trying to get her to make an account here anyway.


I'm happy I made someone happy.
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Re: Tingalan

Postby Lumin » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:50 pm

Wits seem important, and also I was constantly regretting the lack of a candle and matches. I'm going to correct all that my next run.

Interesting that I wound up so deep, although I think it was mainly by 'luck.' That river must have swept me along pretty far.

Before that I encountered a couple of milestone markers (93 and 11) but no idea if they even referred to the town.

I guess I should make a new thread for compiling these little trip reports though, don't want to flood this one with possible spoilers. But if others can pitch in with their own experiences we just might figure this stuff out.
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Re: Tingalan

Postby Mayana » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:03 pm

I'm the friend that Lumin was talking about. I'd like to thank you for making this amazing game, I'm having a lot of fun playing it. Sure, it's evil and confusing and doesn't like me, but I'm sure I'll win eventually. :) I love the atmosphere. The writing is excellent and the sounds are a nice touch. I find something new on every playthrough, I doubt I'll ever find everything.
On my first playthrough, I was immediately cursed with bad luck. After picking up the items, I sat beside the fire with a book in my hands and started reading, to no doubt learn a lot from it.
"You read nonsense poems about peacock pie and talking fish. You learn very little. You have finished this book." Um, or maybe not. I went straight south from Merch, and yet managed to eventually arrive back. Then I just wandered around in random directions stabbing some wolves and ghouls along the way, meeting a quite sad fellow that gave me the skin of his dead lover and another one that wanted my stuff, like forest version of the bully that wants your lunch money. I eventually reached the edge of the wood and ... lived happily ever after. :P
The second time I decided to take a candle with me, since it seemed useful. But when I decided to go explore some wagon, it died on the first turn, and all I got as a reward was a terror. Then I followed the road east and into the mountains, which went quite well, but I eventually became too scared to continue.
The third time I decided to follow the road west, but eventually came to a room that I remembered being on the east side. I continued west, then north, where I found a manor. I typed "explore manor", which didn't work because I forgot the word "the", but it still counted as a turn and my candle died. I went back to the road, east once, which somehow got me to a new place, then back west, where I found the edge of the wood again. The navigation here is confusing.
Well, off to play some more. Thanks again!
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Re: Tingalan

Postby Lumin » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:15 pm

Hey May, glad you decided to post. :)

Okay, so there is consistently in how the rooms connect up. I found a very quick way to get to the edge of the wood by going a specific direction from town and then back and forth a bit, and another area in another direction from town that starts to loop once the woods grow deeper. It's just going to be a matter of continuing to play and taking very very careful notes I believe.

Of course finding a way BACK from the deeper woods is another matter entirely, but I assume these routes have to exist somewhere...

Anyway, funniest run I had so far was in encountering cultists directly to the east the moment I stepped out of town, and being sent to a place of great and terrible power. (Where I immediately did something very dumb and terrible things happened.)

E: edit to remove spoilers because I'm sure my post would be enraging someone somewhere. I have been out of the loop with IF communities for awhile, kind of forgot that that was sacrilege.

I may make a thread for this over at ChooseYourStory this weekend. Well...I could do it today, but I want May and I to have a little bit of a head start on anyone else who tries it out
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Re: Tingalan

Postby The0didactus » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:00 pm

Mayana wrote:I'm the friend that Lumin was talking about. I'd like to thank you for making this amazing game, I'm having a lot of fun playing it. Sure, it's evil and confusing and doesn't like me, but I'm sure I'll win eventually. :) I love the atmosphere. The writing is excellent and the sounds are a nice touch. I find something new on every playthrough, I doubt I'll ever find everything.


This is great to hear! I hope you win eventually.

The third time I decided to follow the road west, but eventually came to a room that I remembered being on the east side. I continued west, then north, where I found a manor. I typed "explore manor", which didn't work because I forgot the word "the", but it still counted as a turn and my candle died.


This is a bug that I'll fix over the weekend. I always try to make commands so that you don't need to type "the"...I guess I forgot on this one. :blush:
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Re: Tingalan

Postby The0didactus » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:05 pm

Lumin wrote:Of course finding a way BACK from the deeper woods is another matter entirely, but I assume these routes have to exist somewhere...

Because A LOT of my early players gave up and ragequit because of this, I will say, to give you guys hope, that there are multiple ways back, and one very important way that
1) is in the same place every time
and
2) always works

There are two ways to win:
1) type "wait until dawn" in Merch, and only in merch


or


2) survive 2 encounters that cause time to pass. (They will say "time passes" or something to that effect). These are generally rare and/or difficult to access.




There is, additionally, one way to end the game in a draw, but it is well hidden.
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