"The Strangler" - Attemping a point-and-click adventure


Mattias Gustavsson:
This past month (July) I've been participating in a challenge, to make a game in a month, using any technology and tools. The only restriction was the theme: Justice. And even that was open to interpretation.

I saw this as an opportunity to practice a bit of game design and, more importantly, telling a story, so I decided to make some sort of classic point-and-click. I used my game engine Pixie, and the coding was quite straightforward, but it was rather difficult to come up with what was to happen in the game.

To make it a bit more interesting, I decided to try and make it in a bright and happy visual style, while keeping the story itself a bit more dark and sinister. There was something about those two conflicting ideas that appealed to me.

Anyway, I'd like to share the end result here - and it would be great to hear any thoughts you have about it, and especially ideas for improvements. But keep in mind that I only had a month to make it, so it is definitely not as polished as it could be. I'm still very happy with it though :D

The game can be downloaded here  (for windows, but should run on Linux through Wine):


Might as well post some screenshots from it too:

The name of the game is "The Strangler", and is about Tom O'Reilly, Private Investigator:

The game starts with you, playing as O'Reilly, getting a visit...

... from a lady who has a case for you - to find out if her husband is a killer.

So you have to hit the streets in a search for clues, but you're not very popular with the local PD:

There's a couple of cut-scenes in the game, giving you another perspective on what's happening:

I didn't have time to  add much interactive dialogue (so that's something I'll be adding over the next couple of weeks). But there's a little of it at least:

When you discover a new location, you get a marker on a map, which is used to move around in the game:

I had to come up with a bunch of characters for the game. Ten of them in total.

As I only had a month to do it, and everything took longer than expected (especially the animations), I didn't have time to do the last scene of the game - so instead I just added a quick little thing to mark the end of what I had done:

I will try and continue working on this, and add more dialogue, a few more puzzles and the missing scene. One thing I'd like to have is different responses for everything you try to interact with, instead of always the same "I can't do that now".

If you do try it out, please let me know what you think :-)

Richard Marks:


Will let you know my thoughts on it after I play it :D


OK, my first impression after starting the exe is

This is going to be awesome

This game was great. Small, but great.
I love the graphics style, the animations were smooth and very expressive.
I love the music and the interactivity of the scenes.

I wish there were more puzzles to solve and more to actually DO, and I wish there were more dialogue throughout.

I really look forward to you completing this game!
Great work as always Mattias!

Mattias Gustavsson:
Thanks  :D

Actually, I found it quite hard to come up with puzzles for this - I guess it is more of an interactive story at the moment. But I shall keep trying :-)

Also, I've made a video showing how I make characters for the game (as usual, using Poser):

Mattias Gustavsson:
I've finished the last scene, and added some more "look at" descriptions:


I'm calling this DONE now.

Also, I finally took the time to zip up the source code and upload it, for those who are interested in how I went about it:


It includes both the code for the engine and the code for the game, but not the data-files for the game (you'd have to get them from the games zip file). The code is public domain. The source code for the game itself is not particularly pretty - time limitations meant doing quite a few nasty hacks. But sometimes it can be fun to see that other people hack their code too, so I'm releasing it as is :-)

Mattias Gustavsson:
So, after putting it off for a while, I've finally captured a movie of a play-through of the game:



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