The first-year students of Creajeux,
a French school that specializes in game design, have released another game,
with Gurvy (a Verger who made Menolly and LIFE) as one of the teachers.
I have to apologize, because this announcement comes a couple weeks later than intended.
I think that Creajeux has been extremely patient with us, considering the delay.
But without further ado, I'd like to present Creajeux's latest
release, Pistil Panik!
The story of game revolves around a Pistil, who is on a mission to save the world.
To do that, the Pistil must travel across dangerous territories,
and it makes friends with a variety of different insects who help it
towards the goal of the fertile soil. This game mixes different genres
of gameplay (plus bonus games), and features colorful backdrops, environmental
effects and cutscenes.
...Yes, that's right. Cutscenes. Their game uses a customized version of Verge
(based on the May 2010 release). Their full modifications include
stable AVI movie playback (used for the game's intro and ending FMVs),
a new collision system with spline paths for NPC movement,
and maps larger than 2048*2048 tiles through use of a custom map editor tool.
The game is by default in French, but no fear, there are bilingual settings. The
English translation is not the greatest, but it is forgivable given the native language
of the people making the game. Aside from the grammatical errors of the translation,
I think that the story was still communicated okay.
Each of the different insects that helps you along the way has their own unique controls
and gameplay style. Each character has their own distinct abilities, such as pushing objects,
jumping, flying, or emitting their own light source. Solve puzzles, help NPCs on quests, and
explore different maps. Traps and enemies cause instant defeat, so you need to
move with caution to avoid a Game Over, especially since checkpoints are sometimes sparsely placed. This
can be frustrating at times, so be patient.
Each character has their own chapter, and upon completion, the Pistil is passed along to the
next character. Once a chapter has been reached, it can be loaded instantly from the game's title
screen, keeping progress and allowing you to return to the game later.
There are 4 chapters in total.
Oh, and keep your eyes open, there is a minigame hidden in each chapter of the game!
(4 minigames total) One of the games is capable of saving high scores on a remote server.
(You will need WinRAR or similar to extract RAR files, and the DivX codec for the game's cutscenes.)
When you read the credits, you'll see that there were lots of people behind this
project. And to be honest, it shows.
They even have some development photos for the game's production, which they've shared. You can
see the students working on various parts of the game, as well as a couple shots of their playtesting. Neat!
Gurvy has said that he hopes to write a 'making of', which will describe what went into the overall design for the graphics,
and how they integrated with and modified Verge to suit their needs. He also told me that we can expect to hear about the next Creajeux
project, which will be sort of like Ecco the Dolphin (Genesis, Game Gear, etc) and EVO (SNES). Sounds cool.
As a lot of work went into all this, the Creajeux students and teachers would greatly appreciate any comments you have on
the game. So if you have any comments or reviews for them, please feel free to leave them here.