The Allure of Wanton Cove
This is a lovecraftian horror game. My writing style has little in common with H.P. Lovecraft, so instead I am approaching the story from more of a Noir style. That said, this story is intended to be the same kind of horror. Its meant to capture both the dark and hopeless terror and to share in the Cthuhlu Mythos.
If you like the game, please click "Like this game" or make a small pledge over on Patreon, as it gives me some idea of how many people are actually interested in the project!
This game includes two builds at any given time:
The Patreon build, which includes the same content as the public build with the exception of a cheat menu in the protagonist's room that allows you to adjust stats, add money, add taint/depravity/mutation, for the sake of making it easier to explore the game's content.
The Public build which is the most recent content for the game in its entirity.
"Liking" a game is a great way to show an author support, and many of us use it as a way of guaging support for our games. If you enjoy someone's game, take a moment to show a little support for the author, and the game, but clicking "Like this game."
New build includes about 8k words of new content, bringing the game up to roughly 154k words of content. Please check the Patreon page for full changelog.
Quickfix for broken cave. Updated the downloads at the source, so the .7 links will stiill take you to the most recent build.
Fixed some lingering issues with the cave and a bug in Tanya's dialogue. This will be the last fix before the next official build unless something completely game breaking cropps up.
You're a washed up ex-detective, living your life one bottle at a time when your old partner and estranged friend comes knocking. His son has gone missing, the police wont persue the case, and he's run out of leads, so he comes looking to call in an old favor.
You hear him out, even if you have no intention of helping him out. But then he offers you the only clue he has to the whereabouts of his son. A hand written letter with a return address of Wanton Cove, the very name of which dregs up memories of the last horrible case you worked, a case that was never solved.
Not an actual walkthrough, but more how to get the most out of this game:
-Turn the lights out and play this game at night when its dark outside.
-Play some scary music, like a soundtrack from Silent Hill, or let run the ambient sounds from a horror game. Set the music soft so that you can hear it just over the sound of your breathing.
Disclaimer: I'm sorry if I mention or suggest something you intend to add, or have already taken into consideration. And keep in mind that all of my recommendations are low priority "quality of life" style fixes. I'm not implying that any of them are required, easy, or even smart.
Your prose is a little brief and uncomfortable, but it gets better as the game progresses, and uniquely suits your style of transformation. Vocabulary is limited, and the character's observations are sometimes repetitive, however, for a work styled after noir it serves nicely. This is the only story I've read where the default SugarCube theme is actually quite fitting. You condense most text and decisions into one screen, and for most passages, you don't have to scroll to see all of the text. Those things alone push this into A++ teritory - the fact that you exhibit at least a basic level of competence, a basic grasp of mystery, and a basic grasp of smut puts you soundly above most other authors. If you plan on developing any more games after this, I would definitely try to keep a similar combination of the themes you're working on here.
The goo is an ingenious idea, and you should pat yourself on the back for it - in all of the areas around Wanton Cove, it's perhaps the single most unifying element, confronting the player blatantly with most of the story's ideas. Aspects like that reinforce the idea that there is a mystery, rather than just a collection of coincidences. Similarly, the mysterious tome discovered in the church is a brilliant tool. In general, if you have a prop that the player acquires, I would suggest using it more often - it's like the bomb-bag in Zelda or the different doors in Metroid - the player finds it very naturally satisfying to use items, even if you think it might make puzzles transparent or repetitive.
Going back to areas actually does something. In normal games backtracking isn't fun, because you have to walk for five minutes, and inevitably you miss something you might regret. In text games, the more consistent the setting is, the more comfortable the player is with taking risks and solving challenges - this is because the next area is just a click away. Not only that, but the player only sees what you want them to see, so they aren't confronted with their missed opportunities.
The way the transformation interrupt scenes are handled is brilliant. I like that it shows you the transformation in bits and pieces, or in the case of a large taint gain, in larger chunks, especially because of how seamless it seems on the surface. I really hope you do something more interesting with the fight scenes.
I understand, even after reviewing this, that you seem to be designing the game with the latter half of the content already in mind, so I apologize if I'm just telling you to do things you have already thought about. I tried to avoid that, but there are some criticisms that come naturally with an alpha build. And there are a lot of things I critiqued that you really have no chance of fixing. With how many words you've already written, going back and tightening your prose to Watsonian levels is out of the question. Likewise, major changes to the code base is something you can only do with a fresh restart, so while I could help with your technique, there is little point in making you worry about it.
Good luck with the later updates. I will leave you with some praise:
The Allure of Wanton Cove boasts one of the most cohesive themes I've read on this website to date. It does not struggle with overambition, it does not feel unbalanced or intimidating, and because of this, it is the most interesting mystery I've seen in a while. It speaks wonders for the game's quality that I can say this about it even when it is unfinished and broken. This kind of story is the thing that I wade through miles of poorly written dreg for. I encourage you to write more - to find that extra scrap of motivation and capitalize on it, without worrying whether or not you are making good work.
Thank you for the heads up, as well as the PM. I appreciate your insights and the time you must have invested digging through the ugly coding I do. Looking into it now and hope to have a new build up in the morning.
Thank you for the review. I'm glad that you're enjoying the game so far.
The white goo is not bird shit, . . . And at present, day two presents the last of the new content, and only part of the day two content at that. Most of the development so far has been related to the mechanical and filler ends of things, meaning that nearly all future content will be story driven in nature. There are presently five scenes remaining to be written for day 2, and if all goes well, the update that completes day 2 should be out by year's end.
As for secondary TFs, there is actually a second TF mechanic planned for the game. Since the catalyst for that secondary TF does not appear until day 4, the material associated with that TF will wait until that time as well.
Keep your eyes on the game's discussion thread for updates. When there is news about progress towards an update, or when there is new updates, that information will become available there.
First, thank you for the flattering review. I'm very happy that you have enjoyed the story thus far. I hope that the story can continue to live up to your expectations as it continues to grow.
As for the Save function, there is a "Saves" option in the sidebar on the left hand side of the screen beneath the story related information. You should be able to click on that at any time, then choose the save option in the save slot you want to use. If you want to save over an old save, you first delete the old save, then save over the same slot. You should be able to save at any time during the game.
And just for a heads up, its looking increasingly likely that I'll be releasing a small content/major mechanical, update in the next week.
Thank you for the feedback and the generally good review. I enjoyed reading it very much.
I'd love to see you drop by the discussion thread for this game and share some of your thoughts and impressions in more detail.
About the NPCs, there's a lot of work to be added to several of them still. A few are starting to flesh out, while others are pretty bare bones still. Rest assured that I intend to make them all significantly more fleshed out as the game continues to grow. (And yes, some of them, in their current version, ARE just there for the clues they can provide. ;) )
Thank you for the feedback on the TF elements as well. I'd love to hear which descriptions you feel are a little lacking so I can go back and give them another look, and possibly a rewrite. I also just made a note for myself to go back and check out the "You" descriptions to see if I can make any improvements there.
Thank you again for the review and feedback. Its appreciated.
Its Chrome. Chrome made some changes in their most recent update that is causing Twine games to not run properly. To the best of my knowledge, the only ways around this is to click the "Play in Browser" button on the database page, or to run it in a different browser.
At this point in time, you should receive ambient events fairly regular as you explore Wanton Cove. That said, there are only a couple of story related events written into the story so far. Up to this point in development, most of the work that has gone into the game has been mechanical and/or filler material in preparation of the real work. Starting with the next update, the bulk of all new content will have a heavy emphasis on story driven content.
PS: Thank you for expressing your concern, but in the future, it may be more appropriate to make that kind of post in the game discussion thread, clearly labeled on the left hand of your screen, where it can be addressed in amore fitting setting. After all, this area is for "Reviews" not for "I'm unsure if I'm missing something, can someone help?"
Actually, the skills were used fairly extensively in the .10 update. While the game doesn't mention when a skill gets used, they can often affect how scenes play out. Sometimes in subtle ways, and sometimes in obvious ways. For example: Perception scores will affect how much you notice about a scene, or how much of someone's body language you pick up on. Your Brawn score affects if you are able to break the Church door to get in, or if you just embarrass yourself.
Every skill except Firearms and Occult saw use in this version, may of those multiple times.
I'm really glad you're enjoying the game, and thank you for the review!
@ Shoggoth on the Roof,
Dont worry, there will be plenty of tentacles by the time I'm done.
Note: Currently, the Tanya passage seems to be broken. No errors are bought up in the console, and the id's match. It seems to be a failed value check :) Hope it helps :)
Anyone else having problems with the Overgrown Park?
Everytime I go into it, it doesn't give me an option to leave, so I have to hit back.
Otherwise a fun game.
I love this game, please keep updating, thank you.