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A Tale of Two Games

IndieMonth | 277d ago
User blog

From Cat

Do you feel like dying today? Would it be best if you could die over and over again in a dungeon setting? I feel pretty confident that the answer is a resounding, “Yes, please!” and so I give you Ernesto RPG. Or at least the first iteration of Ernest RPG.

Daniel Benmergui is an Argentinian developer that appreciates the value of a well-leveled character. You play as Ernesto in pursuit of defeating the dungeon god on level 4. “Level 4” doesn’t sound that far off until you fall about a half-dozen times to lethal bats. Stinking bats.



Cautious play in pursuit of better weapons and experience is rewarded as you battle spiders and aforementioned stinking bats, avoid traps and survive tunnels. Collect crystal balls to reveal traps, loot corpses, and pretty please acquire a whip so you can tackle snakes without being poisoned every. Darn. Time. Above all: plan. As you progress you leave an uncompromising red trail that cannot be crossed. Backtracking, however, is allowed for the living - at the cost of all loot and XP gathered on that path.

This free version of the game is the result of a week-long project that provided a much-needed break for Benmergui from the long-running work on the anticipated Storyteller. “...Ernesto tapped into an original idea: what happens if a crawler moves just in a grid instead of the usual labyrinth?”, Benmergui wondered, and seeing the value of that idea he is expanding Ernesto into a larger scale game. Identifying and building on these unexplored nooks and crannies of gaming is more than just a proclivity for Benmergui, it’s the core of his game design.



What if there was a living comic book that told the story of adventure, love and loss - and you were in control? Then you’d have Benmergui’s Storyteller in a nutshell. Storyteller is a game with goals, but without right or wrong moves, a game where you can successfully save or sever, help or hinder, spinning out the fictional world just by moving characters in, out and around a panel.


Storyteller is my attempt at making stories themselves a toy and a challenge.”-Benmergui Read the full interview here: http://n4g.com/user/blogpos...

Each panel presents a setting, a story objective, and a modest choice of characters and dialogue options. Each of those characters is predisposed towards certain attributes - hamartia, even - and hovering over their avatar displays both their trait (of loving faithfully, for example) and their option in the scene as is (“commits suicide”). Moving the characters in, out and around panels alone or with one another yields different narrative results. Add an object like a treasure chest to the scene and the adjacent character will not only be affected (wealth!), placing an additional character nearby can result in emotions like jealousy - and actions like murder. Characters are dynamic, too - extremely dynamic. Dynamic like Tim can turn into a vampire.



Deepening the game of plot progression are Stars, which are handed out for different achievements within a level. For example, can you successfully rearrange a series of events but still get the desired result? Will Adam be alone and heartbroken because his beloved has died, or because she chose another man? Both will net you a Star, and Benmergui allows the player to toy with fates in-panel without sacrificing the previously achieved solution.

If comic books are your preferred reading, you have an edge going into Storyteller. Conventions that you take for granted in the space where art and dialog meet are key pieces to successfully completing panels with the natural economy found in comics. It’s an art in itself. It’s, well, storytelling - and if it sounds overly simple then I’m not telling it right. With an open-ended approach to solving each panel’s narrative puzzle, the same story can be told in numerous ways delivering a game based on the art of storytelling that accepts each player’s unique yarn spinning style.

And that's Benmergui's style through and through - a deceptively simple mechanic, an almost supernaturally engaging game.

Storyteller demo: http://www.kongregate.com/g...
Ernesto RPG demo: http://www.kongregate.com/g...



Day 23 | Daniel Benmergui

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MrxDeath  +   277d ago
storyteller looks great !!
like i said i love pixel art ! ::3
Derekvinyard13  +   277d ago
Storyteller is coming along very nicely, keep up the good work
nunley33  +   277d ago
Both look like great fun, nice read
XtraTrstrL  +   277d ago
He's got a different formula to his gameplay design.
ShadowWolf712  +   277d ago
Okay, DEFINITELY interested in Storyteller now.
RexDD  +   277d ago
Wow Storyteller seems like a really fun and creative game! I wasn't interested in it before, but now I have to give it a shot.
Budobear  +   277d ago
Storyteller looks and sounds very interesting, though I'm still a little confused about the game play from Ernesto. I couldn't get any clues from the images really. I do like the sound of having to carefully plan your route through the dungeon though.
oasdada  +   277d ago
Both games look different but unique.. ima try the demo
SpeedDemon  +   277d ago
I could see myself playing Storyteller.
Monster_Tard  +   277d ago
Keep up the good work, both games look great.
CrimsonAzure  +   277d ago
This looks very unique.
LukeFair  +   277d ago
I like the twist that Ernesto gives to the dungeon-crawler games and I already added Storyteller to my personal list of most anticipated games.

This developer, with those two titles and the past one "Today I Die!, has great ideas and brings innovation to game industry, a thing that is really needed nowadays. So Daniel, you have all my support for your future games!
dictionary  +   277d ago
Ok, you got my attention
Jeice  +   277d ago
The pixel art just takes me back to the late 90s when I played game like the Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda on Gameboy.
mmofanatic  +   277d ago
The storyteller demo has a link but there is no link to the complete game? Is it still in development?
danielben  +   277d ago
Yes! Both games are still in development! Ernesto should be out this year, though.
mmofanatic  +   277d ago
Ok thanks.
shadowvisa  +   277d ago
okay I'm interested
rambi80  +   277d ago
The merger of comics and video games is a fantastic idea. Will be interesting to see how this goes
pyrocloud7  +   277d ago
Storytellers art style reminds me of DLC Quest, and that is in no way depressing.
Emilio_Estevez  +   277d ago
These both sound really interesting, Ima have to check em out when I'm at home.
Disagree  +   277d ago
both seem interesting wouldn't mind trying them out at some point.
MisterAV  +   277d ago
The game itself seems very good, the only thing I don't like is the name, "Ernesto RPG" XD
danielben  +   277d ago
My friend Ernesto is not happy about this comment :)
BiggCMan  +   277d ago
I hope all these games this month get nice exposure!
Caffo01  +   277d ago
they seem fun, i might try the demos..
Fullmetalevolust  +   277d ago
I can see myself play Storyteller, matter of fact, I will try the demo. I like the comicbook feel to it, or comic strip rather.
Ernest RPG has little appeal, but I'll check it out before I make a final decision.
Cat  +   277d ago
Be warned - it's short. :)
Fullmetalevolust  +   276d ago
You know Ernest RPG, kinda won me over...it is again, a case of...spoken too soon! lol
Cat  +   276d ago
It's great :) (and it's great you can be won over!)
HammadTheBeast  +   277d ago
Seems like a dungeon crawler Dark Souls lol. Definitely has my interest.
dedicatedtogamers  +   277d ago
Ernesto RPG looks sweet, kind of a Rogue game.
Cat  +   277d ago
Spot on
FITgamer  +   277d ago
So when is the release date?
Cat  +   277d ago
No final dates for either, but you can expect Ernesto RPG later this year
xHeavYx  +   277d ago
Looking forward to try this game
Th4Freak  +   277d ago
Looks fun.
gobluesamg  +   277d ago
He made Ernesto RPG in a week? That's insane.
randomass171  +   273d ago
Agreed, that is unbelievable especially considering the amount of time most games take to develop.
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