M1 – A surprise release from Dracula’s Cave
Another game? So soon? You’d be forgiven for thinking I’ve gone mad, but I’m here to tell you about a project that goes much further back than Lion Quest. This is the story of a visual novel I’ve been making on-and-off (mostly off) for the last six years, and M1: A Death in the Desert is finally available for download.
When M wakes up in an abandoned hotel he has no memory of how he got there. In the bedside draw he finds a list with three names and a gun with three bullets, but what he does with this information is up to you. Embark on a violence-soaked post-apocalyptic adventure where the answers to your questions come at a price. How far will you go to discover the truth?
For more information on M1 might I refer you to the game’s itch.io page here. From her you can download it for Windows, Mac and Linux for as little as £0.00 (but do hurry, this bargain price is for a limited time only). Not only does this lovely page promote M1, but if you install it through the client you’ll even receive updates – and there will probably be quite a lot of these as I’m sure that the game is still riddled with spelling mistakes.
The truth is that I can’t play the game for more than five minutes without wanting to add things or make tiny little changes, and this is the main reason that it’s never seen the light of day – even though almost all of the assets were made in their entirety back in 2012. Recently I’ve come to realise that I’m never going to be fully happy with M1, but it’s an interesting game and one I’d like people to enjoy.
Oh, and before you shout ‘Why should I play a game that’s FIVE years old?’ here’s a list of the new 2017-y features and improvements:
–All art and assets lovingly re-sized for high definition. I would say more effort went into this than for most HD remakes, but I’m really good with Photoshop actions so maybe not.
–New menus and all-new title screen. You’ll have to look at this every time you want to play the game so you’ll sure appreciate this.
–Serious legibility improvements. You’ll never have to endure the pixely mess of a font I was using before.
–Improved scene transitions, working sound effects, mountains of rewritten dialogue, entirely new conversations and countless other enhancements.
A Few Final Odd Thoughts
M1 feels exactly like the style of game I remember wanting to make five years ago, and it’s been a somewhat strange experience to finish (or attempt to finish) it now, especially when I contrast it with the different ideas I want to explore with games going forward. Still, there’s always a chance that I’ll revisit it someday – my programming knowledge was limited back in 2012 and the game’s status as an extremely simple visual novel reflects this. I’d love to add in a tonne of more advanced mechanics, but doing so would essentially require remaking the game from the ground up. Whilst I won’t say this will never happen, it certainly won’t be any time soon. It’s already taken years to get to this point.
Please enjoy M1 for what it is, and I will try and do the same.