Escape from... JayisGames?!


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Weekday Escape

Dora01/30/14: I am pleased to announced that Mateusz Skutnik will be creating our very first escape game within the next few months! :) We are still in the early planning stages, so please keep your suggestions coming.

Weekday Escape is making a comeback, but this week we want to get your input on something special. We know you guys like finding your way out of things. You lock yourselves in cat carriers and beach bungalows, balconies and dungeons, and many, many more, all the way back to the very first game of its kind featured here on the site, Viridian Room in 2004. There's just something about a locked door that gets you guys excited, and hey, we understand... even after that time we came back to the office after that long weekend and found you trapped in the JiG breakroom, trying desperately to cobble keys and puzzles out of FunYuns and instant coffee pods. I mean, it was weird... but we understand. (Whoever ate all my spinach Hot Pockets, though, you still owe me $2.76.)

Which leads us to this. We want to approach a developer to make an official JayisGames escape game, and we want you to tell us what you'd want to see in it! What sort of theme would you like.... scary or relaxing? Funny or weird? Maybe you want a story... or maybe you'd just rather be confronted with a devious mix of puzzles, no narrative needed? Do you want it hard as nails, or more of a comfortable ride? Maybe there's a certain type of puzzle you love... or just one you'd love to see set on fire. Either way, now is the time to let us know. We're looking to get feedback and suggestions on what you love (and hate!) to see in escape games, and what you think would make a JayisGames themed escape perfect. We'll take your ideas and suggestions (and give credit where credit is due, of course!) and approach a talented escape developer to craft it for us... maybe you even have your fingers crossed for it to be someone specific?

We're looking to make a JayisGames Escape with fans, for fans, so sound off in the comments and help us brainstorm the very best escape game we can!

96 Comments

brian.j.sanders Author Profile Page January 15, 2014 4:15 PM

Steampunk!

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The whole main game takes place in an alternative universe that you can only access via a Giant Tilty Corner Painting of DOOOOOM!!!

Steampunk also sounds good :-)

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well i would love if it was similar in scale to, for example, Vision. Steampunk would be cool.

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Always been a fan of Mateusz Skutnik. Causal and quirky are a good combination, IMHO.

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I'd love to see an homage to some of the greatest escape games JiG has featured. So maybe you start off looking for little running men. Then the next room is a creepy and terrifying house. Then the room with three cats. Then a quirky art style, possibly with tiny gnomes or coins to collect. And so on.

(BTW, for inexplicable reasons, my efforts to log into the site failed, and efforts to get my password reset failed. E-mail claims to have been delivered but wasn't.)

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I was thinking you guys could go nostalgic, but the coolest early escapers were all about

dying

and that's kind of a bummer. Still, a nod to the heyday seems moot.

There's the cuteness of Petithima / Kotorinosu (precursor Orange Biscuit) but I would prefer the quick boom of cuteness as with

Lights.

(Please don't make it all puzzles. If I want a Happy Coin, I know where to get that.)

+1 for Vision-like. It created its own language of symbols, and it all *fit* together, logically and visually. But really the best part of JiG is the sheer wackiness lurking just behind the curtain, so I'd love to see more of that. Actually that might end up more Dr. Stanley's House, heh heh.

There is one thing I really love that some people hate... it's when part of the game is figuring something out about the interface, i.e. playing with expectations. Pixel Room is kind of the pinnacle of that (precursor Loom Dawn), but it's got history, like with that piece of string in Daymare Town or the endgame of Room Marine. I can't quite recall the handful of games that do this, but there are always comments that it's totally unfair, ahhhh! Except I see it as innovating the meta. Like we all assume it's a wastebasket. We all assume this key opens a door. We all assume the inventory works only one way. Don't accept the paradigm, man. I really want to see the meta that's entirely fair if one uses logic.

I really like orientation puzzles like Robamimi's Kids Room or Room Bath or Aquaflash's Another Side. Or the one note of Eskkapee. Though perhaps not as bad as Bird's Eye View.

One thing I would insist on, though, is if you have an inventory menu, for once put a ruler on it so we know the SIZE of objects. This is a feature sorely lacking in the genre, and is only rarely used as an actual game feature.

Bonus points if you can

make a puzzle that looks like a horrible Terminal House / Tonakai / Gotmail pixel hunt but it really isn't.

Though this might be all too deep, I wouldn't object to something like Crazy Doors of Rainbow Colors.

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Overall, the quality room escapes are about looking at a room, and really observing it. Most of us move in and out of rooms all our lives. A good escaper makes me want to get off the computer and tape a screwdriver to the top of my door lintel.

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Footnote. Re: my first spoiler. The flood of escape games on JiG at the very beginning were all obsessed with redefining the meaning of escape, in a period when everyone with a knowledge of flash and a free website was generating games.

Why escape? What did it really mean to escape?

Then Skutnik *truly* asked why even play an escape game, and the rest was history.

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My one humble request is that it not be done in Unity. More often than not, games made in Unity make me severely seasick. :'( 8-X

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I've always been a fan of multiple rooms/scenes, preferably with a relaxing mood and a lot of smart puzzles. Changing cursor is up to you, just avoid making it a pixelhunt. My favorite escapes would have to be the ones from Neutral, so maybe consider those as a model (especially puzzle/logic-wise)?

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Awesome idea!
In my opinion in the escape games there aren't knowledge questions,
something like a paint with the Beatles and the number "6", the password will be "HELP!"

Can be very interesting search the informations in wikipedia and google learning something of new and thinking outside the box

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I'm a fan of bigger, nay epic, such games. Hybridization, such that some puzzles are almost games in themselves, would rock. Visually rich games are hugely more satisfying, although I don't insist on photorealism... you know what I want? Myst. I want JIG-MYST.

If you include any pixel-hunting, I will hunt YOU down. ;)

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It would be nice if there isn't too much pixel hunting.

Also secret endings are awesome.

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@Schippor: I agree that'd make for some fun puzzling as I especially enjoy trivia games. On the other hand, outside of playing a trivia game, I worry that any puzzle requiring players to leave the game environment to search for an answer might spoil immersion. I've passed on reviewing games before for just that reason. But...maybe I'm worried for nothing?

@JODE: Secret endings are a favorite of mine, too! This is where I think more unusual tactics are fair to be used, also! Like having to...well.. I won't spoil just yet! You'll have to wait to see them in the game if they make it in. ;-)

@ray9na: I'm right there with you about Unity; I can't be a fan. But, it's a popular engine and, now and then, it turns out just right (such as this game by Bart Bonte) so it's not necessarily a 100% bad thing.

@everyone: This is fun! I'm excited!!

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Maybe it would be interesting to incorporate some puzzles or elements from the most popular games here on JiG.

Ofcourse it should also somehow feature the JiG logo, maybe to find hidden logos as a bonus feature, you could make it a combination of an escape game and hidden thingy game.

I would go for a casual theme, to appeal to the biggest audience. Not too dark, not too difficult (but definitely not too easy). Make the puzzles logical please, not too quirky. Hmmm, can I think of more.

I was thinking about something on the website. Maybe incorporate a search on the website for certain clues or answers to in-game puzzles?

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Shudog, I like your thinking! I know what you mean about thinking beyond the usual restraints and being meta. I think this escape from Mygames888 is the most recent example of that. Like you, I can't recall offhand so quickly the others...but now you've sent me on a quest to replay, getting me all nostalgic like that!

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black_jimmy Author Profile Page January 15, 2014 6:22 PM

I don't have anything particular to suggest, but just wanted to add that I think this is EXACTLY the kind of thing JIG should be doing more of - i.e. supporting talented developers to encourage them to produce the type of games that are popular on the site, and hopefully tempt them away from just making mobile games/apps. In light of the recent 'JIG finance' discussion maybe partnering with developers and comissioning projects for small fees could be a way forward. I imagine a lot of people here would be prepared to support the popular developers in producing 'exclusive-to-JIG' titles.

On that note, would like to see the JIG escape done by Neutral (ideally), Kotorinosu or Robamimi!

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ThemePark Author Profile Page January 15, 2014 6:25 PM

Well, you already have what I'd call a room escape game, but fair enough.

I'd say a good JIG game focus on casualness and quirkyness, two words that are the embodiment of the site. I too like the idea of extra endings, or somehow incorporating the JIG man. And I like rainmist's idea of a tribute.

But it's actually easier to say how it should NOT be. No pixel hunting. No illogical puzzles (and by that I mean where you have all the information, yet the answer can't be deduced by most or makes no sense, like 2+2=5. It HAS to be 4.). No unclear objects, we have to know just by looking at them what they are. And no pixel hunting. Seriously. Oh, and given that I've been playing REGs from here for years, while I don't mind them, I think it's obvious that 15 puzzles are banned.

And for the love of God, NO STEAMPUNK!

It might be an idea to make an easy and hard version, where the Easy version could for instance have descriptions of the objects when you click About, and those descriptions would have hints as to where to use them, as would the unpickable objects in the room, on Hard mode you're on your own. And it would be a good idea to use Tomatea's system of not letting the user try to solve a puzzle before he has all objects or have seen all information, I have been stuck in many a game because I didn't know what information I needed or whether or not I had it all.

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matt.slaybaugh Author Profile Page January 15, 2014 6:25 PM

There seem to be three distinct "schools" of Flash games: the Japanese (e.g. GotMail), the Eastern European (e.g. Amanita), and the Canadian/British/Australian/American (e.g. many of the rest?)

The Japanese style is the most constrained, usually taking place in one room, with very logical puzzles. The American style is most likely to involve side quests involving some dexterity games. The European games tend to be much richer in terms of atmosphere and story.

I wonder if it would be good to have three games: a canonical version of each of the three types.

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I hope you guys can make this project happen!

There's one thing I DON'T like about escape games, and that's letter/number codes where I have to click 500 times to spell out "WURT" or "8786".

So how about, no click-fest codes! (I have faith it can be done!)

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https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnDbcbPBbJ5dd9t4dxHYrh9RVRgfoQfK2o Author Profile Page January 15, 2014 7:00 PM

Since the start of my gaming experience, I've always loved the Myst series as well as Submachine. I would LOVE to see a game the likes of those!

Hey, why do people put holes in crackers? I've just been wondering about this and it seems so absurd!

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Cyberjar88 Author Profile Page January 15, 2014 7:53 PM

Those Hot Pockets were yours, Dora? Sorry about that. Being stuck in a room for hours on end tends to make me hungry. They weren't very good, though...

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nerdypants Author Profile Page January 15, 2014 7:53 PM

This is an excellent idea! Escape games have always been my favorite. I think the best games manage to balance use of your environment (screwdrivers, doors, etc.) with traditional puzzles. I also am a fan of multi-room escapes. It's always a rush when you discover a new area to explore.

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First of all, to be the perfect JiG escape game it would need to add a new room each week. Each room could have poster with a paid ad from whoever sponsored that room.

For aesthetics, I really loved the look of the Sometimes Sunny series.

For the rest of the questions, I'd suggest moderation in everything: a little humor, a little horror, a little illogic, a little meta, a bonus ending or two, etc.

And one very specific suggestion:

Once you find the screwdriver, you can use it to take apart the whole room, Dismantlement-style.

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Funny and weird are good, or fiendishly clever. It'd be really awesome if Detarou or Mateusz Skutnik could do it.

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I miss Aztecs' games.

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I would like tutorials that explain how to do an 'Escape' game.

I have the graphical 3D talent, but not the flash/programming skills.

The only tutorial I've found on the web is very, very basic.

Programming is relatively easy for those kind of games, so I thick that a complete tutorial would help.

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Hidden links to Jayisgames reviews when making references to things perhaps, and an official walkthrough on the Review of the Game of course!

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https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawn7OLIj_H72dXQOC-zM_JCUphdl3Mp-_b4 Author Profile Page January 15, 2014 10:07 PM

I really like 'thinking outside of the box' puzzles that are quite prominent in Noprops games, like the ending puzzles of 3 Small Keys and Small Room. Something like using a 'key' from a dismantled keyboard to unlock a door.

Then again, maybe not too nonsensical. I find Detarou's games, though absurdly funny, not very fun to play through (though I strangely enjoyed Crazy Doors of Rainbow Colors).

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I love Tesshi-e's games for the gorgeous visuals, but I don't often play them because I just don't find the puzzles all that intuitive (and I hate having to click the walkthrough...)

I'm not a big fan of the very dark themes -- part of "escape" for me is escaping the day for a few minutes, and the blood spatters and demonic elements are just too much like real life.

My favorite escape-game authors are Matteus Skutnik, because they're a little weird, and Ainars -- I don't think you've ever featured his games, but they're a nice balance -- not too hard, but you have to be paying attention to get out without resorting to the walkthrough. I especially like his series of games set in abandoned houses -- a little creepy, a lot interesting.

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No pixel hunting, please.

Logical puzzles that are accessible to all. If it is a color puzzle, have an option to make it easier on color-blind eyes. If it involves sound, have optional visual cues for the sounds. That way, everyone can enjoy the game.

I'm a HUGE fan of Mateusz Skutnik, especially the Submachine series. Puzzles based in logic and fantasy at the same time.

No random mix-and-match combining of objects to solve puzzles. Must have a reasonable and logical use for combined objects.

I'd like to see a full-screen option and to have an epic feel like the Myst series as well. To me, it needs to have a fleshed out story rather than the plot just being "You're trapped, get out."

I'd like to see something that involves changing to different viewpoints to get a different (ahem...) angle on the situation. For example, switch from first-person to top-down or isometric. And PLEASE include the player character in the game (bonus points if he/she is customizable) instead of the traditional Featureless Protagonist. For me, this gives a greater sense of immersion to the game.

Easter eggs or unlockable bonus content is an absolute must.

Not part of the actual game, but I'd really love to see a "making of" documentary about the process.

Regardless how it turns out, I'll be among the first in line to play and love it, because I can't get enough of room escape games.

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I've been playing these for quite some time and this is still one of the best so far (and there's a lot of crap out there)

https://jayisgames.com/archives/2012/12/sometimes_sunny_reverse.php

It succeeds in that it's mechanical, logical and it rewards success with animations and nice clean graphics. Anyway obviously you liked this one too.

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A JIG escape game would surely have to incorporate the following three things:

1. A red parrot sitting on a palm tree.

2 A crab on a beach.

3 A little man holding a huge gold key contemplating a huge gold lock on a dungeon door.

:)

And for this....

"Maybe there's a certain type of puzzle you love... or just one you'd love to see set on fire."

A slider puzzle. Except the tiles are stuck. So you throw it in the fireplace and burn it. (After collecting the firewood, matches, etc. and manage to build the fire, of course.)

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I love beautiful art in escape games. Skutnik does great work, as does Hyptosis, and the European folks doing Machinarium-type games.

I also like horror, though, for the storytelling aspects, and Psionic does that well.

I think Tomatea is my favorite of the Japanese designers. I really do NOT like Detarou. It's such a bleak aesthetic, with irritating puzzles.

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elerihamilton Author Profile Page January 15, 2014 11:36 PM

If I can see and reach something, I should be able to pick it up, even if it isn't used until later in the room.

Multi-use items, please. If I have a hammer that I use to break something, I shouldn't also need a crowbar to pull off nails (or, the ones that really drive me nuts- Heavy Object "A" must be used to bust through Solid Object "X", but you have to have Equally Heavy Object "B" to bust open Equally HEavy Object "Y")

For the love of Atrus, please think beyond 'Lights Out' 'Slider' and 'Towers of Hanoi' puzzles- one can only see so many of those before one wants to throttle devs.

Speaking of Atrus, if you get down to it, Myst really is a very complex Escape puzzle- you can get that level of detail into an escape game, it doesn't have to be a simple flash game.

Cursor change on active points should be a requirement.

And prettyprettypretty please, no moving/rotating/spinning/rushing backgrounds. Some of us would rather not have to take Dramamine, just to [play a game.

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My favourite escape game maker is Neutral... they are few and far between, but they are very well-crafted.

The one type of puzzle I would not want to see is a 'lights out' type of puzzle.

And I'd like to see a mini-version of a disassemble game in the escape game.

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Blue Nina Author Profile Page January 16, 2014 1:50 AM

I`m with swooning on:
Giant Tilty Corner Painting of DOOOOOM
An escape game just doesn't feel complete with a heavy-framed picture somewhere.
I loved the style of Mr. Skutnik`s "escape the house" games.
Could we please meet all the jayisgames reviewers in the game itself? I'd love to meet cartoon versions of Tricky, Dora, GrinnyP, Elle, all the other reviewers and of course Jay himself wandering around lost in their own game, possibly giving hints, or simply being a hindrance. Heck, the object could be to help the reviewers escape the game/room/house/whatever they are trapped in.
Personally, I like slider puzzles, but agree the background should NOT spin. and absolutely NO clowns.
Can you keep it family-friendly, so kids can play?
Please have a save button. Then you can make it as long as you like.
Oh, and can we please have a mini-golf game within the game as one of the puzzles? Just one hole with a windmill...
Ooh, I love when the game has a little map in the corner. If there are multiple lost reviewers ambling through the rooms, it may become necessary to have a map to keep track of them.
(This is turning into quite the wish list.)
Finally, please let us pick up stuff when we find it, rather than having to go back for it when we actually need it.

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I don't think I can face reading a wall of comments... not for a while at least.

I'd love to see some kind of labyrinthine escape game where all the different personalities of JiG are represented along with their favourite or token game genres. Since JiG is so diverse and all things to all people I'd like to see a few different styles. A Japanese RPG maker room and a Skutnik style room for example. In a perfect world it'd be awesome to see all the great designers contribute one level/room to make an epic JiG Escape and even though he sold the site I think everyone would like to see the real Jay featured in some way. Even if he's a maniac on a screen like jigsaw. HA! JiG-saw! Sigh.

Oh and Dora... in the Tardis... with ponies.

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Thought I had a while back while working on a puzzle for one:

The setting is a multi-story building, with every floor above the 1st set up to where you can look over a balcony down to the lower floors.

The center area of the bottom floor is covered in sporadic black and white tiles which, when viewed from the top floor, can be seen to make a QR code that you can scan with your cellphone for a clue to a puzzle.

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I like all the ideas!

Damn! If too much developers read the discussion, they will take the ideas for their own escape games :p

Just to say, we planned to launch this project some weeks ago, I mean there is no financial purposes behind except paying the developer and the art worker.

I give my word, this project will be achieved with the reward for the readers who participate into the discussion for having their names during the generic of the end.

And Weekday Escape is making a comeback with this project of a game for the wednesday of this week but for all who love escape games, you will find now Weekday escape every wednesday.

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Fred M. Sloniker Author Profile Page January 16, 2014 4:11 AM

I want the game to include a full-featured hint engine. Not a link to a Youtube video or something, but a button you can push and it'll say 'that painting looks interesting' or something. Some of the games you've featured have that, and it's a great way of avoiding frustration and trying to find some walkthrough.

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joojoolum Author Profile Page January 16, 2014 5:54 AM

i think it would be pretty sweet if all of the JiG team were trapped with you and they're all just hanging around watching you escape (maybe they could give hints if asked). and also please please please no horror (i get nightmares easily)

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ThemePark Author Profile Page January 16, 2014 6:12 AM

Sometimes Sunny Reverse is actually a fine example of how NOT to make puzzles. Many of them are pure illogical, counter intuituve or rely on better eyes than most people have. For instance:

That I need to turn the black bolt at the ceiling before being able to turn the other black bolt. That might've been obvious if there wasn't also a keyhole next to the black bolt on the wall. Thus I think "Okay, I need to find a key to unlock that bolt so I can turn it. But I can't find a key anywhere"

"Okay, so now I've found a key part. Which means there must be two halves and I need to find the other one so I can combine them and use in one of the keyholes. Just to be sure I'll try my half in both keyholes. Nope, doesn't work."

That I then have to put the key half inside one of the machine and backwards at that too, just doesn't make sense.

And then there's the card suit puzzle. It's easy enough to figure out what goes on the bottom left, as only one of the pieces could fit there. But for the other three holes, there are exactly two that could fit there, and each suit can fit in two different places so you can't logically figure it out, it's down to trial and error. And then when I've used the walkthrough I wonder about it, and realize that there's a very small difference in the base of the spade and the club tile, but too small that it's noticed, which makes it a bad puzzle. A puzzle shouldn't require a magnifying glass.

And finally there's the puzzle where you have to deduce the calculator digits given some blue and red bars. Nowhere in the game is there a clue that says that blue bars MUST be there, while red bars must not. Instead it seems logical that either all bars must stay or go, disregarding the colour coding, OR the bars are there for two different puzzles for two different number locks.

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Sorry if it's been suggested before, there's a lot of comments up there.

I like the idea of an homage as well, but if it wasn't suggested, maybe more of "themed rooms."

You solve some puzzles in a room similar to Mateusz Skutnik only to exit into a room that looks like something out of a Tesshi-E game.

But that's mostly for visual, as for gameplay, I always enjoyed the games that sometimes faked you out with what you had to do. So going with the theme idea, you might find yourself in say a Robomimi looking room, but have to use the logic used in Detarou game to solve it. Though something would have to clue you in which room uses which techniques I would guess.

On top of all that, I always also enjoyed a little something extra for spending some extra effort to look over things twice before you exit the opened door. Problem is putting all these ideas together in such a way that doesn't really feel like just rehashing favorites, but they are some of my favorite elements from previous escape games.

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LightWarriorK Author Profile Page January 16, 2014 8:26 AM

The longer and the harder, the better. But it does need to be intuitive. The difficulty needs to come from the puzzles, not the interface or pixel hunting.

Style, I don't mind much. # of rooms, I really like multi-rooms.

Simply put: get Neutral to make it for you. :D

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I Vote For A SteamPunk Design!!

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I'd like to see a game that plays on the website and you have to navigate the jayisgames website to find your way to the escape game.

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simplynigel Author Profile Page January 16, 2014 10:41 AM

Escape games are what I mainly play.

My favorites are: Tesshi-e, Mateusz Skutnik, and Place of Light.

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I'm with the "no pixel hunting" crowd.

Logical and yet strange is always fun. I think it's why we like Mateusz's work--so weirdly wonderful, and yet all the puzzles make sense, even if it's only in context. Much as I liked the banner games over the past few years, there has just never been enough logic to hold my interest for long. I don't want to have to guess my way through.

At the same time, it would be nice to have some suspense. Maybe not a timer, but I always wish some of these games had something at stake--OK, I guess getting out of the room is "what's at stake", but that's not always very compelling. There was a really good isometric "escape the house" game where you woke up in a room with a dead body--gah! Can't remember the name, but in spite of the fact that you never actually met another person, it was a suspenseful game.

I love the Steampunk idea. We just don't have enough GOOD Steampunk games in the world.

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You should make a room littered with League of Angels ads, and to escape, you have to find the AdBlock Plus stop sign logo.

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Lol Dam, excellent! You make my day with this one, hahaha :)

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I'd like a game that has puzzles that shouldn't take huge leaps of logic to figure but hard enough to give me an accomplished feeling when finishing it. Oh and no pixel hunting, I hate having to click everywhere looking for one thing.

My first escape game on this site was Segrario's room, wonder what happened to him. I look forward to this one, it was the escape genre that got me into this site in the first place :)

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I'd like each room to be represented by a particular item found in that room, and one of the rooms contains a grid with tiles of the rooms' items that can be rearranged to change the layout of the area.

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It's so much easier to come up with a "don't do this" list than a "this is great" list, but I'm going to try for the latter. There have been some amazing games and series on here.

The SubMachine series was by turns clever and intensely frustrating (I'd never hated little red balls more in my life), but the best part of that series is the ongoing story. So I would say plot is a plus. It provides an incentive to continue - you want to find out what's next or what is going on - without adding in a stress inducing timer.

My first escape games were GotMail games, and they hold up very well. Aside from the occasional language barrier confusion, the puzzles were perfectly logical and proceeded well from one to the next. The games rarely assumed that you "knew" anything, providing context clues, e-mails and found manuals to explain everything you needed to know, including mixing cocktails. They also had a nifty "map" feature so you could look at a room/space from more than four angles without getting dizzy.

Regarding puzzles, I think the Detarou games are a great middle ground. The clues are scattered but logical, not language based, and many of the games have a central or thematic clue that ends up being the key to a great number of the puzzles. The wacky hijinks throughout the rest, much of which is designed to distract and mislead instead of help, make what would otherwise be a rather mediocre slog through a few rooms delightful.

TomaTea makes some amazing and beautiful games, and the cursor change when you can click can be very helpful if you're stuck, but at the same time it can spoil some of the "a-ha" feeling when you figure something out. Maybe a toggle for a light up cursor?

A text label or description of found items is helpful. I can't tell you how many times I've mistaken a straw for a pole, simply because I can't tell what size the thin white cylindrical object in my inventory is.

Unfortunately, a few "don't"s because I can't think of a way to phrase them positively:

Obviously, pixel hunting is not popular. But it also annoys me when it's not obvious what part of the "object" my cursor turns into when I'm using an item is the actual cursor. Some of Pastel Games' "The Great Escape" games suffer from this.

Another unnecessary tendency, in my opinion, is making me use the screwdriver on all four screws individually (and various other versions of this concept). I found the screwdriver, I found the right bit, and I found where to use it. I think the rest can be inferred. When combined with the ambiguous cursor, the game loses a lot of the fun, and starts to feel like a chore to complete.

Everyone on this list has great ideas, and I look forward to the game. Thanks, JiG!

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ThemePark Author Profile Page January 16, 2014 1:17 PM

Seems you and I think alike, Majack. I hadn't thought about it, but I'll second your please for not having to unscrew all four screws manually!

And I suppose you mean that it's not clear what part of the object mouse cursor is the hotspot, which I would have to agree with on then. It's obvious enough when it's something pointy, but when your cursor is a melon (never actually happened), the game turns into a clickfest, and you end up clicking so hard that the melon comes out the back of your screen!

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Exactly, ThemePark! Thanks for knowing the correct term (hotspot). I went back and played Afro Ninja's A Escape Series: The Car recently, and I would swear the hotspot for the screwdriver was where the bit and the handle joined. :P

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No pixel hunting, and no obscure uses for combinations of items. Sure, using a coin as a screw driver makes sense, but some games go a little far with how they do things.

I quite enjoy Tomatea games.

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another idea can be:
ESCAPE FROM YOUR TELEVISION

you have to escape from a television program's room, when you get the key you can go in another show, an then again, again, again until you escape!

So in one room you can be trapped in the Tardis, in another inside a steampunk movie/cartoon and then in a horror place (zombie?) and then go on until all the players are happy because you gave what they prefer

p.s. you play in 3 walls and in the fourth there is a giant window, behind the glass you are sleeping on your armchair (you are holding an empty beer)

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I'd like to see an escape game in full 3D, not just a series of static images. Or, at least, for 3D to be an option. (How about a 3D tilty-corner painting?)

I'd something Rube Goldberg-ish. A number of puzzles which aren't linear, but which have to be combined to unlock a master-puzzle. Or series of master-puzzles. I love an escape where I have to step back and really consider the "whole" and how all the "parts" fit. This would include "multiple rooms" and understanding how they relate to each other as part of the "logic" for making that final escape.

I don't like the Tomatea "you don't have enough clues to solve this" rejection. Part of the fun for me is recognizing when I *do* have enough to solve the puzzle.

The best puzzles are original, and rooted in the conception of the environment. Part of what made MYST so great was how so many puzzles were simply (or not so simply) coming to understand the nature of the environment and how it functioned. The weak puzzles were puzzles that weren't really integrated with the environment.

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Hi drstrosy: Do you mean the Trapped series?

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It should definitely capture JiG's funloving atmosphere, & maybe you can somehow find a way to incorporate some of the site's specialties into it, like Link Dump Friday or The Vault.

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I'd like to see something with a visually interesting world, lots of gadgets, and fiendish yet logical puzzles.

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rookwings Author Profile Page January 17, 2014 1:53 AM

I haven't got really much to add to the above comments, except to say:
1] that this is a fantastic idea. Thank you Dora [yet again] for posting this =)

2] I came to room escapes as a refugee from the closure of Myst Online, so anything that reminds me of it is brilliant. Years ago there was a line-drawn game which was a really great experience, with a very Mystlike aura and puzzles.
[I can't remember enough to find out the name of it, unfortunately, but it was above and below ground, somewhere rocky.]
If one's imagination is sparked enough, it doesn't have to be graphically gorgeous to be an excellent game

3] My [ex-office] computer, for some reason HATES unity, and I've never got it to run at all

4] a commenter above mentioned internet searches to find answers to clues. Aren't these riddle games and not escape games at all?

5] Like many others, I hate [wrist-breaking, mouse-mat-burning] pixel hunts

6]I also would love to see the JiG peeps as characters in a game.

7] I've read all the comments so far and been thoroughly entertained, but now I feel, before this proposed game is even a reality, that I have just read the WALKTHROUGH! ;)

Something else I've noticed happening here is a few people have referred to great games from the past, one or two of which I have been trying to remember for ages, some I have just been reminded of and some I completely missed the first time round.
So that makes two reasons I'll be returning to this thread a lot =D

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Woohoo! What a wonderful idea :-D

I'd love something with a story, rather than just a random "you woke up in this room and now you have to get out", and I'm a huge fan of arty graphics (those games where you are disappointed that you have won because now you don't get to look at the prettiness any more).

Definitely multiple rooms, reuse of items and no pixel hunting :-)

If items need to be combined, please make it logical - one of the worst examples I had (in a point and click, not an escape game) was in Discworld 1, where you had to

combine a snake, starch and fertilizer to make a long, stiff object that you could substitute for a wizard's staff

.
Don't make us randomly try to combine each item in the inventory with each other item until we magically stumble on the right connection!

I like Schippor's idea of going through TV channels - I had a similar one of going through books (again, with the same theme that you could pick up different styles of game within the one escape)

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My vote is for Mateusz Skutnik or Amanita. No annoying pixel hunting. Other than that, I have no other suggestions except:

Please do it! I'd love to see a new game in my favourite genre, and JIG banner puzzles have always been enjoyable. A team-up for a new game would be awesome.

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simplynigel Author Profile Page January 17, 2014 4:04 AM

I also really loved and miss the Dismantlement games. It would be cool to include some elements of that sub-genre. For example, there is a locked porthole mechanism. You have to use a 'Dismantlement' style of play to release the locks and open it. When you open it, you fall through and into another chamber with a different set of laws and logic.

That would be a cool element. Not repeated ad nauseum, but just included.

What I love most about Mateusz Skutnik's games are his incredible eye and ear for atmosphere and texture. He's really like an author in the way he creates. You get the sense that the worlds he offers contain much more than just the parts you've explored. I like how he plays with the rules of physics and skews the conventions of normal waking reality.

Tesshi-e creates games that are super-attractive and also warmly welcoming yet light. Part of this is just the attention paid to graphics and music. I don't mind taking a long time to solve one because I simply enjoy being in the space longer. Also, the puzzles have a satisfying coherence and 'rightness' to them, for me.

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How exciting!

I would love to see something with beautiful art and whimsy, a good story, good puzzles (that don't depend on awkward and/or almost impossible timing of action -- I mean, it can have timed action, but be nice to the geezers), and no inane pixel hunting.

I was a great fan of Mystery of Time and Space (MOTAS), which had a good premise, fun feedback as you went along and some good puzzles. I am an ardent fan of Mateusz Skutnik and Amanita Design. If a Bonte puzzle can be thrown in there, too... wow. Let it have humor and character.

Please, don't go for the standard overly-realistic, pristinely designed but characterless games with vaguely sentimental or overtly maudlin stories (all those mildescape games like Escape the Bar or Escape the Cafe or... you know, without whimsy and a lot of pixel hunting in a beautifully rendered room).

Thank you!!!

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My criteria:
1) No pixel hunting
2) Tactile above realistic graphics
3) No stupid twists to common concepts, it is a genre
4) Symmetric ideas / coherent layout
5) No randomness just to make it harder
6) Red herrings are usually just tedious
7) Never mind the "I woke up and found myself" bit

Anyways - thanks to JIG and the creators for all those great games! This is the right kind of addiction.

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I enjoy Myst-like games the most, with that fancy anthropological setting where you discover step by step a new universe, an ancient civilization, etc.: Submachine, Worldgate, Archipelago, Aquaria, Neptune...

I also find an interesting concept to use the same scenario in different times, or dimensions, and having changes influence each other. Something like "Day Of The Tentacle", "Chrono Trigger" or "Submachine 8".

For this project, wouldn't it be a blast from the past to bring back Jonathan May of "The Dark Room" and "Archipelago" fame? TDR has some of the best puzzles ever.

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https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawkNGuhUJdybT19aFdsdD2A_UDPLcmR3U2k Author Profile Page January 22, 2014 12:55 AM

I like Dr. Stanley's House, MOTAS, submarine series..basically, the longer games (i typically don't play games with under 60 comments) a great plot, clever puzzles. I don't like one room escapes. I prefer games that draw you into a universe, so to speak.

Graphics that aren't too CG 'realism' looking with the CG textures, I'd prefer a simpler graphic and a great story and long game..

I like illustrated styles like Mateusz Skutnik, just because they are elegant and lovely.

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Scout_friend Author Profile Page January 22, 2014 3:17 AM

This may be more expansive than what you are considering, but it would be interesting if you commissioned more than one designer to make an episode of a larger JIG escape game series. There could be a broader theme or character (perhaps the JIG man) or something to tie them together, but each designer could interpret that central piece through their unique aesthetic. While they would look different and have different types of puzzles, they would build on each other. Maybe an object that had one function in a prior episode would transform into something else in the next. I'm envisioning something that ultimately could be packaged together as one game--maybe a downloadable game with extra features for a small price?

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I like your idea, Scout_friend, for taking different developers for different episodes inside a whole big escape game.
Dora has sent (or will send today) a mail to Neutral, Tesshi and Mateusz Skutnik to speak with them about the project. We need to know if they can be interested and their availability.

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apoetalone Author Profile Page January 22, 2014 6:28 AM

Escape From the 8-bit Retro Rooms:

A throwback to the days of the NES; incorporating many of the action/adventure and RPG mechanics of "this for that" to acquire the needed items to use/combine/etc. to bypass/unlock the various obstacles/doors and locks. Each screen or room could be reminiscent of differing old-school games; but, with completely different purposes for the items found or acquired in each "game' than their intended purpose. I know, not much to go on as far as detail; but, I'm sure there's SOMETHING to be gleaned from my rambling. Maybe??

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I'd agree with what others have said about multiple rooms, multiple endings and multiple uses for objects. I also like the idea of subverting how we all know room escapes work.

For example the new Escape Men game ("The Boxer")

has a box that's chained up, with a numerical lock on it. There's actually no clue for what the code is, but you can use the wirecutters on the chain. I thought that was a cute twist. I also recall a game where there was a card with numbers on the corners that had nothing to do with the wobbly picture puzzle and was a clue for something else entirely. That kind of thing.

Also, I prefer room escapes that have a logic and "realism" to them to the crazy surreal ones, but that's just me.

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I'll probably repeat myself, but I think that, while I am sure that JiG will make an awesome game, they should find a way to create original content on their website.

To do so, teaching people on how to MAKE escape & point-and-click games would increase the amount of available escape games on the web, and JiG can lim to those games to populate their website.

JiG is by far the highest-quality casual game website. They only link to quality games (3/5 and up), compared to other websites that try to increase their content with amateurish games and botched self-made games (I won't give names, but you probably know which websites I'm talking about).

By creating a forum exclusively for people who would like to create Escape & point-and click games, I'm pretty sure that people would team up and make great games. We have to bring back that genre (which was popular back in the days) !

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yondaseso Author Profile Page January 22, 2014 2:34 PM

Tesshi-e games consistently feel pleasant, well constructed, and charming. Those qualities have made Tesshi-e my favorite escape designer. I hope to see similar traits in the JIG escape!

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a jayisgames escape? excellent idea! ^_^

as a feedback to what i personally like, my fav flash games are:

* adventures (bela kovacs, morningstar, rizzoli&isles, synapsis, aurora, hyptosis's series, scene of the crime, covert front, reincarnation)
* japanese escapes (from tesshi-e, or to a lesser degree hottategoya, robamimi, tomatea)
* toys like mitoza (hilarious!)

- i love good graphics, and hate pixelate *cough* "vintage" or "5 y.old drawing" style design.
- i'm grateful for changing cursors and annoyed by pixel hunting.
- i appreciate puzzles, even when they're subtle/hard, but only as long as they don't need a university degree in mathematics.
- for me, humor or absurdity are really welcome.
- a bit of mystery is cool, but i totally avoid zmobie & bones horror, it really disturbs me.
- an OFF button for music is a must in case the autor's and my tastes differ a lot.
- as to objects interactions etc, no total nonsense actions (where you have to randomly try ev'thing out), combining should be possible, but if multiple use it should be stated in the blurb.
- multiple endings is a plus BUT dead endings (game over) a big no-go.
- long enough to entertain but not to miss a whole day's meals ;)

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Dora has contacted today Mateusz Skutnik & Tesshi-e. Mateusz Skutnik has already answered. He is interested by the project but he needs time to finish his latest game: 'Submachine9'.
No answer from Tesshi-e for the moment.
We don't have the mail of Neutral(Mya) so if someone knows it, feel free to contact dora AT jayisgames DOT com.
Also we really like the idea of Scout_friend, having one developer per episode in a whole game. For instance:
Escape from JayIsGames Episode 1 by Mateusz Skutnik
Escape from JayIsGames Episode 2 by Tesshi-e
Escape from JayIsGames Episode 3 by Script Welder (or with him Return from JayIsGames will fit better)
etc.

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daymaretown Author Profile Page January 22, 2014 3:32 PM

I'm kind of almost moved by this.
Thanks guys, this means a lot.

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Many thanks to you, Mateusz for coming here.
As you read, JiG readers have lots of ideas :)

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Scout_friend Author Profile Page January 22, 2014 7:13 PM

Awesome! Can't wait to see what comes of this.

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JIG receives an email with the URL of a new escape game to review. Since they are not sure who is going to write the review, Jay asks the usual suspects to all give the game a whirl to see who is up for it.

Intrigued by the description in the email, Jay himself sets to play the game. Unbeknownst to them, this game... is a trap! It has been sent by A. Ackbar, a disgruntled developer driven to madness by the one-mushroom rating awarded to his latest submission.

Inspired by Tron, hacker-extraordinaire Ackbar is able to exploit an obscure Flash bug and the game sucks the team into a virtual building. Everyone is placed in a different room and they must cooperate solving devilish puzzles in order to gain freedom! Some of the puzzles are local to each room, but some are spread among different rooms and our brave, brave reviewers must work together to find their solutions.

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slacker.hacker Author Profile Page January 23, 2014 2:44 PM

There's a huge number of great escape games out there to pick from (Petithima, Kotorinosu, and Neutral being my favorite authors), all of which have their own merits.

My suggestion, then, is to avoid the tendency of some escape games (especially mobile ones) of being one-scene door-to-door (or floor-to-floor with elevators) messes. Although they're good for allowing additional "levels" to be added, it takes away from the whole exploration aspect of room escapes (not to be confused with pixel hunts).

As a counterpoint, if you DID decide a one-scene room escape was best, please play through EVERY Robamimi One Scene Escape before you start designing, as they are excellent, and the exception to the rule :)

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I love the games made by Mateusz Skutnik, Amanita, TrickySheep etc. Those with gorgeous graphics and quirky humour (not Detarou-style) I'm not keen on steampunk or horror unless it's like that weird alien thing that ate everyone. I like to feel engaged emotionally with the puzzle as well as just a head exercise. So no "similar rooms" please! Most of all, surprise us! I get the most satisfaction from working out the solution to a new kind of problem- one I haven't encountered before.

Please don't make us have to write lots of codes down or take screen shots of clues all the time or do complex arithmetic... or have long inane, repetitive conversations with characters.. ah cannae be bothered wi any a' that ;)

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houseworkisevil Author Profile Page January 26, 2014 10:23 AM

I am not good at escape games but I adore them and have been playing them since Crimson Room. I found JayIsGames by searching for more of them. So long that if I lose my keys or something in real life I WILL check the wastebasket (and under it....and for a false bottom).

We don't ever go wrong with any escape game from Mya at Neutral, now do we?

Mateusz Skutnik is a genius. The array of styles he has produced, from quirky fun to atmospheric and dystopian, are beautiful works of digital art.

If I keep listing individual designers I will miss some I love and feel badly later for the omissions. There have been very few games posted to this site I didn't enjoy.

I think solvers sometimes get a little bit whiny about pixel hunting. We solve these puzzles by clicking with ONE FINGER! Too onerous? Bah!

I love Detarou. Pandas with an edge, and a peek into an aspect of the Japanese sense of humour. I would urge you not to "sanitize" any aspect of what a designer comes up with for your project. The rating system is a good visual caution for parents and other players.

Okay, so pixel hunting doesn't drive me crazy, but games without a save feature do, no matter how short they are supposed to be. Almost always, if I get stuck, going away and coming back will reveal something I hadn't noticed before, almost without trying.

Beautifully rendered rooms are fantastic creations but I enjoy the simpler rooms too. The puzzle's the thing.

Dismantlement was fascinating and fun. Toasters with bombs, indeed!

My all-time favourite game that I have played on this site (to this point) is Dwarf Complete by Eyezmaze. Darkness, light, skating, skill shots, interesting puzzles inside an overall quest. Perhaps not a pure, click-with-one-finger escape game, but it was a joy to play in any case.

Question: What is the typical demographic of an escape player?

I am looking forward to what you come up with!

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Another vote for "just get Neutral to make it for you". :)

I don't mind Mateusz Skutnik's games, but I prefer a more realistic style of artwork. Not the shiny-surfaces computer-rendered "realistic", but the illustrated-in-a-realistic-manner style of, well, Neutral.

As far as pixel-hunting, I think what we all object to is having to click random pixels on the screen that don't look any different from the other umpteen random pixels on the screen. In other words, it's fine not to have a changing cursor, as long as the clickable spots are visibly delineated. One way to achieve this is to allow us to zoom in on all the obvious nooks and crannies: if we click behind the couch, we should get a view of the back of the couch, even if there's nothing there. But if there *is* something behind the couch, part of it should stick out just a little, so that it's visible when we're examining, say, the drawer of the side table.

I love love love it when the solution of one puzzle gives a clue for the next puzzle. I also love it when a single item is used for multiple puzzles, but in a different way each time.

Screwdrivers should always be switchable-blade types. If I've found a Phillips screwdriver, for heaven's sake don't make me go searching for a flat-head screwdriver. And as others have said, if I've removed one screw, I'm obviously capable of removing the three remaining ones; don't make me go through the motions.

An escape game should NEVER EVER EVER have a skill component. (This is the one aspect that Neutral sometimes fails.) There's a reason I don't play platform games, so springing one on me in a game that is supposedly in my preferred genre is just unfair, and unfun.

Also, never give me a sledgehammer in an escape game, because I'll just break down the door with it. Unless of course you give me the sledgehammer precisely *because* I'm supposed to (attempt to) break down the door with it. :)

As far as narrative, I tend to skip the intro bits - I don't care what story you came up with that ended up with me locked in a room, I just want to get to the puzzles.

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Oh, and I forgot to mention: if I'm supposed to combine the tape with the tape dispenser, it should work both ways! As in, I should succeed both if I bring up the tape and add the dispenser, AND if I bring up the dispenser and add the tape.

Speaking of, combining items is allowed only in two situations: (1) it's a logical combination, like the tape and tape dispenser example (or the batteries and the video game, or the wheels and the wheel-less toy car, or...); or (2) if there's an in-game diagram/instruction manual explaining what to combine with what.

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houseworkisevil Author Profile Page January 30, 2014 5:47 PM

*\0/* Yay, Mateusz!.... Done yet? .... How about now? ..... Done yet?!

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HOMG. Mateusz Skutnik will be creating the first-ever JiG escape game, and it will be out later this year?

And before he gets down to work seriously on that, Submachine 9 will be wrapped up and released?

IT'S NOT EVEN MY BIRTHDAY

~~tears of joy~~

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This excites me muchly. That is all.

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Mateusz Skutnik is the reason I started playing escape games! I am so excited for whatever he will be making for JayisGames! :D His Submachine series is brilliant. I also really like Covert Front and the Fog Fall. Mystery and a developing plot/story are what I would most like to see in the upcoming escape game.

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thegreatescaper Author Profile Page February 13, 2014 3:11 AM

Make it very surreal... I found Samsara room very strangely enjoyable.

Something very unique, without straying from the genre too much.

Lots of differently themed rooms, areas or worlds would also be a plus: keeping to one room or same graphic style for the whole game can bore people, unless it is used very cleverly (like an evolving room...). Give it a simple look, but hide lots and lots of clever and unusual puzzles everywhere! Puzzles are the main part of the game for me; personally I don't care too much for story, but it is always a plus.

Also, please have a focus on puzzle solving, not item collecting; item hunts are tedious and boring. No recycled puzzles; things we've all seen before like 'turn off lights to see glowing colour code, turn on lights and input code'. Original puzzles are always good, and are the reason that Noprops escapes, while short, are among my favourites.

Easter eggs and secret endings are an absolute must.

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