Welcome to the land of the seven spirits, we hope you enjoy your stay
Starry one, you have descended upon a quiet corner of a forest that many phantoms call home. With your ability to help life flourish, watch your newly found friends grow, and, while on this journey, perhaps you too will experience growth in ways you had never imagined before.
Harvest plants, sow souls in your farm plots, and feed them the right essence to create unique spirits for your new friends. Unlock new powers and explore this tiny world.
● Not sure what's going on? The friendly pumpkin ghost has some tips at the start!
● Harvest essence (Ghost food) by whacking some plants!
● Each color of ghost has a favorite food (which makes them grow), and a hated food (which makes them angry). This is always a different colour than their own. Every other essence has no effect.
● Each spirit NPC wants 3 souls of the same color to complete their quest!
● Pack your space suit.
● Walkthrough if you can't figure out the combinations - SPOILERS
˙pooɟ ǝnlq sǝʞᴉl lnos ʇǝloᴉʌ - pooɟ ǝƃuɐɹo sǝʞᴉl lnos oƃᴉpuᴉ - pooɟ uǝǝɹƃ sǝʞᴉl lnos ǝnlq - pooɟ pǝɹ ǝʞᴉl lnos uǝǝɹƃ - pooɟ ʇǝloᴉʌ sǝʞᴉl lnos ʍollǝʎ - pooɟ ʍollǝʎ sǝʞᴉl lnos ǝƃuɐɹo - pooɟ oƃᴉpuᴉ sǝʞᴉl lnos pǝɹ
● Font: Crumpled by Hibrain Rodríguez
● Font: Simple Chalk by Royaltype
● Art - Photoshop (Nyxipuff)
● SFX - Voices (Nyxipuff)
● Music - Composition (Nyveon) | Voice by Nyxipuff | Mixing in Audacity & FL Studio
● Programming - GameMaker Studio 2.3 (Nyveon)
This was really well done overall, so of course the only thing my idiot brain can focus on dumb little details like the fact that the colours are kind of inconsistent and don't make nice ROYGBIV rainbows even though that felt like the intention. Like, there's an orange ghost but no orange food, there's a teal-ish coloured food, etc. 😅
Nice little game though!! :D
Yeah we had a bit of a desync between the art and the code there unfortunately, turns out the hue-saturation-value system kindof goes from red to red instead of red to violet, so especially in the yellow/green area we had some not great inconsistencies. The different symbols on the icon werte there to help with that (and with color blindness) but it's definitely a detail that bothered me too once the game was uploaded hahah. Thanks for the feedback!
After all I've done for them, they just send me to outer space.. unbelievable!
Lovely game, as usual. Power ups didn't feel that useful but the progression worked well enough for a jam game that it doesn't really matter. I was a little confused at first by the fact that you need to grow intermediary souls, but in the end the repetition made for a pretty chill game.
Heather Level 9
Did a gameplay video where I think I kinda blathered on about my thoughts while streaming to a friend so that might be better than this feedback. He helped me record and put it on YouTube.
Really chill atmosphere. Loved the style. I like the unique setting. It isn't just a garden but one of souls and I think that added a nice flavour to it and I wanted to know more about the world. Gameplay wise, it was a little like a scavenger hunt but you knew exactly what to give each spirit. For Planet Weaver I think the scavenger hunt vibe was more "oh I remember this planet denizen wanetd x item. I have it now, I should go give it". Or "I think this is the item that denizen wanted, I can go talk to them to see if it is". The difference here is that they tell you exactly what they want. 3 of each kind of spirit. It ran through my head that I was interested to know what growing a spirit meant - and what having to kill a spirit meant when I gave it something I disliked. Why was I giving the kindness spirit three kindness spirits? Those were some questions I was asking myself a little when it came to the world. After that, finding the right thing to grow each spirit was a little trial and error with the reward being able to read what the spirit had to say when you gave them what they wanted. As well as some upgrades. Wish I had time to play with the upgrades more like the double jump and wall climb. In this case, they acted as gates. More like keys rather than abilities to traverse an area. But expanding it more is really hard in 48 hrs so it's pretty understandable. Really enjoyed the music and the art. The parallax, the rain.... all felt very successful in creating an enjoyable atmosphere where I had a good relaxing game experience.
Wow! This is probably the most in-depth feedback we've ever received, thank you so much!
Regarding the text feedback:
Very glad you liked the atmosphere, it's probably what we spent most time on. The gameplay turned out quite different than our original idea unfortunately, and got very simplified, to the point where it was as you say, just bring 3 of each type to each thing with somewhat random food preferences for each one.
The lore answer for why each spirit wants three of their own kind of spirit doesn't really make sense with how the game turned out unfortunately, but if you're interested, basically the idea was to have the game be a bit more open ended and with a day/night system. The game would end on the 31st of october, which is the soul festival and you, the soul gardener, would release the souls you gathered to the world. This would in turn please different phantoms, who are a level above souls and kind of like "guardians" of each type of soul.
Yeah, we would have loved to have a larger and more interesting world. The original idea was to have two gameplay loops: Farming sim and Metroidvania platformer. But over scoping and our first project in gamemaker kind of prevented that sadly.
Regarding the video feedback:
First, no worries on comparing it to planet weaver! We do too :P. As yadokari was to planet weaver, hopefully phantom garden will be to our next project. Working with new tools and techniques to hopefully be ready for a more ambitious project on the next jam.
On plots: I was super crunched on the programming in the last couple of hours, to the point where I basically nerfed the growing times to almost instant in the last 15 or so minutes. This is because of our experience previously, where it's better for jam game to be too easy rather than too hard. I suppose it had the useful side effect of allowing for a safeguard against hard-locking the game.
On characters/dialogues/hints: This was probably our most lacking area, and is really my fault for not getting the dialogue system working sooner. Trial and error for the soul types was not the idea at all, but it's just kinda what stuck as other features took higher priority.
The hat does grow as you progress! I'm glad you noticed that.
Why seven spirits? We wanted to work with a different perspective on souls/ghosts/phantoms, where usually in games they are evil or out to get you, we wanted the ghosts to be virtuous creatures, loosely basing them on the seven virtues (opposite to the seven capital sins)
On sound and music I'm super happy you liked the rain sound. Since using pre-made recordings isn't allowed, and it's very hot and dry here right now, we spent a long time (perhaps too long) figuring out how to synthesize a convincing rain sound. Also I'm glad you found the music not looping to be nice, that was sort of a happy accident, because I didn't notice that FL studio was counting bars instead of seconds, so instead of making a 3 ish minutes song, it turned out being 13 minutes hahah.
What happens if the ghost gets you? Your character just resets, but no progress is lost.
Once again, thank you for the in depth feedback. Hopefully we can use this to make a better game next time :D
Another tea for dragonflies masterpiece.
Was lucky and guessed most of the essences in the first try. There were 2 souls where I gave them some essence they were indifferent to and made one of them mad.
Absolutely adore the atmosphere, the rain and the music and the right amount of juice. Fun and expressive dialogue as well. an enjoyable experience overall.
Mimpy Level 13
Truly excellent atmosphere, I got major Spiritfarer vibes from this. It's somber and melancholy but also very peaceful. The music is just delightful as well.
I like the busywork aspect of gathering the materials and I like the flavor text of the grateful spirits after you help them.
It seems like there's something wrong with the ending, though? I couldn't get forgiveness to finish the house, even after helping all the spirits (including them) and talking to every spirit multiple times. I'm not sure if I missed a trigger or something.
Also it seems like you accidentally included the instructions pdf of one of the marketplace assets you used, it's still packaged in the zip with the exe.
I'm glad you liked the atmosphere of the game!
Hmm I'm not really sure about the bug D: Do you remember what order you did the things in? The way it's programmed, it should always trigger once you've completed 7 "quests", so i'm really not sure what happened. Sorry about that.
And yeah, the instructions for the draw tail extension snuck it's way in there, and we didn't even get to use it hahah. It was meant for the ending cutscene.
Thank you for the feedback!