Dondgynns Auv Ye Wyrdd

mkapolk's picture
Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 8.39.09 AM.png

We found a USB stick disguised as an ivory brooch among the many chests of gaudy silks, leaking perfume bottles, and taxidermied macaws that belonged to my late aunt. On the stick was this unfinished game. I managed to convince my 12 thieving uncles that there's no money in game development, so they let me keep the dump of the data while they weathered the brooch to sell as an antique. I thought you all might get a kick out of it. Every summer on Indian Lake there's a new litter of raccoon pups, and swamp stinks to high heaven.

The files were too big for the GT uploader, so here are the links:

Emily Anne Greene, I think?
Made For: 
An event


rhetoricstu's picture

this is a cool game, is

this is a cool game, is there a way across the lake?

mkapolk's picture

You can throw a spiny watsit

You can throw a spiny watsit at the alligator on the bank, or you can go the long way around through the bogrump zone (lake -> swamp -> catty wampa land -> bogrump zone -> lake, look for the dam)

gevaudan's picture

some kind of evil between

some kind of evil between crypt world and goblet grotto. It's very strange!?

clyde's picture

This is a much larger game

This is a much larger game than I was expecting. Currently I see it as a place to be and explore rather than an adventure to complete. I enjoy so much about it. I like the models and the animations and the worlds and the interface and the sound-effects so much. I really like how I end up finding so many interesting items and such a small inventory. WILL PLAY MORE!!

edit: I just looked through your twitter feed and discovered that I haven't seen much of the game at all, this thing seems huge.

Son of a dolphin's picture

i love it, i just wish it

i love it, i just wish it saved :(

ihavefivehat's picture

Yeah a save function would

Yeah a save function would be huge!

but I'm loving the game. Just figured out how to tame a Catty Wampus. I wonder if I should be writing some of this important-seeming dialogue down for myself so I don't forget later!

ihavefivehat's picture

I noticed a little bug. When

I noticed a little bug. When you exit the underground monastery through the pipe that you take to get down there, you end up in a different spot across the map from where you first enter the pipe.

edit: nevermind, I just realized this is probably intended since you'd be trapped on the other side of the lake otherwise.

ihavefivehat's picture

is anyone else trying to

is anyone else trying to beat this? I think I've explored every initially available area, and I've found 4 clues but I'm not really sure what to do next. The game re-set after I stabbed the hermit (don't stab the hermit) but I realized that starting over actually isn't really a big deal yet, because if you've written down the quest gem clues there's not really any need to re-do the puzzles to get them.

ihavefivehat's picture

I know this game is

I know this game is unfinished, so I can't tell if I've hit the end of finished content or just gotten lost in the puzzle. Loved exploring the world, though! I'd love to see the finished version sometime.

everythingstaken's picture


ihavefivehat sent me a message on facebook to play this, I'm really glad I did!

According to our website's manifesto, "It is not about unfinished, unplayable games." Obviously this website is also about breaking every rule and convention possible and I think this makes that exception and I'm glad you posted it if this is the only version we are going to see. It is amazing to see such a sprawling game on this website. Playing this feels like playing Ocarina of Time or Morrowind for the first time because of the very unique three dimensional world. Like those games, this has a lot of attention to detail and a lot of different interesting characters and interactions. There are plenty of very funny emergent parts of the game like Morrowind like contemplating having to throw away your original hands in order to have gloved hands. Being able to get a fried fish almost as easily as it is to fish and cook the fish is also a very funny moment to realize. My favorite part of the game, which I haven't seen anyone talk about yet is the absolutely bizarre interface that makes the game feel more like a point and click adventure game rather than the action adventure game it really is. It makes me question why item select menus haven't been integrated like this previously. Maybe this solution is not quite as much a simulation, or it breaks the immersion of the world, but in this case, the strange interface is a great part of the world which is very related to the crude polygons and two dimensional characters.

There are some interesting aspects about this game that would not be there if this game were to be finished, but it is ultimately disappointing. It is interesting that the game does not save because it either forces you to just leave it open on your computer until you find all the different secrets or play it through in essentially one go. As ihavefivehat has said, because this game is kind of based on riddles you can sort of piece together some different aspects of this game and just continue anyways. I am not sure if it is your intention, but designing a game around the restraints that there is no save and intentionally making puzzles riddles you can easily pass if you know the riddle is pretty interesting. Another interesting part is that it doesn't seem like all of the quests are finished. This kind of intrinsically gives this game the feeling when you're walking around in a game not knowing what to do and just trying to trigger events. If you create a save function or not (maybe you shouldn't), I really wish this game was finished in some way or another.

ihavefivehat's picture

Yeah, the interface is

Yeah, the interface is great. It reminds me of early 1st person PC RPGS like Ultima underworld, where your mouse was disconnected from your character's movements. It works really well in this game. It's funny, because I've been experimenting with a similar idea in one of my unfinished games. I even had the chunky border around the camera window and everything.

Anyway, I think this control scheme actually has a lot of potential for helping games reach a more broad audience. I've noticed that people who didn't grow up playing first person games have a lot of trouble with games that use wasd and mouse look. It really is a rubbing your belly and scratching your head type of thing, it takes practice to get used to. I think eliminating the necessity to look up and down and letting people point and click with the mouse makes for a much more intuitive control scheme. I know we're making niche games with a very limited potential audience, but weirdly I think that makes it all the more important to make the game as accessible as possible so that as many of the few, scattered people who might potentially enjoy our games get the chance to try them out.

There's a lot more I could write about your game. The attention to detail, the sprawling world, the imagination, the humor and endearing characters. I really got lost in this game in a way that I normally don't for trainwreck games. Normally, a game here will give me a very intense, but brief, emotional charge. But your game grabbed me in the way that RPGs and adventure games do. It shows that the trainwreck aesthetic can merge well with a more thought-out, detail oriented approach to game design.

mkapolk's picture

Wah! Thanks so much for all

Wah! Thanks so much for all the kind words! For what it's worth, you probably saw all the quests the way they're meant to be seen. There isn't supposed to be a big finale with a credit roll, so much as a slow realization of the player's place in the world, more in the vein of a mystery [oc]cult than a hero's journey, but looking back I realize that I didn't give enough clues to solve that mystery, not by a long shot. I'll give some spoilers in rot13 here, in case you want to read them, but I think I'm going to revisit this and see if I can't flesh out the world and the story a bit more... Again, thanks for the detailed feedback. The community on GT is small, but it's so so good. I think if I put this on it would have been completely overlooked for being unfinished.

Gurer'f zrnag gb or n trareny gurzr bs "plpyrf" va gur tnzr jbeyq. Gur fjnzc oblf ner gur zbfg syrfurq bhg rknzcyrf nf gur tnzr fgnaqf.
Gurl unir n ybat yvsr plpyr gung ortvaf jvgu gurz rzretvat sebz oynpx zhpx ynxr nf yvyl-juvgr, tbyqra unverq oblf, jub rkvfg gb yrnea
nobhg naq pner sbe gur fjnzc. Ng fbzr cbvag va gurve yvsr plpyr gurl ragre gur eroryyvbhf pnggl jnzchf gevor, naq gura / be wbva gur
pyretl va gur cbvfba rkcnafr. Zhq fgvpxf gb zhpx naq zhpx gb zhq, fb bire gvzr gurl nppergr ynlre naq ynlre bs fghss naq orpbzr Zhpx Zra,
naq yngre fcurerf bs zhpx, ebyyrq ol gur nyyvtngbef, naq va gurfr puelfnyv ng gur obggbz bs gur ynxr, gb rzretr yngre naq or erobea.

Gur zbaxf va gur haqretebhaq ohvyg gurve zbanfgrel ba gur ehvaf bs na byqre fhaxra zbanfgrel, naq n arj zbanfgrel vf orvat ohvyg ba gbc bs gurz.

Gur znaqenxrf yvir va n pbzcyrk rdhvyvoevhz, gurve fbpvrgl fuvsgvat onpx naq sbegu orgjrra na nrfgurgvp bs chevgl (zvzrfvf bs gur uhzna sbez, jung vf frra va tnzr),
naq na anghenyvfgvp nrfgurgvp (npprcgvat irtrgnoyr funcrf, nf gur crbcyr va gur qbpgbe'f frperg yno). V guvax gur bayl pyhr gb guvf va tnzr ngz vf fhcre boyvdhr,
gur znaqentba uvagf ng orvat na rkpvfrq urnq bs gur pheerag xvat, fvzvyne gb gur rkpvfrq urnq va gur qbpgbe'f frperg yno.

Fb gur cynlre'f wbhearl, gbb, svgf nybatfvqr gurfr plpyvpny aneengvirf. Gur cynlre'f envfba q'rger vf gb or n dhvkbgvp dhrfgre, frnepuvat
sbe gur Dhrfg Trz. Gur dhrfg qbrfa'g "erfrg," cre fr, gur erdhverzragf sbe pbzcyrgvat vg ner plpyvp. Gb ohvyq gur pelfgny syhgr
lbh arrq n Dhrfg Trz, naq gb trg gur Dhrfg Trz lbh arrq gur pelfgny syhgr. Pugubavn vf n cynpr sberire orlbaq ernpu. Gur wbxr vf va gur sbezng
bs gurfr dhrfg pyhrf- vs V nfx ubj gb trg gb gur Fuver naq lbh gryy zr, "Urnq jrfg sebz Oerr," naq V nfx jurer Oerr vf, naq lbh fnl, "Urnq jrfg sebz gur Zvfgl Zbhagnvaf,"
abar bs gur cynprf lbh gryy zr nobhg jvyy rire or Fna Senapvfpb.

ihavefivehat's picture

Njrfbzr! V unq vaxyvatf

Njrfbzr! V unq vaxyvatf nobhg n ybg bs gubfr vzcyvrq fgbel yvarf, ohg V unqa'g gbgnyyl chg rirelguvat gbtrgure. Npghnyyl, V xvaq bs jvfu gung V unqa'g ernq gung orpnhfr V guvax vg jbhyq unir orra zber vagrerfgvat gb chg vg nyy gbtrgure zlfrys.

V qrsvavgryl jbaqrerq vs gur dhrfg jnf zrnag gb zl plpyvpny nf jryy, ohg V jnfa'g fher fvapr V xarj gur tnzr jnf hasvavfurq. V ybir gur vqrn, gubhtu.

clyde's picture

V whfg cynlrq sbe na ubhe be

V whfg cynlrq sbe na ubhe be fb guvf zbeavat naq unq n terng gvzr. Nsgre znxvat n ybg bs cebterff, V guvax V whzcrq nurnq bs gur dhrfg-yvar ol znxvat n whzc sebz gur sehvg-objy va gur zbanfgrel hc gb gur prvyvat nern => gura vagb gur Zhqfyvpxrq Obtehzc nern, nebhaq gurve rkvg naq vagb gur ornire-qnz. V qvqa'g rkcyber gur zbanfgrel ng nyy jvgu gur rkprcgvba bs gur prvyvat. Va gur ornire-qnz V qvfpbirerq gung obtehzcf srne pngnjhzcnf naq fb V cyna gb tb gnzr nabgure naq oevat vg onpx fvapr gur obtehzc qvqa'g ernpg gb zl zneoyr be zhq pngnjhzcn (arkg gvzr V cynl). Ohg V qvq znantr gb svaq n gehpx naq fbzr obtehzcf va pntrf. Vg jnf xvaqn arng orpnhfr V sryg yvxr V jnf frrvat fghss V jnfa'g fhccbfrq gb. V rawblrq whzcvat nebhaq gur ornire-qnz fprar rfcrpvnyyl orpnhfr vg sryg yvxr V jnf purngvat gb frr n jbex-va-cebterff.
rirelguvatfgnxra zragvbarq gur fgenatr fnpevsvprf bar znxrf jvgu gur vairagbel, naq V nyfb ybir gung dhnyvgl. V xabj gung n ybg bs crbcyr trg sehfgengrq jura tnzrf qba'g rkcynva jung vgrzf ner sbe fb gurl qba'g unir gur vasbezngvba gb znxr bcgvzny pubvprf, ohg sbe zr, va guvf pnfr, vg znqr rnpu bar-bs-n-xvaq bowrpg srry yvxr n eryvp. V graq gb pneel nebhaq zl unaq sbe ybat crevbqf bs gvzr guvaxvat gung V pna riraghnyyl guebj vg vagb n pnyqeba be hfr gur fnpevsvpvny qnttre ba vg. Gur zhq naq zneoyr pngnjhzcnf jrer cevmrq cbffrffvbaf. V unq ab ceboyrz ercynpvat jrnenoyr rdhvczrag orpnhfr gur dhrfg srryf yvarne rabhtu gung V whfg nffhzr V nz hctenqvat jura V ercynpr zl fgenj-ung jvgu zl unequng. N pbzcyrzragnel nfcrpg gb guvf eryvparff bs gur vairagbel bowrpgf vf gur culfvpnyvgl bs guebjvat gurz vagb gur jbeyq. Gur cbvag-naq-pyvpx senzr urycf gb znxr guebjvat guvatf vagb gur jbeyq srry rira zber pebff-qvzrafvbany. Naq jura V qb guebj vg va, vg fhecevfrf zr rirel gvzr gb frr vg ghzoyvat nebhaq. Ng bar cbvag V guebj zl arg ng n orrgyr(?) va cnavp naq jnf qvfznlrq gung vg ghzoyrq vagb gur zhpx (V fbba yrnearq gung rirelguvat erfcnjaf jura lbh yrnir naq er-ragre n fprar). Rirelguvat whfg jbexf fb jryy gbtrgure.

clyde's picture

In case anyone was

In case anyone was wondering, you can not put the rotworm on the fishing rod.

Protohm Johnny's picture


I'd say this is a classic right here, a really brilliant game with pretty much everything I could ask for in an exploration game like this.

Great work!

mno's picture

I downloaded this game months ago

I downloaded this game months ago because I was quite captured by the screenshot for it, and, in starting playing it last night, I quickly was stunned by what a fantastically bizarre, obtuse adventure game this. I mean that in a very good way!! I love games that go out of their way to be strange. The introductions of the player character (homunculus!!) and the skull fairy along with the viewport UI that reaches into the game backwards and forwards is just so good. In writing this, I'm reminded of The Sea Will Claim Everything, which has an in-world explanation for the UI, although it had much less of an impact on the world there.

I've explored the game as much as I can, because I'm fascinated by how constantly rewarding it is too. I know there's some things I've seen in the distance that I don't know how to reach, and there seem to be a few meanings that I haven't yet grasped. And, in reading your own comments about some of the world, it seems like there's a big chunk of the world I have no idea on how to reach. I'd love to see more myself, but I find it difficult to proceed in some ways- but even in this unfinished state, what's here is so, so good!

I like the logic of the world- it's very strong. Both in, as you said, the cyclical nature of existence/meaning, as well as the 'hidden' solutions to doing things. The first time I tamed a catty wumpus took me ages, but after getting stuck in the dam in a room with a Bogrump and the mortar that wouldn't take me back out of there, I had the (wrong? unimplemented?) impression that using a catty wumpus on a Bogrump would defeat it. Restarting the game and taming some catty wumpus again took only a few minutes, despite that knowledge and practice taking probably half an hour in the first place.

As others have said, this game seems to have a strange relationship with the normal nature of saving. By not letting us save, it's easy to get stuck in dead-ends that require a restart, and dying can cost a lot of time. But, it is also encouraging of trying out new things to help resolve these dead ends, without feeling like I'm losing a lot. This works too for the nature of the quest hints, which I've been keeping screenshots of. After finding five of them, I realized that there is an infinite loop in it before reading the comments here, although I'm missing the steps from being told to find Hog Maw, and ending up finding out about the mystic ink from the lord Bogrump.

If you update the game, I'd love to see that, whatever changes may come!

PS. I actually had some more thoughts...

I think the weird version of olde english you've invented with the game is a great source of character as well as humour. I like games that invent their own tones, and the consistently off-lined way the homunculus speaks is just perfect. I feel like it contributes a lot to how the game positions itself as a sort of olde timey adventure game, but makes it clear that it's not taking itself seriously. Along with that is how combat is just flinging your arm+weapon at enemies (which can even be picked up if you click fast enough, resulting in the comment of "what?"), which is a delightfully trainwrecky mechanic.

Others have commented on it already but I just want to add on how interesting the UI is. Objects are pulled into and out of these pedestals that they slowly rotate on- the meaning of the player's view is constantly put into question, like a lot of thecatamites games. Much more immediate of import though is how to handle what to keep. The permanency of possibly key objects always being in the same location means that memory and a willingness to backtrack will solve most problems, but it's always more convenient to correctly guess what objects are most helpful in the current situation.

Also, the blend of meaningful exploration and seam breaking is great. Catty wampa land seems the easiest to consistently go "out of bounds", but there is also a spot beyond the monastery where you can (intentionally I presume) walk through a wall in a specific spot. The breadth of different characters in different areas helps build up the internal logic of the world- by people moving to different places, they are transformed / when people transform they must move to a new place that better suits them.