The Maker's Eden is a first-person hypertext adventure game presented in the style of a motion comic. You play a character trying to discover what their predefined purpose is, in a science fiction/noir inspired world filled with androids, flying cars and an early 20th century vibe.
User reviews: Very Positive (75 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 30, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"Intriguing characters, expertly realized locales, well-written dialogue... all help turn this virtual journey into a really unique, quality experience."
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Recent updates View all (8)

July 19

July - Anatomy of a Scene

Happy July!

To those who picked up The Maker's Eden during the recent Steam sale, welcome aboard the "waiting for act 2" train! :) Consider yourselves lucky though as the wait won't be quite as long as for some other folks. We're coming up on the first year anniversary since the launch of Act 1, after all. Progress has been steady, with most of the work being done outside of the house in a cafe where there's less to distract. In fact, this is exactly where I am right now writing this.

So far in act 1 we've mostly just seen the parts of the city that is lived in, but there's another part of the city that's in less good shape. Below is a comparison of what a scene from that part looks like in-game, vs the layers that make it up. You'll notice that it's not flat panels, nor is it 100% accurate 3D. It's just enough 3D so that when the camera moves side to side, or when a light source moves over the floor, the illusion of a 3D environment is kept, while still looking hand-painted.

Story-wise, things are unfolding nicely too. Act 2 is very exposition-dumpy, which has the potential to be quite boring, so we've tried to combat that by keeping the character interactions and environment interactions fun and interesting. The overall idea is the same: Tell a serious story, but in a light tone. The heavy exposition comes from the fact that by the end of act 2 there should be no more surprises or secrets. Act 3 is all action. Well ok, so maybe there's one thing in act 3 you won't see coming. Maybe 2 things.



EDIT:
Ok, just because I am a tease, here's a list of the returning characters from act 1, and the new ones, with some placeholders. Who are these other people??


4 comments Read more

May 12

May Update


Happy May, all!

So, I took 2 weeks off the day job to both unwind a bit and to get some Act 2 stuff done. Glad to say I rate 10/10 on both those things! Most of the work has gone towards putting the completed artwork in-engine. I am dying to show you guys what it all looks like, but with such a short game I feel like every reveal is a spoiler to some extent.

So instead, here's one big scene, again outside and in the rain:


And here are a few of the others, but super tiny because I'm a tease like that:


The individual bits and bobs of act 2 are almost done (except the character art, but we're kinda waiting till the near end before diving into that too deeply), and the only real challenge that remain is the save system.

I have touched on this before, but to summarise: Act 1 used a simple chapters-as-checkpoints save system, which worked fine because it was entirely linear. Act 2 is not as linear, so this will not work. The trick though is not making a working save system, since that's the easy part - the trick is to make a dynamic save system that LOOKS like it's a simple linear chapters-as-checkpoints save system so that the user experience does not appear to change.

This will get even more tricky in Act 3, because Act 3 contains some procedural content. Oy. Later, later.

My main workstation also suffered a catastrophic hard drive failure last weekend. TME is unharmed though since that is backed up in two places in addition to the source control. Did manage to partially recover the contents of the drive too and didn't lose anything I couldn't tolerate losing. And in the process also got quite cozy with Linux' dumpe2fs and e2fsck commands.

And not related to anything. Someone wrote a good piece on Gamasutra on what it's like to try and do indie on the side while working a day job. You can read it here:http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/242864/Work__Life__Work_Balance_Making_two_games_at_once_and_surviving.php I can relate to a lot of it, and so far this experience has been rather educational.

Finally, the act 2 soundtrack is almost ready to roll out. It'll drop before Act 2. Woop!

9 comments Read more

Reviews

“The Maker's Eden, you see, an expertly written choose-your-own-adventure with some quality adventure gaming puzzles thrown in, is a fantastic, thoughtful and hugely entertaining game.”
Indie Games: The Weblog

About This Game

The Maker's Eden is a first-person hypertext adventure game presented in the style of a motion comic. You play a character trying to discover what their predefined purpose is, in a science fiction/noir inspired world filled with androids, flying cars and an early 20th century vibe.

IMPORTANT:
This is a 3-act episodic game. The purchase is for all 3 acts, of which act 1 is ready to be played right now. During the preparation of acts 2 and 3, we will also be releasing little mini-episodes every month that provide additional flavour and backstory to the world we have created.

Has trading cards!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: WIndows XP SP2
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 or higher
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X v10.7 Lion
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: OS X v10.7 Lion
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 and higher
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 and higher
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
NOTE: This review only covers Act 1 and it will be updated after acts 2 and 3 are added into the game.

I'll be honest, I'm not really into point&click adventure games. There always seems to be something that ruins the experience for me - puzzles that don't make any sense, hidden objects, actions that take forever to perform, bad voice acting, etc. It's a good thing then, that I've had none of those problems with TME, although it's by no means perfect.

TME is set in a retro-futuristic dystopian world, where it never seems to stops raining, and where apparently both flying taxicabs and vinyl LP records are still totally relevant. It screams technoir. Visualy, it's a nice mix of a first person view and a comic book panels as a way of telling a story. Although the artwork quality is somewhat inconsistent in some scenes (especially towards the end of the first act), it's still very atmospheric and enjoyable. That's actually the thing this game is very good at - creating an atmosphere. The aesthetic fits the setting perfectly. The soundtrack is also really good and helps a whole lot in that regard. The combination of electronic music and jazz reminds me of Gunpoint OST (one of my favorite game soundtracks).

Obviously, I don't want to talk about the plot that much, so I won't spoil it for others. The little I can tell you is that the game starts as you wake up in an abandoned building with no memory of who you are. You will need some help to figure out what's going on in the world around you…
While it's not the best writing I've seen in a game, nor is it original, I found myself very invested in the story and I can't wait for the rest.
What I really have to mention are the characters. The writing and the character design work so well together, making every character a unique, memorable personality. Sadly, there's no voice acting, it's all just hypertext. It could've been so much better, but then again, I'll rather have no voice acting, than a bad one…
Gameplay-wise, there's not much to talk about, really. It's a very casual game, with only a few easy puzzles, just enough to keep you engaged. There are of course dialogues, but from what I can tell, there are no bad answers. That's kind of a weird thing to me - making hypertext, story driven game with totally linear narrative...Sigh. To be fair though, devs claim that it will get more interesting an non-linear in the next act.

As of now, the game consists of Act 1 and two additional very short stories (related to two of the characters you meet in the first act). It only took me 2 hours to play through, and that comes from someone who likes to take his time, read everything properly and enjoy the scenery. You could definitely run through it in an hour or so.
That brings up an important question - is it worth the price? At this point, I'm not so sure. These season-pass-kind-of-deals are always risky. Considering how short the story is, Act 2 release is long overdue, which is not helping the situation. At least devs still seem to be working on it instead of just dropping the ball, so that's good to know.
Right now, I would either recommend you to get it in a bundle (like I did) or a sale, or maybe just wait a bit.

Conclusion

If you like cyberpunk/technoir genre and visual novels, and you don't mind reading, there's a good chance that you'll enjoy the short TME experience - as long as you'll treat it as a visual novel, not the game. It's not very original, but still atmospheric and intriguing. I'm definitely looking forward to see more of that world and hear more of that great soundtrack. Again, bear in mind that this isn't a complete game, and that the full price may not be adequatte at this moment (as I mentioned in a previous paragraph).
If nothing else, it made me watch Blade Runner yet once again, so that's a plus I guess…
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15 of 27 people (56%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 9
I really want to recommend this game. What I have played of act 1 was incredible and I loved it. However the game was released on 30th July 2014. As I am writing this it is now 9th March 2015. Almost 8 months since it was released and I have seen no sight of act 2. There is no release date and in all the announcements posted since the games release they barely cover anything about act 2.
This is an unnacceptable amount of time to wait for the new act to be released. I have completely forgotten everything that happened in the game. And in a story driven game this is horrible to have to go into the 2nd act having no idea of what is happining.
I would appreciate an update from the developers as to what is the status of act 2.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 21
Short version: 65%
Great setting, good artwork, excellent music, tolerable story, horrible dialogues, and short play time: this is Maker’s Eden – Act 1 in a nutshell.

Long version:
The Maker’s Eden is one of the many episodic titles that try to ride the success wave of TellTale’s popular interactive movies. It’s not really a game but a motion comic visual novel with some interactivity.

The setting and characters pay homage to the great sci-fi stories of the sixties and seventies. The world is dystopian cyberpunk, sort of a reverse Blade Runner, populated by androids who either imitate humans (elite class) or not (working class). It’s not too original, but quite immersive thanks to the artwork and incredible soundtrack.

The story is simple as a brick. It uses one of the biggest clichés (amnesiac on the run) and never leaves the comfort zone of teenage fanfiction territory. Every line is a clumsy exposition dump or some stumbling dialogue.

The world has lots of work behind it and has great potential, but so far the only worthwhile part is the visual presentation; it really needs to pick up pace for the next act.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 12
Episode 1:

Well this game's outcome was a surprise to me. I had no real high expections for it, and it was waiting for me to play it in my library. When I did play it, boy oh boy didn't I enjoy the ♥♥♥♥ out of it. The art, the hyper text, the soundtrack, everything in the right place! The story seems a bit confusing at the beggining but then unravels a little. The first episode is short, it took me aprox. 1h20m to complete. But it left me hyped for the remaining episodes! And the little packs of additional story (minisodes) that the developers are adding now and then (2 available at the moment) are another pro to the buying of The Maker's Eden, which is set in a universe where everyone is a robot but for two individuals. I recommend this treat for everyone! Maybe not for those gamers that don't enjoy (but should) point&click games. Right, forgot about replayability. I may go through the game again but I don't expect there to be much replayability available, overall (only when all the episodes are available, of course).

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=423575235
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 26
While this game is short as of now, I'm waiting in anticipaiton of the second and third acts to be released. This point and click adventure had me hooked from the very beginning. The amazingly beautiful artwork highlighted by the smooth and comforting soundtrack made the story flow with ease. The story itself was amazing and very well written. Maker's Eden puts the character 905 in the same position as you, new to this world and not knowing anything about yourself. The twist is you do know things about the world around you. As the amnesia effect is in full swing you want to look around and find clues to your existance as well as learning about the world around you and how Didymus has come to rule everything around you. As the story progresses each individual character has their own piece of backstory and the ensemble of characters all revolve around eachother and lead back to you. The side storys provide the lore into characters that the story missed. Overall I found myself absolutely loving this game and I can't wait to see what is next.

RATING:

Art: 10/10

Story: 10/10

Mechanics: 6/10

Gameplay: 8/10

Bang for your Buck: 7/10

OVERALL RATING: 82/100
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