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BABLE BE HOME is a linguistic puzzle game. Your goal as a player is not just to complete quests but to understand them. The main mechanic is to talk with the npcs and to search the environment to decode their cryptic language.

BABLE BE HOME was created during the “Adventure Course” in the Game Design Bachelor's Program at the Zurich University of the Arts. Its main theme is the language barrier and the frustration it brings to people. The difficulty of communication which is not seen in modern games. The language is a context sensitive symbol code. The symbols are direct images of objects and concepts in the level so the player can guess them.

In the current status this is a game prototype. We are collecting feedback based upon player experiences and feedback from the community. We are hoping to expand upon this prototype and refine its systems and to add more content.

The current content in this prototype amounts to roughly 30-60 minutes of gameplay
Developers

  • Pascal Felber
  • Sebastian Riedi

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Click download now to get access to the following files:

BABLE_BE_HOME_alpha_0.05.zip 205 MB
BABLE_BE_HOME_alpha_0.05_MAC.zip 200 MB

Comments

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(2 edits) (+1)

Ok, I couldn't get the reactor. Maybe because the game has bugged.

But anyways, let's review the game.

  • Cursor snapping to interactive objects is too strong, and it becomes unusable with a number of objects closely put together. I would instead remove the snapping at all to give the precision to players.
  • There are just a few words in this alpha, which is not enough to be interesting, at least in my opinion.
  • 80% of the game is walking from one location to another. Booooriiiing.
  • You cannot scan the player's character, meaning that
    you can't tie it to any word, and thus "you" and "me" can only be typed manually. This is against the mechanic with "patterns".
  • Some words (plant, home, thanks (?)) cannot be translated in a bot's interface but appear in the speech bubbles, which is counterintuitive and seems wrong as if a player did something wrong. ("Did I need to talk to another person? Is it a wrong plant??") A home does not form a "pattern" but has a word, a plant, a tubed fungus form two of them but have one word.
  • In the contrast, you don't have a word for a "stone", when the game describes it in the way that it seems that it must have been used as a verb (e.g. "to block") and a number of nouns ("stone", "obstacle"). This gives a lot of ambiguity in the early game as a non-connecting puzzle piece. It made me think that a woodcutter needed a stone as a bridge (and I lost it as it sank in a river. I had to restart the game. Then it sank in the textures).
  • You ask for totems and axes but not for parts.
  • WTF a joggler with "You be yes" is ever supposed to mean?
  • "you give me totem ?" doesn't work, "you give totem ?" works, "you give me axe ?" works. I may have written imprecisely but in a real world, all three sentences are valid.

So, to sum up, if you create a game about linguistics, make a game about it. Otherwise it is not a linguistic puzzle. Currently, there are inconsistencies all around, and these are not the ones relevant to the chosen theme.

Other minor things:

  • Prayers slowly step back to the water and start sinking as you make numerous attempts to steal the reactor.
  • The shaman walks in place after uncertain conditions.
  • It is dangerously easy to lose items in water, or by sinking in ground.
  • Two aliens say "give" relative to the stick even when you've already taken and moved it away.

How do I switch the reactor with a totem? I gave the glowing statue to the shaman, but guys in the square wouldn't give me the reactor