Play this amazing game about the passion behind creation

A magnificent sunset surrounds the two protagonists of One Dreamer.

Screenshot: F2House

When I was playing One dreamerdemo back in juneI thought it might be something special. It looked like a game about a failed developer, presented using a combination of point-and-click and coding puzzles, but in an accessible way. That’s what it is! Hooray! In fact, it’s much more endearing, exciting, and superbly put together than it seemed.

Frank is a game developer who has an indie hit, a virtual reality multiplayer MMO called ProxyLife it was briefly a big deal. But now it’s in trouble, its player base is dwindling, and the lack of a steady stream of new features is demoralizing its player base. At the same time, Frank works as some kind of soulless freelancer (a situation familiar to almost all indie developers), helps a AAA game implement stricter DRM, or reduces the statistical chances of players getting in-game currency.


However, none of this is said directly. Instead, through what may seem like dream scenes, we learn the history and motives behind the creation ProxyLife, in the advanced sections, where Frank can edit the code of objects in the world around him. Here, using game pseudocode (a simplified version of C# that even I can understand), you can, say, reprogram a duck to meow like a cat, or, more usefully, operate a lever to open a remote locked gate.


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In the real parts where Frank works surrounded by overdue bills and threatening letters, such programming is limited to his computer. Here you are tasked with making these self-serving changes to the AAA game while trying to put together your own pieces. As someone who has never been able to handle games that require me to learn and implement code, I am happy to report that this is not the case here. It’s so cleverly designed that it works like a puzzle, secretly teaching me the basics of code structure. But then, brilliantly, it basically just teaches me how to bodge.

There is a lot of it’s smart One dreamer, from the narrative structure to the ridiculously beautiful pixel art, but the way you have to solve puzzles with the encoder is just great. Do you need to remove that feature that gives new players 100 coins? Change the small CoinRewardTier value from another section of the game code, and then copy and paste it into NewPlayerData so that startCoins = CoinRewardTier.Small. Of course, this will probably break something else somewhere else, but for now it works.

This idea of ​​cutting corners pervades all the mysteries in the game, making it so deliciously honest, brilliantly teaching bad habits. So many software games are so worthy that they act like they benefit the player with wonderful knowledge – not here. Here, in this superbly crafted game, even the programming puzzles lean towards the daunting tone of trying to stay afloat during a disaster.

A party in a wooden house in the woods with all sorts of people in video game clothes.

Screenshot: F2House

The story is told very out of order. The opening speech I gave you at the beginning is where it all seems to start, but as you play you jump around the timeline in a way that is very deliberately underexplained. For the most part it works very well, but there are times when I find myself confused. There’s also one pretty key moment that’s somewhat understated in the cutscene that makes me unsure of what just happened. I mean, I figured it out, but it would be better if it was a little better explained.

The only thing I don’t like about the game is how slowly Frank moves up and down the stairs. It’s something you often do with it as it traverses side-scrolling 2D scenes, and it allows for great gaming moments where the location changes as you enter a door or walk up a flight of stairs. But he Indeed take your time and it really starts to pull. But damn when this is this is my main complaint, you know you have a hacked game here.

A metaphorical representation of the cancellation experience when the game's audience turns against its developers.

Screenshot: F2House

The art is simply amazing, especially the lighting and blooming of these pixelated characters, which are made even better by the superb voice acting and a really great soundtrack. It’s so damn solid.

It’s also terribly much longer than I expected. The moment I knew it was all coming to an end, I watched the walkthrough on YouTube (to rewatch the confusing scene I mentioned above) and found out that I was barely halfway there. So, at this point, I’m not finished yet, but I’ve played enough to know how much I wish you could too. This is something very special, exciting and exhilarating exploration of the driving forces behind so many independent developments and how incredibly unhealthy and toxic it can become. And yet he also feels full of hope, full of the potential of creation. And somehow there’s even a dumbass like me solving code puzzles.

One dreamer not now on Steam as well as GOG.

This article originally appeared on Treasuresite dedicated to fantastic unknown games of fantastic unknown indies so please consider helping Patreon is here.

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