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Steve Johanson has disappeared and his girlfriend Sally Franklin has hired your detective agency to locate him. Even before you get on the scene there are signs that maybe this isn't just a simple missing persons case. Can you crack it? Explore Anteform Valley and its settlements, talk to its residents, search desks and files, and build up your skills as you collect clues to figure out what really happened to Steve and maybe even prevent it from happening again.
This is a sci-fi / horror detective story RPG in the style of the old-school 8-bit Ultima games as they were found on the C128. I hope you enjoy it.
It exhausts many of the resources available to a PICO-8 app, and required minimization before it could be converted into a cartridge (in fact this version fits with just one byte to spare). The full source of Anteform is available on GitHub for anyone interested in how it works. I have also provided a manual for it in a couple of formats, so you may want to grab and peruse the Anteform manual as a PDF or the Anteform manual as an ePub as well as the cartridge itself. Downloadable binaries are also available on the Itch.io Anteform page.
If you have any comments, questions, or even just random thoughts related to it, I'll be happy to listen. As this is a mystery story though please be mindful of ruining the fun for others and avoid posting spoilers. I have played all the way through and do not know of any bugs in this version (1.0) but I could have easily missed some.
This game was built using the Minima Engine, and if you like it you may like Minima (play online or download) as well. Both use the same interface and share some of the same graphics but have completely different stories, settings, and characters. They're also different genres played at a different scale. Minima is a traditional RPG set on a full world with castles and towns; this game is set in Anteform Valley with villages and individual buildings. This game places more emphasis on finding clues either by talking with people or searching through things. There's no magic in it, but it is in the weird mystery genre and so things aren't quite what they appear in the beginning, either...
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The Land of Miskatonia needs a hero to save it from the evil Faxon and its minions. Can you be that hero? Explore Miskatonia and its settlements, talk to its residents, build up your skills, and finally challenge Faxon in its secret lair.
This is my little homage to the old-school 8-bit Ultima games as they were found on the C128. I hope you enjoy it.
It exhausts almost every resource available to a PICO-8 app, and required minimization before it could be converted into a cartridge. The full source of Minima is available on GitHub for anyone interested in how it works. I have also provided a manual for it in a couple of formats, so you may want to grab and peruse the Minima manual as a PDF or the Minima manual as an ePub as well as the cartridge itself. Downloadable binaries are also available on the Itch.io Minima page.
If you have any comments, questions, or even just random thoughts related to it, I'll be happy to listen. I have played all the way through and do not know of any bugs in this version (1.1.1) but I could have easily missed some. I believe this to be the best version of Minima yet. (Several months after writing that previous line, I've stumbled onto two minor glitches. They have now both been fixed in 1.1.2, so again we're back to zero known bugs.)
If you enjoy Minima, you may also like the game Anteform (play online or download) that was built using the same engine. Both have similar interfaces but entirely different stories, settings, and characters.
New in version 1.1.2
Bug fix for erroneous report about finding certain magic item again after it had already been found.
- Bug fix for incorrectly reporting a wall ahead in a dungeon when in fact a passage was there when using the look command.
New in version 1.1.1
Bug fix for game freeze that was impacting some folks in Zanders Guild Shop.
- Bug fix for weird graphics glitch that was intermittently causing animations to get messed up after several game loads.
New in version 1.1
Dungeons are bigger and more challenging.
There is a guild shop with skeleton keys and torches.
Creature movement is much improved.
There are more townies, more dialog, and more clues.
Treasure chests are back, meaning less grinding is required.
Shrines can be entered.
Many minor bugs and glitches have been fixed.
The manual is fully updated to reflect the changes.
- The cartridge picture is much improved.
Please note that loading / saving is incompatible between 1.0 and 1.1. That is, saves made with version 1.0.X cannot be loaded into version 1.1.X.
This version makes use of Tyler Neylon's JSON parser as suggested by @freds72. Minima is still hitting the wall, but now it's the compression size wall more than the token count wall.