MLI demo 2 released!

At last, we’re finally ready to show you progress on My Little Investigations! Although this demo will not advance the plot further than the previous demo (so please don’t complain about that – that’s by design), it contains plenty of runtime improvements, and has a lot more gameplay polish. We’re hard at work on the end of case 1, so rest assured that it’s still coming along strong and that there’s plenty of work we’ve completed that we’re not showing you yet. However, for now, we thought we’d give you a little glimpse at what we’ve been working on in the hopes of keeping interest and excitement high as we finish things up and get the first case ready for playtesting.

First, without further ado you can find the demo here:

And here’s a list of what’s new in this demo:

Code ported to C++ from Java

The first demo was written in Java, which worked for the purpose for which it was chosen – enabling the game to come to all three major OSes – but there were two major problems that people encountered:

  1. Software rendering was not supported, which meant that players with lower-end graphics cards couldn’t play the game; and
  2. Some pieces of software like WinRAR were associating themselves instead of the Java runtime with JAR files, which made people unable to start the game at all.

To fix both of these issues, we’ve ported the game to C++, and this demo shows the game in that form.

Gameplay mechanics and content

  • Twilight now has the ability to run! To run, double-click (or double-click and hold), and she’ll move much faster than walking.
  • The game now loads each location’s resources on the fly during gameplay, rather than loading everything at the start. This both makes initial loading much faster and cuts down on RAM and VRAM usage.
  • Evidence and profiles are now separated; you can swap between the two by clicking a tab at the top.
  • Cursors and mouse-over text have now been implemented to show who Twilight can talk to, what can be examined in the field, and where Twilight can exit the screen.
  • Pinkie Pie now teaches new players to the game about MLI’s gameplay mechanics! There will be an option to turn her off in the full game, but that hasn’t been implemented yet.
  • A second cutscene in town square has been added.
  • Cutscenes have been improved and now have greater functionality.

Visuals and audio

  • Screen transitions from one area to the next now feature a fade-to-black instead of just instantly swapping screens.
  • Interjections have been added – now, whenever Twilight presents evidence or presses a statement, our version of the objection bubbles appear on screen to accent those moments.
  • All of the lines in the demo have been mastered by X-Trav.
  • Almost all of the audio has now been implemented; there were several missing lines in the last demo.
  • Twilight has a couple of new emotional states since last time.
  • The “suspense” theme has now been updated to better reflect of the mood of the scene it plays in.
  • A fully animated title screen has been implemented.
  • Sound effects have been added to bring town square to life, and hoofstep sounds have been properly synched to animations.

Now that you know what’s up, downloading the game is as simple as before. Just head on over here:

Please feel free to post feedback on this updated demo on the forums and let us know what you think! The team is gearing up for the final phases of development, so we’re hoping you’ll all continue to remain hyped about case 1. While you wait, we encourage you to help this project out by spreading the word! Our fans’ enthusiasm is and always has been what keeps us motivated to work strong to get this case completed.

That’s all for now! Thanks, all!