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Scientists love a good mystery
For nearly a decade one scientific mystery has attracted the most radical thinkers. An inscription in an unknown language, carved into blocks of moon rock discovered buried in a remote hilltop.
The media called it "The Moonstone Equation", a name that only served to elevate it's status.
Alice is an inquisitive young scientist with a love of puzzles. When she saw the advert for a research post at the remote facility she couldn't resist.
So, now this hilltop is her home and it's time to meet the other radical thinkers.
The Moonstone Equation is a single player puzzle/platform game about science and curiosity presented in a modern pixel art style. It's set in and around a remote hilltop research facility built specifically to investigate some mysterious inscriptions carved into pieces of moon rock found buried within the hillside. The player guides our protagonist Alice as she arrives at the facility and starts to live and work with the various scientists theorists and oddballs that already call this place home. The Moonstone equation draws its design inspiration from games like Fez, Monument Valley, The Talos Principle and Ico. The Player is free to explore and investigate a world full of puzzles as they like, discovering (and shaping) the narrative as they go. With very little threat and no 'enemies'. It's the perfect game for those inquisitive people who enjoy a good puzzle and the time and space to crack it.
Hand-crafted modern pixel-art
The game is created using bespoke tools running within a custom engine designed to present a crisp high definition pixel-art world using modern rendering technology.
Puzzles, lot of them
You'll find lots of things to solve. some more obvious than others. Each created using nearly 20 years of game and puzzle making experience
Persistent living world
The Moonstone Equation is a puzzle solving adventure within a world that changes and responds to when (and how often) you choose to play. If it's night where you are, then it's night at the facility. This responsiveness also extends to the colourful characters that populate the game world. Don't worry you don't have to get up at midnight just to solve bits of it, but you might discover something interesting if you do.
It's nice to have a way to relax and take a break from my job as professional game developer. So in my spare time I like to be a game developer.
The moonstone equation started out as a simple spare-time programming project sometime in the last decade (around 2009). I'd written a shiny new engine so I thought making a platform game might be fun and as a creator and collector of puzzle it was only natural to include some of those too. Reasonably quickly I had a fun little character running, jump and exploring then pushing blocks around and solving puzzles. Ignoring my professional experience I thought to myself "great, I have most of the game here, I just need a few more levels"
Obviously my estimates about the remaining work were a little inaccurate. When you spend less than a day a week developing a game it suddenly takes a very long time create anything more than the simplest thing. But instead of letting this put me off my idea I just stuck at it and over the years made steady progress until finally arriving at this point; ready to release a game I've single-handedly created.
A lot's changed in the years between those original concepts and the final game. So many other things needed creating; from NPC narrative and logic to musical composition and real-time light propagation. I even made wrote a separate article to serve as a warning to anyone else thinking of following my development method. Since 2009 I've also changed job twice, got married, become a father and professionally helped create and release five other games. Anyway, I think you get the idea; It took lots of time. I'm proud of what I've created but it was so much effort I don't think it can ever happen again.
I hope a few people enjoy it.