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Building A Puzzle Adventure

The idea for Moonrise Fall came from exploring game design that didn't use combat as the key element. Now I'm not against violent video games or games that use combat but sometimes these systems almost feel like a crutch. Maybe to make something new you need to leave the battling behind. Could you make a Zelda like adventure game without combat?

The overall structure is similar to games like Zelda or maybe more accurately Beyond Good and Evil you have a open hub area that is mostly free to explore. Attached to this hub area are unique areas such as a Mine, Lumber Mill, and etc that each bring there own experiences. In MRF the hub is split into the East and West Woods both areas are dense with secrets, collectibles, and creatures to find and photograph. Solve puzzles using supernatural items such as a time changing pocket watch or a weather controlling kalimba(hand piano). Some creatures may only like it when its dark and rainy... You can make that happen. Follow the clues of your journal and the forest itself to uncover the hidden world within it.

The areas or "dungeons" attached to the hub offer distinct and more linear gameplay. Each Section delivers its own unique and iterative puzzle systems that allow for a more cinematic story driven experience. The combination of "dungeons" and hub areas create a varied and full experience that goes beyond what is normally seen with puzzle driven games.

The goal was not to create a giant world but dense handcrafted world full of mystery. I believe that you can create a Zelda like adventure game without combat and I look forward to sharing it with everyone early next year(2019).

Thanks for your time and I welcome your feedback in the comments below. See more at

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Images from the Lumber Mill section of the game:

mill title screen

mill build screen

mill lights screen

mill puzzle screen

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Moonrise Fall Official Announcement

Moonrise Fall Official Announcement


​Moonrise Fall is an atmospheric game about a boy who finds himself lost in a supernatural forest after losing both parents in a car crash. Armed with...

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Latest tweets from @cmathes_art

New track for the Lumber Mill ready for listening. #soundtrack #SoundCloud

6hours ago

Working on some concept art while the kid bounces around in some jumpys. Everyone having a…

Aug 11 2018

Moonrise Fall Feature on @IndieDB front page right now! #gamedev #Videogame

Aug 10 2018

Wrapping up the Lumber Mill... looking forward to moving onto the next part of the game! #gamedev

Aug 8 2018

Mysterious lights and walkways... #gamedev #Videogame #videogames #indiedev

Aug 7 2018

Working on a new character and pretty happy with the results. #gamedev

Jul 31 2018

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