Fungivale - Adi's Adventure

 Introduction

Fungivale - Adi's Adventure is our flagship project at Keito Art 'n Games. It is the first installation of a series of adventure games for mobile platforms. The game is mainly targeted towards younger audiences and anyone in touch with their inner child. I am the creator, writer and artist for this project; I also voice the legendary Muckle himself!

In the game you play as Muckle, who is the proud owner of the Mighty Muckle's Nursing Home in the peaceful remote land of Fungivale, where all sorts of little critters live. It is a peculiar, wonderful world; a place where imagination alone is the limit!

One rainy night, a strange girl falls from the skies right into Muckle's garden pool. Muckle takes this girl, who he calls 'Adi', to live with him in the Nursing Home and raises her as his own. Adi, however, is not of this world, and must eventually return to the divine heights from whence she came. Muckle and Adi embark on an exciting adventure to seek Adi's elusive, ethereal parents, and in the process run into various kinds of ridiculous events with the inhabitants of the exotic and strange land of Fungivale!

See here our intro-video for the game:



Adi's Adventure is set to be released for iOS and Android devices in the Spring of 2017. Please purchase it when we release, your support and interest means the world to me!


 Story

I made some early drafts of the setting and the story which AA would follow so we could pitch the idea and secure some funding. Here's how it went initially (with original art):


ADELEI

Once upon a time, there was a goddess by the name of Adelei, who resided high above Fungivale, on the Mountain of the Moon. Like a living wafture of light, she partook of the same nebulous matter as the breeze of the evening air; more ethereal than existent.

Though rarely meddling in the events which took place in Fungivale, she was the patron goddess of the region. Fungivale, a lush, sallow and rather remote valley on the shores of the Gruel Sea was home to many a creature of extraordinary nature, all of them under the kind and loving grace of the goddess Adelei.

IKNUK

Adelei, however, had a twin sister, who was known as the harbinger of cruelty and malice. This was Iknuk, who donned the veil of the mirk, her eyes darker than the darkest night. Whereas Adelei was benevolent, merciful - even naive, Iknuk would strive to be the utter antithesis of her.

She could not bear the disgusting crawlers and pitiful wretches that were the inhabitants of Fungivale, and often brought great grief upon them if she could. For reasons forgotten in time, she loathed almost everything she set her dead gaze upon. 

ADI IS BORN

Adelei and Iknuk were at constant odds with eachother, their quarrels mustering raging storms and freezing blizzards. During one such tempest, they happened to wound one another particularly grievously. The sisters resiled apart to rue their discomfort, and in this respite both wept a single tear.

These tears fell from the skies and collided to bring forth a birth, as fate would have it: the grief of the goddesses took form to become a divine progeny: this pale, plump little thing watched in awe the Vale below which seemed to grow in a rapid fashion. 



On that night, three friends were flipping cards in their shared abode, the Mighty Muckle's Nursing Home, which stood in the westernmost corner of Fungivale, atop an orblike crest called Homey Hill. Muckle, a scoundrel who somewhat resembled a dislodged tooth, deceived his partners to the best of his  abilities, as was his conniving, wily nature. Potty, who was too clumsy to properly hold the cards in his stumpy appendages, tipped the cards with his snout, and once in a while took an inconspicuous bite from a particularly tasty-looking card. Anticke, an age-old, near-senile teddy had often forgotten which card he placed before setting it on top of the deck, and thus had some difficulties keeping up. The friends were accompanied by a guest, a small fully robed creature by the name of Kerp, also an old, rachitic thing alike Anticke, who is just about to leave for his home on this rusted tricycle.

As the friends bid farewell to Kerp and watch as he goes into the night, they are startled by a loud splash from the yard of the Nursing Home. Something had struck the small pond in the garden. The companions scope around in the darkness, and notice a small child floating in the pond, spying them with curious eyes. The friends fish her out of the water and take her inside.

The child proved to be an endearing little thing, who found her way into the hearts of the companions with her amusing antics and earnest demeanor. She was named Adi, and even though she never learned how to properly walk, she was an avid dancer and an excellent swimmer. At times, it felt like she was almost liquid of form, with such grace did she dive across pools and ponds. It proved impossible to tuck her in her bed, as her agility meant she evaded all attempts to enforce bedtimes. Due to her affinity with water, Adi spent most of her days splashing around the pool in the yard of the Nursing Home.

Though she enjoyed her life in the Mighty Muckle’s Nursing Home, it felt as if something intangible distracted her at times. She often spent time considering the Mountain of the Moon in the horizon. She could take the hand of one of her caretakers  and make urgent, demanding gestures toward the mysterious mountain.

It was decided that Adi should be taken for a trip to the mountain, as it was obvious that’s where she longed to be. Preparing for an overnight adventure across the strange climes of Fungivale, the friends had only to decide who would be assed to carry her there...



This was the story we set out with, though from the early days of development our idea was always that this story would be conveyed without text or spoken language. If you watched our intro-video, you'll notice some similarities - in fact it the largely the same story in visual form. We successfully pitched the idea with this and a demo release with just one map from late 2015. I worked through 2016 with Adi's Adventure. I'll detail more about the world below if you're interested.


 Main Characters

We originally had three main characters (and Adi), and the idea was that you could choose one of these as your player character. However, during development it became apparent that creating three distinct characters would require too much animation, and we decided to cut Potty and Anticke for the time being. If there is interest in the game, we can possibly implement them in the future. Here are our two main characters:

Muckle (Muikelo) is mischievous creature with a wicked sense of humour who is often up to commit some sort of a tasteless prank. Muckle regards himself as a charming, honest and handsome individual, when in fact he is quite the opposite. His demeanor is slick and his voice cunningly soothing. Despite being often an intolerable rogue, he has his secret soft side, and cares greatly for his friends' wellbeing.

Adi enjoys swimming and the art of dance. She is a playful, implike brat whose whims must be appeased or else she will be consumed by displeasure. Adi either does not know how or has decided not to walk, she has to be carried! She can be tossed in most water elements to explore underwater elements, and during these times the main protagonist will wait on the shore for her to return to piggyback.

We cut these two, unfortunately:


Potty (Pyllykkä) is a gluttonous chubby who endorses laziness and eating and is wrapped in diapers. His seven stomaches are able to digest almost anything, and thus Potty is able to solve many of the problems he faces by simply eating them away. He medicates his occasional depression with – you guessed it, feeding. He is concerned about his actual pedigree and his mysterious parents, who abandoned him to the Nursing Home years ago.

Anticke (Nallukka) is an ancient relic of a lost time. Anticke is so old that he has gone partially senile. Most of what he has known is gone with severe dementia, but he sometimes relapses into visualizing with glassed eyes the traumatic events of his past, and at such times begins to sweat profusely and suffers violent shakes. He is technically gifted, able to solve engineering problems which his friends could not.

 Gameplay

The gameplay of Fungivale revolves around the player controlling a single character, walking around in the various areas and interacting with objects and NPCs. Here is an example of an exterior level:



Here's the interior (upstairs) of that same house. It's the Nursing Home:



Walking
The player controls the main character’s movements with a movement wheel found locked in the lower left corner of the game screen. Dragging the button to a direction will cause the character to move that way. Some parts of the level are blocked by obstacles or map limitations, and thus cannot be accessed. Various objects can be walked behind of, though will always remain partially transparent to inform the player of his position and orientation.

Interaction
Typically, player interacts with an object or NPC by tapping it once. Tapping twice, rubbing or squeeze (long tap) may produce different results, depending on the object in question. Objects which can be interacted with don’t always make themselves obvious, and so the player is forced to experiment, but most objects can be interacted with by default one-tap, at least those hinted to be interactable by environmental cues (ie. object standing out, animated, black outlines, etc...).


Minigame
A more advanced form of interaction are the so-called ’minigames’, in which a gameplay mechanic differing from the default walk/touch is introduced for a brief period. Often, these minigames require a kinematic performance or figuring out a puzzle of some sort to be ’completed’, and upon completion yield a reward, be it advancement further in the game, a humorous animated sequence or a materialistic one – an item.


Item Use
Adventuring across the Vale, the player comes to amass an inventory of items in his possession. These items play a crucial role in getting through the game, and can be utilized in various situations. Items the player currently have can be accessed by pressing the flower button next to the movement wheel. This action will make the inventory sheet pop up on the lower right corner of the player view, which displays the items currently in possession. The item sheet can be kept open at all times if the player prefers to.


Items can be used to interact with the world by dragging them from the sheet to an object in the game map. Some items can be used on the player character (for example dragging a food item on the PC, and it will be eaten).

Adi
The player character carries with him the little goddess progeny Adi, who cannot walk on her own, but unlike the PC can dive and swim in the various water elements found in Fungivale. When she is not participating in an event happening in the game world, Adi is found as an special portrait in the upper left corner of the screen. Her portrait can be dragged to a water element to enter these underwater realms.


 Crafting the World of Fungivale

There are various different areas in Fungivale, each portraying a place in the Vale. There was supposed to be nine separate areas, each containing their own levels and sublevels (eg. inside of a house or beneath a water element), but we had to cut two major locations, so Fungivale now sports seven major locales. In the end, the world map came to look like this:





HOMEY HILL
Homey Hill is a slender hillock just south of the Murk Forest, and the last sunny clearing before that dark and frightening place yonder. On top and partially under Homey Hill is built the now dilapitated and weather-worn Mighty Muckle’s Nursing Home, self-titled by the majordomo, owner and operator, Muckle. The guests vary, but the permanent residents include Anticke and Potty, both somewhat disabled and in need of assistance in their daily lives. The Nursing Home is a two-story building complete with a cellar and a pond in the front yard.


HORSESHOE SHORE
Horseshoe Shore is a serene, dreamy beach – an idyllic place to visit for a swim in the ocean. The vista has two zones: the ridge and the beach, and is divided by a river & waterfall. The Shore is home for Gubbo, the cowardly frog who has a house on the upper ridge, and a family of dungenesses, who are seashell–wearing craws, that who dwell in the cave, but during daytime spend their time on the lower beach weaving waterdrops into living puppets. Under the waves, in his slimy cave lurks a terrifying creature called Silurus.


THE ELM
A dark forest unfolds to the east of Homey Hill; a place talked of in hushed voices, for strange things happen under the canopies of the Elm. On the western side is the old Titan’s Boot, a leather boot of immense size, presumably once worn by a giant. The boot is home to Ksip, a sad and lonely creature, who lives a solitary existence surrounded by his fallyflower plantations. There exists a hidden population of Clones under the roots of the great forest, whose motives are sometimes inscrutable.


HOT SPRINGS
The hot springs of Fungivale are well-known for their curative properties. It is said in tales that the waters of the springs can render one young again, and thus some folk flock thousands of yards just to visit these fabled baths -- that is, mainly feeble old geezers in the last days of their lives come here, and they bring their insufferable attitudes too. A resort has been erected to accomodate the needs of the demanding customers, and offers refreshments and lodging, along with a beautiful garden.


THE FAIR
The companions come across a clearing in the forest where small, uniformly dressed creatures are having a celebration of some sort. It slowly dawns to them that the Murks (as these fully-robed manlets are known) are having a funeral of their deceased companion, and their burial rites include all sorts of merriments and distractions.  A yet unlit pyre has been gathered into the middle of the clearing, though the cadaver is still being prepared for afterlife in a tree-dwelling nearby.


MOUNTAIN OF THE MOON
The foreboding Mountain of the Moon is an imposing sight: it arises from the Vale like a black fang. It is surrounded by verdant woods, but as one ascends to the upper slopes vegetation begins to thin out. A climb to the very summit is said to be above all a spiritual journey, for tales speak of lone travellers gazing upon gods and goddesses, even ascending into the pantheon by the way of conquering the mountain. An old, beaten path snakes across the mountainside, with a forgotten wayshrine in the halfway.


THE GRUEL SEA
The journey's end; the shore of the Gruel Sea is little more than a desolate beach with strange stone pillars rising from the waves. Home to the playful Apanabirds who love to compete in the surfs of the sea, this lonely sandbar has little else than a solitary post for a life ring and epic surges washing the ochre yellow sands of the beach.

I'll write more about the particular maps later...



 Behind the Scenes


... to old friends!

I originally created the world of Fungivale with a lost love of mine (we called it 'Sienilaakso'). She was mine and I was hers for ten years. There is a rather tragic story to how Fungivale came into being, but essentially the story of Adi is her harrowing journey as seen by me. Like Adelei and Iknuk, she was stunningly beautiful but hopelessly broken, a shattered little thing. Adi, the child, was her way of returning to life. At first, we did not mean to create a world of any sort, but it kind of just happened - she was the original creator and later became my inspiration.

In our most desperate time, she made the character of Muckle from felted wool, and I breathed life into him. Muckle became my sort of "avatar" to play and to give life lessons. Fungivale was a little private paradise of ours - the imaginary place we shared. Although for various reasons it was the most difficult time of my life and I want never to return there again, I regret nothing - she gave me so much; she gave me the gift of innocence, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Part of why I wanted to make Fungivale into a game was to share this incredible experience I had with others, to have them see with their eyes that which I had seen - we all need a little bit of innocence in our lives!

She is gone now, lost, but a part of her will always stay with me: Fungivale -
an eternal place which will never disappear nor wane away. In many ways, this project completes a part of my life, and I'm ready to move forward. Forever in my mind I can return to these memories of sweetness and love and find happiness again.


 Inspirations

Here are a few videos that inspired me greatly during the development:

The Arctic Flow
Yuck - Daughter
Spider and Tulip

One of the biggest inspirations to this project has to be the Studio Ghibli anime movies, like Totoro, Ponyo and Princess Kaguya.



(c) Heikki Kuusipalo & Keito Art 'n Games 2017 - return to skyesken.org