One True Love: The Alchemy Between Us

Story

Your name is Liam. A lonely man who is hopelessly in love with his neighbour, Natalie. You live in an isolated village on the edge of the forest. You've loved Natalie for as long as you can remember… but she is not interested in you. You're far too ordinary and boring for the likes of her. Having just learned that Natalie is moving away from the village in 7 days time, you are determined to find a way to convince her that you are her One True Love.

You remember your grandmother talking of the fabled Potion of Love. The trouble is, you've never dabbled at Alchemy. With the passing of your grandmother last year, all you've got at your disposal is her old alchemy work bench. Even if you could gather materials from the nearby Woods, you have no idea how to combine them to create such a potion! Despite this, You see no other choice. You have 7 days. 7 days to explore the Woods, harvest it's natural resources and discover the recipe for the Potion of Love.

Gameplay

Each morning you are able to use any materials you've gathered to discover and create potions at the Alchemy bench. Once you've created a potion, the only way to know the potion's effect is to use it! You can either use the potion on yourself, the hostile creatures in the Woods or on your One True Love. With only 7 days and a plethora of potions to discover - can you discover the Potion of Love before it's too late? Or will your novice attempts at alchemy produce a less desirable ending to this epic love story.

Controls

Movement: W, S, A, D
Use Potions: Click on potion on hotbar, then click on either yourself, enemy or your one-true-love.

UPDATE Unfortunately many unexecpted game-breaking bugs were in the initial build. We've tried to plug these so that you can play the game and actually read the dialog boxes that come up, and play more than just 1 day! If you played it straight on submit, feel free to try again now! Thanks.

!! POLISHED POST JAM VERSION !!
Download post-jam version
As developers, we have a lot of love for this project, so spent a little time post-jam to clear out all the bugs and have the game working as intended. If bugs were getting in the way of your enjoyment of the game, we would love for you to try the most stable recent build on the above link. Do keep in mind that your voting for the jam should be based on the original entry. We just felt the game deserved some fixing to allow people to experience it properly and have some fun.

Voting results

Overall
1st
7.296
Graphics
7th
7.000
Audio
2nd
7.444
Gameplay
3rd
6.296
Originality
1st
7.000
Theme
1st
7.926

This game entered in the Team competition (16 entries).

Comments (39)

mampee
a year ago

Please tell me, how you just managed to make this awesome thing!! I mean this whole pixel art is so so nice……Keep up the good work!!! and do tell me out of you 3 who madethe pixel art :D

HonestDan
a year agoedited

Hi @mampee, thank you for the kind comments! The wonderful title screen and some menu items were done by the talented Otixa. The rest of the sprites were done by myself, and Brainoid did some work animating the sprites. Love the sound in your game, friend!

wizcas
a year ago

You guys have done the most beautiful menu background! And the music is so peaceful. I love guitar. Great emotion in this game.

The idea of exploring the right formular and experiment on self, enemy or the one love is just brilliant. I've had fun in it. However I never made it…

First time I turned the girl into flowers (which made me thought I was successful for a moment). Second time I was passed out in the forest, but never woke up :( Is it a bug?

HonestDan
a year agoedited

Thanks @wizcas for taking the time to play and comment!! As much as flowers are beautiful, they are not going to keep you warm at night! I'd recommend trying the potions on enemies, that's the safest way - though of course takes a bit more effort! but less risky then killing either yourself or your one true love! :D

Regarding passing out in the forest, you're meant to respawn back in your bed the following day if you black out after taking too much damage. If the screen remained black, that indeed is a bug. Providing we are still allowed to fix such game breaking bugs, we'll try and fix it!

Zeriver
a year ago

Impressive for only 48 hours! Graphics are astonishing, animations and between screens transition is also very pretty. I like how many different potions there are and some you can use to help you gather ingredients in woods safely. It's also very clever that you can test your potions on yourself, your love interest or hostile creatures, it really adds to the gameplay and brings tension. In overall great game and congratulations on creating it in such short time.

HonestDan
a year agoedited

@Zeriver, such kind words! It means a great deal to use that you appreciate the work that's gone into it! The mechanics especially - we wanted a simple game but one with depth and decision making and we hope we've at least headed in the right direction for that! The game would be nice if the rest of the art matched the title screen quality I think haha!

chaos
a year ago

sometimes games made in 48 hours better than games that been making for years

HonestDan
a year agoedited

@Chaos… was this one of those times?! If so, super compliment! Thanks for playing

KorbohneD
a year ago

Was pretty good! I teleported the girl inside me and then it was over, but the journey was splendid.

HonestDan
a year agoedited

@KorbohneD Teleportation isn't the way to a girls heart, I'm afraid. Keep trying :D thanks for playing bud.

dragonslumber
a year ago

Took me a while to figure out that I could use the ingrediants in the potion, but once I did, I somehow figured out the recipe to love pretty fast. Love the music and the walking animation, looks very dynamic. For 48 hours, considering the amount of elements, including multiple ennemies, it's very impressive!

HonestDan
a year agoedited

Thanks @dragonslumber! Time restraints is one thing, but also I think we enjoy the style of "discovery learning", to stimulate your brain ;) Well done on getting the girl, you old romantic you!

automatonvx
a year ago

I realled liked the concept and you did a great job of getting the story and mood over, with the text, art and music. Intro screen and music was particularly good. I managed to find the right combination, although I thought maybe once i had discovered 'self love' the story was going to take a different turn. :O

HonestDan
a year agoedited

@automatonvx, thanks very much for taking the time review the game after playing it! We are glad you enjoyed the game! Ha, there was MANY opportunities for some cheeky humour in the game but we had to resist! You can continue to dream up your own endings if you like though…! :D

Glad you found the combination, we hope you and Natalie are happy together.

Laguna
a year ago

I like the game. The music sets the theme very well and the pixel art is awesome! +1 for having different music tracks on different scenes. I really like that you managed to get a (finished) story during a gamejam.
Great work, keep that up!

HonestDan
a year agoedited

@Laguna, thanks for your awesome feedback! It was ambitious for 2 days, but we loved the experience. We're gonna improve it post jam and place it on itch io, as we loved it - but it defintely needed some polish!

James_Deans_Jeans
a year ago

Very good entry. I had fun finding out (the hard way) what the different combos do. (I drank the time revsal potion with 7 days to go… It triggered an earthquake and crashed the game.) The different endings were also a plus. But I hated that wolfman! Well done.

HonestDan
a year agoedited

@James_Deans_Jeans so pleased you were able to enjoy our game! And that you tried a few different scenarios and saw different endings. It's always best to try those potions on the blobs of the forest, they are more disposable than you or the wonderful Natalie…

Haoron
a year ago

Great story and amount of gameplay

javasaurus
a year ago

Great story, innovative gameplay. Great teamwork. I have enjoyed playing this gem and I hope the development will be continued passed the first "Alakajam". Bugs were to be expected, but honestly not as annoying as the werewolf. Well done !

HonestDan
a year ago

@Haoron thanks, any feedback to help us improve?

@javasaurus you hero. Thanks for your support and kind words. The alphawolf will never give up the hunt. His hunger is never sated.

smbe19
a year ago

Very cool idea. I really liked the soundtrack. Is the combination for the love potion randomized? I found the combination kind of obvious.

When I was in the woods on day 1 and it was time to go to bed, the screen turned black but I did not wake up in my house.

IDidGame
a year ago

Good job, a neat idea very well executed. Especially liked all the possible combinations.
If you asked me I'd say the game could have done without the monsters, I'm sure y'all could have come up with something a bit more in line with the premise(maybe a maze or something along the lines of kokiri forrest).

HonestDan
a year ago

@smbe19 The combination is randomised, you maybe got lucky!! We wanted to randomise it so it isn't a game that ends once you know the "love potion recipe". This ensures players need to experiment or gamble to win.

@IDidGame thanks for the feedback. Interesting feedback about the lack of monsters. The monsters we felt gave you a way to experiment with potions in a way that doesnt risk either yours / OTL's life. Without them, we feel you'd be forced into gambles. Could have neutral objects to test potions on but maybe that'd be a bit hard to make "interesting for the player".

bradur
a year ago

This was a very nice game :). I spent way too much time as a werewolf lol. Also, there are some bugs that occur when the player blackouts right after it's time to go to bed or the player blackouts right after he has used a teleport. Don't ask me how I know…

HonestDan
a year ago

@bradur you hero, thanks for playing (and testing!!) our game so much. We are aware of those issues, and we have a post-jam version we hope to release (on itch.io) shortly in the future. The gamejam time limits just meant we had to push our version in without really testing it fully! Keep an eye out for the new version being released, not much changes but cleaned up a lot and sorted all the bugs (never all, but we hope all)…

Wan
a year ago

First playthrough

  • Start by farming 40 potions trying to figure out how to exit the workbench. Oh, I guess I won't run out of pause menus!
  • Look around to gather ingredients, and gather some courage to go into the wood. I spend a couple days foraging all sort of items
  • Day 3 is cooking day! I start by making a potion with everything I have, then use the rest to try more variants.
  • Seduction time. I offer the 4-flavoured mix to Natalie, and I see her smile a little bit more at me. "Are you in love with me yet?" "What are you talking about?". Still not a success. I offer her a blind tasting session, where she can't help remark half the stuff taste like wood. She announces me she finally decides to leave after 6 days, and then, out of nowhere, in a Groundhog Day fashion, I go back in time and start the day over!
  • I'm out of ingredients, and go out to find some more, it's getting harder to find stuff.
  • After a while, I decide to try and see what I can do with what I have. Natalie reluctantly drinks it and… and something starts to make an growling noise inside her, she begins to shake forcefully and… No… No… NOOOOOOO

Second playthrough

  • I rush outside and start gathering materials. I manage to get 8 items before the sun sets and… leaves me stuck in the night (black screen bug)

Third playthrough

  • As I explore the woods, I realize its contents seem to change every time I go there. I spend 2 days gathering as much as I can, and while having troubles finding fruits, I finally get a second one right before the nightfall.
  • I make two potions out of the 4 ingredients, as I have a vague memory of those making her more interested in me, and it… transformed her into me???

As for the actual review… It's a very original game, that manages to make us very curious about the different potions & story outcomes. The idea is really great, and integrates the theme in a very clever way, i.e. a gameplay element that randomizes the story. I'll probably come back to explore the game some more, though the main issue I have is that searching items is admittedly slightly boring. Like, it's the tedious task we have to do before having fun with the alchemy workbench. It would probably have worked better if we could mix potions out there in the woods, and test them directly on the enemies.

Otherwise the main menu is incredible, the in-game art is more jam-like but very respectable and with a certain charm, and the audio reminding me of late-Radiohead was cool as well. An excellent entry!

HonestDan
a year ago

Thanks for the time you gave our game and the review, @Wan. I must say, I'm really disappointed that you had such a mixed experience on the game! There were still bugs in the game due to the scope and time limitations, it's just a shame you encountered them.

I'd love for you to play our post-jam fixes, so you can experience it properly. With 16 potion combinations, and the recipes randomised each time, the game gives a fresh challenge each time.

When designing the game, we felt it should be perfectly feasible for you not to win on your first play through, as it is unlikely you will have figured out the best way to spend your time or gather resources efficiently. We wanted the player to be forced into taking a gamble if they hadn't discovered the potion of love by the last day. When that results in setting her on fire and watching her burn… you are inspired to try again! This time you won't waste time visiting her on day 1. This time you wont craft 2 of the same potion, you'll save your materials for tomorrow! This time you won't risk trying out potions on yourself and losing a day. You'll plan. You'll collect, craft, test and discover the way to your lover's heart! SOUNDS LIKE ROMANCE, right?!

Appreciate the feedback, an excellent Review 502!

jlowry
a year ago

I enjoyed your game. The purple thing in the woods had me running a round. But in the end the love potion worked. But maybe it was too strong because the love was suffocating!

HonestDan
a year ago

@jlowry haha!! The blobs will do that.. though it's the alpha wolf who you should fear most. Glad you got the love potion working! I wish it was a case of the potion being "too strong", but actually - it was just a case of my bad sense of humour when writing the endings!! Thanks for playing and reviewing

DancingClownGames
a year ago

Hi!
Best game we have played so far.

HonestDan
a year ago

@DancingClownGames Thank you so much for the positive feedback. We are delighted you enjoy it! Hope more people get a chance to play it before the results close tomorrow!

HuvaaKoodia
a year ago

Jam version

Not the most original idea, but it is thematic enough. Brewing potions is borderline witchcraft though. My issue with the potion system is that it is all trial and error. Even worse, as each potion only requires at most one ingredient type you can go outside on day 1, collect all four ingredients around the houses, try one potion and restart until you find the love potion…

Why go to the forest? It is dangerous and a waste of time quite frankly. It is completely random which ingredients if any the forest has.

The graphics are good, not much to comment there.

The audio assets are nice, but the credits seem to suggest that they were not made for this project within the jam timeframe. If so that is against the rules and you should opt out of audio altogether. A big penalty for that from me.

O 4, G 8, A 1, G 3, O 5, T 5

O 5, G 8, A 5, G 3, O 5, T 5

Post-Jam version

The graphics are better. There are a few other improvements too, like most of the werewolves coming out only after dark and dropping all items if passing out. Unfortunately the day 1 brewing issue is still present. In fact the achievements make it even worse. Of course you grind the achievements this way, wandering around the forest is still a boring slog (the speed up potion helps).

The achievements are also big spoilers if you happen to look at them before playing for the first time.

HonestDan
a year ago

@HyvaaKoodia Thanks, it's clear you gave this game a good amount of time and wrote an honest review.

Regarding achievement system that is good feedback. The descriptions do give away things, maybe we should have just kept a picture and only show a tool tip if you have unlocked that ending.

The day one brewing issue may well be seen as an issue from the standpoint of "trying to complete the game only". But if you are wanting to play the game, without gambling and killing Natalie repeatedly until you luck out the 1/16 chance, then there is all the incentive to go to the woods. I appreciate some people are just keen to finish the game, and as a result perhaps we should remove the ingredients from the village. However, we felt this was a "soft" tutorial to help new players understand the concept of collection / crafting in a safe environment.

Making the forest exploration more engaging and interesting was something that was on our minds, but found it hard to do within the time limitiation. We also wanted to keep to a system where the only actions available to the player were based on their potions. Thanks for the feedback, if we improve the game further we'll explore ways to make it more interesting.

Importantly, regarding the audio - All assets were made during the jam except for the song. The song used was created by one of the game's developers, and we used short samples from this song in order to give the game some background music. We didn't just paste in a whole song and used it as background music, we instead created small looping samples from a song that we had rights to use. We don't feel this means we should exclude ourselves from being rated on the games audio. We understand your concern regarding the audio, but don't feel voting it as a 1 really reflects the effort and quality of the sounds we used in the game.

Finally, regarding witchcraft… personally we don't see it like that. You will see the brewing of potions categorised as "Alchemy" historically, and in many other games such as Warcraft, Ultima Online or Elder Scrolls - therefore I do feel we WERE keeping in line with the jam's theme with our game concept.

HuvaaKoodia
a year ago

@HonestDan
Glad to hear the audio isn't ripped from anywhere. It is still somewhat suspect when it comes to the rules which explicitly state all assets need to be made in the jam itself. I'll let it slide this time. I've adjusted the scores.

It is always a good idea to mention corner cases like this in the description, especially if your credits page has 3 more people than your team.

dollarone
a year ago

Nice game! The audio fits really nicely and makes a nice mood. I like the idea of experimenting your way to the potion - do you take a chance and try it on Natalie or yourself, or do you find a monster?

The 4 ingredient limit makes it a bit into a brute force game, which is ok I guess, although might make people restart and try again just to finish? I don't know. (especially since ingredients are available in the village)

Cool idea and story and well implemented!

Haoron
a year ago

Congratulations!

HonestDan
a year ago

@Haoron Thank you awesome pal! We are chuffed!!!

@dollarone Really kind words, thanks for taking the time to play and review it! The brute force approach is there, but I mean, you are just repeating a 1 in 16 chance over and over. We hoped people who play a game want an experience, and prefer the challenge of completing the game without killing your One True Love 15 times before lucking the right one! Thanks again

Jupiter_Hadley
10 months ago

Very cute graphics! I included it in my Alakajam #1 compilation video series, if you’d like to take a look. :) https://youtu.be/fRBZG2NbaE8

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Info

In an attempt to find love, Liam turns to Alchemy to create the Potion of Love. The only thing is, Liam knows nothing about Alchemy... and Alchemy's a dangerous business!

Links

Windows Download Source Code Post-Jam on itch.io

Authors

brainoidgames
HonestDan
Otixa