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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.

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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 it's you don't have to get up at midnight just to solve bits of it, but you might discover something interesting if you do.

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The Beginning

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). For most of that time it was just call Moon.

I'd written a shiny new directX 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"

As you can see in the shot below, I started out with a dog/bear like character, no lighting and some very flat colours.

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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.

I think you'll be able to spot a few differences in the image below.


Whats in a few years

A lot's changed in the years between those original concepts and the final game. Lots of things got changed and so many other things needed creating; from NPC narrative and logic to musical composition and real-time light propagation. So much in fact that I ended up writing 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.

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What now?

So now I really am nearly finished making The Moonstone Equation and I'd like to get it into peoples hands and see if they actually enjoy it as much as I hope they do. Obviously I could just give it away but it would also be nice to hope that it could make enough money to buy me a nice meal or some new shoes.

This brings me to my humble request. If you think this sounds like your sort of game please click the link below and vote for my game, then tell all your friend to do the same it might be there sort of game too.

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Latest tweets from @arbonox

So, as of today you can enjoy listening to all the nice tunes from my #indiedev puzzle game #MoonstoneEquation wit… T.co

Oct 6 2020

Been really enjoying the #sameartist tag over the past few days. I think it's even put the breaks on my doom scroll… T.co

Oct 6 2020

Fun Fact 7: Verses in game + on steam trading cards [sub stars][obj me][loc up][vb look] [sub story][obj beauty][f… T.co

Aug 26 2020

Fun-Fact 6: I wanted a mix of thinking styles across the #MoonstoneEquation world. So as you move away from the s… T.co

Aug 25 2020

Fun-Fact 5: The light-up wire puzzles are inspired by the wireworld cellular automata (https://buff.ly/3l4ioGD) an… T.co

Aug 24 2020

Fun-Fact 4: In the early years of it's development #MoonstoneEquation had a dog as it's main character. The block… T.co

Aug 23 2020

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