Being in the last year in the university, me and my faithful companions (Paulo Figueiredo and Pedro Linhol) decided we would have some fun in our last project together. And so J.C. Superstar was born: a myriad of nonsense that would give us a reason to spend a lot of time in “project meetings” in one of the campus cafes while discussing what stupid thing to include next.
The idea to J.C. Superstar was born a few years before, when while talking to another colleague about the career opportunities after getting the degree, he stated he would form a religion where he would be the divinity. It was actually a cool starting point for a graphic adventure where a game designer which was fired decided to do just that.
The “unique” characteristic about this game was to have the player going through different decisions (sometimes he would not realize that) that would have repercussions in the game. And as he travels different countries spreading his religion and it becomes more popular, his decisions have bigger effects. The effects were noticed mostly in the way the NPC’s (implemented using models in autonomous agents’ theory) interacted with the player, but also in the environment itself, or even in the narrative’s path. Notice this idea was born before Infamous, so it shows how creative we were. Ok, but it was also born after Fable, so we were actually nothing special!
The assignment was to create an “intermediate” level, so that while playing the prototype/demo, the players could really experience the game and not an introductory part. So to emulate the evolution of the character, and the differences in the game according to player’s choices, we needed to include a set of questions, where the player’s answers change the way the level is played.
Looking back, the game lacked really good puzzles and story (indispensible for a good graphical adventure), and the humor was really not that good. But still, if you want to test it, please be my guest. Download and play (windows only) the proto – J.C. Superstar, made using the Wintermute Engine. It’s a 5 minute run, and since you are here, I’m pretty sure you have nothing better to do anyway.