Loco Motive

December 2020

Loco Motive is a point-and-click adventure game created with PowerQuest for Unity, a 2D adventure game tool. I was the sole programmer on the team and contributed to the story, under a tight deadline of two weeks for AdvXJam 2020

I worked alongside Adam RichesAngelo Di Rosa and Paul Zimmermann during the two-week development to create a short narrative experience that adhered to the game jam theme of A Good Time. Adam and I decided to use PowerQuest as I had prior experience developing with it for our ongoing personal project.

Talking to characters brings up the dialogue tree, players can select which option they'd like Arthur to say. As is conventional to the style, some conversations even contain clues for the puzzles in the game.

I wrote a simple scrolling script to achieve the parallax effect of the train in motion. By moving seamless sprites to a target position and then snapping them back to their starting position on the arrival frame, each background layer can loop infinitely. Adjusting the speed at which they travel gives the illusion of depth between background layers.

Arthur can pick up or be given items and put them in his inventory. He can combine items or use them on objects in the room to solve puzzles.

I used the 2D Pixel Perfect package for Unity to ensure the pixel art remained authentic at different resolutions, and stable in motion. The camera component works by creating a render texture at the reference resolution, which is then upscaled.

Inspired by Murder on the Orient Express, Loco Motive is a murder mystery-comedy, full of deadly surprises, larger than life characters and yes, the occasional blood fountain!

I implemented realtime rim lighting for the character sprites by combing a SpriteLighting shader from Rafa del Riego with the standard sprite shader in PowerQuest. This shader allowed me to place Point Light components within each scene, giving each character directional rim lighting.

"The level of polish in Loco Motive is incredible – with fantastic pixel art animation, intuitive puzzles, a great sense of humor and well written dialogue... It feels a lot like someone’s unearthed a long lost Lucasarts classic... Highly recommended." - Alpha Beta Gamer