Permalink link Published 20 February 2016

A walk in the park

Awakeman is no anatidaephobe, even when it’s real.

Firstly, sorry if this doesn’t work/doesn’t work well on your device or browser. I prioritised getting it done over making it smooth on my iPad. It seems that, even in 2016, computing power just hasn’t caught up with the sheer processing requirements of a black-and-white 2D point-and-click game at 267 by 150 embiggened pixels. (Wait, what?)


For those interested in how it works and was made: in short, I started writing it in Go, and then realised I could have it draw to a WebGL canvas by transpiling it to JS with GopherJS. I used Ebiten as a starting point and for the bulk of raw GL/image wrangling, but ended up writing custom sprite animation, vector library, pathfinding, and a text renderer. All the graphics, excluding the Munro font, was drawn by me in aseprite.

And for anybody wondering, Awakeman! (as a website) was, at this writing, a static site built with Hugo, using a modestly hacked-up Hugo Zen theme, hosted on Google App Engine and secured by a Let’s Encrypt certificate.

  • chatTranscript

    For the transcript-reading folks: This one is not a three-panel comic, rather, it’s a point-and-click adventure. I’m sorry that this is not as amenable to accessibility as other games out there, because I was too lazy to add

    • audio,
    • keyboard controls, and
    • text-to-speech hooks

    into the game itself. Maybe one day, I’ll do all that. But for now, the page is at least somewhat zoomable, and you get this thrilling transcript.

    Awakeman! No. 27: A walk in the park.


    Awakeman: Alright. It must just be fate that I got duckied while escaping from Science Jesus’s never-ending explanations.

    Awakeman: May as well search for the missing painting of the letter “W”!

    Ducky: Quack quack quack quack QUACK quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack quack!

    Awakeman: Erm.

    Awakeman: I don’t speak “duck”. So I’m guessing…

    Awakeman: …It must be…

    Awakeman: Nearby?

    Ducky: Quack quack.

    While walking around

    Awakeman: Ducky, can you at least give me a clue?

    Ducky: Quack quack quack quack.

    Awakeman: Well that’s not helpful.

    Shortly afterwards… Ringring

    Awakeman: Better answer that.

    Awakeman (on phone): Hello?

    Science Jesus: I noticed you were wandering around the park. That’s–

    Awakeman (on phone): Hi Science Jesus. You’re watching me?

    Science Jesus: I’m always watching. I’m Science Jesus.

    Awakeman (on phone): …

    Science Jesus: But also watching from the ducky. I did tell you about that feature.

    Awakeman (on phone): Duck-based surveillance. Right.

    Awakeman (on phone): How did the ducky appear in front of me after I stormed out of your home?

    Science Jesus: I explained that too, but you weren’t listening.

    Awakeman (on phone): Okay… Look, I’m going to–

    Science Jesus: Find my painting? Great! Well, as you will have figured out by now, the ducky will help you with that.

    Awakeman (on phone): Howw-wwwait, no, not asking.

    Science Jesus: Hmm. But I wasn’t done explaining. :(

    Awakeman (on phone): Can you give me a clue?

    Science Jesus: Not really. All I can tell from my sensor array here is you’re actually pretty close!

    Science Jesus: Just keep looking around the area.

    Awakeman (on phone): Okay, SJ. Talk later.


    On discovering a secluded area

    Awakeman: Huh. What a cool little hideaway!

    Ducky: Quack!

    Awakeman: Nice and peaceful. I could see myself having a forest nap after this “forest bath”.

    Ducky: Quack!

    Awakeman: No Science Jesus to talk my ears off.

    Ducky: Quack quack QUACK quack, quack quack quack!

    Awakeman: …

    Awakeman: Yeah, it’s too cold. Gotta stay awake.

    There’s a tree that has a long branch off to one side.

    Awakeman: Weird tree!

    Is that the painting?

    Something that looks somewhat like a painting is hanging off a tree.

    Awakeman: Wait, is that…!


    Awakeman: Quick!

    Awakeman approaches the tree, but realises that just while they were deliberating, it has vanished.

    Awakeman: It was…it…uh…

    Ducky: QUaaaaaack.

    Awakeman: I could have sworn something was hanging on that tree.

    Phone: Ring

    Awakeman: Wh–phone? Not when we’re so close!

    Phone: boop

    Awakeman: Maybe it disappeared down this way.

    An old friend

    Awakeman keeps walking and has an encounter. It’s Alamore.

    Awakeman: Hey, Alamore!

    Alamore: If it isn’t Awakeman. Fancy seeing you out here! Enjoying the park?

    Awakeman: It’s been an interesting walk.

    Alamore: What brings you out here?

    Awakeman: Well, I’m looking for a missing painting of a letter “W”–

    Alamore: Surely a hero as brave and important as you has better things to do? :)

    Awakeman: I’m not that important…

    Awakeman: Um. I mean…“Awakeman” is just my name, I’m not a hero at all.

    Alamore: No! Nonsense. You’re smart, and very handsome, and a hero.

    Alamore: It’s like you’re an alien from another planet, you don’t fit in here, not with the rest of the small-minded people who live in this town. :)

    Awakeman: Um. Thanks.

    Alamore: Who told you you’re not a hero?

    Awakeman: N–nobody?

    Alamore: Oh come on, you can trust me. :)

    Awakeman: No, I’m … I don’t think I’m special.

    Alamore: Hm. Well, we should have a chat about a very important project…

    The End

    (of this episode.) Tune in next week for another gripping episode of Awakeman!