A Landlord’s Dream

Released on: 03/02/2015

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About the game

A Landlord’s Dream is a short cyberpunk point and click adventure game.

Abel Lowen, a Stringshaper, gets woke up by his apartment’s alarm clock in the middle of the night. When he’ll finally get up, late for his band’s rehearsal, he will find out that almost nothing seems to be working properly.

What happened? Are others experiencing the same problems? Why is his neighbour hallucinating in the middle of the hallway?

Just like I did with A Night That Wouldn’t End, I developed A Landlord’s Dream with Adventure Game Studio and during the January 2015 edition of the Monthly Adventure Game Studio competition.

This time, though, I made the big step of actually asking for someone else to team up with me… And what a great step it has been!

I got in touch with Kastchey and CaptainD, both members of the AGS community and both great teammates and tireless workers.

CaptainD is also working on his own games, go check the great Captain Disaster in Death has a Million Stomping Boots!

The theme for the competition was “Aftermath” and, after different ideas scattered here and there, the three of us decided to go for a cyberpunk story.

a landlord's dream screenshot

What kind of aftermath are we talking about, here? Well, in the world of A Landlord’s Dream, lots of people live with implants (for whatever reason, from leisure to work) and the actual plot unravels around the characters experiencing problems with their implants out of the blue. Something happened overnight and nothing seems to work anymore.

Working on this game was special. It has been years since I’ve been into sci-fi and cyberpunk, and the great art of Kastchey matched the mood I had in mind for this game perfectly.

With Kastchey working on the art and CaptainD working on sound effects, I had the chance to spend more time producing proper music for the game. I wanted it to be a narrative element, following the characters and their situations.

And this work, although short, paid off: the game was nominated for the Best Music and Sound award at the AGS Awards 2015. To celebrate I put a link to download the game’s soundtrack for free.

As it may happen on such short games, it may lack polish on the puzzles’ side and, of course, there are things that, in hindsight, I would have done differently but, considering the short development and the challenge I’m really happy with how it turned out to be.

Reviews

“A cyberpunk adventure game in a run-down apartment complex, and a game that feels a lot like a forgotten Phillip K. Dick story, brought to life with great attention to detail. Lovely, crunchy pixel art, careful worldbuilding, and a perfectly mood-setting, Vangelis-style soundtrack complete the package.”

PC Gamer’s Best Free Games of 2017

“Amazingly, there’s a world here, cyberpunky and mysterious and sparkling with inspiration, not that far off from dystopian Los Angeles from Blade Runner or the futuristic, augmented Detroit from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It may not be entirely fleshed out in every instance, but there’s a lot to digest, with plenty of room to grow and become something bigger.”

Grinding Down