|Journey To Eden|
Journey To Eden as seen from above
Design & Style
Find checkered finish marker
1st Place Time Travel Contest
Journey to Eden is a popular game on ChallengeYou.
This game was created by babywinter and is the 16th Most Popular Game on ChallengeYou. This was also babywinter's first contest win. It won first prize in the Time Travel Contest. The game took babywinter a month to conceptualize and complete.
The game was last saved on April 28, 2011, though the game was first published sometime in 2008. This game also became a precursor in babywinter's style and approach in creating games: creating massive models in games.
It has been cited as the greatest game on ChallengeYou, and many members named it their favorite.
The game takes place in Eden. It starts out as you are about to go back to the present time aboard your time ship. The spirits guarding the ancient garden appears to have stolen your keys, hindering you from returning home. The reason behind the spirits keeping your keys was not overtly told, but at the beginning of the game, the spirits seem wanted to "test your courage and will to undergo a series of trials". Left with no choice, you start out of the ship to find the keys hidden somewhere what appears to be a lavish forest of big oak trees.
After retrieving the keys in various locations and returning the time ship, you are informed that you have at last fulfilled your destiny. The game wraps up reminding you that as you return to your real world, many mysteries and adventure await you. "A journey begins as a journey ends."
Open-World Feel. The building block feature of Journey to Eden is its seemingly one-floor map. One-floor maps usually utilize a single flat floor. In the game, however, the sides of the floor were lifted up to the 10th level in a slope with the use of ramps. The idea was subtly inspired by ChallengeYou himself, who told babywinter that the former developed the game crafter software in a way that the top levels can be rendered invisible, unlike in other 3D game crafters where players are constricted in a one-floor level with a visible roof above. Babywinter also wanted to deviate a little from her previous game, Call of the Ancients, which featured roofed levels. She wanted to create a roofless map that seemingly "blends with the sky". This influenced babywinter to utilized the style blending her maps with sky in all of her games, instead of creating a canopy or a roof on top of the maps. The style seems to give an open-world feel.
Massive Modelling. Journey To Eden also featured a Massive Model, recurring and prevalent in babywinter games. The game prides a gigantic, futuristic ship called EVE-07. The name of the ship is derived from the first woman of the Garden of Eden, Eve. The number 7 alludes to the number of days God created earth. The additional 0 in 07 is a stylistic feel, alluding computers and high technology in the future, since 0 is one of the two digits in the binary system. Furthermore, the time ship was rendered in sci-fi and bars, with a little touch of glass, though in the first appearance of the game, the doors were rendered scary, as the sci-fi doors were still not available at that time.
Secret Passageways. The idea of passageways became mandatory in the designing of the game since the use of ramps as slopes produced empty spaces behind the ramps. Babywinter also thought that it would be cool to add secret passageways, since the object of the game can be compared to "hide-and-seek". It also gave players the sense of "fun in discovery". Secret passageways are placed in strategic locations, but mostly in trees. Some passageways are complex and long, adding more fun and curiosity to the gameplay.
Abstract Modelling. Another approach babywinter utilized for this game is Abstract Modelling. In the planning process, babywinter have already determined the animal spirits to be used in the game. Babywinter thought of modelling the trees to abstractly look like the animals they represent. The Rabbit Tree has leaves that is shaped like a head of a rabbit. The Snake is a snake head with it split tongue out; the two barks look like poisonous fangs. The leaves of the Fish tree are shaped like a fish. The turtle is a huge turtle complete with legs (the two barks), shell, head, and tail (the leaves). The Rat mimics the head of Mickey Mouse. The Camel shows the usual two humps and the long-necked head part.
Thematic Missions. In this game, babywinter did not stop in just modelling physical attributes of animals, but also infused the use of thematic missions in the game. This means that the six animal missions: Rabbit, Snake, Fish, Turtle, Rat, and Camel must show traits of the animals. Here are the themes used by babywinter in each six missions:
- In Rabbit, the player must "hop" inside the tree to retrieve the key.
- In Snake, the end portion of the trail is "zigzagging".
- In Fish, the player must "swim underwater".
- In Turtle, the player can be "slowed down" by a horde of icemen.
- In Rat, the player traversed a choose-the-door option that can be a "mouse-trap" dead-end
- In Camel, the trail is in "humps"
Deceptions. As in other maze games in ChallengeYou, babywinter used deception in the game to make things more difficult for the player. In this game, the deception is some sort of a "punishment" to the player who missed to read important message boards. In this game, though there are six keys that needed to be retrieved, the player is caught off-guard to think that he or she must retrieve keys 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. But that is not the case. The top of the ship requires a key 8 (not 6). It is a classic test of patience among players, as if to tell, "when you thought you have it, you realized it was not." This game becomes a precursor of "punishment because you do not read" motif in babywinter's games.
The player must "find the checkered finish marker" to complete the game. At the beginning of the game, the player is informed in advance that the checkered finish marker is found in the same time ship where the game starts. However, the doors leading onto the top of the ship are locked. Therefore, keys hidden throughout the map must be retrieved. There are six keys that must be retrieved, with three keys in each of the two sectors of the map.
The map is divided into two sectors: East of Eden and West of Eden. Message boards to the left exit point of the ship indicates that the search must first commence in East of Eden. The player must locate the tree that represents the Rabbit, the Snake, and the Fish. West of Eden hides keys for the Turtle, the Rat, and the Camel. Strategically, completing the missions in the East of Eden is technically easier compared to that of West of Eden.
The trees in the map are labeled. They are not however labeled with generic animal names, adding more difficulty in the task at hand. For instance, the Rabbit Tree is labeled Blue of Ham, which is a breed of a rabbit.
East of Eden Edit
The message board at the entrance of East of Eden reads: "This is the East of Eden—here you will find the wily RABBIT, the treacherous SNAKE, and the [naive] FISH—just as the sun rises in the east, it is better to start your adventure here." Therefore, the player must retrieve three keys hidden in the Rabbit, Snake, and Fish trees. These keys are labeled 1, 2, and 3 (though it doesn't matter in which order the keys must be retrieved). The level of difficulty and surprise factor however increases the higher the number assigned to a key.
Rabbit Tree Edit
The Rabbit Tree is labeled Blue of Ham in the game. From a certain angle, the leaves of this tree is shaped like a rabbit head with two long, protruding ears. Blue of Ham is situated three trees from the left exit point of the time ship. The tree is situated at the left back of Dugong, which is behind Braunvieha, the first tree players will encounter at the East entrance. However, the secret passageway for this tree is not located in the trunk, but in the leaves.
In order to reach the small hidden entrance on the leaves, the player must climb up the slope to the hilltop. Turn left to the Hyena, and just before the player reaches Hampshire, a small opening can be seen at the leaves of Blue of Ham. The player must jump into this opening to retrieve the key inside.
Snake Tree Edit
The Snake Tree is labeled Anaconda and Python in either of its two barks. Both barks are planted on the hilltop beside the rushing waterfalls. Both barks were the only trees planted on that side of the garden. The double-tree mimics a head of a cobra with its split tongue coming out; the two barks look like fangs. The entrance in located in the Anaconda. The player must climb a series of trees until he or she comes to a poem stating: "Dreadful of all!!! You have found the snake head—slither through the other fang, and through the body, and through the tail to retrieve the key you need." Going through, the player is led to the other trunk, down into the underground leading to the outside. This is the middle part.
The middle part showcases the majestic waterfall to the left and floating island stones to leap through, until the player arrives to the other side of the garden, where another secret passageway awaits. This is the tail mentioned in the poem. The player must slither the zigzagging terrain inside until the key is retrieved. The player must find his way out, and more often, the exit is jumping into the waterfall at the open midpoint of the trail.
Fish Tree Edit
The Fish Tree is labeled Sole. It is located along the banks of East of Eden beside the waterfall and the Marmoset. The leaves of the tree when viewed from below resembles a fish. The secret passageway located at the bark of the tree leads to an entrance to the river's underwater terrain with a poem that says: "Sparkling, you have found the fish—dive and swim under your ship to retrieve the key you wish."
Afterwards, the player is led to the underwater beauty of the river that divides Eden into half. The key is situated underneath the time ship. There is nothing difficult in the game play. The idea of sticking to the water theme for the Fish Tree is however a "brilliant idea" as said by babywinter herself.
After completing the Fish Tree, players must exit to the same entrance to resurface to begin the West of Eden.
West of Eden Edit
The message board at the entrance of West of Eden reads: "This is the West of Eden—here you will find the slow TURTLE, the trap-filled RAT, and the bumpy CAMEL—just as the sun sets in the west, it is best to start your adventure on the other side of the garden." In this side of the map, players must retrieve keys concealed in Turtle, Rat, and Camel trees, respectively. The keys are labeled 4, 5, and 8 (not 6). This side of Eden is notoriously difficult as babywinter threw in deceptive challenges in this side of the garden.
Turtle Tree Edit
The Turtle Tree is labeled Terrapin and Tortoise. Both trunks are planted in the middle hilltop of West of Eden with Persian and Manatee in either sides. Unlike in the snake, both trunks have entrances. To retrieve the key, the player must climb the ladder inside Terrapin. On top, the player must evade a horde of icemen to retrieve a key. Once the icemen touched the player, he or she freezes, slowing his or her game time. The player, must also evade the icemen as he or she exits the tree to avoid losing time.
The other side of the tree, Tortoise, is a secret underground passage that leads you to find the "r-e-a-l" Camel Tree (as a deceptive element of the game is in the Camel mission). From a secluded vantage point, the player is shown a "forced perspective" of the Camel. It is composed of leaves of the tree shaped like a camel's hump in the foreground, and a long-necked head of the animal further away from the view. Message boxes in the secret vantage points tells the player that the "real" key is in the "head" of the Camel, and not in the "humps".
Rat Tree Edit
The (real) Rat Tree is labeled Dumbo. Two fake Rat Trees are planted along its vicinity: Berkshire and Hamster. If a player chanced upon either of the two fake Rat Trees, they are greeted all at once with a message board saying they have reached the rat "ears". They were also offered a chance to find the hidden key by choosing one of the three locked doors labeled 1, 2, and 3 (that's why players must have finished the East of Eden at this point of the game). They will however be met with a sign that says: "I'm sorry poor guy, but you should have used your rat head and not ears that made you fall in this booby trap..." Then just behind the bars was the key you covet.
Once the player chooses the correct tree, he or she must choose from three doors to retrieve the key hidden by the Rat spirit.
Camel Tree Edit
The (real) Camel Tree is labeled Dromedary. Three fake trees are present in this side of the garden: Bactrian, Vicuna, and Alpaca. The trickery in this mission is more "punch-to-the-gut" compared to the sly trickery in the Rat Tree. If the player chooses the fake trees, Vicuna and Alpaca (Bactrian does not have a message board, but has a "fake" key nonetheless), he or she is "falsely" guaranteed by message boards to have secured a "real" key. The message boards informed the player that the "humps" of the camel has been successfully reached.
But if the player heeds the advice in the secret vantage point at the Turtle Tree, he or she will reach the "head" of the camel, Dromedary, planted on the right-side hilltop, just behind Lynx. The player will be greeted to have reached the "head" of the camel. Then he or she must traverse a "humped" trail. Player must retrieve key 8 (not 6) inside.
Once all six keys (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8) are collected. The player can now proceed back to the top of the time ship, and step into the checkered finish marker.
Game Theories and Speculations Edit
Here are some game theories and speculations regarding this epic game:
- The lead character in the game is implied as a time traveler. But as to what he is doing in Eden, some players speculate that he might be tracing animal evolutions in the past, especially that of the "missing link". Having said that, the player must have been researching in Eden for months or even years, before the beginning of the game. Some members however speculated that the lead character was trying to research the "genesis of life" to bring it back to his futuristic world that has been destroyed by cataclysmic activities prior to the game.
- Some players speculate that the reason why the lead character is stalled in Eden is because the time machine malfunctioned. The keys were scattered in the garden because of an explosion, and it was his consciousness (not animal spirits) that guided him to find the lost keys.
- Some players speculate that the lead character is a woman. That is the reason why the name of the ship is EVE-07. The lead character must be Eve herself.
- Some players however speculate that the lead is actually two inseparable individuals, like Adam and Eve. The two ventured "together" into this life experience without being separated from each other.
- The occurrence of "head" theme in the game play reflects babywinter's positive attitude on education, especially young people like her.
Here are some fun trivia regarding the game:
- Initial working titles of this game include Spirited Away and Animal Trees.
- Babywinter thought of creating this game as Windmill of Talim, or Talim Windmill. In that version, the players must start on the East side of the Garden, traverse challenges level-by-level on a castle-like wooden watermill in the middle of the river, before coming to the West Side of the Garden to finish. The idea was however changed to its present format when the Time Travel Contest was announced.
- Babywinter also thought of using an old Spanish galleon instead of sci-fi time ship. The nature of the Time Contest made her use the sci-fi theme instead.
- The contest version of this game has "diamonds to collect", as older contest in the past requires collection of diamonds. The diamonds were situated after every each door you unlock inside the time ship. Babywinter removed the diamonds to make the game stick to its original intention of collecting keys.
- CY calls the game Journey Into Eden. Babywinter supposes that is right way to say it grammatically. But because games cannot be renamed, this game goes on as Journey To Eden.
- This game is the very first time babywinter used a real rainbow. The rainbow theme is however evident in her previous game Call of the Ancients
- This game does not use tri-walls, as there were no tri-walls in the game editor at that time.
- There were no variations with the height of the walls in this game since this game was created prior to the "different-height" wall.s
- This game does not use slingshot to kill icemen. There is no shield too, since shields were not yet available at the time this game was created.
- The doors of the time ship in the first launching of the game was rendered "scary" because it was the only available render for doors at that time. The doors were later changed to "sci-fi" when variations of doors were later introduced.
- There are 23 labeled trees in the East of Eden (names in asterisks include secret passageways):
- Blue of Ham***
- There are 20 labeled trees in the West of Eden (names in asterisks include secret passageways):
- Man of War
- Shih Tzu