Playing through the AGS One Room-One Week (OROW) competition entries reminds me of that point in Samurai Showdown IV where the characters consume more than 75% of his life bars in order to gain more power. Some of the games produced in the comp have been pretty astounding, to say the least.
Take, for example, By the Numbers by Aki Ahonen.
The player takes on the role of Lieutenant Timothy Orman, a police officer who’s not afraid of using other means necessary to get the truth. The game puts you in the interrogation with an architect who claims he witnessed one of the women getting kidnapped just outside his office.
Unlike other point-and-click games, however, By the Numbers zeroes in more on the conversations Orman needs to get into with the witness to save the current victim. There isn’t much interaction apart from selecting, say, which location the witness worked in or how the girl was kidnapped. Pretty airtight story.
What makes the game interesting is the acting.
The game features “motion-captured” facial gestures (using vector graphics) during the conversations between Orman and the witness, which, coupled with full voice acting, renders the facial expressions as realistic as possible. (The whole process is explained in this short “Making Of” video the author made.)
It’s a short game, yes, but for a 7-day game, the effort was well worth it. So it was no surprise when the game won 1st place in all the OROW VI categories.