The Testament of the White Cypress

The Testament of the White Cypress is a fantasy role-playing adventure game for your Windows, Mac, or Linux PC. Using the mouse and keyboard, a single player controls a lone monk named Geoffrey as he travels through a post-apocalyptic wilderness. Gameplay involves navigating the landscape, ranged combat with bow-and-arrow, management of food and shelter, NPC conversations, item crafting, and several different magical powers.

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Cypress is now available free for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. You can download your copy from itch.io:

About the art

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Cypress is presented in 1080p High Definition. All objects, environments, and animations in the game are painted with a mixed-media approach, using colored pencils and acrylic artist paints applied to watercolor paper. These artworks are scanned and then digitally composited via OpenGL.

The stylized aesthetic is inspired by children's pop-up books and those playsets where you arrange bendable, colorful cut-out objects and characters into a scene.

Due to the high native image resolution, the game window can resize to fullscreen 1920x1080 without losing any graphical detail or blurring the edges of fonts. (For full-resolution frames, click the link beneath the image.)

About the music

The fantasy soundtrack employs FM synthesis, sampling, and real instrument recordings to create abstract, synthetic timbres. The sounds and melodies are meant to evoke various archaic instruments and vocal styles. Music does not loop in the game; most of the soundtrack's cues are short (about one minute in length) and play once through when triggered by an event or situation. My overall aim is to create the musical atmosphere in which an order of spiritual warrior-monks utilize music for a variety of religious purposes, and also incidental and improvised music played while traveling long distances.

You can listen to the soundtrack now on SoundCloud. It contains over 30 minutes of original music, with one-third from 2008's Sanctuary and the rest composed and recorded especially for Cypress.

Production

Cypress is programmed entirely in Common Lisp, using the Common Lisp Object System. Image processing was done with Imagemagick and The GIMP with the help of Wacom pen tablets. Music and sound effects were made with Milkytracker, Hexter, Audacity, and several different animals and sounds from nature.

Influences

  • Roguelikes
  • 90s CRPG's such as the Ultima series
  • Interactive fiction, the Inform 6 object model
  • Zork
  • Lovecraft

A note about copyright

The Lisp code of Cypress is distributed under version 3 of the GNU General Public License, but the art assets and music are All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to download and enjoy the game, but please do not redistribute or syndicate Cypress on other websites without permission. Thank you!