Nectar Nexus

Puzzles in whimsical porcelain gardens, where the mysteries blossoms and bees unfold

Cover art of the image; a bee resting on a white blossom, giving off a golden glow.
A collaborative entry to Ludum Dare 55🪐. Team members (in alphabetical order): Ayu, Jupiter in TARDIS, Persepolis, Suan.

Playable on this site.

Nectar Nexus is a puzzle game where the player explores the secrets of blossoms and flowers hidden among the delicate patterns on porcelain vases. The player seems to have taken on the role of the floral deity of the porcelain world, having in their hands the blooming of each blossom; while the bees, attracted by the scents, appears to be the key nexus for the garden to flourish.

Visual elements from the puzzles.
A screenshot of the game.
A screenshot of the game.
Porcelain vases and variably-shaped bottles on the puzzle selection scene.

The theme of the event is “Summoning”. Based on its meaning of “remotely communicating with and manipulating things”, we considered the calling between animals, as well as relevant means of remote communication beyond language. After much exploration, we arrived at a puzzle game about flowers and insects.

Considering the word’s tendency to become homogenised in Western (especially anglophone) contexts, we looked to exotic cultures with the intention of invoking a vibe of novelty and curiosity through our work. The visuals referenced styles including Byzantine mosaics, Chinese traditional paintings, and Persian miniatures, rendering each puzzle as a decorative pattern on porcelain. We went against any modern language script in the game, which was a risky choice for the abstract, rigorous rules of the puzzles, but this maintained a whimsical atmosphere while saving the trouble of translation, ah no, … while allowing players from varied cultural backgrounds to appreciate such delicacy through their own wisdom, unhindered.

There are a total of 30 puzzles in the game. Hints and reference solutions are published here🪐.

permalink | by Ayu