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A jam submission

Hijack HelplineView game page

Stop a runaway train disaster... over the phone
Submitted by Rob Streeting (@robsws) — 2 hours, 50 minutes before the deadline
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Hijack Helpline's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Originality#1494.1384.138
Overall#7423.4833.483
Presentation#13073.3793.379
Fun#13113.1033.103

Ranked from 29 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

How does your game fit the theme?
Thematically, it's about a runaway train. Mechanically, you don't have any direct control over the train, you have to suggest what the driver should do over the phone.

Did your team create the art for this game during the 48 hour time slot?

Yes

We created all art during the game jam

Did your team create the audio for this game during the 48 hour time slot?

No

We used pre-existing audio

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Comments

Submitted(+1)

It's a really well-made game, though I feel like I'm not very good at it? As others have said, locating the train on the map is really difficult ("what do you see out the window?" "Another section of the train track" "Ah yes, that narrows it down"). It was also hard for me to estimate how fast the train is moving, which sapped a fair bit of tension after the brakes section was over (I suspect there's an indicator to look at, but I haven't found it). Still - an neat concept, and one I'd love to see explored more.

Developer

That's a fair point actually, I don't think there's anything in game to give you an idea of how fast the train goes other than just looking out of the window. You're right that often there's just another segment of track out of the window, perhaps I can rejig the map a bit so that that is much less common. Thanks for playing and thanks for the feedback!

Submitted(+1)

This works really well! It was a real challenge to try and figure out where the train was on the map all while tracking the other trains. The presentation is also very good, as I didn't struggle with the interface at all.
I wonder if speeding up the text would add to the tension of this simulation? I found that the pace slowed down a bit when I was trying to locate the train by prompting the driver to look out the window. Since there are a few repeated lines of text this slowed me down.
Overall, it was very satisfying to regain control of the train and direct it to safety. It reminded me a lot of the board game SONAR (which is a very good thing)! Well done!

Developer(+1)

Thanks for playing! I agree it takes too long to look out the window and hence it's far too difficult to find yourself on the map. This is probably my #1 thing to fix if I get around to tweaking this game. Ha thinking about SONAR, this could be even more chaotic as a multiplayer game where each player has a different piece of information and have to communicate with each other by the phone as well as the driver!

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

I really, really like the idea, and it must have been fun to create. I wish there were a couple of extra things, like telling the person what the different displays on the dashboard are, or having train stickers you can put on the map so you can visualise where everything is! Overall, the game made me feel like I was Houston in Apollo 13, trying to help these people as much as I can. 

Developer

Ah that would be an awesome theme to take this forward actually! Yeah it's definitely a bit too hard as it is and a few elements are needlessly obscure so I totally agree there, but I'm really glad you enjoyed it despite that.

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

I've been trying to find the best way of telling a story through a video game - I think you're on to something here.

Developer

Wow, that's high praise! Thank you!

Submitted(+1)

Very cool and interesting game. Must have taken a lot of time to come up with all the different controls and dialogue branches.

Developer(+1)

Haha yes - I didn't actually get as much in as I was hoping in the end - was going to have weather conditions, situations where the driver would stop following your suggestions if they lost confidence in you amongst other things. I had to aggressively scope it down and even then only just finished! Thanks for playing and I'm glad you liked it.

Submitted(+1)

Definitely plays a lot like "Keep talking and nobody explodes" except with traincrashes insted of exploding.

Great idea, I had a lot of fun going through manual and so on, but I kind of get lost quickly. Both in lots of options and also in deciding what should I do next. Either way - very unique and entertaining (the humour is great) experience :)

Developer(+1)

Thanks for the compliment on the humour :) I wanted to create a kind of frantic experience, but I definitely needed to make it is easier to place the train on the map. Thanks for playing!

Submitted(+1)

nice game alot of fun really smart

(+1)

Very nice!

I also got lost, trying to understand where I should move the person and where that person was. But it was a very interesting mechanics, and I loved the feeling of turning the pages furiously trying to see where the next information on the guide was.

Good job :D

Submitted(+1)

I think this is a cool concept, but my train was in darkness, so I had no idea where the train was, or how to really deal with that. I found it a struggle to figure out anything on the dashboard.

I'd love to play another iteration on this with some more help guides (maybe something like in Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes or Paper's Please, where you have pages to flip through and diagrams to look at)

(+1)

It is an awesome idea but I got lost really fast.

Developer

That's fair enough - one thing I'd do in hindsight is have no repeated features on the map, so if you see a mountain out of the window you know exactly where you are. Thanks for playing though, appreciate the feedback :)

Submitted(+2)

Nice one, it's a cool mix of papers please and keep talking, and so on. Great stuff.

Developer

Yep I was thinking specifically of those two games actually while I was developing!

(+1)

Thanks for the great game! Amazing concept.

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

I liked the idea, the conversation is nicely done and you get the idea that you are in a dare situation and you need to be fast. One thing i laughed at is that the person you’re talking to acts like robot, like when you ask to look out the window and then it asks back which window lol. The manual is very well done as well the instructions that say too look color coding elsewhere are a real pain and very fun lol. The game requires some playing to get used to, for example i noticed that i didn’t use the timetable tab at all but looking at it now i see how it can be useful to determine where the train is, i just didn’t get that when i was playing tough. I’ll try it again later to see if i can get to save the train.

Developer(+1)

Haha yeah, I originally wanted to make the response options a bit more advanced so that you could substitute in text (like "Please use the <colour> lever on the <position> of the dashboard") but this way saved me a bit of time. Thanks for playing!

Submitted(+2)

This is kind of awesome. I couldn't win, but at the very least I tried. The concept is INSANELY creative. I love the idea so much. When playing, I found it difficult because I couldn't really figure out where I was so I eventually ran into another train. Even when looking out the window, things didn't help much. It was really fun, though.

Developer(+1)

I agree that looking out the window doesn't give enough information about where you are - that's definitely something I'd like to have fixed with more time! Thanks for giving it a go though :)