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A jam submission

Smiles IncorporatedView game page

A dark comedy visual novel about disruption
Submitted by Portrait Prophecies (@noestringfound) — 23 days, 8 hours before the deadline
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Smiles Incorporated's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
People's Choice Vote#1302.4552.455

Ranked from 11 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Engine
Construct 2

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Comments

I'll state first off that I'm not huge into Visual Novels that are only Visual Novels. Reading is all well and good but I prefer to use my own imagination for things rather than other's projected imagery. That said, the style and charm of Smiles Incorporated is well done and visually it hits that creepy-cute aesthetic reasonably well.

As a straight VN it doesn't have any gameplay bar reading and clicking for the next line. No choices to make, just story. What story is there is good, as are the characters - both their designs and their dialogue. I would recommend a bigger font, personally, as it can be a bit hard to read, and the ending just ended up falling flat for me. I waiting for a fair while on the black screen for something more to happen and finished the game with a "That's all?" feeling.

Overall, it's an enjoyable VN with a good style but a nice ending would have really rounded it up better. Also, the twist kinda came out of nowhere and thus the impact was more "um, really?" than "OMG Whaaaat?!"

DeveloperSubmitted(+1)

We prioritize accuracy over conventional theatrics, and thus not all our stories follow desirable plot progression as in reality things do not always happen climatically. Viewers may or may not find the result appealing however the story remains true to itself all the same. Although, the ending of what is currently playable is not the final ending of the story, as there is still a chapter worth of undeveloped plot before and after the current playable chapter.

If you appreciated the style then you may wish to try some of our other games, which are all made in the same likeness.

It wasn't so much the theatrics (although it seemed they were prized more with how heavy and fast the axe fell, so to speak) but more the pacing and sudden reveal, followed by another sudden 'reveal' that made little sense in comparison to the rest of the game. It was a pacing issue with little time for breath after an already large critical moment shown before diving straight back into another critical reveal and moment, with an unsatisfying 'end'.

Granted, you were likely pressed for time to wrap things up, but it seemed to come too fast with little-to-no foreshadowing of any kind and then a sudden reveal with another and another following straight after. It basically built, built, built with no space between for the reader to appreciate what had just happened and then no space for them after to do so either.

IDK, it seemed a bit much is all and as I said, it was probably due to time constraints. Hopefully this post helps convey what I meant a bit better though.

DeveloperSubmitted(+1)

Unfortunately there was not enough meaningful dialogue to give that specific series of events a larger breadth, as the current chapter accounts for a specific day in the life out of many others. The sudden events at the end are inherently less effective due to how short the game is prior, and so there is less immersion which makes the end less believable. It not being the true end also means that it is not meant to be the last thing the viewer sees, and so it being the current end leaves the viewer with no time to digest what happens while the story continues. It is as jarring as any mid-plot twist would be if the plot ended there instead of continuing on.

Both of these issues should be resolved by our future additions of a chapter which is played before and after what is currently playable. It is highly unlikely our game will win this competition however and so its prioritization on our development schedule is uncertain.

The skull remind me Sans, haha. It's so cute <3
Voted~

I liked the art and the ending overall nice game guys