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A member registered Sep 02, 2018

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All I get is a blank screen with background music, and then the program stops responding...

Oh, I finally noticed the little triangle arrow indicating the grid orientation.  That's so sneaky.  Just like how the wire configurations don't go in order past the first time.  I'm glad I was able to figure it out, but it's a shame that if you're missing something, there's no real way to get unstuck.

I enjoyed the game, but it is kind of lacking the excitement of collaborating with another person like in "Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes."  This game basically just has you take on both roles of that game, which misses a key part of the appeal.  It's still nice for what it is, though.

I reached what I think was the third day.  There was a connection problem with the tank and three lit green diodes, which I resolved.  Then it says there are two lit red diodes, which means create figure 5 from the grid annex, but I did that and it didn't work.  I tried the response for two flashing red diodes just in case, mixing up terafitunol (misspelled as terafinutol in the manual by the way), which I'm pretty sure I did correctly, but still no response.  I'm stuck and can't figure out how to proceed.

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I'm playing on a PC, actually.









I did enjoy playing, even if the lag and text speed issues dampened that a bit.  I'm interested in seeing the rest of the story, though it'll be hard to retain that interest if there are really long gaps between releases.

The game description says it's broken up into "five huge chapters," and this demo is the entire first chapter, I take it?  But it didn't feel "huge" at all, to be honest.  It seemed like it barely scratched the surface of the full story.  A lot of it was just predictable dialog, and I even anticipated that the death was an accident as soon as "snag" was communicated.  It seemed strange that no one even considered the literal meaning until later on.  Though I suppose Zarah (intentionally?) steered them away from that conclusion.  The tree branch being broken was also immediately obvious, at least to me.  Hopefully the future chapters are less predictable.

It does feel like the game is setting up some interesting reveals, at least, with the way Cass seems so unbothered by their friend's death and apparently hadn't spoken to anyone in a while, or the mentions of Elise's bad home situation, or how the DnD party includes an unaccounted-for rogue or paladin (whichever one Ari isn't), or how Zarah was thinking that Tessa doesn't know her friends very well (though no idea what she's basing that off of, or why she was opposed to the suggestion that the death wasn't suicide).  If any of these were given explanations, then I guess I missed them.

However, I feel like there's a disconnect with the core game mechanic.  We're playing as the spirit being called, but we don't have any of the knowledge the spirit is supposed to have, and we have to guess at the answers based on the options the spell cards give us and the character thoughts.  The former makes it seem like Zarah (or some other force) is directly manipulating what the spirit is saying, or at least can say, which doesn't seem intended, and the latter makes it seem like we're not the intended spirit at all, and are simply providing believable answers because of an unanticipated thought-reading ability.

The latter might be an interesting twist, and the possibility of it being the wrong spirit is even mentioned, but you'd think Zarah would be aware that spirits could read thoughts and fake identity that way (or does she in fact know and is misleading everyone?), and we're not presented with any possible motive for a different spirit to do this, especially if they're only supposed to be able to be contacted once.  If you really are meant to be playing as the intended spirit (Elise in this case), then it just doesn't feel very much like we are.  Giving the spirit (you) some internal dialog would certainly help with this, but I have to assume there's a reason you didn't include this.

Another thing is that it can be frustrating to be given a board of spell cards and not know if you're wasting time trying to find an answer because you're actually locked into giving no valid answer, due to plot-required noise or the question being faulty.  Hopefully that doesn't keep happening throughout the game.  I also don't understand why some words were underlined even when they didn't seem to relate to any spell card answer options or journal entries.  One example that comes to mind is "crack," from Tessa's thought.

Sorry if I'm being too critical.  Hopefully you find this feedback helpful.

Some feedback:

Under "Features," you call this a "kinetic novel."  My understanding is that this term is for visual novels with no branching paths or interactive elements, which I don't believe applies to this game.  You probably don't want to give people the wrong idea.

You might want to add "Interactive Fiction" as a genre for this game.  All visual novels inherently fall under that category I think, but you probably want this game to show up for people searching by the "interactive fiction" genre specifically.

The text speed setting doesn't seem to work.  It's painfully slow and can't be made faster.  Also, the settings controls are not very responsive.  The game as a whole seems to be rather laggy.

I did encounter issues with the journal.  I didn't see any changes to it after the final update notification for it appeared, and I tried flipping through it to see if the update was on a previous page, but the lag was really bad.  And once I tried using the First and Last buttons, then any of the navigation buttons made the page stick to the mouse in its turning animation, without being able to release it.  Things got more messed up from there.

It's common convention for text history to be triggered by scrolling up.  I would suggest implementing this for your game for ease of use.

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When I try to install, Windows Defender thinks it's a Trojan malware...

Hit false end 4, Revelation, and tried to "rebirth" to before my choice so I could stay on script, but it put me after that choice.  Talking to the guy again went the same way, and didn't even let me escape to the main menu while the dialog was continuing, so I had to force close.  I'm not willing to restart from the beginning, so I guess that's it.  Pretty disappointing, honestly.

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I'm not sure how people would normally come across this game, but I found it in the itch application.  It's not playable when installing it from there, though.  You apparently have to open this page in a browser instead.

Most games I find through the application offer screenshots, which I think is good to give players a better idea of what the game is like.

I noticed a typo in the conversation, when the woman says she's been here since '87.  "Here" is missing a letter.

It seems there's only one person who ever comes.  After he leaves, no one else comes but there's no indication that there's no more content.  Some sort of end screen or message would be preferable.

"Fiancee" with two e's is for females.  "Fiance" with one e is for males.

I did all of that and still no luck.

I'm pretty sure I did everything I'm supposed to for chapter 3, but I can't get the howl cutscene to trigger.  I gave Roman the flask and picked up my phone.   I think I have everything in my inventory that I could have.

I'm on Dean's route.  When I was prompted for a password at the vault, I guessed it on my first try.  This lead to presumably stopping any deaths and going to bed on day 10, where it said "to be continued."

It seemed strange to me, since password hints thus far were all given in the routes where you didn't guess the password, and having it be so easy to guess this time around without failing first was confusing.

I reloaded to the part at the vault and declined to enter a password this time, and got the bad route with deaths.  But not only did this not seem to reveal any additional hint for the password, it also ended in its own, separate "to be continued."

So now I have two separate saves left hanging and no idea what's going on...

Tried to load my last save, and it just gives an error:

I'm sorry, but an uncaught exception occurred.

While running game code:
  File "renpy/common/00keymap.rpy", line 396, in script
    python hide:
  File "renpy/common/00keymap.rpy", line 411, in <module>"_reload-1", "reload save game")
PicklingError: Can't pickle <type 'function'>: attribute lookup __builtin__.function failed

-- Full Traceback ------------------------------------------------------------

Full traceback:
  File "renpy/common/00keymap.rpy", line 396, in script
    python hide:
  File "C:\Users\Alec\AppData\Roaming\itch\apps\adastra\Adastra-13-win\renpy\", line 814, in execute
    renpy.python.py_exec_bytecode(self.code.bytecode, self.hide,
  File "C:\Users\Alec\AppData\Roaming\itch\apps\adastra\Adastra-13-win\renpy\", line 1715, in py_exec_bytecode
    exec bytecode in globals, locals
  File "renpy/common/00keymap.rpy", line 411, in <module>"_reload-1", "reload save game")
  File "C:\Users\Alec\AppData\Roaming\itch\apps\adastra\Adastra-13-win\renpy\", line 286, in save
    dump((roots,, logf)
  File "C:\Users\Alec\AppData\Roaming\itch\apps\adastra\Adastra-13-win\renpy\", line 45, in dump
    cPickle.dump(o, f, cPickle.HIGHEST_PROTOCOL)
PicklingError: Can't pickle <type 'function'>: attribute lookup __builtin__.function failed

Adastra 13

Just finished the game.  Is there a place to discuss it, or ask questions?

If you're still stuck, the synonym you're looking for is a number.

"Some people may see not doing anything bad a good thing! Hence some people may not align with that game choice"

What do you mean by this?  And what game choice are you referring to?  Are you saying I'm one of those players, or are you presenting a counterpoint to something I said?

I was aware of the narrator.  He immediately tells me to kill the dog, which I'm not willing to do, and then he never comes up again until the ending.  I doubt most players would want to kill a dog, and the ones that do are probably just doing it to see more game content.

If you want to strengthen this aspect of the game, I would suggest establishing more of a motivation to reach Eden.  Make surviving without it extremely difficult.  Have the narrator start with more mundane instructions first, even some that are benevolent and produce great outcomes.  Then let them start to get shadier, until finally you've reached a point where you're less likely to refuse, both because you've already come so far, and because your faith in the narrator has been sufficiently built up.  As is, his outrageous instruction right out of the gate was too easy to disregard.

I had assumed the moral score of the ending was objective rather than based around following the narrator.  Is this not the case?  Is a morally good ending only achieved by doing everything the narrator says?  But then I would expect ignoring the narrator to be designated as morally bad.  Or is there no morally good ending at all?

Maybe the game just wasn't for me, but I can't figure out what the intention behind it is.  If the way to "beat" the game is really to just do what I did and ignore the narrator, then the game amounts to a pretty easy decision in my opinion that results in a lackluster game experience and rather unsatisying conclusion.  Shouldn't achieving the intended goal of the game be more encouraged and satisfying?

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My first playthrough I didn't give away money or food, but I didn't steal or harm anyone either.  I walked to the end and got the Moral Neutral and Truth endings.

Then I figured I'd try for a Moral Good ending by doing the same but giving food to the dog and money to the homeless guy.  I didn't see any other ways to be morally good.  But when I got to the end, it was the same as before.  And both times the post-ending scene claimed that I believed Eden existed but stuck to my morals anyway.  But I didn't believe Eden existed, and I don't know what actions I could have taken to indicate that.

The only things I imagine I could have done to get different endings is to steal or kill, which I didn't care to do.  So I guess that ends my experience with the game, a resounding "meh".

For anyone still stuck (SPOILERS):

That metal fragment is in the cave after all.  It has nothing to do with light in-game as far as I can tell.  The guide text file says it's hanging from the ceiling there, but I still had trouble finding it.  It turns out it's at the end of one of the hanging chains.  Because it's metal and rounded, it looks like part of the chain, so it's really easy to miss.  You have to look closely to see it.  If you hover the mouse over it, it will change to a yellow hand cursor.

Thanks for the explanation.  There may have been some issues with the execution, but there was a lot to admire, too.  You were able to portray a believable and captivating thought process, one that I'm sure many people can relate to, and form a bunch of characters that all seemed real despite a simplistic art style.   I saw a lot of that in Paradigm as well.  I look forward to your future projects.

I played this game after enjoying Paradigm.  It certainly felt believable, and I could understand Derek's thinking even if I didn't always agree.  I'm not sure what the overall point was, though.

I got Bad End, having gained no friends, but I'm honestly not sure what choices I could have made to get a different outcome.  I strongly suspect there was no "good" ending.  I didn't reject Mia when she appeared, so I'm not sure if that could have changed things somehow.  She seemed to only be a positive influence, though, so I doubt it would have made things better.

I started to suspect she wasn't real pretty early on,  with the way Derek kept saying he had no friends despite her clearly being his friend.  And classmates were so weirdly, blatantly avoiding and excluding Derek towards the end that I was waiting for an explanation, like they saw him talking to himself (imagining Mia) or something.  Or maybe he had been bad to them in some interactions that we weren't shown.  But no such explanation was ever given.

I felt just as baffled as Derek when people would strike up conversation one day, but then have no interest the next, or when they would see him and then immediately avoid him despite supposedly being on good terms.  I suppose his negativity was supposed to be offputting, and his thoughts weren't always great, but in all the actual dialog the game had, Derek seemed perfectly reasonable and polite, so I'm not sure if this was a case of unreliable narrator or what.

When Mia started psychoanalysing Derek, I had hopes that she might convince him to seek actual therapy, which he seemed like he could clearly benefit from, but nothing really came of that either.  I could understand a game like this where you'd be provided choices like seeking therapy or finding clubs with people who shared interests with Derek, that he could connect with better than with his classmates, but it seems like you're just forced to play through the experience of someone who never even considers such avenues to better his situation.

If the point of the game was that people like Derek should change their thinking, try other things, or seek therapy, it didn't really come across.  It almost seemed like the point was more about the classmates, and that they should be more open to people like Derek when they try to connect, but as I mentioned, I'm really not sure why they weren't more open to begin with.

Paradigm community · Created a new topic Interesting Game!

I was getting frustrated with it, until I discovered that you have to reach HumanBot's ending first before Annie's ending opens up, and then eventually the rest of the game.  I also thought that the "Wrong End" might have been a bug or something, since it was abrupt with no real lead-up, but I guess the choice that triggers it ties into the actual ending of the game.

Anyway, great work.  Quite impressive for such a relatively small project.

The story is pretty interesting.  I look forward to the final chapter. 

I was a little lost in trying to play this, though.  I wasn't sure what the interface represented or how my choices affected things.  I figured I'd pretty much just pick whichever option had the highest percentage, and that seemed to work out.  But if doing that does end up being correct, it kind of trivializes all the decisions.

Oh, wait, I played with Helper Mode enabled, so maybe that's what that was.  That's another thing I would critique, though, that I had to choose whether to enable it before starting, with nothing to explain what it was, and no way to guage whether I'd want it.  I went back to see what happens without it, and it seems to just omit the percentages.  But the "receptiveness" ratings still pretty much give away which answer to choose.  And do the percentages mean there's an element of random chance regarding success?

None of that makes sense to me.  Shouldn't I have to be figuring something out in order to get a success?  But the way it is, either success comes from following what the receptiveness ratings show, which is trivial, or from getting lucky on random chances, which I don't have control over.   Is there something else I'm supposed to base the decisions on?  Otherwise, it seems like the gameplay element was included more for being plain interactive than for being actually interesting or fun.

The failure responses do kind of hint at why a choice fails, so maybe some strategy could actually be involved if the receptiveness ratings weren't shown.  But then partially correct choices shouldn't just randomly succeed or fail.  It would make more sense for you to simply gain a proportional amount of insight.

I don't really understand how the mechanics all fit together.  What does "insight" represent?  Any choice, even "failures," seem to move the narrative along regardless, providing the same information.  The difference between a success and failure seems to be whether your future self becomes more receptive to you.  But then labelling accumulative successes "insight" wouldn't really fit.  And since insight is needed to unlock more of the narrative, I would expect it to be acquired by "questioning and doubting," like the game keeps saying.  But picking the choices your future self is most receptive to doesn't really have anything to do with that...

On another note, I also found it hard to tell which text belonged to which character.  It seemed like your spoken voice was yellow, your future self's voice was red, and then what looked like your thoughts appeared in green.  But later the rebel voice was also green.  And text also changes color during transitions, making things even more confusing.

One last thing I'll suggest is to allow us to refer back to what the last statement was when making a choice, so that we don't have to risk forgetting the context of it.

Anyway, those are my thoughts.  I hope they can be of some help, and thank you for the game.  The presentation is very impressive.

The game only gives me one option for dimentions, 1920 x 1080.  I played in full screen mode.  There were a couple times where the text reached four lines, with the fourth line not being visible.

Any time there was a fourth line of text, it was not visible.