This is really cool! I think it would be useful if it had note-taking functions so it would be easier to apply more sudoku techniques.
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I think this is an interesting premise and for 72 hours you really got a lot done!
That being said, I have some feedback on the execution. For context, I was streaming this to a friend who loves creepypastas.
From an environment design perspective, I found myself asking why the area was so cluttered with items. Wouldn't it be better to reveal them day by day as they became relevant?
We both feel like the reveal would have been more impactful if there had been more to build up the illusion of a peaceful town life. If we could get to know the other residents or engage in other activities, I think the player would have more of a bond with them and so it would be more shocking when something happens to them.
Also, it's possible to miss the dead body clue (or perhaps it doesn't spawn for everyone?); I found out about it from the comments section, and I did attempt to explore the entire map. Neither I nor my friend noticed it in my playthrough.
My friend said the danger was too obscured for him to understand what he was supposed to be scared of: did they do this to themselves? Is there some kind of monster that made them do this? What does the danger intend towards the player character? After all, now that everyone is dead, what can they do to hurt us?
He also thought (once I told him about the dead body) that there isn't a narrative justification given for why the previous resident died early if the point of the Harvest Festival is that everyone dies by suicide. If, for example, the previous resident had said "you should get out of here, I'm leaving tomorrow" on Monday, been missing on Tuesday, and showed up in the water on Wednesday, then we as the audience would have understood this was retaliation for trying to leave and we would've felt trapped.
This has a lot of potential if you choose to expand it—I'd love to see more of these characters and the world they live in.
I played this demo on a Windows 10 laptop with trackpad and keyboard.
Most satisfying level to beat: 1-4.
Level I skipped: 1-7.
Since I wasn't familiar with the mechanic, it took me a while to figure out how to open a door. I thought I was aiming close enough for the magnet to "catch" the field of the chute, or that there was some other trick like jumping or pressing an interaction button, until I realized you have to stand directly under it and throw the magnet directly up. This was tricky with my trackpad. I did not like opening doors. I also found the hub to be clunky.
The low-sensitivity mode helped with my aiming issues but did not fully alleviate them: sometimes the trackpad would completely lock up while aiming.
I thought the aim toggle might help as well, but is there something I'm missing about it or does the toggle not allow precision aiming? All the throws seem equally weak when it's on (I couldn't start a level with it because I couldn't throw the magnet into the chute) and I don't feel like I can aim correctly.
Another commenter said they wish throwing worked like Angry Birds, which I would also like, but mostly I wish I could control the entire game with keyboard alone.
I was a little disappointed to find out that throwing the magnet into the chute in normal levels does not return you to the hub.
Sometimes I'd get separated from my magnet when it locked onto something and I was trying to go with it (usually the angle doors), which was jarring.
I was confused by the keybindings not mentioning that the arrow keys are also assigned to motion, as my movement preference is arrows over WASD. Also, for reference, a common Windows accessibility setting is to make a circle around the cursor when pressing Ctrl. If pressed repeatedly, it darkens the entire screen except the cursor. This happened to me a lot trying to reset before I messed with the keybindings, as I didn't understand why pressing Ctrl once wasn't working.
For further a11y options, may I suggest a higher contrast/reduced motion mode? I honestly skipped the last level because it was dizzying to look at and I couldn't follow what was going on.
My review in two words: holy shit.
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Oh no, how odd! If you want to see the rest of it, the random seed is based on the date and time you start a playthrough, so if you hit restart, that may appease the pantheon.
I'll keep in mind for future projects that a "bad luck bonus" may be useful, to prevent the seed messing with someone's experience like that.
Thank you for this! Not that you have to do all of these if you don't want, but I'd definitely be interested in seeing more about:
- main menu
- quick menu
- choice menus in-game
Maybe something like scrollbars and sliders, too? There are a lot of different things you can do with those.
Sorry, is the pack released under CC0 as you say on itch, or the more restrictive license ("You may NOT redistribute the resources themselves, or derivatives thereof - neither for free, paid or otherwise. You may NOT transfer this license, or issue sub-licenses for the usage of the resources (or derivatives thereof) by third parties.") found in the zip download? CC0 doesn't restrict usage at all, so the two licenses conflict.
Hi, I'm developing a game in Ren'Py, which requires that all font files be placed in the game folder in a way that a player could easily extract. Would this be an acceptable use of your fonts, and if so, would there be a commercial use restriction?
Jan. 19, 2018
Well, in a very convenient turn of events, after losing most of the time to sick days, my scanner is broken. There goes my "all physical assets" plan. I'll type up what I have for the rules as a .TXT
because if I try to make it anything else I'll overthink the presentation and upload that. Again, I will be finishing this, just not in the span of the game jam.
Jan. 13, 2018
So I was sick, as said previously. I then spent a good part of yesterday recovering from some UNRELATED stuff, whoops, but GUESS WHO FINALLY GOT SOME WORK DONE AGAIN THIS MORNING. (Me.)
I've written up part of a draft of the rulebook (very final, I know). But hey, it's something! Now I have things written down that I did not previously.
It's looking like what I publish for the jam is going to be incomplete, and if that's the case, I will be updating it after the jam ends to get it into a playable (or, dare I dream, polished) state. Y'all can follow me or add In Memoriam to a collection once it's up if you want to see my after-jam edits; I might announce it on the Discord as well.
Jan. 10, 2018
Welp, being sick got to me more than I thought it was going to; I've spent a lot of time on the couch, not so much working on the game. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be feeling better.
Some PbtA games do and some don't, so it's a good question! GM PbtA works pretty much how you'd think, generally, but I'll be doing GMless. Avery Alder has some good (free!) examples of GMless PbtA in the form of Perfect, Unrevised and Dream Askew. (The PDFs credit her by a different name; she's since changed it.)
The Law players from PU and the Psychic Maelstrom/Society Intact/etc from DA resemble the Lost Love/Memento/etc I have in mind.
Note that these games are not exactly like mine is going to be, lol!
Jan. 6, 2018
No pictures today; I woke up exhausted and most of the work I get done before bed will probably be doodling art assets later.
To make something clear, when I talk about "winning" in this game, it's mostly shorthand? I mean, in the "competitive" version of the game, 3/4 of the players are going to "win" equally. I mean, they achieve the condition that removes their character from the game in a positive way story-wise... but that's a bit unwieldy. I want "losing" to be less about competition and more about character development. Being a ghost is hard, and it's not always happy.
In the meantime, more about the side roles:
- The Target: The Vengeful's counterpart, the object of said vengeance. They counter the Vengeful by trying to protect themself from harm in some way (salt circles, leaving the country, obliviousness, what have you).
- The Investigator: The Victim's counterpart, the person investigating their death. They are on the side of the Victim, but are thwarted by circumstance (they're a forensic expert and all the evidence is circumstantial, they're a child and nobody believes their testimony, etc.).
- The Lost Love: The Lover's counterpart, the person who needs security/protection. They are beset by some threat (foreclosure of a house, someone won't leave them alone, nightmares about the Lover's death, whatever). Their relationship to the Lover need not be romantic; "love" is used here to mean "caring" rather than a strict romantic sense. They could be a child, parent, significant other, close friend, etc.
- The Memento: The Shadow's counterpart, the key to the Shadow's memories. The Memento need not be a person, but it must be something animate (be it a person, a dog, a robot, a particularly unpredictable toy...) so that it can interact with its surroundings in a way directed by its player.
I am not a game designer (if that wasn't immediately obvious), so questions, feedback, and whatnot are appreciated.
Jan. 5, 2018
Aw, y'all are sweet.
Today I got some of the basics down for the character sheet -- I'm using playbooks, but this is only intended to be a single-session game, so the term doesn't feel like it fits when they're just half a page.
The final version will be in pen, but pencil works for now.
Stats I have in mind (may be renamed):
- Knowledge of life: this can only go up, as there's no way in-game to get amnesia once you become a ghost.
- Stealthy/Interactive: These are opposed to each other; as you become more stealthy, it's harder to interact with the world, and vice versa.
- Spooky/Friendly: How much you scare people vs. your ability to communicate.
- Progress to goal: This needs some tweaking, but the thought is that when your progress gets all the way to the end, you've fulfilled your dying wish. It'll take different forms for the different playbooks.
My thought is that there will be four playbooks for the jam version, differentiated by their dying wish (again, may be renamed):
- The Vengeful: Someone wronged you in life, and you want to make sure they suffer for it. The person who wronged you may be your murderer; I'm still working that out. You win by scaring the person out of their skin.
- The Shadow: You don't remember who you used to be. You win by learning your true identity.
- The Victim: You remember a lot about your life... except how you died, and you really need to find out. You win by learning your cause of death and whether it was murder or an accident.
- The Lover: You have someone you need to take care of in the land of the living, and not in the way the Vengeful might! You win by ensuring your loved one knows you're at peace.
Now, these goals don't have much in common with each other. How is anyone supposed to progress?
Here's how: everyone also plays a side role for another player, and those interactions facilitate progress. There may also be opportunities to progress by interacting with other ghosts; who's to say at this point.