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Bracken Hall

A member registered Mar 22, 2015 · View creator page →

Creator of

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Hey thanks for playing and for the really great feedback.

I totally agree, and appreciate especially that for you, it just wasn't worth playing. I was aiming to frame it as though it was real, and so a lot of my design choices were following a path of realism, rather than enjoyment. And it's exactly this sort of feedback that tells me I missed the mark. Really appreciate it!

Well, I loved this.
I just typed out a whole paragraph about how and why I loved it, but then the page froze and I lost it all. So I'll try summarise again:
This is exactly how interactive storytelling should feel. Your choice of subject and tone were excellent and cohesive with the mechanics.
I was so glad to see the knitting at the end. That's exactly what I was hoping would happen. Now you just need an online store where players can order their own personal storyscarf.
Overall, it felt playful, but not silly; sincere, but not serious, and that's such a brilliant bullseye to hit. It's obviously not everyone's cup of tea, but I got what you were trying to do, and I think you did it super well.
It's not perfect, but it's a great jam, more like this please.

This seems like a big story for a jam! I'm not sure how far it goes, because I kept hitting the backrooms, but you've done well to set up the feeling that there is a world to explore, and a story to pursue.
Overall it's got a nice text-based adventure feel, though obviously quite self-aware and punny, and playing with tropes etc. However, it feels like there were quite a lot of continuity issues. For example, after navigating through the tail caverns, and then suddenly appearing in the backrooms, it says that the little spider is gone, but the little spider didn't really feature at all before that, so it feels like a strange detail to include.
Also, I think an especially important thing to consider when making any kind of branching narrative is how exactly each and every branch will be received by your reader. This is super difficult to do well, because as the writer/creator, you might have a good map of what's going on, but your reader doesn't. So one path that you might know to be minor/just a bit of fluff, might be the ONLY path that your reader gets to experience, and so the whole thing falls apart. As an example, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be able to navigate through the tail knot at all. I don't know which is the place I went wrong, or if they're all wrong. And because I don't have that context, as I reader I don't know how many times I should keep trying, because I have no idea what the alternative path is (as you do), or if it even exists. The most important thing to always give your readers is context. If I'm given a decision that has no context, it isn't actually a decision at all - and the same goes for all the bits between decision points.
That said, for a first (or second or fiftieth) jam it's honestly really good. Trying to do any kind of branching narrative in limited time is really difficult, and the things you managed to do are impressive. Well done to the whole team!

Most emotional story of the jam.
I was also going to comment on how good the level design was, until I got stuck under the sofa and had to start again.
But overall it's actually a really good little jam piece, and I like the super simple way you tell the story. It's honestly really effective.

Overall, this is really good. Your writing is clever, but not distractingly so (most of the time). There's some nice wit throughout, and it makes the piece entertaining and light-hearted. This is a tough thing to balance with text-based interaction though, because it can very quickly get to a stage where it starts to drag. I don't think you hit that stage yet, but it still feels like it's missing a strong hook in the intro.
I think your use of interaction is also generally very good, and you have given really nice 'affective' decisions, which are what I believe all games should offer, rather than widely branching narratives. There's a little too much 'page turning' - which is not all bad, but there could just be less, or more meaningful ways to integrate it.
Overall, I dig it. It's a fun little short story, but probably needs a real zinger of an ending to close it off.

Yeah I totally agree! Definitely need to work on the pacing.

It seems like I made a mistake assuming people would not read the Ts&Cs. I fully expected everyone to skip over that.

Thanks for playing and your feedback!

Love the vibe, and the way it all fits together. It's a really nice proof of concept, and I reckon that all of it can be expanded nicely.

For me, the experience felt more like I was collecting poetry, and I think that should be leaned into. Maybe as you explore you collect vocabulary (inspiration), and then you let players put that together fridge-poetry-style. Alternatively you could do something like the poetry or songs in Kentucky Route Zero.

Also, I hit a few bugs with the book. I got the wrong flowers popping up in the book after interacting with the environment. It might have something to do with the sequence of interaction? And that's totally variable from the player's perspective where the goal isn't clear from the beginning.

Music is sweet, art is fire. Probably your best work yet! Totally love the book illustrations. For me, I want more book time.
I think it's not quite clean enough for a writing-prompt game (see Trawl), and not quite deep enough for an exploration/discovery game, but it could go either way, or both, and maybe some proc-gen would do it good in both areas.

Thanks for playing and for your feedback.

I never even considered that username interpretation! It's actually just got a lower-limit of 5 characters, so I'm assuming you stuck a space in there and met the conditions coincidentally. And I should actually definitely look into those specific questions again - I think that'll give the beginning much more focus.

I definitely get the feeling of wanting things to branch, and I may do that in the later half of the game. But honestly my hot take is that people much prefer linear narrative, but have been tricked into believing that branching narratives are cool. So if anything I'm probably going to even prune more of the branches that I did, and work on a more compelling plot. But I hear you, and really appreciate your time and input.

Hey thanks for playing! And yeah I spent far too long on the UI, and not nearly long enough on the writing.

Really appreciate your feedback. A lot of your frustrations were intentional, but obviously that needs to be fine-tuned to get a better balance. Overall I'm not happy with a lot of the timings, and your specific points on that are very helpful.

And yeah, you got to the 'end', but I had to just quickly slap that in because I ran out of time. I've got a few more narrative ideas that I didn't get chance to implement.

This was a great little parody of the genre, and a good tie-in with the jam theme! Aside from being far too silly, the story was pretty compelling, and there were really great little moments of gold hidden in there (muffin man somehow managed to give me chills?). Once the story actually got going, the cringe factor faded substantially, so I really think the only thing that needs a bit of a re-write is the 'narrator' intro sequence.
On this note, I think it's important to be aware of writing for voice, or writing for reading. As an example, I think the Stanley Parable would be overwhelmingly cringey if it was text-based. The delivery of a voice actor can do a lot to make something into really good comedic writing, where otherwise it would fall flat. So that said, I think the formal limitations got in the way of what might actually be a good bit of comedy if it were executed differently. But that's the way of a jam! There are still a few straggling language errors as well, which could do with some careful revision, but again; jam limitations. Overall I'm impressed with result under the circumstances.
I was also really amazed by how well the background music integration worked. It was a cheap trick, but it fit in well with the tongue-in-cheek vibe of the whole thing, and I found myself much more engrossed in the story when it had musical accompaniment.

Really love the tone, concept and execution of this idea. The narrative works excellently to counteract the progressively more challenging gameplay. I ran through a few times (but never managed to finish), because I was curious about how things would develop - shows a good narrative hook!
The controls need a bit of tweaking, though (I died to ladders way too many times). While I really like the progressive powerlessness, I think you're a little underpowered right from the beginning. I liked that feeling on my first play, but then I realised just how difficult it was to make it through even at max power, and so I feel like I never really get a chance to become 'good' at the game.
Aside from the controls and mechanical design, I think everything else is really truly impressive. Your characters are so good, both in terms of art and voice. Loved your nods to Disco Elysium.
Overall really good, and nice use of theme!

Sorry, that was my bad! I accidentally set the link to hidden. It should be fixed now :|

Sorry, that was my bad! I accidentally set the link to hidden

Nice work peeps! It's a really simple concept, but you've still managed to get a really good build in tension. It might be nice to have the 'days' be clearer - like with a day/night cycle, just so that you can feel the progression and achievement more as you play. The art is super cool as well. I hope you keep working on this!

Oh wow! I didn't even notice that button. Thanks for pointing it out.

It would be great if you could link your LD game page, so that we can go and give it a rating and feedback over there if we've come through itch.

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Thanks for playing dude. Great feedback as well. Seems there is a communication gap; you can click (red) debris to destroy it, so that your orbit space is cleared up. I'll update the description to explain that. Thanks for pointing it out though. And the musical idea is great! Trust you to come up with genius like that.

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Thanks for the great feedback! We'll definitely take that all into account for future updates.

Thanks for playing!