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hairycactus

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A member registered 276 days ago

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The game is simple, yet has a high degree of repeated playability. Although the title & synopsis describe this as a "short experience", I spent quite some time on the gameplay in a deeply introspective state of mind — particularly during the first & final stages when creating & contemplating my "pièce de résistance" — as well as enjoying the offbeat humour during the walkthrough "in between".

The low-fi background music complements the mood very well. May I know its title ?

Last but not least, the gameplay experience reminds me of art therapy workshops, such as those conducted in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, whereby child survivors wordlessly conveyed & tried to resolve their trauma via a successive series of (analogue) drawings done over a span of several months. As such, I can imagine how it might be possible to effectively deploy 'Art Art' for similar purposes to benefit those who have access to computers.

(Edited 1 time)

Innovative & even humorous use of RenPy's Back/Foward mechanics. I literally laughed out loud, when NIL locked me in one of the "moments" or mocked me for planning to reset. I enjoy watching the mesmerizing couple-twirling sequences as well.

Usually for RenPy games, when seeking alternate branches & endings, I would fast-forward & never go backwards during subsequent gameplay. Not so for 'Her Tears were My Light' -- I read through every screen (again) & sometimes went backwards to reread the previous screens, even during subsequent rounds.

Thanks for the memorable & poignant game experience !

The game seems to require Java Runtime Environment. There is no Java RE installed on my system, but I do have portable Java RE (jPortable) which can easily run JAR files, but not Java executables.

As such, does the Windows package consist of a Java EXE or a JAR file ? If the former, can a JAR version be included for download ? Thanks !

Hi Jordan, thanks for sharing your compositions. I didn't expect to chance upon such good songwriting & singing on itch.io. What serendipity !

I found the 4 songs both poignant & meaningful. They are certainly bear repeated listening, even in 100 years' time.

Yes, the "empty room" home-made recordings are not 100% perfect (... actually, only 1 song has occasional "noise" defects, the other 3 are fine just as they are). But I am hard-pressed to consider them "messy" in any way.

Thanks for the thoughtful lyrics booklet as well. A suggestion (for future releases) would be to make the background darker. Maybe my vision is really bad (... more or less legally-blind, if extremely high-index spectacles hadn't been invented) -- I find light grey text on medium-light grey background extremely difficult to read.

There's really no need to package the entire RTP Gamemaker resource ("data") files (>200 MB) for users who don't have RTP installed. Hades Log definitely does not require all the stock resource files found in RTP Gamemaker. Based on the final compressed filesize (~28 MB exe) consisting of only the game script & essential resource files, you don't even have to upload 2 different builds.

Just import only the resources actually used by the game into the game's project folder, make sure Game.ini doesn't have that "RPGCXACE" reference, & don't tick "Include RTP Data" during game compilation ("Compress Game Data"). In doing so, you aren't "messing around" with the game files, but only sieving out the necessary ones for the benefit of end users, as well as yourself in terms of uploading time & bandwidth. For instance, do you think Hades Log requires hundreds of redundant RTP "data" files such as monster/ battlefield sprites or scream/ wolf/ quake audio files ?

You don't have to take my word for it. You can check out some RTP Gamemaker user references collated here on how to compile a more lightweight RTP game for distribution. And here is a list of absolutely essential Hades Log game files as required on a system without RTP installed (& assuming no Korean fonttype installed either).

If manually sieving out the essential game resource files is too tedious, you can examine this pared-down Hades Log game file & test-play it on a machine without any RTP installed: HadesLog.exe (28 MB self-extracting EXE, expiry: 50 days after last download, VirusTotal report: 0/68 detections). I'd played through the entire game several times using this downsized game package, so it definitely works even though I don't have RTP Gamemaker on my system.

Note: I had also re-saved the game's \Readme.txt with UTF-8 encoding after replacing the garbage characters with their Hangul equivalents sourced from the Korean version (λ‚˜λ₯Ό 읽어라.txt). It doesn't affect the game, it only makes the TXT file more readable (ie. as opposed to having lots of garbage characters). Cheers !

v2016.12.02 Changelog: "Changed mp3 BGMs to oggs! Now the music should play correctly."

1) I think you accidentally overlooked the MP3 file in \Audio\SE\.

  • Non-OGG files in \Audio\SE\: question.mp3, cancel4.wav, cursor8.wav, decide2.wav

Basically, what I did was convert all non-OGG audio files (in \Audio\BGM\ & \Audio\SE\) to OGG (constant 128 kbps), so as to achieve smaller filesize & maximum system compatibility.

2) Gameplay Inventory Question

May I check what is the purpose of the 'Key Items' section under ESC > Items menu ? This 'Key Items' section always remains empty no matter how times I play through the entire game (all endings): Screenshots

Thanks !

Thanks, I'd downloaded the game again from here (itch.io). GameJolt is out because it always gives me a blank page no matter which browser I try.

Thanks also for reducing the filesize of the updated game package. My internet speed is slow (< 100 KB/s download on a good "solo user" day).

I recently downloaded the game from your Ludum Dare 33 webpage, but haven't played it yet. The title is 'Anxiety: Last Night' (not 'Lost Night' as stated here on itch.io), but the game synopsis & screenshots appear to be the same.

Also, the download available at Ludum Dare was 69.38 ZIP (Win, no bitness indicated), while the itch.io package is 59 MB RAR (Win x64).

May I know if the itch.io version here is an updated one (eg. new scenes &/or bug fixes), or just an archive repack with a slightly different title screen ? Or would the x64 build play smoother on a x64 system ? Thanks !

Gameplay Update:
I found that the game has 3 endings, or 3.5 endings (... depending on how one regards the very wacky Bonus Room).

Looking forward to a sequel to Hades Log in the near future ! :)

For those interested in the cultural background, here's a recent news article about the societal issues discussed within the game: South Korea's Testing Fixation (The Atlantic - 17 Nov 2016).

(Edited 2 times)

1) BACKGROUND MUSIC ISSUE: SOLVED
I noticed that in RTP Gamemaker's \Audio\BGM\ folder, the standard resource files are all OGG, in contrast to the game's music files which are all MP3. So I converted the MP3 files to OGG. And now I can hear the game's background music.

I subsequently researched this issue on the internet, & it appears that RTP Gamemaker tends to have problems with MP3 playback during the game for either the game designer &/or the end player. To be on the safe side, it's best to supply OGG (smaller filesize) or WAV (larger filesize), which RTP can natively decode without having to rely on external codecs.

  • From gamemaker.info: "If you want to play other files, like mp3 files, you should select the option to use the media player. [...] Preferably don't use mp3 files in your games. [...] Also, not all machines support them. So your game might not run on all machines."
  • From rpgmakerweb.com: "the problem might've been the user having set another decoder than default in windows environment to deal with the .mp3 format"

For info, the default MP3 player installed on my system is Winamp (using Nullsoft MPEG Audio Decoder in_mp3.DLL codec). Perhaps RTP Gamemaker or the configuration selected during game compilation does not recognize Winamp's MP3 codec, which is why I couldn't hear the MP3 music during gameplay.


2) 溟 vs ε†₯: ETYMOLOGY
Thanks for the explanation. If 溟 is preferred, a more effective background reasoning would be take 溟 as a metaphor for the so-called Haenggi Pond of Korean mythology. Since this pond is supposed to be the portal leading to the Underworld entrance, 溟 would thus be the η•Œ (boundary, realm) that separates the Living World from the Afterlife. Info about Haenggi Pond: Ref 1, Ref 2. However, 溟 (sea, drizzle) itself lacks connotations of brightness, which I think the game is trying to convey.

Personally though, I think ε†₯ (Hades/ Underworld, dark) works better as the game's title because of the juxtaposition with the suffix 明 (bright, light, to understand). The unexpected & oxymoronic contrast arouses curiosity. And users who played the game would get to see the light, ie. realize that what this 明 is about -- the Afterlife within the game is not that dark, & the reapers aren't grim at all.

For comparison, there is an animated short film (5 mins) with a similar oxymoronic title 'The Life of Death' (2012). It features the reaper/ death's messenger as well, but in another context & setting.

1) Still no music here (Win 7 x64) during the gameplay, other than menu-triggered sound effects. The music mp3 files in the game's folder play fine in an external player though.

2) I managed to reach an alternate ending that concludes with "ED2. Empty" on a black screen, followed by the game credits. But I'm guessing there should be more alternate endings, so I shall try again.

3) Upon reaching this screen with the Hanja ("Kanji") characters, I suddenly "see the light" regarding the homonymic & visual puns in the game's name, which also brings to mind the bright memory baek & the shiny points of light used in the game mechanics, whilst simultaneously foreshadowing the dark theme of the game. I think this is great !

On a curious note though, isn't the Hanja character for Hades/ Underworld ε†₯, instead of 溟 (sea, to drizzle) as shown on the game's screen ? Although both characters are written & pronounced as λͺ… (myeung) in Korean Hangul, their meanings are totally different.

Now for the game "review" proper ... First of all, thanks for the game's English translation & bringing the game to a wider audience.

The black-&-white artwork helps convey the game mood effectively, while the surreally-cheerful conversations of the 2 reaper-helpers provide an ironic counterpoint: Existence is ultimately comic-tragic perhaps ...

Before trying the game, I had no idea what it was about. But playing the game (various times, albeit for troubleshooting reasons) gave me a poignant sense of dΓ©jΓ  vu.

Very coincidentally, during the past few months at my location, there have been a spate of incidents exactly related to the game's themes. The 2 most recent incidents occurred 2 days ago & 1 month ago respectively.

Also, I don't know if the game does offer multiple endings, but since it always plays & ends the same way for me, it does feel that nothing I or the Reaper-protagonist do would make any difference at all.

1) The 24 Nov 2016 upload (Hades Log_with RTP.exe, 217 MB) works, but not because the extracted folder contains RTP.exe (there is none). As mentioned, RPGMaker VX RTP (RTP.exe alone or the installed package) is not required to play the game, as long as \Game.ini does not contain the line "RTP=RPGVXAce".

2) The 217 MB upload works because it contains the graphics & audio files needed by the game. However, the upload also contains lots of redundant files not used by the game. If you wish to make the game folder much smaller (48 MB uncompressed, ~26 MB compressed), I've provided a list of the essential files here. I discovered that these files are absolutely essential by running the game numerous times without the required graphics & audio files, & then sequentially checking what files the game complains as missing.

3) Some Issues:
a) Asian font is not rendered properly in the game's titlebar & gameplay's text. The game's Asian font is displayed as "???" or a random string of symbols (eg. -#$_%) or rubbish characters (screenshots). My OS localization is English, but my Windows Font folder contains various Unicode font-types that can render Kanji & non-Kanji Asian fonts. For instance, I can type, save & display the Kanji character 明 (myeung) in my system with no problems.

As such, the problem might be due to the game translation script or file not being compiled/ saved with UTF-8 encoding. For instance, I noticed that the \Read Me.txt file contains rubbish characters as well, but re-saving the file with UTF-8 encoding on my side does not help. The encoding was not preserved on your side.

b) I can hear the various sound effects (eg. resulting from to menu action), but is there music in the game ? There are stretches of silent black screen lasting a few seconds each throughout the game. I'm guessing these silences could be music instead, since the game needs at least 5 audio files (music type, not sound effects) in the \Audio\BGM\ folder. Or maybe the "baek" memory-recall scenes have music as well ?

c) Although the game is tagged "Multiple Endings" on this page, the game always progresses the exact same way & ends with a black screen showing "ED1. Nil" (screenshot), regardless of which in-game option I choose. Is there more than one ending ? If yes, I can't seem to get to the other endings.

d) The game is also tagged "Point & Click" here. But the mouse click doesn't work in the game. I have to use the arrows, ENTER & ESC keys on the keyboard.

Thanks !

(Edited 1 time)

The 19 Nov 2016 upload of Hades Log can't be played, despite having followed the instructions (ie. install the 2 supplied NanumBarunpen.ttf fonts).

Launch Error 1: "RPGVXAce RTP is required to run this game"
which I resolved by removing the line "RTP=RPGVXAce" from \Game.ini.

Launch Error 2: "Unable to find VL Gothic font"
which I resolved by downloading & installing VL-Gothic-Regular.ttf.

Screenshots for the above 2 errors.

The aforementioned is then followed by a runtime error after clicking 'New Game' at the opening screen: "Unable to find file: Graphics/Tilesets/Inside_A1" (animated GIF screenshot).

The last error results in a dead end, since there is no \Graphics/Tilesets/Inside_A1\ subfolder within the game folder. Oddly enough though, there is a password-protected \MEW.zip (containing mew.png) at the root of the game folder.

Could you upload a working version ? I look forward to playing the game, hopefully without having to install anything else or keep jumping through the various hoops of Hades. Thanks !

Tested on: Win 7 x64