Instructions for playing: WASD to move, mouse to look around.
Try to find your way through as much of the game as you can! (The whole experience is short, around 10-15 minutes.)
Recent community posts
Controls and notes on how to play from the game's page:
Alternate version of R Line After Dark created for playtest/data analytics purposes (don't worry, no personal data is collected whatsoever!) This version only contains 1 track and 2 modes. We ask for playtest purposes that you first play the track once on pickup mode, and then playing on drop off mode for the rest of the time you would like to play.
If you would like to try out more, there is one extra mode and two more tracks in the full version of the game!
Controls (switch between configs in the settings menu):
|Pick Up||Drop Off|
- Train rotates in place for a short while after song loads in
- It takes longer than expected to go to the score screen after playing through a song
Created by Miles Rosenthal and Eric Luo
Playtesting Version by Miles Rosenthal and Peter Seo
Lower Your Body to do a more powerful move!
While standing, hold the LowerBody Button to charge a dash attack! While running, press the LowerBody button to do a dash.
Lower Body: K
Restart Current Level: R
Back To First Level / Quit: ESC
Move: Left Joystick
Slash: Right Trigger
Lower Body: A (xbox), Cross(ps4)
Restart: Menu(xbox), Option(ps4)
How the story make me feel: definite "ugh too real" feelings! Of course I have a hard time not seeing things from the point of view of the professor, and I'm also mad at the professor for being too boring and rushing through questions. But it's grim.
The art and music reinforce this "droning" feeling -- like everything has had life leeched out of it, or is reduced to a simple waveform / black & white lines. The most lively part is the gallery of faces -- of course, that can be draining too (the wall of Zoom faces) but everything else is so stark and low-personality that it stands out, for just a second before we don't see it any more.
As the player, we don't have much choice in whether to look at classmates' faces because the character doesn't spend long on it. I'm not sure whether this feels deliberate ("character is zoning out because it's hard / awkward to feel like you're staring at other people's faces") or like something I wish the game gave me more control over.
The choices feel very sparse -- like there's one of significance, then a single-choice (call mom) near the end. This is doing a little bit for the "just march ahead in a straight line... try to hang in there..." desperate-boring-circumstances feel, but it's pretty subtle. As a player, I don't know if there are few choices because it's meant to feel that way or if there are few choices because it's a quick early prototype. To get a deliberate feel, you'd need more choices that reinforce monotony, or feel futile, etc. (I also find myself wondering if audio might alter based on choices, which would be interesting because some of the audio definitely feels like it's in the character's head, reflecting feelings!)
Where's the story going to go? Well, I do know it's meant to be dark. I don't know exactly how. Maybe more weird stuff happening while looking at Zoom. Maybe dreams where the hotel room changes? A little reminiscent of Silent Hill 4, maybe? (Probably less gory / hellscapey though.)
The rooms at the end are really fun and amusing -- I love the new feel of the drop into that area. They're a little abrupt -- I feel like each could use a little more prelude or introduction to "frame" what you're about to see without explicitly spelling out what's inside. Why are we going in there, what are we about to see -- as the orange voice, how would you "introduce" these to your friend, the white voice. Although the "Don't Go In Here" room may need to be more of a surprise / curiosity-driven pandora's box, I can't help but think that the code room will come across very differently to different players, depending on whether their familiarity with "code in general" is 0% or 30-50% or... I don't know, I'm sure we have some 90% people around. So that might need to be managed / expectation-set a little more, a frame helps unify people's understanding.
The conversation is great, although it definitely primed me to expect more different-colored voices before the end! I was confused about the nature of the dialogue in the early hallway where the white voice has too many different random thoughts -- maybe because it was so soon after the orange voice first spoke, so my perception of "oh, this is a dialogue" got confounded immediately before it gel'd. Might be worth thinking about pacing.
I had no problem navigating, although the very beginning feels more abrupt than the earlier version, like there's something missing at the very very start before "is there something behind me" which feels like an odd opener?
I love the story so far!
As for more world-building -- it's a little hard for me to say since I already knew a few things about the world before playing! I recommend finding some more playtesters -- you can DM Jess, who will be back this weekend, and I'd suggest posting it in our class Slack channel too. I'm sure there are folks who would read and comment on it here.
I do suspect you'll need to explain the world not long after the current ending -- but leaving the "regular" and "unique" parts mysterious before that make for an interesting "this is a strange world, but I'm not going to spell it out" tone that I think could work to tantalize readers.
I like the style with the omniscient narrator, although I feel like it could be a little clearer. We start off hearing things mostly from the perspective of Regular Girl, and there's not much extremely overt narration (the kind that in traditional fairytales would say things like "You see, in the town where Regular Girl lived, there were two kinds of people: unique people who had something special about them, and the unfortunate regular people. I probably don't need to explain to you that Regular Girl was of the latter variety." Instead, I picked up on the omniscient narrator idea from the fact that the second choice was choosing what the demon said! This was a little unexpected mostly because it's SO common that choice games put you firmly in the perspective and agency of one POV character, so you may need to make it a little more clear that the POV here is of a narrator, not just Regular Girl.
The conversation with the demon felt like just the right length, and the story bubbles along nicely with the kinds of choices you have -- only the last one feels "major" but the flavor and reactions that arise from the earlier choices feels worthwhile and provides amusing story interaction. Nice work so far!
The style of writing and pacing of choices works quite well here, I think -- it's reminiscent of the original work, but those similarities serve to highlight the new touches you've added (interactivity and the college-aged characters). I did have to wonder how there are frat houses and apartment buildings out on West Egg, which is mostly big mansions in suburban drives -- but I suppose a wealthy enough fraternity could have a mansion as well as a traditional frat house right next to campus? (Or you could change the setting to the upper west side, or similar.)
It's definitely not boring or rushed! If anything, it felt like a leisurely introduction to characters and setting, easy to read and at a gentle pace. So gentle that it made me worry about how much more there is to read/write, but I'm sure that comes partly from knowing that there's a ton more story in the original book, and I imagine that by next week you're not going to try to do ALL of that, but have an abridged version in mind? At least I hope you do!
The game doesn't feel too short right now; there's a fair amount of reading, and the story does reach a conclusion of sorts. I'd say that it feels a little more like there are a few things missing that make the story feel "thin" rather than "short." I'm not sure what humanity's relationship is to the Opalescence -- it's like humanity is cursed by this invasion, but what are peoples' attitudes towards it, how has this changed society, how did it happen?
Some of this I would expect to be mysterious, but other aspects of this world-building feel like things you'd notice or know about if living in or visiting this world, so not having any insight to them gives the story a hazy feel. The POV character is similarly opaque (almost a "cipher") -- what do they really think about the Opalescence? Or the state of the world? Or their assistant? The personality of this character feels a bit blank (even in terms of having opinions).
As others noted, the story is pretty linear so choices are another way you could flesh this out to be less thin -- but I wouldn't go all one way or the other, it's nice to have some branches but also feel like we understand the world-context of the choices involved!
The idea of the Opalescence is pretty cool; the way you handled choices that aren't really choices (Opalescence-induced trance, words expanding into more detail, futile choices) worked pretty well. Like others I also felt like I didn't know when I was expanding a detail and when I was making a choice/moving forward, which was a little confusing.
I'm looking forward to playing a more fleshed-out version of this, in part because the scene that's set in this version makes me very curious about the POV character, cybernetic Tinkerbell. I found myself trying to imagine what it's like to be embodied as a cyber-fairy? Like, she's not flying (there's descriptions of climbing and stuff, right?) but is she really small, or normal-sized, or what kind of cybernetic consciousness, exactly? This seems hugely important to being able to make decisions and understand what we can do "as Tink."
Choices were a little confusing in places. I didn't understand from the opening description that these "individuals whom you've met before already, perhaps even consider yourself semi close with" are also part of the Lost Boys? In general, the description & exposition in these passages are a little long and wordy, hard to follow at times; it might be nice to feel like we're hearing Tink's thoughts rather than a narrator, to break those up?
The choice of how to get into the hideout felt like a futile choice to me -- there's only one correct way, and it's the most cyberpunk way, so it came across a little like a throwaway choice. Most of the other choices aren't quite there yet. Keep going!
Overall, I think the choice structure is quite good, especially once the internal conflicts really kick into high gear -- Victor confronting his feelings about Henry, and then in agony over the process and result of his experimentation. All these choices feel significant even if I'm not totally sure which ones affect the outcome -- I didn't feel like any were "betrayed by the consequences," so the moment of choice is working.
The childhood synopsis, up to the point where Victor is in college, mostly feels... perfunctory? Like we're getting necessary backstory in order to get to the REAL action in college, with experiments and going on dates that Victor doesn't know are dates, that kind of thing. Makes me wonder whether it'd be possible to do some of this as flashback or with another technique, so we can start more "in the action." However, it is certainly important to make sure the player knows who Henry, Beth and Justine are before they play major roles in the story. I like how Victor's mother pushes him to get together with Beth, for instance -- but I could even see this being a flashback at the moment we first meet Beth in the story.
The pace mostly worked for me until the end, when things felt a little more linear and didn't quite "escalate" into the panicked, violent confrontation being described in the text. Shorter passages might work, and maybe with more desperate-feeling choices? (The one where you can step in front of Henry, or hide Henry's eyes etc certainly works, but that feels like a major choice, and the later section seems like it could use some minor ones too.)
Foot, definitely the foot -- great negative agency choice :D
I can't answer the question about where it's going since I think you already told me! But I don't have a really clear sense of the protagonist. I know her name is Adelaide and that she's from London, and she seems to have a similar kind of "pragmatic" approach to finding herself in super-strange surroundings as Alice does in the original work. I don't get as strong a sense of personality as with Alice in the original work, however, since in the book Alice is always doing a particular sort of bantering or disagreeing / questioning in a smart, nosy, inquisitive kind of way. Not how "most people" would react in a surreal situation, I think? So it feels like there's still room for more of Adelaide's personality to express itself. Maybe with choices of some sort. There are a few moments (like when Adelaide says "Curious.") that it feels like hints of Alice emerge, even before the Dodo scene... but it'd be stronger if it was in contrast to Adelaide's own personality.
The mood is VERY American McGee Alice games -- twisted, dark version of Wonderland. This too is a little tricky -- like in those games, Alice remembers what Wonderland was like before (as does the player, presumably) so there's a strong feeling of "what HAPPENED to this place." Adelaide, however, doesn't have any previous connection to Wonderland, so it makes me wonder (no pun intended) whether she needs to react to the descriptions more in order to have their effect on a person come across more clearly?
I thought the characterization here worked well and the game felt quite responsive to my choices, with other characters reacting to whether my Dorian is more enthusiastic or more jaded. Even if you choose to play one way, there's a nice tension involved in having the other choice "pulling at you" (towards socially appropriate acts, or towards jaded cynicism) representing the conflict nicely. It did make me want to hear a little more of that conflict surfacing in the POV character's thoughts, however -- so that it's not just "me" experiencing the conflict, if that makes sense?
The only place I felt "low on choices" was probably while watching the play -- maybe this is meant to show how absorbed Dorian is with watching Sibyl's performance, but if that's the case the "no choice"-ness might need to be signaled more obviously.
Pace seems good so far, although that's largely because these feel like scenes establishing what's going on with Dorian -- by the time I got to the (current) end I was expecting the game to skip forward a bit to the next major moment of some kind.
Sorry, there are no more of those! A limited quantity were made for Kickstarter backers and other people who pre-ordered the game, but they all sold out. The only way to get that playmat is to buy it used from someone who got one.
Unfortunately setting up one card per file to be printable in the same way would take about a week. I'd love to be able to spend some time doing this, but I probably wouldn't be able to until summertime. If I can get to it I'll reply here and update the bundle as well. In the meantime, can you refer me to details of what the online service(s) you're thinking of require? The ones I've seen tend to require raster images (TIF, JPG, PNG etc) and often won't print PDF / images with vectors. It's also often "one-side-per-file" with backs being handled separately, so there are a lot of variables to consider.
One alternative to consider if you are using a service that requires raster files is using a software tool or website that extracts images from PDFs. There are a number of those and you can probably just get a pile of images to use that way. But it does depend on your service!
Hi, I'm so sorry I didn't see your message until now -- I didn't have notifications set up properly.
There are two different kinds of token files, so I want to make sure you're printing the right ones!
For printing on paper, there's just one file: Consentacle Tokens.pdf
Although I just tested this file on a couple printers and it seems to be all right, let me know if it won't print on your printer. I could try sending the file to you via a different method, or you could try the "Print as Image" in the advanced printing options of Adobe Acrobat, which sometimes fixes this sort of error.
There's another set of tokens in the folder named "Consentacle Token Vectors." These files cannot be printed on paper and are only for use with a laser cutter.