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Parallax Visions

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

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to be clear, I've never heard of or played missed messaged, but i'm looking into it now

Hey An, I responded to your questions above :)

Hi AN,

I'm glad you got something meaningful out of playing this game.

You don't need to suffer from clinical depression to relate. Everyone who has experienced deep grief or loss knows what it's like to feel depressed. The only difference between situational depression and clinical depression is the cause of the depression. 

If you recently lost a loved one, it makes sense that you would feel deeply sad for a long period of time. That is situational depression. Clinical depression and situational depression feel absolutely identical.The only difference in clinical depression is absence of a "solid reason" for feeling sad. Clinical depression can last from a few weeks to years, in severe cases.

I appreciate the fact that you think I'm a beautiful person. I believe that I'm an average person with a collection of unusual skills and experiences. I'm nothing special, and I find that beautiful.

It is a sad fact that people must suffer, but suffering is nearly half of the human experience, so I try to embrace the darkness and appreciate it for what it is. I GET the opportunity to suffer in a way that is universally relatable but also personal to me. There is beauty to be found in suffering.

I love you too. I think I'll be here for a little while longer, so stay tuned. I'm no where near the point where I've exhausted my voice. I haven't come close to saying everything that I want to say with my art yet.

Your English is actually very good. It did not occur to me that English is not your first language until I read your apology.

When you say, "climb out of the holes," are you referring to the part of the game where you jump into a crevice that's pitch black, and walk through the darkness until you reach "the bedroom"?

The jump down into the crevice symbolizes my descent to what some people refer to as, "rock bottom," which is the lowest point in your depression/ addiction. It is the point when your life is in shambles, and you have little to no hope for a better future. Your only options are suicide or intervention. You can no longer save yourself. 

In the context of this game, by continuing to walk ~through~ the darkness, you are able to overcome your depressive episode and enter a state of relaxation in your bedroom. People talk about "leaning into" your suffering rather than standing still, because if you stand still you will stay in the same place, and you will feel the same way.

The point at which the player exits the darkness and enters the bedroom, the image effects and the music are turned off, which symbolizes the experience of snapping out of a depressive episode. The environment around the player does not change, but the filter they were viewing it through (depression) is gone. 
The player is now free to view the environment for what it truly is, rather than view it through the very distorted lens that is depression. Some people describe depression as "seeing the world through shit colored glasses."

Depression is a chronic disease. Even if you aren't experiencing active depression at the given moment, it is liable to creep back in at any time.

This concept is addressed when the player reaches the bedroom area, and sees a cube made of water that a waterfall is pouring into. This water cube represents chronic depression. 

The idea is that since I feel safe in my bedroom, it is the location I chose as the "safe space" where the player no longer actively experiences depression. They can see it for what it truly is. It is a phenomenon that exists outside of oneself. Depression exists independently of your identity as a human being. You aren't a depressed person, you are a person who suffers from depression.

The water cube represents my depression. Lets call it the depression cube.

When in the safety of the bedroom, the player can analyze the 
depression cube from all angles, seeing it for what it is without experiencing its crippling effects.

However, if the player chooses to walk into the depression cube, the uncomfortable audio-visual "depression effects" are turned back on.

In terms of symbolism in the game, the depression cube is the kicker.

By walking in and out of the depression cube, the player is meant to realize that what felt so uncomfortable and daunting at the beginning of the game was, in fact, this simple geometric shape made of water the whole time. 

The way I designed the "depression visual effects" was by centering the player character object in the middle of a cube made of water plains. Water plains are a common visual effect in unity. 
The depression cube is comprised of the same water plains as the depression visual effects.

At the beginning of the game, the player is stuck in the center of the depression cube, and it follows you wherever you go. The reflections of the water is what causes the uncomfortable visual effects.  
When the player finally reaches the safety of the bedroom, the depression cube is no longer stuck to the player. The depression cube now sits quietly in the center of your bedroom as a reminder that it is a monolithic aspect of your life. 

You can choose whether or not to give it attention. You can choose whether or not you will engage with it, but it is always there, and you never know when it will take the wheel again.

It is also worth mentioning that I chose water because it is the substance necessary for all life, and I find water to be calming.

So, that's most of the symbolism I intended when I made the game. 

The floating text is also worth mentioning.
Black text represents harmful sentences that people commonly say in an attempt to "help" or "deal with" a friend or loved one suffering their depression.
White text represents helpful sentences that people commonly say in an attempt to sympathize with a loved one's depression.

Thank you all for playing.

Many of you have described symbolism that I did not intend, but I find to be very insignful and valid. 

I love you all

- Michael

to be clear, that's one vote for "It's ok," and one vote for "I don't like it"?

That's honestly way better reviews than I ever anticipated :')

lol sick. hope you and your sis had a hard hitting, thought-provoking discussion about the polarizing concept of monochrome graphics :)

Hello everyone,

I appreciate all of your comments. 

It makes me happy to know that many of you relate to this game, even though it isn't on a happy level.

Many of you have said that this game expresses your own feelings. That makes me feel very good about having released this experience. 

I made this game hastily, without a particular goal in mind, and it has reached more people than I ever imagined it would.

It saddens me that depression is so rampant in our society. However, it gives me solace that all of you have expressed solidarity in this struggle.


My fight with depression and addiction is not over.

It will never be over.

Until I'm dead.

But as of today, I am not defeated.

Stay strong.

Someone loves you.

I love you.

- Michael


i like floppy dicks 
- michael

that's weird. thanks for the bug report. we optimize for osx and windows, because those are what we develop on. we make linux builds, but we just flip a switch and unity shits out the build.

we won't be revisiting this particular build of depression simulator. I made this hastily over the course of 2 nights under the influence of several substances.

however, since this is game has reached more people than any of our other games combined, I will begin working on a more refined vision of this experience.

Thanks for playing and thanks for the comment.
- michael

I... uhh.. thank you.

you're welcome for this

Thanks for playing, and thanks for the video. Hopefully we find some more of our games in your romps in the future ;)

I'm glad we could capture that feeling. much love 

@4 banger master

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HfYySuUplg

ur good

Really liked the game. Very sweet and sad.

THIS IS WITHOUT A DOUBT A VIDEO GAME

This is seriously a game.

This is what I call a video game.

thank you!

Glad you liked it. Thanks for playing!

Glad to hear the game touched you, and we hope you're doing well. Thank you for making that video and sharing your experience with the world. 

These are the moments we make games for <3

more like we simulator haha gotem

jk thank you for playing <3

You won. Congratulations!

Okay, this is epic

We're here for you

That's why we do it :)

<3

Much love homie <3

god damn that's rad

Thank you! Glad to hear you enjoyed it 

🤔 I'm gonna have to look into this. Thanks for the heads up

Glad to hear it was relatable <3 

Sorry to hear you're depressed too, but happy to hear its relatable.

-Parallax Michael 

you can think of the cube as sort of a lens through which you see the world while dealing with depression. When you make it out the darkness and can see the world as it truly is, but it's good to remember the experience you had before and the way it affected you. Surviving depression, to me at least, doesn't mean to live completely without the negative emotions. Rather, it's more about understanding where these feelings come from and being able to adequately respond to and live with them. 

I hope that makes sense! && thanks for playing :)

I'm glad you enjoyed the game :)

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

Awesome! I'm glad you enjoyed the game 

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the game! thanks for your kind words :)

(1 edit)

Sounds like a lovely idea, Jeff. I uploaded some footage of my game to my YouTube channel that you're more than welcome to use however you'd like. Unfortunately I don't quite have the time to edit it down to 50 seconds, but have at it


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_3CsnK2iPI

I'm very glad you enjoyed the game :)

We'll be announcing some more full-featured experiences sometime soon, so stay tuned!
-Curtis