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A member registered May 13, 2014

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Being able to flip my monitor vertical for this game kind of totally rules tbh

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Haha, thanks for the reply! That was one of the first things I tried, but renaming steam_appid.txt didn't change anything. I decided to take another look just now, though; turns out what does it is the presence of Steam.exe in `C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam` under the Wine prefix, regardless of how you actually launch the game! Steam will always copy some stub binaries there if you use it to start a game with Proton.

Fortunately, the workaround is still pretty simple:

  1. If you've already launched your Steam shortcut at least once, delete the Wine prefix for it at `steamapps/compatdata/<id>/pfx` (Protontricks can do this quickly; deleting and recreating the shortcut probably also works).
  2. Set the launch options for the shortcut like so:
    STEAM_COMPAT_CLIENT_INSTALL_PATH=/var/empty %command%
    (Any old directory, or maybe any string at all, ought to work in place of `/var/empty`; the variable is supposed to point to your Steam directory, so Proton can find the Windows compatibility shims.)
  3. That's it! The game will start and play normally now.

Amusingly, if you leave steam_appid.txt intact in the game's folder, Steam will pick up on it and appear to behave like you're playing the Steam version, with an entry for it in your library that says "Running" and everything! It doesn't magically give you a Steam copy or even change anything in the game itself at all (there are no achievements, it doesn't change your Steam profile, and the game's library page has a "Purchase" button instead of "Play"), but it is funny nonetheless. Steam is an intricate beast for sure.

Edit: So it turns out leaving the appid file has another side effect, but only in the Deck UI (and possibly standard Big Picture on other devices, I haven't checked): the controller uses the input scheme that is set for the Steam version of SOLAS, not the non-Steam shortcut. Unfortunately, if you don't own the game on Steam, Steam won't let you modify the controller config for that version (you can access the config screen in the Deck UI, but any change you try to make is silently discarded). Woops!

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Yeahhh the keyboard is really killer tbh. The company selling them is a bit of a mixed bag though, they're shipping their newest device (the "Astro Slide" lol) to crowdfunding backers now, but it got delayed a whole bunch and they were not great at communicating the whole thing. And the devices inevitably have some rough edges, the software's kinda half-baked, etc. That's what happens when you're a tiny UK electronics company trying to scrape by, I guess. But hey, what device doesn't require adopting some kind of maladaptive behavior to use regularly these days 馃檭

Seriously though, having a mobile device with a keyboard I can thumb-type or touch-type on has completely spoiled me for everything else. This is going to cause me problems at some point lmao

[/phone rant]

(I've only gotten a couple endings in the game so far but the writing is very fun and sweet c: )

It's plenty playable on my phone! Of course, it helps that the Cosmo Communicator has a physical keyboard so I can use all the familiar Ren'Py controls 馃槄

Haha oops, that didn't occur to me at all! I forgot about GMS's convoluted Linux build process... I'm not actually sure how one would work around that within Windows, short of using Windows Subsystem for Linux or something. At any rate, I think it would be fine if you kept the direct AppImage download, and just had a "remember to mark the file as executable" note in the install instructions on itch's download page.

Hi! Regarding your blurb at the bottom of the game page, I wanted to report that I can download the Linux version of Shield Cat through the itch client (on Steam Deck) and launch it straight away with no problems! Presumably the client knows to mark the AppImage executable after downloading?

For those not using the itch client (or downloading the game elsewhere), you could put the AppImage into a tar archive ("tarball"). Unlike a zip, the tar format stores the permission settings of its files, so if your AppImage was in a tarball, it would be marked executable automatically when extracted (which the itch client should do automatically). That's one reason Linux stuff is usually distributed in tarballs and not zips. (Aside: usually a tar archive is compressed, with gzip for example (extension ".tar.gz"), but the AppImage is compressed already, so you could just use a plain ".tar". Not a big deal though.)

have seen Linux archive tools that try to detect programs in zip archives so they can set the execute permisson accordingly, but I'm not sure which ones do it, or if their heuristics are any good. On my Steam Deck, I tested Ark with the zip download from Shield Cat's SFGHQ page, and it did not mark the AppImage as executable when extracting it.

Also, it's common for user-friendly file managers to do a similar detection, and offer to set the execute bit if someone tries to open a binary without it. In KDE Plasma's file manager, it pops a dialog asking if you trust the program; if you accept, then it sets the execute bit, runs the program, and never asks about it again—sort of treating the setting as a makeshift "quarantine bit" and not bothering the user with details about permissions. I would expect GNOME to have something similar.

All that is to say, setting the execute permission is not usually much of a bother, but you can distribute a tarball if you don't want to worry about it. Downloading the AppImage directly is still reasonable, too. If people have more specific struggles getting the game to run, I'd be happy to offer advice to streamline the process in those cases.

Sorry that was a bit lengthy, this always happens when I try to explain something! Very excited to play through the current state of Shield Cat now!!

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The problem is that RPG Maker (VX Ace in this case) is proprietary, and Nami doesn't control that; as far as code is concerned, the game's authors just write scripts and use libraries published by others (from my understanding of RPG Maker game development), and that doesn't help porting unless you are prepared to redevelop the engine's functionality from scratch. There are free/open source reimplementations of RPG Maker runtimes that have done that work (such that you can port existing games to the new engine), but the newest one I'm aware of only covers RMXP.

(Incidentally, RPG Maker MV has a whole different architecure (from what I can tell from the outside) and actually exports a HTML5/JavaScript application, which can in theory work wherever; but I gather it's more difficult for some creators used to working with earlier RPG Maker editions, so...)

(Also, if you wanted to take a peek at the game's Ruby scripts and stuff anyway just out of curiosity, you can get those from the game package itself... but that would be in violation of software copyright, especially if you subsequently modified and/or distributed them...... and that would be very rude regardless......... pls be nice............ u saw nothing)

Would you mind marking the file as supporting Linux? Besides being more clear, it also would make the itch app work properly (it only lists Linux files as options to install, unless Wine is available).

Hi! I'm trying to play this game on the Steam Deck by adding it as a  shortcut in Steam and using Proton (it's the most straightforward way to run Windows games on SteamOS). Unfortunately, the itch version of the game gets confused by this, and tries to invoke the Steam version instead, which just opens the Steam store page since I don't own it there. Is there a workaround, or a fix you can make?

Thanks in advance! The web demo plays very well, by the way :)

The game doesn't require D3D12 as far as I can tell. I'm using Wine on Linux, but the game starts with D3D11, even if Wine is set to behave like Windows 10. (Granted, I had to do my own fiddling for it to work, but that's not really relevant...) Regardless, you can force either one with `-force-d3d11` or `-force-d3d12` on the command line.

Also, Windows programs do like to choke on so-called "invalid characters", but having a colon in a file path is not going to corrupt your disk or otherwise cause you to lose data. If NTFS didn't support arbitrary file names, it wouldn't have let you extract the zip at all (you can use filenames with colons in NTFS on Linux and it works just fine!). It will still make things obnoxious on Windows, but that's unfortunately the name of the game with it...

Anyway, supporting older rendering backends is all well and good, but frankly there's nothing wrong with using Unity. It's just another tool that a developer can choose to use if they feel comfortable with it; it doesn't make the game less valid, even if it seems extreme to you. It is unfortunate that it seemingly no longer supports anything <D3D11, and supporting OpenGL or Vulkan on Windows requires explicit action from the developer... Fortunately, though, these days DXVK (the D3D-to-Vulkan translation layer normally used to run Windows games on Linux) can be used on Windows for GPUs with Vulkan support, which can come in handy in some cases :)

Happy to help! Uhh, sorry if this came off as weird, I was vaguely stressed from being confused and the game being difficult as it is...

Anyway, I suppose I definitely did not do things in the order you imagined lol

Why can I use a lockpick on room 2406 even though I supposedly need to learn how to use them first? Why do I keep getting party dialogue with people I've never met (after the apartment quest and in front of whatever's north of the forest)??? I took the 2406 quest first and ran in circles and slept a couple days trying to progress the person in front of the bar, and I was really worried I'd somehow gotten stuck until I realized I could...just buy a lockpick and use it. And then I got dialogue with Devon after that and got worried it was still bugged. For the record, I only really went to places as they were introduced as "here's a place to go next" so I didn't go to the Tower or anything because I had no particular reason to. Also I accidentally slept right at the beginning of the game and got concerned that broke something.

Awesome, thank you!

Nice work! I've sunk a few hours into this so far, exploring and discovering secrets. Unfortunately I'm here to report a bug or two—the Fighter chassis design screen seems to be broken. I can't navigate past the second Shield slot, it just takes me straight to Done and then loops back to the engine slot again. Since the design screen doesn't fill in the battery slot by default, I can't select Done and exit the screen, so I'm stuck there with no way to bail out and save :( Wish I had saved more recently...

Also, buying the Carrier hull didn't work for me. I had 16 CY and the game still wouldn't let me buy it. I didn't try again with more currency.

Hope you can fix these bugs soon! I'm having a good time with the game on my SD2SNES/FxPak otherwise.

That makes sense! Seems like the Nier games explore lots of interesting ideas, but the core gameplay isn't my cup of tea, so I haven't played them.

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I really appreciate how this game doubles down on you playing the bad guy, without giving you a way to weasel out of anything, forcing you to roleplay Julius as he goes on a slime-murdering rampage, especially if you want all the story tidbits. (I'm surprised you didn't go into more detail about that aspect in the PDF!) Given that, the ending definitely took me by surprise, and the post-credits scene was delightful.

It's a shame that I had to play through on the "easy mode" to save time, since I spent 3 hours unknowningly playing through the entire demo because it was the only option in the itch app and I didn't look close enough. I would have liked to experience the combat challenge from the late-game encounters and bosses, although the final gauntlet let me fake it a bit at least. That said, pleeeeeeease mark the full game downloads as being for Windows as well, so that more people using the itch client don't make the same mistake!!

Also the art style and music are exactly what I wanted out of a weird RPG Maker game, and it really sells the story too. I'm really happy to have played it.

Usually I end up seeking out these kinds of games myself, or know what will happen going I was certainly pleasantly surprised when I realized what was going on partway through ^^ especially since npckc's other games are so innocuous! Had a lot of fun c:

Wow, this is really well put together!! You incorporated the Yume Nikki vibes really well, and the format of like, a "show and tell" approach where the player navigates the space accompanied by your narration, was really fitting and made me feel more immersed in the feelings.

Gonna be honest, I played Yume Nikki ages ago and liked how it felt, but mostly got lost and didn't stick through the whole thing x_x but I recalled enough of it to mostly get what you referenced in this game! or at least the important parts! so that's cool!!

Also gonna reiterate an earlier commenter about the part about taking pride in being empty, while everyone else sees you as mature and stuff, being like. Very Relatable. and that was *before* I started having gender realizations! I didn't get hit with the depressive part of it until after that, but yeah wow.

Anyway! Thank you for making this game it is very good!! <3

Oh wow, what a wonderful and sweet kinetic novel! I do wish the ending was a little bit more...drawn out? (At the very least, a fade to black before returning to the menu.) But it was still super heartfelt and had me gripped in the final couple scenes! (I definitely teared up at the end!!) Thank you for making it <3


Okay for real though: thank you for this delightful game, there's always room in my heart for more lesbian fluff <3

Thank you! ^_^

Hi! I greatly enjoyed my first playthrough of this game; it's cute, charming, and fun, and I like that the premise reminds me of Recettear :)

However, the part where you chase the "ghost" out of one of the rooms stuck in my mind, because Elinor uses the phrase "he or she" multiple times, where "they" would be more appropriate to refer to an unknown person. Besides "he or she" sounding awkward, it made me somewhat wary that the game would bring up something uncomfortable or borderline queerphobic later on (and I expect many other queer folks would feel the same way). That phrase is usually used by English prescriptivists preserving their notion of "correctness" at the expense of including or acknowledging nonbinary people, hence my worry (being nonbinary myself). Besides, the ghost is subsequently referred to as "it" again, despite you discovering the ghost is actually a person, which makes even less sense to me...

I hope you understand my reasoning. I don't bring this up lightly, as it does legitimately concern me, but I also don't mean any ill will towards the developer, or intend this as a demand. I just want to make this world a little cozier, and that includes making games feel more welcoming in small ways such as this.

Thanks again for the game, and thank you for reading! 馃挏

Frankly, this is the correct response

Haha thanks for calling me a nerd :')

Someone might have a use for this...

I think I've decided to...change the ending? We'll see. It just feels like...well, that would be spoiling things.

Have a nice day!

(btw chris is really cute)

Thanks for replying! I ended up playing through with my Steam Controller instead—it just behaves as a keyboard so I don't have the gamepad-specific problems, and the smaller analog stick is at least usable for this game, though (even having the silly touchpad as a dpad) it's still not a substitute for a proper dpad. Worked out just fine c:

Anyway, I finished the game a few minutes ago! It had a lot of neat puzzles, was very satisfying to explore even if I got stuck a couple times, and threw me some curveballs (especially towards the end). Also there's lesbians so that just makes it even better!! (I've had a good streak of selecting games with lesbians from the bundle it seems, intentionally or otherwise 馃)

Was surprised to see that I missed so many palettes though, I only got 32/43! They must be well-hidden :o

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Quick update: unfortunately using the Steam configurator doesn't work super well with this game, since mixing keyboard and controller buttons causes the game to pop up "new input detected" anytime it gets input from one to the other, and it seems like the gamepad buttons are being detected regardless of if I'm overriding them :(

The controller UX stuff is pretty slick honestly, and it would be great if the controller already worked correctly, but once you want to use fiddly configs like this, it kind of falls apart a little... I think other games have worked around this by giving you the option to disable controller inputs, along with choosing your button prompts manually and stuff like that.

Hi, this game is really cute and I'm liking it a lot so far!! That said, I don't see any way to control movement with the dpad when using a controller? The hidden platforming puzzle in the first zone (the one with the timed doors) was pretty finicky to do with an analog stick, and I'd really rather be using the dpad for a game like this. I'll probably be fiddling with Steam's controller config thing to set that up.

Also, the game doesn't seem to be picking up the select button or the right stick on my gamepad at all? But I doubt that's something you can do much about, since frankly GameMaker's Linux support has never been very good (I'm on Fedora 32 and had to set up library symlinks like the other commenters).

Anyway, thanks so much for this game, keep up the good work!!

(btw I very much appreciate the inclusion of pride palettes by default :3)

Reposting my review as a comment since reviews don't show up in most places on here:

Shoot I'm crying. I wasn't sure how I was going to go at a couple parts, and I got anxious a little...but I pushed through it. and oh my god this is the best thing ever. There's just so much and it's so beautiful and it all feels so peaceful in the end. Everything turned out okay and it took all the time it needed to happen. I love this so much. Thank you, Zandra. <3 <3 <3

My apologies! Something clearly hiccuped somewhere, since restarting my computer has apparently solved the issue. Sorry for the trouble!

I haven't been able to get my Dualshock 3 controller to work on Linux. I've tried both xboxdrv and whatever PS3 driver ships with Debian (I'm using Devuan Ascii, equivalent to Debian Stretch). I have confirmed both drivers work in other games.

Happy to provide any other necessary info! Thanks in advance <3

Here I am, with more bugs :) (and nitpicks)

  • If you start charging a support weapon, and then Casie kills all the enemies in the current battle, Jack will automatically use the weapon at the start of the next battle. That probably doesn't make sense?
  • When attempting to eat a food item using the D key, the game says "Use as a weapon!", even outside of battle where you actually can't do that (and the eating succeeds). Small detail, but can be annoying.
  • Weren't there progress bars on the support weapons/items before? Did you remove that for some reason, or is that also a bug?
  • Having to press Enter to exit the shop feels odd, since you're using your mouse to navigate everything else in the checkpoint screen. It'd be nice if you could click the "Enter" box in the bottom right to exit, or just click outside the shop UI.
  • Holding Escape doesn't seem to exit the game!
  • I made it within 2 levels of the end of the demo this run, but once again I encountered a crash :( This time I was trying to reload a Range Rifle that was in the left-hand conveyor, but I also hit S accidentally while I was hitting D? No idea if that's related. The error message, for posterity:
    FATAL ERROR in action number 1 of  Step Event0 for object obj_controller0:
    Unable to find any instance for object index '119630' name '<undefined>' at gml_Object_obj_controller0_Step_0

Still having lots of fun with the game, at any rate! Really appreciate your work c:

This is great!! Juggling everything around in the inventory is a wild ride, but I love it. The flavor text is on point, too!

Unfortunately, I ran into a couple bugs:

  • At some point, I ended up with a ticking noise looping endlessly in the background. It wouldn't stop. It got kind of annoying?
  • Sometimes, when the music changed, it wouldn't play properly, and got stuck in this half-second loop that sounded vaguely creepy. It'd do this until the next music change (usually a battle).
  • The game crashed hard when I tried to use the Field Guide on a Toltuga. Tortuga? I forget. Anyway, here's the gist of the error:

    FATAL ERROR in action number 1 of Step Event0 for object obj_textbox1:
    DoAdd :2: undefined value at gml_Object_obj_textbox1_Step_0

    It happened on the last level, too, so I never got to see how the demo ended :(((

Anyway, I really enjoyed the game! Congrats on the successful Kickstater, here's hoping you blast through all your stretch goals~

"God it's so late" - Gordon Freeman

Sounds like a good plan! From the looks of your devlog, you deserve it :) As game-breaking bugs go, the endscreen issue isn't particularly serious since it happens after your die, hehe.

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  • Found a couple more secrets! And now there are more enemies showing up in some levels, which makes leveling up a fair bit easier. I even hit Level 4 once! One of those secrets I only found by accident, though... (I'd played about 2 hours prior to this.)
  • The reload time of the shield-throwing enemies seems too long--sometimes I'm just sitting there, waiting for them to throw again so I can hit them.
  • The reverse-gravity particles could use some more contrast--they're a bit hard to see on gray backgrounds.
  • Mad props for making the ice platforms catch you at the ends!! Ice physics are much more fun when they're not screwing you over ^^;

I've been trying to think of a summary of my experience for like 15 minutes, so instead I'll jump straight into some bullet points. This is on the Steam version, on Windows 10.

  • The underwater pipes that blast you up could use some visual indication that they're "charging"--I tried jumping off of them prematurely, repeatedly missing the platform I needed to get to, and didn't realize you had to sit still on them. Maybe some sort of swirly bubble effect?
  • The cheats menu text is pretty hard to see against the dark background, and there's no indication of what options you've selected, which sucks if you don't remember what things you had on. Also, the colored bars are a little distracting, IMO? Maybe they could be slowed down a bit.
  • The little red bots that pop out of the tiny blue floor capsules seem a little unfair; they only give you a tiny fraction of a second's warning before they fire at you, which is not really enough time to react. What's more, it's impossible to predict when they'll actually pop up, since they only try to fire when you're in range. (And sometimes not even that--there's a bit at the end of one ice level where I climb up a ladder at the right end of the screen, and I need to shoot a turret to my left next to a teleporter, but even hovering near the top of the ladder won't make it shoot at me; I have to climb all the way up for it to eventually notice me, and now I have to resort to jumping to dodge it, instead of ducking down the ladder.) It seems like my only recourse here is to just spam bullets at them until they eventually pop up and get destroyed, which can suck if unlimited ammo is off.
  • Speaking of ladders, the climbing speed feels a bit slow to me. After doing the various ladder parkour sections multiple times, they become boring and almost lethargic-feeling, as I spend a lot of time holding Up and waiting until I get high enough.
  • I enjoyed the game without cheats, but after a good deal of gameplay I tested out a damage multiplier, then decided to just plow through the game and disabled my own damage and maxed out my damage multiplier. However, all this time I had only gotten to Level 2 a few times, and although I reached it more often now, I still only hit Level 3 once or twice. I found myself wishing for a cheat to modify how much of your level gets taken off when you take damage, which I might have used in place of a damage multiplier earlier on. Basically, this cheat would only take down part of your level bar when you take damage (think Cave Story), and at its fullest extent would prevent you from losing levels at all.
  • I never used...what was it, Hyper Blast? I don't even remember the name now ^_^; Basically, reaching Level 2 alone was already fairly infrequent, and I always wanted to hang on to it for as long as possible before I inevitably got hit. I didn't see the need for spending it just to get invulnerability and extra damage for a bit (though maybe I should have?).

Okay, that's enough specific criticisms! In general, I had a lot of fun exploring the levels and blowing up enemies (I really like the artstyle!). Having cheats available without judgement was nice too--I probably would've left the game alone after a while if they weren't around. It's especially satisfying when cheats are on and I can blow up those damn purple ceiling turrets in one hit, and they give off a giant explosion!!

I only found one secret, I think? I wanna find more. In fact, now that I've had a long break, I think I'll go try that again ^_^ I'll try not to accidentally graze a spike 4 bosses in this time...

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I'm playing the Steam version on Windows 10, and for some reason I can't seem to take screenshots, no matter what button I assign to the task. I can open the Steam overlay fine, but pressing the screenshot button does nothing. In fullscreen, Print Screen just gives me a white picture, too, so that doesn't help.

I also encountered the broken endscreen bug a couple times, which seems like it's a known issue. It was pretty rare, though.