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sylvie

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A member registered Apr 22, 2014 · View creator page →

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Normally I wouldn't email someone who bought on of my games on Itch but I might have to in that case....

Thank you! There is more to discover in the game if you want to play a little more. (When you reach the "true ending" it should be clear)

Hello Bobo, I found a small bug when I replayed the game. The 40 gate below let me go through even though I think I only had ~36 Circuit Keys at the time (I didn't record the exact number but it was definitely below 40). You can see on the map that the gate is still red, but the gate opened up and let me get the burger.


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Thank you for telling me about this amazing secret! I don't think I ever would have found it.

I watched the ending again with spinning Bobo.

If you want to delete this now that I've seen the secret, you can. Otherwise I will leave it here so other people can learn about it if they happen to look at this page :)

I like it, thank you!

I think I got the secret ability (the one from the Gem Scratching Post?) I got it before fighting the final boss. I actually think I collected everything except the items behind the Sunset Gates before defeating the final boss. The secret behind the 99 door is the very last thing I collected before going home. So I was able to get all the other optional items without using it :)

I did notice when I got to the area behind the switch block in the Neon Lair that I could have actually gone there earlier, but I don't think I realized how open that part of the game is. I went to that area to get my sixth cube. I actually really liked the moment when I got five cubes and then realized I didn't know where to go next because there is no five-cube door. I had to think about where I hadn't explored yet in the world. But I guess some players wouldn't like not knowing where to go and would get stuck.

Thank you for the wonderful game!

Although I finished the game, I just remembered one thing that troubled me. Throughout the game I was unable to figure out how to zoom in and out on the map screen, so I was just stuck fully zoomed in. How do you zoom?

Hello, I just finished the game! It took me 20h50m and I think I got 100% of the items.


I found it challenging, especially figuring out how to get some of the optional items. But I didn't have any trouble in terms of bugs or anything like that.

I thought the game was really amazing. The design of the world was so interesting and full of surprises. Every area felt fresh and new, even the ones at the very end of the game. I loved how it progresses from "normal" video game areas like jungle, cave, mountain, etc. to strange alien structures. The atmosphere in some of the later areas was really cool. The powerups were great and kept surprising me and overall the mechanics were really interesting. I think this is one of my favourite games I've played in a long while.

There isn't really anything I didn't like. It is easy to lose a lot of progress when you die, which is sometimes frustrating, but that's also part of what makes the game interesting. There is a lot of tension in parts like the escape sequences after many of the bosses. When I got frustrated, I just had to take a break and come back later.

One thing I wanted to comment on is that the game progression feels fairly linear. It's not truly linear because there are different paths to explore within each area, and you can backtrack to get things you missed. But the overall structure feels like you end up going through the areas in a set order. Usually, I prefer exploration games that are very open-ended, and I get bored when they are too linear. But I never got bored with discovering more of the world in this game. So I don't think the game being somewhat linear is a bad thing. In fact, I think you did an amazing job and this game shows how good this kind of linear structure can be. But if you ever want to make a game with a more "open world" style I would love to see it.

If you want to put me in the credits, my name is Sylvie and I would want a blue and purple gradient like this:


I feel the same as the above poster. I've played for around 8 hours and I am in the forest ruins right now. It feels like there's still so much more to discover. The game keeps surprising me and it's so exciting!

I really liked the opening section (before you can jump) because it felt really creative. Once you get the jump, the game is still fun, but it started to feel more like a standard platformer. But as I got more abilities, it started to feel more creative again, and when I reached the area after the shark boss I was really surprised with the unique and mysterious feeling of the world! Even after playing for 8 hours, the game doesn't feel like it's repeating the same ideas, it just keeps getting more fun and interesting to play! I love Bobo the Cat!

To examine items, you can throw them out of your bag and then press up while standing over them. However, the color doesn't matter, so you should be able to just recognize them by their shape. Basic Shrooms are the common ones you find everywhere in Mushroom Zones, Wide Shrooms are twice as wide as Basic Shrooms, Tall Shrooms are twice as tall as Basic Shrooms, and Tiny Shrooms are very small (about 1/4th the size of Basic Shrooms). Early on in the game it is difficult to find anything other than Basic Shrooms, so until you get farther in the game, you will probably mostly see the other types of shroom from the person in the Citey who sells uncommon mushrooms.

Thank you for playing the game! To trade, select the item you want to trade for in the other person's bag by clicking on it. Then, make an offer by placing your items in the field between the two bags. The NPC will evaluate the offer. If they like the offer, then they will move their item into the field. Then you can take the NPC's item and they will take your item.

The character who tells you exchange rates doesn't actually exchange anything. That character just tells you the SM value of different kinds of shrooms. For example, if another character says they want 3 SM for something, that means you can trade 3 Basic Shrooms for it, or 1 Tiny Shroom for it.

If you want to practice trading, try trading some Basic Shrooms for items that cost a small amount of SM. The other characters in the center of the Citey have items like that.

This game is really cool! Try the demo and if you like it check out the full version!

My review below discusses the game's structure and themes, and while I tried not to spoil specific plot beats, you might pick up on some hints about the nature of the endings and how to reach them. So, don't read on if you want to go into the game with a blank slate.

The game opens with three routes you can play in any order. Roughly speaking, the routes teach you more about the Larkspurs, the family who owned the house; about Evie, the ghost that haunts the house; and about Tabby, the protagonist who is trapped in the house. After completing all three, there is a cool segment where you lay out your beliefs about everything you've learned by answering a series of questions. Your beliefs determine which ending you get; there are three "major" endings, and a variety of "game over" bad endings where the story concludes abruptly, usually with your death.

This is a horror and mystery game, but it's not really a traditional mystery. What if the detective in a mystery story collected all the available evidence, but couldn't actually solve the mystery? The events took place in the distant past, all the major players are dead, and there's so much ambiguity that the best you can do is make an educated guess. You can't gather all the suspects in a room and dramatically lay out the truth. So what kind of conclusions do you draw, and what kind of story do you tell? It's that kind of mystery.

While the major endings give closure, they don't really give you "answers". There is one central mystery which I felt the story explains very clearly, and expects you to understand (you can choose to disbelieve the answer, but I didn't try). Aside from that, pretty much everything else – what happened to most of the Larkspur family, the nature of the entities in the house, the events of the protagonist Tabby's childhood – is unexplained or presented with a healthy amount of vagueness.

This is presumably on purpose, because a recurring theme is Tabby's frustration with "paranormal investigation" and "true crime" media – how the stories they tell are often conjectures based on flimsy and ambiguous evidence, and those conjectures paper over the lives and experiences of the victims. I think 77 Oleander wants you to realize that the stories it's telling you are messy, complex, and human; they're mysteries, but not the kind you can wrap up in a neat bow and claim you've solved. 77 Oleander wants you to wade through the ambiguity and draw your own conclusions, but it stops short of letting you confirm all those conclusions, because getting the "right answer" isn't the point.

(As an aside, I'm noticing strong parallels with the visual novel Umineko as I write this.... Umineko tackles similar themes, but in more of a pulp/fantasy style, presenting you with an Agatha-Christie-esque island mansion murder mystery that was purportedly commited by a witch. 77 Oleander kind of feels like a modern, slightly less fantastical take on this aspect of Umineko, replacing "witches and magic" with "ghosts and hauntings", and criticizing modern paranormal podcasts instead of.... whatever people in those circles were doing in the 90s and 00s? Also, something I find really interesting is that two of 77 Oleander's major endings have prominent red / blue color motifs, which are also important colors with specific meanings in Umineko. Hmm....)

The three major endings actually branch moreso based on your beliefs in the supernatural, as opposed to your beliefs about the human elements of the story. Did these people die in an accident, or were they murdered? That's not really important. Is the malicious entity that keeps killing you a ghost or a demon? Surprisingly, this actually matters. Is Evie a real ghost, or are ghosts a bunch of bullshit, and she's some kind of hallucination? That matters too.

That's because 77 Oleander isn't just about ambiguous unsolvable paranormal mysteries. It's about how to talk about those mysteries respectfully without trampling on the victims at their center. I think what the game wants to say is that you can't do that, or at least it's very difficult, without talking to the victims themselves. Without their input, you're always just scribbling over someone else's life.

77 Oleander presents a strange hypothetical: What if you could meet the ghost at the center of a haunting, and hear their version of the story? What if you could tell a ghost story not for the sake of the living, but "for the sake of the ghost"?

This interacts in an interesting way with the themes of ambiguity and unanswerable questions – I mentioned earlier that there's essentially only one major mystery in the story with a clear answer. But this answer comes from a ghost! So, can you trust the answer? I think the game really, really wants you to trust it. It seems outright cruel to me not to trust it. I think the game is saying, "Only the dead themselves can speak with authority on their own lives!" Paranormal podcasts by randos shouldn't have the final say!

So that's my feelings about the game's overall story and themes. Well, I also want to mention that I liked the moment-to-moment writing a lot too. There's a fair amount of levity and humor to balance the more tense or upsetting scenes: the awkward flirting between Tabby and Evie, the painfully accurate unscripted podcasts, Tabby's disdain for stupid Ghost Adventures bullshit like EVPs and spirit boxes. The presentation is great too! There are a few really bombastic action sequences that are a joy to read and watch. The music and visuals are excellent, and set the mood well both for quieter scenes and more intense scenes.

Finally, there is a nutcracking dog statue that is really cute. I really liked seeing the dog. You even get to give it a name. So, you should buy the game.

Banger

Thank you! I don't have a proper webpage for it but I grabbed the songs from the game files and put them up here: http://love-game.net/sylvietower_ost.zip

Oh wow! I wondered if someone would ever get all the stars. Really great job :)

I liked BOUNCERS 2 a lot. The physics are really mysterious. But I gave up when I discovered there is more than one level.

I thought it was really cute that you have to flip the virtual pet over and turn it on before you can play.

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This game is really lovely. I played it a lot and I managed to reach something wonderful. Thank you for making such a lovely game.

I think maybe you're talking about a
tweet I made where I said that I released ~40 games from 2004 to 2017, and ~80 games from 2018 to the present.

This is true. Only a few of my games are on Itchio. I have a spreadsheet of basically all my game releases: Sylvie Spreadsheet

There are 121 games on it at the time of writing. Game 41 (Cute Witchy House) was released in 2017, and all games after were released in 2018 or later.

Of course many of the games are tiny and silly (even more than this game) but I still definitely became much more productive with game development in the last few years.

I am not very skilled at singing but I do it anyways because it's fun to do.

I am still thinking a lot about this game.... I put together a video today that showcases all the levels (without being 9+ hours long like my initial playthrough). It could also serve as a walkthrough of sorts for people who are stuck on certain sections. It has some commentary where I ramble on about various things. If you don't like the commentary the Youtube description has a link to a no-commentary version (as well as chapter timestamps). 

I've been playing these games (precise platformers with infinite lives and quick restart, or "die-and-retry" platformers as the description puts it) since the early days of Jumper and the original N. I never actually got that into N or any of its sequels, but Maddy Thorson's pre-Celeste works were a big part of my childhood (I particularly love Jumper, Jumper 2 and Dim).

Something I noticed as this subgenre evolved is that it started developing a two-tier difficulty system, where the main levels were usually geared toward players who are new to the genre, so they would be hard but never push your limits too much. And the truly challenging stuff for veterans would be optional content like time trials, collectable trinkets, or secret levels that aren't relevant to progress. 

It's a system that has a lot of advantages, since it welcomes new players while placating experienced players. But as someone on the "veteran" side, I found it refreshing that this game eschews that and simply making progress becomes quite hard as early as Chapter 2 or 3. I sort of miss this kind of game. It's more exciting to me when the core path through the game is difficult, compared to when the difficult parts are optional and just give me a checkmark on the save file.

My super long playthrough video finally finished uploading and processing. The description on Youtube has timestamps for the different chapters. Chapters 10 and 11 together take up over half the video.

The more I think about it, the more I appreciate this game. Even though the difficulty curve is steep enough to alienate a lot of people, I get the feeling you really believed in what you were making, and you put a ton of work into designing complex and beautiful levels that push the mechanics to their limits. I really liked figuring out some of the more puzzle-like sections.

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Thank you for making this cool game. I really liked it overall. I think Chapters 10 and 11 were a little too much for me though. I completed them, but it was frustrating and stressful, especially the last part of Chapter 11. For the rest I had a pretty good time. I am uploading my playthrough to Youtube but it's 9 hours and 31 minutes long so it is taking a while. (Edit: it is here)

This game really puts the "precision" in precision platformer. The jumps are so tight and unforgiving. This is not a complaint, just an observation. I often found myself thinking things like "okay, I need to slide a few pixels lower here" or "I should press left a few frames later after jumping off the wall". The small details of your inputs and motions really matter in this game, I think moreso than a lot of popular entries in the genre (compare with Celeste, which has a lot of forgiveness mechanics to give you a pass when you're slightly off target).

The unforgivingness is most noticeable with the orbs that give you an air jump if you tap the jump button while touching them. You have to be really precise with these. I don't know if it's because the hitboxes are small, or if it's because you're frequently whooshing past them at high speeds and only have a small window to hit them. A recurring challenge is having to jump off a wall, then immediately trigger one of these orbs to get a momentum-boosted air jump. I think it took me until around Chapter 7 before I started to get the hang of this. (Edit: Apparently you updated the game to make these a little easier to handle. Interesting.)

Speaking of momentum, the horizontal momentum in this game works in a funny way. Your character basically has "two momentums": running momentum and walljump momentum, which are tracked separately. Running momentum has instant (or near-instant?) acceleration and deceleration. Walljumping, though, gives you a burst of speed that decays over time. These two forms of momentum "stack" on top of each other; you can "fight" your walljump momentum using your running momentum, but you can't cancel it completely, you have to wait for it to decay. Alternatively, you can run in the same direction as your walljump for a super speedy long walljump. Some jumps are easier if you start with a "neutral" walljump and apply running momentum mid-jump. It's an unusual but fun way of jumping.

Mechanically, there is nothing really groundbreaking in this game: it's a hard platformer focused on wall jumping. But these little quirks give it a unique identity. The level design is excellent, featuring intricate jump sequences that require both good execution and puzzle-solving ability. And the art and music is so lovely. And I really love that you can play it with just one hand on the arrow keys (ultimate control scheme)

Thank you for the comment! The game is supposed to feel a little strange and different from other platformers. You might just need time to adjust to it, but it's also possible you just don't like this unusual type of game. The intended audience is probably people who want to experience a New Summer Feeling.

Thanks!! The flower keys are useless for unlocking anything. I think they have low gravity though so they are fun to ride around on.

The bag Esc/Quit thing bothered me throughout development because I felt like it's important to have a way to "discard" your bag rearrangements if you mess it up too much, and sometimes I use that option intentionally. But it's also easy to accidentally choose that option absent-mindedly and lose all your rearrangements. I never thought of a good solution for it. Maybe something like an "are you sure?" box would work, but I don't think I want to go back just to add that....

Yeah, that is all of them :)

I actually don't remember changing anything about combos! I must have done it by accident, or something. Thanks for playing!

The other ending can be obtained after finding three flowers in the world. You probably saw one flower while exploring but the other two are somewhat more hidden.

The secret entrance is in Cylvey Citey. The entrance is not marked by a door, but there is a visual hint for the location of the entrance.

There is an in-game hint for the second paperclip, I think it's called "Trades in the Sky?" and is held by the Canyon hint giver.

The key with an eye opens a secret entrance somewhere. It doesn't look like a normal door, so that's probably why you didn't notice it. I can give more information if you can't find where to use it.

If the carrot is in your bag, Bunneys will loosely attempt to follow you. They don't cross screen boundaries though. I think the only other use is that it counts as a "bunney-related item", which means it can be traded to a person who wants such things.

Hint: The meaning of the riddle's "story" isn't really relevant to what you have to trade. Rather, there's just a hidden phrase embedded in the riddle you have to notice.

Solution (decode with rot13.com): Ernq gur yrggref ba gur yrsg bs gur evqqyr (gur yrggref ng gur fgneg bs rnpu yvar) sebz gbc gb obggbz!

Thanks so much for the nice comments! I will see if I can add the independent volume controls and text speed control in the next update.

Wow, thank you for making a video, it was fun to watch.

V guvax gur Sver Zrqnyyvba fubhyq or rnfvre gb trg. Naq nyfb gurer ner guerr sybjref. Bar sybjre vf sbhaq va rnpu Qnex Jbeyq nern. V guvax gur bar lbh zvffrq zvtug or gbb uneq gb svaq naq fubhyq or rnfvre. V jvyy guvax nobhg vg sbe gur cbfg-wnz irefvba.

Thank you for playing, I added some instructions and tips to the game page. It is probably still hard though even if you understand how to play.

This game released a few days ago, but I didn't know about this release announcements area.

Clockwork Calamity in Mushroom World is an open-world-exploration-trading-bouncey-platformer with a unique pixel-perfect inventory system and a lovely world filled with strange items and characters. You can see some of the unusual mechanics in the trailer and GIF below!

It's currently available at a 12% Launch Discount for a few more days. And as the title says, it's also part of the recently released Queer Games Bundle, so if you bought that, you already own it! Please try it out and tell all of your friends if you like it!

I'm not sure what steps you had to do, but I think you have to drag the game out of the DMG before it will work, if that's what you mean. I am not familiar with Apples so I thought it was common that you have to drag things out of the DMG before they will work (like how some programs won't work if you don't extract from the ZIP file on Windows). But if it's not an obvious step I will add a text file explaining it to the next bug fix update (coming soon!)

Do you have more specific instructions for replicating this? It seems to work for me.

It could be related to the code that stops the NPC from saying "Hmm" until you stop moving your cursor around. I might add a hard upper limit where the NPC will eventually evaluate your offer even if you're moving the cursor.

There is now experimental Linux support! I could only test it on Windows Subsystem for Linux where it doesn't work very well, so I am curious how well it works on Real Linux.

Also, I bought a Mac. Once it gets delivered in a week or so, I will try to make the game work on Mac, but I might fail.

Unfortunately it is Windows only right now! I want to try to get a Linux version working eventually though and possibly Mac if I can figure out what Apple requires of me.

Yeah, someone else also found that ending bug - I have it on my list to fix for the next update. Thanks!

I wonder if I should add some special dialogue or effect for kicking the chest with the heavy boots - that's a funny idea!